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I love Quicken. I’ve been using it to track our finances since January 1, 1997. During that time, however, I have noticed a few shortcomings. Perhaps the greatest of these is Quicken’s lack of support for certificates of deposit.
It doesn’t seem like it could be that hard for Intuit to build in straightforward, intuitive support for something as basic as a CD but, for some reason, they didn’t. I’m not sure if this problem persists in the newest versions — I’m still using Quicken 2002 Deluxe — but a couple of years ago I came up with a good workaround.
My solution has been to create a dummy ‘portfolio’ account to track all of our CDs, regardless of source. Whenever we buy a new CD, I simply create a new security — e.g., PF5Y01/04 stands for the Pentagon Federal 5 Year CD that we initiated in January of 2004 — and track it by ‘purchasing’ the appropriate dollar amount at $1.00/share (e.g., a $5000 CD would be recorded as 5000 shares @ $1/each).
As the interest rolls in, I just treat it as a dividend reinvestment (transaction type RD). This approach works flawlessly, and the beauty of it is that I can track an unlimited number of CDs in a single account. No need for separate accounts, even if you’re dealing with multiple institutions. You can even create a new ‘type’ of security in Quicken and assign all of your CDs to it (I’m especially creative, so I called the new type ‘CD’). This makes it easy to track the performance of your CDs en masse.
And by the way, I can now confirm that Intuit really has disabled online support for Quicken 2002 and earlier. I can’t even download quotes. Looks like its time to upgrade to the 2004 version that we got free with one of our recent computer purchases.
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