401k changing brokerages

Options
crowslivebig
crowslivebig Member ✭✭
edited April 2023 in Investing (Windows)
My former employer changed brokerages for my 401(k) account. I had been entering transactions manually with the former broker but am hoping to download transactions from the new broker. The securities (mutual funds) will be the same except for the stable value fund. The old brokerage shows a distribution for each of the securities, leaving me with nothing - no cash, no securities. Just to see before working on my real file, I accepted the transactions from the new brokerage into a test Quicken file and it shows a zero opening balance and shares being added plus a XIn of the cash value of it all, essentially doubling the account's value. The number of shares of the securities on either side match up almost exactly but there are small rounding kind of discrepancies. How should I proceed? A Quicken agent suggested I link the old account to the existing account. Does that sound right?

Best Answers

  • q_lurker
    q_lurker SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    Answer ✓
    Options

    A Quicken agent suggested I link the old account to the existing account. Does that sound right?

    I think that is a wise approach, but it does come down to user preference.

    Does it make more sense to you to have two Quicken accounts modeling the two real world accounts?

    Does it make sense to you that it is one 401k account and the administrator changed at some point, but not the account holdings?

    Going the two account path, I would choose to transfer shares from old account to new account so that I had each lot accounted for. But for a retirement account those individual lots are not really important tax-wise or investment-wise. What's important to you?

  • Tom Young
    Tom Young SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    Answer ✓
    Options

    You should be able to simply use the existing Account. Do Tools > Add Account, find your new financial institution and sign in. Quicken should find that 401(k) account and you select it. When Quicken brings you to the point of adding the Account simply select "Link" and point to the existing Account.

    You should be able to delete the initial batch of downloaded transactions with the new Account since all the securities and the cash are already in the Account.

    If the differences in share count are really small then you might want to just live with it since it's unlikely to make a material difference in the overall value of the Account. If you really want to have Quicken perfectly align with the new financial insitution you probably have to compare balances on a lot-by-lot basis between Quicken's numbers and the financial institution's numbers, then selectively Remove lots and then Add them back with the financial institution's figures.

  • Jim_Harman
    Jim_Harman SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    Answer ✓
    Options

    If it is a small adustment, you can click on the gear at the top right of the account and select Update share balance to set the balance to match the new brokerage. This will insert Added or Removed transactions to adjust the balance without affecting the cash in the account.

    Or you can adjust the number of shares in a recent Reinvest transaction, letting Quicken recalculate the price per share, to make the share balances match.

    For a small fraction of a share, neither of these will have a significant impact on any performance clculations.

    QWin Premier subscription
  • Jim_Harman
    Jim_Harman SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited March 2023 Answer ✓
    Options

    @q_lurker The Update share balance option from the gear menu now uses Added and Removed trnasactions. This changed a year or so ago.

    Confusingly "Adjust Share balance" from the Enter Transactions button generates Placeholders.

    The Help text in each of these dialogs is actually correct and helpful!

    Reconcile Shares from the gear menu compares the share balances in Quicken to the downloaded balances. If you allow it (not recommended) this will make up any difference of more than .001 share with a Placeholder.

    QWin Premier subscription
  • Jim_Harman
    Jim_Harman SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    Answer ✓
    Options

    Thanks very much! Just to be clear, using the Update Share Balance from the gear icon is the same as doing a manual add or remove shares, isn't it?

    Yes, it is the same. It is a little easier to enter because you enter the desired share count and Quicken does the subrtaction for you.

    QWin Premier subscription

Answers

  • q_lurker
    q_lurker SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    Answer ✓
    Options

    A Quicken agent suggested I link the old account to the existing account. Does that sound right?

    I think that is a wise approach, but it does come down to user preference.

    Does it make more sense to you to have two Quicken accounts modeling the two real world accounts?

    Does it make sense to you that it is one 401k account and the administrator changed at some point, but not the account holdings?

    Going the two account path, I would choose to transfer shares from old account to new account so that I had each lot accounted for. But for a retirement account those individual lots are not really important tax-wise or investment-wise. What's important to you?

  • Tom Young
    Tom Young SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    Answer ✓
    Options

    You should be able to simply use the existing Account. Do Tools > Add Account, find your new financial institution and sign in. Quicken should find that 401(k) account and you select it. When Quicken brings you to the point of adding the Account simply select "Link" and point to the existing Account.

    You should be able to delete the initial batch of downloaded transactions with the new Account since all the securities and the cash are already in the Account.

    If the differences in share count are really small then you might want to just live with it since it's unlikely to make a material difference in the overall value of the Account. If you really want to have Quicken perfectly align with the new financial insitution you probably have to compare balances on a lot-by-lot basis between Quicken's numbers and the financial institution's numbers, then selectively Remove lots and then Add them back with the financial institution's figures.

  • crowslivebig
    crowslivebig Member ✭✭
    Options
    @q_lurker and @Tom Young Thank you very much. I really appreciate your help.

    I proceeded today and linked the new 401(k) to the old 401(k) Quicken account. I think things went pretty well as I am only left with a few very small discrepancies. I am guessing that I should count my lucky stars and not worry about it but I wonder if there is a way to make an adjustment to the shares on the date of the transfer so that it is easier to see at a glance if Quicken agrees with the monthly statements. The biggest of these discrepancies, in terms of number of shares, was 568.6449 shares on the old 401(k) and 568.646 on the new. Is there a way to adjust the number of shares or is it time to count my lucky stars? I suspect that such an adjustment was what the placeholders (see below) were about but the Quicken agent suggested I delete them and I was unsure how to fill in what they required.

    Here is what I did today: I had not entered the transactions for the securities leaving the old account (labeled "distribution", I was manually entering the old account) so, when I downloaded transactions for the new side (and linked the new to the old account), I deleted the transactions that showed the securities coming in (it didn't let me simply not accept them into the register). Once I did that, there were some small placeholder transactions (the number of shares for securities were off by a small amount, I think the largest was about .0011on, roundly, 569 shares, so a fraction of a percent). A Quicken agent suggested that I delete the placeholders, so I did that. I also deleted a downloaded cash transaction that showed that, in addition to the securities, I had cash equal to the market value of the securities. Oh, how I wish that were true! I made a backup of the file after downloading the transactions but before deleting the placeholders.
  • crowslivebig
    crowslivebig Member ✭✭
    Options
    P.S. The number of shares in the Quicken 401k account agreed exactly (to four decimal places) with the old brokerage on the day of the transfer.
  • crowslivebig
    crowslivebig Member ✭✭
    Options
    @Tom Young Re-reading your reply, I think you may have answered my question about small differences, but I’m not sure how I can see the lots. I’ve never needed to work with lots before but I will poke around.

    @q_lurker and @Tom Young I don’t think that downloading into a new 401k account, and transferring assets would have been anymore accurate, would it? I don’t want to give up the performance history for each security but I don’t think I have with the linked account approach nor do I think I would with the two account / transfer approach.
  • Jim_Harman
    Jim_Harman SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    Answer ✓
    Options

    If it is a small adustment, you can click on the gear at the top right of the account and select Update share balance to set the balance to match the new brokerage. This will insert Added or Removed transactions to adjust the balance without affecting the cash in the account.

    Or you can adjust the number of shares in a recent Reinvest transaction, letting Quicken recalculate the price per share, to make the share balances match.

    For a small fraction of a share, neither of these will have a significant impact on any performance clculations.

    QWin Premier subscription
  • q_lurker
    q_lurker SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    Options

    I believe the Update share balance is the same as a placeholder (but did not confirm before typing this out). I agree with the Quicken agent to not go the placeholder route

    For such small adjustments I would likely either;

    • use an Add or Remove shares, or
    • Edit an existing transaction changing the share number. Lacking other info, I'd edit the transaction with the largest number of shares.

  • Jim_Harman
    Jim_Harman SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited March 2023 Answer ✓
    Options

    @q_lurker The Update share balance option from the gear menu now uses Added and Removed trnasactions. This changed a year or so ago.

    Confusingly "Adjust Share balance" from the Enter Transactions button generates Placeholders.

    The Help text in each of these dialogs is actually correct and helpful!

    Reconcile Shares from the gear menu compares the share balances in Quicken to the downloaded balances. If you allow it (not recommended) this will make up any difference of more than .001 share with a Placeholder.

    QWin Premier subscription
  • q_lurker
    q_lurker SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    Options

    @Jim_Harman Thanks for the clarification. I wasn't aware of the change. Those varied uses of the same terminology can sure be confusing.

  • crowslivebig
    crowslivebig Member ✭✭
    Options
    Thanks very much! Just to be clear, using the Update Share Balance from the gear icon is the same as doing a manual add or remove shares, isn't it?
  • Jim_Harman
    Jim_Harman SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    Answer ✓
    Options

    Thanks very much! Just to be clear, using the Update Share Balance from the gear icon is the same as doing a manual add or remove shares, isn't it?

    Yes, it is the same. It is a little easier to enter because you enter the desired share count and Quicken does the subrtaction for you.

    QWin Premier subscription
  • crowslivebig
    crowslivebig Member ✭✭
    Options
    Perfect! I think I am on my merry way now. I am so grateful for your help and that of @q_lurker . I will toast you at dinner!
This discussion has been closed.