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Investment tracking software
Old 05-09-2011, 10:44 PM   #1
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Investment tracking software

Found an old thread and it seems the people who posted don't trust software with their logins and passwords.

Financial software users

I had the same distrust of online services like Mint so I looked for native software, for Mac OS X. Even then, I was leery but I was updating a spread sheet manually, copying balances from logging into at least a half dozen sites. The tedium of doing this meant I wasn't updating the spread sheet as frequently as I probably should (once every month or two).

Obvious choice is Quicken, the most widely-supported application. But I didn't like that in addition to providing login/password to my accounts, it required a Quicken account including address and other personal details.

So I didn't really evaluate it, instead trying iBank, Investoscope and SEE Finance. Investoscope doesn't pull data, you have to enter shares and symbols manually but even when I did that, it wasn't showing the balances. iBank pulled data but the balance it got for VG account was plainly wrong and I couldn't make it right.

SEE Finance had the same problems initially but then I downloaded to QFX and imported and it was fine. It had problems with some other accounts though including some which didn't export QFX files like some other institutions. So I had to enter these manually.

In the end, it got pretty close to my spread sheet so I'll try updating the data a few times after DRIP and other transactions on the accounts.

One thing it won't do is an AA calculation across all the investments in the different accounts. Seems like VG is the only one but not all Other Investment Accounts that you set up at the VG site update by themselves, so that's not always current.
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Old 05-10-2011, 12:24 AM   #2
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I have been using Quicken. I recently switched from PC to Mac and I read that Quicken for Mac was not as comprehensive so I am running Quicken for PC on the Mac. I have been using Quicken for years and I have never had a security breach. I do not use the password vault feature though, so my passwords are not saved in Quicken and I have to re-enter them every time.
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Old 05-10-2011, 01:06 PM   #3
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Does Quicken update quotes and balances accurately?

You're talking about running the Windows version of Quicken under Parallels or VMWare or in Bootcamp?

You didn't have to get a Quicken or Intuit account and supply your address and name to be able to download transactions for your accounts?

Vault must be an application-specific feature. On Mac programs, they offer to save passwords to your keychain, which is an OS-level feature for managing passwords.
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Old 05-10-2011, 01:55 PM   #4
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Yes, Quicken downloads quotes accurately. It also downloads transactions accurately. Of course glitches do happen, but I would say that 99% of the time both quotes and balances are correct in Quicken.

I am running Quicken for PC under Parallels.

I did have to open a Quicken account but it was so long ago, I can't remember what information I had to supply. Since I use the online version of Turbotax and provide a lot of personal information to Intuit to prepare my taxes, I have no problem providing my name and address to Intuit.

Vault is indeed specific to Quicken. It allows you to store all of your passwords in the vault so that you can download the data from all of your accounts by providing only the vault's password instead of having to manually enter all the passwords by hand every time. I personally prefer not to use vault. Cracking one password is a lot easier than cracking 5 or 6, so I enter all my passwords manually, every time.

I also do not back up my Quicken data online. I back it up locally.
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Old 05-10-2011, 03:58 PM   #5
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I found a feature in Excel that allows Excel to pull in data from a website. So you can point a cell to a website and have it update live with stock prices, currency rates etc. Obviously won't work behind a password-protected site like a bank account, but it beats manually entering stock and mutual fund prices (and risking inputting incorrectly).

I believe it's under the Data bit of Excel.
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Old 05-10-2011, 04:29 PM   #6
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So is Quicken logging into your accounts to update the quotes?

Or after initial (or periodic) downloads to get the number of shares for an account, it seems these programs should just pull the updated share prices and NAV from other sources than where your accounts are stored and do a simple multiplication operation.

But if it's trying to re-download data from the institutions just to update share prices, that would not make sense.
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Old 05-10-2011, 04:45 PM   #7
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For investments like stocks and mutual funds, Quicken won't ask you to log into your accounts to update the quotes.

For more esoteric investments, like individual TIPS for example, Quicken does get the quote from your financial institution and you will have to log in.
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Old 05-10-2011, 05:20 PM   #8
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OK, thanks, I'll maybe check it out. Not sure I'll get Parallels or VMWare and Windows just to run Quicken though.

Maybe I'll look at the Mac version again. Lot of people are dissatisfied with it and think that Intuit is moving towards Mint for personal finance.
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Old 05-10-2011, 06:05 PM   #9
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I've used Quicken for 15 years, and have all my data for that period. I no longer use the Quicken stock price update because that requires a Quicken account, and then you get lots of junk email. When I did, I found differences in pricing between what Schwab would report when I looked at my account on line. I use the Password vault and feel it is pretty secure. I download often, as it takes virtually no time. Quicken does have an AA capability, but it is less flexible than I would like.
You have to buy an up dated version of Quicken every three years in order to download from brokers etc. Quicken sunsets a version after three years o force the issue.
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Old 05-10-2011, 09:06 PM   #10
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I've used Quicken for 15 years, and have all my data for that period. I no longer use the Quicken stock price update because that requires a Quicken account, and then you get lots of junk email. When I did, I found differences in pricing between what Schwab would report when I looked at my account on line. I use the Password vault and feel it is pretty secure. I download often, as it takes virtually no time. Quicken does have an AA capability, but it is less flexible than I would like.
You have to buy an up dated version of Quicken every three years in order to download from brokers etc. Quicken sunsets a version after three years o force the issue.
I second this, used Quicken for 18 years, including vault and like it! AA in Quicken is not as good as I wish it would. So I've created a Google Spreadsheet and pull quotes automatically (here is how a formula looks in a cell - =GOOGLEFINANCE("ADP", "price") ) and calculate my AA.
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Old 05-11-2011, 12:57 AM   #11
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Hmm, interesting but Google spreadsheet is a cloud service so you'd be storing data online?

Well I guess there's no specific account info, though if you log on, they could assume you own those shares indicated in the spread sheet.

So it would come down to whether you trust Google more or a service like Mint, I suppose.
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Old 05-11-2011, 05:34 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by explanade View Post
OK, thanks, I'll maybe check it out. Not sure I'll get Parallels or VMWare and Windows just to run Quicken though.

Maybe I'll look at the Mac version again. Lot of people are dissatisfied with it and think that Intuit is moving towards Mint for personal finance.
FWIW, I'm another who runs Windows Quicken on my Mac with VMWare Parallels. The Mac Quicken version is still far inferior to the Windows version, so I feel I have no choice. This setup works very well for me.

I probably wouldn't use Parallels just for this, but since there are a few other (rather esoteric) Windows apps I need, it makes sense.
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Old 05-11-2011, 08:55 AM   #13
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I use mint.com

My feeling is the same as Coach, who posted this in the thread linked in the OP:

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I use both Quicken locally installed and Mint and have stored logins on both. I've never worried about Quicken. I checked out what the Mint has to say about security and decided that the risk was tolerable, but I sure can understand why some people don't feel the same.
I love mint, makes it so much easier to track everything (income and spending).
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Old 05-11-2011, 03:48 PM   #14
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Another reason I didn't more at Quicken/Mint is that I'm only interested in portfolio tracking and aggregating all these investment accounts.

Not so much interested in checking and bill paying and so forth. In fact I don't expect to integrate that data for this.

But it's good to hear some of these comprehensive programs handle the portfolio part of it well enough.
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Old 05-11-2011, 03:54 PM   #15
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Hmm, interesting but Google spreadsheet is a cloud service so you'd be storing data online?
Yes, but I only have securities, bonds vs stocks and quantities in a cloud, no accounts information.
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Old 05-11-2011, 05:07 PM   #16
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Another reason I didn't more at Quicken/Mint is that I'm only interested in portfolio tracking and aggregating all these investment accounts.

Not so much interested in checking and bill paying and so forth. In fact I don't expect to integrate that data for this.

But it's good to hear some of these comprehensive programs handle the portfolio part of it well enough.
If portfolio tracking is all you are looking for and if you have an iPad/iPhone/iPod, check out the App called "stockwatch" (it might make it to the iMac store one day). You will have to do some work initially to setup your portfolio, but it will download quotes for your stocks and mutual funds in real time. On the downside, you have to enter all the transactions manually for the balances to remain accurate (which is fine if you don't do a lot of trading). On the upside, there is no need to worry about giving out personal information or passwords. I have been using this app for about 2 years, it's pretty good.
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Old 05-11-2011, 07:04 PM   #17
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I use Vanguard's portfolio analysis where you can input outside investments. For things like other company mutual funds and individual stocks it updates the share price.
for my old company 401k I put in that it is all Wellington fund. THe company portion is not but I true it up and end of each quarter. Close enough for me.
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Old 05-12-2011, 01:25 AM   #18
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But when you log in with your Google account, they have your name and possibly other details. So they may be able to infer that you own those shares somewhere. They could mine that data and infer further about your income, assets, etc.

It's not a Big Brother concern, more like Google could use that data to help its advertisers target you.


I downloaded Stockwatch Lite for iPad, even though I don't have an iPad yet. Can't imagine using it on iPhone. We'll see what it looks like.


I also use the VG "Other Investments" data. But I have to input a lot of data so that is why I'm hoping there's something which can do something similar, except for pulling transactions from other accounts.
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Old 05-12-2011, 09:32 AM   #19
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... when you log in with your Google account, they have your name and possibly other details.
Large understatement.
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Old 05-12-2011, 03:47 PM   #20
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It's not a Big Brother concern, more like Google could use that data to help its advertisers target you.
With how the government can basically demand any info without a subpoena, it is a concern.

Not to mention big brother is often less of a concern these days than Uncle CEO.
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