Placeholders: Necessary to enter all historical transactions for 401(k) and Roth IRA?

JB_526 Member ✭✭
edited May 2022 in Investing (Windows)
I originally started using Quicken two decades ago to track all of my accounts. Then I stopped for several years. Then over a year ago, I realized how invaluable Quicken was for me personally and professionally in tracking not only investments but also daily expenses. So I've started using Quicken again.... starting from scratch over a year ago.

Only problem is that Quicken inserted placeholder entries into my taxable mutual fund account, 401(k) accounts, and Roth IRA.

I spent a lot of time today entering every single historical transaction into my taxable mutual fund account, and I've got that account absolutely PERFECT now. I even fixed the six-decimal rounding issue that resulted from a fund conversion.

My questions now are:

!. Is it necessary for me to manually enter 1,700 historical transactions for my tax-advantaged 401(k) and Roth IRA accounts, or is that just a huge waste of time since the tax lots have no use with such accounts?

2. If you were in my situation, would you simply enter the "average cost" and be satisfied?

3. Would entering the average cost cause the investment performance numbers that are reported in Quicken to be significantly inaccurate or only just off by a minuscule amount?

4. If I am able to find the majority of the historical transactions for these accounts in my Quicken software on an older previous computer from many years ago, would it be possible for me to "copy and paste" those older transactions into this new version of Quicken that is residing on my current computer so that I would only have to manually enter a few years' worth of transactions manually if I wanted every historical transaction to be accounted for? (If this is possible, are there instructions on how to do this?)

Many thanks in advance for any help.


  • Jim_Harman
    Jim_Harman SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited April 2022
    1. It is only necessary to enter all those old transactions if you want to be able to measure and report on the balances and performance of those securities and accounts for the period before you started detailed tracking in Quicken. As you say, capital gains reporting is not important for tax deferred reports.

    If that is not important to you, you can simply replace the Placeholders with Added transactions on the date you restarted tracking. Another approach would be to use the Update Share balance option from the account's gear menu to approximate real life by entering Added and Removed transactions annually or quarterly for the past years to make your holdings match your statements.

    2. I would make annual or quarterly entries.

    3. [edited] Average cost would make the adjustment in one lump, making a big jump in the performance calculations.

    4. If your old file is still usable and undamaged, you could use that as your starting point and start adding new transactions to it, using Update cash balance and Update share balance as described above to fill in the gaps.
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