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How to Use Quicken 2010 to Track Tax-Deferred Investments

If you want to us Quicken 2010 to track a tax-deferred investment — such as a 401(k), 403(b) plan, or an individual retirement account — you need to know how to set up a tax-deferred account and then record your investment activities.

  1. Display the Account List window.

    Choose Tools→Account List to do this.

  2. Click the Add Account button.

    Quicken dutifully displays the first Quicken Account Setup dialog box that you use to add a new Quicken account. It just asks you to identify the type of account you want to add.

  3. Identify the type of investments in the account.

    You click the Investment/Retirement button to indicate you’re adding an investment account. After you click the Investment/Retirement button, Quicken displays a second set of option buttons that asks you to be more specific and indicate whether you’re setting up a standard brokerage account, an IRA or Keogh-type account, a 401(k) or 403(b) account, or a 529 plan. Click the option button that best describes your investment.

  4. Identify the financial institution.

    This dialog box enables you enter the bank or broker name or part of the name in a text box or, alternatively, lets you use buttons to generate a list of banks and brokers that begin with, for example, the word bank or the letter L. Alternatively, you can click an option button that indicates you don’t want to identify your bank or broker.

  5. Click Next, name the investment, and then click Next again.

    Move the cursor to the Account Name/Nickname text box and type a name for the account. If you’re setting up an account to track an individual retirement account, you might type IRA. Note that you can indicate whether the account holds personal, business, or real estate transactions. But the default selection md Personal Transactions md should be correct.

  6. Provide the last statement date and then click Next.

    The fourth Quicken Account Setup dialog box asks for the date of the statement you’re using to enter your investment information. This date is the starting date, in essence, for your investment record keeping with Quicken. Enter the date and then click Next.

  7. Describe the cash balance or money market balance (if any) associated with the account and then click Next.

    To describe this cash account, use the Cash and Money Market text boxes to give the opening balances. The information that you provide to set up a cash account or money market fund mirrors the information you provide to set up a regular ol’ checking account.

  8. 8.Identify the account owner and click Next.

    Indicate who owns the tax-deferred investment account — you or your spouse.

  9. Name the security, provide the ticker symbol, and then click Next.

    This sixth dialog box does two things for you:

    • First, it collects the investment’s ticker symbol (if available) so that you can download share prices several times during the day and drive yourself half mad with anxiety. If you don’t know the ticker symbol, click the Ticker Symbol Lookup button to display a Quicken.com Web page that lets you find the ticker symbol.

    • Second, it asks you to name the security held in the investment account you’re setting up, using the Security Name box. This won’t make sense in some cases — such as when you’re holding a single certificate of deposit in an IRA. But in other cases — like when you’ve set up an IRA with a mutual fund company and you’ve invested in three different mutual funds within the IRA — separately identifying the different securities within the account will make sense.

  10. Provide a total shares count.

    Enter the number of shares you hold of each security you identified in Step 9.

  11. Click Next.

    Quicken displays a dialog box summarizing the investment that you’ve just entered. If something seems amiss, click the Back button to find the Quicken Account Setup dialog box where you entered some incorrect bit of information.

    If everything seems okay, click Done. For some types of tax-deferred investment accounts, Quicken may also ask for additional information. For example, if you set up an IRA account, Quicken asks about the type of IRA you’re setting up. And Quicken may ask if you’re setting up an account that will hold a single mutual fund. Answer the question, if asked, by clicking the Yes or No button as appropriate. Then click Done again. This time click harder — like you really mean it.

  12. Review the new (partially described) investment.

    To check your work so far, click the Investing tab so that Quicken displays the Investing tab, or window. (You can also display this window any other time simply by clicking the Investing hyperlink in the Accounts bar along the left edge of the Quicken window.) Then, click the account’s name in the Investing window. Quicken displays the Holdings window for the new investment.

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