Some investment accounts do not update correctly

Jeff Armin
Jeff Armin Member ✭✭
edited November 2018 in Investing (Windows)
I'm using Quicken 2018, Version R11.18.

I have several money market funds at Sallie Mae Bank.  I also have four retirement accounts at Vanguard, as well as one taxable account.  My wife has a 401(k) and 403(b) at Principal.  

My IRA and Roth, and my wife's Roth at Vanguard update correctly.  Her IRA is off by $70k, and our taxable account is off by $150.  Her 401(k) is off by $30k and her 403(b) is off by $5k.  All of the Sallie Mae accounts are correct.

All of these accounts are linked on the Vanguard site and they are updated daily.  They are all accurate.  They are also all linked on the Personal Capital site and updated whenever I sign in.  They also are all accurate.  Quicken, however, I use every day and can't seem to get accurate information.

Of the problems I encounter using Quicken, the ones I experience most often seem to involve updates.  Why is this such a problem when others seem to do it so easily?  Am I doing something wrong? 


  • Jim_Harman
    Jim_Harman SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November 2018
    The balances that Quicken shows are based are based on how you have set up the starting balance and holdings for each account and the effect of every transaction since then. If one transaction is wrong, Quicken's balance will be off.

    But if all the transactions are correct, then Quicken can give you an accurate view of your performance in each account and knows about each tax lot, so you can tell which tax lots to sell for your particular tax situation.

    The other services you mention are simply looking at the current balance in each account, without regard to how you got there. The balances may be correct, but they can't do accurate performance reporting or tax analysis.

    If your main concern is account balances, you can enter Update (aka Adjust) Share Balance transactions, which will create Placeholders to force your share balances to match your statement or online balances on a particular date, at the expense of making the performance and tax numbers unreliable.

    It's your choice.
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  • Jeff Armin
    Jeff Armin Member ✭✭
    edited September 2018
    Thanks for your reply.

    If I'm understanding this correctly, however, your solution appears to be unnecessarily time consuming and burdensome.  Account balances are, in fact, my main concern.  I can get performance reporting from the statements, and I rely on others to worry about my tax analysis.  Your way appears to require me to sign in to my investment sites on a daily basis and then manually update the share balance for each fund in each account.  Why wouldn't Quicken just give users the option of downloading account balances during a One Step Update for those who want that?   
  • Tom Young
    Tom Young SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited September 2018
    You certainly don't need to log into your investment sites on a daily basis and then go do something in Quicken.  That defeats the whole purpose of allowing Quicken to log into those accounts itself and download transactions.  (Over the years I've had probably 30 or so different investment accounts and all of my current investment accounts where Quicken can log into the Financial Institution's are dead-on correct.)

    The point is that if you allow Quicken to start downloading transactions several years after you actually opened the account with the FI - and maybe that's what happened here - Quicken doesn't download all those prior years and years worth of transactions; how "far back" you can go in downloading transactions is entirely controlled by the FI and a 90-day "lookback" is very common.  Accordingly, it's up to you to get your "opening balances" properly stated so that transactions that are downloaded after your opening balance date can properly update (and match to) the FI's "current balance."

    So the first thing you need to do here is to determine exactly what's missing in Quicken that's causing Quicken's current balance to be different than the FI's current balance, and fix that.

    You say "Her IRA is off by $70k".  So, what's in that IRA?  Is it a simple savings account with only cash in it?  Then clearly you need to make an entry in Quicken to add $70K of cash to the Account.  Are there securities in this IRA?  If so, then it would appear that the "share" or "unit" count in the Quicken Account for one are more of these securities is understated and, accordingly, you need to make an entry or entries in Quicken to get the share or unit counts in line to match what's actually in the FI. 

    If you simply want the "current value" of the Quicken Accounts to match what the FI is reporting to you and don't care about the cost basis matching then you can simply make one adjustment per security to get the shares correctly stated and you're done.  However if you want your Quicken Account history to be accurate as to cost basis and holding periods then you have to do the investigative work to figure out all the "missing" prior period transactions and make them, one at a time, into Quicken.
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