Resolve issues with downloaded bonds-related transactions


It's usually easier to update transactions directly from your broker than to enter them manually. Depending on the way your financial institution provides the information for download, however, certain discrepancies can result with bonds-related transactions. The more common ones are listed below.

  • My Quicken and my financial institution information don't match (I entered a buy manually, and then downloaded the same transaction)
    Units may be reported differently by the financial institution, so Quicken and the financial institution appear to be out of sync. This problem is more common with Ginnie Mae and Fannie Mae bonds.

    You can obtain the factor adjusted price from your broker and then manually edit your transaction list as necessary.
    Factor Adjusted Price - This is a percentage, expressed as a decimal value, used to calculate the current outstanding principal balance of a Ginnie Mae security. To calculate the current principal balance of a Ginnie Mae security, multiply the factor by the original face value of the security.
  • The market value of my bond(s) is incorrectly represented in Quicken
    In this case, the return of capital for your bond(s) is correct but the market value is not. This is because Quicken can't provide a mechanism to update bond prices (in contrast, for example, to the way it can update stock quotes).

    Ginnie and Fannie Mae bonds have additional problems because there is no way of knowing the factor (percent of the bond that has amortized) of the bonds you own. 
    Factor - This is a percentage, expressed as a decimal value, used to calculate the current outstanding principal balance of a Ginnie Mae security. To calculate the current principal balance of a Ginnie Mae security, multiply the factor by the original face value of the security. 
  • My bonds aren’t taxable, so why is Quicken showing me unexpected capital gains?
    Did you sell the bond before it matured? If not:

    To cancel out the amount you receive from the sale of a bond (so there’s no overall realized gain), we recommend that you record the associated Return of Capital transaction as a negative amount.

    However, it's likely that your financial institution can't represent a negative return of capital in the downloadable information.

    Therefore, after accepting the transaction into your register, you'll need to edit it to add a minus sign to the amount (so it becomes a negative amount). Some financial institutions put a note into the memo field of the downloaded transaction to remind you to do this.

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