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CostBasis Tutorial

Historical pricing of securities has always been a difficult business.

Prior to 1984, valuing portfolios for estate taxes was a tedious and time-consuming process, prone to error and dooming you to long hours in the library, digging through back-issues of the Wall Street Journal. The appearance of EstateVal changed all that, giving you the power to gather historical prices for a date of death in minutes, from your computer.

But what if the historical prices you want aren't for a date of death? EstateVal has an "Appraisal" report that will give you pricing for any date back to 1968, but if your securities must be priced on different dates, you have to create a new portfolio for each. That's where CostBasis comes in.

CostBasis allows you to enter a portfolio of CUSIPs; the number of shares you hold and a different date for the pricing of each. It can produce reports, for example, that show the cost basis of a portfolio, even if every security was purchased at a different time. This can be invaluable in determining capital gains, for instance.

To run CostBasis, double click its icon on your desktop. When the main screen appears, you're ready to begin.

As-Of Date Selection

The first thing you must decide when entering a CostBasis portfolio is if you are going to enter the number of shares you held on a single, specific date (the "As-of Date") or if you are going to enter the number of shares you held on the date a security will be priced (the "Pricing Date"). This decision is very important, because it determines if CostBasis will factor in stock splits for you. If you enter the number of shares you held on the Pricing Date, the program will not display any split information, because -- obviously -- the number of shares will be what you entered. If, however, you enter the number of shares you held on a single, specific date (say, the first of the year), you must change the "Inventory is as-of:" field to "As-of Date" and enter the single date into the "As-of Date:" field. In this mode, CostBasis will adjust the values of the securities to reflect any stock splits between the As-of Date and the date each security is priced.

Next, enter any information you would like into the "Name," "Account," "Title" and "Notes" fields.

Finally, enter each CUSIP, the number of shares you held on either the Pricing Date or the As-of Date -- according to how you set the first field -- and the date you would like that particular security priced on.

A CostBasis Portfolio

After you have finished entering all the CUSIPs, select "Basis Date" from the "Evaluate" menu and the program will retrieve prices. When it's done, a report will appear, showing the cost basis for your portfolio.

Cost

Each CUSIP evaluated by CostBasis costs $1.00 and will be included on your normal monthly EVP invoice. The program can load EstateVal portfolios if you would like to run cost basis evaluations on securities you have already entered.

Help

If you have any questions or comments about CostBasis or any aspect of EVP Office, please feel free to contact our Customer Support Department at (818) 313-6300 or Support.