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Old 02-21-2011, 10:16 AM
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Neither here nor there
Posts: 11,690
Placeholder thing in Quicken investments

Here's the thing. Let's say once upon a time I bought 250 shares of Widgets, Inc. Over the years it split a few times and the price went up and down. I updated Quicken regularly and Q went to my brokerage account at the brokerage place and faithfully downloaded what it found there. Then one day I noticed that Quicken says I own 3,200 shares of Widgets, Inc. but the online account says I REALLY own only 2,600 shares. The online account at the brokerage place is correct, of course.

So Quicken has entered these things called "placeholders." I don't have any idea what that means. Apparently in order for me to reconcile the number of shares (and prices) in Quicken with the accurate online information, I'm supposed to go back and recreate the history of this stock with all the ups and downs and splits, etc. That's not gonna happen.

All I want is to make the number of shares in Quicken match the number of shares online at today's price. I don't care ALL that much about the history of my ownership of Widgets, Inc., although if I don't have to erase the history, I'd rather not. Anyway, I'm not sure this can be done in Quicken.

It's not important to me that the investment information be terribly accurate. (But I don't like it being off by 600 shares.) My checking/savings accounts- THOSE I want to be accurate to the penny in Quicken, and they are. The investment part is more just for me to glance at from time to time (obviously ). If I want the completely accurate info for taxes and stuff, I use the reports directly from the online brokerage site.

I want there to be a balance correction option in the investments section of Quicken like there is in the banking part. Where if the bottom line is just wrong, you enter one number and fix it. Am I going to have to delete that stock or pretend like I sold it and re-enter it at today's price with the correct number of shares? Can anyone explain to me how to fix this? Thanks.
Old 02-21-2011, 02:41 PM
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Neither here nor there
Posts: 11,690
Okay... so no one else understands it either. That makes me feel better.
Old 02-21-2011, 02:50 PM
Charter Member
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 11,405
I get the same thing with a couple of our accounts and it's annoying as hell. What I think it means is: something got omitted / mis-entered / otherwise mungled* when you entered or downloaded some historical transactions.

If it's a retirement account, who cares. Enter in some bogus figures to shut it up.

If it's a non-retirement account, you need accurate transaction history for tax purposes, so you should do your best to go through the history and correct whatever error(s) there are.

* 'mungled' = my accidentally-made-up portmanteu of 'mangled' and 'bungled'. Sort of self-explanatory, I think .
Old 02-21-2011, 09:34 PM
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 607
I had to do this for my 401k. It was tedious, but not inherently difficult. Just go to the Transactions view and start entering a new one at the bottom. Choose a date that approximates when the change happened, set the Action as Adjust Share Balance, and hit tab. It'll pop up a window that allows you to choose the security and the correct number of shares at that date. If a security has changed or split more than once, you should start from the oldest event and work forward.

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