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Placeholders serve no purpose

Beijing MacBeijing Mac Member ✭✭✭✭
edited November 2018 in Investing (Windows)
Do away with Placeholders or allow them to be deleted when Quicken automatically creates them.  Some users do not want them.


  • UnknownUnknown Member
    edited October 2018
    Just for information sake.

    Placeholders do have a purpose, just as an balance adjustment has a purpose when reconciling in a non investment account.  As in when starting an account with a given number of shares in a security and the user doesn't want to put the transactions to fill in the history.  Or a failed reconcile that the user just wants to ignore.  Neither are something I would want, but that isn't true of everyone, so they do have a purpose.

    Also placeholders are only automatically put in the register is the user has this setting on:
    Edit -> Preferences -> Downloaded transactions -> Automatically add to investment transaction lists

    And that makes sense because you are telling Quicken to "transactions" in your register and you will deal with them there.  If you do not have that setting then Quicken will prompt you to put in Placeholders, and at least in Quicken 2015/2016 the default is not to enter them if you select "OK", you actually have to take several steps to get the placeholder (a change from the default in the old versions of Quicken).

    Also there is a bug in Quicken 2016 that if you have the above option on, Quicken will put zero placeholders in for every security when you have any activity in the account.  This a bug, not the intended procedure.

    And in Quicken 2016 R8 there is a new feature (mostly created as a workaround for the above bug), where if you open the Placeholder Entries tab, you will find a new button, Delete All.
    So that is the quick way to get rid of placeholders.
  • Beijing MacBeijing Mac Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited November 2018
    thanks for the explanation and clarification, but something is not quite right with what you described and what just happened with a recent update.

    In Preferences, the following is unchecked:  Downloaded transactions -> Automatically add to investment transaction lists


    I have a 401K with Vanguard.  I have been manually maintaining this account from inception and all balances (to 3 decimal places) matched with the online balance.

    I recently updated Online Services to "Direct Connect" for Connection Method.  I went through the setup and did not get any error messages or any questions.  After it finished and the screen refreshed, I would up with 27 Placeholders - each fund / stock in my account has at least 2 Placeholders -- most seem to be a simple debit and credit transaction as a placeholder for the total number shares..


    So I never got any option to accept or reject the placeholder, Quicken added these automatically:


    I have discovered that the download from Vanguard is different than the transaction history they show online (for example, I will have 3 transactions downloaded for each single transaction that appears on their website).  My initial interpretation is that the online history shows the transaction history per holding, but the download activity (such as in a CSV file, Quicken file etc) is per holding per deduction type (such as before taxes, supplemental etc.)  I have not got any explanation from Vanguard yet on why this situation exists.

    I can't find any option in my Quicken RPM 2015 to delete these placeholders.  Are you sure that these exist in Q2016?  would this allow my to be able to delete these placeholders and proceed with my current account?  

    the main reason I was interested in the Direct Connection is that the options have recently changed in my company's plan and I have several funds that are not publicly traded, therefore, they don't have a Stock / Fund symbol and I can't download quotes and historical prices.  I will have to manually add the prices to get any consistent price history other than the 2 purchases per month.  It seems that the Direct Connection does update these prices.

    Will Quicken add a Placeholder no matter what I do?  Should I create a new account to start the Direct Connection and then move / transfer my holdings to this new account?  
  • mistertheplaguemistertheplague Member ✭✭✭
    edited February 2017
    There are numerous threads on these fora discussing the goofiness of Vanguard downloads into Quicken. The consensus seems to put most of the responsibility on VG for providing janky data to Quicken.
    Will Quicken add a Placeholder no matter what I do?  Should I create a new account to start the Direct Connection and then move / transfer my holdings to this new account?  
    Totally unnecessary. To have Quicken stop adding placeholders, go to the Preferences panel in your first screenshot, then Register-->Downloaded transactions, then click the Edit Settings button (below your red box in the screenshot). Uncheck any account for which you don't want placeholders to be added during OSU, then click OK. This definitely works in Q16 Premier, and to my recollection it worked in Q15 as well. 
    I can't find any option in my Quicken RPM 2015 to delete these placeholders.  Are you sure that these exist in Q2016?  
    100 percent sure:

  • UnknownUnknown Member
    edited October 2018
    Just to fill in what I know.
    1. I'm not sure why you are not getting prompts for adding placeholders.  As far as I know the adding of placeholders without asking, is only done if the "automatic entry" of transactions is on.  And that with that option on Quicken 2016 creates zero share placeholders when it shouldn't.  The ones you are getting are not zero and for that matter not "rounding errors".  Vanguard is definitely sending different information than what you think you have (what you have in Quicken).  Personally even though I have had problems with "action types" I have never had actually share balance problems with Vanguard.  I suggest that maybe some of your transactions should be reinvest instead of dividend.
    2. If you want to handle this check on your own there is an option you can set: Edit -> Preferences -> Downloaded transactions -> Edit Settings.  In there you can tell Quicken not to do the compare to register after the download.  This is what triggers the adding of placeholders.  And you can fire this off manually by going to the register and selecting Reconcile Shares.
    3. The "Delete All" was very recently, as in Quicken 2016 R8.  It was put in mostly because as a workaround for the zero share placeholders.

This discussion has been closed.