placeholders

pamela77
pamela77 Member ✭✭
Hello, I am starting a new day to file for 2022 after using Quicken since 2000. The recent issues with sync and cloud have caused so many issues in my old file that I decided to start clean after spending 10 hours with support. Between my husband and I we have multiple Schwab Ira, roth and brokerage accounts and some other HSA and 401K accounts and there are over 100 placeholder entries there right now. I know it would help with understanding profit and loss and taxes but it would take days to search out of them placeholder entries and I don't think Schwab even goes back far enough to get all of them. Is there an easier way to find the data for the entries than searching through old statements and just how important are they? thank you for your advice and ideas

Best Answer

  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    Answer ✓
    The answer to your question depends on how and what you use Quicken for. If you just want to know the balance of your investment accounts, then the Simple Tracking Danny mentioned might be all you need. But many users want more detail about their holdings, perhaps for taxes or tax planning, or managing their investments. Quicken has traditionally only had Detailed Tracking; Simple is a very recent addition for those who don't beed or want to be bothered with the detail.

    For your accounts, in some cases back detail is useful, and in other cases, there's no problem fudging the data you need. For instance, let's talk about retirement accounts. All the money you keep in retirement accounts accrues tax-free, and you pay tax on it when you eventually withdraw it. Because you'll pay tax on 100% of the money when it comes out, there's no need to know a lot of detail about what shares you acquired when at what price. So filling in a guesstimate for missing cost basis in retirement accounts can be pretty quick and easy because the details don't really matter.

    Non-retirement accounts are a different matter. When you sell shares of a security, you need to know two things: when you acquired the shares, and how much you paid. Well, the "when" part is actually easy to fudge. The only issue for tax purposes is whether a sale is a long-term gain (or loss) or a short-term gain or loss, because they are reported separately and taxed at different rates. Since long-term means more than 12 months ago, it's really not important to know the dates in the past that you acquired shares or reinvested dividends or capital gains, as long as you know it was more than a year ago. So that leaves the acquisition price of your shares as the missing data. Without knowing what you paid, you can't calculate the gain (or loss) when you sell shares of the security.

    And so the key question here is: do you intend to depend on Quicken for reporting your gains/losses in your non-retirement accounts? If your brokerage company knows your cost basis and can report it when you sell your shares, then you can get the data you need for taxes from your brokerages when you sell shares. In most cases, if the money has been with this brokerage from the start, the brokerage should know your basis. But if the money has been transferred between different brokerages, then there's a good change your current brokerage company does not know your basis. So if Quicken can't tell you your gain/loss and your brokerage can't either, that's where you'd have a problem in the future. In such cases, if you do have access to your past investment statements and can reconstruct enough data to track your basis in each security, that may be worth the work to do. Or, if you know roughly when you purchased a security, assuming it's a publicly traded security, you can look up the historical price on various websites and use a reasonable guess to assign the cost at the time of your purchase. In these cases, compelling this data in Quicken can be quite helpful. (It's possible your old Quicken data file from the past 21 years, although messed up enough that you are starting fresh, will hold many of these date and price details in the distance past, to make it relatively easy for your to re-create what you need.)

    I hope that's of some help in sorting through what is and isn't important to enter into Quicken.

    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993

Answers

  • DannyB52
    DannyB52 Member ✭✭
    I don't track details for my investment accounts... it just wasn't worth the effort for me. Quicken offeres two ways to track investment accounts, Simple and Complete. I switched to simple which gives me all the info I need in Quicken without having to deal with reconciling the accounts. If you don't need the transaction details Simple is, for me, a very satisfying way to track you investment accounts in Quicken. To change from Complete to Simple: Tools/Account List/Investments/ select one of your accounts and click on "Edit". On the General tap at bottom change from "Complete-Positions and Transactions" to "Simple-Positions Only". Click "OK" and then "Done" and go take a look at that account.
    B) Danny
    QW Subscription, R38.30, Windows 10 Home
  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    Answer ✓
    The answer to your question depends on how and what you use Quicken for. If you just want to know the balance of your investment accounts, then the Simple Tracking Danny mentioned might be all you need. But many users want more detail about their holdings, perhaps for taxes or tax planning, or managing their investments. Quicken has traditionally only had Detailed Tracking; Simple is a very recent addition for those who don't beed or want to be bothered with the detail.

    For your accounts, in some cases back detail is useful, and in other cases, there's no problem fudging the data you need. For instance, let's talk about retirement accounts. All the money you keep in retirement accounts accrues tax-free, and you pay tax on it when you eventually withdraw it. Because you'll pay tax on 100% of the money when it comes out, there's no need to know a lot of detail about what shares you acquired when at what price. So filling in a guesstimate for missing cost basis in retirement accounts can be pretty quick and easy because the details don't really matter.

    Non-retirement accounts are a different matter. When you sell shares of a security, you need to know two things: when you acquired the shares, and how much you paid. Well, the "when" part is actually easy to fudge. The only issue for tax purposes is whether a sale is a long-term gain (or loss) or a short-term gain or loss, because they are reported separately and taxed at different rates. Since long-term means more than 12 months ago, it's really not important to know the dates in the past that you acquired shares or reinvested dividends or capital gains, as long as you know it was more than a year ago. So that leaves the acquisition price of your shares as the missing data. Without knowing what you paid, you can't calculate the gain (or loss) when you sell shares of the security.

    And so the key question here is: do you intend to depend on Quicken for reporting your gains/losses in your non-retirement accounts? If your brokerage company knows your cost basis and can report it when you sell your shares, then you can get the data you need for taxes from your brokerages when you sell shares. In most cases, if the money has been with this brokerage from the start, the brokerage should know your basis. But if the money has been transferred between different brokerages, then there's a good change your current brokerage company does not know your basis. So if Quicken can't tell you your gain/loss and your brokerage can't either, that's where you'd have a problem in the future. In such cases, if you do have access to your past investment statements and can reconstruct enough data to track your basis in each security, that may be worth the work to do. Or, if you know roughly when you purchased a security, assuming it's a publicly traded security, you can look up the historical price on various websites and use a reasonable guess to assign the cost at the time of your purchase. In these cases, compelling this data in Quicken can be quite helpful. (It's possible your old Quicken data file from the past 21 years, although messed up enough that you are starting fresh, will hold many of these date and price details in the distance past, to make it relatively easy for your to re-create what you need.)

    I hope that's of some help in sorting through what is and isn't important to enter into Quicken.

    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
  • pamela77
    pamela77 Member ✭✭
    Thank you so much for that detailed answer. I do have a good data file from February 6 that I corrected and I am keeping so that I will have all my data for tax purposes etc. for the last many years. I can try to look things up there. When you talked about filling in a guesstimate on the Ira accounts, when I click on guesstimate it still wants me to provide a buying price. Am I missing something here? Will quicken provide a guesstimate? What is the easy way to do that?

    For the brokerage accounts, many of them are set to reinvest dividends so there is an initial purchase and then multiple small purchases. How would I enter those?

    I have that precious saved file from February 6 and I don't think it has a cloud account associated with it because when I open it and could go to web services it asks me to reset the cloud. I don't do that because every time I do that it messes up the file substantially. I tried to turn off sync but it won't let me, it just says not connected to the cloud. Is there a another way to turn off sink or to see if it's turned off?

    Thank you, Pamela
  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    pamela77 said:
    When you talked about filling in a guesstimate on the Ira accounts, when I click on guesstimate it still wants me to provide a buying price. Am I missing something here? Will quicken provide a guesstimate? What is the easy way to do that?
    If you don't want to research the price at the time you made purchases, then you have to make up an estimate. If you pick a value that's way off from reality, it means Quicken will be showing you have a bigger gain or loss than you actually do in your Portfolio view. This can be disconcerting and misleading, but as long as you know the basis and gain/loss values aren't real, it won't cause a problem for you with taxes, because in retirement accounts, your basis is not needed because everything you take out is taxable. (Or, in the case of Roth accounts, everything you take out is tax-free.)

    Let's say you bought a S&P 500 Index fund in 2010, 100 shares at $100 for an investment of $10,000. Today, those 100 shares are worth $250 each, or $25,000, so you have an unrealized gain of $15,000. If this is in a traditional IRA account, and you sell the shares and withdraw the proceeds from the retirement account, the amount of the gain doesn't matter, because all of the $25,000 is taxable as ordinary income. (The original $10,000 you invested was a tax deduction back in 2010, and the gain since then has been all tax free, so when you sell the investment, it's all taxable.)

    But with the same example in a non-retirement account, when you sell it, the $15,000 your investment has grown is a capital gain, which needs to be reported separately because it's taxed at the lower capital gains tax rate. And that's why for the taxable account, you do need to know how much you originally invested — because you need to calculate your gain or loss. If your brokerage knows your cost basis, then they will report your proper capital gain/loss when you sell shares. If your brokerage doesn't have your cost/basis, it's up to you to figure it out for our friends at IRS.

    pamela77 said:
    For the brokerage accounts, many of them are set to reinvest dividends so there is an initial purchase and then multiple small purchases. How would I enter those?
    Well that's the problem. ;) Each reinvested dividend adds to your cost basis. So if you've got lots of reinvested dividends over time, you have to enter them all in your Quicken file or you have to make a lump sum estimate and know that Quicken can't give you correct capital gains data when you sell your shares.

    If your investments are in brokerage accounts which can tell you your current cost basis, you can enter that in Quicken. If your brokerage company can't calculate your basis for you, then it's up to you to piece it together however you can from past records or estimates.

    pamela77 said:
    I have that precious saved file from February 6 and I don't think it has a cloud account associated with it because when I open it and could go to web services it asks me to reset the cloud. I don't do that because every time I do that it messes up the file substantially. I tried to turn off sync but it won't let me, it just says not connected to the cloud. Is there a another way to turn off sink or to see if it's turned off?
    This is where we go above my pay grade. ;) It should be that if you have deleted your Cloud accounts and restore a backup data file, there should be no Cloud data to overwrite what's in the restored data file. Resetting the Cloud file should be fine, because it should merely re-establish a Cloud dataset to go with that desktop data file. (Even if you have Sync turned off, there's a Quicken Cloud account for each data file; that data file has some identification information, but none of your transaction data.) Well, that's the way it's supposed to work. But you and some other people have reported that you're getting some data from the Cloud overwriting your restored data, and I don't understand how that is happening. Unless/until someone from Quicken addresses this, I don't know how to tell you to safely move ahead.

    Well, one more thought… Can you open the restored data file without it instantly being overwritten with bad data? That is, does the corruption happen when it prompts you to reset the Cloud, and can you avoid doing so? If so, you could try File > Export > Quicken Transfer File (QXF) to export your data. Then do File > New and on the Let's Get Started page, select to Start from Scratch, and do File > Import > Quicken Windows File (QDF, QXF). This will create a completely new file, along with its associated Cloud file, with all your data. You will lose your saved reports, your budget, your preferences and register settings, and you account connections — but you should be free of the Cloud overwriting any data. (Leave Sync turned off throughout.) If losing those things wold;t be too much to re-create, you could re-connect your accounts for downloading, tweak all your settings, and use this as your file going forward. If that would be too painful to re-set up everything, you could still retain this file as a reference for all your past transactions.
    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
  • pamela77
    pamela77 Member ✭✭
    Thank you very much, I will take some time to explore this before asking more. I think quicken should be paying you😏Some of your advice is more insightful than I have been getting from support, thank you.
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