Tracking capital gains in Quicken

I've used Quicken for a long time but not for tracking capital gains on the sale of stocks and mutual funds. I just clicked on the capital gains report and see that Quicken has not automatically entered the cost basis in most transactions. I'm thinking that maybe Quicken didn't transfer the purchase prices and transaction histories when I changed investment companies awhile back. I get capital gains from the annual 1099 statements, and it would be interesting to track it in Quicken also. It doesn't seem practical or necessary to try to reconstruct years of transactions manually, but I could do it for a year or two. What's the best way to track capital gains in Quicken going forward?

Best Answer

  • NotACPA
    NotACPA SuperUser, Windows Beta Beta
    Accepted Answer
    Cost basis is stored by Q on security BUYS, ReinvDiv and the like.  You have the opportunity to input such with "Shares Added" and other transactions.
    SO, how did you record, in Q those transfers?  What Q action did you use?
    BTW, when SALES are involved, your 1099 and your Q records will ONLY agree when you selected the exact same security Lots as the brokerage choose ... and unless instructed otherwise, they'll customarily use FIFO.
    Q user since DOS version 5
    Now running Quicken Windows Subscription,  Home & Business
    Retired "Certified Information Systems Auditor" & Bank Audit VP

Answers

  • NotACPA
    NotACPA SuperUser, Windows Beta Beta
    Accepted Answer
    Cost basis is stored by Q on security BUYS, ReinvDiv and the like.  You have the opportunity to input such with "Shares Added" and other transactions.
    SO, how did you record, in Q those transfers?  What Q action did you use?
    BTW, when SALES are involved, your 1099 and your Q records will ONLY agree when you selected the exact same security Lots as the brokerage choose ... and unless instructed otherwise, they'll customarily use FIFO.
    Q user since DOS version 5
    Now running Quicken Windows Subscription,  Home & Business
    Retired "Certified Information Systems Auditor" & Bank Audit VP
  • TheBobster
    TheBobster Member ✭✭
    In 2018 I moved my investments from Wells Fargo to Vanguard. When I downloaded my new Vanguard investments into Q, it used the "added" action. The price paid field was blank, and I didn't add prices manually.
  • NotACPA
    NotACPA SuperUser, Windows Beta Beta
    edited April 21
    It's too late now, but you could have used a "Shares Transferred" action ... and then the downloaded transactions would have matched with your already transferred.
    OR, if all of the securities were transferred, you could have just renamed the WF account to Vanguard and proceeded merrily on your way.
    At this point, the only option that I see for you is a lot of typing.
    Q user since DOS version 5
    Now running Quicken Windows Subscription,  Home & Business
    Retired "Certified Information Systems Auditor" & Bank Audit VP
  • TheBobster
    TheBobster Member ✭✭
    The transactional data from the Wells Fargo accounts are still in Q. What would happen if I tried to reconstruct the historical data by changing the "shares added" transactions in the Vanguard accounts to "shares transferred"? Would Q then calculate the historical capital gains? I'm willing to try it, although I've sometimes had data integrity problems when I change historical data.
  • Tom Young
    Tom Young SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    "What would happen if I tried to reconstruct the historical data by changing the "shares added" transactions in the Vanguard accounts to "shares transferred"?"
    If you're willing to do the work and want to back fill the missing data from Wells Fargo you might be able to pull this off, but I'd go the other way, starting in the WF Account. 
    In the WF Account you could initiate a "Shares Transferred Between Accounts" action, with a Date that reflects the date of the transfer.   I'd use the date the "Adds" showed up in the Vanguard Account so the new "Adds" would slot in next to the original Adds downloaded from Vanguard. 
    I'd go ONE security at a time, probably starting with the security with the smallest number of lots.  I'd transfer "all" shares of the security then go look at the results in the Vanguard Account.  Hopefully the new Adds for this security match the old downloaded Adds for this security except the new Adds would have the correct basis and date acquired information.  If that worked out then I'd delete the old downloaded Adds, make another backup, and head back to the WF Account to start the process over with the next security.
    Correctly done, (fingers crossed), then your starting positions in the Vanguard Account should be properly stated but you're not done yet, because now you have to work forward in time checking each entry to see if they need to be fixed in some fashion.  Buys and Dividends shouldn't be a problem, but certainly any Sells need to be looked at and corrected to make sure the cost basis and lots sold reflect reality.  Any "corporate actions" like splits, spin-offs and so forth would also need some work.
    This could be a big or small projected depending on your particular circumstances and it's somewhat fraught, so a different approach of simply getting "today's" positions properly stated is something else to consider.
  • TheBobster
    TheBobster Member ✭✭
    Tom, thanks for the encouragement. I've played around with my data, but I suspect it isn't complete or accurate enough at the lot level to reconstruct history. I relied on my year-end tax statements from Vanguard, etc. for my capital gains info and never bothered to match it up with Quicken. I've changed and reconstructed other historic data in Q for various reasons, and it has sometimes caused data integrity issues unrelated to the data I was working with. Q doesn't seem to like it. I may experiment some more. It's become something of a hobby for me and satisfies my inner accountant. But I doubt if I can get it to match the mutual fund statements, and maybe it isn't all that important.
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