Does Quicken Save Time?

I have read many, many posts in Quicken about challenges with investment accounts and I see the constant ongoing support updates of ongoing known issues. There are thoughtful replies that include answers for the problems to be corrected. (No Placeholders, No Placeholders, No Placeholders!) I do not want to spend hours correcting information in multiple accounts. I can't tell if Quicken Premier would assist me and save time in the final analysis. I also have some concern about the direction with the recent sale of Quicken. The statements that accompanied the sale are positive.

More specifically, can Crypto, ETFs, Mutual Funds, Puts & Calls, and Stocks in a mix of regular accounts as well as IRA, Roth-IRA, HSA and 401(k)s be downloaded into Quicken? I am not a day trader. I buy and hold mostly. The most activity comes from selling covered Puts and Calls.

If it helps, know that the accounts are at Betterment, Coinbase Pro, Fidelity, Tastyworks and Wealthfront. I have no interest in doing my own taxes even though they are very simple. I suppose my interest in this could change over time. It would be great to have all accounts in one place and to be able to work from one program. I might even use the Billpay since it is part of Premier.

I currently use Personal Capital. Like all services, it has issues downloading from time to time. I go to each financial site to actually view important details. It is not able to connect to Coinbase Pro so I have to update that value. I just enter a total value and go to the Coinbase Pro site to see details.

I know Quicken can't control the world. I know I could just try it. It is more about investing the time in something that is not up to the job. Answers to problems are okay. Problems are bound to occur in all things. A lack of answers or odd workarounds are not okay if they deviate from sound math.

Time is the most precious thing to track!!!

Thanks for any thoughts.

Best Answers

  • Jim_Harman
    Jim_Harman SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    Accepted Answer

    Re: whether Quicken saves time, it depends on what degree of control and insight you want to have over your finances. IMO Quicken is the best (only?) tool around that lets you manage banking and investing accounts all in one place. 

    It also depends on how complex your finances are and what Financial Institutions (FIs) you use. If all your accounts support downloading and you don't have a whole lot of transactions, it could be as little as 30 minutes once per month once everything is set up. 

    Here are short answers:to your questions about what is supported:

    Crypto - support is planned but no idea when or what the details might be. Currently share counts are limited to 6 decimal places and Crypto requires at least 8.

    ETFs, mutual funds - Yes

    Puts & Calls - Yes but you must enter them properly

    Stocks - Yes

    Mix of accounts - Yes

    HSAs - depends on the manager. Fidelity is OK, some others separate investing and cash into 2 accounts and/or have limited support for downloading

    Financial institutions - Any FI can be supported if you are willing to enter transactions manually. For downloading,

    Betterment - No

    Coinbase - will depend on Crypto

    Fidelity - Yes

    Tastyworks - No

    Wealthfront - Yes


    QWin Premier subscription
  • Greg_the_Geek
    Greg_the_Geek SuperUser, Windows Beta ✭✭✭✭✭
    Accepted Answer
    I don't think you'll be happy with Quicken. As far as I can tell, Betterment & Coinbase downloads are only available using Express Web Connect which doesn't support investment accounts. Fidelity should be no problem. Tastyworks & Wealthfront I don't think support Quicken downloads.
    Quicken Subscription HBRP - Windows 10
  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    Accepted Answer
    As Jim said very well above, whether Quicken is useful to you depends what you want to put into it and what you expect to get from using it. I'll share my experience...

    I've used Quicken Mac for most of three decades. When I started, there was no downloading of transactions, but I liked organizing all our financial data in one place and being able to easily access our history, from investment performance over time to finding a specific purchase or series of purchases. Even though most people download their data to Quicken nowadays, I still enter my transactions manually. Why? When I've tried checking and credit card transactions, I find that there's still a bit of time I need to spend "cleaning up" -- creating split, applying categories, fixing payee names, creating and tweaking rules to help with names and categorization. And then there are the never-ending connectivity issues which can take any financial institution offline for a day or a week or longer, or create problematic downloads which need manual clean-up. The reality is, even with the manual work and or disruptions, downloading transactions would still probably save me some time — but not a lot of time — and so I've been happy to continue with a manual workflow which allows me to do things my way on my schedule without any problems.

    When it comes to investment accounts, I, like you, am mostly a buy-and-hold investor, so I don't have a huge number of transactions beyond dividends and capital gains kicked off by my investments. That makes it feasible for me to enter those transactions manually as well. But I probably could save time downloading these accounts, because there isn't much tweaking of categories or splits on these types of transactions. Every time I resolve I'm going to switch my investment accounts to downloading, though, there's another problem I read about here wit one of my small number of brokerages, and I sit back happy to be handling things manually. Yes, this does mean I don't have all my investment data up-to-dat every day; I don't care. And it does mean that I need to spend a little time when I get my monthly and quarterly statements to enter dividend transactions. I find it's not a lot of time, but it also gets me to review my holdings as I go down the list, so it doesn't feel like wasted time at all.

    I'm not suggesting that doing everything manually is the right way to go, nor the best approach for most people. I'm just sharing that there are a minority of us Quicken users who are content to enter things manually for maximum control plus avoidance of downloading issues. There are many Quicken users who say that it Quicken didn't download all their transactions, it wouldn't be worth using, and I understand them. And some for whom a large volume of transactions would make it impractical.

    In return for the time I spend entering my data, I have a wonderful snapshot of our financial picture. I know our income and expenses now and historically.  I can see the growth of our investments all in one place. I credit having such a tool with getting me comfortable with approaching retirement, and pulling that trigger last year. Are there other financial planning tools that could do much of this? Undoubtedly there are, but I'm not aware of any that combine all areas of our finances so seamlessly.

    Your question was whether it's worth the time to put into using Quicken for what you'll get out of it. The answer is different for every user. Most people who use Quicken for a long time find that it is, even though they have different financial circumstances and use Quicken differently.
    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
  • Jim_Harman
    Jim_Harman SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    Accepted Answer
    Fidelity and Vanguard work well.
    There have been multiple problems with Schwab recently.

    Quicken is not a great tool for active traders. If you have many hundreds of investment transactions per month, you may have slow performance after a while. There are way to avoid this, but just a heads up.

    I would look for a bank that supports bill pay via Direct Connect. There are a lot of confusing terms, but Quicken usually calls this Bank bill pay. Some banks charge a fee for this, depending on how big a customer you are. This lets you pay bills directly from Quicken to the bank, with no third party involved. Bank of America works well for this. Citibank appears to only support Express web connect, which does not support bill pay.
    QWin Premier subscription

Answers

  • Jim_Harman
    Jim_Harman SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    Accepted Answer

    Re: whether Quicken saves time, it depends on what degree of control and insight you want to have over your finances. IMO Quicken is the best (only?) tool around that lets you manage banking and investing accounts all in one place. 

    It also depends on how complex your finances are and what Financial Institutions (FIs) you use. If all your accounts support downloading and you don't have a whole lot of transactions, it could be as little as 30 minutes once per month once everything is set up. 

    Here are short answers:to your questions about what is supported:

    Crypto - support is planned but no idea when or what the details might be. Currently share counts are limited to 6 decimal places and Crypto requires at least 8.

    ETFs, mutual funds - Yes

    Puts & Calls - Yes but you must enter them properly

    Stocks - Yes

    Mix of accounts - Yes

    HSAs - depends on the manager. Fidelity is OK, some others separate investing and cash into 2 accounts and/or have limited support for downloading

    Financial institutions - Any FI can be supported if you are willing to enter transactions manually. For downloading,

    Betterment - No

    Coinbase - will depend on Crypto

    Fidelity - Yes

    Tastyworks - No

    Wealthfront - Yes


    QWin Premier subscription
  • Greg_the_Geek
    Greg_the_Geek SuperUser, Windows Beta ✭✭✭✭✭
    Accepted Answer
    I don't think you'll be happy with Quicken. As far as I can tell, Betterment & Coinbase downloads are only available using Express Web Connect which doesn't support investment accounts. Fidelity should be no problem. Tastyworks & Wealthfront I don't think support Quicken downloads.
    Quicken Subscription HBRP - Windows 10
  • Jim_Harman
    Jim_Harman SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    Also remember Quicken offers your money back if you buy and cancel within 30 days, so you can try it with no financial risk, only your time. Refunds are simpler if you buy direct from Quicken.
    QWin Premier subscription
  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    Accepted Answer
    As Jim said very well above, whether Quicken is useful to you depends what you want to put into it and what you expect to get from using it. I'll share my experience...

    I've used Quicken Mac for most of three decades. When I started, there was no downloading of transactions, but I liked organizing all our financial data in one place and being able to easily access our history, from investment performance over time to finding a specific purchase or series of purchases. Even though most people download their data to Quicken nowadays, I still enter my transactions manually. Why? When I've tried checking and credit card transactions, I find that there's still a bit of time I need to spend "cleaning up" -- creating split, applying categories, fixing payee names, creating and tweaking rules to help with names and categorization. And then there are the never-ending connectivity issues which can take any financial institution offline for a day or a week or longer, or create problematic downloads which need manual clean-up. The reality is, even with the manual work and or disruptions, downloading transactions would still probably save me some time — but not a lot of time — and so I've been happy to continue with a manual workflow which allows me to do things my way on my schedule without any problems.

    When it comes to investment accounts, I, like you, am mostly a buy-and-hold investor, so I don't have a huge number of transactions beyond dividends and capital gains kicked off by my investments. That makes it feasible for me to enter those transactions manually as well. But I probably could save time downloading these accounts, because there isn't much tweaking of categories or splits on these types of transactions. Every time I resolve I'm going to switch my investment accounts to downloading, though, there's another problem I read about here wit one of my small number of brokerages, and I sit back happy to be handling things manually. Yes, this does mean I don't have all my investment data up-to-dat every day; I don't care. And it does mean that I need to spend a little time when I get my monthly and quarterly statements to enter dividend transactions. I find it's not a lot of time, but it also gets me to review my holdings as I go down the list, so it doesn't feel like wasted time at all.

    I'm not suggesting that doing everything manually is the right way to go, nor the best approach for most people. I'm just sharing that there are a minority of us Quicken users who are content to enter things manually for maximum control plus avoidance of downloading issues. There are many Quicken users who say that it Quicken didn't download all their transactions, it wouldn't be worth using, and I understand them. And some for whom a large volume of transactions would make it impractical.

    In return for the time I spend entering my data, I have a wonderful snapshot of our financial picture. I know our income and expenses now and historically.  I can see the growth of our investments all in one place. I credit having such a tool with getting me comfortable with approaching retirement, and pulling that trigger last year. Are there other financial planning tools that could do much of this? Undoubtedly there are, but I'm not aware of any that combine all areas of our finances so seamlessly.

    Your question was whether it's worth the time to put into using Quicken for what you'll get out of it. The answer is different for every user. Most people who use Quicken for a long time find that it is, even though they have different financial circumstances and use Quicken differently.
    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
  • Doug_Trager
    Doug_Trager Member
    Thanks for the replies. So true Jim! Being the "ONLY" option seems like a terrible place to operate from but that does seem to be where we find ourselves. It is hard to believe that in 2022 there is not an amazing option that works perfect.

    So, I'm heavy to Fidelity and Fidelity always seems to get mentioned as having good compatibility. What other brokers work especially well with Quicken?

    For me, Betterment & Wealthfront are an experiment from when they came on the scene years ago. I could move the Betterment to Wealthfront or Fidelity. I have invested the exact same amount to Betterment and Wealthfront year after year and they perform exactly the same within a few dollars of each other. (No excitement in Robos). Reading around the Q Community, it sounds like Wealthfront requires downloading a file and importing. How tedious is this? Sounds to be not as smooth as an operation as working with Fidelity, true? It sounds like Fidelity plays nice with Quicken. Any Fidelity's issues?

    Tastyworks is slick for Options, but I also use Fidelity and it is great too. Honestly, all things considered, I am probably better off just using Fidelity for the small difference.

    One HSA is at Fidelity so it sounds like all is compatible. From reading around the Q Community it appears the other, Optum, will only work with the Cash Account and I would need to enter an Offline Investment Account manually?

    For the Coinbase Pro account, could I enter an Offline Investment Account and then enter the various Coins and update the total current value of a given coin without a quantity?

    Finally, we bank at Citibank. (Checking & Savings & CC) I am a little confused about Billpay versus Bill Manager and what banks will work it. Since I am looking at Premier, I would like to confirm if I will be able to pay bills from within Quicken Premier from my Citibank account. I have not been able to find a concise answer to this. Can you tell me?

    Thanks again for sharing the knowledge!!!
  • Doug_Trager
    Doug_Trager Member
    Jacobs, Thank You! Your reply reminded me of exactly how I use to enter info in MS Money long ago. Not a bad way to go. I wonder how long it would take me if I did it once monthly. Probably not that long!!!
  • Jim_Harman
    Jim_Harman SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    Accepted Answer
    Fidelity and Vanguard work well.
    There have been multiple problems with Schwab recently.

    Quicken is not a great tool for active traders. If you have many hundreds of investment transactions per month, you may have slow performance after a while. There are way to avoid this, but just a heads up.

    I would look for a bank that supports bill pay via Direct Connect. There are a lot of confusing terms, but Quicken usually calls this Bank bill pay. Some banks charge a fee for this, depending on how big a customer you are. This lets you pay bills directly from Quicken to the bank, with no third party involved. Bank of America works well for this. Citibank appears to only support Express web connect, which does not support bill pay.
    QWin Premier subscription
  • Doug_Trager
    Doug_Trager Member
    FYI, I read that BofA has discontinued Direct Connect. It appears this may only be true for new users...
  • Doug_Trager
    Doug_Trager Member
    Is there a maintained list of Direct Connect banks on the Quicken site anywhere?
  • Doug_Trager
    Doug_Trager Member
    FYI, Quicken Support ultimately confirmed they do not maintain a list of verified Direct Connect banks.