Tell me about placeholder entries


What is a placeholder transaction?

Quicken enters a Placeholder entry - (Placeholder entries can only occur in an investment transaction list. Each placeholder entry identifies the security name and number of shares added to or subtracted from the account (for example, 50 shares of Intuit.) It does not include a purchase date or price, which Quicken needs to provide performance reporting or use tax planning tools. You need to resolve placeholder entries if you want to use these tools, but not if you want to track holdings-only information in Quicken.) - if you're missing part of your transaction history. For any given security, if the total number of shares bought or added in your transaction list doesn't equal the number of shares in your account, then Quicken enters a placeholder transaction to make up the difference.

Placeholder entries can only occur in an investment transaction list. Each placeholder entry identifies the security name and number of shares added to or subtracted from the account (for example, 50 shares of Intuit). It does not include a purchase date or price, which Quicken needs to provide performance reporting or use tax planning tools. You need to resolve placeholder entries if you want to use these tools, but not if you want to track holdings-only information in Quicken.

  • How does Quicken know I am missing transactions?
    Every time you download transactions from your brokerage or financial institution, Quicken also downloads holdings information for your account. For example, if your transaction list had 200 shares of Intuit, and you downloaded a buy transaction for 70 more, then in your transaction list the total number of shares of Intuit would be 270. But if during the same download your broker's records say you hold 300 shares of Intuit, then Quicken will add a placeholder to make up for the missing 30 shares.
  • When should I add missing transactions?
    Because it doesn't represent an actual historical transaction, a placeholder transaction identifies only the security name and number of shares added to or subtracted from the account (for example, 30 shares of Intuit). It doesn't include a purchase date or price, which Quicken needs in order to provide performance reporting or tax planning tools.


    Enter the missing transaction history for a security if you want the additional benefits of performance monitoring, tax tracking, or historical record keeping. When you enter the missing transactions, Quicken will subtract shares from the placeholder transaction until they equal zero.

    401(k) note

    The first time you download transactions from your financial institution into a 401(k) account, Quicken uses special 401(k) placeholder transactions to help account for employer and employee contributions. You don't need to edit these.
    • Quicken will add adjusting transactions to your 401(k) transaction list to identify how much of your contributions came from your own contributions as an employee and how much came from your employer's matching contributions. This is a one-time process, performed during your first 401(k) download.
    • Quicken automates this process for you by putting placeholder transactions in your 401(k) transaction list. Unlike placeholder transactions in other investment account types, you don't need to resolve the placeholder entries. Just leave them there—Quicken tracks everything for you.
  • Why am I missing transactions? 
    Here are some scenarios where Quicken would add a placeholder transaction to your transaction list:
    • When you add the account, you may have chosen to enter only holdings information.
    • You may have back-entered historical transactions for some (but not all) of the securities in an account.
    • You may have back-entered historical transactions for only a limited time period (for example, you may have entered just the past year's worth of historical transactions).
    • You may have started out with complete transaction history or cost basis information in the account, but you may have let a long time elapse between downloads. Financial institutions keep only a limited period of transaction history available for download. To avoid this, download regularly—at least once every three months.

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