Is there any way to archive old transactions that results in removing investments?

I'm a long-time Quicken user with a ponderously large file. I know others advise that old files work perfectly well, but that's not my experience. Corruption got introduced somewhere along the way and none of the validate/repair options can fix it. Besides which, I'm trying to streamline my life and simply don't want all those old transactions in the file I use daily.

Previous attempts to archive transactions have resulted in removal from bank accounts but never remove them from investment accounts. I have investment transactions going back to 1998. That information doesn't really add value. I understand that Quicken needs it to calculate returns reports, but I don't.

My attempts to use the archive transactions function within a given investment account results in the account being split. It appears to remove lots that are no longer active but does not remove old transactions from the surviving account. Transactions in the resulting $0 balance account include those within the period I want to preserve, while those in the account with a current balance include those in the previous period I don't want to preserve.

Is there no way to do this in a way that all transactions before a certain date are removed, with a corresponding "add shares" created to represent the total cost and date acquired for each lot, with the add transaction dated as of the account truncation date? That would preserve the lot information and dramatically reduce the content of the file.
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  • UKR
    UKR SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭

    If you're an active trader and/or your current investment account has many transactions pertaining to sold securities you may want to consider this:

    Archive Investment Transactions

    For about a year now, a new function has been available in Quicken, Archive Transactions. It will split your investment account register into two parts, leaving only those securities' transactions where you currently hold >0 shares in the active register. The rest is moved to a new Archive register within the current data file.

    Having less transactions in your active register might improve performance.

    Please read and carefully follow instructions here: https://www.quicken.com/support/how-archive-investment-transactions
    Eventually, after a couple of years, you might consider splitting your data file in two, with all the archived investment transactions in the old file and none remaining in the active file.

  • SomebodyInGNV
    SomebodyInGNV Member ✭✭
    edited September 17
    Thanks, but I've seen that and described the result above. Securities transactions where you have 0 shares will be removed, but I don't want those transactions removed if they're after my intended cutoff date, e.g., 1/1/2020. Also, I want ALL transactions before 1/1/2020 removed, even if I still hold shares. In that case I'd like it to replace the old transactions with an add shares transaction representing the number of shares owned on that date, like a beginning balance. For the sake of accuracy, it should create one add transaction for each lot, like it does for a transfer.

    I guess I could do that manually but it would be a serious PIA with a high risk of error.
  • q_lurker
    q_lurker SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited September 17
    I’m not going to endorse your objective, but I will offer you this tool-tip.

    If in the account, you do a Shares Transferred between Accounts and specify the receiving account as the same account, Add Shares for each lot of the current holdings will be generated for the applicable date specified in the same account just as you are asking for.
    You can also move any transactions desired to a ‘new’ account and then delete that account. 
    There are a multitude of possible unintended consequences to your type of plan and these steps.  I am skeptical this will eliminate your problems. Backups are your friends. 
    Good luck.  
  • SomebodyInGNV
    SomebodyInGNV Member ✭✭
    "If in the account, you do a Shares Transferred between Accounts and specify the receiving account as the same account, Add Shares for each lot of the current holdings will be generated for the applicable date specified in the same account just as you are asking for."

    That's brilliant. I'll test doing that on a past cutoff date to see if it offers only lots that were active at teh time. If so, I'll delete all of the transactions preceding the cutoff date, include the remove transactions.

    While I understand why some people object, the old transactions are of almost no value to me. I used to keep them but I've found that, over the past 5 years, I've almost never looked in my archives from before the current file start date (~1/2016) and even then, it wasn't of great value.

    As for investments, less than 2% of are in taxable accounts and, in those, none of the current holdings are over 3 months old due to tax-loss harvesting. Even the retirement accounts, the holdings are less than 2 years old. I also don't particularly care about performance reports and, since I suspect corruption, I don't trust them, anyway. I prefer the method described on the Bogleheads forum: https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Calculating_personal_returns
  • SomebodyInGNV
    SomebodyInGNV Member ✭✭
    > @q_lurker said:

    > If in the account, you do a Shares Transferred between Accounts and specify the receiving account as the same account, Add Shares for each lot of the current holdings will be generated for the applicable date specified in the same account just as you are asking for. ...

    Hmm... It doesn't work as I expected. I have an account in which the only activity is monthly reinvestments for the past many years. There is only one investment holding. I entered a transfer shares as of 12/31/2017, selecting all shares. The first transaction was a remove, for the balance held *today*, rather than on the designated date.
  • q_lurker
    q_lurker SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
     … I entered a transfer shares as of 12/31/2017, selecting all shares. The first transaction was a remove, for the balance held *today*, rather than on the designated date.
    That is not the way it is suppose to work or did work in older versions. I’ll check it out when I can. 
  • mshiggins
    mshiggins SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    q_lurker said:
     … I entered a transfer shares as of 12/31/2017, selecting all shares. The first transaction was a remove, for the balance held *today*, rather than on the designated date.
    That is not the way it is suppose to work or did work in older versions. I’ll check it out when I can. 
    What happens if you set the computer date to 12/31/2017, then open Quicken and try the transfer?

    Quicken user since Q1999. Currently using QW2017.
    Questions? Check out the  Quicken Windows FAQ list
  • q_lurker
    q_lurker SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    q_lurker said:
     … I entered a transfer shares as of 12/31/2017, selecting all shares. The first transaction was a remove, for the balance held *today*, rather than on the designated date.
    That is not the way it is suppose to work or did work in older versions. I’ll check it out when I can. 
    Seems to be a bug activated when all securities are selected to transfer.  Selecting a single security transfers only shares held on that date.  If you hold no shares of that security on that date, message about 'not enough shares' pops up. 

    Of course, All Securities is exactly what you want in this case.  Sigh. 

    FWIW: This action has never transferred short positions.
  • SomebodyInGNV
    SomebodyInGNV Member ✭✭
    > @q_lurker said:
    >
    > Of course, All Securities is exactly what you want in this case.  Sigh.

    That won't prevent it from working. If I show the holdings as of date MM/DD/YY in the account overview, I can see exactly what was held on that date. I can then select a single investment (I have only 3 or 4), enter the specific amount of shares on that date and pick FIFO. That will pick all lots that were active on that day.

    In one case, there are decades of reinvestments, each of which constitutes a separate lot for an add transaction. Since I don't particularly care about basis in a retirement account, I just used remove as a guide to create a summary add, then deleted all transactions preceding that date, plus delete the remove. The remainder is a single "add" which acts as a starting balance as of that date.

    In other accounts, the number of current lots is very low as of the archive date, so I won't have to do that.
  • q_lurker
    q_lurker SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited September 26
    Specifying a single security, you can choose the All shares option and the program will only transfer all shares as of that specific date. Just confirming behavior. You can still operate as you choose. 
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