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Screwed by Quicken


  09:12:00 am, by The Dreamer   , 1412 words  
Categories: Healthcare, Quicken/TurboTax

Screwed by Quicken

A while back I was having trouble updating transactions in my TIAA-CREF account. I used to update my entering each transaction by hand every so often, but then a few years ago (when I rolled over a Rollover IRA, which I had parked my 401k of my previous employer, as the invisible money fee was huge....share counts would drop every month, with no explanation in the account statements.) I let them generate the funds I should spread my retirement into...which makes it much harder to be entering transactions by hand.

I had tried the Quicken download option, but the dates of the transactions didn't line up with my pay days or the website's transaction history. So, making the download match what I was entering was tedious, as was not entering any by hand and adjusting after download. Also, the download likes to splatter my register with placeholders, and the complain that the placeholders are missing information so it can't do gain calculations.

So, originally, I'd only like invest in 6 +/- 1 funds. Basically a fund out each slice and some multiple of 5% rather than the specific percentage an investment tool had suggested for me.

Now, I have my retirement funds spread of 12 funds in my Mandatory Plan, and 19 Funds in my Voluntary Plan (since the Voluntary has access to more choices than those specified by pension administrator.) The Mandatory Plan is funded by the mandatory 5.5% that comes out of every paycheck, plus an 8.5% match from employer. While the Voluntary Plan is money that came from other sources, which could be in the form of additional deductions from pay. But, in my case it represents what was in my previous 401k.

So, I just let the Quicken download be as it is....deleting most of the placeholder transactions, because the only transaction that doesn't appear anywhere is the share count growth of my TIAA-CREF Traditional Annuity. But, I just change them into reinvestment actions with a price of $1. Not sure how I would get quicken to tell me what the gain/loss % is from that....

Somebody had described how to do the math to get include re-investments into the overall gain, perhaps I'll have to look into that someday.

Anyways, I noticed that I somehow hadn't done a download in almost 2 months (since the download ranges are 30, 60, 90 or All), so I try to do it about every 30 days. Quicken doesn't seem too bright on knowing transactions that overlap the previous download aren't new, and it'll refuse to let me manually match them with the correct transaction, since it the transaction had already been matched (or created by a previous download). So, I have to delete some of the new transactions, along with all the placeholder entries...before accepting the rest.

Normally this works great....even if the dates happen a day or two before payday. It makes the transfer from my associated cash account for my Mandatory Plan...sure it might go negative...but it all zeros out in the end, usually.

But, then last fall, there was a weird extra $3 and change in my cash account. I kept looking for a missing transaction, but didn't see one. Eventually, I found that when it had done my annual birthday re-balancing...where it sells parts of some funds and Quicken transfers into my cash account, an then buys amounts in the other funds with Quicken transferring out of my cash account. It didn't do that when it added to my Wells Fargo Advantage Growth Fund Institutional. I fixed it by hand, somehow and continued on my way.

Now there is no linked cash account for my Voluntary Plan, since I didn't envision having a whole lot to invest on that basis. Since, any extra that I have for saving towards retirement is going into my Roth IRA and I haven't been able to do that annual max in quite some time. Its what happens when you take a 40% pay cut to go work for a University....(where on average we're making 77.5% of the median salaries among other land grant universities in the top 50 public research institutions ... the comparison group being the University has a 2025 Visionary Plan to be among the top 50 public research institutions.) My CY 2013 gross pay is close where my gross pay was during FY 2001. In my previous jobs and this job Fiscal Year starts July 1st, which I suspect was due to the origin of the company was to commercialize technology developed at a University. The shift to CY, is that we haven't had any state raises in many years....in the soon to be 7 years that I've been here, I've only had 1. But, last couple of years there have been 'mid-year' University raises. Take home is another story...though a good chunk of why is for funding my HSA and Limited FSA. Though I try to resist spending my HSA as much as possible, in hopes to build a good amount that will help me in retirement.

Though this year I've been using it on DME expenses, even though they had made DME coverage the same across all 3 plans this year. But, I've switched to a mask that my DME provider doesn't want to carry because they have some notion that the CPAP Pro (and Tap Pap?) is a dental appliance. Though I wonder if I'll get bit by not submitting the self/out of network purchases against the $2500 deductible?

Anyways.... Wells Fargo Advantage Growth Fund Institutional continued to occasionally not be entered as a 'BoughtX' (Bought with Transfer), but just a straight 'Bought'....causing the cash account to fail to zero out correctly. Which I somehow managed to coax back into being right.

Until recently. For the recent download of 60 days...it made all the fund purchases just 'Bought'. And, no amount of re-editing would convince it to be BoughtX. So, I ran a Validate and Repair....it said it fixed a few things, and that some other things (splits) might be missing....because it goes by its quotes service as to when a split occurred and not when the split reflected by transaction downloads (which don't come in the form of a split...but rather and add or subtract of shares, along with crazy reorg fees and maybe some change for fractions.

And, it reported there were some questionable transactions that I should look at. They turned out to be paycheck transactions (in January), where it had broken the connection to my paycheck. This is because I have different percentages of my paycheck going into different accounts (currently its two checking accounts and two savings accounts.) I fixed them up...or so I thought. And, went on.

Somewhere along the way, I apparently got complacent that Quicken's online balance tracking what the register balance was good enough, where difference would be uncleared transactions, etc. Until the problem I lamented about back on April 15th happened again. I hunt through the register and find that two disconnected deposit transactions along with the two connected deposit transactions are in my register (all marked as reconciled, since the main paycheck transaction had already been reconciled then and I was just trying to get it to reconnect all the other deposits.)

Guess I don't have as much a float in my account than I thought I did, in fact as a result of the error I have no float (I have a really old uncleared transaction in my register to blocks a chunk to help ensure that I don't drop below the minimum balance requirement to avoid getting dinged $10 a month....which has only happened once in the nearly 13.5 years that I've had this account. The bank is only about 1 year old than my account.... Hmmm, didn't realize that it had gone public, wonder if I'll add INBK to my portfolio....

BTW, the Validate and Repair didn't fix the Bought vs BoughtX issue...which I suspect is because Wells Fargo Advantage Growth Fund Institutional is a fund that I have in both my Mandatory and Voluntary plan, so after it had done a 'Bought' for it when my Voluntary plan got rebalanced, in its mind that it do that every where else now...and then at some point it decided that if it did that for one transaction in my Mandatory account, that all the others would also just be Bought instead of BoughtX..... >:XX

Wonder what future downloads will look like...this year when I ran the wizard, Wells Fargo Advantage Growth Fund Institutional was not among the resulting funds....though didn't look to see what's common between the two accounts (other than TIAA-CFREF Traditional)

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Now instead of subjecting some poor random forum to a long rambling thought, I will try to consolidate those things into this blog where they can be more easily ignored profess to be collected thoughts from my mind.

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