Monday, January 1, 2018

Quicken Workaround Again

I use the 2010 Quicken Premier program to keep track of my personal finances including some stocks, ETFs and mutual funds that I own.  In 2016 the update function which downloaded current prices from the internet stopped working.  However you can still input prices from a csv (comma separated values) file in the appropriate format and as explained in this post I figured out a way to produce such a file (without entering each price manually) from the Google finance portfolio feature.  Unfortunately in November 2017 Google revamped their finance pages and eliminated the portfolio feature.  It is unclear to me why they did this since this seems like a useful feature that one would not think would be difficult to support.  The new pages (which seem to be designed to be viewed on a phone) seem much less useful.  Anyway I needed a new workaround.

I tried Yahoo again but I still can't create an account.  Apparently this is because Yahoo requires new accounts to be associated with a cell phone (which I don't have).  Annoyingly Yahoo doesn't clearly explain this instead providing a registration procedure for people without cell phones that doesn't work.

Fortunately I was able to use Morningstar.  This requires a basic account which is free but you do have to register.  Morningstar's portfolio feature allows you to enter a list of securities.  It demands purchase dates and share numbers for each but you don't have to enter real values.  Once you have your portfolio set up you can periodically update the security values with current prices.  You can then download them into an Excel spreadsheet.  Then you can use the free Open Office version of Excel to export the spreadsheet as a csv file (ignoring warnings about format incompatibilities).  Finally I wrote another little Fortran program to extract the prices from the csv file and put them in the format Quicken wants.  The main difficulty here was that the security names (like "International Business Machines") were stored instead of the symbols ("IBM") which is what Quicken wants so I also have the program read a list of symbols which I created (this list will have to be updated if I buy or sell securities).  A bit complicated but still better than trying to enter many prices manually.