Even the most experienced EstateVal users often aren't aware of all the features the program has. Below are five tips that can make entering CUSIPs on EstateVal easier:
1. Cash CUSIPs: When entering an estate, you will often want to include cash assets, but manually editing them in can be tedious and time-consuming. Instead, type the word "CASH" in the CUSIP column, and the number of dollars the asset is worth in the Shares/Par column. When the report is evaluated, "CASH" is automatically valued at one dollar per "share."
2. Jump to the Last CUSIP: Scrolling to the bottom of a long list of securities can be both tiresome and frustrating. A portfolio can contain literally thousands of securities at once, and more often than not, you overshoot the end of the list and need to back up. When you need to jump to the end of the current CUSIP list, try pressing CTRL+END (hold the CTRL key and press the END key) while editing your lots, and EstateVal will automatically jump to the empty space after the last entry.
3. User Defined CUSIPs: Not many people know that there is a class of CUSIP numbers called "User Defined CUSIPs." These are CUSIPs that are not associated with any particular security, but are free to be used by companies to mean anything they want. User Defined CUSIPs are identified by a "9" in their fourth and fifth places (XXX99XXX). Since EstateVal cannot price these items -- they can mean different things to different people -- it can be set to warn you that you've entered them. Simply set "User Defined CUSIP Bell" to anything other than "None" or set "User Defined CUSIP Dialog" to "Yes" (or both) in the Standard Options dialog.
4. Duplicate CUSIPs: EstateVal can also be set to warn you that you've entered a CUSIP that already exists in a portfolio. While the program will work without problems if a CUSIP is duplicated (in fact, it will only charge you for the first occurrence), you can set "Duplicate CUSIP Bell" to anything other than "None" if you'd like an auditory warning that you've just entered an existing CUSIP.
5. CUSIP Count: Because EstateVal does not require you to enter CUSIPs in order -- you can skip numbers if you want to -- it can be difficult to figure out how many securities a portfolio actually has. Next to the CUSIP entry grid, "Security Count" will always show exactly how many CUSIPs are currently in the open portfolio.
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