Accounting for Investments (Equity and Debt Securities)
This video provides an overview of the accounting rules and classifications for different types of investments. Investments can be broadly grouped into two types: debt investments and equity investments. Debt investments can be held-to-maturity (presented on the Balance Sheet at amortized cost, with changes in fair value not affecting Net Income), available-for-sale (presented on the Balance Sheet at fair value, with unrealized gains or losses bypassing the Income Statement and flowing through Other Comprehensive Income), or Trading (presented on the Balance Sheet at fair value, with unrealized gains or losses affecting Net Income. Equity investments are treated as Trading Securities according to the Fair Value Method (if the investor owns less than 20% of the investee), which marks the investment to market on the Balance Sheet and has unrealized gains or losses flow through Net Income. There is a practicability exception, however: if the fair value cannot be determined, the investment is presented on the Balance Sheet at cost, minus any impairments. If the investor owns between 20% and 50% of the investee the Equity Method is used; with this method, the investor does not recognize dividend revenue but instead recognizes a proportionate share of the investee’s Net Income. If the investor owns more than 50% of the investee, the investor must consolidate the investee (the two entities are treated as one consolidated entity).
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