Quicken Community is moving to Single Sign On! Starting 1/22/21, you'll sign in to the community with your Quicken ID. For more information: http://bit.ly/CommunitySSO

place holder entries

vanstober
vanstober Member ✭✭
edited November 2018 in Investing (Windows)
if I just delete place holder entries, what is the risk?

Comments

  • Jim_Harman
    Jim_Harman SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November 2018
    Your account share balance, cost basis data and performance tracking for the affected holdings will be wrong, and if you ever want to fix them it will be hard to tell where to do it.

    If they are bothering you and you don't want to fix them now, it's best to hide them.
    QWin Premier subscription
  • UKR
    UKR SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited September 2018

    It's not "best to hide them", IMHO. Sorry, Jim. They'll just come back and bite you when you least expect it.

    Fix the problem. Delete the placeholders and enter whatever correct transaction should have been there in its place.

    Next time during a transaction download, if Quicken offers to create a new placeholder ... decline. Research the issue and input whatever it takes to fix it correctly.

  • Unknown
    Unknown Member
    edited November 2018
    Note just for a quick background about what a placeholder is.  A placeholder is to shares as a balance adjustment is to a reconcile.

    When you reconcile an account if you don't have the proper transactions then you can't "balance" the account, and if you give up on that process and have Quicken put in a balance adjustment.  It will correct the balance, but you will never have all the correct transactions.

    When you take some action that adds or removes shares without the proper transactions so that Quicken can't tell when they were bought/sold Quicken is going to suggest a placeholder.  It "fixes" the number of shares, but the underline transactions are still missing.  So Quicken can't do proper calculations, and as such like UKR said you will run into problems down the road when you do reports or need to buy/sell those shares and such.

    Note if you don't have the full history on when the shares were bought or sold, probably the next best suggestion would be to figure out about what the cost per shares is and enter that.

    Also you can use the placeholders as a guide of where you need buys/sells.
    As in if a placeholder added 10 shares of a security on 1/1/2017, then delete that one, and add a buy for it.  So you can go through the placeholders replacing them in that manner.
  • Unknown
    Unknown Member
    edited October 2018
    BTW there is one "acceptable" mode of use where placeholders make sense in my opinion.

    My dad wanted to track his investments, but on to his monthly statements.
    He didn't want to download quotes or transactions.

    Each month he would adjust the number of shares, and their prices to match what was on his statement.

    This process did create placeholders because he never stated the price paid for the shares.

    But for that use case it was just fine.
  • Jim_Harman
    Jim_Harman SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November 2018
    Sorry, I didn't mean that it was a good long term solution to hide the placeholders. Of course it is best to resolve them by correcting existing transactions or adding new ones with actual share quantities, purchase prices, and dates.

    I was responding to the OP's question about just deleting them. 
    QWin Premier subscription
  • Unknown
    Unknown Member
    edited December 2017
    QPW said:

    Note just for a quick background about what a placeholder is.  A placeholder is to shares as a balance adjustment is to a reconcile.

    When you reconcile an account if you don't have the proper transactions then you can't "balance" the account, and if you give up on that process and have Quicken put in a balance adjustment.  It will correct the balance, but you will never have all the correct transactions.

    When you take some action that adds or removes shares without the proper transactions so that Quicken can't tell when they were bought/sold Quicken is going to suggest a placeholder.  It "fixes" the number of shares, but the underline transactions are still missing.  So Quicken can't do proper calculations, and as such like UKR said you will run into problems down the road when you do reports or need to buy/sell those shares and such.

    Note if you don't have the full history on when the shares were bought or sold, probably the next best suggestion would be to figure out about what the cost per shares is and enter that.

    Also you can use the placeholders as a guide of where you need buys/sells.
    As in if a placeholder added 10 shares of a security on 1/1/2017, then delete that one, and add a buy for it.  So you can go through the placeholders replacing them in that manner.

    This program is to hard to put in the data and fix errors.

    Why is it so hard to just edit the investment entries? Quicken keeps putting in the stupid place holders and it messes everything up.

    Here is my question. By the statement above do you go to reconcile and put in all the data there?

  • Unknown
    Unknown Member
    edited December 2017
    QPW said:

    Note just for a quick background about what a placeholder is.  A placeholder is to shares as a balance adjustment is to a reconcile.

    When you reconcile an account if you don't have the proper transactions then you can't "balance" the account, and if you give up on that process and have Quicken put in a balance adjustment.  It will correct the balance, but you will never have all the correct transactions.

    When you take some action that adds or removes shares without the proper transactions so that Quicken can't tell when they were bought/sold Quicken is going to suggest a placeholder.  It "fixes" the number of shares, but the underline transactions are still missing.  So Quicken can't do proper calculations, and as such like UKR said you will run into problems down the road when you do reports or need to buy/sell those shares and such.

    Note if you don't have the full history on when the shares were bought or sold, probably the next best suggestion would be to figure out about what the cost per shares is and enter that.

    Also you can use the placeholders as a guide of where you need buys/sells.
    As in if a placeholder added 10 shares of a security on 1/1/2017, then delete that one, and add a buy for it.  So you can go through the placeholders replacing them in that manner.

    Jim Harrington "do you go to reconcile and put in all the data there?"

    No.  First off reconciling an investment account is a two step process, so you can't just do a "reconcile" and enter data like you can in a non investment account.

    The first step to reconciling an investment account is making sure you have the right number of shares in each security on a given date.  And then the second part is reconciling the transactions in the account that affect the cash balance.

    In general my steps are if a placeholder is suggested by Quicken, I reject it, just as I would reject a balance adjustment in a non investment account reconcile.  I want to find out why it is being suggested and fix the transaction(s) involved.

    Note at times (mostly just to test) I have tried entering the transaction information needed into the Placeholder, but have found that to not perform the way I think it should.  As in when I have put in the proper transaction/information I expect the placeholder to be deleted automatically.  But I have found Quicken doesn't always do that.

    Below are a few reasons placeholders have been suggested in my accounts (actually last one is a wrong cash balance).
    My action is to reject (if not using automatic transaction entry, or
    delete them if they are placed there automatically) the placeholder, but follow that with the proper action to resolve why an placeholder was suggested in the first place.

    The thing to understand is that with every download of investment
    transactions they also send the current number of shares for Quicken to
    compare to what it has in the register.  And of course this is only as
    good as the information sent, and how well you maintain the transactions
    in Quicken.
    1. At times Vanguard would send down a transaction like a buy at say 6 PM, but not update the number of shares in the share balances that it sent with that transaction.  And at say 11PM they finally send the correct share balance with the information.  and just wait for the information to get updated.
    2. For some securities (the one used for "cash") they were sending down the amount in the transaction, but the number of shares was zero.  In this case I would go into the downloaded buy transaction and add the proper amount of shares.
    3. For my wife's 401K which Merrill Lynch manages they will code some of the reinvestment transactions as buys.  This one doesn't cause a placeholder because the number of shares is correct, but it gives me the wrong cash balance.  So edit the transaction to change it to a reinvest.
    Note if you want to compare the current number of shares in Quicken to the numbers downloaded from the financial institution you can select the Action menu (gear icon) -> Reconcile Shares.

    But if you are reconciling to a statement then I suggest you view that account/securities in the Investing -> Portfolio view with the date set to that ending statement date.  Once you have the number of shares correct (by looking at the transactions and seeing which are wrong) you can then proceed to do the "reconcile" from the Action menu in the account to make sure your transactions that affect the cash balance are correct.

    Note above I gave the analogy that the placeholder is like a balance adjustment.
    I'm going to add to that analogy and say the reason that Quicken is suggesting a placeholder after each download it because it is working like automatic reconcile in a non investment account.  As in it compares the number of shares in Quicken to the number of shares downloaded and if they don't match you get this placeholder/adjustment.

    And just like automatic reconciling in a non investment account where you can turn it off, you can also tell Quicken not to perform this compare after every download (but it is quite useful to catch the problem early.)

    Edit -> Preferences -> Downloaded transactions -> Compare account portfolio after download -> Edit Settings...

    I will note though at times this setting has been ignored by Quicken, so it may or may not work properly.

    If you turn it off you would use the Action menu -> Reconcile shares to perform it manually or do the same by comparing the portfolio to a statement.
  • Jim_Harman
    Jim_Harman SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited December 2017
    QPW said:

    Note just for a quick background about what a placeholder is.  A placeholder is to shares as a balance adjustment is to a reconcile.

    When you reconcile an account if you don't have the proper transactions then you can't "balance" the account, and if you give up on that process and have Quicken put in a balance adjustment.  It will correct the balance, but you will never have all the correct transactions.

    When you take some action that adds or removes shares without the proper transactions so that Quicken can't tell when they were bought/sold Quicken is going to suggest a placeholder.  It "fixes" the number of shares, but the underline transactions are still missing.  So Quicken can't do proper calculations, and as such like UKR said you will run into problems down the road when you do reports or need to buy/sell those shares and such.

    Note if you don't have the full history on when the shares were bought or sold, probably the next best suggestion would be to figure out about what the cost per shares is and enter that.

    Also you can use the placeholders as a guide of where you need buys/sells.
    As in if a placeholder added 10 shares of a security on 1/1/2017, then delete that one, and add a buy for it.  So you can go through the placeholders replacing them in that manner.

    In QWin 2018, if you have it set to compare the portfolio after downloading and there is a mismatch, it does not create the Placeholder automatically but shows a dialog with the discrepancy. I sometimes get this for example when there is a round-off error between the shares in the downloaded transactions and the downloaded share balance. (T Rowe Price does this often on Reinvests) I note the security and number of shares to add or subtract and cancel this dialog, then make the small adjustment in the Reinvest transaction. 

    Once you have made the adjustment, you can check your work by clicking on the Action gear then Reconcile shares and it should report that the account and brokerage holdings are in agreement.
    QWin Premier subscription
This discussion has been closed.