Unable to Escape from Quicken Island ...

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JohnDoh
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Unable to Escape from Quicken Island ...

Post by JohnDoh » Tue Jun 27, 2017 11:26 pm

This is partly to vent ...
... partly to share ...
... partly to solicit insights.

Here goes:

1) I have been a longtime Quicken (Windows 7 Pro) user. In general I have found the software to be fine but HATED the company for its business practices and its seemingly-endless inability to build rock-solid / bullet-proof products.

2) I have followed with interest/alarm the discussions here about Quicken's possible new business model (subscription) and the possibility getting locked out of my data.

3) Likewise I have followed with interest the exploration of Quicken alternatives. Like many I reject out-of-hand, any "solution" that puts my data in the cloud. I have been intrigued by LadyGeek's "endorsement" of Moneydance.

4) In any case, #3 was generally a general background task of getting prepared for a possible need to jump ship at some undetermined point in the not-too-distant future.

5) Until a few weeks ago, when Quicken 2016 simply stopped working! @%#@$^%# The program just wouldn't launch. Nothing I could figure out would get it to work. I was at the point of uninstalling and re-installing, when I decided I might as well bite the bullet and get Quicken 2017 and install it (especially since it was on sale).

6) Quicken 2017 arrives. I install it and the new program won't launch! &%$##^@@#[email protected][email protected]%^@^. Task manager show that qw.exe launches briefly and then quits. In the meantime WerFault.exe launches and quits. Google is not my friend this time; no good information to be found. %#$%#%#%#@

7) Well, maybe now's the time to switch. I get Moneydance, play around with it and spring for a license using LadyGeek's discount tip. (Thanks LadyGeek.) The software seems kinda primitive compared to Quicken but my needs are kinda simple. BUT: I discover that I can't import the Quicken data file directly. I need to export it to QIF. But I can't get into Quicken to export the data to QIF. %$#^$#&^#&#

8) I install Quicken 2017 on an old Windows machine and it works fine. I bring over the Quicken data file and can then export to QIF. But the data doesn't import properly into Moneydance -- because, it turns out, I had altered the Moneydance date format and ignored a setting on the import panel. (Doh!) This drives me crazy until I figure it out.

9) 15+ years of data doesn't quite import 100% correctly into Moneydance and I realize I'm going to have to do some data cleanup. After a little fooling around, it become clear that this will be much, much, much easier in Quicken than in Moneydance. This is a bummer and I"m beginning to wonder if Moneydance really is going to be a viable alternative.

10) Back in Quicken on the old machine, I try to make lemonade by taking this as an opportunity to weed out old and now-unneeded data to minimize my current filesize. This turns out not to be as easy as it seems. Can't simply just use Quicken's year-end copy feature. Different types of data have different types of archiving requirements. Data about certain things such as currently-held investments, capital improvements to currently-owned property, and HSA-reimbursable medical expenses need to be kept no matter when the transactions occurred. Other kinds of data, such as all the various investments and securities I cycled through before I became a Boglehead could go. This turned out to be a very labor-intensive process. But it had it's own rewards in a variety of ways - and I almost certainly wouldn't have done it if Quicken hadn't broken.

11) Import the slimmed-down data file into Moneydance. It still needs a little work though. Unfortunately, the more I'm working with Moneydance, the more frustrated I'm getting. Some of this is simply an old dog trying to learn new tricks. But slowly I realize that Moneydance really IS kinda primitive and begin to fear that it's not really going to be the answer for me. In fact, I'm starting to entertain the possibility of permanently running Quicken 2017 on the old Windows machine, which is offensive in its own right but appears to possibly be the least bad alternative in the Quicken hell I'm living in.

12) I begin once again to research why Quicken won't launch on my primary machine. Again, very little information. Long story short: turns out I had installed a "recommended" Windows update to .NET Framework 4.7 a few weeks ago, which apparently either has some bugs or simply isn't compatible with Quicken. That's must have been when my original Quicken 2016 stopped working. The Quicken 2017 installer claims to be installing a version of .NET Framework that it needs (4.6.1) - but apparently it didn't do it (or do it properly) in my case. (And the absence of an error message certainly didn't help.) So I manually uninstalled .NET Framework 4.7 (leaving no installed .NET Framework at all) and then installed Quicken 2017 which then installed .NET Framework 4.6.1. Voila! Quicken 2017 works on my primary machine. (And I suspect 2016 would work too, but it's long gone by this point.)

13) So, I'm back to using Quicken on my primary machine. But now one last dilemma: use the original data file or the slimmed-down one. Part of me likes having the complete data set even though I hardly ever (i.e. never) really need the historical data that I pruned. Part of me really like the "cleaned up" data set with only the currently-relevant data that is more easily exportable if/when that becomes necessary. What to do? (Seriously :-) ).

Bottom line(s):
For all it's flaws and all my hatred for the company behind Quicken, I'm really now of the mind that there really isn't a viable alternative for me. And I really HATE this because it makes me feel like the axxholes are winning. I really, really, REALLY want to leave. But I just can't. At least not until they try to take me into the cloud.

On the other hand, I think one of the morals of this story is to ALWAYS have a more-or-less up-to-date parallel QIF file ready-to-go. Because it seems quite possible that one day I/you might really be locked out of Quicken and unable to migrate AT ALL if the QIF doesn't exist. In other words, a QDF-only backup really isn't a complete backup at all once the possibility of unexpected, forced migration is factored in. Given that I don't think that there's a way to automate the QIF export/backup, I think it means that I simply have to get in the habit of periodically creating a QIF export. %#@%#$#^

P.S. FWIW, the resource that turned me around about .NET Framework 4.7 was:
https://theregister.co.uk/2017/06/2 ... _exchange/

Thanks for listening.
:oops:

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Hawaiishrimp
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Re: Unable to Escape from Quicken Island ...

Post by Hawaiishrimp » Tue Jun 27, 2017 11:30 pm

Wow, you really hate it that much..
I save and invest my money, so money can make money for me, so I don't have to make money eventually.

spammagnet
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Re: Unable to Escape from Quicken Island ...

Post by spammagnet » Tue Jun 27, 2017 11:55 pm

I don't hate Quicken but my experience is similar. I made a good-faith effort in testing Moneydance, including successful import of a truncated data set. In the end, it didn't import Fidelity CMA accounts in a manner that I prefer, so I abandoned it. I went back to Quicken using the truncated data set. It's a little better but still sluggish. I thought that might be because I keep the data file on a network drive but I tested using it locally with no improvement.

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WoodSpinner
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Re: Unable to Escape from Quicken Island ...

Post by WoodSpinner » Wed Jun 28, 2017 12:14 am

OP,

What an ordeal!

Sorry you had to go through all of that but I was impressed with your approach and analysis.

Glad you are back up...

So have you ever managed to get Quicken to simply and correctly adjust the share holdings you really have versus what it thinks you have? This has eluded me for years and is a shameful stain on my techie abilities.

Have a :sharebeer, you earned it!

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FiveK
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Re: Unable to Escape from Quicken Island ...

Post by FiveK » Wed Jun 28, 2017 12:27 am

WoodSpinner wrote:So have you ever managed to get Quicken to simply and correctly adjust the share holdings you really have versus what it thinks you have?
Yes.

Comparing Quicken's balances to broker statements at various points helped bracket the time at which the discrepancy (aka "probable user error" :?) occurred. Then it was simply a matter of correcting or adding the appropriate transaction.

Saving$
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Re: Unable to Escape from Quicken Island ...

Post by Saving$ » Wed Jun 28, 2017 12:29 am

Use the original data file. No need to proceed with data missing when it is there for the taking. This is a one time decision, because once you go down the road with one of the two files, it will be manual thing to re-enter any missing data.

Always passive
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Re: Unable to Escape from Quicken Island ...

Post by Always passive » Wed Jun 28, 2017 12:40 am

I have used Quicken since Money shutdown. Now I use the 2017 version (upgrade every 2-3 years.) And I think that I am lucky since I have never had a problem. I use it exclusively for my investments and download manually all transactions. I do not feel comfortable given Quicken my Fidelity password.
My problem with Quicken is that they will not sell overseas, although all my money is in the US. So I am forced to buy the disk when I am in the states.

rutrow2015
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Re: Unable to Escape from Quicken Island ...

Post by rutrow2015 » Wed Jun 28, 2017 6:20 am

I'll jump on this thread to make another unsolicited plug for the FREE product KMyMoney. I switched from MS Money six years ago and have been incredibly happy. I run from both Windows and Ubuntu and the data file is stored on my cloud drive (but there's no reason it couldn't be stored on the local computer - I just find it more convenient).

Its' got a shallow learning curve and it can update equity/ bond prices automatically. It supports import of QIF and CSV.

I tried Moneydance. I tried GNUcash. I never used Quicken.

JohnDoh
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Re: Unable to Escape from Quicken Island ...

Post by JohnDoh » Wed Jun 28, 2017 8:11 am

rutrow2015 wrote:I'll jump on this thread to make another unsolicited plug for the FREE product KMyMoney. I switched from MS Money six years ago and have been incredibly happy. I run from both Windows and Ubuntu and the data file is stored on my cloud drive (but there's no reason it couldn't be stored on the local computer - I just find it more convenient).

Its' got a shallow learning curve and it can update equity/ bond prices automatically. It supports import of QIF and CSV.

I tried Moneydance. I tried GNUcash. I never used Quicken.
Thanks for this. I've looked at their website. Looks very interesting, though perhaps a few pale red flags.

Do you know anything about the developers, current state of ongoing development, likelihood that it/they will be in existence and the software supported years down the road?

I may install it and see how it imports my exported Quicken data (original and truncated versions). If so, I'll report back.

Da5id
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Re: Unable to Escape from Quicken Island ...

Post by Da5id » Wed Jun 28, 2017 8:19 am

JohnDoh wrote: Thanks for this. I've looked at their website. Looks very interesting, though perhaps a few pale red flags.

Do you know anything about the developers, current state of ongoing development, likelihood that it/they will be in existence and the software supported years down the road?

I may install it and see how it imports my exported Quicken data (original and truncated versions). If so, I'll report back.
Sounds interesting. Quicken still works for me, but I'm keeping my eyes out for alternatives as the forced upgrades for features I don't want are really grating. But I agree, what you state above is the downfall of open source products. They are often really fun for developers to write, less fun to document and maintain, and so many (but obviously not all) interesting project become unsupported/unfixed over time.

frankr
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Re: Unable to Escape from Quicken Island ...

Post by frankr » Wed Jun 28, 2017 8:23 am

I've been getting started with GnuCash. It's an open source double entry accounting system that's been around for decades now. Still under active development and works on Windows, Mac, and Linux.

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JamesSFO
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Re: Unable to Escape from Quicken Island ...

Post by JamesSFO » Wed Jun 28, 2017 8:40 am

My ~20+ year old Quicken file got corrupted middle of 2016 and despite years of backups nothing I did could seem to bring it back and then I just let go. Almost all of my investments are at Vanguard (rest at Fido) and I just use the VG website for investments and I realized my bank as a Mint-like offering built in so I use that.

Together I just walked out the Quicken door permanently and haven't really looked back.

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TimeRunner
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Re: Unable to Escape from Quicken Island ...

Post by TimeRunner » Wed Jun 28, 2017 8:51 am

I'm using Moneydance as you know from the other Quicken thread. As far as keeping old Quicken data around, my solution was to dump all the old data (transactions mostly) out to a complete PDF report and spreadsheet file. That's good enough to look up old data. I don't worry about tracking cost basis, etc in Moneydance, since every brokerage now does that. I also don't bother with budget planning as my life is not so complex that I need to do that, but I do track budget and tax categories, and that works fine. Keeping a small active file means less chance of something going wrong, smaller backups, and potentially a faster running program. (When Quicken, Managing Your Money, etc first came on the scene, there were no websites. Over time, the need to track everything in a financial program vice relying on banks and brokerages (or cloud-based software) has faded, making it easier to step away from trying to do everything in one place.)
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rkhusky
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Re: Unable to Escape from Quicken Island ...

Post by rkhusky » Wed Jun 28, 2017 9:28 am

I switched to GnuCash when my old version of Quicken wouldn't work on my new computer. Tried the new Quicken, but it didn't do what I needed it to do. GnuCash is a bit more work to use, but I am getting used to it and it does 99% of what I was using Quicken for.

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bertilak
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Re: Unable to Escape from Quicken Island ...

Post by bertilak » Wed Jun 28, 2017 9:41 am

JamesSFO wrote:My ~20+ year old Quicken file got corrupted middle of 2016 and despite years of backups nothing I did could seem to bring it back and then I just let go. Almost all of my investments are at Vanguard (rest at Fido) and I just use the VG website for investments and I realized my bank as a Mint-like offering built in so I use that.

Together I just walked out the Quicken door permanently and haven't really looked back.
I wish I had the nerve!
Listen very carefully. I shall say this only once. (There! I've said it.)

EZ James
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Re: Unable to Escape from Quicken Island ...

Post by EZ James » Wed Jun 28, 2017 9:48 am

I am a long-time Quicken user. IIRC many years ago Quicken admitted to problems with QIF files, especially if they involved transfers. I think the plan was to not encourage it's use but to keep it available.

I am using the 2017 Premier version on Windows 10 and am impressed with the new investment tools. I sure wish they'd make the Mac version as good.

I hope to try the windows version on my Macbook Air with the bootcamp emulator and if it works well windows will get the heave-ho.

EZ

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JamesSFO
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Re: Unable to Escape from Quicken Island ...

Post by JamesSFO » Wed Jun 28, 2017 10:39 am

bertilak wrote:
JamesSFO wrote:My ~20+ year old Quicken file got corrupted middle of 2016 and despite years of backups nothing I did could seem to bring it back and then I just let go. Almost all of my investments are at Vanguard (rest at Fido) and I just use the VG website for investments and I realized my bank as a Mint-like offering built in so I use that.

Together I just walked out the Quicken door permanently and haven't really looked back.
I wish I had the nerve!
I went through the 5 stages of grief (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/K%C3%BCbler-Ross_model)... But once I let go of the data and realized that it was just not going to work without starting over despite ~hundred backups (daily backups going back 90 days and yearly backups before that) I was able to move on.

spammagnet
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Re: Unable to Escape from Quicken Island ...

Post by spammagnet » Wed Jun 28, 2017 9:22 pm

TimeRunner wrote:... Over time, the need to track everything in a financial program vice relying on banks and brokerages (or cloud-based software) has faded, making it easier to step away from trying to do everything in one place.)
I believe that contributes to the shrinkage of the market and the difficulty Quicken has in making enough money to invest in meaningful improvements.

JohnDoh
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Re: Unable to Escape from Quicken Island ...

Post by JohnDoh » Fri Jul 07, 2017 10:13 am

FWIW, an update.

1) I decided to try stay with Quicken 2017 using my slimmed-down data file. While I can be as OCD as the next person, that old data really isn't useful, I really never consult it, and it makes it harder to jump ship in the future.

2) On the basis of this thread and other reflecting, I realized that as much as like having one centralized point for all my financial data, it really isn't necessary. For example, don't really need brokerage accounts, Treasury Direct, CDs and the like. The institutions themselves do all the record-keeping I really need and the current holdings are all part of a single, "total portfolio" spreadsheet that I have long been keeping in parallel with Quicken. What I really do need, when all is said and done, is the ability to easily download, track and categorize current spending activity (personal and business) that leads to easy and accurate year-end reports that feed into income tax return preparation. In my case this is probably a couple of checking accounts and a few credit cards. It seems possible that Moneydance may well be adequate for that. I'll probably take another look.

3) Quicken 2017 Windows is working fairly well -- except for the annoying fact that it now forces to complete my Intuit ID registration EVERY TIME I open Quicken. It only takes a few seconds, but it's annoying the hell out of me. Mostly I think because it's an unavoidable, in-my-face reminder to various software defects Quicken has long had (and still has).

4) Somewhat more scarily, on one occasion Quicken forced me to "prove I'm not a robot" during the Intuit ID phase using reCAPTCHA that wouldn't accept my responses for at least 5 tries (and I'm pretty sure they were correct). The key issue is that was brought home yet again, was that it seems possible to be locked out of my data at any time for any reason. Given that I don't trust the program or the company, this is a real fear and I feel I need a strategy to guard against it. So Quicken, a product I've used for years and paid good money for repeatedly, no longer seems like a friend/tool/ally I can rely upon implicitly but rather an enemy/adversary/problem that I need to strategize against explicitly. One that I myself have brought into my financial bosom, so to speak. This is SO wrong.

5) On a more trivial point, there seems to be a lot more advertising inside Quicken and I suppose this can only grow in time. Quicken is monetizing my captive eyeballs. Again, not what I signed up for and not what I want.

6) A day or two ago I received an email from Quicken stating that they are about to migrate for "Intuit ID" and servers (tied to the previous owners of Quicken) to new "Quicken ID" and servers (tied to the new owners) and that this will occur with a coming software update. I am of two minds about this. My first reaction, honestly, was that this is just another opportunity to Quicken to screw up and lock me out of my data. On the other hand, I'm thinking that maybe there are some other changes in the update that might make the new product more to my liking (perhaps fixing various bugs, etc.) So, I'm planning to do a full backup and QIF export before updating ... just in case ... and then evaluating the "new" Quicken 2017. If I'm still having the same issues afterwards, I'll probably re-explore using Moneydance only for my core needs. If that works out OK, then I'll probably abandon Quicken. (In the same spirit, this experience may lead me to explore alternatives to TurboTax, which I've also used for many years and against which I have no complaints ... other than a "pox on all their products".)

7) In reflecting on all this, I continue to be amazed that there is not a genuinely viable Quicken alternative. I also realize that I can only realistically think of abandoning Quicken because (a) my financial life now is considerably simpler than previously; and (b) brokerages now track details that I used to have to. In other words, the me of 10 years ago probably couldn't have realistically escaped Quicken Island. Happily, however, I think the me of now, can.

Well, that's the news from Lake Woebegone. As always, interested in folks perspectives, suggestions, etc.

JohnDoh

WhyNotUs
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Re: Unable to Escape from Quicken Island ...

Post by WhyNotUs » Fri Jul 07, 2017 10:18 am

Intuit sent me a customer opinion survey and at the end it had room for comments. Mine was Why have you become evil?
I own the next hot stock- VTSAX

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bertilak
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Re: Unable to Escape from Quicken Island ...

Post by bertilak » Fri Jul 07, 2017 10:39 am

JohnDoh wrote:FWIW, an update.
7) In reflecting on all this, I continue to be amazed that there is not a genuinely viable Quicken alternative. I also realize that I can only realistically think of abandoning Quicken because (a) my financial life now is considerably simpler than previously; and (b) brokerages now track details that I used to have to. In other words, the me of 10 years ago probably couldn't have realistically escaped Quicken Island. Happily, however, I think the me of now, can.

Well, that's the news from Lake Woebegone. As always, interested in folks perspectives, suggestions, etc.

JohnDoh
Well JohnDoh, I'm happy your escape route looks viable!

I'm still considering mine. There are two things that keep me locked in:
  1. The first BIG THING Quicken does for me is let me setup "Bill and Income Reminders."

    I set them up to automatically enter into the register 35 days in advance. This lets me project cash flow for one month ahead so I can be sure my checking and CC accounts stay above water. No surprises. Almost all are automatically paid by ACH pull from the payee so I rarely actually need to initiate ("send") payment from Quicken. This has become more common as the years have gone by to the point where it's now almost universal. The few remaining ones can probably be initiated from my bank's web page -- only a minor inconvenience since there are so few.
  2. The second BIG THING is downloading transactions, required to keep my records (and therefor my cash flow projections) accurate.
So the question becomes, what can support the above two?
Listen very carefully. I shall say this only once. (There! I've said it.)

michaeljc70
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Re: Unable to Escape from Quicken Island ...

Post by michaeljc70 » Fri Jul 07, 2017 10:49 am

I have a love-hate relationship with Quicken. I have used it for 20+ years and love having accessing to all that data. I am a detail oriented numbers kind of guy and like being able to whip up a report on anything finance related. I hate the lack of stability in some versions, lack of new features/improvements in the last 10 years and some of their business practices.

I also have not found any alternative that will do everything I do with Quicken.

annielouise
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Re: Unable to Escape from Quicken Island ...

Post by annielouise » Fri Jul 07, 2017 10:53 am

Since we mostly use quicken as a checkbook for bank accounts and credit cards, we are switching to an excel spreadsheet.

JohnDoh
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Re: Unable to Escape from Quicken Island ...

Post by JohnDoh » Fri Jul 07, 2017 11:17 am

bertilak wrote: Well JohnDoh, I'm happy your escape route looks viable!

I'm still considering mine. There are two things that keep me locked in:
  1. The first BIG THING Quicken does for me is let me setup "Bill and Income Reminders."

    I set them up to automatically enter into the register 35 days in advance. This lets me project cash flow for one month ahead so I can be sure my checking and CC accounts stay above water. No surprises. Almost all are automatically paid by ACH pull from the payee so I rarely actually need to initiate ("send") payment from Quicken. This has become more common as the years have gone by to the point where it's now almost universal. The few remaining ones can probably be initiated from my bank's web page -- only a minor inconvenience since there are so few.
  2. The second BIG THING is downloading transactions, required to keep my records (and therefor my cash flow projections) accurate.
So the question becomes, what can support the above two?
From my brief usage of Moneydance (and also others' comments IIRC), I believe Moneydance will do both of these things. I am not sure if Moneydance can download from all of the same institutions or not. And, per one poster above, not sure about the download format. (Basically I haven't tried it myself yet.)

The key secret IMO (for me at least) is to break out of the all-or-nothing mindset. Sure, it would be great to have everything in one place. But as I said in my update I actually don't need that. My need is I think is essentially the same as yours (although, including being able to categorize expenses and produce report).

Perhaps you could give Moneydance a try and report back to us :?:

JohnDoh
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Re: Unable to Escape from Quicken Island ...

Post by JohnDoh » Fri Jul 07, 2017 11:22 am

TimeRunner wrote:I'm using Moneydance as you know from the other Quicken thread. As far as keeping old Quicken data around, my solution was to dump all the old data (transactions mostly) out to a complete PDF report and spreadsheet file. That's good enough to look up old data. I don't worry about tracking cost basis, etc in Moneydance, since every brokerage now does that. I also don't bother with budget planning as my life is not so complex that I need to do that, but I do track budget and tax categories, and that works fine. Keeping a small active file means less chance of something going wrong, smaller backups, and potentially a faster running program. (When Quicken, Managing Your Money, etc first came on the scene, there were no websites. Over time, the need to track everything in a financial program vice relying on banks and brokerages (or cloud-based software) has faded, making it easier to step away from trying to do everything in one place.)
For each account I was abandoning, I exported a tab-delimited text file. (I skipped the pdfs.)

One issue that I have realized since is that the exported files are not encrypted / password protected (as my Quicken file was/is) thus exposing my data. I need a solution for this. Perhaps I'll have to import everything into Word/Excel which can then be password-protected.

Also, as part of the deleting accounts process, I ended up with some transactions that were now missing their corresponding account. So I created 2 dummy accounts:
1) #defunct personal accounts
2) #defunct retirement accounts
and "fixed" are the now-incomplete transactions.

JohnDoh
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Re: Unable to Escape from Quicken Island ...

Post by JohnDoh » Fri Jul 07, 2017 11:26 am

WhyNotUs wrote:Intuit sent me a customer opinion survey and at the end it had room for comments. Mine was Why have you become evil?
Unfortunately, I think the answer is:
Because we can ...
On the other side of the coin (so to speak), I think this thread and the many others like it around the 'net are testament to the fact that Quicken has got what is often called (admiringly) a "wide moat business". I guess the commercial issue for Quicken is whether / when too many folks have fled the castle (dungeon) to the point that it has become a wide moat around not much.

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BolderBoy
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Re: Unable to Escape from Quicken Island ...

Post by BolderBoy » Fri Jul 07, 2017 11:39 am

JamesSFO wrote:My ~20+ year old Quicken file got corrupted middle of 2016 and despite years of backups nothing I did could seem to bring it back and then I just let go. Almost all of my investments are at Vanguard (rest at Fido) and I just use the VG website for investments and I realized my bank as a Mint-like offering built in so I use that.

Together I just walked out the Quicken door permanently and haven't really looked back.
For all of Feb-June, inclusive, I was unable to do my usual Quicken data entries (been a Quicken user since 1992). Starting in July I could be using Quicken again but have not really missed it. So like you, I'm likely to simply give it up, walk away and not look back. I'll likely export all the Quicken data I have into QIF and CVS files just in case I want them later...

What little numbers manipulations I need to do seem to be easily done in Excel or an open source equivalent.

(but I'll go take a look at KMyMoney)
“Where you stand, depends on where you sit” - Rufus Miles | "Never underestimate one's capacity to overestimate one's abilities"

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telemark
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Re: Unable to Escape from Quicken Island ...

Post by telemark » Fri Jul 07, 2017 1:04 pm

3) Likewise I have followed with interest the exploration of Quicken alternatives. Like many I reject out-of-hand, any "solution" that puts my data in the cloud.
7) In reflecting on all this, I continue to be amazed that there is not a genuinely viable Quicken alternative.
One quote probably explains the other: the main potential competitors, Google and Microsoft, are pushing the cloud even harder. And while I'm not a fan of the cloud, which often seems to mean replacing products that work well with products that are much more complex and fragile and also work less well, it's worth noting that the original problem was an update that broke other software, and this is one of the problems the cloud is supposed to solve.

Although there are other ways to solve that problem, likely actually testing your software before you release it...

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Re: Unable to Escape from Quicken Island ...

Post by michaeljc70 » Fri Jul 07, 2017 1:18 pm

telemark wrote:
3) Likewise I have followed with interest the exploration of Quicken alternatives. Like many I reject out-of-hand, any "solution" that puts my data in the cloud.
7) In reflecting on all this, I continue to be amazed that there is not a genuinely viable Quicken alternative.
One quote probably explains the other: the main potential competitors, Google and Microsoft, are pushing the cloud even harder. And while I'm not a fan of the cloud, which often seems to mean replacing products that work well with products that are much more complex and fragile and also work less well, it's worth noting that the original problem was an update that broke other software, and this is one of the problems the cloud is supposed to solve.

Although there are other ways to solve that problem, likely actually testing your software before you release it...
Isn't most of the data going into Quicken essentially in the "cloud"? It is being downloaded from sites like Citibank, Vanguard, Chase, etc. And when you put in your Quicken ID and download transactions into Quicken we are told and believe it is safe, but really don't know what is happening. The one thing I like about it not being in the cloud is if Quicken goes out of business or I stop using it I can always have my data file and the install CD to fire it up and look at my data (I realize I could no longer download transactions and things like that).

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Re: Unable to Escape from Quicken Island ...

Post by mistery » Mon Oct 30, 2017 1:37 pm

JohnDoh wrote:
Wed Jun 28, 2017 8:11 am
Do you know anything about the developers, current state of ongoing development, likelihood that it/they will be in existence and the software supported years down the road?
Well, in reality, this question goes for any software package. Until recently there were rumors that Quicken might not survive another couple of months
In that sense, I tend to trust Open Source software a bit more. If anything, simply because the source is there while, if a closed product goes down, that's pretty much it. I wish the source to MS Money was available. Someone would've made a nice sequel. I'd probably participate.

In any case, I'm in a similar situation and am looking for alternative. In the worst case, I want my data in a database that I can query myself. Not some hodge-podge of a closed file that I can't access if something goes wrong. Yes, backup and all that jazz...
I'm currently targeting GnuCash and looking for easy migration paths. Doing some preparatory work, just like you, in a sense.

On the other hand, as I don't fancy C++ development, I'm helping out with the Android applications (MoneyManagerEx and GnuCash for Android) that can be used to feed the desktop application/database via QIFs.

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Re: Unable to Escape from Quicken Island ...

Post by obgraham » Mon Oct 30, 2017 4:02 pm

My Quicken solution:
1. Use an old Quicken version. My 2009 is working fine and I've been able to install it on numerous computers.
2. Never update or otherwise modify Quicken once it is working as you wish it to. They will mess it up, guaranteed.
3. Never allow Quicken to connect my stuff to their online rathole. They'll corrupt my data, guaranteed.

Monster99
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Re: Unable to Escape from Quicken Island ...

Post by Monster99 » Mon Oct 30, 2017 4:19 pm

I actually still use MS Money - the sunset versions (Money Plus without MS server access) are free and there are several smart programmers that wrote code to import stock price info. I have data that goes back to 1995 and my current file is ~35 Meg....

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Re: Unable to Escape from Quicken Island ...

Post by nedsaid » Mon Oct 30, 2017 4:22 pm

The original poster highlighted how complex software is and you never know what other software might conflict and cause a failure to launch problem. It is amazing all of this works as well as it does. It also shows how keeping your software up to date will resolve a lot of these conflicts. I have always waited a few months after a new version of Quicken comes out before buying the new version, I figure the developers will have the bugs worked out by then. Something about computers that can cause one to say naughty words!
A fool and his money are good for business.

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TomatoTomahto
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Re: Unable to Escape from Quicken Island ...

Post by TomatoTomahto » Mon Oct 30, 2017 4:25 pm

I bought Quicken on the subscription model, well before I was forced to do so, because . . . life goes on and I have other fish to fry.

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Re: Unable to Escape from Quicken Island ...

Post by ralph124cf » Mon Oct 30, 2017 4:47 pm

My Quicken locked me out a few months ago.

I use QuickBooks for my rental properties and my wife's small business. I called the QB help desk, and they helped me import my data from Quicken into QB and get started. QB treats my personal account as if it is a business, but that can be worked with. QB is definitely overkill for personal use, but I already had it working, so no big deal.

Ralph

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Re: Unable to Escape from Quicken Island ...

Post by abuss368 » Mon Oct 30, 2017 5:16 pm

After using Quicken for 10 years we stopped cold a decade ago. A simple Excel file with few tabs and Vanguard provides tax reporting each year is all that is needed.

Life is simple!
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Re: Unable to Escape from Quicken Island ...

Post by Toons » Mon Oct 30, 2017 5:27 pm

TomatoTomahto wrote:
Mon Oct 30, 2017 4:25 pm
I bought Quicken on the subscription model, well before I was forced to do so, because . . . life goes on and I have other fish to fry.
:thumbsup :happy
"One does not accumulate but eliminate. It is not daily increase but daily decrease. The height of cultivation always runs to simplicity" –Bruce Lee

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DaftInvestor
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Re: Unable to Escape from Quicken Island ...

Post by DaftInvestor » Tue Oct 31, 2017 8:49 am

TomatoTomahto wrote:
Mon Oct 30, 2017 4:25 pm
I bought Quicken on the subscription model, well before I was forced to do so, because . . . life goes on and I have other fish to fry.
:beer
Software is moving to subscription based pricing. I stopped complaining about my Adobe Photography-Plan subscription last year and now enjoy getting the routine updates.

JohnDoh - thanks for the update - the one thing you stated that would REALLY bother me is the embedded advertisements. I expect to see them in Mint (since I'm not paying for it) or in free web-based email - but if I pay for a subscription - I don't expect an advertisement. No Adobe embedded adds thankfully.

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Re: Unable to Escape from Quicken Island ...

Post by rkhusky » Tue Oct 31, 2017 9:51 am

I moved to GnuCash when Quicken wouldn't work on my new computer. Import of qif files wasn't a problem and I've gotten used to their way of doing things. There are a few things that I miss and, when I get time, I'll see if there is any customization code out there (or write it myself).

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Re: Unable to Escape from Quicken Island ...

Post by abuss368 » Tue Oct 31, 2017 9:54 am

I am not to familiar with alternatives to Quicken.
John C. Bogle: "You simply do not need to put your money into 8 different mutual funds!" | | Disclosure: Three Fund Portfolio + U.S. & International REITs

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Re: Unable to Escape from Quicken Island ...

Post by BolderBoy » Tue Oct 31, 2017 10:04 am

mistery wrote:
Mon Oct 30, 2017 1:37 pm
In that sense, I tend to trust Open Source software a bit more.
Likewise. Cross platform helps a lot, too.
I'm currently targeting GnuCash and looking for easy migration paths.
I made the switch. Had 26 years of data in Quicken. Over the course of a month, tried a lot of different ways to import the data into GnuCash. None are ideal and all require quite a bit of handiwork - the larger the datafile, the more horrible is the job of importing and I was quite put off by it. (hint - if you have a lot of Quicken data and export it as one BIG datafile, you will spend a lifetime trying to import it all in one sitting)

What I ended up doing is starting over, in a sense. Chose Jan 1(ish), 2017 as a start point, created a chart of accounts in GnuCash (Quicken running on one display for comparison and GnuCash running on the other) and balanced everything YTD mostly using banking/credit card statements. Then I added the GnuCash plugins for updating the investment account balances via Yahoo Finance (lots of choices available from where to download the data).

THEN, I exported all the Quicken data. In my case I decided to export it month-by-month with as much detail as Quicken export allows, going back 26 years - that was fun; it allows for small enough data files that it won't be too offputting to import (only so much you can do at one sitting). And I've saved it all (but not imported it into GnuCash yet. May never do that.) If I do decide to import the Quicken data, I can do it one month at a time, starting with December 2016 making sure GnuCash remains balanced, then do the next month back, repeat.

Now, each month when I fetch a bank or credit card statement from websites, I also fetch the "data" in every format the website offers (usually .qfx, .ofx and .csv) so I can import the data directly into GnuCash if I wish. .ofx format works the best and is quite smooth with GnuCash.

Maybe I'm weird, but I much prefer GnuCash's presentation of the data to that of Quicken.
“Where you stand, depends on where you sit” - Rufus Miles | "Never underestimate one's capacity to overestimate one's abilities"

donfairplay
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Re: Unable to Escape from Quicken Island ...

Post by donfairplay » Tue Oct 31, 2017 11:19 am

JohnDoh wrote:
Tue Jun 27, 2017 11:26 pm

12) I begin once again to research why Quicken won't launch on my primary machine. Again, very little information. Long story short: turns out I had installed a "recommended" Windows update to .NET Framework 4.7 a few weeks ago, which apparently either has some bugs or simply isn't compatible with Quicken. That's must have been when my original Quicken 2016 stopped working. The Quicken 2017 installer claims to be installing a version of .NET Framework that it needs (4.6.1) - but apparently it didn't do it (or do it properly) in my case. (And the absence of an error message certainly didn't help.) So I manually uninstalled .NET Framework 4.7 (leaving no installed .NET Framework at all) and then installed Quicken 2017 which then installed .NET Framework 4.6.1. Voila! Quicken 2017 works on my primary machine. (And I suspect 2016 would work too, but it's long gone by this point.)

P.S. FWIW, the resource that turned me around about .NET Framework 4.7 was:
https://theregister.co.uk/2017/06/2 ... _exchange/
My Quicken 2016 Deluxe works just fine with .NET 4.7.2.whatnot

However, I'm on Windows 10 Pro. Consider upgrading to Windows 10 Pro. You can use your Windows 7 Pro license and upgrade to Windows 10 without having to pay to upgrade the license.

Also, I don't consider The Register to be a reputable IT resource. It may be IT news, but barely.

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Re: Unable to Escape from Quicken Island ...

Post by bloom2708 » Tue Oct 31, 2017 12:06 pm

abuss368 wrote:
Tue Oct 31, 2017 9:54 am
I am not to familiar with alternatives to Quicken.
Sail over to personalcapital.com island.

I can access from my phone, tablet, laptop, chromebook. Great service. You will get a call from them about their services. I said I'm a DIYer and had a < 5 minute chat.
"We are here not to please but to provoke thoughtfulness" Unknown Boglehead

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verbose
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Re: Unable to Escape from Quicken Island ...

Post by verbose » Tue Oct 31, 2017 12:09 pm

I used Quicken for Mac from 1993 to 2012. As you know, Quicken’s future on the Mac had been insecure for years and remains tenuous, so I jumped to Moneydance.

I had to go back and forth to Quicken cleaning up some of the errors that Moneydance would not import. Those errors were data corruption on the Quicken side. I’d known there was corrupt data in Quicken for years, but the import forced me to confront it. Quicken also liked to crash when I tried to access the corrupt data. That was one constant about Quicken over the years: crashing.

My recollection is hazy now, but I remember most of the import problems being Quicken’s fault, except for stock splits. I had to redo all the transactions for an account with stock splits, but there wasn’t much.

I’ve now gotten used to MoneyDance and I like it. It does get updated now and then. MoneyDance is also not 100% stable but it’s so much better than Quicken ever was. There is a memory leak, possibly unique to the JVM on the Mac, and I restart MoneyDance about once a week to protect against that. There are some weird things with mouse and keyboard focus that also might be specific to running a Java app on the Mac. I’ve been able to work around that. I have never observed corrupted data in MoneyDance once I cleaned up the mess that Quicken made.

Make sure you at least have security updates installed on the .NET 4.6.1 install. I work with .Net professionally and there was a specific back-door exploit closed by updates in September and October. You can download security-only patches if you just want the security updates.

I encourage you to leave Quicken. Keep looking, keep thinking about what you need and what you don’t. Getting Intuit out of your head is worth it.

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Re: Unable to Escape from Quicken Island ...

Post by ddd » Tue Oct 31, 2017 1:37 pm

For me the final nail in the coffin for Quicken is security and privacy. Starting from the 2014 version, they started requiring that all of your bank account passwords be passed to their Quicken servers. Your data is downloaded from the banks to Quicken servers and then passed onto Quicken software running on your computer. If you don't like to store your data in the cloud, then this is much worse at so many levels.

I switched to GnuCash. It was able to import 25+ years of Quicken data in .qif format. The critical step is that you need to import all accounts prior to importing any transactions. Might have made a few manual adjustments, but it is a one time pain and well worth the trouble. Think if you are willing to give Quicken all of your passwords.

GnuCash is stable, well maintained, and free. I never looked back. So OP, there are viable alternatives. You need to decide what factor is most important to you.

GLState
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Re: Unable to Escape from Quicken Island ...

Post by GLState » Tue Oct 31, 2017 2:06 pm

I've been a Quicken user since it was a DOS checkbook program. I always looked forward to the new versions. But, it has been a long time that any new features have been useful to me. I used Managing Your Money and Microsoft Money in tandem with Quicken for a number years. They've left us. I've looked at GnuCash and MoneyDance, Mint, etc. I still like Quicken the best. The benefits that I have received by using it have outweighed it's many aggravations. It is awesome to be able to know what I own, what I owe (and when it will be paid off) and what everything is worth at any point in time. It made filling out FAFSAs and taxes much, much easier. I paid extra payments on my mortgage every month and paid it off about 12 years early. I knew what a refinance would cost me and I could determine if it was worthwhile. I have control of my finances. I really have Quicken (and all of these other programs) to thank for it. I would recommend it to any young person to take control of their finances.

But... life is less complicated now. No mortage, no car payments, no saving for college. My portfolio consists of 3 accounts and a few funds at Vanguard. I'm not sure I want to go with the new Quicken. I have an old Quicken 2012 and a Microsoft Money Sunset Version ready to go. BTW...if you've ever bought and downloaded Quicken from Amazon, it is still there in your software library....I re-downloaded 2012 a week or so ago.

Yesterday, because I've been a loyal customer, Quicken sent me a 2018 CD. For $44 (10% off), I could be a Quicken 2018 user. I don't think I've ever spent more than about $30 for Quicken from Amazon. Hardly a deal that I will jump at.

I always has aggravated me that Quicken had an expensive Billpay. Microsoft Money had free Billpay (Checkfree) long ago...Billpay was a worthwhile feature IMO. I still have the free Checkfree acount though I now use my Credit Union.

I like Quicken, the program, much better that I like Quicken, the company. Unfortunately, the new Quicken seems the same (or worse?) than Intuit. I hope they succeed.

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Re: Unable to Escape from Quicken Island ...

Post by abuss368 » Tue Oct 31, 2017 5:24 pm

I have read in a few posts about Quicken, in terms of Intuit owning the product. Intuit sold the product and my understanding is no longer involved.
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WoodSpinner
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Re: Unable to Escape from Quicken Island ...

Post by WoodSpinner » Tue Oct 31, 2017 6:52 pm

ddd wrote:
Tue Oct 31, 2017 1:37 pm
For me the final nail in the coffin for Quicken is security and privacy. Starting from the 2014 version, they started requiring that all of your bank account passwords be passed to their Quicken servers. Your data is downloaded from the banks to Quicken servers and then passed onto Quicken software running on your computer. If you don't like to store your data in the cloud, then this is much worse at so many levels.

I switched to GnuCash. It was able to import 25+ years of Quicken data in .qif format. The critical step is that you need to import all accounts prior to importing any transactions. Might have made a few manual adjustments, but it is a one time pain and well worth the trouble. Think if you are willing to give Quicken all of your passwords.

GnuCash is stable, well maintained, and free. I never looked back. So OP, there are viable alternatives. You need to decide what factor is most important to you.
Do you have a source for this?

This link indicates that is not correct.
https://getsatisfaction.com/quickencomm ... word-vault

Sigh, but this link indicates it depends on the financial institution.
https://quicken.com/support/how-qui ... nformation

Now I AM CONCERNED

SimonJester
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Re: Unable to Escape from Quicken Island ...

Post by SimonJester » Wed Nov 01, 2017 8:57 am

WoodSpinner wrote:
Tue Oct 31, 2017 6:52 pm
Do you have a source for this?
This link indicates that is not correct.
https://getsatisfaction.com/quickencomm ... word-vault
Sigh, but this link indicates it depends on the financial institution.
https://quicken.com/support/how-qui ... nformation

Now I AM CONCERNED
Look at what the second link says:

When using Express Web Connect to automate Web Connect downloads from your financial institution's website, your user name and password are encrypted. Depending on your financial institution's procedures, it will be stored on our firewall-protected servers or in your Quicken software. Your financial information is transmitted using Secure Socket Layer (SSL) technology and is encrypted, so it is unreadable during transmission. It is then stored on our firewall-protected servers and is securely transmitted directly to your desktop computer when you initiate One Step Update. Your information is confidential and is not used for anything other than providing and maintaining the One Step Update service.



So if any of your accounts are setup for Web Connect, quicken stored your user name and password (encrypted) on their servers, then uses them to download your account activity each night. They store this data on their aggregation servers for you to use...
"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin

protagonist
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Re: Unable to Escape from Quicken Island ...

Post by protagonist » Wed Nov 01, 2017 9:45 am

The older versions were great.
Simply enter your data manually and avoid online updates. The time you will spend doing so may be less than the time you spend dealing with Quciken problems. Plus your info remains on your computer and thus is more secure, and you don't have to worry about invasiveness or data mining.
My last update was Quicken 2010. It still does what I want it to do. Intuit probably has no idea who or where I am anymore, as I have not gotten any spam from them in many years.

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