Friday, January 11, 2013

How To Track Gold and Silver in Quicken

Many people, in times of economic uncertainty  run to precious metals to hedge against inflation. I believe that having physical on hand gold may be a little extreme, but having precious metals in your portfolio isn't an extreme or far-out idea. Precious metals bring a constant and steady rate of return. Precious metals have done great the past couple of years because of the uncertainty in the world market. I do believe that silver might be over sold, but gold would be a good hedge since it is the international unit of exchange after the US dollar.

But this post isn't to talk about the value of precious metals or why you should or shouldn't buy them. The point of this post is to explain on how to track them in Quicken. I  believe the more you know of your finances the better you are at understanding how well you are. Knowledge is important. You have to know what your net worth is. You have to know the value of the gold you keep in a safe in your bedroom behind the painted portrait of your mom. Why? Knowing your net worth is a way to see how well you are doing. If you have a negative net worth, you know you are doing something wrong or its been a bad year. If you have a net worth of over a million? Congratulations, you are a millionaire.

Since some people have physical gold on hand, and not in a brokerage  how would you track it in Quicken? You could just create an asset account and update the total amount using transactions  but that takes time and is inefficient.

The best choice is to go to add an account-->Advanced Set-up-->Click I want to enter my transactions manually-->Create account name "Gold in safe, or gold at Bank of America"-->Set the start date to the beginning of the year with the account amount being zero (This will allow my purchase of a gold to become a transfer into my account)--> Then enter the ETF symbol for gold (GLD)*** or SLV*** for silver, Quicken will automatically adjust your value every time you update you stock quotes-->Once Quicken finds you quote for gold, click other-->Enter your total shares (for gold see note below)-->Click done--> Say no to the mutual fund option that Quicken gives.

Congratulations, you are now tracking the value of your physical on hand gold in Quicken!

*** NOTE: The Silver exchange-traded fund tracks the price of one ounce of silver, so if you have 10 10 troy ounce ingots  then you say you have 100 ounces of silver. Gold is tracked by one tenth an ounce of gold, so when you enter your investments, you’ll need to multiply your quantity by ten. For example, if you buy two ounces of gold, you would enter this as a purchase of 20 shares rather than two.