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QWin: Investments--just total amounts--so many errors vs accurate balances?

Tom T
Tom T Member ✭✭
edited November 2018 in Investing (Windows)
My investment accounts in Quicken almost always do not equal the actual investment value with the brokerage. It seems like various factors bring this about.  Place holder entries.  The number of shares do not agree. Etc.  And this happened over and over again.  I simply accept the downloaded transactions.  

Is there a way to simplify one's investments with Quicken?  I have a few basic accounts at Vanguard and Fidelity.  

I don't want to spend the time fixing or adjusting various stocks or the details of mutual funds, especially because it seems to continually happen.  It is incredibly time consuming.  And again, my portfolio is pretty basic.  

I only care about the total investment value per account.

I have used Quicken for 30 years and am ready to dump the program and start anew.  

Thank you!

Tom 

Comments

  • UKR
    UKR SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited September 2018

    Don't rely on downloading to always automagically get it right. It won't.
    Manually enter all transactions and use downloading only as a means of confirming your data entry.

    Reconcile monthly against your brokerage statement.

    If you have Placeholder transactions in your register, delete them and enter the correct missing transaction(s).

    For
    more about Placeholders please go into Quicken Help (press the F1 key from
    anywhere in Quicken) and perform a Contents search for
    "placeholder".

    Alternatively or in addition to the above, read the first few articles found
    here: https://www.quicken.com/search/site/placeholder

  • Tom Young
    Tom Young SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 2018
    "I simply accept the downloaded transactions."

    That's very likely the source of your problems.  Quicken is an accounting program, and you're the accountant.  Basically, you're not doing your job.

    UKR has outlined how to go about having accurate figures in your investment Accounts, but it does involve some work and effort and thought on your part.

    (I will say that starting with Q2013 I'm frequently getting notices of possible placeholder entries with a number of shares that exactly matches a recently downloaded transaction like a reinvested dividend.  I've never bothered to try and figure out if the problem is on the FI end or Quicken's end, though it's probably the latter I believe as Quicken always want to add a placeholder that would "double up" the downloaded transaction.  But I know if I always accepted the placeholders the balances in my investment Accounts would never match the brokers' statements and the amount of error would change frequently.)
  • Tom T
    Tom T Member ✭✭
    edited July 2017
    Points noted and granted.  

    1.  Is there an easy way to fix incorrect investment balances?  Or what is the easiest way to simply "plug" or get the right number of shares?  

    Further, 

    2.  Going forward, if one wants to simplify, couldn't one create a fictitious stock for a particular account and periodically adjust the value of this stock to arrive at an accurate total value for the account?  

    Thank you!

    Tom  
  • Vetta
    Vetta Member ✭✭
    edited July 2017
    Depends on how far back they are off. Do you reconcile every week? Every month? I would go back to the last known accurate date, when your quicken file matched the broker's statement, and then manually check all entries after that. If it's many months and you don't want to put in the time then start a new investment account in quicken, enter your current holdings and start fresh. Of course you will have to delete or hide the one that's messed up.

    As Tom Young said, never accept the downloaded transactions without verifying them.

    I would NEVER do your 2nd option!
  • Tom Young
    Tom Young SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 2018
    "1.Is there an easy way to fix incorrect investment balances?"

    If all you want is to be able to say is "XX number of shares of Stock Y times Stock Y per share price as of such and such a date = $XXX,XXX.XX" and you really don't care about how you got there or what the basis is, then there's an easy fix.

    Look at you last broker's statement and note the number of shares of Stock Y.  Compare that figure to Quicken's number of share as of that date and compute the difference.  If the broker is showing more shares then do a "Add" shares action for the difference.  If the broker is showing less shares do a "Removed" shares action for the difference.  That will get your Quicken shares exactly equal to what the broker is showing.  Make sure the per share quote as of that date in Quicken is exactly the same as the broker is using and you'll agree to the penny.
  • Unknown
    Unknown Member
    edited July 2017
    Tom T said:

    Points noted and granted.  

    1.  Is there an easy way to fix incorrect investment balances?  Or what is the easiest way to simply "plug" or get the right number of shares?  

    Further, 

    2.  Going forward, if one wants to simplify, couldn't one create a fictitious stock for a particular account and periodically adjust the value of this stock to arrive at an accurate total value for the account?  

    Thank you!

    Tom  

    If you want to have total complete control over your investments and you don't care about downloading transactions or daily price updates, then just manually keep track of your accounts.

    Deactivate the problem accounts from downloads.

    This way, YOU can manually enter dividends, reinvestments, buys and sells in Quicken.  YOU have complete control over what gets entered and what doesn't.

    AND you can even keep the price quotes downloading daily...this giving you an accurate day to day value of your investments.

    That's how we ALL used Quicken prior to the internet and downloading transactions.

    BTW, I have numerous Vanguard accounts.  Each and every one of them downloads transactions perfectly...and has since Vanguard and Quicken started downloading transactions.  Vanguard is one of the most reliable and accurate investment companies regarding downloading transactions.  I have almost never had to correct a Vanguard transaction. 

    Fidelity is another company that works very well with Quicken. 

    So, I have no clue what your issues are with both those investment companies and what you've done to have your totals off.  

    And I've been a Quicken user for over 30 years, with almost no problems whatsoever with Vanguard. 

    That being said, YOU DO have to monitor all transactions from any account...investment AND banking...in Quicken.  It's not plug and play.  There is some time you need to spend to make sure that what goes in is correct.
  • q_lurker
    q_lurker SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited May 2018
    2.  Going forward, if one wants to simplify, couldn't one create a fictitious stock for a particular account and periodically adjust the value of this stock to arrive at an accurate total value for the account?  
    Yes, you can do that.  You'd likely want to treat it as a money market fund at a constant $1/share.  You'd then record Add Shares or Remove shares on whatever days you want to match the real world value on any particular day.  

    Doing so will allow you to match net worth, but nothing else.  No meaningful investment performance, no income (div, int, cap gains) info nor related tax consequences.  (Others might say Quicken doesn't provide meaningful investment performance anyway, but that is a different topic.)  If you are making additions or withdrawals from these accounts, you'd need to adjust for that, or ignore such aspects.  Overall, I would say someone taking that approach is not paying attention to their financial picture, but that would be for you to decide.  
  • Jim_Harman
    Jim_Harman SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November 2018
    Or, if you just want the totals for your investments and don't care about tracking the individual transactions, you might give up on Quicken and try just using the Vanguard website instead.

    It already has details for all of the Vanguard accounts that you control plus any you have been given access to, and you can tell it about non-Vanguard accounts. You can define and update your non-Vanguard holdings manually, or for many financial institutions it uses Yodlee to keep the holdings up to date.

    For automatic updates to work, you need to be willing to share your login credentials for the other accounts with Vanguard and indirectly with Yodlee.
    QWin Premier subscription
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