How can I clean up an investment account that has been compromised by old downloads.

I have 3 investment accounts, a bank account and various asset accounts in one primary account. The trouble started last fall when Vanguard assigned new numbers and changed the formats of their mutual fund style accounts to brokerage accounts, affecting my 3 investment accounts. I had one issue which I finally resolved (no thanks to either Quicken or Vanguard) and then sometime between March 1 and April 1 of this year, either Quicken made some changes in an update or Vanguard changed their download parameters and all of a sudden multiple transactions from past accounts associated with one particular account flooded in. (Old accounts which I had removed from downloads suddenly were added to this one account). I've used Quicken since 1990 and been with several brokers before Vanguard and funds have been sold, transferred, stocks added and no longer used, etc. And, I regularly transfer $$$ from this account to my bank account so just deleting transactions is not possible.

I can see the issue, I'm just not sure how to correct it without upsetting the balances in the other accounts. It occurred to me that as a last resort I could just add a new account, with the same number as the old account for download purposes and "retire" the existing account. Of course that would lose all the historical information in that one account (but it would still be accessible in the "retired" account if necessary) which would be nice to retain for at least two years.

I don't rely on Quicken for my profit/loss information but use Vanguard's web site for the most reliable information and use that for tax purposes.


  • jms2106
    jms2106 Member ✭✭
    The main issue is that old stock funds are being reported in this account with negative shares and corresponding negative balances which, of course, changes the total balance of that account to a negative number.
  • Jim_Harman
    Jim_Harman SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    It is possible that this issue was caused by some internal corruption in your data file. Have you tried making a backup, then File > File Operations > Validate and Repair with the Validate File option selected?
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  • jms2106
    jms2106 Member ✭✭
    Not possible. It was clearly a download issue. Somehow (not by my doing) the older accounts which were previous identifiers for the current account and which were not activated for download, became activated. It was either by an update by Quicken or by a change in the way the demand for transactions was received by Vanguard and their sending algorithm. Thanks, though, for taking the time to read my issue and respond.
  • jms2106
    jms2106 Member ✭✭
    Issue resolved by user.
  • sasha99
    sasha99 Member ✭✭✭
    jms2106- How about sharing how you resolved this?
  • jms2106
    jms2106 Member ✭✭
    Following the advice given me by the Quicken technician couldn't have been more incorrect. He advised me to delete all the transactions that had been inadvertently entered into the account in question in the download (they dated back to 1990 involving more than 1000 individual transactions). He told me each had to be deleted individually. Because there had been transfers from the account in question to other accounts and stock transfers within the account, deleting those transactions caused disruptions in every account. To be fair, this might have worked on an isolated account where there were no transfers made.

    To resolve it I picked a certain point in time where my online account at Vanguard should have been in sync with my current Quicken account. Having done that I compared the holdings, stock prices, number of shares at Vanguard to my existing account in the Holdings feature of the account.

    For old funds that were no longer included, I adjusted the shares held to 0. For the most part, that handled the negative balance and the $$$ in the account now balanced with the online account.

    During this period though, four mutual funds had been transferred to ETFs so while the overall $$$ were still correct the distribution/funds were not.The Quicken funds had to be transferred to the new ETF funds with different call numbers. This involved "selling" the fund in Quicken and "buying the fund" with the new call number. Quicken does not provide an easy process for transferring one fund into another - or at least one that I could find. The new ETF funds had different share values and consequently the number of shares held were different.

    Be sure you back up you file before following instructions by Quicken technicians. In this case it would have been a disaster had I followed Quicken's advice. Had the Quicken Technician looked at the Holdings for the account in Question, he should have identified the problem. What turned out to be a fairly simple solution and pretty basic, was one I had to figure out by myself.

    I haven't been able to determine who generated the aberrant download, Quicken during an update or Vanguard changing their download protocol, whichever it was it had a dramatic impact on my Quicken account.
  • sasha99
    sasha99 Member ✭✭✭
    Thanks for your prompt reply. I will confess that "Following the advice given me by the Quicken technician couldn't have been more incorrect" made me laugh right out loud... and not with surprise either. :/

    If you have a moment, could I ask you to take a look at the question I just posted. This should be something simple, but Quicken has confounded me many times.

    Thanks in advance.
  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    @jms2106 sounds like good approach.  The Quicken support people shouldn't really be considered "experts" at all things, especially in the investment areas.  In fact even though I consider myself an expert in Quicken I seldom give advise on the investment side because of all the complications that can arise and I'm not really a big investor.

    And there is also having to take into account trading off "accuracy" for "practical".
    Sometimes you just have draw a line in the sand "reconcile" to that and go on from there.

    For instance @sasha99 's situation and this one where the person is just starting out with Quicken, and can't get years of transactions.
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