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How do you price your individual bonds?
Old 08-23-2010, 05:38 PM   #1
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How do you price your individual bonds?

I have bought a number of individual TIPS over the past couple of years and I was wondering how to price them in Quicken. I do intend to keep them to maturity. Should I mark them to market (knowing that they are less liquid than nominal treasuries and therefore pricing them can be iffy) or should I price them based on the value of the adjusted principal?

If you own illiquid corporate or municipal bonds, how do you price them?
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Old 08-23-2010, 06:23 PM   #2
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I bought the ones I own through brokers.
They basically keep me informed on their value to market.
Vanguard daily up date.
Morgan Keegan Monthly but guess I could call on any given day.
Not sure this helps you at all.
Steve
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Old 08-23-2010, 06:32 PM   #3
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I look at both mark to market and par for munis. Market to know the current yield from an opportunity cost perspective even if I didn't plan on selling. Par to know the value of assets if held to maturity. I keep a separate cost basis spreadsheet for tax purposes but not for performance tracking.

I don't buy at any above par, but maybe I would add cost basis for performance tracking if I did. I haven't really thought about it until just now.

I don't track investment in Quicken so I can't speak to that.
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Old 08-23-2010, 08:20 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by FIREdreamer View Post
If you own illiquid corporate or municipal bonds, how do you price them?
If you are going to bother to do this at all, I would say market, as this is what will count if you need a loan or need to produce a balance sheet for any other reason.

Ha
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Old 08-23-2010, 09:43 PM   #5
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I agree mark to market. As Stevewc stated, Vanguard updates this daily but any recent value will do.
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Old 08-24-2010, 07:04 AM   #6
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I mark to market using TRACE. If you poke around at Investing In Bonds you will find access to bond pricing that shows each trade.

When something is illiquid, you may have to interpolate (guess) based on similar issuers. I have one issue that frequently will not trade for a month, but it isn't hard to guess at a ballpark price.
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Old 08-24-2010, 10:35 AM   #7
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Thanks everyone. I have figured out how to mark my TIPS to market in Quicken. I am not sure where Quicken gets the info, but the quoted prices are fairly close to what I can gather from other sources like Vanguard. I guess I'll track the TIPS' adjusted principal elsewhere.
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Old 08-24-2010, 10:38 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FIREdreamer View Post
I have bought a number of individual TIPS over the past couple of years and I was wondering how to price them in Quicken. I do intend to keep them to maturity. Should I mark them to market (knowing that they are less liquid than nominal treasuries and therefore pricing them can be iffy) or should I price them based on the value of the adjusted principal?
I own four different TIPS issues with staggered maturities ('16, '25, '32, '40) and I mark them to market. Well, actually, Schwab does nightly and I import their most current market price into Quicken every few days when I get new transactions and update security values.

Do you have them in a brokerage where they mark to market daily or are these Treasury Direct issues?
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Old 08-24-2010, 10:50 AM   #9
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I own four different TIPS issues with staggered maturities ('16, '25, '32, '40) and I mark them to market. Well, actually, Schwab does nightly and I import their most current market price into Quicken every few days when I get new transactions and update security values.

Do you have them in a brokerage where they mark to market daily or are these Treasury Direct issues?
They are in a brokerage account at Vanguard. Vanguard marks them to market every day or so but I rarely log in to my account to check their market prices since I use Quicken to centrally manage my money. How do you "import" market prices from Schwab to Quicken?
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Old 08-30-2010, 10:58 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by FIREdreamer View Post
They are in a brokerage account at Vanguard. Vanguard marks them to market every day or so but I rarely log in to my account to check their market prices since I use Quicken to centrally manage my money. How do you "import" market prices from Schwab to Quicken?
I'm not the person you asked, but...

I have Quicken 2006 Deluxe and it had (*) the ability to connect over the internet to Vanguard, Fidelity, USAA, and a bunch of other institutions and download your account details. It would download current prices as well as transactions (such as dividend payments, etc.) that had posted.

2Cor521

(*) Intuit has played the forced upgrade game with me and I'm too cheap to pony up the $30 or whatever for a newer version, so I just do the data entry and updates manually. Since I don't generate that many transactions and can type relatively well, it isn't that big of a hassle.
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Old 08-31-2010, 12:00 AM   #11
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For TIPS you can also get the prices here.

Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities (TIPS) - Markets Data Center - WSJ.com
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Old 08-31-2010, 12:15 AM   #12
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I'm not the person you asked, but...

I have Quicken 2006 Deluxe and it had (*) the ability to connect over the internet to Vanguard, Fidelity, USAA, and a bunch of other institutions and download your account details. It would download current prices as well as transactions (such as dividend payments, etc.) that had posted.

2Cor521

(*) Intuit has played the forced upgrade game with me and I'm too cheap to pony up the $30 or whatever for a newer version, so I just do the data entry and updates manually. Since I don't generate that many transactions and can type relatively well, it isn't that big of a hassle.
I use Quicken all the time to download transactions but I never realized that it downloaded my investments' current prices from the financial institutions as well. When I update my Vanguard account in Quicken, the TIPS prices get updated as well, so it works! Thanks!
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Old 08-31-2010, 04:03 AM   #13
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I put them in the portfolio at the bid price quoted by the bank I brought them through at the end of each month. In effect this is the minimum I would get if I decided to sell them at that time.
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