Entering a lot of CUSIPs can be incredibly tedious, so EstateVal and CostBasis offers several ways to speed up the process. Below are shortcuts you can use:
1. Savings Bonds: For Ser E and EE Bonds, if you type EYYMM into the CUSIP field of EstateVal or CostBasis (a single E whether for a Ser E or EE bond and where YY is the year and MM is the month of issue), the program will automatically translate the entry into the appropriate CUSIP when the evaluation is run.* The same is true with Ser H and HH Bonds. Like EYYMM for Series E and EE bonds, the form HYYMM expands to the appropriate CUSIP for Series H and HH bonds. This can save an enormous amount of time if you have the dates of the bonds but not their CUSIPs. Even if you have the CUSIPs, typing the shortcut is faster!
*Ser EE was first issued in January of 1980 but the last issuance of Ser E was not until June, 1980. So between January 1980 to June 1980, Ser E and EE bonds overlapped. If you use the method EYYMM between these dates, you'll get the EE bonds valuation, not for Ser E. If you need Ser E, you will have to use the cusip numbers.
Jan 1980 - 912537VL8
Feb 1980 - 912537VM6
Mar 1980 - 912537VN4
Apr 1980 - 912537VP9
May 1980 - 912537VQ7
Jun 1980 - 912537VR5
2. Mortgage-Backed Securities: Instead of using the CUSIP for Ginnie Maes and Fannie Maes, EstateVal and CostBasis lets you use the pool numbers. In place of the CUSIP, just enter the six digit pool number (padding the left side with "0"s if need be) followed by an "X" if the security is a GNMA I; a "C" for GNMA II, Single Issuer; an "M" for GNMA II, Multiple Issuers; or an "F" for FNMAs.
3. CUSIP Check Digit: EstateVal and CostBasis can automatically enter the ninth (or "check") digit of a CUSIP for you, if you've set "CUSIP Check Digit" to "Yes" in the Standard Options Dialog. This last digit is used to verify that the previous eight have been entered correctly, so make sure that it's the same as the source you're typing from. Otherwise, there's a mistake somewhere in the previous eight characters.
4. Auto-Advance After CUSIP: You can save yourself another keystroke for each CUSIP you enter by going to the Standard Options Dialog and setting "Auto-Advance After CUSIP" to "Yes." This will cause EstateVal or CostBasis to automatically jump to the "Shares/Par" field after you've entered a CUSIP. Otherwise, you have to hit RETURN or TAB to advance.
5. CASH: And, finally, if you enter CASH into the CUSIP field and the value of the cash into the shares field, evaluating the security will automatically set its per-share value to $1, so that the report will show the amounts as you expect.
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