Quicken 2006 with Fidelity as Core Account

Hi All:
Please forgive me if this is a common question but I haven't seen a clear answer to it yet.
I have a Fidelity Brokerage account that is on my Quicken 2006 download
list. Everything gets downloaded properly but I always have a cash balance (positive or negative) due to stock and mutual fund purchases. There really shouldn't be any cash balance at all because one of the funds in the account is a Cash Reserves account which serves as the "Core" account (i.e., it is where any cash exists).
Can I change the Quicken view to equate any "cash" transactions as being transactions into/out of the Cash Reserves (money market) account?
Thanks in advance.
- Dave
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I'm still using Q 2005 H&B, but this is REALLY a Fidelity issue ... not a Quicken issue.
Fidelity downloads your Cash Reserves balances as CASH, not a a mutual fund balance. SO, if you were to enter all of the buys and sells to a FCR position, Quicken would complain that there's a mismatched position (you'd be showing $99.99, and the Fidelity download wouldn't show such a position).
SO, the bottom line is: live with it. I raised the issue with Fidelity a year or more ago ... and nothing has happened.
db
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Thanks for the answer Dan. I understand what you are saying. The easiest solution from Fidelity's perspective should be to mimic what is happening in the account. This would mean that when I sell a stock, there should be two transactions - the first a sell which would go to "cash", the second a buy (from cash) of the same dollar amount of the money market account. This is, in fact what I am doing manually (adding that second transaction).
It would be nice if Fidelity did that automagically.
Once again, thanks for the response.
- Dave
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I agree it is probably a Fidelity issue; but Fidelity is not consistent in this regard.
I have a similar situation, but Fidelity does download transactions for the mm mutual fund in my case. The transactions aren't correct - they send Dividend transactions for the reinvested dividends, for example - and as you note, the holdings aren't downloaded correctly either - zero holdings for the mm fund. (It has been so long since I downloaded anything other than the monthly "dividend" transactions that I do not remember what was downloaded for mm fund share purchases and sales). Since my account is not very active, the incorrect treatment has only a small effect.
I don't see any significant problem carrying the mm fund shares as cash in the account, but an alternative - that still won't match the real world - would be to have Quicken create a linked checking account. That will prevent any cash from appearing in the investment account.
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John Pollard wrote:

There seems to be a question as to whether the same info re: cash transactions is downloaded when the underlying account at Fido is a brokerage account vs. a m/f account. M/F type accounts can hold only Fidelity funds. Brokerage accounts can hold pretty much anything (depending upon features of the account).
The only m/f type accounts that my wife and I have at Fido are fully invested (no "cash" position within the account), so I can't research whether m/f accounts download cash transactions differently. For my brokerage accounts, they consistently download MMF transactions as cash (without regard to wheter the brokerage account is a retirement account or not) ... NOT as buys/sells to the MMF.
Perhaps others can add further info re: cash activity in m/f type accounts.
db
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My Fidelity account is a brokerage account, but it only holds two mutual funds, one of them being the mm fund.
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John Pollard wrote:

Clarifying my earlier post ... the 2 m/f type accounts that we hold (my Sep-IRA and my Roth) hold only a single stock mutual fund each and when I make deposits/purchases in these accounts, the funds go directly to the equity fund ... so there's no cash AND no MMF in these two accounts. {and for the curious, they're "regular" investment accounts in Quicken ... not SMF]
John, it appears that your Fido brokerage account is acting exactly the same as my brokerage accts were acting before I sold the MMF -- within Quicken, not in reality -- and just left the funds as cash. And what you're reporting is that Fido is treating the MMF position as if it were an interest-bearing cash position. Have you seen any inconsistencies in that behavior?
Dan
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What I see downloaded is a Dividend transaction naming the mm mutual fund each month, which I dutifully change to a Reinvestment transaction. But the holdings that Fidelity downloads have no balance for the mm fund and no cash balance. Essentially, they get it all wrong.

It has been a couple of years since I had any other activity for the mm fund other than the monthly "reinvestments"; so I can't remember how the buy/sell transactions were downloaded (I have them as Buy and Sell transactions in my register, but it possible that I modified what was downloaded ... or that they were not even downloaded ... I just can't tell anymore).
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Sorry: I meant to add that my account with Fidelity is not a retirement account.
--
John Pollard
First initial underscore Last name at mchsi dot com
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It is my understanding that Quicken allows any Financial Institution to represent cash (that is automatically swept into a MM account - in Fidelity's case this is your Core account) as either Cash or as the actual Money Market fund itself. If there is a choice, you get to select that when the account is created (in Quicken).
In Fidelity's case, they only represent this as Cash.
I would like to see the actual positions in the M/M fund and see all the individual transactions (Buys, Sell, IntInc, etc.) so that I can track the performance of this - since Fidelity lets me choose whatever I want as a Core account.
I did get a chance to request this from Quicken and was told that (a) no-one asks for this and (b) it wasn't high enough priority to think about.
So, I live with seeing this as Cash and rely on statements to see what performance I am getting with my sweeps.
/d
danbrown wrote:

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I share the frustrations with Fidelity reflected in this thread. I too wish they'd represent cash credits and debits in terms of the actual core MM fund so that Quicken (2005P) could track that fund just as it does any other. I do what others here do and change cash dividends in the core MM account to reinvestments in that account (with a 1$ share price.)
FWIW, a Fidelity rep recently explained to me that, as regards brokerage accounts, the default core MM fund for a retirement account is Fidelity Cash Reserves (FCR). This is a bonafide MM mutual fund whose performance is routinely reported, and whose balance can be adjusted in Quicken using the reinvestment recategorization. However, for a *non*-retirement account, the default core "fund" is something called FCASH. I've yet to locate any information that indicates that FCASH is a real money market mutual fund, or even find published performance data for it. (From statement data, it has a lower rate of return than FCR. It seems to be some proprietary vehicle Fidelity uses.
In one non-retirement account that I recently set up for a relative, we were able to get the original core FCASH fund switched to Fidelity Cash Reserves, but the transaction delivered by Fidelity to Quicken remains "FCASH" (despite the fact that the online history properly reflects that the transactions actually involve FCR.) I have to manually change the Q register to FCR and alter it from a dividend paid to dividend reinvestment. Maybe this FCASH represents some sort of "lowest-common-denominator" reporting standard for all core accounts.
-Ron
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Ron wrote:

I believe you misunderstood what the rep told you. I'm looking at my monthly reports from Fido for 1/06 & 7/06. The cash position in my taxable "Fidelity Account" (a brokerage-type account) is shown as FCR (symbol FDRXX). The same fund is shown in MY rollover IRA, my wife's Rollover, my wife's SEP-IRA, my wife's Roth -- all of which are, likewise, brokerage-type accounts. As I've said previously, the only 2 m/f type accounts that we own have no cash position (directly or MMF), so I can't comment on those.
db
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I've been pretty happy using a linked checking account with my Fido brokerage account. It does show dividends correctly. Although I don't reinvest them. Also it doesn't introduce the sweep account. So "cash" is the sweep account. I setup the linked checking account by using Quicken's help. I recall it to be pretty simple to implement.
I use my brokerage account as a checking, savings and trading account. So I do like keeping the records separate.
Thanks, Tom
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Well he may not have explicitly mentioned FCASH, but he did say that FCR (FDRXX) is NOT the current default core for a taxable brokerage account at the balance level we were discussing. This is supported by my own experience (below). He also implied that their policy has evolved, so maybe this wasn't always the case. Also, I know their policies tend to loosen up as account balances and/or trading activities increase to a higher "tier level."
Below is the core account selection section from the (online PDF) Fidelity new account application. I oversee several Fidelity accounts for family members. For two taxable brokerage accounts that I set up this year, I chose the final option. Certainly, I can attest that after each account opened, the first cash sweep showed up in "FCASH." Subsequently, I was able to negotiate a change in this to the FDRXX. (The online history clearly shows the withdrawal of cash from the one and deposit to the other.) Perhaps you did the same for your taxable account, or perhaps it was grandfathered under a prior policy, or perhaps its tier level was "high" at the outset? In another taxable account I oversee, one of the state municipal MM funds was requested for the core account on setup, and it has always been reported as a separate fund.
Incidentally, Fidelity purportedly reviews its MM options here (you may need to login to see it):
https://communications.fidelity.com/mm_rates.html
Nowhere do I see there a reference to "FCASH."
-Ron CORE ACCOUNT (CHOOSE ONE)
All income from securities (dividends, capital gains, or sale proceeds) is automatically deposited into your core account. Dividends from mutual funds are reinvested in the originating fund. You can elect to change your distributions by phone at 1-800-FIDELITY, or online at Fidelity.com.
Select a core account option where all of your cash is held and transactions are processed (choose one).
Fidelity state municipal money market funds seek income from investments that is free from both federal and state or city income tax. [several state options were listed here]
Fidelity federal municipal money market funds seek income from investments that is free from federal income tax.
Fidelity Municipal Money Market Fund
Fidelity Tax-Free Money Market Fund (This fund will not normally invest in municipal securities whose interest is subject to the Federal Alternative Minimum Tax.)
Fidelity taxable interest-bearing cash account is intended for money awaiting reinvestment; interest rate may vary depending on assets. (This account will be selected if no information is supplied or if your initial investment is less than $5,000.)
Taxable Cash Account
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Here's another data point.
My Fidelity brokerage account has always held its "cash" in a tax-free mm fund; varying between California, Virginia, and Florida.
The following is a repeat, not because I think anyone can't read, but because this thread has gotten long and pertinent information may be many posts behind (and my ISP only keeps posts for about 24 hours).
I have a Fidelity non-tax-deferred brokerage account that has always held its "cash" in tax-free money market funds (California, Virginia, and Florida). Fidelity never reports those holdings as cash, and never reports those holdings as being in the mm funds ... it never reports those holdings at all.
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Quote below is from the Fidelity "Brokerage Handbook", I've had my Fido accounts for so long that I don't recall if I previously selected FCR, or if that what the default when I opened out accounts.
db
*-*-*-*-*-
What are the investment options for my Core account?
For Retirement accounts like IRAs, your only Core account option is Fidelity Cash Reserves, a money market fund1.
For Brokerage accounts, your Core is an interest-bearing cash account called FCASH, unless you specified otherwise when you opened your Fidelity Account. You can only change your Core account at any time by calling a Fidelity Representative at 1-800-544-6666. You cannot change your Core account online. Your other choices are:
* Fidelity Municipal Money Market Fund (FTEXX), a federal municipal mutual fund seeking income free from federal income tax.1, 2 * Fidelity Tax-Free Money Market Fund (FMOXX), a federal municipal mutual fund seeking to provide income free from federal income taxes and the federal alternative minimum taxes.1, 3 * Fidelity state municipal money market funds, which seek high current tax-free income1, 2 for residents of AZ, CA, CT, FL, MA, MI, NJ, NY, OH or PA
Although you can have only one Core account, you can still invest in other money market funds.
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[SNIP]
The Fidelity statement is a bit misleading, since brokerage accounts can be tax deferred (as with IRAs, 401Ks) or taxable. In the case of Fidelity tax deferred brokerage accounts, the only core account option is a money market mutual fund called Cash Reserves. When a brokerage account is taxable there are various tax free (at least from a Federal perspective in whole or part and sometimes state-tax free as well) money market mutual funds that are available.
Peregrine
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