How do I resolve Quicken request for info about these TIAA Placeholders?

Zaphod
Zaphod Member
edited May 2019 in Investing (Windows)

First, my apologies if I’m explaining this badly, or if I've asked this question in the wrong Community help category. I have to admit to being completely bewildered. I’ve just started using Quicken (360) after a hiatus of about three years. So I’ve created a new file for my accounts. The direct downloads from TIAA work perfectly. Each account has a first entry whose action and Security entries are always Withdraw and Opening Cash Balance. Beyond that, the Share Balance, Investment Amount and Cash Amount categories are all empty. The first real downloaded entry (for which all figures are present) is always chronologically a little after the “Opening Cash Balance entry,” usually by two days. Further, all these accounts have Placeholder alerts. The placeholder date is always in between the other two dates. So, for example, on one account the dates read like this: Opening Cash Balance on 1/9, Placeholder date on 1/10, and first real investment activity on 1/11. To make it more interesting, two of the three dates do not match up with the statement transaction dates. Only, of course, the first real downloaded investment activity does.

When I click on “Placeholder Entries,” I get to a screen with a link asking me to “Enter Cost.” That takes me to a popup containing a link button that asks me to “Enter Missing Transaction.” That button takes me to a popup with empty boxes that require “number of shares,” “price paid,” and “total cost.” I have no idea what to enter for the Placeholder because its date corresponds to nothing on the statement. It's the same with the Opening Cash Balance empty line.

This has only been an issue with my TIAA accounts. I’ve been able to figure out the Placeholder entries for all my other investments, in large measure because the entries in Quicken match up with the statements from other accounts.

There are a few different questions I could ask at this point. But I guess the bottom line is this: how do I satisfy Quicken in its request for data for its placeholders and, at the same time, make sure that all my entries are actually correct?

Thank you for any help.






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Best Answer

  • Zaphod
    Zaphod Member
    Accepted Answer
    Hey, Sarah:
    First: Bless you for the response! Though the article wasn't a direct answer to my problem, it pointed me in the right direction, and I think I've figured it out. Here is a different way of putting the problem, and my solution: Quicken only downloaded about half the transactions of the first entries in each account statement, probably because they were the earliest transactions the banking institution had in memory to download. So I think the placeholders were telling me that I should manually enter the rest of the entries in those statements. The deceptive part was that, while, for example, one account had four investments, each of which was missing two transactions, making a total of eight missing transactions in Quicken, there were only four placeholders - not eight - one for each investment instead.
    I know this is a very convoluted explanation/solution, but I hope there's someone out there this helps.
    Again, thank you Sarah for the help.

Answers

  • Quicken Sarah
    Quicken Sarah Administrator, Moderator mod
    Hello @Zaphod

    Thank you for taking the time to share the details of this issue with the Community, although I apologize that you have not yet received a response.

    If you are still experiencing issues with placeholders, please review the information available at https://community.quicken.com/discussion/7190594/faq-placeholders-deciphered-if-you-are-frustrated-with-placeholders-read-this and let us know if this helps to resolve the placeholders.

    Thank you,

    Sarah
  • Zaphod
    Zaphod Member
    Accepted Answer
    Hey, Sarah:
    First: Bless you for the response! Though the article wasn't a direct answer to my problem, it pointed me in the right direction, and I think I've figured it out. Here is a different way of putting the problem, and my solution: Quicken only downloaded about half the transactions of the first entries in each account statement, probably because they were the earliest transactions the banking institution had in memory to download. So I think the placeholders were telling me that I should manually enter the rest of the entries in those statements. The deceptive part was that, while, for example, one account had four investments, each of which was missing two transactions, making a total of eight missing transactions in Quicken, there were only four placeholders - not eight - one for each investment instead.
    I know this is a very convoluted explanation/solution, but I hope there's someone out there this helps.
    Again, thank you Sarah for the help.
  • mshiggins
    mshiggins SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited April 2019
    From C. D. Bales:
    "The deceptive part was that, while, for example, one account had four investments, each of which was missing two transactions, making a total of eight missing transactions in Quicken, there were only four placeholders - not eight - one for each investment instead."

    While what you have posted is technically correct to some extent (you get only "one [placeholder] for each investment"), it is, itself, deceptive.

    In a given investment account download, Quicken receives the transactions that have occurred since the previous download, and the current holdings of every security in the downloaded account. [In the first-ever download from an account, there may be (and often are) transactions missing because they are too old for the financial institution to provide.]

    Quicken has no way of knowing how many transactions for a given security are "missing" from a download - nor when those missing transactions occurred, nor what those missing transactions were (Buy, Sell, Reinvest, etc.). The reason for Placeholders is precisely because Quicken has no information about the missing transactions ... Quicken only knows that one, or more, transactions are missing.

    All Quicken can determine (based on comparing the net effect of the actual transactions downloaded, to the current holdings that were downloaded) is what the difference is between the downloaded current holdings and the downloaded transactions. 

    There is no possible way for Quicken to provide anything other than a single Placeholder for each security whose downloaded share balance does not equal that share balance represented by the downloaded transactions.

    Once you grasp the concept, there is no deception involved.

    Quicken user since Q1999. Currently using QW2017.
    Questions? Check out the  Quicken Windows FAQ list
  • Hi, mshiggins: Thanks for the response. But I wasn't attributing the deceptiveness to the good programmers at Quicken, but to the information visible to me on the screen, which, in showing one placeholder for x-number of transactions, was deceptive. Figuring out the solution to my placeholder problem took quite a while, in part because I couldn't find an explanation as genuinely elegant as yours. It's possible that I missed it on either the Quicken or the Quicken Community website. But if I didn't, perhaps Quicken might add your explanation to its website, linked to some appropriate tags. All the Best.
  • Quicken Sarah
    Quicken Sarah Administrator, Moderator mod
    Zaphod said:
    Hey, Sarah:
    First: Bless you for the response! Though the article wasn't a direct answer to my problem, it pointed me in the right direction, and I think I've figured it out. Here is a different way of putting the problem, and my solution: Quicken only downloaded about half the transactions of the first entries in each account statement, probably because they were the earliest transactions the banking institution had in memory to download. So I think the placeholders were telling me that I should manually enter the rest of the entries in those statements. The deceptive part was that, while, for example, one account had four investments, each of which was missing two transactions, making a total of eight missing transactions in Quicken, there were only four placeholders - not eight - one for each investment instead.
    I know this is a very convoluted explanation/solution, but I hope there's someone out there this helps.
    Again, thank you Sarah for the help.
    Hi @Zaphod

    I'm glad to hear the article helped to set you in the right direction and appreciate your taking the time to post back with the update and solution :)

    If there's anything else the Community or myself may assist with, please let us know!

    Sarah
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