Why am I getting a constant 0% return calculation for one of my accounts?

Rebate Junkie
Rebate Junkie Member
edited November 3 in Investing (Windows)
I just converted from Quicken 2013 to the subscription version, and the transition was seamless, with one exception: One of my accounts always shows a constant 0% rate of return in "Investment Performance by Account, Year to Date," no matter how much the total value of the investment goes up or down. It should be around 9-10%, and was correctly calculated in Quicken 2013.

I don't automatically link my accounts to Quicken yet. This particular 401K account invests in a mix of securities that don't typically have ticker symbols or other ways to easily connect to share prices. So what I did on Quicken 2013 for this account was value each share at $1.00, and then increase or decrease the number shares to adjust for increases in decreases in total value of the account, using the "Update 401K Value" function. This worked fine in Quicken 2013, but my theory is that the subscription version assumes that, because the value of my underlying shares is a constant $1.00 per share, that the rate of return must be a constant zero.

Does anyone know how to fix this? I'm new to the Quicken Discussion Board, so please forgive me if this is answered somewhere else, but I couldn't find it. Thanks!

Answers

  • Rocket J Squirrel
    Rocket J Squirrel SuperUser, Windows Beta ✭✭✭✭✭
    Return is Market Value plus cash income plus sale income minus Amount Invested. So as long as you are Adding the phony shares at a cost of $0, the calculation should be correct.
    Is this an old report you saved in QW2013 and are reusing? If so, try creating a fresh report from Quicken's built-in reports. Sometimes old reports lose their minds.
    Quicken user since version 2 for DOS, now using QWin Premier Subscription on Win10 Pro.
  • q_lurker
    q_lurker SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    Are you transferring in any Cash such as from you associated paychecks?
    If so, are you "Buying Shares" to use that cash as part of your balancing process?

    I do not think your theory holds water.  Quicken is not making any such assumption.  I can readily get Investment Performance figures for MM funds with a constant $1 share value albeit that considers dividends paid on the MM fund.

    But Quicken-Subscription could be creating or treating the Add Shares associated with your "Update 401k Holdings" a bit differently.  If you go the the HOLDINGS for the account, and click the + next to the security name, do the lines for new entries differ in any notable pattern from the older entries?  In particular, I am wondering of the Cost Basis is being treated differently. 

    There have been adjustments (corrections) to the performance calculations over the years.  If you ask for investment performance for prior years as compared to this year, are the prior years also showing 0% whereas under QW2013 those years showed a non-zero performance?  I do think there is something else going on here. 
  • Thank you both for your prompt and helpful replies!

    ROCKET J. SQUIRREL - I thought you had a great idea about re-creating the report, but when I reconstructed the report, the account still came up with a 0% rate of return.

    Q_LURKER: I clicked on the + next to Holdings in the account, but since there is only one security nothing else came up. But here's where your suggestion gets interesting: I ran the report for calendar years 2015 through 2020, as well as 2021 YTD, and they all came up 0%. But for 2014 and before, the reports calculate an accurate rate of return! I think you're on to something. But what?
  • q_lurker
    q_lurker SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    First let's be clear about what you are looking at.  In your opening post you indicated "Investment Performance by account, Year to date" but also used the term "rate of return". 

    I would expect that you are looking at an Investment Performance Report (IPR), you have that subtotaled "by Account" and you are varying the time frame.  But that report does not present a "rate of return"; it presents an "Average Annual Return" also known as an internal rate of return, or IRR.  It is a subtle difference but elsewhere in the program you can get numbers for Return%, ROI%, and Gain/Loss%, so the terminology is important.

    Now with that checkpoint, the IPR allows you to include "Cash Flow details" in the presentation (Display options of the customization screen.)  That customization also allows you to limit the report to one or more applicable accounts.  I would then suggest you limit it to this account, choose a custom time frame (2014 to present?),include the cash flow details, and see how info in the 2014 time period differs from the later time periods.  In your case, I am not sure how the transactions that adjust your share balance relate to that report.     
  • I was using the term "rate of return" loosely. It's whatever figure the Investment Performance by Account generates. And, while your suggestion is a good one, I don't want to create a separate report for this one account, since that would prevent me from easily calculating the return on my total portfolio. I think my next step is to refer this to Quicken support, since - as you pointed out - there is likely some kind of glitch in the software. Thanks!
  • q_lurker
    q_lurker SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    ... since that would prevent me from easily calculating the return on my total portfolio.
    ... - as you pointed out - there is likely some kind of glitch in the software. Thanks!
    Generating one report does not prevent you from doing anything or seeing anything with a different report.  

    I don't believe I claimed "some kind of glitch in the software".  Something is apparently different between your 2014 records (Avg Ann Return <> 0 ) and your later records (Avg Ann Return = 0).  There may be a difference in the calculation routine from prior programming to current programming.  There may be a difference in the way the Update 401k Holdings is done from prior programming to current programming.  There could be something else happening.

    Perhaps Quicken support will be able ask more relevant, more probing questions.  Good Luck. 
  • Sorry, I hope I didn't say anyting that was offensive. I genuinely appreciated your input, and it's been helpful in dealing with Quicken support. Thanks!
  • q_lurker
    q_lurker SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    Sorry, I hope I didn't say anyting that was offensive. I genuinely appreciated your input, and it's been helpful in dealing with Quicken support. Thanks!
    No problems. Nothing offensive. But I also don’t think Quicken support can get much further. Maybe they will prove me wrong.