Monday, May 28, 2007

More on the TD Ameritrade Switchover

I had a couple of other notes about the switchover of TD Waterhouse clients to the new TD Ameritrade website. I needed to change login information for Microsoft Money, Quicken, and my online account aggregation sites (which are powered by Yodlee).

MS Money and Quicken never did display the correct account balance information for TD Waterhouse, so this is nothing new. On the other hand, I also use MSN Money and a Smith Barney account (powered by Yodlee). In the case of MSN Money, its seems to double count my cash balance, listing cash as both an "unknown" security and then again in the cash section. Smith Barney drops the cash amount altogether, thus under reporting my account balances. Does anybody else experience these issues with account aggregation?

As far as MS Money and Quicken (I use both) are concerned, there were a bunch of extraneous transactions caused by the changeover. On the TD Ameritrade website, these are listed as "TRANSFER OF SECURITY OR OPTION IN" and are dated 05/14/2007. In MS Money, these are listed as a series of "Remove Shares" and "Add Shares" transactions. Because the number of shares added and removed are equal, these transactions cancel out. But I had to mark both transactions as void to retain my original purchase dates and cost basis information.

Another big change at TD Ameritrade is the addition of a gain/loss tracking tool provided by GainsKeeper. I have used GainsKeeper before, and I believe that it can be very helpful to keep track of the cost basis of investments. However, the first obstacle for me is that GainsKeeper doesn't have any cost basis information for investments I bought before 2003 or so. I had to go through a process known as "baselining" to tell the online tool what I originally paid for my stocks and mutual funds. For the most part, this process is straightforward if you have your cost basis handy. However, if a stock or fund has undergone a stock split, spinoff, or merger, it can get very confusing. For example, I have 0.001 shares of T ROWE PRICE EQUITY INDEX (symbol: PREIX) that I don't know the cost basis for! This was originally the TD Waterhouse 500 Index that got merged into T. Rowe Price. When I was finally done updating and correcting the cost basis, I noticed that these updates don't seem to be reflected on the "Balances & Positions" page. There must be two different sources for cost basis data, which can be confusing.

In addition to the Streamer Suite of online tools, the new TD Ameritrade website also includes a couple of tools that you can download (and install on your computer). These are StrategyDesk and Advanced Analyzer. I have experimented a little with StrategyDesk which is designed to help you find a successful trading strategy. I have not installed Advanced Analyzer yet.

Lastly, for my money market fund which is officially called the "TDAM Money Market Portfolio – Investor Class," the symbol that TD Ameritrade uses changed from CMFMZ to 9ZZZTD109. I'm not sure about the reason for this change.

PF Stock


phazlehurst said...

Hi PF Stock,

Please PM me, and I'll see if we can figure out your MS Money issue... since it is most likely powered by Yodlee too.



Peter Hazlehurst
SVP Products
Yodlee Inc.

pfstock said...

Peter: Thank you for your offer to help debug my issues with Yodlee and TD Ameritrade. However, you did not leave your contact information in your comment. I did send an Email to what I believe is your AOL account, but I didn't receive a reply.