Trying to close old 401K investment accounts

JoB Member ✭✭
edited December 2018 in Investing (Windows)
Over several years have tried to manage 401K accounts when employers change their provider.  I always gave up and just hide or ignore the old accounts.  Today I want to take the time to fix my Quicken records!

Keep in mind that my previous actions from many years ago to transfer/clear securities was not done properly.  I know the accounts I want to close and get a message "This account has securities balances, please clear securities before you close the account.  How do I fix this now to only show current 401K accounts?

My current accounts download and look OK.

Can you help (using version 2013)?


  • Unknown
    Unknown Member
    edited June 2017
    Your approach to just hiding the accounts isn't working?  

    If you don't care about your history, since presumably you were just tracking a 401K that was really maintained by your company's 401k service, a holdings view of your account will show any outstanding shares, which you can use to "sell" any remaining shares, then close and delete the account.  If you don't want to delete it, you can  exclude the account from view/inclusion in any reporting, as you know.  

    Alternatively, and again, if you don't care about history, you can delete all transactions in the account, which should remove all outstanding shares by default.  Then just delete the account.

    Quicken is just displaying the accumulated results of a series of transactions with knowledge of how to account for those transactions and how they interact.  Deleting transactions is the default fix, though not the only way to skin the cat.
  • mshiggins
    mshiggins SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited June 2017
    Why don't you just hide the accounts? Deleting transactions is a one way street - there is no way to recover that data.

    Quicken user since Q1999. Currently using QW2017.
    Questions? Check out the Quicken Windows FAQ list

  • Unknown
    Unknown Member
    edited October 2018
    I don't see where the error message was directly addressed.
    In a nutshell it means that Quicken will not close any investment account that has securities with any shares and/or a cash balance.

    In the case of a non investment account, if you ask Quicken to close it and it has a balance, Quicken will put in a balance adjustment to bring the amount to zero, but it doesn't do this in an investment account, it just gives you that error message.

    Jim Butt's suggestion of looking at the holding view (or the portfolio view works too) is a good idea, but I would probably be more inclined to select Adjust Share Balance from the action (gear icon) menu.  This uses Remove shares instead of Sell.  Not to much difference, but a sell will increase the cash amount, but remove shares wouldn't.

    Then that should be followed by adjust cash balance (same menu) to set it to zero.  Note that the date you should pick for these transactions is the date that you really did close that account.

    After you have got things to zero, then you can close the account.  Personally I don't close accounts, I just hide them from the account list and the transaction lists(closed accounts can't be reopened).  I certainly wouldn't delete them or any transactions in them given that they were in any way close to the correct values for the years they were open.  Even if someone didn't get all the transactions right, but at least got the overall value to be right at any given time, then leaving this history has value for looking at your net worth over time report.

    Note that the very fact that either the security(s) balance and/or cash balance has been wrong for all this time your net worth over time graph has been wrong too.  If you have excluded the account from your report of course its value is missing.  If you include it then the value of the shares/cash left in that account would be in your totals to this day.   The only way for it to be "proper" would be that the shares and the cash get zeroed when you closed that account.

    Of course if all the transaction had been right, including transferring out of that account, then these would have already been zeroed on the correct dates.  But baring that, zeroing them on the day the account was closed it "pretty good".
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