How do I use the Buy/Sell Preview for a quick estimate

Quicken's Buy/Sell Preview is designed to calculate tax and portfolio balancing implications for straightforward transactions that involve a single security. It assumes First In, First Out when handling lots. For more complex sales scenarios involving multiple securities or multiple lots, you should use the Capital Gains Estimator.

The Buy/Sell Preview is not meant to be used with ESOGs or ESPPs. Use the Capital Gains Estimator.

  1. Choose Investing tab > Tools > Buy/Sell Preview .
  2. Type the information for your proposed sale.
    • Tell me more about entering the information
      • Action (Buy or Sell)
      • Number of shares you plan to buy or sell
      • Security you plan to buy or sell. If this is not a security you're currently tracking in Quicken, click the drop-down arrow on the security field and then choose Add New Security.
      • The account you'll use to track this transaction in Quicken.
      • Date of the proposed purchase or sale.
      • Price of the proposed purchase or sale. Click Current Market Value if you need to obtain the current price of the security you want to buy or sell

      The Buy/Sell Preview uses values stored the security's price history window. For best results, make sure these values are up to date.

  3. Click Calculate to view your results in the Analysis window below. The Buy/Sell Preview uses a FIFO (First In, First Out) model when calculating proposed sales.
  4. If you made a mistake during the previous steps and wish to begin again, click Clear. (Optional)
  5. Depending on whether you're previewing a buy or a sell, the Analysis window displays different information:
    • For a Buy

      • The total purchase price
      • The percentage of your portfolio that the security would constitute after your proposed purchase
    • For a Sell
      • Your year-to-date capital gains tax due (federal tax)
      • Your gross proceeds from this sale
      • Your cost basis
      • Your pretax gain for this sale
      • Your estimated federal tax on the proposed sale
      • Your after-tax gain on this sale
      • Whether the capital gains on this sale would be classified as short or long term
      • Your pre- and after-tax ROI
      • The percentage of your portfolio the security would constitute after your proposed sale
  6. At the bottom of the Buy/Sell Preview window, Quicken displays Next steps and a link to the Capital Gains Estimator. For both sell and buy actions, next steps include a link to tools for evaluating the security that you're currently working with. For buy actions, there may be an additional wash sale (A wash sale occurs when you sell a security at a loss but then repurchase it within 30 days at the low price. For tax purposes, capital losses are disallowed or postponed under these circumstances. Consult a tax professional or the IRS Web site for complete details.) warning in the Next steps section.


Clicking any link to the Capital Gains Estimator from the Buy/Sell Preview will not prepopulate the Estimator with data you entered in the Buy/Sell Preview. You must reenter the data if you wish to use the Capital Gains Estimator.

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