Behavior of 'Return' values - Portfolio Views

q_lurker
q_lurker SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
I have apparently identified strange behavior with respect to some 'return' measures available in portfolio views which I will try to identify here (if you will bear with me).  The gist of this discovery is a difference in behavior depending on the setting under the Options for Portfolio Preferences for "Show return calculations from".  The two options are (-) Earliest available date, or (-) a specified date.

For my testing, I focused on four measures - Average Annual Return %, Return %, Return $, and ROI % - set up in a portfolio view grouped by account.  Each of those can be presented for various time periods including YTD, 1-, 3-, 5-year periods and full-time.  Other parameters may be impacted but I have not tested other such measures.  I set the starting date to "Earliest" and then varied the "Quote/price for 'today' to see what parameters changed as the price changed.

I then switched the starting specification to 1/1/14 which was before any transactions in any account -- effectively the same as choosing Earliest.  I then proceeded to make the same type of quote/price change to again see what measures were changed by the price change.  By all rational expectation, I should have seen the same changes (or non-changes) since the starting dates were effectively the same.  That expectation was not met. 

Average Annual Return % -- for YTD, 1-, 3-, 5-year period
Behaved the same regardless of the way the starting date was specified.  As I changed the price of a security, all 4 AAR values changed for that security and also for the account level value.  This is as expected and as it should be.  I did not make any assessment as to the accuracy of the values, but prior tests suggest to me they are accurate. 

Return % -- for YTD, 1-, 3-, 5-year period
Behaved the same regardless of the way the starting date was specified.  This is a parameter that is downloaded rather than computed from the users data file.  As such, the presented figures are independent of the price shown for the security on that date or how the starting date is specified.  These figures are specific to the security and not totaled for the account in any fashion.

Return (a dollar amount) -- for YTD, 1-, 3-, 5-year period and 'all time' (presumably as long as the security had been owned)
Did NOT behave the same way for the two different starting date specifications.  When the starting date was specified as "Earliest available", changing the price did NOT change the Return values.  When the starting date was specified as a date, changing the price did change the Return values.  The first behavior is incorrect; the second is correct.  Because in the second case, the values are changed for the security, they also change when summed at the account level.  

ROI % -- for YTD, 1-, 3-, 5-year periods and for 'all time' (presumably as long as the security had been owned)
ROI % is basically Return $ divided by Amount Invested.  Amount Invested does not depend on the current Quote/Price so changing the price should not and does not change the Amount Invested.  Likewise the Amount invested values do not change as the starting date specification form is changed (Earliest vs date-specific).  But naturally, since Return $ is unchanged when the starting date is Earliest, ROI % is also unchanged.  When the starting date is specified, Return $ changes as the price changes and so does the related ROI %.   

I should note here that the Amount Invested parameter itself can take various unexpected directions depending on a securities transaction history.  In this testing, there was only one lot of each security and there were no sales of any of these securities, so Amount Invested would have been predictable and as simple as possible.  But that too, was not a parameter I was monitoring, other than to note it did not change unexpectedly.  

CONCLUSION:  I believe I have found improper behavior of Return $ and thus ROI % when the starting date for the calculation is specified as "Earliest available date" in the Options / Portfolio Preferences selection.  Better (more predictable) behavior is shown when the starting date for the return calculations is a specified date.  The proper/improper behavior is whether the value changes as the current (as of date) security price is altered. 

I have not (yet) tried to determine what triggers the Return $ calculation.  I believe it to be accurate when the portfolio view is first presented.  There may be a trigger that releases the calculation to properly determine Return as price changes, but I have not determined the right steps.

Some further but still incomplete testing suggests there may also be other factors in play as to when and how Return $ gets calculated.  I post at this time to listen for any conformation or insights from others.         

Comments

  • Sherlock
    Sherlock SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    I am not experiencing the Earliest available Return issue you describe.  Altering the  price of a security did change the Return amounts in the Portfolio view.  Note: I used today's date for the modified price and As of:.
  • Jim_Harman
    Jim_Harman SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    Earliest Available is the earliest date of anything in your file, it is not the date you first acquired the security.
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  • q_lurker
    q_lurker SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    Earliest Available is the earliest date of anything in your file, it is not the date you first acquired the security.
    I realize that, but if you have restricted the scope to a specific account, nothing takes place from the true (file's) "earliest" through the beginning date of that account.  Those earlier days are not relevant.

    Sherlock said:
    I am not experiencing the Earliest available Return issue you describe.  Altering the  price of a security did change the Return amounts in the Portfolio view.  Note: I used today's date for the modified price and As of:.
    I'll keep poking to try to figure this out.  That is the same way I was using As of.  
      
  • q_lurker
    q_lurker SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    I hope the below pic captures what I am seeing.  This is with "Earliest Available" starting date selected.



    In the lower "Snip & Sketch" pic is the before state.  AT&T has an 'old' price shown (happens to be from a week ago) at $29.02/sh.  The Amount Invested YTD is the beginning of year Mkt value of $5,752.  Current Mkt value computes at $5,804 for a $52 Return YTD. 

    In the upper portion is the Quicken Portfolio view after changing the 1/15/21  quote to 129.02 - an increase of $100 / share or $20,000 in market value.  The Mkt Value shows the increase to $25,804, but the Return YTD remains as it was = $52.  Return value of -914 is also unchanged.    

    FWIW, if I "Update quotes" (T goes to 29.17 for 1/15/21), and then make the same $100 change, I see same behavior, $20K added to market value, no change in Return or Return YTD. 

    The "Update Quotes" action does cause a recalculation of the Return and Return YTD columns.  A manual price change does not seem to - for me in this test case.

    If I toggle Starting date off of "Earliest Available" to any date, the two Return values change by the $20K amount as I manually change today's quote. 

    Another FWIW - the chosen starting date affects the Return column, it does not affect the Return YTD column.  I suppose that makes sense. 

    Again, for simplicity, this is a one-lot 200 share holding of AT&T bought 1/1/15 at 33.59/share = $6,718 basis.  I have a 5-year price history going back to 1/29/2016 plus prices on 12/31/14, 01/01/15, and 01/02/15 in order to get 1-, 3-, 5-yr return calculations.
  • Sherlock
    Sherlock SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 15
    q_lurker said:
    I hope the below pic captures what I am seeing.  This is with "Earliest Available" starting date selected.



    In the lower "Snip & Sketch" pic is the before state.  AT&T has an 'old' price shown (happens to be from a week ago) at $29.02/sh.  The Amount Invested YTD is the beginning of year Mkt value of $5,752.  Current Mkt value computes at $5,804 for a $52 Return YTD. 

    In the upper portion is the Quicken Portfolio view after changing the 1/15/21  quote to 129.02 - an increase of $100 / share or $20,000 in market value.  The Mkt Value shows the increase to $25,804, but the Return YTD remains as it was = $52.  Return value of -914 is also unchanged.    

    FWIW, if I "Update quotes" (T goes to 29.17 for 1/15/21), and then make the same $100 change, I see same behavior, $20K added to market value, no change in Return or Return YTD. 

    The "Update Quotes" action does cause a recalculation of the Return and Return YTD columns.  A manual price change does not seem to - for me in this test case.

    If I toggle Starting date off of "Earliest Available" to any date, the two Return values change by the $20K amount as I manually change today's quote. 

    Another FWIW - the chosen starting date affects the Return column, it does not affect the Return YTD column.  I suppose that makes sense. 

    Again, for simplicity, this is a one-lot 200 share holding of AT&T bought 1/1/15 at 33.59/share = $6,718 basis.  I have a 5-year price history going back to 1/29/2016 plus prices on 12/31/14, 01/01/15, and 01/02/15 in order to get 1-, 3-, 5-yr return calculations.
    I don't know if it makes a difference but I was manually editing the price using the Price History window.  I don't include the Quote/Price on the Portfolio view with the Return.

    Edit:  It doesn't appear to make difference.  I still can not prevent the update from triggering the desired Result recalculation with Earliest available.  

    Further Edit: Perhaps you should see if the issue reproduces in a new Quicken file.
  • q_lurker
    q_lurker SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    Sherlock said:

    I don't know if it makes a difference but I was manually editing the price using the Price History window.  I don't include the Quote/Price on the Portfolio view with the Return.

    Edit:  It doesn't appear to make difference.  I still can not prevent the update from triggering the desired Result recalculation with Earliest available.  

    Further Edit: Perhaps you should see if the issue reproduces in a new Quicken file.
    Interesting -- Same behavior in a brand new file.

    If I rt-click on security line in portfolio view, choose Price history, edit price -- I see my wrong behavior.

    If I go through the Security list, Security detail view, More , Edit price history,, I see the correct behavior.  Values change as soon as I OK the new price.  Security List seems like a requirement.  But even then, I am not getting consistent behavior.  Sometimes recalcs, sometimes doesn't.  

    Mondo reinstall may be next.  
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