How to change an asset account type from property to investment?

I want to reclassify a 401(k) account that was set up as a simple asset to the Investing section of my balance sheet.


  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    You can't change an Asset account to an Investing account, unfortunately; they're set up differently in the database.

    Can you explain how you were recording activity in the existing asset account? Were you just recording the amount invested, without recording the purchase of specific securities, as well as dividends and capital gains? Also, about how many transactions do you have in the asset account -- and are they mostly transfer from a split in paycheck deposits? I'm asking because the volume and nature of the transactions might affect the best way to fix this situation.
    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
  • Chris Kelley
    Chris Kelley Member
    Thanks for answering. Simple 401(k) accounts that receive payroll deposits. Quarterly, I record dividends, fees, and unrealized gains & losses to reconcile to the total balance on my statements. I just wanted to group all my investment accounts together.
  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    edited July 2021
    Okay, I can outline some steps for turning this around, but it will take a bit of manual work, and the course of action depends on what amount of detail you want to track. It's fairly easy to get all the cash deposit transactions into a new investing account. It's less simple after that. ;) 
    • First, make a copy of your data file so you can revert if things get messed up. ;)
    • Create a new Investments>401(k) account.
    • Click on the asset account, and sort by Payee or Category such that all the payroll deposit transactions are grouped together.
    • Click on the first deposit transaction, scroll to the last deposit transaction and Shift-click it, so now all the deposit transactions are highlighted.
    • Click on any of the highlighted transactions and drag to the investment account. This will move all of your deposit transactions from the asset account to the investment account. Repeat if needed if there are any stray deposit transactions you missed.
    That will get all your cash into the 401k account. Now comes the question of whether you want to track the individual securities in your 401k account, or if you're looking to treat the whole thing as one lump.

    Typically, you would do the former: create in your Quicken file a security for each of the securities you own in your 401k, then record Buy transactions to "use up" the cash, as well as Reinvest Dividends, Reinvest Short-Term Capital Gains, and Reinvest Long-Term Capital Gains. The value of the securities downloads automatically into Quicken, so at any time, you can look at the portfolio view of the investment account and see the value of your holdings. (You won't have to enter any transactions for unrealized gains/losses because Quicken knows your basis and the current market value.)

    But if you're not downloading transactions from the 401k financial institution, that could be more work than you want. So instead, you could do something close to what you have been doing: you could create a fake security (call it "My 401k"), and each quarter, you could record a Buy transaction for the amount of the payroll deposits, reducing your cash balance to zero. And you could record quarterly reinvested dividend and capital gain transactions as needed. You'd also need to manually enter a closing price for your fake security to make the account value match your real 401k account. It's a bit of a kludge built on a kludge, but once you get it set up, it would be pretty easy to maintain.

    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
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