Money market anomalies seem to be a program bug


J

John B

I am wondering if someone can help me get rid of a few annoying errors in my
Quicken account system. I have worked on this for hours, and can't fix it
myself. I've looked at positional, basis, and transactional statements
generated by Quicken, at various dates, and I've experimented with
ficticious
transactions, without ultimate success.

I've got two problems, and they are exclusively in my money market
accounting.

1) On a date in December 9, 2002, I sold some, but not all, of my money
market shares. The transaction was downloaded correctly from my brokerage.
Quicken shows a realized gain of $0.95, effective Dec. 9. This is absurd,
because the price of the fund never changes, and this is easily verified by
looking within my system at the history of the price of the fund.. Though
amount of money is tiny, it indicates a problem. In fact, there are
increasing errors of a similar nature in ensuing months.

Can anyone tell me how a "realized gain" might be rendered here, when price
never changes?

2) I recently sold some stock, and the money market fund was credited
appropriately by my brokerage firm. I had been in a margin position (I was
paying interest), and the sale brought my money market balance above zero,
with the brokerage. (Quicken has no way to know that my net equity is less
than my positional balance, but that doesn't bother me.) The point is that
on this occasion, I wanted to add shares ($1 each) to my money market
balance, and the transaction was downloaded from my brokerage into my
Quicken system, pending acceptance. What should have been a simple "buy"
transaction was rejected by Quicken, however, which wanted me to split the
transaction into two buys. The first, for $7.25, was to cover my short
position in the money market account. The second was to build up a positive
balance in the money market account.

The $7.25 is completely nonsensical, and has no relationship to what I
actually owed. Furthermore, Quicken knew doesn't track my margin balance
(i.e., amount owed). Instead the $7.25 traces back to some transactional
information in December, 2002, when I actually ran the balance on the money
market account to zero, a few days after I sold part of my money market
position on Dec. 9. I can trace the anomaly to December by looking at
Quicken position statements I generate for various dates, and by employing
ficticious transactions that I insert and remove.

Has anyone else encountered these phantom short positions? Is there a fix,
or is this an unfixed bug?

Thank you,
John


Background:
I am running Quicken 2002 Deluxe, under Windows 2000 Pro + sp1.
I am "reinvesting" interest payments, to boost total share count, so as to
avoid
the error of encountering a "short sale" when I simply run my money market
balance to what should be zero.
I keep careful records, and download transactional information from my
brokerage house frequently.
I check my positions monthly against monthly statements provided by the
brokerage.
 
Ad

Advertisements

F

Fred Smith

Let's do number 1 first.

The price history does not guarantee all transactions were recorded at the
same price. The price history could have been edited or updated after the
fact.

In order for Quicken to assume a realized capital gain, you must have some
previous transaction where the shares were bought for something less than
the standard price. For example, if the fund is always $10/share, you have a
transaction where you bought 22.36 shares for $222.75.

Check your history of buys. There has to be one of them where the shares and
amount don't correspond properly.
 
J

John B

I have scrutinized the history of transactions for this security, pertinent
to the account that is showing the erronous realized gain. Without
exception, all transactions have occured at a share price of $1.0000.
Furthermore, I have never edited the price of the money market security.

I think there is some corruption here. Is there some way to "re-index" the
database? I have never done that, and I've been using Quicken for many
years.

Meanwhile, the phantom realized gain has moved. Now I see a realized gain
of $3.53 on December 3, 2003, and of $0.02 on December 13, 2003. Both were
realized by selling part of my position in the money market account. The
$0.95 gain is not visible anymore. This is weird.
 
J

John Pollard

John B wrote:

I don't have "the answer", just some things to think about or try.
Without exception, all transactions have occured at a share
price of $1.0000.
Quicken can carry prices out to six places to the right of the decimal
point.
Furthermore, I have never edited the price of the
money market security.
Nevertheless, have you looked at the entire price history for this mm
fund? Select the fund in the Portfolio view, click Update, then "Edit
Price History". See if any prices are other than $1.
I think there is some corruption here. Is there some way to
"re-index" the database? I have never done that, and I've been
using Quicken for many years.
You could "validate" the file, though so far the things you've said
don't sound like this would help. Backup first. You could also do a
Quicken "copy".

You could also close Quicken, rename the price history file (DATA.QPH)
then reopen Quicken to see if the problem remains. If it goes away -
I don't particularly think it will - then there is a problem in the
price history and you could try to recreate it; starting with a
Quicken download of historical prices (you would lose prices for
things like bonds). If the problem does not go away, purge the "new"
price history file and rename the old one to its original name.
Meanwhile, the phantom realized gain has moved. Now I see a
realized gain of $3.53 on December 3, 2003, and of $0.02 on
December 13, 2003. Both were realized by selling part of my
position in the money market account. The $0.95 gain is not
visible anymore. This is weird.
If these sale transactions are all downloaded from your broker, what
happens if you delete each one and re-enter them manually? How about
earlier buy transactions?

Something else you could try: export the account to a QIF file. QIF
files are quite easy to read in a word processor and you might be able
to spot the problem there. If you want to try this and are not
familiar with the QIF format, post back and I'll post it here.
 
Ad

Advertisements

J

John B

Thanks very much for your reply.
John Pollard said:
John B wrote:

Quicken can carry prices out to six places to the right of the decimal
point.
Hmmm. This intrigues me. Six places...
Nevertheless, have you looked at the entire price history for this mm
fund? Select the fund in the Portfolio view, click Update, then "Edit
Price History". See if any prices are other than $1.
I did that, and it revealed nothing interesting. I see share price to one
place, at 1. The transactional history reveals the share price to four
places, at 1.0000, in all cases.
Something else you could try: export the account to a QIF file. QIF
files are quite easy to read in a word processor and you might be able
to spot the problem there. If you want to try this and are not
familiar with the QIF format, post back and I'll post it here.
This is a good point. I might see some small disturbance. I'm somewhat
familiar with the QIF. I'll give it a try.
 

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments. After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.

Ask a Question

Top