Since 2008 legislation increased the importance of synchronizing cost basis in PortfolioCenter with cost basis at your broker, corporate actions (stock splits, mergers, spin offs, etc.) have gotten more attention.  Here’s how to handle processing corporate actions in PortfolioCenter:

Your first (and often last) step should be to visit Schwab Performance Technologies Corporate Actions page.

The folks at Schwab Performance Technologies provide step-by-step instructions — specific to PortfolioCenter — for most corporate actions, and they publish the instructions quickly.  When you see a corporate action, block the transactions in your interface and wait a couple days.  Then check the Schwab PT site for instructions and follow them.

If the action you’re dealing with is not widely-held and Schwab Performance Technologies doesn’t have instructions, you’ll have to do your own research.

  • Check the websites of the companies in the action.  Usually you’ll find corporate action information under a label like “Investor Relations” or “Investor Information”.  Most companies will publish a document explaining the tax consequences of the corporate action which will contain the information you need.
  • You might also find information on financial websites like Yahoo Finance or Google Finance.  But I’d check the company websites first.

Fortunately, Schwab PT has detailed general instructions if you know where to find it on their website.  These are the documents you’ll probably find most helpful.

Tips for Researching Corporate Actions
Corporate Action Frequently Asked Questions
Methods for Handling Cash in Lieu of Fractional Shares
Entering a Merger Exchange
Entering a Spin-Off

If you’re still not sure, gather as much information as you can and then call Schwab Technical Support 1-800-528-9595 for help.

Need help? Ask an expert.

PortfolioCenter® by Schwab Performance Technologies is a Windows®-based data management and reporting software application.