Take my money, Quicken, PLEASE (question about 401k)


M

Mr Davie

I have a valid question about how cash transferred to a Quicken 401k
investment account is used to make investments in that same account.

But FIRST, I have to RANT about Quicken

I use Quicken 2003, Deluxe, Super-Duper, Windows version - or whatever they
call it. In the past, I could not find good answers in the online HELP
process, so I bought Maria Langer's Official Guide for Quicken 2003.

Now I have multiple sources of information on how to get from square A to
square B, how to go to a menu pull down, select something, and go to
something else. Give me a break! I don't need a road map to move through my
program. I need CONCEPTS and IDEAS on how to accomplish certain goals.

Take tracking my participation in my employer's 401k plan, for example.
After trying to figure the problem out on my own, I decided to try Quicken's
online chat service for $9.95 per incident. I charged it to a Major Credit
Card and then had to check off that I read, understood, and accepted the
terms and conditions of their support. Yeah, right. Since there is no real
option to NOT accept their terms, they should have simply asked me if I
wanted to CONTINUE because if you don't accept the terms you CAN'T continue.

So I selected "continued" and was taken to the next screen whare I was
prompted to select a topic - "Investments" and then write a brief
description of my problem. RIGHT, like ANYTHING I write, no matter how
simple, is going to be understood by the person on the other end of chat
line without me having to describe it again (It's kind of like being asked
to enter your account number before you talk to someone in customer support,
and then the first thing they ask you when you get connected is "What is
your account number?").

I wrote my description and pressed the CONTINUE icon.

The next message was great. I was informed that the chat people are not
trained on INVESTMENT questions. I should try calling. WHERE'S MY MONEY?
They charged me Ten Bucks to tell me they would not be able to answer
Quicken questions about investments! If I never get my refund for bogus
support, I hope the money helps them IMPROVE THEIR SERVICE!

End of Rant. Here is my problem.

When I record my paycheck in Quicken, the amount of case deducted for the
401k is transferred to a Quicken 401k investment account. So, cash
accummulates in the account. I know I can also record the cash my employer
is contributing as well.

I am able to download transactions from the 401k account manager by
importing a .qif file into Quicken. What it does is import investments in
the account. So now, in the Quicken 401 investment account, I have the value
of the investments PLUS the total cash which was actually used to make the
investments. The value of the account is INCORRECT. There is no way to link
a cash account to a 401k account, so the Buy transactions cannot be BuyX
transactions unless I do it manually.

Does anyone have a suggestion as to how I can simplify the process of
indicating that the cash deposited in the 401k account is being used to make
investments?

Sincerely,

Tired-of-spending-so-much-time-on-Sunday-working-with-Quicken
 
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C

ChrisJ9876

From: "Mr Davie" (e-mail address removed)
Date: 02/29/2004 2:47 PM Eastern Standard Time
Message-id: <[email protected]>

I have a valid question about how cash transferred to a Quicken 401k
investment account is used to make investments in that same account.

But FIRST, I have to RANT about Quicken

I use Quicken 2003, Deluxe, Super-Duper, Windows version - or whatever they
call it. In the past, I could not find good answers in the online HELP
process, so I bought Maria Langer's Official Guide for Quicken 2003.

Now I have multiple sources of information on how to get from square A to
square B, how to go to a menu pull down, select something, and go to
something else. Give me a break! I don't need a road map to move through my
program. I need CONCEPTS and IDEAS on how to accomplish certain goals.

Take tracking my participation in my employer's 401k plan, for example.
After trying to figure the problem out on my own, I decided to try Quicken's
online chat service for $9.95 per incident. I charged it to a Major Credit
Card and then had to check off that I read, understood, and accepted the
terms and conditions of their support. Yeah, right. Since there is no real
option to NOT accept their terms, they should have simply asked me if I
wanted to CONTINUE because if you don't accept the terms you CAN'T continue.

So I selected "continued" and was taken to the next screen whare I was
prompted to select a topic - "Investments" and then write a brief
description of my problem. RIGHT, like ANYTHING I write, no matter how
simple, is going to be understood by the person on the other end of chat
line without me having to describe it again (It's kind of like being asked
to enter your account number before you talk to someone in customer support,
and then the first thing they ask you when you get connected is "What is
your account number?").

I wrote my description and pressed the CONTINUE icon.

The next message was great. I was informed that the chat people are not
trained on INVESTMENT questions. I should try calling. WHERE'S MY MONEY?
They charged me Ten Bucks to tell me they would not be able to answer
Quicken questions about investments! If I never get my refund for bogus
support, I hope the money helps them IMPROVE THEIR SERVICE!

End of Rant. Here is my problem.

When I record my paycheck in Quicken, the amount of case deducted for the
401k is transferred to a Quicken 401k investment account. So, cash
accummulates in the account. I know I can also record the cash my employer
is contributing as well.

I am able to download transactions from the 401k account manager by
importing a .qif file into Quicken. What it does is import investments in
the account. So now, in the Quicken 401 investment account, I have the value
of the investments PLUS the total cash which was actually used to make the
investments. The value of the account is INCORRECT. There is no way to link
a cash account to a 401k account, so the Buy transactions cannot be BuyX
transactions unless I do it manually.

Does anyone have a suggestion as to how I can simplify the process of
indicating that the cash deposited in the 401k account is being used to make
investments?

Sincerely,

Tired-of-spending-so-much-time-on-Sunday-working-with-Quicken
Well, the basic concept is, you have cash in the account, now you have to buy
something with it. However, your employer, in conjunction with the 401k
manager, has already done the "buy" for you, therefore when you do the import,
you wind up with what you're seeing.
The simplest thing to do, in my opinion, is: don't import anything. Enter the
transactions manually as they occur, or weekly or monthly or whatever. Then
when you get a statement, it's a simple matter to reconcile.
Hope this helps.
 
S

Scott Lindner

I completely agree with your rant. Teaching us how to find all of the tools
in Quicken isn't what the instructions should be about. They should be
teaching you how to use the tool for your purposes and giving you ideas on
how to achieve those things.

As for your problem. I see two solutions. The first, treat your investment
account as your cash account. What I mean is have the contributions go
directly to your investment account. If this is not an option then I would
manually transfer the amount from the cash account to the investment account
so you can make the purchases. That seems to be what's happening
automatically with the brokerage so it should match when you download
transactions. Assuming, of course, that I understood the problem correctly.
:)

Cheers,
Scott
 
J

John Pollard

Mr said:
When I record my paycheck in Quicken, the amount of case
deducted for the 401k is transferred to a Quicken 401k
investment account. So, cash accummulates in the account. I
know I can also record the cash my employer is contributing as
well.

I am able to download transactions from the 401k account
manager by importing a .qif file into Quicken. What it does is
import investments in the account. So now, in the Quicken 401
investment account, I have the value of the investments PLUS
the total cash which was actually used to make the investments.
The value of the account is INCORRECT. There is no way to link
a cash account to a 401k account, so the Buy transactions
cannot be BuyX transactions unless I do it manually.

Does anyone have a suggestion as to how I can simplify the
process of indicating that the cash deposited in the 401k
account is being used to make investments?
I am unclear as to just what type transactions you downloaded.
Can you be more specific? What is in the "Action" field for
instance? If you download "Buy" transactions, that is just what
you want, I think; I see no particular reason why you should
need a BuyX transaction (and BuyX transactions do not require a
linked cash account anyway).

Also, give us a clue as to the number of transactions that occur
a month in your 401k.
 
M

Mr Davie

The transactions are downloaded from the 401k account manager. They have a
disclaimer that they do not "subscribe" to any third party finance packages;
however, they make a .qif file avaliable that just includes the date,
quantity, price of investments purchased on a monthly basis from the
available cash, which comes from my contribution as well as a cash
contribution from my employer.

As I understand, BuyX actions require a transfer (usually cash) from another
account). I am unable to select the same account in which I am executing the
purchase, which would be ideal because then the cash would dwindle down as
the investments are executed.
 
M

Mr Davie

You're right, that's what I am doing now. I just wanted to automate the
process, particularly since I need to find a way to indicate cash
contributions by my employer each month. Otherwise, a negative cash amount
will accumulate. The 402k investment account does have a mechanism to allow
monthly amounts to show up which match both employee and employer
contributions.
 
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B

Blackwood

The transactions are downloaded from the 401k account manager. They
have a disclaimer that they do not "subscribe" to any third party
finance packages; however, they make a .qif file avaliable that just
includes the date, quantity, price of investments purchased on a
monthly basis from the available cash, which comes from my
contribution as well as a cash contribution from my employer.

As I understand, BuyX actions require a transfer (usually cash) from
another account). I am unable to select the same account in which I am
executing the purchase, which would be ideal because then the cash
would dwindle down as the investments are executed.
That is why you don't want a BuyX transaction. The usual way to handle a
401(k) account is to have your paycheck set up to transfer cash to it (your
contribution and your employer's contribution). Then (as John Pollard said)
use a Buy transaction to buy the securities, this will reduce the cash in
your 401(k) account and replace it with the securities. You didn't say what
action (Buy, BuyX, something else?) appeared in the transactions you
downloaded from the 401(k) provider, but is sounds as though they were not
the correct type and need to be changed to Buy transactions.
 
J

John Pollard

Mr said:
The transactions are downloaded from the 401k account manager.
They have a disclaimer that they do not "subscribe" to any
third party finance packages; however, they make a .qif file
avaliable that just includes the date, quantity, price of
investments purchased on a monthly basis from the available
cash, which comes from my contribution as well as a cash
contribution from my employer.
As I understand, BuyX actions require a transfer (usually cash)
from another account).
I am unable to select the same account
in which I am executing the purchase, which would be ideal
because then the cash would dwindle down as the investments are
executed.
I don't think that a BuyX is what you need now - see Blackwood's
reply; he and I are thinking along the same line - but there may
be certain situations where it would be useful to do a BuyX
where the from account is the account the BuyX is in; and you
can do this. While you can not select the account from the drop
down list of accounts, you can key it into the account field
directly, as in "[Investment Account]" (leaving out the quotes).
This works in Q2002; don't know whether Q2004 has eliminated the
possibility.
 
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D

David Rosen

The downloaded transactions were Buy transactions
Blackwood said:
That is why you don't want a BuyX transaction. The usual way to handle a
401(k) account is to have your paycheck set up to transfer cash to it (your
contribution and your employer's contribution). Then (as John Pollard said)
use a Buy transaction to buy the securities, this will reduce the cash in
your 401(k) account and replace it with the securities. You didn't say what
action (Buy, BuyX, something else?) appeared in the transactions you
downloaded from the 401(k) provider, but is sounds as though they were not
the correct type and need to be changed to Buy transactions.
 

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