Restoring Microsoft Money Quote Updates…


Restoring Microsoft Money Quote Updates

I was sent a link from Gaier Software and in the interest of helping them promote this promising new Microsoft Money “add-on” program, I’m posting their announcement here.
-ameridan

I’m a former Microsoft employee who worked on the Microsoft Money product and MSN Money website for almost a decade. Yep, I was the software developer who built the Portfolio Manager for both products, worked on the quote services that powered them, and in 2009 built the Money-to-Quicken Converter for Intuit.

Since Microsoft pulled the plug on the quote servers in the summer of 2013, I often get asked if it’s possible to build something that would restore Money’s ability to get quote information. It turns out it is possible!

So in my (very limited) spare time, I’ve been tinkering with building such a tool over the last 6 months. The Money code is old and complex (written in C/C++, Win32, COM for those technical folks) and it took a fair amount of time and effort to work through some hurdles, but I finally have something that works.

The tool is a separate executable that can open your Money file (including password protected ones), inspect the securities in your portfolio, make service call(s) to MSN Money’s new quote services to fetch data for these securities, and update your Money file. It follows nearly the same logic as the original Money code in terms of updating this information, and includes data such as last, change, open, high, low, 52 week high, 52 week low, ask, beta, bid, market cap, shares outstanding, PE, volume, and yield. It also handles pounds to pence price conversions for you UK users. It can be run throughout the day, knows when to add vs. update an existing price entry, and can be run while you have Money open.

I’ve tested it with a few recent versions of Money, but have no idea if it will work for older versions. I’d consider the current version in a “Beta” stage.
I’d like for you to try it out to see if it works. I’ve made a special version of this tool called MSMoneyQuotesTrial.exe that allows 30 quote updates.
Depending on the feedback I receive, I may put more time and effort into releasing a polished version of this tool and unlock it to allow for unlimited quote updates.

Click  here  to register as a tester and download this executable for free.

Click  here  to download updates if you’ve already registered.

© 2014, Gaier Software LLC

 

 

screenshot

click to enlarge

can be linked to from within Money (click to enlarge)

can be linked to from within Money (click to enlarge)

 

[UPDATE] as of 4/26/2014
Dan Gaier has improved his beta with some options as shown…

C:\Documents and Settings\Dan’s>C:\Downloads\MSMoneyQuotesTrial.exe -?

Microsoft Money Online Quotes
Copyright(C) Gaier Software, 2014. All rights reserved.

Usage: [-f file] [-p password] [-o] [-a] [-v]

If a file is not specified then the current Money file is used.
-o      Open Money if not already open.
-a      Automatically update quotes every 15 minutes as long as Money is open.
-v      Verbose output.

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129 Comments

  1. Richard Windle said

    Since last night I have been getting an error message saying ‘Failed to update quotes. Failed to fetch quotes from MSN Money.’

    Is it just me or maybe I have reached the limit of 60 runs?

    • Richard Windle said

      Yes, I have reached the maximum number of quotes 😦

    • Hmm, if you reached your 60 run limit then my program won’t even attempt to open the Money file, let alone attempt to get quotes. So you shouldn’t see this error message if you reached the 60 run limit.

      Did this problem start happening as soon as you tried my latest update? Or did it randomly start happening without you changing anything?

      It may be worthwhile to send me your money file (or a stripped down version of it) so I can make sure I didn’t break something that would have caused this.

    • Larry said

      I am having the same issue today with MSN.

    • Mike said

      Quotes for UK stocks are updating.

    • clacksman said

      Richard,

      I am another UK user of Dan’s programme and I also have a couple of fund investments that don’t update fully on MSN Money. I have reported this on the Microsoft Community Forum and have been assured that my request to have this investigated will reach the right people.

      Perhaps if you also reported your problem funds it might lend more weight to the argument. You can find my thread here: http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/msn/forum/msn_money-msn_quotes/uk-fund-quotes-not-updated-in-msn-quotes/cb00683c-3f2e-4b29-9150-9413e5c0657c

      Indeed, if anyone else is having this problem please weigh in with your problem funds. If we can get some action taken it will improve the experience for all users of Dan’s offering.

    • Tom Meyer said

      I’m not sure how the fix occurred to the “change” value, but my funds are now working properly. I did send a feedback to MSN from a link at the bottom of the MSN Fin screen to highlight the problem.

  2. 3yards said

    Thank you Dan. I will try installing Money Plus Sunset.

  3. Richard Windle said

    I think I ran it once then started getting that message. I think that was just after midnight on 28th. It is continuing today (i.e. happening at every run, not randomly). I’ll see what I can do in putting a stripped down file together – will take me a couple of days to get to it. I’m in the UK, maybe it just affects UK users.

    It’s not that I have reached the limit – I ran an earlier version of the program and that told me I had reached the limit. That was when the limit was 30 though so I am probably somewhere between 30 and 60. If you could let me have the penultimate release (I didn’t keep a copy) I can run that it was working fine previously.

  4. Kerry Small said

    Dan,

    Best and Worst Performers don’t update on my customised Home Page after updating prices with your programme. Is there any way Best & Worst Performers can be made to reflect the changed prices please?

    Sincerely,
    Kerry

  5. gunther schwarz said

    My Vanguard Funds show the correct closing price in the “last price” column, but also show the same amount in the “close” column and of course that makes the “change” column show all funds as unchanged..
    Also, no automated updates every 15 minutes.

    • See my earlier comment from April 24th:

      * The fund “unch” issue is an MSN issue. Not sure if something broke in their quote feed, but unfortunately I’m at the mercy of the quotes they supply.

      Yes, right now MSN Money is returning the same price for last and close for mutual funds, resulting in a change of 0. Nothing I can do about it.

      For automated updates, you need to specify the -a option. However, if you don’t have Money running then MSMoneyQuotes will exit after 10 seconds.

      So for automatic updates, you should do one of the following:

      A) Use both the -o and -a options, to ensure Money is running when MSMoneyQuotes runs.
      — OR —
      B) If you use -a only, then make sure Money is open before MSMoneyQuotes is run. Or at least run Money within 10 seconds of running MSMoneyQuotes.

  6. ameridan said

    Gunther,

    Did MSN ever report mutual funds differently? The close price at the end of the day will always match the last price.as there is only one quoted price each day – or is last price supposed to be the previous close price?

    • gunther schwarz said

      “close”: most recent price at which security traded PREVIOUS day
      “last price”: MOST RECENT price at which security traded.
      In Portfolio Manager all Mutual Funds for these these 2 columns are treated the same: it updates the current price correctly, but also puts the same dollar value into the previous day column, therefore the “change” is always 0.
      Dan is correct in saying the MSN Money web page shows the same results it shows the days change as 0.
      This was not like that when Microsoft was still supporting this program.
      And in my opinion this is not a quote thing, because the prices are correctly updated. The current price should never be the same as the previous price, unless of course there was no trading or by coincidence the closing price was the same on both days.

  7. Jon Turner said

    Hi Dan,

    Regarding [UPDATE] as of 4/26/2014.

    I have got the DOS window running with the appropriate path to the MSMoneyQuotesTrial.exe. Could you please specify exactly what I need to type AFTER MSMoneyQuotesTrial.exe ??? in order to enable the new options.
    I keep getting various error messages in the DOS window when trying to follow the instructions in the [UPDATE] as of 4/26/2014 post above.
    I am obviously typing something incorrectly.
    Alternatively perhaps the options could be automatically enabled in a future update. They seem pretty sensible to have as default anyway.
    Excuse the amateur approach…
    Otherwise all is working as advertised.
    Thanks very much, great piece of work for which I will be very happy to send the proposed charge when the beta release is updated.

    • ameridan said

      Perhaps you didn’t notice the sample DOS screen I added in the blog showing all of your options and their order.

      [Just type -? if you ever want to review (as shown)]

      Sorry Jon, I misread your question. a sample command with all three options and password would be:

      MSMoneyQuotesTrial.exe -p (your password) -o -a -v

  8. Chris said

    Hi Ameridan,

    I’m not sure is this is the right place to pop this bit of info, but I thought I would leave it here as this seems to be where the most activity on your site is at the moment. Please move it to where you think it should be.
    ————————————————————————————-
    Chaps,

    I don’t know if you have this issue with Money, but I’ve found that some of my banks provide their downloaded QIF files in slightly different format.

    If you edit the downloaded file and the comment line is prefixed with a ‘P’ rather than a ‘M’ then Money bombs out when you try to import it.

    As I say, some banks are okay, but some are not and I’m not sure why. There must have been a version change in Quicken at some stage but I don’t really know.

    I’m in the habit now of opening up every downloaded QIF file with Notepad++ and running a macro to change the ‘P’ to a ‘M’ before I import them. My macro changes every ‘P’ so some of my comments read a bit strange but as I set Money to ignore them, it doesn’t really matter. Its the amount and dates that are important for me to reconcile and not having Money bomb out is vital.

    Let me know if there is a better way of handling these downloaded statements. My method is a bit clunky, but works.

    Here is what I mean…..

    This wont work

    !Type:Bank
    D16/04/2014
    T3.68
    PDirect Credit M2 DIVIDEND
    ^
    D11/04/2014
    T-153.53
    PInternet BPay to ORIGIN ENERGY – Biller Code
    ^
    D10/04/2014
    T94.70
    PDirect Credit AMP LIMITED
    ^

    After I have run my macro

    !Type:Bank
    D16/04/2014
    T3.68
    MDirect Credit M2 DIVIDEND
    ^
    D11/04/2014
    T-153.53
    MInternet BMay to ORIGIN ENERGY – Biller Code
    ^
    D10/04/2014
    T94.70
    MDirect Credit AMM LIMITED
    ^

    Cheers

    Chrisso

  9. “Best and Worst Performers don’t update on my customised Home Page after updating prices with your programme. Is there any way Best & Worst Performers can be made to reflect the changed prices please?”

    Dan,

    Please disregard my message above. I think I’ve found the problem. I had an AX (Australian Exchange) attached to the relevant symbols in Money and as a consequence, the prices had not updated for those securities. So I guess it follows, that the Best and Worst Performers wouldn’t have changed either.

    Kerry

  10. Tom Meyer said

    Chrisso,
    Check your “Region and Language” setting in Control Panel of Windows. The dates in the input QIF are European style but your PC may be setup as US.

  11. Jon Turner said

    Thanks Ameridan….
    All working fine now…

  12. Chris said

    Thanks for the response Tom,

    Yeah its not a date problem, although I’ve had that too.

    No this is when you download a bank statement in QIF format and Money bombs out when you import it. If that happens, check column 1 of the comment line in the QIF file and see if its a ‘P’. If it is, then change every ‘P’ in column 1 to ‘M’ and it will then work. As I say its not all banks and I’ve found it only happens with QIF files.

    Cheers

    Chrisso

    • Tom Meyer said

      Chrisso,
      I created a new money file with only a bank account and changed my Region to English (United Kingdom). The import with the “P” code worked fine. I have no suggestions other than try a repair on your file.

  13. Chrisso said

    Thanks Tom for your efforts,

    Yeah I had a go at doing what you suggested, but got the same results. The ‘repair’ found no errors (nice to know). I think the currency change might cause some grief down the line so I’ll pop it back to Aussie dollars again.

    The error occurs in module utlsrf08.dll. I’d show you a screen dump, but I don’t know how to do it here.

    But hey don’t worry, I’m okay with my clunky fix. I just thought I’d share it in case somebody else was having the same issue and didn’t have a work around. Looks like its only me.

    When your Cash Flow stops working, I have painfully figured out a fix for that too, but that is in another post.

    Thanks again my friend.

  14. There is an updated MSMoneyQuotesTrial.exe out on gaiersoftware.com
    It has several updates to the -v option.
    And a few bug fixes, including the “Failed to fetch quotes” issue Richard was experiencing.

    New users go here: http://gaiersoftware.com/Money/Try
    Existing users go here: http://gaiersoftware.com/Money/downloadupdate

    Also, I’m getting close to finishing the website for the production version of MSMoneyQuotes.exe. I have a few things left there and a few details I need from the new MSN Money team before I can go live.

    Btw, the new MSN Money team said they fixed the mutual fund “unchanged” issue. It does appear to be fixed now.

    • Martin said

      Regarding the “unchanged” mutual fund issue – I am still getting this for 3 of my funds GB00B4W52V57 – AXA Framlington Global Tech; GB0006662208 – Jupiter Asian Inc and GB00B888FR33 – Treadneedle UK Equity Inc.

    • Martin, the symbols you mention above are simply “not working” at all on MSN. They do not have a last price for example, and the “Last NAV update” was in 2013.

      For example:
      http://investing.money.msn.com/investments/mutual-fund-rates/?symbol=GB%3aGB00B4W52V57&ocid=qbeb

      The “unchanged” issue they addressed was for symbols that were working on MSN, but had an invalid change value.

      For example:
      http://investing.money.msn.com/investments/mutual-fund-rates/?symbol=vigrx&ocid=qbeb

    • clacksman said

      Hi Dan,

      Martin’s funds, like my own, do appear to be receiving performance updates on MSN. The MSN website shows that the last performance update was on May 2nd 2014, but perversely the last NAV price update was in May last year.

      Since MSN does show the NAV for many other mutual funds One has to ask why does it not show the prices for ours?

    • I have asked this question to the new team that owns MSN Money…however, I have no guarantee that they’ll respond. I do not personally know anyone on the new team. I’ll let you know if I find out anything.

  15. Tom Meyer said

    Dan,
    I seem to be having problems with the -f option with the -o option. Is the open switch suppose to be opening the file specified by the f switch? or are you just updating the specified file?

    • Tom Meyer said

      i.e. the o option seems to be just opening the previous file that I opened in Money,

    • Good question. The -f and -o options don’t really work together.

      -f means run MSMoneyQuotes for a specific Money file. The Money file may or may not be the file that was last opened in Money. I think the -f option would be used if you want to automate updating quotes if you have multiple Money files. But if you only have one Money file, there’s no reason to use -f.

      -o simply means open Money. It does not affect which file Money opens. Money will open and run normally, basically opening the last file it had opened.

      I’ll try to include that in the more formal documentation I’m writing up for the production version.

      Thanks for asking!

    • Tom Meyer said

      Dan,
      I tried launching money with a file argument and it worked in win7. Perhaps you can pass the file argument received from the -f option to the -o option. This would make a nice solution for those of us with multiple money databases.

      …\msmoney.exe …\mymoneyfile.mny

    • Yes, that makes sense. I’ll look into feeding the -f file argument into the -o option.

    • Mike said

      Hi Dan,

      What I would like to achieve is this:

      1. I open my password protected Money file, then
      2. I run your programme without having to enter the password into the shortcut nor the programme itself.

      In other words, your programme updating stocks in an already open password protected Money file without having to enter that password in your programme nor shortcut.

      Is this possible?

    • ameridan said

      Mike,
      Personally, I wouldn’t want any program to be able to bypass my Money file password protection. Even Money can’t do that. If password protection were able to be bypassed, a simple malware program could be uploaded onto your hard drive with the capability of destroying (or downloading to identity thieves) all of financial data.

      IMHO, if you don’t like plain-text revelation of your password in the shortcut, you’ll have to type it in each time you run the program 😦 I doubt that Dan would (or could) honor this request anyways.

      -Dan

    • Ok, I have updated the program so if you use both the -f and -o option, Money will open to the file specified by the -f option. I placed the updated MSMoneyQuotesTrial.exe out on my website.

    • Tom Meyer said

      Dan,
      Thanks for the -f -o option update. Works perfectly.

    • Mike, no it’s not possible for my program to open the Money file without specifying the password.

      Ameridan is correct, there’s no way to bypass the password protection on the Money file. It would be a serious security vulnerability if you could.

    • Mike said

      Thanks Dan. My worry with having the password stored in the shortcut was that if my laptop was stolen, the thief would have access to my Money file from the shortcut.

    • Mike – I understand your concern. Unfortunately I don’t see a good solution to this problem.

      I considered giving MSMoneyQuotes the ability to store the password in some secure way (e.g. save it encrypted somewhere). That way you don’t have to enter every time, and the password is not in plain text in the shortcut. But that doesn’t solve the problem either because the attacker would still simply be able to use MSMoneyQuotes to open up your Money file and see/export your data.

      The only secure solution is for you to enter your password every time you run MSMoneyQuotes. I wish there was a better solution, but there is not from a security standpoint.

    • Mike said

      Dan,

      Thanks for the explanation – I shall password protect my hard drive then and hope that will suffice – I think your programme is great!

  16. gunther schwarz said

    Dan, thanks for all your work and persuading Microsoft to fix the “change” problems with mutual funds.
    All is well now, love your program, count me in as a buyer when it becomes available.

  17. Forgive my inexperience, but I don’t understand where to find -o, -a, -v and now, -f.

    I simply open Dan’s MSMoneyQuotesTrial shortcut, enter my Money password and find all my quotes have updated when I open Money.

    Can anyone enlighten me please?

    Couldn’t agree more Gunther, I’m a buyer too.

    • Hi Kerry –

      MSMoneyQuotes is a “command-line program”, which basically means its designed to be run from “Command Prompt” (also known as a DOS prompt). In windows, you can open a command prompt by going to Start/All Programs/Accessories –> Command Prompt. This is where you’d type MSMoneyQuotesTrial.exe to run it, and optionally specify to options in question. But don’t worry about that if you don’t follow…

      Its more convenient to run it from a shortcut like you’re doing (and you’ll notice when you do, it opens a command prompt automatically for you).

      Without going into too much technical detail, you can pass in arguments (also known as parameters, or options, or switches) into the program. For MSMoneyQuotes, those are the -f -o -a and -v options.

      In your shortcut, you can use these options too! Right-click on your desktop shortcut and select “Properties”. You’ll be on the “Shortcut” tab. In there, you’ll see a “Target” field which will look something like this:
      “C:\Documents and Settings\Dan’s>C:\Downloads\MSMoneyQuotesTrial.exe”

      You path will be different depending on where you placed my program.
      To add the options, you would edit this “Target” field by adding whatever options you like. Start with adding a -v for example just to get the hang of it. Put your cursor at the end of what’s already in this field, type a space, then -v. Click OK to save. Now when you run the shortcut, it will pass a -v into my program.
      -v is for “verbose”, which means you’ll get a bunch of output from my program tell you what’s going on.

      You might also benefit from the -p option. Using this means you won’t have to type in the password every time your run my program. In this case, you’re target field might look something like this (replace with your actual password):
      “C:\Documents and Settings\Dan’s>C:\Downloads\MSMoneyQuotesTrial.exe” -p YourPassword

      You can add the -o and -a options by adding them to the above, just separating each with a space:
      “C:\Documents and Settings\Dan’s>C:\Downloads\MSMoneyQuotesTrial.exe” -p YourPassword -o -a

      I’m trying to write up better documentation for all this for when I go live.

      Dan

  18. Rickard said

    Works great for me with a lot of funds sold by Swedish banks 🙂 Finally a solution that works great and simple – hope this software can go from Beta to 1.0 soon.

  19. clacksman said

    Hi Dan,

    I like the subtle change you have made to the text in the -v option comment for my troublesome funds. “Symbol found on MSN Money, but has invalid quote data” Much more accurate and informative than “Symbol not found on MSN Money”!

  20. Thanks Dan, that explains it all very clearly and I’ve printed it out for future reference.

    Kerry

  21. parkinsonsherts said

    I seem to have hit the 60 limit 😦 so am looking forward to the final release. As someone who has commissioned bespoke software in the past I know that users always want one more thing ….

  22. thetyke said

    I have also reached the 60 limit and can’t wait for the final release. Great job Dan, I will certainly be another buyer.

    • Good news. My updated website just went live and the final unlocked release of MSMoneyQuotes.exe is available!

      http://gaiersoftware.com/Money

      I’d like some of you guys to go through the process first to be sure the website is in good working order. Send email to my support email if you see something off.

      Thanks for all your help in beta testing

      Dan

  23. And I forgot to say, its a brand new set of web pages and registration database. All you beta testers will need to re-register on the site. Once you do, you’ll get a “welcome” email with additional information. Check your junk mail folders if you don’t see the email :).

    Another interesting page is here: http://gaiersoftware.com/Money/DetailsAndHelp

    It has most of the details we’ve discussed here. I’ll probably improve by providing more examples of how to use the options….but I wanted to get the website out there to start.

  24. Chris said

    No problem in registering again and with the download.

    And its working beautifully. 🙂

    Congratulations and well done Dan.

    Many thanks and thanks to you Ameridan for your blog.

    • Mike said

      I agree with Chris – many thanks to you both and not to forget Hung Le as well!

  25. Chris said

    Thanks Mike for the poke, it was very remiss of me for not thanking Hung Le in my previous post.

    I’m keeping his system as backup. You never know what will happen in the world of Microsoft and his Java script is excellent.

    Thank you Hung Le, Dan and Ameridan

  26. Chris said

    Chaps,

    One other thing…… I’ve popped off an e-mail to Dan suggesting that he might like to consider using heading and bullet numbering in his documentation rather than just plain bullet points. It makes referencing items easier.

    And also listing the fields that are actually updated.

    Does anybody have any other suggestions?

  27. Chris said

    Oh yes .. and the ‘Press any key’ option be taken out in a future release so when you close Money, his program closes automatically too.

    • Chris, I’m guessing you’re using the -v option, which will always prompt you to “Press any key”. Now that you’re up an running, you shouldn’t need the -v option. Remove that, and the program will automatically close when Money closes.

      And thank you Chris and everyone else for the feedback. I highly value any feedback, and will work to update/address any issues as I get time over the next week.

  28. ameridan said

    I’m closing comments for this post, since I’ve started a new thread announcing the official release of this program at http://wp.me/pN09V-lE

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