A "Negative Shares Error" results from incorrect trade matching in a data file, which may cause more shares to be closed than are open. When this condition exists the P&L is not correct and may be drastically wrong, therefore it needs to be fixed.
The error message box lists the trade numbers that have gone negative. To see the trades that are causing the errors click the "Display all trades with neg Shares" button.
You will need to deal with each ticker separately. Please take note of the trade number and ticker and then use the Find Ticker command to isolate all trades for that ticker to try to ascertain why this condition exists. Once the condition is fixed for this ticker click the ALL button to regenerate the error and deal with the next ticker till all errors have been resolved.
The most common cause of this error is missing open positions from last year or open positions from last year not being properly entered. Importing "close, long" or "close, short" transactions when there aren't any corresponding shares open in the data file causes negative share errors.
Manually enter your open positions, then import your trades in sequence (February, then March, etc...). If you have already imported your trade history report(s), manually enter your open positions and use the Edit, Renumber Trades function.
Other common causes of this error are:
Brokerage trade history not in chronological order, and no time of day is provided.
Some brokers list trades out of order intra day, especially when selling short. For example, a "buy to cover" transaction, may be listed ahead of the corresponding "sell short" transaction therefore a closing position gets imported ahead of an open position.
There is no way to handle this automatically upon import and requires user adjustment. If there are just a few of these you may be able to simply drag the open position up in the TradeLog grid and drop it so it comes before the close transaction.
In other cases more drastic action is required - please read on.
Broker statements incorrectly reporting long trades as short sales (or vice versa).
To assist with the above two conditions TradeLog has two functions to further deal with with the problem. Each function needs to be fully understood before using, but can be reversed using the Undo button on the toolbar.
- If Fix Trades out of order does not fix the problem, or if many trades were reported out of order, run the Edit, Force Match Trades function to force match your trades.
Mismatched trades due to stock splits, mergers or changes to ticker symbols.
When a stock or option undergoes a split or a corporation undergoes a merger, ticker symbols will change. As TradeLog will only match transactions with identical tickers during the import process, an opening transaction with a pre-split or pre-merger description will not be matched correctly with the appropriate closing transaction with a revised ticker description. Each opening transaction for a specific ticker that has undergone a name change should be edited.
To adjust trades for stock splits, use the Edit, Adjust for Stock Split function This function will adjust the number of shares and price; the ticker description will need to be edited manually.
Missing or errant trade transactions in a data file.
This last cause is rarely seen, but if all of the causes listed above have been ruled out, then this could be the case.
Users should verify each import by comparing the imported data with the hard copy monthly brokerage statements. Any missing trades should be manually entered. Any incorrect trades should be edited as necessary.
If you have reviewed the above and are not able to resolve the "Negative Shares" error, please submit an Online Support Request and attach the data file you are working on.