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Re: Brokerage accounts
Old 05-03-2007, 08:21 AM   #21
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Re: Brokerage accounts

Fidelity ranks very well in broker reviews and surveys. Fidelity is the most recommended of the choices that you gave us.

If you wanted to step out of those constraints, I can whole heartedly recommend WellsFargo and after that TDAmeritrade. We have accounts at both. We use them for some mutual funds, ETFs, individual stocks and broker-sold CDs. These include investments in a Fidelity fund, Dodge&Cox funds, an AmericanCentury fund. But we use Vanguard itself for Vanguard funds.

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Re: Brokerage accounts
Old 05-03-2007, 12:04 PM   #22
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Re: Brokerage accounts

Originally Posted by RE2Boys
Well, it appears that Fidelity is the most recommended due to service, Vanguard recommendations are very mixed, and not many have experience with T Rowe Price.
TRP is one of the few companies in the nation that will custody IRAs for minors, so we put our 14-year-old's IRA there.

A week after we did the paperwork I attempted to activate the online account features. No joy. I finally called TRP and it turned out that they'd entered her SSN incorrectly. They said "Log in with this SSN and then change it." I balked and had them enter it correctly before we'd proceed further. Two days later we finally had online access.

We sent them the EFT paperwork 12 days ago for transferring money directly from her checking account instead of via paper checks. I'm afraid to call and see how that's doing...

As soon as she turns 18 I'll point out to her that Fidelity will custody her IRA for a much smaller expense ratio and will consolidate her account privileges under the family umbrella. I don't think she'll stay at TRP.


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Re: Brokerage accounts
Old 05-03-2007, 12:28 PM   #23
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Re: Brokerage accounts

If you want to stick with individual stocks, I would suggest you go with TD Ameritrade. It is cheap, and easy to do everything you need online. I don't need a "broker" to talk to, just a platform to execute trades. However, I recognize that some may feel more comfortable with greater human contact.

For the part of my portfolio that is in mutual funds, I deal directly with the relevant fund companies (Vanguard, Oakmark, Dodge & Cox). Even there, I do everything online.

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Re: Brokerage accounts
Old 05-03-2007, 01:25 PM   #24
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Re: Brokerage accounts

Most of our assets are with Vanguard and the customer service has been good. However, there have been a few cases where their reps weren't as informed as I expected. My friend had Vanguard screw up his excess Roth recharacterization twice. I've also seen some people who've complained on the diehards site. A greater percentage of Fidelity users seem to be happy with their customer service.

I definitely agree that Vanguard's brokerage costs and interface leaves something to be desired. But we don't buy too many individual stocks so I'm OK with it. We do have a very small account with Fidelity but we don't use it much except at tax time. The main reason that I chose Vanguard over Fidelity was that most of my monthly investments are in Vanguard funds and DW's 403(b) is with Vanguard. Yeah, a few of Fidelity's funds have lower ERs than Vanguards but I get the feeling that these might be teaser rates that could change in the future. Plus, the few funds that had a lower ER at Fidelity were only cheaper when compared with the investor class ones at Vanguard; once you move to admiral status, the Vanguard funds were pretty much the same ER.


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