Using Quicken to model investment strategies

Jim_Harman SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
edited July 2023 in Investing (Windows)

Building on a discussion started here

here is an approach we might use to construct model portfolios to analyze and compare different investing strategies. I would be interested in others' ideas on this topic.

The goal is to construct multiple portfolios in Quicken using different combinations of securities and and compare their performance over time with reasonable accuracy. The performance should include dividends and other distributions.

I would like to minimize the amount of ongoing manual entry required to keep the portfolios up to date.

Here is an overview of my idea:

  1. Choose a starting date up to 5 years ago so that the performance will be covered by Quicken's historical quote data.
  2. Set up the securities in Quicken's Security List and download the historical data
  3. Set up a dummy offline account for each portfolio. To prevent the modeling data from affecting your net worth and other real data in Quicken, create these accounts in a separate Quicken data file, or if they are in my main file, edit the accounts' Display options to mark them as Separate. Do not add any securities as part of the setup.
  4. Add the desired securities to each account, specifying the desired number of shares of each to make the proportions you want and make the total value of the portfolio $10,000 on the starting date.

Now you can use the Investing > Portfolio views, the Investment Performance Report, and in Premier and up the Portfolio X-Ray and Growth of $10,000 to track the portfolios' performance over time.

This analysis does not include distributions. To include distributions in the model, you could go to the Security Details for each of the securities and set the Estimated Income to the security's annual income in dollars per share. The income for your holding of each security will show in the Estimated Income column in the Portfolio view. At the end of each year you can record this in each account, either as an increase in the cash in the account, assuming the distributions were not reinvested, or as reinvestments in each security.

I would appreciate others' ideas on how to create and track model portfolios.

QWin Premier subscription


  • q_lurker
    q_lurker SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭

    I think you have flushed it out very well. Seemed to me the original inquiry using Investing Goals would be quite limited and kludgy. I thought of using regular portfolio views with security-specific customizations or an unlimited number of saved Investment Performance Reports, but those too seem awkward.

    The challenging aspect for me in your setup would be entering the correct dividends and distributions.

This discussion has been closed.