My cash balance is way off, and I cannot resolve placeholders - now what

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DrP Moeller
DrP Moeller Member ✭✭
edited May 2023 in Investing (Windows)
I have spent hours reading everything I can find on this problem, had a long conversation with a rep some days ago, and we tried everything from adjusting and deleting placeholders to validating and archiving; no luck.

The placeholders go as far back as 2010; most of them refer to half a dozen transactions - all of which were directly downloaded. I don't know when the placeholders appeared - and I don't know when the cash balance went awry.

Does anyone have a clean and simple way of dealing with this that isn't going to screw up everything that is correct in this account?

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  • Jim_Harman
    Jim_Harman SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
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    Here is some background info on Placeholders.

    To make Placeholders visible, go to Edit > Preferences > Investment Transactions and make sure the Show hidden transactions box is checked. 

    Placeholders will have a gray background in the account’s transaction list (register) even if they are not selected, and will have “Entry” in the Action column.

    Placeholders compensate for missing or incorrect investing transactions by forcing Quicken’s share balance for a security to match a specified value. This is usually the share count downloaded from your financial institution (FI).

    Because transactions are missing or incorrect, Quicken will not be able to compute the cost basis or performance for the affected securities. You will see asterisks in the Portfolio views for this data.

    Placeholders also prevent new transactions like Div, Bought and Sold prior to the security’s Placeholder date from affecting the account’s cash balance. It does this by creating a linked Cash Balance Adjustment just before the affected transaction. Deleting one of these will delete them both. This shows up as N/A in the Cash Amt column of the transaction list. To allow the cash balance to change when entering missing transactions that affect the cash balance, you must first delete all the Placeholders for this security that have later dates than the transaction you are entering.

    For information on resolving placeholders, please see the FAQ below:



    Always back up your data file before changing historical transactions.

    QWin Premier subscription
  • Tom Young
    Tom Young SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
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    "The placeholders go as far back as 2010; most of them refer to half a dozen transactions - all of which were directly downloaded. I don't know when the placeholders appeared - and I don't know when the cash balance went awry. "

    The should have "appeared" on the date of posting. If you don't have Placeholders visible in your Accounts and if you have permited Quicken to make Placeholder entries without your permission, that's one way that all those placeholders snuck in. As part of the download process Quicken compares the number of shares or the dollar amount of cash per the Financial Institution to what Quicken shows based on entries.

    Although transactions that affect balances (e.g., number of shares, cash in the Account) should be represented in the download of "positions", i.e., number of shares or cash in the Accout, I've certainly situations where the dowloaded position(s) for a security omits the amount associated with the last transaction downloaded. In that situation a placeholder will be created and the number of shares in that Placeholder will be the same amount as shares associated with the last download that affected the shares. Maybe something like that is the case here, based on your statement that the Placeholdrs "refer to half a dozen transactions ."

    IF you're going to set things to right - get your positions properly stated as to number of shares and basis - then you really only have a couple of ways of going here. Either do the research to get transactions proplerly stated and the Placeholders removed, or you can simply "plug" entries - Adds and Removes basically - balancing the number of shares and bases to what the broker shows (assuming the broker is correct).

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