The lot-by-lot list of what to trade or hold appears in the Trade column of the asset table. Positive values mean buy, negative means sell and blank means hold. It's that simple, as in the example for the Carol's IRA. The corresponding sales fee is in the adjacent column. The total of all trades is zero (or blank) as shown in the Total $$$ row below the asset table, unless the account has a deposit, withdrawal, or cash reserve. Deposit, withdraw and cash reserve are described in Cash Manager.
Switch the view between dollar values and shares by clicking on the header bar ($$$ / Shares). A side-by-side comparison shows the these views (above).
Calculated trades define the plan. It can be changed by editing individual trades. For example, you might prefer to avoid trading fractional shares. Rather than selling 10.71 shares or $1,230 of EMB in Carol's IRA you could sell 11 shares. The side-by-side trade columns show this result, below.
The total trade column, which had previously been zero, is now -33 and highlighted as a reminder that buy trades and sell trades do not exactly balance. This is not a particular problem, but it does mean that there will be a $33 excess (i.e., extra amount sold) assuming all other trades are executed per the original calculation.
Tips & Tricks
Calculations determine trades to exactly balance total buys with total sells, also accounting for deposits, withdrawals or cash reserve. As a practical matter, trades will seldom be executed at the exact price quote used for the rebalance calculation. There needs to be some cushion which is best done with a cash asset (money market). The cushion is also a source of funds to pay sales fees.
Sell trades are usually done first, to provide funds for the buy trades. This is important if the available cash is small to begin with. The exact timing depends partly on the asset types involved. Suppose part of a mutual fund holding is being sold, with an ETF being bought. The mutual fund sale will occur after the trading day, meaning that funds to execute the buy will not be available on the same day.
Here is one approach to dealing with price uncertainty and sales fees.
- Round all sells up to the next full number of shares (i.e., sell an extra fraction)
- Round all buys down to a full number of shares (i.e., buy a fraction less)
These simple steps will usually be enough to provide the cushion without spending too much energy trying to force an exact set of trades.