Assigning Lots in Quicken


In terms of securities, a lot is the number of shares that you purchase in a single investment transaction.

When you sell a security that has multiple lots, Quicken allows you to identify which specific lot you are selling from.

Quicken supports five types of lot assignments:

  • Implied FIFO (First In, First Out): When you sell a security, the sale is not assigned to a specific Bought, Reinvest, or Shares Added transaction in Quicken. The sale is assigned to the first Bought, Reinvest, or Shares Added transaction. This means that a lot assignment can change if you later add a Bought, Reinvest, or Shares Added transaction that pre-dates all others for a security. All Placeholder Entry transactions in Quicken are Implied FIFO.
  • Explicit FIFO (First In, First Out): When you sell a security, the sale is permanently assigned to the first Bought, Reinvest, or Shares Added transaction in Quicken.
  • Explicit LIFO (Last In, First Out): When you sell a security, the sale is permanently assigned to the last Bought, Reinvest, or Shares Added transaction in Quicken.
  • Explicit Maximize Gain: When you sell a security, Quicken allocates shares from all of the Bought, Reinvest, and Shares Added transactions in a combination that yields the highest difference between your cost paid and cost sold for the security.
  • Explicit Minimize Gain: When you sell a security, Quicken allocates shares from all of the Bought, Reinvest, and Shares Added transactions in a combination that yields the lowest difference between your cost paid and cost sold for the security.

Mutual Funds

When you add a mutual fund to Quicken you have the option to use the Average Cost Single Category Method to track your gain or loss. (Choose Tools menu > Security List, click New Security, and then choose Use Average Cost.)

  • If you decide to use the average cost method, Quicken calculates your cost by multiplying the number of shares sold by the average price paid for all shares prior to the date of the sell transaction. Shares sold are considered to come from the oldest shares first using Explicit FIFO.
  • If you don't use the average cost method, you may choose any of the five types of lot assignments above to identify lots and calculate cost.

Rebuilding your lot assignments

Quicken includes a feature that validates your lot assignments by checking for a link between the Bought, Shares Added, and Reinvest transactions and the Sold and Shares Removed transactions. Here's how it works:

  • If an explicit link is broken and Quicken knows how to repair it, it will do so.
  • If an explicit link is broken and Quicken does not know how to repair it, it will remove the broken link and assign lots using Implied FIFO.
  • Quicken ignores Implied FIFO lots because there is no direct linkage between a specific purchase and sell transaction.

When the process is complete, Quicken will let you know how many links it repaired and how many links it removed and assigned to Implied FIFO. Quicken will also add a price to the price history list if a price is missing.

To use this feature:

  • In Quicken 2010 and earlier: go here.
  • In Quicken 2011: choose File menu > File Operations > Validate and Repair and then select Rebuild investing lots.

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Tip: To find out which version of Quicken you are using, open Quicken go to Help menu and select About Quicken.