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Set Up a Mutual Fund Investment Account with Quicken 2005

If you need to track a mutual fund investment in Quicken 2005, you need to know how to set up a mutual fund account and then record your investment activities. Even if you don't invest in mutual funds, understanding how mutual fund record keeping works makes tracking other, more complicated investments — like stocks, bonds, Krugerrands, and commodity options — much, much easier for you.

Setting up an investment account to track a mutual fund works the same way as setting up any other account:

1. Click the Investing Center button.

The Investing Center button, as a careful examination reveals, appears in that row of buttons along the left edge of the window. Quicken, ever the faithful companion, displays the Investing Center window. You may need to click the My Data tab if it isn't shown by default.

2. Click the Add Account button on the Investing Center window.

Quicken dutifully displays the first Quicken Account Setup dialog box that you use to add a new Quicken account. You've seen this dialog box a million times by now. It just asks you to name the financial institution holding your investment account.

3. Identify the financial institution; then click Next.

Name the financial institution (bank, brokerage firm, or mutual fund management company) holding your mutual fund investment account. As you type the name, Quicken displays a list of companies that match what you type. When you see the right name, click it and then click Next. And, oh, if you don't see the right name, indicate that you just want to use the name you've typed and not a name from the list.

Note: If you select a financial institution that supports online setup, Quicken displays a dialog box that asks whether you want to set the account up manually or use a new, special online method. You'll probably want to set up the account manually.

After you complete Step 3, Quicken displays the second Quicken Account Setup dialog box, which asks, "What type of investment account would you like to add?"

4. Identify the account type.

Indicate that you want to create a single mutual fund account.

Note: Quicken lets you set up a 401(k)-type account. Although you need not bother tracking tax-deferred investments — especially when someone else already does the record keeping for you — you can set up an account for a 401(k) account. And then you can use that account to monitor the account's performance. The steps described here for working with a mutual fund investment are the same basic steps you use for working with a 401(k) account.

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

Quicken displays the third Quicken Account Setup dialog box. Move the cursor to the Name This Account text box and type a name for the mutual fund. If you're investing in the Vanguard Index 500 Trust mutual fund, you might type Vanguard Index.

After you click Next, Quicken displays the fourth Quicken Account Setup dialog box, which says, "Tell us about this account."

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

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

7. Provide the ticker symbol; then click Next.

All this fifth dialog box does is collect the mutual fund's ticker symbol 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.

After you click Next, Quicken displays the sixth Quicken Account Setup dialog box, where it asks you to "Enter your current holdings information."

7. Provide a total shares count.

Enter the number of shares you hold in the mutual fund.

8. Click Next.

Quicken displays a dialog box summarizing the mutual fund 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.

9. If everything seems okay, click Done.

Quicken displays an investment summary window for the new mutual fund investment (as shown in Figure 1).


Figure 1: The investment window.
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