I've been using Quicken now for what? 12 years? Off and on. I don't always keep up with every jot and tiddle (who am I kidding? I never keep up with the jots). But I do like to have a little bit of warning if I'm being fiscally reckless and ought to ease off the gas before the next paycheck comes around. And, likewise, I like looking at the graphs that tell me that I'll be able to afford a life of leisure when I'm old. Er.
I go through phases, though; right now, I'm using the online update to get daily details on how each investment is doing, which payments have gone through, and so on. I was in the other half of the cycle not that long ago, having not updated anything in a while. In coming back to the program, I found a number of odd behaviors in the software that I figured were oversights, and must have been cleaned up in later versions.
I'm not a huge fan of software that requires an ongoing investment of money in order to stay useful. Seems to me, software ought to solve a problem, and the problem ought to stay solved. If you want to sell me more software, solve a new problem. I know there are any number of people who will want to chime in at this point about Microsoft creating problems. To cite Peter Falk: "Yes, you're very smart". I think that Intuit has been doing a pretty good job, though, of adding incremental value over time. So, I upgraded to Quicken 2006 over the past month.
I was a little disappointed to see that that the interface was just about the same, just more beige. A few of my favorite charts had disappeared. (If I want to recreate them, I imagine that I can set up a custom page, but I'm not sure I want to visit the custom page ghetto.) But the one odd thing that I just stubbed my toe on is that Intuit is phasing out the support for Quicken Interchange Format (QIF). Which is fine. Old technology, replace it with new stuff - incremental value.
The bother comes when I discover that the bank that handles my IRA account doesn't yet support the replacement format. I sent customer service a note, saying I had upgraded to Quicken 2006, which doesn't support QIF, and would they be transitioning to the new format soon?
I got the following reply (rapidly, to their credit):
Thank you for contacting ShareBuilder regarding the new OFX file format. Currently,
ShareBuilder does not support exporting transactions in this new file format. We do
allow you to export transactions in the QIF file format, however Quicken 2005 no
longer supports QIF files. We are looking into possibly supporting the OFX format
sometime in the future, and apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.
Ok, it's clearly a prewritten paragraph that they send to anybody that complains about typing in their individual transactions. Come to think of it, upgrading to OFX isn't even what they should be doing - rather, they shouldn't stop there. All the rest of my transactions are downloaded in one go as part of the auto-update. I'd like Quicken integration with my retirement account. That's not too much to ask, I think.