Keeping track of your FICO scores

I’ve been tracking my free FICO scores for some time now and thought I would share how and why I do this in Money in case you might want to add this function yourselves.  Discover provides a monthly update to your TransUnion FICO score on their credit card statement and Citi does the same with your Equifax FICO score.  As to why –  why not?  We track everything else that involves our finances, and Money makes it easy to view in our Portfolio review screens.  From the Portfolio screens, it is also easy to right-click and select  “See Price History” allowing you to view a graph of your FICO score history.

All you need to do is add the scores into your Watch account by creating a dummy transaction with zero shares of each FICO score you’re able to get …

moneyfico

and then select “Update prices > Manually” every time you receive a score update.

-ameridan

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Windows 10 Compatibility with Microsoft Money

Well tomorrow Microsoft is supposed to start installing Windows 10 as an “upgrade” to PCs running Windows 7 and Windows 8.x and it appears that some early testers have observed hiccups without official acknowledgement of fixes being offered.  I for one plan on not accepting the Windows 10 upgrade for a while (assuming of course that I will be offered the option and it won’t just install on its own). We have until July 2016 to get the free upgrade to Windows 10, so there is no need to rush it!

Of course, patching the dll as previously discussed in the Windows 8 Compatibility discussion will be necessary if you are installing Money on a clean install of Windows 10 or upgrading from Windows XP or Windows 7, but if the PC is simply being “upgraded” from Windows 8 to Windows 10, I’m thinking that you should have already patched the dll in order to get Money working.

[added 10/30/2015] Microsoft did NOT patch Windows 10 contrary to what some people have stated in the Microsoft Forum.  They did happen to release a version of Internet Explorer recently with a version number less than 16 characters long, but they could again update IE and use a version number with too many characters.

Additionally please note that the “bugs” in Money’s “MNYOB99.DLL” file have been there for years according to Raymond Chen and by his description of those bugs, it is surprising that Money has worked consistently with the older OS’s all these years.  Windows 8 was hit and miss regarding the dll patch, but the patch is definitely recommended for Windows 10 PCs.  Go here for the instructions.

I happened to note that Robin Wheeler has observed that Microsoft Money is expecting that the version number for Internet Explorer should be defined with no more than 15 characters.   The current version number in the registry for Internet Explorer 11 is 9.11.10240.16384 and she has found that the value needs to be truncated by removing the 16th character (4) in order for Money to run.  Great observation Robin!  This could be a pain if Microsoft is going to update Internet Explorer (or Edge which is the name of IE’s replacement) using version numbers greater than 15 characters long.

*** Should be easy for someone to write a python script to keep the version number truncated in the registry as it changes in the future.***

So, to clarify, in order to resolve the error: [updated 8/2/2015 to include 32-bit variance]

  1. Open Registry Editor (RegEdit).  (Search for it using Windows 10 search box, and then right-click and choose “run as administrator”)
  2. Navigate to the following registry key for 64-bit Windows:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Internet Explorer
    or for 32-bit Windows:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Internet Explorer
  3. In the right pane, look for Version registry value.
  4. Modify the value data to 9.11.10240.1638 so that it contains no more than 15 characters.

She questioned why Money looks at the IE version #.   Unlike a program that generically invokes a browser by simply looking up the registry to identify the default browser, Microsoft Money is designed to use Internet Explorer exclusively as the entire user interface and consequently it looks up the registry to find the installed version.  If no entry is found, it will default to prompting you to install Internet Explorer 6 – which of course will never install with Windows 8 or 10.

I’m going to inject my theory here at the risk of being proven wrong (I don’t have Windows 10 yet), but based on past experience, I don’t think it matters if Windows default browser is set to Edge or Firefox or Chrome – Money is always going to use Internet Explorer, or at least what the registry leads Money to think is Internet Explorer. Based on all of the changes reported to work for “Version”, it seems that it can be almost anything, as long as it isn’t longer than 15 characters AND as long as a version of Internet Explorer can be found, that is what is invoked to open up Money.

What isn’t clear yet is whether a clean install of Windows 10 (vs. an upgrade) and/or future iterations of Windows 10 will always install a version of IE, whether Edge will always act like a future version of IE, and whether Microsoft will continue to use the registry as a means to fooling legacy programs like Money into thinking that the current browser will behave properly with Money as IE has up through Version 11.

I’ll do my best to keep track of any issues and solutions that keep me from using Microsoft Money as I really have no intentions of not using this fantastic program.

[UPDATE 9/10/2015]

I’ve just read that upgrading to Windows 10 sometimes messes up the read/write permissions of your Documents folder and since I recall that some readers have reported that they had trouble saving their Money files, i thought I would add instructions for this issue in this blog. I automatically assumed that readers reporting this issue had their Money data file in the wrong location since Windows 7 & 8 never messed up the file permissions.

“I can’t use my files after updating. How do I get rid of the read-only attribute in my Documents and Download folders?”

Removing read-only attributes is usually a snap, and should take only a minute or two. Here’s how:

  • In an admin-level account, right-click the read-only files or folders and select Properties.
  • Under the General tab, untick the box for Read-only and then click OK.
  • After a few seconds (depending on number of affected files and folders) all the selected files/folders should no longer be read-only.

NOTE: I recommend that you check your browser setting in Money since the internal browser reports to site servers that you are using outdated IE9:

Under settings you can change Browser Settings from Browse Internet from within Money
to
Always use default browser to browse Internet

-ameridan

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New Money addon program released ~ MS Money Quotes by Gaier Software

     MSMoneyQuotes by Gaier Software, LLC

[UPDATE 1/3/2015] Dan has just released version 2.0 for 2015 that obtains financial data from an entirely new online quote service built for the new MSN.com and MSN Money websites, and is also used by the Windows 8 Finance app. The new online quote service is more reliable, has better symbol coverage, and should be here to stay for a long time. It is backed by a Morningstar quote feed and should prove to be more useful to more users than MSN.com has been this past year!

Well, I stated in my previous blog post that this addon program looked promising, and indeed, even though Money is offline now,  with MSMoneyQuotes, we once again have the ability of  feeding live (20 minutes delayed) MSN online quotes data into our Money database once again – even if your Money program isn’t currently running! For those using Pocketsense, simply make sure that you run this program prior to Pocketsense each day (or stop retrieving quotes with Pocketsense  ~ comment them out in sites.dat file by inserting # in first column, and use it for statement downloads only)  so that your quote price is input into Money as online rather than update.    Online allows for continuous updating throughout that day whereas Update only holds the first price entered that day.    There is even an option for updating quotes every 15 Read the rest of this entry »

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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. Read the rest of this entry »

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Redirection of MSN’s former online services?

Just throwing this out there for the programmers / Money “experts” out there…

I happened to stumble on the possible source of links in Money Plus to the MSN servers that might be used to redirect to alternative solutions for those functions that used to be provided by the MSN servers.

In MNYCoreFIles/WebCache is a file rooturl.xml that reveals the following:

[?xml version=”1.0″ encoding=”UTF-8″?]
[rootlinks]
[link id=”moneycentral”]
[int]http://moneycentral.msn-int.com[/int]
[live]http://moneycentral.msn.com[/live]
[ppe]http://moneycentral.msn-ppe.com[/ppe]
[dev]http://mcdevwbasn.redmond.corp.microsoft.com[/dev]
[/link]
[link id=”moneycentralintl”]
[int]http://money.msn.co.uk[/int]
[live]http://money.msn.co.uk[/live]
[ppe]http://money.msn.co.uk[/ppe]
[dev]http://money.msn.co.uk[/dev]
[/link]
[link id=”data”]
[int]http://data.moneycentral.msn-int.com[/int]
[live]http://data.moneycentral.msn.com[/live]
[ppe]http://data.moneycentral.msn-ppe.com[/ppe]
[dev]http://data.mcdevwbasn.redmond.corp.microsoft.com[/dev]
[/link]
[link id=”securemoneycentral”]
[int]https://moneycentral.msn-int.com[/int]
[live]https://moneycentral.msn.com[/live]
[ppe]https://moneycentral.msn-ppe.com[/ppe]
[dev]https://mcdevwbasn.redmond.corp.microsoft.com[/dev]
[/link]
[/rootlinks]

It couldn’t be so simple as to plug in new urls, could it?

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New Money addon review – PalOMoney

SunsetOFX

I’ve been beta testing two new apps that interface with Sunset Money that I’ll be reviewing today. Knowing that many of my blog readers have stated that they want to be able to update quotes from Google and Yahoo without having to deal with Python is the reason for my inclusion of the first (beta) app, which actually is not “new” in that it was released in 2011. It is SunsetOFX from Syntap Software and it is a simple Windows app that only requires .NET 3.5 which is native to Windows 7. If you are running Windows XP as I am, you are probably running .NET 3.5 as well, and if not, it is an easy to install update. Whichever folder you install the single EXE file into is where the XML and OFX files are also saved (when exiting). The app has an ADD button to add stocks, funds and options. There is no DELETE button, but by right-clicking the XML file, which also serves to store your security selections, you can select edit and your text editor will open the file for editing. Similar to Pocketsense and TheFinanceBuff’s scripts, you should create a dummy account with zero shares of the quoted securities and you can only update Money once per day, so if you update a mutual fund prior to 5 or 6 pm, the quote will probably be from the prior business day. Any feature requests regarding SunsetOFX should be left on Syntap’s blog page.


PalOMoney

The developer(s) of the second app seem very anxious to get a much more robust Money addon program to fruition. It is called PalOMoney and it has really advanced in the last few weeks. I believe I am the first outside beta tester and I probably caused a few headaches for the developer(s) as I installed the app as I thought a typical user would (rather than the suggested “ideal test computer” conditions using a root folder, etc) but I can honestly state that I’m confident that unlike version 1.0.3, the current version (1.0.4 as I’m writing this) should install nicely and work as advertised.

It too is a Windows program, but this one actually directly interfaces with Money’s data file with the intent of updating delayed, real-time and historical quotes, Read the rest of this entry »

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Schwab OFX downloads

[UPDATE: The revised scrubber routine is now incorporated into newer released versions of Pocketsense, so you no longer need to look for the beta version 12/12/2013]

I discovered that Schwab has started using a new tag CORRECTACTION when uploading their ofx data, and Robert immediately added a routine to his Pocketsense scrubber script for me to try out. After testing it out, he released the revision and I am happy to report that was apparently the only issue that has caused errors recently for Schwab ofx updates. You can download the beta package by heading to the February 17th entry in Robert’s blog comments. It is reported that Quicken does not like this tag, so I can’t imagine why Schwab is still using the tag, as most of Schwab’s clients attaching to the OFX server are undoubtedly Quicken users.

The new scrubber should also fix transaction (-)  sign issues that have been seen in Fidelity Net Benefits ofx downloads. I think this is the same issue I reported last summer from VALIC as well that would actually crash Money.

Thank you Robert!

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