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Converting downloaded US$ security prices into Canadian dollars

gj0608
gj0608 Member ✭✭
Product: Quicken Deluxe - Canada

Background:
I have a US security that is tracked in its own separate investment account - that account only holds this US security.
The investment account currency is set to be Canadian dollars.

All the purchases, dividends and reinvested dividends (all the dividends are reinvested into more shares) are recorded in Canadian dollars (that is, I manually compute the Canadian dollar equivalent of each US dollar transaction at the applicable exchange rate). Therefore, the investment account is in Canadian dollars.

When I download the security price of the US security, the price is expressed in US dollars.
Therefore, the market value is expressed in US dollars while the cost base is expressed in Canadian dollars. This results in the following incorrect amounts:

1. Market value - since it is expressed in US dollar value and not in Canadian dollar value; and

2. Potential gain/loss - because it is taking the difference between the market value in US dollars and cost base in Canadian dollars.

Question:
Is there any way Quicken can take the dowloaded security prices of the US security expressed in US dollars and automatically convert it to Canadian dollars at the applicable exchange rate for that day? As it stands right now, I have a case of apples (US dollar market value) and oranges (Canadian dollar cost base) being shown.

Answers

  • Quicken_Tyka
    Quicken_Tyka Moderator mod
    Hello @gj0608

    Thank you for taking the time to visit the Community to ask your question, although I apologize that you have not received a response. 

    The level of multi-currency you are needing is currently unsupported for investment accounts I apologize.  If US securities are being downloaded, the currency of the accounts will be presented in US dollars.  

    Also, a brokerage cannot house US and Canadian stocks, it will need to be one of the other.

    I apologize for not having better news.

    -Quicken Tyka
    ~~~***~~~
  • gj0608
    gj0608 Member ✭✭
    Quicken Tyka,

    Thank you for the follow-up. The US security is held separately from the other investments in a trading account. For Quicken purposes, it is included in its own investment account (ie. it is the only investment in that account).

    Update suggestion/improvement for subsequent release(s):

    It would be great to see Quicken provide the following enhancement in an upcoming release:

    Option to convert downloaded security prices denominated in foreign currency(ies) to the desired reporting currency. There should be an option or box in the security details as follows:

    In Edit Security Details:

    Security price currency Box - lists the currency of the security prices that would be downloaded if Quicken cannot determine that information on its own - even though the exchange information already provided/inputted in the same Edit Security Details information should allow Quicken to determine that currency (for example, US Stock Exchange would indicate US dollars). If that automatic determination by Quicken is not possible, there could be a drop-down menu listing all the currency options. Using my example, I would select US dollars.

    Security price reporting currency Box - lists the desired currency of the downloaded security prices that you would like to see the prices displayed. However, the information that already exists and is provided in Currency box in the Edit Security Details information since it lists the currency of the account. Therefore, this desired currency as a separate and explicit selection should not be needed (just like the box above indicating the currency of the downloaded security prices from the particular stock exchange). Again, if a separate box is needed, a drop-down menu could be provided showing the currency options. Using my example, I would select Canadian dollars.

    Behind the scenes with the above information, using my example for illustration purposes, Quicken then would access the daily exchange rates for US-Canada dollar and converts the initial security prices in US dollars into the Canadian dollars. Therefore, the downloaded security prices now matches the currency of the account and presumably all the other accounts in Quicken so that you have one currency. By having one currency for all the accounts, you now will have the proper accounting of your net worth and gain/losses.

    If you want to see the foreign exchange component of any foreign securities you hold, you should be able to generate a report or display a separate column in your holdings of a particular investment account that shows the value of the security in its foreign currency versus the reporting currency.
  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    On the idea of Quicken converting from US to Canadian dollars while downloading, I personally think it would be of little value.

    Exchange rates change constantly.  As such the exchange rate at the time of the transactions will certainly be different than the exchange rate at the time of downloading.
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  • gj0608
    gj0608 Member ✭✭
    Chris_QPW,

    Thank you for providing your input.

    However, I respectfully disagree that just because exchange rates change constantly that it would be of little or no value. So do stock prices change constantly and I doubt you would justify the situation if Quicken was unable to download such information. Yet there is an option in Quicken to download the stock prices (despite of its changing nature) both its current and historical prices. If you are accessing such security pricing information, I fail to see how there is no value in not having it expressed in the same reporting currency as your other accounts. It is important to compare apples to apples in terms of computing your net worth and potential gain/losses when your cost bases are in one currency and some other investment(s) may be in a different currency(ies). As it currently stands right now at any particular moment, I would have to manually convert the foreign-dominated security price into my reporting currency (being Canadian dollars) to get a true picture of such information.
  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    I wasn't talking about the ongoing prices and such, I was talking about the transaction only.

    I can certainly see where some improvements could be made in the displaying of the values and such for the portfolio (net worth graph already does what I would expect).

    At least in the US version in the Portfolio only allows you to show the securities in one currency at a time.  It doesn't provide for seeing all securities in a given currency and use the current exchange rate.  On the other hand that is exactly what the Net Worth graph does.  So the Portfolio should have such an option.

    But back to what I was talking about, the transaction in the account.

    If you have a security in USD and try to purchase it in an account that is set to CAD it will not allow this.

    What I understand of what you are doing is you have an account at the financial institution that is in CAD, and you purchased a USD security.

    What that means is that the financial institution withdrew enough CAD at the time to cover converting it to USD at the current exchange rate, plus any fees, and then purchases that security.  For the transaction the exchange rate that would be important is the one during that purchase, not one that happens to be in place at download time.

    In other words why does Quicken even care about the exchange rate?
    You are getting XXX shares.  Why can't Quicken just remove YYY CADs and add XXX shares?

    The reason is because the purchase price is part of the security price history.  In truth the price of the security is constantly changing, and for determining your cost basis you need the exact price you paid.

    So what is needed is the exact price in USD at the time of the purchase. And what you are going to need for your taxes is that exact amount in CAD.  So that exact exchange rate has to be known.  And the only possible place that can come from is the financial institution in the purchase transaction.  It can't be "lookup" at a later time.
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  • gj0608
    gj0608 Member ✭✭
    Chris_QPW,

    I'm not sure why this request is irrelevant to you?

    Firstly, my issue has nothing to do with the cost bases - I record such transactions at the applicable exchange rates at the purchase dates (see my fact pattern above).

    Secondly, when you purchase a foreign security denominated in foreign currency you are essentially buying two things:

    (I) the underlying security; and
    (ii) the foreign exchange rate.

    Just like you would want access to stock prices at various points in times, you would also would like to know the exchange rates at those times because the rate can either wipe out your gain/increase your loss or increase your gain/reduce your loss. Why you would want one versus the other, I don't understand.

    The net worth information whether it is displayed numerically or graphically would be incorrect if it consists of different currencies. Again, such information is misleading. Refer to any multi-national that is doing operations in different currencies, its statements would be reported in one currency to allow a proper evaluation of its results and assessment of its current financial position.
  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    OK.  Well good luck. Note that if you want to request feature changes you should submit them one at a time as an "Idea" which will allow people to vote on it.
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  • gj0608
    gj0608 Member ✭✭
    Thank you. I will request it on the “Idea”.
  • gj0608
    gj0608 Member ✭✭
    Chris_QPW,

    Where can I find the "Idea" section to post my suggested enhancement to Quicken so that it can be voted upon by the users?

    Thank you.
  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    @gj0608 From the home page select: Recent Discussions and then:

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  • gj0608
    gj0608 Member ✭✭
    Thank you for your help.
  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    Your welcome.  Please note that you can vote for your own suggestion if you haven't already done that.
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  • gj0608
    gj0608 Member ✭✭
    I didn't know that - will do so. Hoping the idea gets incorporated in a future release as it would be helpful. Based on your experience, have you seen ideas incorporated in future releases and if so, what kind of "likes" support would be needed to do so?

    Thanks again.
  • gj0608
    gj0608 Member ✭✭
    Tried giving a "like" but I don't see how. There is no thumbs up Like icon to click.
  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    For an Idea there is a Vote button at the bottom of the text that you posted that you can click on:


    As for do the implement these ideas?

    Sometimes, sometimes not.  The voting "shows interest" in the idea which is one factor they use to decide if they will implement or not.  Others would be things like the difficulty, the cost (for a added service), ...

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  • gj0608
    gj0608 Member ✭✭
    Thanks - yes I clicked on that one.
  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    I think you should be able to edit that idea post for 24-hours (for the typo, even though it shouldn't matter especially with your extra comment).  See if there is a gear icon at the upper right of the post.
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  • gj0608
    gj0608 Member ✭✭
    When I click the gear, the original post does not show up. Do I have to copy the original post and paste it in the box and make the required typo corrections? Or do I simply add the comment about the typo correction?
  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    If you don't see a gear icon like this one, then yes the best you can do is add a comment like you did.

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  • gj0608
    gj0608 Member ✭✭
    I do see the gear icon. I click on it but I would have thought the original posting would appear to make your edits. Instead, there is a blank box to input. So my question is do I have to copy and paste the original posting to this box and then edit it or do I just post the edited portion?
  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    That is strange.  Here is what I get on an edit:


    I guess it wouldn't hurt to copy and paste, and then edit.  If it results in a duplicate post, so be it.
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