NWA-PCUG Newsletter Article
Tracking the DOW in Quicken 5
by Bob Frye - February 97

I use Quicken to track my mutual fund and stock portfolio performance on a weekly basis. I use the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA or "the DOW") as a common measure to see how well my funds and portfolio are doing. Here's how I set up Quicken to track the DJIA.

From the Lists menu, I select Security Type/New and add "DJIA" to the list. I also add DJIA to the Investment Goal and Security sections. By using DJIA throughout, I can display DJIA as a separate column in graphs, regardless of which display I might chose.

From the Account List, I select New and Investment and use DJIA as the Account Name. I answer Yes for the "track single mutual fund" question, answer No to rest of the questions and click Done. I open DJIA in Account List, set the date to when I want to begin tracking the index (for example, 1/1/96) and add one share. The price matches the value of the DJIA on the beginning date. Next, I select Portfolio View/Prices/New and add weekly DJIA values up to present (I use the Dow's closing value on Friday).

While in Portfolio View, I select Options/Accounts tab, uncheck the DJIA entry, select OK and exit Portfolio View. Back in Account List, I highlight DJIA and select the Hide button. These two actions are taken so my "purchase" of one share of the DJIA doesn't become a permanent part of my portfolio and give an incorrect total value. Thereafter, when using Portfolio View, I use the Selected Accts: setting since this only displays checked accounts in the Options/Accounts tab. When displaying Graphs or Reports/Snapshots, I use the Customize button to add/remove the DJIA from the value/total return, as needed.

This technique can be used to track any stock or bond market index. By regularly tracking my portfolio's performance against a market index such as the DJIA, it helps me decide whether I'm doing better or worse than the overall market. Then by using Quicken's various graphs and reports, I can zero in on which parts of my portfolio are doing better, or worse, than the overall investment market.

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