Tracking the same symbol in multiple Quicken accounts using different unique security names

I have been using Quicken since its inception and I might have done something wrong from the onset. I had inherited stock from multiple parties and had all the fund statements showing the trading activity, dividend payments, etc.

What I chose to do was create Quicken Accounts bearing the name of the person I inherited the stock from. As a result the same stock appears in multiple accounts. To compound matters, to differentiate each position I held in the same stock, I created uniquely named stocks - all having the same trading symbol. The literal names begin with the listed name and ended with the Quicken account in which it belonged. Over time I added in details from all the statements resulting in the correct number of shares and cost basis, etc.

Using this scenario I would display the Portfolio (Investment Tab) window grouped by 'security'. For each instance of the same security I could see the cost basis, amount invested, etc. Also using this organization, I was able to click on the columns to order the securities by Return, Cost basis, etc. As far as I see, there is no other way to do this, using the other groupings; by account, etc.

As I sold a security, I could chose the instance with the greatest cost basis and 'sell' it from the corresponding Quicken account. Then I could easily generate short and long term reports to include with my tax returns. Remember, this was before there was the notion of 'covered' shares - making these reports very necessary.

For instance, in the portfolio view I show two instances of Apple. Each line shows the cost basis, etc., for the instance in a specific account. I can't remember out of hand - but there are a few Investment reports that are only enumerated by account; in those the total performance of the account is shown. I don't find that very helpful. I'd rather weed out the weak performers across all my accounts.

Out of curiosity, I created two positions in the same security, each in a different account, but this time using the same security name - as I assume was intended. The problem being if you group the portfolio screen by security you see a single row with the total shares, cost basis, etc., for that security. For some that might be exactly what you are looking for. I realize if you group by Account, then you see each instance of the security - but then you cannot take advantage of ordering the entire list by clicking on a column header.

Is there something I should have done differently that would have given me the flexibility I am achieving using this scenario or it it totally acceptable? It is interesting to note, there is no restriction (referential integrity) on the Security List windows; you can create multiple security names linked to the same symbol. With that in mind - I didn't think I was running afoul of any Quicken 'best practices'.

Thank you for your suggestions,

Fred J.
Quicken Windows Subscription: Windows 10 Pro 64-bit 21H1


  • Sherlock
    Sherlock SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    In my opinion, what you described is totally acceptable.  There are obvious challenges associated with the approach when aggregating the distinct Quicken securities for the same security.  For example, if accounts are combined or you want examine allocation by security across the accounts.  The approach is useful when we want to treat the activity associated with the holdings differently.  Note: Quicken does something similar for ESSP and ISO but they're also able to apply a distinct type.
  • q_lurker
    q_lurker SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    In my opinion, what you are doing is marginally acceptable.  It works with some extra effort on the user's part, but is not the intended setup.  

    Many years ago, your type of setup was easy to do.  User could create a security with a ticker, then continue on creating a second security with exactly the same ticker, just as you currently operate.  Then they made a change where the second security would not get created if the ticker already existed.  But they left a back door open.  Create the second security with no ticker, then edit the security to add the ticker.  For quite a while I thought they would close that back door, but they have not (and will not, I suspect) because of users like you and Sherlock who have a defensible need. 

    Similar to your wanting to sell the high basis lot, I sometimes want to be finding low basis securities (for gifting purposes).  I set up a portfolio view sorted on the Gain/Loss % column (Gain / Cost as a percentage; 200% means the current value is triple the original cost.)  I will group by account, but may be comparing the benefit of Security1 from Account A versus Security2 from Account B.  If I know I want a specific security, it is a quick customization to limit the view to that security at which point I can also expand  to the lots within each account.  (Lots not subject to the sorting selection.)  That is still not quite the same as your ability to see Sec1-FromDad aligned and sorted against Sec1-fromMom, but it would seem close.

    From my perspective, the types of considerations you are missing out on or making harder are: 
    • Downloading -- as I understand the online (real-world) security can only associate to one of your versions
    • Consolidation -- knowing your overall performance or exposure is more difficult (but certainly not impossible). 
    A great power of Quicken is its ability to present your finances the way you need to see them.  (I consider it a great weakness when they try to give everyone what they want).  If you have a system and the program working for you, carry on.   
  • FredArthur
    FredArthur Member ✭✭✭
    @q_lurker Thank you for your comprehensive response. Downloads are certainly a problem because because the data stream uses the stock symbol not a security name. I am not certain if all my pricing data is replicated. That should be easy to test.

    It would be nice if the portfolio view had an additional group by option or an additional switch resulting in the display I described. Then everyone can have it both ways. I don't think that would be difficult to implement.

    How do we submit product requests?
    Quicken Windows Subscription: Windows 10 Pro 64-bit 21H1
  • Jim_Harman
    Jim_Harman SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    If there are not many securities that are held in multiple accounts, you might create a separate view for each base security. Then you would have an Apple view, a Facebook view, etc.

    That has recently been made more useful because Quicken has increased the total number of views from 18 to 28. 
    QWin Premier subscription
  • q_lurker
    q_lurker SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    How do we submit product requests?
    You can post an idea starting from this page:

    The thought of a second-level sort has been expressed before, but I am not sure the idea has been initiated.  

    This existing post touches on your thought I think:
    I don't know if there is a closer idea already started.    
  • Jim_Harman
    Jim_Harman SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    To build: I think it is really a second level subtotal (AKA Group by) that people would like to see, both in the Portfolio views and in the reports.

    As it is, you have to make a special view or report for each of the top-level categories.
    QWin Premier subscription
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