Why is my 401k balance wrong?

My 401k balance in Quicken says I have $2000 in securities and $500 in cash...hypothetical numbers for the case of this discussion. In the account list, these two numbers are added together to give the supposed balance of the account, $2500.

On my 401k web site, I verified that the balance of the account is $500, not $2500.

I've deleted the account from Quicken and readded it. Still, the balance is wrong.

What else can I do?

I'm on Windows 10 using Quicken Premier R35.31. An update was just installed.

Answers

  • Sherlock
    Sherlock SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    Based on the description you've provided, I suspect you're only looking at the cash holding on the 401k web site.
  • Sheila
    Sheila Member ✭✭
    My 401k site says the balance on the acct is $200. That's a made up amount of course. The balance includes securities and cash.
  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    To be able to tell anything about this we would have to know what transactions are actually in the account.
    And note that you should have the option selected to show "hidden transactions" so that you can see placeholders if they are there.

    But here are a few observations that might help:
    1. In the case of investment account downloading, if one believes that they are going to just create the account and select download, and continue like that and everything will be OK without looking at what is in fact downloaded.  I won't give it much of a chance of it being correct.  With exception maybe of using the Simple Investing, which only tracks the security positions/prices/cash balance.
    2. Whenever you create a new investment account you are most likely going to get placeholders because the financial institution isn't going to download the full history of all the transactions (unless it is a brand new account).  The placeholders are like failing a reconcile in a non investment account and having it do a balance adjustment.  When you download transactions there is also information about what securities you have and how many shares.  When these don't line up with what Quicken has for the transactions it then puts in a placeholder to make the number of shares line up with what the financial institution sent.
    3. 401K accounts seldom have cash balances.  So I wouldn't really expect a cash balance unless the cash balance is coming from a paycheck reminder entered into your checking account.  But what should happen there is that puts the cash into the account and then the buys for the securities should reduce the cash balance to zero.
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  • Sheila
    Sheila Member ✭✭
    edited September 2021
    Thank you for your response, Chris. I've downloaded my transactions in Mint. The total of the 401k matches the balance when I log into the 401k web site. There's something wrong with how Quicken is downloading the transactions. There are placeholders in Quicken, and I have them in other investment accounts, but the amount of those accounts shown in Quicken match the total on the investment web sites.If Quicken put the wrong placeholders in, then the placeholders are way overinflated.
  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    The likelihood of Quicken (the program) actually doing anything wrong is very low, given that it does the same thing for thousands of users.  What is very likely though is that the financial institution is sending incorrect information, this happens all the time.  With Mint the process is sort of like it logging into the financial institution's website and grabbing the data.  For Quicken investment accounts that isn't true.  Quicken sends a request to the financial institution's OFX server and the financial institution sends back the data in the OFX format.  You can see this conversation in the OFX log(Help -> Log Files -> OFX Log).

    But without being able to see the details of exactly what was received/done we can't help you any more here.  I suggest that you contact Quicken support.
    Contact Quicken Support
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