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What features in Quicken don't you trust?

Chris_QPW
Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
Looking at some of the threads in here about all the problems with syncing to the cloud, like deleted accounts, budgets, categories, memorized payees, ... It is a wonder anyone used Quicken Web/Mobile.  I guess people either don't know about the problems or are much bigger risk takers then I am in this area because they consider the access so important.  Personally I would just take a laptop on trips if I had to have that kind of access.

Here is my list:

Totally distrust, wouldn't touch except for testing:
  1. Quicken Mobile/Web.
  2. Quicken Bill Manager (I like my bills to be paid on time, without me worrying about them).
Use from time to time, but don't fully trust, have to be aware of the limitations:
  1. Tax Planner
  2. Lifetime Planner
  3. Debt Planner (I have never have needed use, but if I did from the reported problems I would be very careful with the results given.)
  4. X-Ray Portfolio
  5. Rebalance portfolio
  6. Automatic transfer detection
  7. Automatic categorization
Signature:
(I'm always using the latest Quicken Windows Premier subscription version)
This is my website: http://www.quicknperlwiz.com/

Answers

  • volvogirl
    volvogirl SuperUser ✭✭✭✭
    I'm staying on Q2013.  That says it all.  I'm totally manual.
  • splasher
    splasher SuperUser ✭✭✭✭
    Agree with the first two and only use #6 in group 2.
    I prefer to use my Cu's bill pay service directly on their website, I don't want any finger pointing when it comes to bills being paid.
    -splasher  using Q since 1996 -  Subscription  -  Win10
    -also older versions as needed for testing
    -Questions? Check out the  Quicken Windows FAQ list
  • miklk
    miklk SuperUser, Windows Beta Beta
    For me the 1st 2 extremely:

    Mobile had caused all sorts of problems but I have to admit, I haven't even tried in a real file since it seems like it may work better recently but just don't trust it.

    Bills: I have tried but they are almost never current when I get a bill; Always needs to be refreshed even though I update all every day.
  • Rocket J Squirrel
    Rocket J Squirrel SuperUser, Windows Beta ✭✭✭✭✭
    Mobile/Web seems dangerous and I would never touch them, even with a copy of my production file on my test machine.
    I have no desire for online billing (aka bill presentment). I'm content to wait for my actual bills to arrive from my billers.
    I am fortunate to be grandfathered in to Bank of America's direct connect bill pay, which works perfectly and has for decades.
    I do use Tax Planner & Lifetime Planner with the understanding they are at best vague approximations.
    I use auto transfer detection and it works fine.
    I look at Portfolio X-ray for amusement only.
    I never use obscure features like Deduction Finder, Itemized Deduction Estimator, Capital Gains Estimator, et al. I have no idea whether they really work.
    Quicken user since version 2 for DOS, now using QWin Premier Subscription on Win10 Pro.
  • Roger M
    Roger M Member ✭✭✭✭
    I've used Mobile/Web while traveling, and I've observed some issues, like duplicate transactions appearing. That was some time ago, so maybe that has been fixed by now. Most recently, though, I just bring a laptop with me, and import my latest data file.

    I don't use Bill Manager. All of my monthly bills, and some of my semi-annual/annual bills, are auto drafted from my checking or credit card accounts by the biller. All I do is setup a scheduled memorized transaction in Quicken, and the bills are paid.

    I'm pretty anal when it comes to estimating my tax liability. I've compared Quicken Tax Planner directly to the estimators in Turbo Tax and at the IRS website, and it's results are very close! At least for my tax scenario.

    Same with the Lifetime Planner. Quicken's Lifetime planner actually has more flexibility than some of the retirement plan estimators I've used at my brokerage and 401(k) account websites. I think there is room for improvement, though, for certain scenarios that have been pointed out in other threads. But, again, the results are very close to other estimators that I've used.

    I do use the Quicken asset allocation view to determine how much money needs to be moved between allocations when I rebalance my portfolio. I do this by eyeball, and I don't use the asset allocation rebalancing tool.

    I don't use #3,4,6,7 from the second group. I have briefly looked at the Portfolio X-Ray, and it seems to be similar to a Morningstar analysis that I can get from my brokerage house.
    Quicken Windows Premier - Subscription **** Windows 10 Home *** Quicken user since 1996
  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited October 2020

    I was thinking, and thought it might be enlightening if I gave some context to why came to my conclusions.

    Quicken Mobile/web:
    For the first few months it was out, it corrupted a large percentage of people's data files.  Within about 6 months I think they got rid of most of that, and was pretty stable, but also quite limited, and the feature set didn't change for years.  In the last few years, they have increased the features, but also the reports of things going badly have also increased.  Like the recent report of deleted accounts in the Quicken data file!  But I think the thing that "scares me" the most is what is almost always the recommended fix.  As in "Reset cloud data" (and maybe restore from a backup).  Note that “Reset cloud data” is the equivalent of a “partial” restore from your Quicken data file.  It is partial because there is a limit to how much data they will transfer, and if you went for a time before this happened, you might have had more data in the Quicken cloud than what is restored.  That is like when the standard fix for any Windows problem was "reboot".  Sure you might get back to working, but no one can possibly think that is an actual fix for anything.

    Quicken Bill Manager:
    I tried using Online Bills for years, which Quicken Bill Manager is based on.  And even after at one point where it totally corrupted my data file (and the corruption lay hidden for over a month, so it was in my backup files too).  But I did give my non sanitized data file to Quicken Inc to figure out the problem and they used it to find and fix the problem for everyone.  A process that took several days and many people to work out.  And after that I still tried to use it, but between it removing the option to making estimates, and bills not updating, or such problems, I just decided it wasn't worth the benefit for downloading the bills that were variable.  The system is based on one like Express Web Connect/Quicken Connect where it is using what appears to be non-standardize ways to access websites, and as such has the same kind of reliability problems.  And the Quicken Bill Manager is based on this same system.  Personally, I setup all my bills to be use automatic withdraws at the biller’s site.  Quicken Bill Manager seems to be doing the same thing, but it isn't a human and can't make "better choices" or deal with changing websites.  Like people have complained that they have gotten charged for paying a bill.   Well at some sites if you pay by credit card you get charged, but is you pay by check you don't.  There is no such option in Quicken Bill Manager to decide this, and there isn't any notice when you are going to get charged.  I have also seen where the Online Bills linked to the reminders have played havoc on the reminder.

    On the Tax Planner one of the limitations comes from not from the planner itself, but from the data given to it.  As in the paycheck reminder.  I used to max out my 401K contribution in the middle of the year, and as such certain taxes and such had to change.  The same was true (but at different time) of some other contributions.  Edit, the other big one was maxing out my Social Security contributions.  There isn't any way to do that with the paycheck reminder.  It can be done with regular reminders, but it isn't something people really think of until they get the wrong results one year.  There was also a time where I cashed in some employee stock options and the amount was big enough that I should have paid estimated taxes.  At this point I don't remember the details, but basically, I got fooled that I had it covered when I didn't and ended up paying a penalty.  And these days I'm semi-retired, but get some consulting income, that is very irregular, and as such anything I put in is just a guess.  So, I really just go off of the rules to pay enough estimated taxes so I meet the rules not to have any penalty.  These days I always use my tax program for any predictions.

    On the Lifetime Planner.
    I have certainly found weaknesses like it taking money out of accounts in a different order than I would, and only having the before and after tax rates, and nothing for when RMD kicks in.  And of course there is also the limited return rate settings.
    But more fundamental is the fact that with any prediction that is going to be years in the future, if it turns out to be accurate, it will be mostly luck.  I'm not comparing it to what other planners say, because that isn't what I care about.  I want to compare with reality, not another guess.

    And in fact there is a feature I wish it would have, and that is to save the past prediction and be able to compare it to what really happened.  As it sits right now it gives the user a false sense of "I'm right".  When you look at the Lifetime planner you could make wildly wrong predictions and you would never know it unless you are REALLY off.  This is because all you see is what you have now, and a prediction of what it might be in the future.  You don't see that your prediction was to have a million dollars net worth by today, but instead you have $750,000.  Do you remember what the prediction for your net worth was 5 years ago?

    I will skip to the #5 & #6 (I really don't use the others).  I should first say in #6 I'm talking about Quicken picking the category for a new payee, not any renaming rules/memorized payee.  That feature seems nice to get people started, but when you only have a few new payees I prefer the category to stay blank and let me put it in.  As for the transfer detection most of the time it doesn't kick in because I pre-enter most transfers, but it does work well most of the time when it does, but I have "confirm on".  Because at the end of the day it is a guess, and if you have multiple transactions of the same amount it can do it wrong, which wouldn’t be that big of a deal, except that it is a pain to fix when it is wrong.  It basically deletes one transaction and puts in the transfer.  Which means to back it out you must delete the transfer and re-enter the two transactions.

    Signature:
    (I'm always using the latest Quicken Windows Premier subscription version)
    This is my website: http://www.quicknperlwiz.com/
  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    Add this to the risks of Quicken Mobile/Web (users confusing it with a backup system).
    https://community.quicken.com/discussion/comment/20121952/#Comment_20121952

    Here you have a person that most likely got their data file clobbered by the "cloud sync" after installing a patch.  And then posts that they don't have a backup because they thought it was "handled by the Quicken Cloud".  How ironic is that!
    Signature:
    (I'm always using the latest Quicken Windows Premier subscription version)
    This is my website: http://www.quicknperlwiz.com/
  • UserDavidC
    UserDavidC Member ✭✭✭
    In general I agree with @Chris_QPW.

    I don't use mobile and see no reason to start. I don't need such immediate access to my accounts. For more context, I don't use any banking apps on my cell phone (other than text alerts) for the same reason. I see no reason to do all this activity on the web when I can easily wait to get home and use the desktop.

    For bill paying, I use each banks website and the occasional printed check. I don't like depending on one service for such an important function (i.e. don't put all your eggs in one basket).

    I had problems with downloading transactions a long time ago and since I enter all my transactions from my receipts to be sure they are recorded correctly, I simply don't need to download and therefore I don't use any automatic detection or categorizing.

    The tax planning and portfolio tools I simply have no need for.

    The Lifetime Planner I have used before and the concept is great but I really haven't use for a while.

    Debt Reduction I haven't used.
  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited October 2020
    Add a new one to the list.  Express Web Connect using QCS, instead of FDS.

    It is clear now that the QCS is using the same syncing as used for Quicken Web/Mobile which means it can destroy data in your data file, like removing transactions, category lists, or even deleting accounts.
    Signature:
    (I'm always using the latest Quicken Windows Premier subscription version)
    This is my website: http://www.quicknperlwiz.com/
  • Roger M
    Roger M Member ✭✭✭✭
    Regarding the Lifetime Planner, if you happen to find one that is "self learning", then please let me know, as I have not yet found one. I have a good memory, so I do know that my net worth at retirement (1 year from now) is more than it was predicted to be 5 years ago. That's a good thing. I do, however, periodically adjust the rate of return based on current market conditions, and I tend to be conservative.

    For the Tax Planner, let me clarify one point. I do not let Quicken transfer all of the line items into Tax Planner automatically. Instead, everything is "User Entered". Some of the data may be sourced by reports that I run within Quicken, and some may come from other methods, like spreadsheets that I keep. But it is all user entered data. I have found that to be much less error prone. I used to have ISOs in a couple of companies that I worked for. Unlike RSUs, no tax was withheld when exercising these ISO options. I ended up rerunning the tax planner every quarter, and paid estimated taxes quarterly, as needed. Again, I was conservative and used a high share price for future predictions, so I ended up paying a little too much, and always got a refund.

    Quicken Windows Premier - Subscription **** Windows 10 Home *** Quicken user since 1996
  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited October 2020
    @Roger M  No I haven't found any retirement planner that does.  I just wish Quicken would.  I wouldn't expect any other one to be able to do it, Quicken is in the special position to have "what really happened" by the fact that it contains our actual accounts.  No other retirement planner would have such information.  I have seen ones that are more detailed and flexible, but none that would do this.

    On the Tax Planner that is a good point, if you use manual entries for everything I'm sure that it would be pretty close for most situations.
    Signature:
    (I'm always using the latest Quicken Windows Premier subscription version)
    This is my website: http://www.quicknperlwiz.com/
  • Roger M
    Roger M Member ✭✭✭✭
    You make a great point about the retirement planner, and the data that it has available to it. That would be a very neat feature, and would definitely set Quicken's retirement planner apart from the rest!

    Quicken Windows Premier - Subscription **** Windows 10 Home *** Quicken user since 1996
  • Quicken Hugh
    Quicken Hugh Alumni ✭✭✭✭
    edited October 2020
    @Chris_QPW, @Roger M,  et al, 
    In regards to the Retirement Planner - we at Quicken have noted that the Social Security Administration has updated their publicly available tools to help provide a more accurate estimate of one's future SSA benefits. 

    For the time being, one might use the following tools to get a better SSA estimate, then update your info in the Q Retirement Planner accordingly. 
    https://www.ssa.gov/OACT/quickcalc/
    https://www.ssa.gov/benefits/retirement/estimator.html



  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    @Quicken Hugh I appreciate the information.

    I personally use the one that runs on my PC. It is harder to setup then the website tools, but more complete.

    At one time the Retirement Planner would try to estimate the amount that people would get.  Given that this is a very complicated calculation it was seldom right, so that was recently changed to just the user entering the monthly amount with the suggestion that they try a the mail-in estimate.

    Now this message might be updated with the information you provided:


    But I think most people already knew to go to SS website and use the tools there.
    So getting the estimate isn't the problem discussed.

    Social Security can be taxed, and it is taxed at different rates depending on your other income.  The general way the retirement planner handles this is the tax rate you put in, but there is only two, before retirement and after.  For a lot of people when they are forced to change take out RMD their tax rate changes quite a bit because of the extra income, and as such how much is taken out of Social Security.

    There isn't any "third tax rate" or better yet a way to change it at certain years.
    One of the workarounds suggested above would be to use the pre retirement rate for when you have retired and the after rate for when you start RMD, but that means you can predict it all before you retire.
    Signature:
    (I'm always using the latest Quicken Windows Premier subscription version)
    This is my website: http://www.quicknperlwiz.com/
  • Quicken Hugh
    Quicken Hugh Alumni ✭✭✭✭
    @Chris_QPW - For the time being, I'm trying to help people plug in the best available SSA estimate, working within the parameters as currently coded into Quicken. But this invigorating discussion is... let's just say, noted.
  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    @Quicken Hugh  That's great, sorry for the confusion.
    Signature:
    (I'm always using the latest Quicken Windows Premier subscription version)
    This is my website: http://www.quicknperlwiz.com/
  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    I'm going to add a link to this thread here:
    https://community.quicken.com/discussion/7882641/qcs-express-web-connect-is-cloud-sync

    The reason is because more clearly explains my post above of why I now consider Express Web Connect a risky feature.
    Signature:
    (I'm always using the latest Quicken Windows Premier subscription version)
    This is my website: http://www.quicknperlwiz.com/
  • BK
    BK Member ✭✭✭✭
    I too agree with everything said.  And my signature below says it all!
    I update my Quicken version if and only if some useful feature or bug fix comes up that matters to me.  If anyone has a contact at BofA willing to consider policy exception and grant me DC credentials I would be forever grateful.
    - Q Win Deluxe user since 2010, US Subs R32.12
    - I don't use Sync, Cloud, Mobile, Web, Bill Pay/Mgr, Tax
    - Techie, Win10 Pro x64 20H2
  • Gary
    Gary Member ✭✭
    > @Chris_QPW said:
    > Looking at some of the threads in here about all the problems with syncing to the cloud, like deleted accounts, budgets, categories, memorized payees, ... It is a wonder anyone used Quicken Web/Mobile.  I guess people either don't know about the problems or are much bigger risk takers then I am in this area because they consider the access so important.  Personally I would just take a laptop on trips if I had to have that kind of access.
    >
    > Here is my list:
    >
    > Totally distrust, wouldn't touch except for testing:
    > * Quicken Mobile/Web.
    > * Quicken Bill Manager (I like my bills to be paid on time, without me worrying about them).


    100% on board with you on this, Chris.

    Most of your secondary list are N/A to me, but agree as well.

    I use Quicken passively. I use it exclusively to download and then manage the data. (And on a positive side, download stability has recently been the best I've seen in years) I then use that data for bill and income planning and in my own spreadsheets for retirement planning, tax planning, etc.
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