Moneydance math is just wrong...The app seems wildly buggy

david's Avatar


07 May, 2009 05:00 AM

First, I should note that I am using MD with the data file stored in Dropbox. I didn't find any topics on this so I don't know if this affects the app's performance.

But I am having just plain wrong math, failure to update entries when I hit return, failure to add right, calculation of stock values based on entries that I never input, refusal to let me edit entries.

I'm using the Mac version.

Here's the specific example:

I have purchased a total of 625 shares of a security over the last 6 months. The prices vary from one transaction to the next. I have bought them in lots of 50, 50, 50, 75, 200 and 200.

First, the app refused to add the shares correctly until I changed the date on one of two transactions that happened on the same day at the same price, until I exited the program and came back in.

But even now, it has taken a figure that was phantom inserted into a dividend transaction and decided that I bought all 625 shares at that value...At least on the portfolio page. The Register page shows the correct per-transaction values, but those correct numbers are not carried over to the Portfolio page.

And that point sup to a different problem. Why has the app inserted a share price into a dividend transaction? When I try to edit that transaction, that particular cell is grayed out and I can get to it. (The cell is the bottom cell of the Shares Price column.)

Then, in the portfolio view and security detail views, the average price is wrong (it just shows that price that I can't delete from the dividend transaction described above), the current value is off by at least 50%, and, of course, with the share price wrong and the current value wrong, the percentage difference since purchase is also wrong. The only thing it has calculated right is the cost basis.

Do I have a lemon here? I mean this isn't even up to snuff as a grade school calculator let alone a sophisticated money management tool.

It's got to be a corrupt file or something.

  1. 1 Posted by John Selden on 07 May, 2009 04:30 PM

    John Selden's Avatar

    Most of these problems are definitely not inherent to the software. I track multiple investment accounts in Moneydance on Mac OS X, and it properly keeps track of all my share prices.

    I've never seen any issue where share prices get overwritten after they are entered. You're probably already aware of this, but as you are entering transactions, be aware that Moneydance auto-populates certain fields, so you have to be sure to enter the correct data over the auto-populated data. Also, if you change any one of share price, share amount, or total value, the other two fields will adjust accordingly, so be sure that what ends up being entered is actually what you want.

    Are you using the Stock Quote Synchronizer extension? It's an official extension that will download share prices for you, but it must be manually activated each time you want to update prices. If you want prices to be updated automatically, you should also get the Stock/Forex Quotes Auto Synchronizer extension, which will activate the first extension at specified, user-configurable intervals.

    You mentioned "average price" on the portfolio view and security detail screens, but I don't even seen an average price field on those screens. The price shown on both screens is the most recent price, not an average (unless you're looking at something different than I am). This is where those stock quote synchronizer extensions would help. Be sure you have the correct ticker symbols in the stock/fund setup screens for the extensions to work.

    I also have a phantom share price on some (but not all) of my dividend transactions. But the software doesn't use that phantom price anywhere, so it's not a problem.

    So to my very untrained eye, these problems sound like a corrupt application, corrupt data file, or user error. They're not inherent problems with the software.

  2. 2 Posted by david on 07 May, 2009 05:14 PM

    david's Avatar

    Thank you John.

    It's probably user error, though I can't figure out what I'm doing wrong. I'm wondering if there is any causal link to the fact that I'm storing the data file in Dropbox. That shouldn't matter as Dropbox is just a folder, but I have learned that, for example, photo files for Apple Aperture can't be stored there due to...I don't know what...Some technical mumbo jumbo that is beyond my intelligence. Suffice to say that Dropbox doesn't work with Aperture files. I find no topics at all in the MD forums that even refer to Dropbox. (If you're unfamiliar with it, go to and check it out. It's a cloud-based backup that synchronizes files and keep everything neat and clean.)

    And I know that "average price" doesn't appear in the portfolio view, but if you edit the security (it's a stock) it asks if you want to use "average" or "lot matching." I assumed that use of the "average" would average all purchases to give me a dollar cost average, which would then be used to calculate the cost basis of all shares. Is that wrong?

  3. 3 Posted by John Selden on 07 May, 2009 06:51 PM

    John Selden's Avatar

    The "average" and "lot matching" choices have to do with how capital gains on share sales are calculated. They don't affect how individual transactions are entered or how they appear in the register or account screens.

    Just this week, I had actually given some thought to using Dropbox for my Moneydance file, so that I could access it from both my Mac and my Ubuntu laptop. But I never got around to trying it. It doesn't seem like it would affect anything, but based on what you said about Aperture, who knows. Can you take it out of the Dropbox folder for a while and see if the behavior is any better?

    By the way, on a totally unrelated note, Ubuntu is simply incredible. I can't believe how good it is. It basically has all the eye candy and features of Mac OS X and then some (Expose, the Dock, Spaces, Spotlight, and tons of built-in software, just to name a few). The only things that keep me from switching to Ubuntu completely are iTunes (gotta have access to the App Store for my iPhone) and Time Machine (easiest backup solution around, if not the most feature rich).

  4. 4 Posted by david on 08 May, 2009 02:12 AM

    david's Avatar

    I ditched that file and started over. All is good now. There was some user error and I suspect some file corruption, but I'll take the blame.

    Bye bye Intuit.

  5. 5 Posted by david on 08 May, 2009 02:12 AM

    david's Avatar

    I ditched that file and started over. All is good now. There was some user error and I suspect some file corruption, but I'll take the blame.

    Bye bye Intuit.

  6. 6 Posted by Brian Adler on 11 May, 2009 07:12 PM

    Brian Adler's Avatar

    David, We use drop box also. You shouldn't have any issues locating your data file (not the app of course) there. Although it should only be in use by one instance of Moneydance at a time. Let us know if this issue ever arises again.

  7. Brian Adler closed this discussion on 11 May, 2009 07:12 PM.

Comments are currently closed for this discussion. You can start a new one.

Keyboard shortcuts


? Show this help
ESC Blurs the current field

Comment Form

r Focus the comment reply box
^ + ↩ Submit the comment

You can use Command ⌘ instead of Control ^ on Mac