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Author: Patzer Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 10363  
Subject: Re: 401k tracking in Q Date: 1/5/2013 9:01 PM
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My company's 401k is with Fidelity, but it does not allow me to invest in "standard" funds. Sure, it has a "S&P 500" fund for example, but it does not have ticker symbol that Quicken can look up.

At one time, I had a 401(k) with that kind of index fund. I lived with manually inputting the price on that single fund. The other funds had tikcers and I could download the prices.

I have a standard paycheck transaction every 2 weeks, some goes to checking, savings, taxes, 401k etc. This shows up as an "Xin" transaction and increases my cash balance. That is "ok".

At one time, I had an employer who played games with the timing of the 401(k) contributions. That particular employer (which later went bankrupt) held onto the cash until near the end of the quarter, resulting in 5 of my 6 contribuitons for paychecks being put into the 401(k) in the last month of the quarter.

What I did about that was create a 401(k) Receivable account in Quicken. The payroll withholding plus company match are transferred to the 401(k) Receivable account. When the deposit is made to my 401(k), it's a transfer from 401(k) Receivable plus purchases of the appropriate funds. This isn't as significant with my current employer who makes the deposits about a week after my paycheck, but I developed the habit under worse conditions.

4) I have just gone back to my Fid online records and decided to "more properly" account for company matching, which does not show up in the paycheck. Instead of doing it every 2 weeks, I see what the total is at the end of the year and make it a Dec 30th transaction. I do it as an "added" shares of the fake "DIP fund".

Because I am a salaried employee, the employer match changes only when my salary changes, once a year. I know my salary, I know the employer match percentage, and it's pretty easy to compute the employer match to the penny. So each paycheck has two split items, an inflow for Salary:401K match that is offset by an outflow that is part of the transfer to the 401(k) Receivable account. The match becomes a non-issue, as I don't bother tracking investments by employer vs. employee contributions. It's all vested anyway.

So, how do other people on the board handle messes like things.

I want my Quicken records to reflect my true net worth. To that end, I make the 401(k) in Quicken match what is going on with the real 401(k). It has the same funds, with the same tickers, and the same number of shares. Deposits happen on the date the company deposits funds to the 401(k), and shares are purchased on that date. Dividends are reinvested as happens in the real account. Between transactions, net worth is adjusted by downloading security prices.

Granted, this is easier now than it was when I had that non-standard index fund; but even then, that was only one fund that I needed to manually enter a price whenever I wanted an update to the value.

Patzer
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