Community discussion: Why does the brokerage balance not match?

From: John Pollard (8plus7...)

Why does the brokerage balance not match?

Found at:

A subsequent post in this Community discussion has caused me to add the following.

I don't understand why no one seems to get the problem. The original poster had already submitted a snapshot that clearly demonstrates the problem. Which is that the original poster has "units" in Quicken (for the security in question) that are denominated in price/share. "Shares" held must be multiplied by "price/share" to get a correct market value. "Units" held must be multiplied by "price/unit" to get the correct market value. The original poster's market value is being computed by multiplying "units" held by "price/share" - guarenteeing an incorrect market value.

The account is a 401k account - the securities held in a 401k account (a non-taxable account) are often special versions of securities with the same name held in taxable accounts. The versions of those securities held in non-taxable accounts typically have a different "price". Such securities are not publicly traded, and they have a different price than their publicly traded counter-parts of the same name.

[SuperUser Jacobs has his "solution" almost totally wrong. The original poster has the number of units exactly correct: the unit for securities in 401k accounts is typically "Units", rather than shares. And that unit is ALWAYS "Units" when the same security in the 401k has a different price than the security with the same name that is publicly traded. The op's number of "Units" is correct. The basic problem is that the op's price is incorrect: the price that the op is using is a "price/share" ... when it should be a "price/unit". Please note: SuperUser Jacobs is an intelligent and very helpful poster: but he missed diagnosed this particular problem.]

When everyone realizes that it is the price that is incorrect; it should be seen that the solution is simple.

The op has been allowing Quicken to download prices via the Quicken quote download feature for that 401k security. Downloading prices using the Quicken quote download feature ONLY gets prices for publicly traded securities. You can not use the "price/share" to compute the market value of a security held in "units": you must use the "price/unit" (which you CANNOT get from a Quicken quote download).

The "fix" (almost the exact opposite of that proposed by SuperUser Jacobs) is: Remove the 401k security from the Quicken quote download. And remove EVERY price/"share" price from the Quicken price history (the Quicken price history for this security in this account should contain ONLY price/"unit" entries). It should be easy (at least in this case) to distinguish price history entries for "shares" from the price history entries for "units", since the price/share appears to be some times greater than the price/unit. [The only source for downloaded "price/unit" prices is the downloaded Holdings from the financial institution.]

If distinguishing the price/share entries from the price/unit entries becomes too difficult, all entries in the price history should be deleted; then some other source of those prices should be used for the historical prices .... manual entry, .CSV file import ... whatever. In Quicken for Windows, this is a straightforward process; though, depending on the number of prices to be replace, a somewhat cumbersome process.

[NOTE: "units" (referred to in the referenced discussion), which are units of the security "Huntington Ingalls Industries, Inc.", do NOT have anything to do with securities known as "Unit Investment Trusts".]

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