Set Up a Tax-Deferred Investment Account in Quicken 2013 - dummies

Set Up a Tax-Deferred Investment Account in Quicken 2013

By Stephen L. Nelson

If you need to track a tax-deferred investment in Quicken 2013, you need to know how to set up a tax-deferred account and then record your investment activities. Understanding how tax-deferred investment works makes tracking taxable investments much, much easier for you.

Setting up an investment account to track a tax-deferred investment account works the same way as setting up any other account:

1Display the Accounts List window.

Choose Tools→Accounts List to do this.

2Click the Add an Account button.

Quicken dutifully displays the first Quicken Add Account dialog box that you use to add a new Quicken account. You’ve likely seen this dialog box a million times by now. It just asks you to identify the type of account you want to add.

3Identify the type of investments in the account.

You select the appropriate Investing & Retirement hyperlink to indicate you’re adding an investment account — Brokerage, 401(k) or 403(b), IRA or Keogh Plan, or 529 Plan — and then when you do, Quicken asks for the name of the financial institution you use.

Just to quickly identify what these different account types actually are, a 529 plan is a college savings account that complies with Sec. 529 of the Internal Revenue Code. The 401(k) and 403(b) accounts are retirement accounts that comply with Sec. 401(k) and Sec. 403(b) of the Internal Revenue Code.

The IRA or Keogh account type is for individual retirement accounts (IRA) and Keogh accounts (an old retirement savings account option). The standard brokerage account option is the catchall account type for investment accounts that aren’t tax-favored retirement or college savings accounts.

4Identify the financial institution.

After you specify which type of investment account you’re setting up, Quicken displays the second Add Account dialog box, which asks for the name of the bank or broker holding your investments. This dialog box lets you enter the bank or broker name or part of the name in a text box or, alternatively, lets you choose from a list of popular banks by clicking the bank or institution’s name.

If you do identify the bank or financial institution, Quicken prompts you to provide the online username and password used for electronically accessing your account information. Alternatively, you can click the Advanced Setup hyperlink at the bottom of the dialog box to indicate you don’t want to identify your bank or broker.

Quicken then displays another version of the second Add Account dialog box, which lets you click the I Want to Enter Transactions Manually button to indicate you want to enter investment transactions manually.

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

Quicken displays the third Add Account dialog box. 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.

After you click Next, Quicken displays the fourth Add Account dialog box.

6Provide the last statement date and then click Next.

The fourth Add Account 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.

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

As you probably already know if you’re investing through a broker, some investment accounts have a cash account associated with the main investment account. The cash in this account, of course, provides the money you use for additional investments. And when you receive cash from selling some investment or from some dividend, the money goes into this account.

To describe this cash account, use the Cash and Money Market text boxes to give the opening balances. You can probably guess this, but at the risk of being redundant, 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(Optional) Identify the account owner.

If you set up a 401(k) or 403(b) account, Quicken may prompt you to enter information about who owns the tax-deferred investment account — you or your spouse. Using the boxes and buttons available, try to answer these questions as best you can about whether an account is yours or your spouse’s, whether the account relates to current or past employment, and so on.

Don’t however worry too much about this. This is all just icing on the cake. When you’ve answered the questions as best you can, click Next to display the sixth Add Account dialog box.

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

This sixth dialog box 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 web page that lets you find the ticker symbol.

It also 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.

After you click Next, Quicken displays the seventh Add Account dialog box.

10Provide a total shares count.

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

11Click 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 Add Account 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. Answer any questions by clicking the Yes or No button as appropriate. Then click Done again.

12Review the new (partially described) investment.

To check your work so far, click the Investing tab. Quicken displays the Portfolio window, which shows your new investment account and provides a bit of additional, investment-related information.