financial stuff

I did my taxes last weekend, so I decided to bring my Merrill Lynch and 401k accounts up to date in Quicken this weekend. I had two quarterly 401k statements and four monthly Merrill statements to enter. Very depressing. Lots of money down the drain over the last several months!

I’ve been manually entering my Merrill statements into Quicken for about a decade now. I tried switching to a download & import scheme about five years ago, I think, but it didn’t work quite right, so I gave up and went back to hand-entering them. Well, I decided today that enough time had passed that it was worth giving it another try, and it worked OK. So, now, I’ve got nearly all of my financial stuff automated. The only think I really need to enter manually now is my 401k statement, since that’s apparently not available in a Quicken-compatible download.

financial stuff

I decided to be Mr. Responsible today, and catch up on all my financial stuff. I entered my last three quarterly 401(k) statements into Quicken, along with my last eight monthly Merrill Lynch statements. It was pretty depressing, seeing how much value has been lost over the last few months. I just have to assume it’ll bounce back before I retire.
I also opened a new CD with NJM Bank. They have pretty good rates, and they’re a pretty stable company. I really don’t know what the best place to put my money is right now, but a 12-month CD is a nice safe place to stash a few bucks, I guess.

cleaning stuff up

I’m getting over a cold right now, so I’ve stayed in all day, watching college football, and working on various things around the house. Once again, I found myself about 6 months behind in entering my Merrill Lynch statements into Quicken, so I took care of that. And, I did another round of going through old papers, shredding old receipts and filing some stuff I wanted to keep. I found a bunch of stuff from my fraternity, Alpha Phi Omega, including my “plausible deniability award” (don’t ask).

I also found receipts from the first two PC-compatible machines I owned. The first was an Amstrad PPC-640. (Check that web link. I’d forgotten that I could power it with ten D cells! Try that with your MacBook Pro! And, yes, it was a 22 lb portable!) The second was a fairly vanilla 286 Wang. (Alas, I can’t find a picture of that one on the internet.)

And I found some receipts related to my Amiga 500, though I didn’t find the receipt for the machine itself.

Merrill Lynch

I realized this weekend that I’d fallen way behind in entering my Merrill Lynch statements into Quicken. Like, a year and a half behind. Oops. So I’m sitting here now entering them all. Part way through, I realize that I seem to have lost ten cents somewhere. Being the obsessive weirdo that I am, I go back through all my statements, and I find the incorrect entries in November 2004. (It wasn’t one ten-cent error, but two five-cent errors.) I have a sense of deja vu about this, so I search the blog and discover that I’ve done this before.

Ed Foster’s Gripelog – Quicker and Quicker Quicken Sunsets

I’m going to keep an eye on this discussion at Ed Foster’s web site. I’ve been using Quicken for maybe 10 years now, but it may finally be time to switch to something else. It just seems that Intuit is trying to squeeze money out of their customers without providing much in the way of new features from year to year.

Non-obvious tech tip of the day

Downloading quotes for a preferred stock into Quicken:

“Edit the symbol name in Quicken by removing the space, the P, and the R, and replacing them with a hyphen (-). “

Oh yeah, I would have eventually figured that out on my own. The P and the R! Of course! And here I was thinking I could just type in the ticker symbol as-is, off Quicken’s own friggin’ web site! What was I thinking?