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Over 20 yrs of Quicken and I've had it. Well maybe, almost. But I am older now and life is shorter

I can relate! Past the wealth accumulation phase, almost - took a long time to mentally adjust. Financial affairs in order and most investments on autopilot as wife has no interest in this realm.

My perspective on Quicken FWIW...
Starting with Q95 and first transaction was opening Checking account on 12/23/1997. Over the years the number a accounts grew to 77 of which 25 are active. These include every transaction for every credit card, checking and savings account and various other account types.

I played the download game for awhile and then discovered life was too short and I wanted my own control. Decided to use Quicken as a record tracking tool and enter all transactions manually and I can be anal on details ;-) Quicken Premier 2011 is the latest version and the QDATA file is 26,337,280 bytes.

Quicken budgeting left something to be desired and I wanted it simple. Now export Net Worth and Scheduled Transaction data to an Excel spreadsheet and do my own reports.

Downloading investment price data ballooned the size of the Q file and was a waste of time. I can get all the info and reports I needed from the Fidelity Investment website and my independent financial advisor who partners with Fidelity. There is one record for each investment account and the value is updated each month in the Portfolio view.

For taxes, the Tax Schedule report provides all the information, except investments, needed to enter into the tax software package of choice, usually TaxACT. Investment data, like income data, comes in the form of 1099s. Tax software can usually import data from most major brokers.

Things are getting simpler and easier to do these days with the internet and smartphones. The wife and I go shopping and out to dinner, come home with a few receipts, call up the credit card app and view the charges and balances. Same with the bank and Fidelity app. Wouldn't need Quicken if I wasn't anal on details and double checking transactions.

George
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No. of Recommendations: 6
Hi Bob (a.k.a. Dogwind)

I'm speaking both as Quicken User and former Intuit employee. When I left Intuit in 2008, I was responsible for the Quicken Customer Care organization. My teams were 100% responsible for all Voice, E-mail, Chat and online KB support. I am no longer associated with Intuit or the new Quicken company and have not been for the past 10 years.

My advice here is on my 15ish years with the company and my personal use of Quicken since January 1994 and MYM prior to that.

1.) What the tech told you is correct. How big is your *QDF file? There is a point at which the *.QDF file can become unstable depending upon multiple factors. Some of those include the investments and how many splits you have in some of your transactions as well as the size of the transactions from a $$ perspective. My personal advise is that you should trim your file down to the last 5 years or so. I cannot begin tell you how many escalations I took where someone was trying to run their personal finances and the finances of a medium sized business through Quicken.

2.) I have all my old install disks so in theory I could do that in a VM. I think that's overkill personally. I do have backups going back ~12 years on my server and encrypted in the cloud. Almost time to do a clean up of the recent ones.

3.) I personally am downloading transactions from 8 accounts from 3 different banks, 2 different CC companies and 3 different brokerages. I keep it all together in one file.

4.) You should be able to clean up those transactions and keep it good.

I don't know what the Quicken team suggested. Here's where I would personally start if I were in your shoes. I'd do the following:

First - Backup current as is data and store it in a couple of places.
Second - Validate the Data File and Super Validate if you think you have to
Third - File Copy https://www.quicken.com/support/when-use-year-end-copy-or-co... and create a new file that only has the last 3 or 4 years of banking transactions. It will bring over all the investment related transactions.
Fourth - Ensure that the numbers match your brokerage(s) and bank account balances
Fifth - If all looks good, make a new backup. Then save the original and the new off to a permanent backup spot.

I'd then recommend you do this about every 5 years or so.

HereIGo
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Thanks for the encouragement Chris!

I'll dig in to this after my next set of work days.

Spent 1 hour trying to make a placeholder go away. Quicken wanted to know how much I paid for COVS that was spun off Compuware and I could not find stock prices for that day. And Compuware needed to be the placeheld security and I couldn't figure out how to change that.

I lose track of time and its like I'm trying to solve a puzzle.

My file is 104MB, don't know if that is large.

I got these results:

QDF:
Validating your data.
No errors.

QEL:
No read errors.

QEL:
All internal consistency checks passed.

Then it told me:
1. I had a number of damaged transfers I should re-enter,
2. Splits that might be missing,
3. A couple securities with values "in the future" = wrong dates
4. Corrected 16 Bought or Shares Added transactions that were incorrectly categorized as a
realized gain.If any of these should have been for a Cover Short Sale, you should modify them.

Of course the last one reduces trust. Don't know how a smaller file size and 1,2,3 and some placeholders causes 4?

Bob
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My file is 104MB, don't know if that is large.

In my video, if it is not large, it is very large.
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My file is 104MB, don't know if that is large.

While I routinely back up my entire file, every couple of years I do a full backup and then create a new file that has this year's bank account(s) entries only plus ALL of my investment transactions. I wait until all checks from previous year have cleared before doing this.

I've gone through "File/File operations/year-end copy"

My current working file has 2 years of bank records and 10 years investment records and my file is only 10 meg.


Jim
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GW -- what video?

Jim -- you differentiate between routine backup and full back up? Year End copy give you choices regarding how much investment data vs how much bank data you want in the new file? Wonder where consumer Quicken file management instructions are? Have never been told this.
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Jim -- you differentiate between routine backup and full back up? Year End copy give you choices regarding how much investment data vs how much bank data you want in the new file? Wonder where consumer Quicken file management instructions are? Have never been told this.




Poor wording on my part. Before I conduct my end of year file process, I make a final backup and label it as such. I think the program will do that for you anyway, but just taking a belt & suspenders approach to this.

When I last did this, you could set the date where all *bank* transactions afterwards would be kept and all *reconciled* bank transactions prior to that would be dropped from the new file.

Setting the date did not affect the *investment* transactions as they were always kept.

If interested, I'd make a backup or two (maybe one to a thumb drive) and then try the end of year process. If you don't like what you see, just reopen the backup you just made.


This was more important to me back in the day because PCs & hard drives were much slower then and it made a substantial time difference in opening/saving/closing files.


Jim
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Dogwind:

I started using Quicken for DOS shortly after Intuit acquired ChipSoft and its TurboTax product. I switched to Quicken for Windows when Windows 95 was released. I continue to use the Windows variant of Quicken running under Windows 10 in a VMware Fusion virtual machine on a 2017 27" iMac with Retina 5K running macOS 10.3.4. In addition, I use the Mac variant of Quicken. I'm unable to complete the transition to the Mac variant of Quicken until support for corporate acquisitions (mergers) and corporate divestitures (spin offs/split offs) are added to the investment logic.

I started my transition in 2014 when I was accepted as a Beta tester for what would be Quicken for Mac 2015. During the 2014 Beta testing, I discovered two things:

(1) the Windows development team's Quicken Converter left something to be desired and
(2) that one or more Quicken for Windows product releases prior to 2010 had, quietly, corrupted the user's database.

To solve my problems with importing the Windows proprietary database into the Mac SQL database was to trim the Windows database to 31 December 2010 using the year end function. This wasn't much of a problem for my banking data as my former credit union had completed its merger with my current credit union in December of 2010. A bonus was that the merged credit union supported Quicken's Express Web Connect and Quicken Connect connection methods.

The second part of the solution was to get rid of my old Smith Barney investment data that had been corrupted. In December 2010, my investment/wealth management advisors invited me to move with them from Smith Barney to Raymond James & Associates. The Automated Customer Account Transfer Service (ACATS) was used to transfer my assets from Smith Barney to Raymond James & Associates. I spent about 3 months splitting the ACATS Add transactions into their correct lots and cost basis using my monthly statements from Smith Barney. I made several errors in the process and ended up with 4 placeholder entries in both variants of Quicken for several bonds that I held.

Since the ACATS transfer occurred in the first half of 2011 and that all the security information was correct in the Raymond James & Associates accounts, I opted to delete all my Smith Barney accounts and start my Quicken financial life on 31 December 2010.

I'm not sure that I agree with the recommendation that a new Quicken database needs to be created every 1-3 years. I have found no corruption in either of my Quicken databases that I have been using for 8 years. The size of the Windows variant's database is 51.4MB. The size of the Mac variant's database is 181.6MB for the production version and 164.2MB for the Beta version.

If you have investment transactions with a 2038 date, you need to get rid of them. They indicate that a problem occurred when processing the downloaded OFX file. Most of the time you can just delete the transactions with 2038 dates as the original transaction was processed correctly in a later OFX file download.

I get the impression that you are using a Windows variant of Quicken. Both the Mac and Windows variants of Quicken have a major bug in adjusting the cost basis when a Return of Capital dividend is recorded. I discovered this when I sold my holdings in a mutual fund that held investments in Master Limited Partnerships (MLPs). All dividends received and reinvested in the fund were a Return of Capital. Quicken uses all shares held on the day that the Return of Capital dividend was recorded to calculate the per share adjustment to the cost basis of each lot. This is obviously wrong as the Return of Capital is only being paid on the shares held on the ex-dividend date. To make matters worse, Quicken adjusts the cost basis of the shares purchased with the dividend.

The solution to this problem is to split the reinvest transaction into a DIV and BUY transaction and to change the date of the DIV to the day before the BUY transaction. If you purchased additional shares of the security after the ex-dividend date, you will need to change the DIV date to the day before that transaction. If you don't do this you will have gains reported on Schedule D where losses should have been reported and vice versa.

In the Windows variant of Quicken, I used the "Growth of $10,000" graph to gauge my investment performance to that of the S&P 500 index with dividends reinvested. Around the R5 update to Quicken 2017, Quicken managed to break this graph. The initial starting value of the graphs are no longer normalized to $10,000. This might be the result of not properly accounting for withdrawals from the investment accounts. I am over 70-1/2 and required to make RMD withdrawals from my accounts each year until I die. I made my 2018 RMD withdrawal on 02 January 2018. I withdrew $59K from one account but at the end of January the pop-up window indicates that the net change in the account was over $20K.

With regard to Intuit's MINT product, I'm not sure that its a viable alternative. Because I wanted to stop maintaining a Windows virtual environment just to run a version of Quicken, I've looked at several other options.

Budgeting seems to be the prime focus of nearly all of the alternative products. I tried making budgets over 40+ years ago and discovered it was a senseless exercise. Inflation during the late Seventies and Eighties was rampant. A budget made one month was totally wrong the next month. I arrived the conclusion that the only thing that I needed to budget was savings. As long as the budgeted saving goal was met, who gave a rat's ass on what the money was spent.

Products that focus on both banking and investments in addition to budgets seem to have Quicken as their "gold standard". They seem to want to implement software that mimics the bugs in Quicken instead of fixing the bugs. Of course, this could be simply a marketing tool to get Quicken users to switch to their product. You wouldn't want to shock Quicken users by fixing errors when they migrated to your product, would you?
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I arrived the conclusion that the only thing that I needed to budget was savings. As long as the budgeted saving goal was met, who gave a rat's ass on what the money was spent.



I'm of similar mindset and I find little value-added to all of the bells & whistles.

I use the Calendar View to schedule/remind/record income and utility/loan payments. I schedule my CC payment for the end of the month with a "spend less than" dollar amount assigned.

I maximize my use of the CC and pay it off every month to maximize the 'cash back'. I don't pay much attention to where the money goes as long as I stay under the amount I "budgeted" for the CC.


Otherwise, my primary use of Quicken is to track my investment transactions and exporting stock sales info to Turbotax.


Jim
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I been having problems with the the Quicken file (windows) being buggy for a couple weeks and Friday Night (4/27) the checking account was corrupt. I restored to back-up and came over here and found this discuss.

The file was 191MB with 20 yrs of data. I decided to try the year-end copy. on first try it only reduced to 157MB looking at the data I had a lot of transaction in closed investment and CC accounts that had not actually been Reconciled so even the the checking account transaction was reconciled since the other end of the transaction was not it did not get deleted in the new file.

It took several times to go and reconcile all the closed accounts and some open to get rid of as many transactions as possible. Finally able to reduce file size to 94MB

I added this note in case someone else finds and does has never done a year end copy. MAKE SURE ALL accounts (OPEN OR CLOSED) have been RECONCILED.


Thanks,

Brian
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When doing a year end copy in the middle of the year, does it make sense to have the copy start with a longer timeframe, perhaps including all of the previous year?

I have a couple decades of data in my data file and it's somewhere around 230Mb in size. As with anything major that you're doing for the first time, I want to make sure that I'm thinking through everything before taking the leap.

Thanks,
Mark
RYR Home Fool
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No. of Recommendations: 4
I have been a Quicken user since 2000 and our file is 65MB. I have run the Year End copy a couple of times during my 18 years of use, but have always disliked the results. I like to use Quicken to be able to do longer term spend analysis on our home and other long term assets. I also like to use Quicken to report on stuff that answers questions that we might have.

Here's an example.

We do not have city sewer where we live so we rely on an annual septic tank pump appointment. It is very important that accurate records are kept of these services as Massachusetts has a pretty strict "Title V" requirement when a home is sold. The Title V requirement is much less stringent if the owner can prove that the septic system has been pumped annually. When I called for this year's service, the person on the phone stated that we had not been serviced since 2015. I was able to quickly pull out a spending report from Quicken for all years for a given Payer and I have all of the dates, amounts and check numbers that we have made out to the service provider since our last "Yer End Copy" which was back in 2007. Had I not done the Year End copy, I would have had even more transactions, but they are in an archive file that I have no idea how to access. I was able to provide this information to our service provider for our "official" records.

Anyway, there are downsides to doing the Year End Copy, and I would only do it if you absolutely have to. I would instead, run a monthly validate procedure and make sure your file stays "valid". If it goes south, you only have 1 month of transactions to re-enter and you still have all of your history available.

Cheers ~
'38Packard
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Over 20 yrs of Quicken and I've had it. Well maybe, almost. But I am older now and life is shorter

I can relate! Past the wealth accumulation phase, almost - took a long time to mentally adjust. Financial affairs in order and most investments on autopilot as wife has no interest in this realm.

My perspective on Quicken FWIW...
Starting with Q95 and first transaction was opening Checking account on 12/23/1997. Over the years the number a accounts grew to 77 of which 25 are active. These include every transaction for every credit card, checking and savings account and various other account types.

I played the download game for awhile and then discovered life was too short and I wanted my own control. Decided to use Quicken as a record tracking tool and enter all transactions manually and I can be anal on details ;-) Quicken Premier 2011 is the latest version and the QDATA file is 26,337,280 bytes.

Quicken budgeting left something to be desired and I wanted it simple. Now export Net Worth and Scheduled Transaction data to an Excel spreadsheet and do my own reports.

Downloading investment price data ballooned the size of the Q file and was a waste of time. I can get all the info and reports I needed from the Fidelity Investment website and my independent financial advisor who partners with Fidelity. There is one record for each investment account and the value is updated each month in the Portfolio view.

For taxes, the Tax Schedule report provides all the information, except investments, needed to enter into the tax software package of choice, usually TaxACT. Investment data, like income data, comes in the form of 1099s. Tax software can usually import data from most major brokers.

Things are getting simpler and easier to do these days with the internet and smartphones. The wife and I go shopping and out to dinner, come home with a few receipts, call up the credit card app and view the charges and balances. Same with the bank and Fidelity app. Wouldn't need Quicken if I wasn't anal on details and double checking transactions.

George
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