Why is Quicken so bad with downloads on other than the most basic investment transactions?

For example, I am finding that any time there is a simple Corporate Name Change (no change in trading symbol) of a security, Quicken fails to handle it correctly - always drops the cost basis, shows it as a sell and a buy, but results in $0 cost basis. Even when it is a 1:1 share. This means the Gain/Loss is incorrect AND the Return is incorrect if any dividends or other distributions were paid prior to the name change. All of it disappears. This happens whether downloading from Fidelity, Ameritrade, Schwab, Wells or Vanguard. It appears to be a design flaw in Quicken. They also can't handle mergers, spin-offs, or reorgs without messing up cost basis, G/L and Return calcs.

Answers

  • NotACPA
    NotACPA SuperUser, Windows Beta Beta
    Please do TOOLS, Account List.  What does it say in the "Transactions Download" column adjacent to your brokerage account?
    I expect that it says "Direct Connect", in which case your brokerage is SOLELY responsible for the content of the download.  Virtually all, if not in fact ll, investment downloads are Direct Connect.  Q is merely recording what it receives from your brokerage.
    Blame the brokerage.
    And delete those downloaded buy/sell transactions for the name change and either:
    1) Edit your security list to record this simple name change, or
    2) Do a "Corporate Acquisition: at 1:1 to record the change.

    Q user since DOS version 5
    Now running Quicken Windows Subscription,  Home & Business
    Retired "Certified Information Systems Auditor" & Bank Audit VP
  • Sherlock
    Sherlock SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    My understanding is the download from a financial institution does not inform Quicken of a corporate name change.  We may use the Corporate Name Change wizard but all the wizard does is enter a reminder in the transaction list and change the name of the Quicken security.  

    The symptoms you describe might occur if the financial institution chose to change the CUSIP ID it used for a security and you allow Quicken to introduce placeholder transactions.  Quicken would want to introduce a placeholder transaction to reduce the holding of the original security to zero and a placeholder transaction to establish the holding of the new security.  The solution in such a situation is to delete the placeholder transactions and the new security introduced and uncheck Matched with online security on the original security.

    Likewise, my understanding is mergers, spin-offs or re-orgs are not downloaded events.  As the implementation of these events vary, the appropriate method of entering the events in Quicken also varies.
  • Bob4141
    Bob4141 Member
    All the brokerage accounts I download to Quicken are set up with DirectConnect. And I've had this conversation a few times with both Quicken and with a couple of the Brokerage companies I listed who have or used to have a Quicken interface technician. Quicken just says what you have said - blame the info from the brokerage. But if you're blaming all of them, then Quicken should realize maybe the problem is really on THEIR side. They just don't have the incentive to correct it.
    I've been using Quicken for over 30 years, long before downloaded transactions. And they have never dealt correctly with mergers, spin-offs and reorgs of stocks or mutual funds correctly - you always had to jury-rig the entries to make your account balance.
  • Sherlock
    Sherlock SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    Bob4141 said:
    All the brokerage accounts I download to Quicken are set up with DirectConnect. And I've had this conversation a few times with both Quicken and with a couple of the Brokerage companies I listed who have or used to have a Quicken interface technician. Quicken just says what you have said - blame the info from the brokerage. But if you're blaming all of them, then Quicken should realize maybe the problem is really on THEIR side. They just don't have the incentive to correct it.
    I've been using Quicken for over 30 years, long before downloaded transactions. And they have never dealt correctly with mergers, spin-offs and reorgs of stocks or mutual funds correctly - you always had to jury-rig the entries to make your account balance.
    How do you suggest Quicken correct it?   How would Quicken determine how to deal with the variety of mergers, spin-offs, and reorgs that may exist?

    It seems to me, your expectations for Quicken are too high.  Quicken imports the holdings and investment transactions from the financial institutions.  The financial institutions are essentially attempting to follow the OFX specification.  From Version 2.2 of the OFX specification:
    Since corporate actions can often be very complicated, it is difficult to define a single action aggregate that encompasses all possible scenarios. Instead, you should describe corporate actions using one or more of the provided basic action types. You should use the memo field of the individual transactions to link transactions to an encompassing corporate action.


  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    I can never get why users believe that software is magic, I guess because they have no idea on how it works.

    Many of a time I see a question posted on "How to I handle this, name change, merges, spin-offs?" and such.
    And what strikes me about it is that the answer usually involves read deep into the documents describing exactly how that particular "event" has handled.  And trying to come up with a way to reflect that in Quicken.

    But you want Quicken do somehow "do the right thing" based on basically no information at all.
    Signature:
    (I'm always using the latest Quicken Windows Premier subscription version)
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  • Bob4141
    Bob4141 Member
    Your presumptions are quite incorrect and not worth my time to address. Buh-bye
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