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Quicken Market Value doesn't match External Account

I'm sure this is just me and a lack of understanding, but could use some advice.

I have a Vanguard 401k through my employer. When I log in to Vanguard my account balance shows around $23,000. But my Quicken ledger shows the account value as $4,661. Quicken shows that it has connected successfully. But why the difference in value?

Do you think I should scrap the account and add it from scratch? Confused.


  • NotACPA
    NotACPA SuperUser, Windows Beta Beta
    Have you confirmed that all the securities that you hold at Vanguard are present in your Q data file?
    Have you confirmed that the quote for each of those securities is accurate?
    You'll need to compare your Vanguard statement to your Q holdings, security by security, to identify the discrepancy.
    Q user since DOS version 5
    Now running Quicken Windows Subscription,  Home & Business
    Retired "Certified Information Systems Auditor" & Bank Audit VP
  • sfimporter
    sfimporter Member
    I wish I could post a picture - but I literally went back to the very beginning. The first transaction is an "Investment Amount" for $338.46. And the balance of the account when that happened is -$338.46.

    Maybe I'm just not understanding how this works. It feels like Quicken is showing all of my deposits as negatives.

    I don't get that my total balance to date in Quicken shows as -$19,299; But my Market Value only shows as $5,038 and the "real" balance from Vanguard is $23,960. I suppose the last number from Vanguard is a week more current. But I don't get why Quicken is showing a negative balance.
  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    Ah, it sounds like your account is showing investment purchases, but you don't have the transactions showing the cash which is funding these purchases. That's why your cash balance is a large negative number. So the question is: where's the cash coming from (in the real world)? A checking account? A Vangusrd money market? Directly from payroll withholding? Let us know that, and we can provide guidance on what's missing and ways to fix it.
    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
  • sfimporter
    sfimporter Member
    Directly from payroll.

    And ironically, I also monitor with Mint, and it’s showing correctly there, from the same account feed.
  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    Okay, so if the funds are coming from your paycheck, how do you have your paycheck transaction set up in Quicken? If you're just recording the net pay, that could be the problem. The money coming in from your paycheck is not showing up in your Vanguard account as a deposit, and Vanguard is just showing the purchase.

    The better way to record a paycheck, and in your case, perhaps the only way to capture the money flowing to Vanguard, is to enter split lines for each deduction from your gross pay. Here's a dummy paycheck entry:

    In this example, the next to last line shows a transfer for a 401(k) account; in your case, this would a transfer to your Vanguard account. This creates the cash in the investment account to fund the purchases. If you're not keeping any cash in this account, then each pair of transactions -- money in from your paycheck, purchase of a Vanguard security -- should offset and the cash balance should return to zero.

    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
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