'Banking' vs 'Investing' Account Types - Need an account that can go both ways

Martin Rice
Martin Rice Member ✭✭

Like many folks these days, I am moving away from cash accounts at banks in favor of bare-bones custodial accounts such as Fidelity where we can greatly increase yields (10x or more) on cash with Money Market Mutual Funds and at Fidelity can even select a MMMF as the sweep option and have basic banking functions like checks/visa/billpay. It is nice to stick a security in the cash account and flip on the margin trait for the account to protect against overdraft.

Anyway, this is about the second or third time I've had the need to transition an existing account from one custodian to another and gotten plugged-up if the account was initially opened as a 'Banking' account rather than an 'Investment' account. Seems you can't just switch the downloads from a local bank to Fidelity if you initially set the account up as a 'Banking'. Can always open a new account but then one has to remember to toggle the old closed account to keep access to the historical transactions and reports. To me accounts should be all the same and the user should be able to designate where the account falls in the stack with respect to which heading and even the order within each heading re Banking, Investment (Taxable, Retirement, Education, HSA, etc) and Property and Debt.

To summarize, make accounts generic one-size fits all and give the user the ability to designate the specific Type and migrate between Types if the need arises and take out the current roadblocks between 'Banking' and 'Investing'.

2 votes

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  • UKR
    UKR SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November 2023

    If you have a regular brokerage account (not a retirement account), you have the option to "Show cash in a checking account". Enabling this option adds a banking account register named, e.g., "XYZ Brokerage - Cash" to your "XYZ Brokerage" investment account register. All cash, debit card, checking and related banking transactions can now be recorded in the "- Cash" register like in any other banking account.

    Edit: OOPS! I didn't see that you're asking about a Quicken for Mac improvement. Sorry.

    This feature exists in Quicken for Windows only.

    AFAIK, in Quicken for Mac you can easily enter banking transactions directly into the investment account register.
    According to Quicken Help, this is how you would do it:

  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta

    @Martin Rice My understanding is that all accounts will never "be the same" because the architecture of investment accounts and banking accounts in the database, which were developed at different times, is quite different. And the developers have said, at least so far, that allowing the left sidebar to be arranged by users would cause problems and isn't planned. I think it would take a pretty major re-engineering of the database structure to make all accounts identical in structure and interchangeable, and I doubt that will happen.

    That said, you may be able to do what you described wanting to do fairly easily already. Banking transactions in a banking account can be selected en masse and dragged into a brokerage account — and visa versa. So if you've started as a banking account, you can select all transactions and drag-and-drop them into an investment account.

    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭

    As I understand this (which might be wrong) is this more about how to change over an account type than anything else.

    @jacobs gave that answer, but I would like to point out something give @UKR answer for Quicken Windows, and a bit from @jacobs.

    Even if they could redo the database structure, there wouldn't/shouldn't be a universal account type/ability to change. Quicken Mac seems to be a lot more flexible in this, but I think part of that is also because Quicken Windows has more features.

    There are ramifications from trying to change from one account type to another, both in the code and in the real world. This is the reason that these things are usually better handled the same way they are in the real world. In the real world your bank account didn't magically become an investment account. A new account was created, and funds were transferred. That is the way it should be handled in Quicken too.

    As for what as @UKR suggesting a "linked checking account", as I understand it this isn't needed in Quicken Mac.

    Quicken Windows investment accounts are not ideal for treating like a checking account. They are missing some of the features. They were meant for investment accounts only. The linked checking account is a "workaround". The transactions are downloaded into the investment account and any cash transactions are pushed to this linked checking account which is just a "virtual account" for this purpose. This allows the person to get access to the features that aren't in an investment account for dealing with checks and such.

    From what I understand this workaround isn't needed in Quicken Mac because it already is flexible enough to handle the check features in the investment account.

    This is my website: http://www.quicknperlwiz.com/
  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta

    @Chris_QPW You're correct that the Quicken Windows model of having linked checking accounts isn't really needed in Quicken Mac because investment accounts in Quicken Mac can contain regular, fully-featured banking-type transactions.

    Nonetheless, many converts from Quicken Windows to Quicken Mac have wanted to be able to have linked accounts like in the Windows program. Additionally, I've read that the banking transactions in an investment account in Quicken Mac perform as expected in the desktop program, but don't populate to Quicken mobile app/web interface, so that's a problem for those users. (I can't verify if that's still accurate, because I don't use the mobile app.) Long story short: the longstanding request for linked accounts in Quicken Mac has been accepted by the Mac development team, and is marked as "Planned" for the future. (When in the future, no one knows; if I were guessing, I'd guess later rather than sooner.)

    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
  • maryalton
    maryalton Member ✭✭

    Also the HSA accounts have savings and investment components . I need the savings component to be tax deferred so it does not show up as a schedule B transaction. This flexibillty would be so helpful.