Quicken or alternatives?

Banking and Saving strategies, maximizing interest rates, budgeting, GICs, HISAs.
Wing
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Quicken or alternatives?

Post by Wing » 24 Jan 2017 20:34

Is Quicken starter edition good enough for tracking bank and investment (buy/sell of stocks) accounts?

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ig17
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Re: Quicken 2016 upgrade - feedback and comments

Post by ig17 » 24 Jan 2017 22:05

Wing wrote:Is Quicken starter edition good enough for tracking bank and investment (buy/sell of stocks) accounts?
Canadian version of the starter edition is called Quicken Cash Manager. It supports banking but not investments.

https://www.quicken.com/canada/personal ... tware.html

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Re: Quicken 2016 upgrade - feedback and comments

Post by Wing » 26 Jan 2017 07:50

ig17 wrote:
Wing wrote:Is Quicken starter edition good enough for tracking bank and investment (buy/sell of stocks) accounts?
Canadian version of the starter edition is called Quicken Cash Manager. It supports banking but not investments.

https://www.quicken.com/canada/personal ... tware.html
Thanks! I see some web sites suggests Grucash as a free alternative to quicken. Is that good, or is there even a better alternative by price? I don't need any downloads or analysis.

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Re: Quicken 2016 upgrade - feedback and comments

Post by Peculiar_Investor » 26 Jan 2017 08:08

Wing wrote:Thanks! I see some web sites suggests Grucash as a free alternative to quicken.
Like FWF. Let me introduce you to the forum's search function, search.php?keywords=gnucash
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Wing
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Re: Quicken 2016 upgrade - feedback and comments

Post by Wing » 26 Jan 2017 21:02

Peculiar_Investor wrote:
Wing wrote:Thanks! I see some web sites suggests Grucash as a free alternative to quicken.
Like FWF. Let me introduce you to the forum's search function, search.php?keywords=gnucash
Thanks, but I already knew and read through before posting the question. I thought someone might know even a better alternative that's new.

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Re: Quicken 2016 upgrade - feedback and comments

Post by mwyddgrug » 03 Feb 2017 11:09

Wing wrote:Thanks, but I already knew and read through before posting the question. I thought someone might know even a better alternative that's new.
I took another look at the open source alternatives to Quicken late last year. I have several years of Quicken transactions to import and require a solution that handles investments and multiple currencies. I was really optimistic that GnuCash would have improved since my last review in 2014 but alas no. I found GnuCash usability was poor and the latest "stable" release was unstable for me. YMMV. The developer response was to try the nightly build but I still had to manually edit the QIF file to get a successful import. I have a programming background and was willing to roll up my sleeves and fix bugs in the code but I gave up. It is a confusing mix of several technologies, the rationale for design decisions appear to have been lost over time and there are sections of code where the current developers seemed uncertain if/how it works. Perhaps this happens to all complex, open source projects eventually but the experience did not inspire confidence. I also tried Homebank and although the usability was better that GnuCash, it did not handle my investment needs.

I'm currently running KMyMoney 4.8.0 (on Windows 10) in parallel with Quicken 2014 as a test. While not perfect, it feels as mature as GnuCash but I find it has better usability. I'm hoping that it reaches the required WAF before Quicken 2014 expires. I did find a few bugs while doing the QIF import but I was able to fix a couple of them for the next minor release. It has an active developer community that offer workarounds, welcome bug fixes and seem open to new feature requests so I think I'll persevere with it. Are there any other non-cloud products that I should be considering?

Edit: I realize that my description of KMyMoney above might put off some people because I make it sound like it is only for computer programmers. This is certainly not the case. It is a mature product and comes with a nice installer and QIF/QFX/OFX/quote/report wizards. In my case, I was looking for a Quicken replacement AND an Open Source project where I could contribute to making it better (or at least fix the bugs that bugged me the most).

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Re: Quicken 2016 upgrade - feedback and comments

Post by Wing » 04 Feb 2017 09:19

mwyddgrug wrote:
Wing wrote:Thanks, but I already knew and read through before posting the question. I thought someone might know even a better alternative that's new.
I took another look at the open source alternatives to Quicken late last year. I have several years of Quicken transactions to import and require a solution that handles investments and multiple currencies. I was really optimistic that GnuCash would have improved since my last review in 2014 but alas no. I found GnuCash usability was poor and the latest "stable" release was unstable for me. YMMV. The developer response was to try the nightly build but I still had to manually edit the QIF file to get a successful import. I have a programming background and was willing to roll up my sleeves and fix bugs in the code but I gave up. It is a confusing mix of several technologies, the rationale for design decisions appear to have been lost over time and there are sections of code where the current developers seemed uncertain if/how it works. Perhaps this happens to all complex, open source projects eventually but the experience did not inspire confidence. I also tried Homebank and although the usability was better that GnuCash, it did not handle my investment needs.

I'm currently running KMyMoney 4.8.0 (on Windows 10) in parallel with Quicken 2014 as a test. While not perfect, it feels as mature as GnuCash but I find it has better usability. I'm hoping that it reaches the required WAF before Quicken 2014 expires. I did find a few bugs while doing the QIF import but I was able to fix a couple of them for the next minor release. It has an active developer community that offer workarounds, welcome bug fixes and seem open to new feature requests so I think I'll persevere with it. Are there any other non-cloud products that I should be considering?

Edit: I realize that my description of KMyMoney above might put off some people because I make it sound like it is only for computer programmers. This is certainly not the case. It is a mature product and comes with a nice installer and QIF/QFX/OFX/quote/report wizards. In my case, I was looking for a Quicken replacement AND an Open Source project where I could contribute to making it better (or at least fix the bugs that bugged me the most).
Thank you very much for your comprehensive reply. I've tried Grucash and agree with you. Will give KMyMoney a try and see how it goes.

I used to have Quicken but it's Windows 10 that makes my old Quicken not able to be installed. I like Quicken but feel ripped off when the software expires every few years.

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Re: Quicken or alternatives?

Post by Mordko » 04 Feb 2017 10:30

I use Google Sheets. Obviously takes some effort to design a personalized system but it pays off in absolutely flexibility and ability to address your exact needs.

My investment monitoring spreadsheet:

- Reads in the current values of investments, including British Mutual/Pension funds
- Calculates time- and money-weighted returns
- Calculates ACB for ETFs, taking into account Return of Capital and Capital Gains distributions.
- Does an "X-ray" of my total investment to graphically show distributions by industries and countries
- Sends me an email when the dividends are paid or rebalancing is required.

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Re: Quicken or alternatives?

Post by kukucanuck » 04 Feb 2017 11:16

I use MS Moneyplus. Free to download from Microsoft and is very versatile to meet my requirements. No renewals required. Compatible with most financial websites.

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Re: Quicken or alternatives?

Post by Wing » 05 Feb 2017 04:06

kukucanuck wrote:I use MS Moneyplus. Free to download from Microsoft and is very versatile to meet my requirements. No renewals required. Compatible with most financial websites.
Are you using Windows 10? Read that MS MoneyPlus has problems on Windows 10 a year or so ago, not sure if there's any update since.

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Re: Quicken or alternatives?

Post by Shakespeare » 05 Feb 2017 09:46

After a solid afternoon's work I got Yahoo finance calls to work with Libreoffice Libreoffice Quotes - Financial Wisdom Forum, although there are some formatting inconsistencies in the retrieved data. The main problem was getting the ACCRINT calculation to work properly, since it does not work the way it should in Excel or Libreoffice; the Lotus ACCRUED function does work correctly.

I wound up using this, which seems to work:

Code: Select all

=(YEARFRAC(DATE(1992,12,1),NOW(),1)*2-FLOOR(YEARFRAC(DATE(1992,12,1),NOW(),1),1)*2)*4.25/2
This is for semi-annual pay. The DATE is a bond coupon date - here Dec. 1 1992 for a 2021 RRB. Teh "4.25" is the coupon rate. THe YEARFRAC function gives the number of years plus a fraction since the coupon; this has to be multiplied by two for a semiannual bond.The FLOOR function strips away the integer part; I could also have used the INT function.

It would be easier if Excel had designed the ACCRINT function correctly to work for the last coupon period, rather than from the issue date. Plus ACCRINT gave the wrong answer for a long period.

Added: the actual price call is =GETYAHOO("BNS.TO",21) .

Further added: To remove formatting inconsistencies use the VALUE operative on the call: =VALUE(GETYAHOO("BNS.TO",21))
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Re: Quicken or alternatives?

Post by kukucanuck » 05 Feb 2017 14:41

Are you using Windows 10? Read that MS MoneyPlus has problems on Windows 10 a year or so ago, not sure if there's any update since.
Yes. I have been using Windows 10 since last six months or so. No issues.

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Re: Quicken or alternatives?

Post by Shakespeare » 06 Feb 2017 10:17

Well, I have to say I'm a little disappointed in the speed of my new Libreoffice spreadsheet in comparison to my existing 1-2-3 one. This may be in part because the Libreoffice sheet uses individual GETYAHOO calls for 3 parameters - price, change, and date - for 25 stocks. IN 1-2-3 I build a string and use one Yahoo call. But, in general, Libreoffice seems much slower than 1-2-3.
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Re: Quicken or alternatives?

Post by DenisD » 06 Feb 2017 12:55

Shakespeare wrote:Well, I have to say I'm a little disappointed in the speed of my new Libreoffice spreadsheet in comparison to my existing 1-2-3 one.
How old is your 1-2-3? An older version of LO would probably be snappier than the current version.

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Re: Quicken or alternatives?

Post by Shakespeare » 06 Feb 2017 13:45

DenisD wrote:
Shakespeare wrote:Well, I have to say I'm a little disappointed in the speed of my new Libreoffice spreadsheet in comparison to my existing 1-2-3 one.
How old is your 1-2-3? An older version of LO would probably be snappier than the current version.
Lotus Millenium Edition. scalc loads significantly faster if I load it directly rather than via LibreOffice.
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Re: Quicken or alternatives?

Post by AltaRed » 14 Feb 2017 13:01

I've mentioned elsewhere that one thing to consider is how easy it will be for a surviving spouse, POA, or executor to pick up the pieces on one's financial records. Anyone who has been an executor or POA for a sizeable, i.e. non-vanilla, financial position will appreciate processes and products that are easily picked up and understood. Been there, done that.

Quicken or something like it will thus always be what I employ in empathy for those who will have to take over my affairs.
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Re: Quicken or alternatives?

Post by OnlyMyOpinion » 14 Feb 2017 13:32

Our monthly pdf account statements and an occasional csv>xls rollup of our accounts (incl chq and visa) for a look back or rebalancing seems to be sufficient for our needs. Having a daily download of prices, etc. isn't data we'd be acting on, so Quicken or equivalents would have more functionality than we'd use.
The EPA/trustee is instructed how to access these online to be able to capture the state of current accs, bills owing, etc.

I do admit to having a portfolio loaded into Google Finance that I click on during the week to see what's up and down, daily gain/loss. I used to be able to tell DW as she headed out the door, "oh, oh, we're down $15k today, don't spend too much shopping" :lol:.
But since last fall that hasn't been happening nearly enough. :roll:

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Re: Quicken or alternatives?

Post by AltaRed » 14 Feb 2017 13:43

Fair enough. A prudent POA/Executor would at least start with the most recent financial institution statements. Presumanbly everyone also has a true/correct up-to-date ACB record for all their assets as well.
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Re: Quicken or alternatives?

Post by Germack » 18 Feb 2017 12:23

I will not be upgrading to the latest Quicken version.

Instead I will use Mint to track my spending and use my old version of Quicken to keep track of the ACB of my investments.

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Re: Quicken or alternatives?

Post by pj2004 » 18 Feb 2017 22:46

Wallace wrote:

Wallace wrote:
I downloaded KMyMoney and have imported the qif file generated by Quicken.

CROCKD wrote:
I have been thinking of also doing this as a backup for when or if Quicken 2011 does not work anymore. I have always manually entered my data.
Let's know how KMyMoney works out.

Wallace wrote:
I've spent several days playing with it. If I were starting out from scratch I would definitely consider it rather than Quicken, but I have 20 years worth of data in Quicken and the time and effort needed to put that all in KMyMoney is not worth it for me. I produced and imported a QIF file from present data and it gave me 356 errors that would need correcting.
Besides, I'm retired now and no longer have dozens of bank entries to download. So I'm going for Adrian's solution, will keep my 2014 version and download manually. I already do all the investment tracking manually anyway. That way my data will stay in the same format until I take the one-way magical mystery tour.
After reading your comment, I decided to try kMyMoney. Unfortunately, I had a lot of issues after the QIF import. The Tags are not supported and were not imported properly. None of my accounts were somewhat converted properly. The interface looks nice but like you, re-entering 20 years of data is not worth it.

I also tried Moneydance. The import didn't go that bad - only a few doubled/orphaned transactions. My biggest problem: how currencies are managed and imported. I just couldn't get the Capital Gain report to work properly which you'd think be one of the main reason for using a software.

So I guess for now, I'll stay with my Q2015 and wait... We are probably not as important as a group as we think we are. That may explain why there's just no real alternative to Quicken even though the program has barely changed in the last 5 years. Then again, it's a mature program... There's no need to reinvent the wheel every year... Another reason why spending 90$/year is probably expensive for a program that will barely change...
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Re: Quicken or alternatives?

Post by ig17 » 19 Feb 2017 01:17

I spent a couple of days playing with KMyMoney. I first tried to transfer Quicken data in one shot as a single QIF file. That attempt failed miserably: I got too many import errors in KMM.

I next tried to export/import the accounts one by one, each account in a separate QIF file. I was able to transfer all of the banking and credit card accounts with relatively few issues. KMM correctly matched about 60-70% of the transfers between the accounts. I manually fixed the remainder. Luckily, KMM interface for merging duplicate transactions is excellent, so this experience wasn't too painful. I also had to manually fix the transfers between CAD and USD accounts. KMM import uses 1:1 exchange rate by default because QIF file format doesn't support currencies.

But that was as far as I could get. Brokerage accounts fared far worse than banking/CC accounts. KMM import resulted in significant loss of data. Just to give one example, KMM import lost all interest payments in the brokerage accounts. So far, I haven't figured out how to solve this issue.

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Re: Quicken or alternatives?

Post by Wallace » 20 Feb 2017 12:14

ig17 wrote:Brokerage accounts fared far worse than banking/CC accounts.
That's what I found too. Although I could have lived with the shortcomings on the banking side of the program the handling of brokerage accounts seemed just too clumsy for me.
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Re: Quicken or alternatives?

Post by IdOp » 20 Feb 2017 15:39

I just wanted to throw out an idea, not sure if it would meet anyone's needs or not. This is for investment tracking.

Suppose you choose a cut-off date, like 31 Dec 2016. Use Quicken for everything up to that time. For transactions beyond that time use whatever new software you wish. To start it off, instead of trying to import years of Quicken data and all the problems that may come with that, just enter each of your investment positions in the new software as a Buy on the cut-off date for an amount equal to its ACB at that time.

This should be simpler to get started. The disadvantage is you can't make reports spanning the old and new regimes, but over time that should become less important. If you don't split tax years across the two softwares that would help too.

Just a thought ...

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Re: Quicken or alternatives?

Post by AltaRed » 20 Feb 2017 15:50

That is essentially what I did post-division of assets with my ex circa Apr 1, 2008. Everything went out 'removed' from the accounts that existed at time of division on March 31, and then I started new Accounts for myself by 'adding' assets to my ''new' Accounts (with appropriate Cost Basis) effective April 1. The only difference to what you suggest in my case is that my Quicken software can still generate whatever reports I want pre-March 31, and obviously on anything forward from there that started effective April 1.

There is no need to re-enter all historical data.... Simply keep it in existing Quicken software with an end date, and keep the software and its files to generate historical reports as one wishes.
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Re: Quicken or alternatives?

Post by DenisD » 20 Feb 2017 15:55

IdOp wrote:just enter each of your investment positions in the new software as a Buy on the cut-off date for an amount equal to its ACB at that time.
Future return calculations would be wrong. Better to record both the ACB and the value.

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