Stocks & Capital Gains

Joshua moorevineyard at
Fri May 4 15:37:11 EDT 2007

> I've been puzzled by a few questions regarding using gnucash to track 
> stock investments.
> The help file shows how to track the purchase, sale, and value of 
> stocks.  When recording the sale of the stock, one has to include an 
> amount from Income:Capital Gains representing the profit on the sale.  
> In order to know this amount, I need to track the cost of the shares.  
> For stocks, Gnucash seems to track the cost and unrealized gains 
> internally so that one does not need an account hierarchy like that 
> shown in the help file for the Degas painting.
> How do I use gnucash to determine (possibly years and many individual 
> purchases later) what my cost was for the stock?
> If I make a subaccount called cost, and use it in the purchase of the 
> stock, it shows a negative value.  Is this reasonable?
> The cash shows as still being in the parent investment account.  In 
> fact, the amount of cash in just the parent investment account would 
> show the total cost of all stocks and cash in the account.  This does 
> not seem right, as I need to track the amount of actual cash in the 
> investment account, too.

This is a really old post, but it's the only thing I've been able to find about 
how you determine the profit realized when you sell a stock and how you record 
that in GnuCash.

For instance, if you make regular monthly purchases of a stock or fund over the 
course of several years, and you periodically sell some shares of a stock or 
fund in order to buy new cars, houses, etc., how do you determine the profit 
from that sale?

The documentation doesn't clearly describe this situation with it's buy and 
sell examples that only include a single purchase or sale.

Does anyone know how to handle this?

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