Change the number of decimal places for securities

pw_gerardi's Avatar


25 Oct, 2012 04:31 AM

The number of decimal places for shares in securities is set for a default of 4 places, how can I change that to 6 places.


  1. 1 Posted by -Kevin N. on 25 Oct, 2012 12:39 PM

    -Kevin N.'s Avatar

    Hi pw_gerardi, can I change that to 6 places.

    The short answer is that for an existing security, you can't.

    You would need to recreate the security with the desired decimal places, add that security to your investment account and then point any existing txns that refer to the former security and change them so that they refer to the newly created security.

    Obviously you would want to name the new security slightly differently from the former security so that you could discern the two.

    Optional: Once you've converted all appropriate txns to refer to the new security, you could delete the old security and rename the new security as desired.

    HTH -Kevin N

  2. 2 Posted by tetrault on 09 Feb, 2013 02:05 AM

    tetrault's Avatar

    I understand that a security's decimal places cannot be changed. However, if I create a new security (ABC- in place of ABC), is there some way (even if difficult) to transfer the historic stock prices from the original security to the new one?

  3. 3 Posted by -Kevin N. on 09 Feb, 2013 02:34 AM

    -Kevin N.'s Avatar

    Hi tetrault,

    The price history for a security can be obtained using the Quotes & Exchange Rates updater, importing the prices from existing transactions or importing them from a formatted CSV file.

    You only need to enter the ticker symbol in order for the Q&ER updater to download the price history for the newly created security. Provided the ticker is one that is available for download.

    If not, then you would need to use one of the other import options.

    Post back if you need more details on the procedure that you decide on.

    HTH -Kevin N.

  4. 4 Posted by tetrault on 09 Feb, 2013 04:17 AM

    tetrault's Avatar

    That didn't work. I created a new security with a significantly different name but the same ticker symbol. I tried to change a transaction from the old security to the "new" renamed security, but Moneydance switched the security name back to the original. Also, I tried to use the Quotes & Exchange Rates updater, but the new security name was not listed. I quit and relaunched Moneydance, but those problems persisted.

  5. 5 Posted by -Kevin N. on 09 Feb, 2013 01:57 PM

    -Kevin N.'s Avatar

    Hi tetrault,

    I tried to change a transaction from the old security to the "new" renamed security, but Moneydance switched the security name back to the original.

    I have not been able to recreate this behavior. What type of txn are you attempting to change?

    In the Q&ER updater, un-check the checkbox to 'Only show securities that I own'

    HTH -Kevin N.

  6. 6 Posted by tetrault on 09 Feb, 2013 03:40 PM

    tetrault's Avatar

    Original security: Oakmark International Fund
    Newly added, renamed security: Oakmk Intl Fund

    Oakmk Intl Fund did not show up in the Quotes & Exchange Update list even
    after I unchecked "Only show securities that I own." Quitting and
    relaunching didn't fix that.

    Similarly, when I went to my investment account, I could not change any of
    the Oakmark International Fund transactions to Oakmk Intl Fund. I removed
    the original name and entered the new name, but when I pressed the tab or
    return key, the original name replaced the new one.

    This is far too much trouble to fix a decimal place issue that should be
    changeable even for existing securities. (If more decimal places are
    chosen, existing transactions could fill the extra digits with zeroes. If
    fewer are chosen, then standard rounding rules could be applied.) Other
    personal finance programs directly support such changes or, at worst,
    allow you to make a new security, use 'find and replace all' to change
    transactions from old to new, and let you copy historic quotes from old to
    new. Moneydance can do none of those tasks.

    Sincerely yours,
    Gregory Tetrault

  7. 7 Posted by Scott Meehan on 09 Feb, 2013 03:50 PM

    Scott Meehan's Avatar

    Hi Gregory,

    I'm sorry for the inconvenience caused by this limitation. I've attached a ticket in our ticketing system requesting to implement this functionality, so the developers will be looking into it.

    Scott Meehan
    Moneydance Support

  8. 8 Posted by Brian on 15 Apr, 2013 09:44 AM

    Brian's Avatar

    I will add my vote to have the functionality improved with regards to editing the number of decimal places. I am not going to change a long list of transactions - this should be editable on the fly. I will wait for the upgrade - for now I am dealing with rounded security amounts (which is OK but not technically correct).

  9. 9 Posted by bgosse on 20 May, 2013 07:41 AM

    bgosse's Avatar

    I would appreciate this update also as one of the brokerages I use has increased the decimal places they are reporting. Verifying shares is going to be increasingly difficult without this change.

  10. 10 Posted by Trevor S on 20 Sep, 2013 02:31 PM

    Trevor S's Avatar

    Is there a reason why the number of decimal places can't be changed on an existing security? I know that it will require code changes to the software but I am wondering if there is other reasons.

    Regardless, I wish there to be an easier way to change the number of decimals places for an existing security.

  11. 11 Posted by Ben Spencer on 20 Sep, 2013 03:05 PM

    Ben Spencer's Avatar

    When recording decimal numbers that represent money in financial software it is necessary to use fixed point arithmetic rather than floating point arithmetic. Use of a floating point can and will result in rounding errors. E.g. the value of $1.234 is stored as the integer 1234 along with the fact that each unit is in 1000s of a $, rather than the floating point number 1.234.

    As such it is not exactly trivial to change the number of decimal places used once transactions exist. It would be necessary to go back and change the way all the values were stored on all transactions that used the changing security and it would be necessary to re-calculate the results of all the transactions. Its not impossible and its not exactly trivial either.

    At present I would recommended creating a new security with the desired number of decimal places. Sell the shares you hold in the old security at purchase price and then Buy then by shares in the new security at the same price.

    Ben Spencer
    Moneydance Support

  12. 12 Posted by Trevor S on 20 Sep, 2013 04:43 PM

    Trevor S's Avatar

    Hi Ben,

    Thanks for the explanation. As a software developer, I understand your pain in dealing with numbers with financial transactions.


  13. 13 Posted by richard_regal on 05 Jan, 2014 06:42 PM

    richard_regal's Avatar

    It is liked to the decision to treat investments in stocks and shares as if they were purchases of currency. That is what forces teh choice of fixed price arithmetic for the stock units.

  14. System closed this discussion on 31 Mar, 2015 03:51 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