There is a small piece of unfinished business in my series for replacing Microsoft Money. After giving my requirements and looking at Quicken, GnuCash, and Moneydance, I came upon two OFX scripts for downloading transactions directly from the financial institutions, outside of Microsoft Money.
Those scripts will take care of the transactions. They will also update the prices for the securities held in the investment accounts that provide transaction download. However, if you have holdings in accounts that do not provide transaction download, the prices for those holdings are still not updated.
With the help of a book from the library, Learning Python, and a lot of Googling, I came up with a new script that gets the quotes from Yahoo! and writes a dummy OFX file for importing into Microsoft Money. Being a Python newbie, I’m sure the script can be made much more elegant, but what I have now works.
I tested it with Microsoft Money 2006. The online service in Money 2006 already expired. I created a new Investment account in Money called Dummy Investment. I ran the script, which imported a dummy statement with the current prices into the Dummy Investment account. Because the number of shares is set to zero (thanks to suggestion from John Brinnand), the import will not add any shares to the Dummy Investment account. It only updates the prices for your other accounts.
The script is very easy to use. You put the ticker symbols in two lists, one for stocks and one for mutual funds. Depending on how you set them up in Money, ETFs can be either stocks or mutual funds.
stocks = [“AMZN”,
funds = [“VTSMX”,
Double click on the shortcut. Follow the prompts with a few more clicks and you are done.
Because it simulates importing a statement from a broker, Microsoft Money will only update the prices once per day. It’s best to run the script after the market closes. If you run the script more than once when the market is open, only the first price update will get into Money; you will not get the closing price.
Update: Since this was first published, other software developers created PocketSense and hleOfxQuotes, which greatly improved upon the rudimentary script here. Please consider using those. I use PocketSense now.