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Old 06-23-2011, 11:43 PM   #41
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I have thought of this. My safeguard against this is that I log into the account at least every other day and usually every day. My experience is that transfers take awhile so if I couldn't log in (because someone got in and changed the password) or if I logged in and saw a pending transfer then I could stop it.

The other thing I've wondered about (not with regard to Vanguard or Fidelity where we have the rest of our money...) is this. I know that Vanguard doesn't own the index funds so I'm not worried that if Vanguard goes under that all my money will be gone. But in general (again not so much with Vanguard) I have wondered how you guard against the possibility that you think you own an index fund...but really don't. That is, you give someone money (such as Vanguard or Fidelity or whoever) and they tell you they bought the Wellesley with it (or whatever). And they send you a confirmation to Wellesley...but they really didn't buy Wellesley. Instead, someone took your money and absconded with it or gambled it away, etc. And they get found out and you think you are OK since you own the index fund but then Wellesley (or whatever) says you don't...that it was never purchased...
Oh wow - - I never thought of that, Katsmeow. Now I have something else to worry about....
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Old 06-24-2011, 06:47 AM   #42
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Originally Posted by Katsmeow View Post

The other thing I've wondered about (not with regard to Vanguard or Fidelity where we have the rest of our money...) is this. I know that Vanguard doesn't own the index funds so I'm not worried that if Vanguard goes under that all my money will be gone. But in general (again not so much with Vanguard) I have wondered how you guard against the possibility that you think you own an index fund...but really don't. That is, you give someone money (such as Vanguard or Fidelity or whoever) and they tell you they bought the Wellesley with it (or whatever). And they send you a confirmation to Wellesley...but they really didn't buy Wellesley. Instead, someone took your money and absconded with it or gambled it away, etc. And they get found out and you think you are OK since you own the index fund but then Wellesley (or whatever) says you don't...that it was never purchased...
Now that you mention it, how do I know I'm really responding to you and not to someone who took Katsmeow's E-R.org ID, gambled away Katsmeow's nest egg, and continues to post here to keep anyone from getting wise to what's up?
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Old 06-24-2011, 09:00 AM   #43
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Originally Posted by Katsmeow View Post
The other thing I've wondered about (not with regard to Vanguard or Fidelity where we have the rest of our money...) is this. I know that Vanguard doesn't own the index funds so I'm not worried that if Vanguard goes under that all my money will be gone. But in general (again not so much with Vanguard) I have wondered how you guard against the possibility that you think you own an index fund...but really don't. That is, you give someone money (such as Vanguard or Fidelity or whoever) and they tell you they bought the Wellesley with it (or whatever). And they send you a confirmation to Wellesley...but they really didn't buy Wellesley. Instead, someone took your money and absconded with it or gambled it away, etc. And they get found out and you think you are OK since you own the index fund but then Wellesley (or whatever) says you don't...that it was never purchased...
Do you think the SEC might require independent audits to detect this kind of activity?
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Old 06-24-2011, 04:57 PM   #44
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Do you think the SEC might require independent audits to detect this kind of activity?
Hey, they we all over Bernie Madoff, weren't they?
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Old 06-24-2011, 06:19 PM   #45
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With regard to password secutiy and the like, I don't know about other companies, but with FIDO, I get a response by email and by snail mail whenever I change email addresses (goes to both old and new emails), or passwords, or make trades, whatever. If I wasn't the initiator, they expect to hear from me pronto. If I try to withdraw funds, the money can only go to my preset bank acccount, or a check comes to my home address. The worst I can see happening, is that if someone gets my password they can see my accounts. Am I missing something?
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Old 06-24-2011, 07:48 PM   #46
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Hey, they we all over Bernie Madoff, weren't they?
Not a Madoff expert, but my understanding is that Madoff had two firms: 1) a "front office" firm that was public, transparent, and legitimate and 2) a "back office" firm that was private, and obscure. The ponzi was in the back office.
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Old 06-24-2011, 08:49 PM   #47
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I thought all the major brokerages' accounts were insured by the SIPC and privately by the brokerages to the tune of $75M per account or customer against fraud or theft, not investment values.
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Old 06-25-2011, 12:00 AM   #48
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I thought all the major brokerages' accounts were insured by the SIPC and privately by the brokerages to the tune of $75M per account or customer against fraud or theft, not investment values.
Not quite. For example, Vanguard says:

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Securities in your brokerage account are held in custody by Vanguard Brokerage Services, a division of Vanguard Marketing Corporation. Vanguard Marketing Corporation is a member of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC), which protects securities customers of its members up to $500,000 (including $250,000 for claims for cash subject to future adjustments for inflation). To obtain information about SIPC, visit www.sipc.org or call SIPC at 202-371-8300.
To offer greater protection and security, Vanguard Marketing Corporation has secured additional coverage from certain insurers at Lloyd's of London and London Company Insurers for eligible customers with an aggregate limit of $250 million, incorporating a customer limit of $49.5 million for securities and $1.9 million for cash. Coverage provided by SIPC and certain Lloyd's of London and London Company Insurers does not protect against loss of market value of securities. The policy provided by certain Lloyd's of London and London Company Insurers is subject to its own terms and conditions.
Note that the SIPC protection is limited. Yes there is an insurance policy but it has an aggregate limit that is shared.
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Old 06-25-2011, 06:15 AM   #49
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Not a Madoff expert, but my understanding is that Madoff had two firms: 1) a "front office" firm that was public, transparent, and legitimate and 2) a "back office" firm that was private, and obscure. The ponzi was in the back office.
This was what I was referring to

Madoff whistleblower blasts the SEC's failure - Feb. 4, 2009

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Markopolos began contacting the SEC at the beginning of the decade to warn that Madoff was a fraud. He sent detailed memos, listing dozens of red flags, laying out a road map of instructions for SEC investigators to follow, even listing contacts and phone numbers of Wall Street experts whom he said would confirm his findings. But, Markopolos' whistle-blowing effort got nowhere.
"I gift wrapped and delivered the largest Ponzi scheme in history to them and some how they couldn't be bothered to conduct a thorough and proper investigation because they were too busy on matters of higher priority," Markopolos told the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Capital Markets, Insurance and Government Sponsored Enterprises.
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Old 06-25-2011, 09:38 AM   #50
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"When he tried to deliver an investigative file to former New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, Markopolos said . . ."

He was working with the best of the best . . .
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Old 06-25-2011, 06:08 PM   #51
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"When he tried to deliver an investigative file to former New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, Markopolos said . . ."

He was working with the best of the best . . .
I may be wrong, and to steer this thread further off topic, but Spitzer seems pretty sharp when he is using the big head and not the little one.
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