Saturday 22 December 2007

Quicken Revisted

After having problems trying to get Quicken 2007 to work with my new Vista PC back in August, I didn't implement my New Financial Year resolution of starting again to record all my finances in Quicken (I stopped doing so back in '99 after I got married and started a family - I didn't have as much spare time on my hands). I received an email last week advertising the upgrade to Quicken 2008 which is Vista compatible (it even has a Vista Gadget to display transaction reminders), so I decided to download to Quicken 2008 trial version to start recording my finances from 1 Jan. It downloaded and installed without any problems, but when it started up it asked for an installation key. I thought that this was because the 90-day trial period for the 2007 version that had been on the PC had expired, so I went out today and purchased 2008 Quicken Personal Plus for $189. There is supposed to be an $80 rebate available from Quicken for existing Quicken users, so hopefully it will end up only costing $109. Later on, when I checked my email, it turned out that an activation key for the trial version had been sent to me, so I didn't need to purchase the full version yet after all...

Once I got home I used the installation key that came with my new software to enable the 2008 trial version I had already installed. However,it then asked me to go online to "register" the newly activated software! The problem with that is that I don't know my existing user ID and PIN number, so I had to try phoning the help line to find that out - unfortunately they're only available MON-FRI 8am-6pm, so I can't complete the activation process until Monday...

Meanwhile the registered software seems to be working OK on my Vista PC, so I can start setting up all my bank and other account details, and try to get my investment account details up to date (stock and mutual fund holdings). I can easily enter the details of what stocks I have, but finding all the transaction history for some of these stocks will require going through many years of broker statements and DRP dividend statements. If I can get all the stock transaction history up to date by the end of June I'll be able to plan the best way to sell some of my stocks with minimal capital gains tax liability.

I still miss the simplicity of the earlier versions of Quicken, back in the 90s, when the software only used a installation key to allow installation, and didn't require you to "register" via the Internet. It also meant that if you changed computers you could reinstall the software without any problem. Since I don't use automatic import of bank account details, the only benefit on the new Internet-linked versions of Quicken are the ability to update the values of my stock holdings automatically. However, that isn't a must-have feature for me, as I can get updated total portfolio values from my margin loan websites anyhow.

Copyright Enough Wealth 2007

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