Place Holders Due to Decimall Place Accuracy


J

John Doe

Hi,
I searched for this in the Newgroup and could not find any one else
having a problem, so I must be doing something wrong.

I have a Vanguard account that I use the online update feature in
Quicken 2009 Rental Manager to keep my Quicken data in Sync with the
online Vanguard account.

For the most part it works very well with one rather annoying problem:

Vanguard keeps my online share balance to 3 decimal accuracy while
Quicken calculates it to 5 decimal places. What is happening is I am
getting a lot ( over 200 ) of Placeholders accumulating in my Quicken
transaction as I have been using Quicken for a long time. These
transactions are for, as an example, .00047 shares a really small
adjustment.

This is annoying for a couple of reasons:
1. It clutters up the transaction history on screen and
2. Prevents me from seeing how my 401k is performing as there is no cost
associated with these adjustments.

Any way to stop this?
 
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J

John Pollard

John said:
I searched for this in the Newgroup and could not find any one else
having a problem, so I must be doing something wrong.

I have a Vanguard account that I use the online update feature in
Quicken 2009 Rental Manager to keep my Quicken data in Sync with the
online Vanguard account.

For the most part it works very well with one rather annoying problem:

Vanguard keeps my online share balance to 3 decimal accuracy while
Quicken calculates it to 5 decimal places. What is happening is I am
getting a lot ( over 200 ) of Placeholders accumulating in my Quicken
transaction as I have been using Quicken for a long time. These
transactions are for, as an example, .00047 shares a really small
adjustment.

This is annoying for a couple of reasons:
1. It clutters up the transaction history on screen and
2. Prevents me from seeing how my 401k is performing as there is no
cost associated with these adjustments.

Any way to stop this?
Yes.

Never allow Quicken to compute the number of shares in a transaction.
[And never accept a placeholder.]

I download from five Vanguard accounts, and I never have a difference
between my Vanguard holdings in Quicken and my holdings at Vanguard.

To the best of my knowledge, I never change anything that Vanguard
downloads; the transactions Vanguard sends work fine just as downloaded.
All my Quicken Vanguard share balances are carried at three decimal places
(though Quicken is capable of carrying share balances to six decimal
places).

I took a quick glance through transactions dating back to 2001: not a one
had a share quantity with non-zero values greater than 3 places to the
right of the decimal.
 
J

John Doe

John said:
John said:
I searched for this in the Newgroup and could not find any one else
having a problem, so I must be doing something wrong.

I have a Vanguard account that I use the online update feature in
Quicken 2009 Rental Manager to keep my Quicken data in Sync with the
online Vanguard account.

For the most part it works very well with one rather annoying problem:

Vanguard keeps my online share balance to 3 decimal accuracy while
Quicken calculates it to 5 decimal places. What is happening is I am
getting a lot ( over 200 ) of Placeholders accumulating in my Quicken
transaction as I have been using Quicken for a long time. These
transactions are for, as an example, .00047 shares a really small
adjustment.

This is annoying for a couple of reasons:
1. It clutters up the transaction history on screen and
2. Prevents me from seeing how my 401k is performing as there is no
cost associated with these adjustments.

Any way to stop this?
Yes.

Never allow Quicken to compute the number of shares in a transaction.
[And never accept a placeholder.]

I download from five Vanguard accounts, and I never have a difference
between my Vanguard holdings in Quicken and my holdings at Vanguard.

To the best of my knowledge, I never change anything that Vanguard
downloads; the transactions Vanguard sends work fine just as downloaded.
All my Quicken Vanguard share balances are carried at three decimal places
(though Quicken is capable of carrying share balances to six decimal
places).

I took a quick glance through transactions dating back to 2001: not a one
had a share quantity with non-zero values greater than 3 places to the
right of the decimal.
Hi John,

Where is the setting that tells Quicken not to calculate number of
shares? Is this a global setting? or is it set somewhere by individual
holding?

Thanks

Tim
 
O

Oilcan

John,

I have an account with Vanguard and there are four Mutual Funds in my
account that download transactions up to five significant decimal
places. I have two Mutual Funds which download to three decimal places.
In addition my stock funds invested my employer stock also downloads to
five significant digits. Therefore as I have posted in the past, this is
a PITA as it defeats the purpose of the download that I have to manually
edit almost 100 transactions per month (out of 120 transactions) to be
able to make sure that they tie to Vanguard's balance. I also make sure
not to accept the placeholder transactions.

This has pissed me off for years as Vanguard's website reports to three
significant digits as does their statements. I have posted this topic
in the forum in the past - about two years ago I think was the last
time.

As for how I fix this is to edit the transaction removing and rounding
the quantity and have Quicken recalculate the price per share. It takes
me about 2 hours per month to perform these edits.

Oilcan

-----Original Message-----
From: John Pollard [mailto:[email protected]]
Posted At: Monday, March 30, 2009 10:18 AM
Posted To: alt.comp.software.financial.quicken
Conversation: Place Holders Due to Decimall Place Accuracy
Subject: Re: Place Holders Due to Decimall Place Accuracy

John said:
I searched for this in the Newgroup and could not find any one else
having a problem, so I must be doing something wrong.

I have a Vanguard account that I use the online update feature in
Quicken 2009 Rental Manager to keep my Quicken data in Sync with the
online Vanguard account.

For the most part it works very well with one rather annoying problem:

Vanguard keeps my online share balance to 3 decimal accuracy while
Quicken calculates it to 5 decimal places. What is happening is I am
getting a lot ( over 200 ) of Placeholders accumulating in my Quicken
transaction as I have been using Quicken for a long time. These
transactions are for, as an example, .00047 shares a really small
adjustment.

This is annoying for a couple of reasons:
1. It clutters up the transaction history on screen and
2. Prevents me from seeing how my 401k is performing as there is no
cost associated with these adjustments.

Any way to stop this?
Yes.

Never allow Quicken to compute the number of shares in a transaction.
[And never accept a placeholder.]

I download from five Vanguard accounts, and I never have a difference
between my Vanguard holdings in Quicken and my holdings at Vanguard.

To the best of my knowledge, I never change anything that Vanguard
downloads; the transactions Vanguard sends work fine just as downloaded.

All my Quicken Vanguard share balances are carried at three decimal
places
(though Quicken is capable of carrying share balances to six decimal
places).

I took a quick glance through transactions dating back to 2001: not a
one
had a share quantity with non-zero values greater than 3 places to the
right of the decimal.
 
J

John Pollard

John said:
Where is the setting that tells Quicken not to calculate number of
shares? Is this a global setting? or is it set somewhere by individual
holding?
There is no setting; you make sure the share quantity is in every
transaction you enter.

As I said, I never have to change anything when downloading from Vanguard.

If I manually enter a transaction, I make sure I enter the number of
shares, and the amount ... and let Quicken compute the price/share.
 
J

John Pollard

Oilcan said:
I have an account with Vanguard and there are four Mutual Funds in my
account that download transactions up to five significant decimal
places. I have two Mutual Funds which download to three decimal
places. In addition my stock funds invested my employer stock also
downloads to five significant digits.
That's a Vanguard problem.

They should download your holdings with the same precision as they
download your transactions.
 
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O

Oilcan

John,

Perhaps it is a Vanguard problem, but since I have no other investment
accounts with fractional shares / units, I don't know if the problem
resides with Quicken or Vanguard. However, if Vanguard does carry funds
out to 5 places, they should also report that to me on their website
(balances, transactions) and on the quarterly Statements - which they do
not.

Oilcan

-----Original Message-----
From: John Pollard [mailto:[email protected]]
Posted At: Monday, March 30, 2009 7:10 PM
Posted To: alt.comp.software.financial.quicken
Conversation: Place Holders Due to Decimall Place Accuracy
Subject: Re: Place Holders Due to Decimal Place Accuracy
I have an account with Vanguard and there are four Mutual Funds in my
account that download transactions up to five significant decimal
places. I have two Mutual Funds which download to three decimal
places. In addition my stock funds invested my employer stock also
downloads to five significant digits.
That's a Vanguard problem.

They should download your holdings with the same precision as they
download your transactions.
 
B

Bert Hyman

In John Doe
Any way to stop this?
I think the trick to avoid this rounding problem is to enter the number
of shares and the total amount of the transaction exactly as your
statement says but let Quicken fiddle with the per-unit price as it sees
fit.
 
R

R. C. White

Hi, John.
All my Quicken Vanguard share balances are carried at three decimal places
(though Quicken is capable of carrying share balances to six decimal
places).
Although I've not used it, I note that Quicken, at Edit | Preferences |
Quicken Program, on the bottom line of the bottom option (Reports only),
lets us set "Decimal places for prices and shares: ___ (0-6)". Does this
have anything to do with John Doe's comment that "Vanguard keeps my online
share balance to 3 decimal accuracy while Quicken calculates it to 5 decimal
places"?

As we've often discussed here, I strongly agree with your (and Oilcan's)
recommendation to always record dollar amounts to the nearest cent and share
amounts to the same precision as reported by the broker, mutual fund manager
or other party involved. That usually is even whole shares, or .001 shares
for mutual funds. Let the per-share calculation absorb any rounding
differences. Also, while not part of the current discussion, always let
Quicken select the lots being sold, and record transactions in strict
chronological order; this almost always avoids the small-fractional-share
leftover problem.

RC
--
R. C. White, CPA
San Marcos, TX
(Retired. No longer licensed to practice public accounting.)
(e-mail address removed)
Microsoft Windows MVP
(Using Quicken Deluxe 2009 and Windows Live Mail in Win7 x64)

John Pollard said:
John said:
I searched for this in the Newgroup and could not find any one else
having a problem, so I must be doing something wrong.

I have a Vanguard account that I use the online update feature in
Quicken 2009 Rental Manager to keep my Quicken data in Sync with the
online Vanguard account.

For the most part it works very well with one rather annoying problem:

Vanguard keeps my online share balance to 3 decimal accuracy while
Quicken calculates it to 5 decimal places. What is happening is I am
getting a lot ( over 200 ) of Placeholders accumulating in my Quicken
transaction as I have been using Quicken for a long time. These
transactions are for, as an example, .00047 shares a really small
adjustment.

This is annoying for a couple of reasons:
1. It clutters up the transaction history on screen and
2. Prevents me from seeing how my 401k is performing as there is no
cost associated with these adjustments.

Any way to stop this?
Yes.

Never allow Quicken to compute the number of shares in a transaction. [And
never accept a placeholder.]

I download from five Vanguard accounts, and I never have a difference
between my Vanguard holdings in Quicken and my holdings at Vanguard.

To the best of my knowledge, I never change anything that Vanguard
downloads; the transactions Vanguard sends work fine just as downloaded.
All my Quicken Vanguard share balances are carried at three decimal places
(though Quicken is capable of carrying share balances to six decimal
places).

I took a quick glance through transactions dating back to 2001: not a one
had a share quantity with non-zero values greater than 3 places to the
right of the decimal.
 
J

John Pollard

R. C. White said:
Hi, John.


Although I've not used it, I note that Quicken, at Edit | Preferences
| Quicken Program, on the bottom line of the bottom option (Reports
only), lets us set "Decimal places for prices and shares: ___
(0-6)". Does this have anything to do with John Doe's comment that
"Vanguard keeps my online share balance to 3 decimal accuracy while
Quicken calculates it to 5 decimal places"?
I don't think so.

The Report option is just for display purposes.

I think the problem is that there are (at least) two fundamental and
separate parts to a download to a given investment account: the
transactions and the holdings.

If the financial institution is not rigorous in its controls, it can
create transactions that will have a different number of decimal places
than the decimal places it puts in the holdings that it downloads, which
can create the problem reported here.

When the user finishes processing (Accepting or Deleting) all the
downloaded transactions for an investment account, Quicken defaults to
comparing its holdings to the holdings downloaded by the financial
institution. When Quicken's holdings are different than the downloaded
holdings, Quicken offers to make adjustments ("placeholders") to get the
two in sync.

If the downloaded transactions were using share quantities out to five
decimal places Quicken would be computing its holdings using five decimal
places. Then when it came time to compare Quicken's holdings to the
downloaded holdings, there would be little chance they could agree, if the
downloaded holdings were only accurate to three decimal places.

I think the financial institution must supply holdings that agree with the
total of the transactions they have supplied ... to whatever number of
decimal places they have supplied them.

[I think the problem is worsened because, in reality, I believe most
financial institutions carry some, or most, of their holdings "internally"
to more decimal places than they report or download - especially for
stocks. One of my fi's told me they had share quantities out to eight
decimal places in their internal system.]
As we've often discussed here, I strongly agree with your (and
Oilcan's) recommendation to always record dollar amounts to the
nearest cent and share amounts to the same precision as reported by
the broker, mutual fund manager or other party involved.
That usually is even whole shares, or .001 shares for mutual funds.
You're right, but "usually" is an important word in that sentence.

While I have never seen a Vanguard transaction with more than 3 decimal
places (all my Vanguard holdings are mutual funds); the op (and others)
have reported as many as 5 decimal places for mutual fund transactions.

And since I use "dividend reinvestment" on many of the stocks I hold, the
reinvestment transactions downloaded for those transactions will carry
share quantities to at least 4 decimal places.
Let the per-share calculation absorb any rounding differences.
Yes. I've never understood why some place importance on this number as it
was when they initiated the transaction. The number Quicken calculates
will be closer to the actual price/share paid than the price/share quoted
at the time of the purchase or sale - if the two are different at all.
Also,
while not part of the current discussion, always let Quicken select
the lots being sold, and record transactions in strict chronological
order; this almost always avoids the small-fractional-share leftover
problem.
I do select specific lots for some sales, as I may be wanting to maximize
(or minimize) gains. I don't think I have had any problem from doing that
so far.
 
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Quicken & Vanguard rounding errors

So has anyone discovered a solution for the Quicken rounding errors for Vanguard transactions? I don't see any real solution posted in this thread.

I am having the same issue as the other two posters - Quicken rounds the number of shares to 5 decimal places while Vanguard uses 3. Making Quicken match my Vanguard statement requires manual editing of the downloaded transactions to round the number of shares to 3 decimal places. Is there some way to fix it in Quicken so that I don't have to do this manually?

It doesn't seem to be a Vanguard problem as suggested in this thread, I downloaded Vanguard transactions as a .csv file and in that file the number of shares is 3 decimal places which matches the website and their statements.
 
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