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Folio Investing RIP

Like many Portfolio123 users, I have been a long-time client of Folio Investing. Unfortunately tomorrow will be their last day as a service for self-directed investors, and they are transferring their assets to Interactive Brokers.

IB, for their part, says that they will implement similar functionality to folios later this year. But grouping stocks in a single account is already available to users of Portfolio123's Manage section.

However to do it you need to be sure to get some info from Folio while you still can. I don't know if we'll be able to log in on Thursday morning to get this stuff, so you might want to take a few minutes today or tomorrow.

The stock groupings are in one of two places. First, if you haven't made any trades this month then you can pull your most recent monthly statement, which has the complete folio contents. It is available from their Statements & Tax Records link on the Monthly Statements tab. This is a single download but is not terribly convenient for the rest of this because it's a PDF.

Second, you can go to the individual folios and download the holdings. Just go to the folio Holdings page and hit the download button.

This will get you the positions in each folio. That can be used to create a manual strategy in the Manage section, but we might be able to do a bit better.

First, as far as I can tell, the site includes transactions for each account back to 1/12/2016 as of today. (Or "five years".) If your Folio account was created after this then you should be able to grab a complete transaction list for the account by selecting Transaction History on their site. I have been a customer for longer than that, but I assume that you can use that to import a transaction history in a Manage Account strategy with little modification.

But if you are a long-time customer like me then you will have to make do with importing only the cost basis of your account's holdings. That can be found on Folio's site by going to Statements & Tax Records and then going to Tax Records. At the bottom of that page is Unrealized Gains/Losses for each accounts. Download those spreadsheets.

You now need to do two things with those unrealized-gains spreadsheets. First, get a cup of coffee and divide those tax lots into your individual folios. There's probably an automated way of doing that using the downloaded positions from earlier, but truthfully it's only likely to be painful for those stocks that are in more than one folio (or, I suppose, for extremely long folios).

Second, add a column to the divided list of lots that is headed Transaction. Fill the rows downward with BUY.

Having done that create a manual strategy in a Manage account for each of the old folios. One of the options upon its creation is to initialize with transactions. You should be able to paste your tax lots (and the BUY value) and the strategy should recognize them as purchase transactions.

You'll also need to add enough cash in your Manage account to cover the total value of equities and cash in the account.

Anyway, as I said, I have no idea whether we'll be able to get this info after tomorrow afternoon, so I would suggest grabbing the sheets and forms while you still can.

Jan 12, 2021 12:56:36 PM       
Re: Folio Investing RIP

Quick update: We appear to still have access to Folio's info, so it turned out to be less urgent than I feared.

The overall process remains the same though. Feel free to email me if you need more help with this, or connecting your new IB account to your Portfolio123 account.

Jan 14, 2021 9:36:18 AM       
Re: Folio Investing RIP

Paul, I am interested in using a more advanced trading system. One that makes it easier to get into and out of the market as a whole, across multiple accounts. I currently use Schwab. The IB platform looks far more flexible. I’ve also heard good things about Trade Station. Can you (or anyone here) recommend a trading platform with advanced equity trading features?


Jan 14, 2021 2:08:06 PM       
Edit 2 times, last edit by abwillingham at Jan 14, 2021 2:55:55 PM
Re: Folio Investing RIP

I am still mourning the demise of Folio Investing...

In addition to supporting multiple custom Folios, they made exchanging multiple stocks in one action simple. My approach was that I would rebalance my Folios every 4-weeks. My process was to run my P123 screen to select the latest stocks, create a Watch Folio with those tickers set to equal weights, and exchange my current Folio for my created Watch Folio. They supported fractional shares so I used precise dollar-based weighting, they tracked the buy/sell so I was compliant with Regulation T (no accidental Freeriding), and settled trades before their next twice-daily trading window. A simple, user-friendly approach to Investing for those who implement screens with periodic exchanges.

I find IBKR to be a powerful tool for traders; I consider myself an investor though. IBKR claimed the Folio Investing features were scheduled for 1Q, and they have not arrived. My requests to support have gone unanswered almost as if few understand the implementation plan. I looked into integrating the P123 Trade features with IBKR. Given my # of annual trades, I needed the IBKR Lite version which does not support API integration with P123.

My research has narrowed down my broker choices to: M1 Finance and Fidelity. My criteria include support for multiple "folios" in my account, commission free trading, fractional shares, and simple folio exchanges to implement my periodic changes. All advice and feedback is welcomed.

Apr 7, 2021 5:01:13 PM       
Re: Folio Investing RIP

I had Fidelity and tried their old bucket based trading and it was awful. I now see that they have a new method available for fractional/dollar-based investing, and have not tried that.. However, I'm a big fan of investing using percentage-based buckets, so I switched to M1 Finance quite a while ago and have no complaints. M1 fits better for long-term investing (my preference) rather than active trading due to the daily trading window.

Apr 7, 2021 11:02:41 PM