Accounts & Trade FAQs: Positions

  • How do I view my Purchase History/Lots?

    On the Positions tab, select the row for the security you are interested in to expand and reveal a link to Purchase History/Lots.

  • What kind of information is displayed on Open Positions?

    Open Positions displays symbol, last price, gain/loss information (current day and total), current value, quantity, cost basis, and 52-week high/low for your holdings across your entire investment account portfolio, including the holdings in your workplace savings accounts and stock plans. For stock plans, Open Positions displays details for stock option plans, restricted stock award plans, stock appreciation rights (SAR) plans, phantom SAR plans, and stock purchase plans. Note: Some information may display differently based on your device's screen size. For example, information that appears in the far right columns on a desktop monitor may display under the selected open position on a mobile device.

  • What accounts are displayed on Open Positions?

    Open Positions displays personal investing and workplace savings accounts associated with your Social Security number (SSN). Charitable Gift accounts that you can access through will not appear on the Open Positions tab. You may adjust what is shown by selecting a specific account using the Account Selector on the left side of the screen.

  • Why is some of the information on this page highlighted in yellow?

    Yellow highlighting indicates the security was traded today.

  • How do I view additional information about how a value was calculated?

    Select the row for a specific security to expose more information, then select Lots to see how the security's value was calculated.

    For certain fixed income products that pay principal, such as mortgage-backed securities, a Factor is used to determine the current face value of the position, since the face value of the position changes over time. Because the product pays principal over its lifetime, its face value is likely to deteriorate over time, and therefore, typically, the Factor is less than one. For example, to determine the Most Recent Value of a fixed income product with a Factor, Price is multiplied by Quantity and Factor, and that number is divided by 100.

    For factored securities, as well as all fixed income securities, both the Most Recent Value and Previous Value use the price determined as of the previous day's close of business valuation. If a portion or all of the position is sold during the day, the Price and Factor of the security will continue to be based on the previous day's close of business valuation (although the Value fields will reflect the intraday change in Quantity).

  • How soon after I make a trade will it appear on Open Positions?

    Positions for stocks, ETFs, options, and fixed income products are updated immediately after the trade is executed (upon positions screen load or refresh). The only exception is for mutual funds, which are updated the next day after the overnight cycle.

    Securities not priced today will include a purple indicator in the top right corner of their Today's Gain/Loss column. Some securities, such as mutual funds, are not priced until after the market closes.

    For details on the change in securities priced today and securities not priced today, select the Today's Gain/Loss subtotal, which is marked with a dotted underline. This will display a detailed breakdown of the values.

  • How are distributions calculated and posted to an account?

    Mutual funds that accrue income daily, such as many bond and money market funds, pay a monthly dividend equal to the sum of each day's share balance multiplied by the fund's daily mill rate. Therefore, the distribution amount you receive may not equal the monthly mill rate sum multiplied by your month-end balance. Changes in your fund's share balance throughout the month will affect the distribution you receive at the end of the month.

    Mutual funds that do not accrue income daily, such as many equity funds, may declare a distribution on a specified date (often monthly or quarterly). The amount of distribution you receive in this instance is equal to the number of shares you hold on the record date multiplied by the per share distribution amount.

  • How often are prices updated on Open Positions?

    Prices are updated, or refreshed, whenever the page is loaded or reloaded in your browser. The time stamp in the top left corner of the page indicates the time and date when the page was last refreshed. To get new price information, reload the page by selecting Refresh.

    Prices are updated for each security type as follows:

    Security Type Frequency of Price Update
    Stocks Typically within 2 seconds
    Options Typically within 2 seconds
    Mutual Funds Daily, after market close, between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. ET
    Fixed Income Daily or less frequently
  • Can I customize how the information on this page is displayed?

    Yes, you can group open positions by Accounts or Symbols using the Group By dropdown menu. You may also choose to view them without any groupings, in one long list. The grouping setting you choose will be saved for your next session. You can also filter information by security type using the Show dropdown menu. Note: Filtering choices will reset to the default view each time you return to the Open Positions page.

  • What transactions can affect my cost basis?

    Any transaction that increases or decreases the number of shares in a position can affect cost basis, including buying or selling shares, splits, spin-offs, and liquidations. Depending on the type of security, other factors beyond the original purchase price can also impact cost basis. Consider the following:

    • Dividends and capital gains
      Each time you reinvest dividends or capital gains, you are purchasing additional shares. These purchases may change the cost basis of your overall position, but they will not impact the cost basis of shares that you already own. The cost basis for any new shares is calculated the same way you would calculate cost basis for any other type of purchase.
    • Purchase commissions, purchase charges, and purchase fees
      If you buy shares of a mutual fund that has a load (sales charge) or transaction fee, you should include the charge or fee paid as part of the cost basis. Similarly, commissions, fees, and taxes paid when you buy an individual security should be added to cost basis. Including these charges can reduce your future capital gains because they increase your original costs.
    • Redemption commissions, redemption charges, and redemption fees
      Your Form 1099-B will dictate how you should treat the fee and service charges incurred when you sell shares of a mutual fund or individual security. Fidelity's 1099-B deducts the fee from the proceeds. You do, however, have the option of adding the fees to the cost basis. Your gain or loss will be the same in either calculation.
    • Wash sales
      Wash sales can affect your cost basis. If you sell shares at a loss and buy additional shares in the same investment 30 days before or after the sale (a full 61-day range), you are not able to claim the loss on your tax return until you sell the new shares. In these cases, the IRS considers the new shares to have "washed" the prior shares. For example, if you have a dividend reinvestment on May 31 and an exchange redemption that results in a loss on June 12 in the same tax year, some or all of the loss from your redemption may be disallowed as a wash sale. The amount of the disallowed loss is added to the cost basis of the new shares. Fidelity makes no warranties with respect to, and specifically disclaims any potential liability resulting from, tax positions which you make in reliance on wash sale information provided by Fidelity. You should consult your tax advisor for additional information which may be relevant to your individual tax situation.
    • Merged funds
      If you own shares in a fund that is then merged with another, your holding period and total cost basis normally are not affected. However, since the number of shares you own following a merger may be different than the number you owned before the merger, the average cost basis per share may change. If this is the case, when calculating gains and losses you must determine the number of shares acquired in each transaction based on the number of shares received in the merger.
    • Transferred shares: inheritances and gifts
      The cost basis of inherited shares is generally the value of the shares on the day of the decedent's death. (It is possible, however, that an alternate date should be used; please consult the executor of, or tax advisor to, the estate to determine). To figure the basis of shares received as a gift, you must determine the cost basis of the shares when they were in the hands of the donor immediately prior to the gift. Additionally, you must determine the shares' fair market value at the time you received them. Additional rules may apply, so you should consult your tax advisor for assistance.
    • Return of capital
      A return of capital occurs when a fund's distributions exceed its earnings within a fiscal year. Distributions are not taxable when they exceed earnings and are reported on Form 1099-DIV. The total basis of the position is reduced by the amount of the non-taxable distributions, but they do not affect the basis per share of existing shares.
  • Why is my cost basis unknown?

    Some of the most common reasons cost basis may be categorized as unknown include:

    • Shares were transferred to a Fidelity account from another institution.
    • Shares were transferred between two accounts registered to different Social Security numbers.
    • Shares were transferred between mutual fund accounts and brokerage accounts before August 1993.
    • The shares are in a mutual fund account established before 1987.
    • The shares are mutual fund shares in a brokerage account established before 1982, or general security shares in a brokerage account established before February 1993.
    • The shares are in a mutual fund that merged with another fund, and cost basis was unknown at the time of the merger.
    • The shares were established by a spin-off, a tender, or a merger, and the cost basis was unknown at the time of the action.

    To update an unknown cost basis, see other FAQ "Can I enter or edit the cost basis information for a security?"

  • What cost basis methods are approved by the IRS?

    The IRS generally identifies two methods for calculating cost basis—the cost basis method and the average basis method. The average basis method is strictly for mutual funds and equities held in certain dividend reinvestment plans.

    Cost basis method – There are many variations of this method but the fundamental principle is the same: investors must identify the cost of the actual shares sold. This is important because investors may have a portfolio that contains shares purchased at different times or prices. You need to know the purchase price of the shares you sell. Below are two applications of this method.

    View a list of applications of the cost basis method. You can use any of these variations to establish standing disposal instructions for subsequent sales from your account.

    Average basis method – The average basis method determines basis by calculating an average cost per share for all purchased shares. Because of the new IRS cost basis reporting regulations, we must separately calculate the average cost of shares you acquired before January 1, 2012 and shares you acquired after that date. The IRS regulations permit this method only when calculating the basis for mutual funds and equities held in certain dividend reinvestment plans. See IRS Publication 550, Investment Income and Expenses (PDF), and the Instructions for Form 8949 (PDF). Average basis is Fidelity's default cost basis calculation method for mutual fund sales, redemptions, and exchanges.

  • How do I calculate cost basis for shares sold under the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997?

    The Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997 created a second mid-term share category, which was subsequently eliminated by tax legislation in 1998. If you sold shares in 1997 using this category, you should contact the IRS or your tax advisor for instructions on calculating cost basis for this sale.

  • Can I use cost basis information and unrealized gain/loss information from my Open Positions page for tax reporting purposes?

    The cost basis (and related gain and loss) information made available to you on the Open Positions page is not intended, nor should it be construed as legal or tax advice. Fidelity makes no warranties with respect to, and specifically disclaims any potential liability resulting from, tax positions which you might take in reliance on such information. You should consult your tax advisor for additional information which may be relevant to your individual tax situation.

    The cost basis and unrealized gain/loss information on the Open Positions page may not reflect intraday transactions, including trading activity. When intraday transactions are not included, the message Pending Update will be displayed. The Open Positions page may also not reflect all adjustments necessary for tax reporting purposes. You should verify cost basis and corresponding gain/loss information provided by Fidelity against your own records when calculating reportable gain or loss resulting from a sale. You are solely responsible for the accuracy of cost basis and gain/loss information reported to federal, state, and other taxing authorities. Unless otherwise specified, Fidelity determines cost basis at the time of sale based on the first in, first out (FIFO) method (for unrestricted securities other than open-end mutual funds) or the average cost method (for open-end mutual funds). Consult your tax advisor for further information. Please note that holding period information provided by Fidelity does not reflect the "5-Year Long-Term Capital Gains" classification, which took effect for certain tax payers on January 1, 2001.

  • Can I enter or edit the cost basis information for a security?  

    Yes, you may enter or edit cost basis information. First, gather background documents such as trade confirmations and account statements. You may also want to review the details of your Consolidated Form 1099. Once you’re ready, under the Positions tab, select the security for which you want to enter or edit cost basis information, then select Lots. Under the Cost Basis column, you’ll see the "Edit Cost" link, which will take you to the Edit Cost Basis page.

    Note: Updating your cost basis overrides any previously provided cost basis for the selected lots. You cannot update the basis for shares if the cost basis has been provided by Fidelity.

  • How does Fidelity report wash sale information?

    Unless otherwise specified by you, Fidelity will display cost basis figures that have been adjusted due to previous wash sale disallowed loss. If you sell shares at a loss and you purchase additional shares of a substantially identical security 30 days before or after the sale (within a 61-day window), the purchase may result in the loss being deferred until you sell the newly purchased shares under the wash sale provisions of the Internal Revenue Code.

  • How can I view my cost basis without wash sale adjustments?

    To view your cost basis information without wash sale adjustments, from the Show dropdown menu, select the Show Unadjusted Cost Basis option. These values may include other adjustments for corporate actions, stock splits, commissions, or other events, which would normally influence the cost basis calculation. These values are supplied as additional views of information and should not be used for tax reporting, or considered to be tax advice. Should you have any questions about wash sales and how they may affect your accounts, please consult your tax advisor.

  • What other types of accounts are included in the Open Positions page?

    The Open Positions page displays holdings information for tax-deferred annuities, income annuities, payout annuities, college savings plan accounts, and NetBenefits® accounts such as 401(k), 403(b), and 457 plans.

  • What does Open Positions show for tax-deferred annuities?

    Open Positions includes the number of units, value per unit, and total value for investment options held in a tax-deferred annuity. You can select an investment option name to display the daily unit value. You can also access an online questionnaire and worksheet to identify an asset allocation target strategy that matches your investment needs.

    Note: If the assets are in the Fidelity Fixed Income or Guaranteed Account, the investment option values will display as N/A.

  • What is included in the cost amount for my retirement account or accounts?

    For retirement accounts, Fidelity includes all the purchases and exchanges you have initiated in calculating a position's cost amount.

    Historically, at Fidelity, cost basis in retirement accounts did not include dividend reinvestments or capital gains. This was changed in September 2011, when positions in retirement accounts were recalculated to include reinvested dividends and capital gains. This change is being phased in over time. All accounts are expected to be converted to the new calculation by the end of 2014.

  • How do I increase the font size of text on the Positions tab?

    To increase font size (or zoom in on the page) in most popular web browsers, press and hold Ctrl while pressing the "+" button on your keyboard. To decrease font size (or zoom out), press and hold Ctrl while pressing the "-" button. For Mac users, use the Command and "+" or "-" keys instead. You can also adjust font size using your browser's settings.