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Old 09-16-2013, 06:00 PM   #21
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I use Fidelity, there's an investment center 20 minutes from my home. Vanguard is just as good. I haven't had any recent interactions with Schwab. Don't think you can go wrong with any of these.

IMHO

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TD Ameritrade= Commission Free ETF's
Old 09-17-2013, 12:22 AM   #22
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TD Ameritrade= Commission Free ETF's

I recently read an article that TD Ameritrade offers commission free ETF's. That's a pretty good deal, especially considering they offer over 100 different commission free ETF's on their web site. No affiliation, just checking it out myself...

Seems like a better way to go vs Fidelity or Vanguard if you are comfortable building your portfolio with ETF's... can buy the same funds (as ETF) with no minimum, no commission.

Commission-Free ETFs
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Old 09-17-2013, 01:09 AM   #23
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To ues the TDAmeritrade free ETFs which are good deals. you must enroll first. Can't remember the details. Some where on the web site, there is an enroll button, just click it and accept the terms. That is all.

I didn't know. Got charged. Called TDAmeritrade and they reversed the charge.
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Old 09-17-2013, 12:22 PM   #24
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Just about every brokerage as a set of commission free ETF's. Same thing as with NTF mutual funds. A different set everywhere, pick the brokerage that is about the same as all the big ones and has the set of free funds/ETF's that you want.
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Old 09-17-2013, 12:39 PM   #25
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Help me understand, some brokerages are offer free trading on select ETFs.

But when I look at the ETFs their Expenses are higher then the index fund that covers the same index? I'm obviously missing something.

Thanks in advance for the help.

MRG
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Old 09-17-2013, 01:12 PM   #26
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Help me understand, some brokerages are offer free trading on select ETFs.

But when I look at the ETFs their Expenses are higher then the index fund that covers the same index? I'm obviously missing something.

Thanks in advance for the help.

MRG
Maybe that's why they're "free"?

All funds and ETF's charge whatever they can. No guarantees ETF's are cheaper.

Fidelity offers IVV iShares Core S&P 500 ETF with a 0.07% ER, as well as many others. VFINX Vanguard S&P 500 index is 0.17% ER. Look in the right places and you should find something you like.
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Old 09-17-2013, 01:46 PM   #27
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I've got accounts at Vanguard, Fido, and Schwab.

I inherited an IRA at Vanguard, as well as 529's that my dad had started for my sons. Vanguard is great for low costs and fine for DIY... but they SUCK when someone dies. They lost multiple copies of the death certificates... could not communicate between the brokerage side and the 529 side so seperate processes/paperwork/death certificates had to be sent. (Oh - and both sides - brokerage and 529 lost MULTIPLE copies of the paperwork and death certs... We burned through a LOT of certified death certificates before they finally completed the transfers.)
But - while you're living, they're great if you don't mind DIY.

My dad also had schwab - and the death /transfer to beneficiary was seamless. My sister ended up transferring 100% of her share to schwab just because of customer service.

Fido - I've got one older IRA there - they have a good calculator (Retirement Income Planner) that I like - so I'll leave that decent performing IRA there so I can use the calculator.

I just rolled over a work IRA and debated between the three - I ended up choosing schwab. They all have their advantages and disadvantages... I guess I went with Schwab because it was easiest to roll it to them.
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Old 09-17-2013, 02:34 PM   #28
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I have had very good experiences with both Fidelity and Vanguard.
I've had ok experiences Ameritrade and Optionhouse (probably the cheapest option commissions and $4 stock trades)

However, I've been a Schwab customer for 30 years and the service has always ranges from good to exemplary. So while I give the other guys a shot generally to take advantage of their special offers I always end up moving the money back to Schwab.
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Old 09-17-2013, 02:49 PM   #29
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I've got accounts at Vanguard, Fido, and Schwab.

I inherited an IRA at Vanguard, as well as 529's that my dad had started for my sons. Vanguard is great for low costs and fine for DIY... but they SUCK when someone dies. They lost multiple copies of the death certificates... could not communicate between the brokerage side and the 529 side so seperate processes/paperwork/death certificates had to be sent. (Oh - and both sides - brokerage and 529 lost MULTIPLE copies of the paperwork and death certs... We burned through a LOT of certified death certificates before they finally completed the transfers.)
But - while you're living, they're great if you don't mind DIY.

My dad also had schwab - and the death /transfer to beneficiary was seamless.
Little known issue, the complexity of death claims. Glad you had multiple death certs. Hopefully Vanguards processes have changed with recent technology advances.

We had a death claim with Schwab that went smoothly, but we had to follow their instructions to the full. They had told us up front, 'if you want it processed quickly, you must do it this way'.

MRG
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Old 09-17-2013, 03:01 PM   #30
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I inherited part of an IRA that was held at Fidelity. The executor said the easiest thing to do was to open an inherited IRA at Fidelity and in fact insisted on it. So I opened a new account at Fidelity which took a phone call and online chat since the online method failed repeatedly probably because I already had an account at Fidelity which interfered with their expectations.

Once the inherited IRA was open, the transfer of the money appeared the next day. Essentially, Fidelity already had all the info from the executor of the will and the original IRA got split into each of heir's IRAs painlessly.
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Old 09-17-2013, 04:30 PM   #31
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I believe I have used every online brokerage over the years, and have had both good and bad experiences at all of them.

IMHO, the best three I've found are
Fidelity/Schwab (pretty much a tie for best online brokerage)
and
Vanguard (their customer service stinks, but they are the best choice for your Vanguard funds)

My absolute all time favorite was Brown, but they got bought by E-Trade in 2005 and everything went to hell.
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Old 09-17-2013, 05:13 PM   #32
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I'd go with a brokerage account at Vanguard and use ETFs.
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Old 09-17-2013, 05:16 PM   #33
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I'd go with a brokerage account at Vanguard and use ETFs.
Do you actually have a VBS account? Have you used ETFs at Vanguard?

One can buy Vanguard ETFs for no commission at least at 3 other brokers:
WellsTrade
TDAmeritrade
Merrill Edge (via BoA)

Each of these non-Vanguard brokers are better than VBS in numerous ways.
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Old 09-19-2013, 08:14 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rodi View Post
I've got accounts at Vanguard, Fido, and Schwab.

I inherited an IRA at Vanguard, as well as 529's that my dad had started for my sons. Vanguard is great for low costs and fine for DIY... but they SUCK when someone dies. They lost multiple copies of the death certificates... could not communicate between the brokerage side and the 529 side so seperate processes/paperwork/death certificates had to be sent. (Oh - and both sides - brokerage and 529 lost MULTIPLE copies of the paperwork and death certs... We burned through a LOT of certified death certificates before they finally completed the transfers.)
But - while you're living, they're great if you don't mind DIY.

My dad also had schwab - and the death /transfer to beneficiary was seamless. My sister ended up transferring 100% of her share to schwab just because of customer service.

Fido - I've got one older IRA there - they have a good calculator (Retirement Income Planner) that I like - so I'll leave that decent performing IRA there so I can use the calculator.

I just rolled over a work IRA and debated between the three - I ended up choosing schwab. They all have their advantages and disadvantages... I guess I went with Schwab because it was easiest to roll it to them.

You are absolutely right about Vanguard. They are great if you don't mind DIY. Also, I mentioned in another thread, about the great service that American Century gives. It is one of the best when it comes to customer service. www.americancentury.com
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Old 09-21-2013, 11:25 AM   #35
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Aren't they just mutual funds?
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Old 09-21-2013, 12:32 PM   #36
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Aren't they just mutual funds?
Some mutual funds are not index funds but are managed.
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Old 09-21-2013, 12:51 PM   #37
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Aren't they just mutual funds?
I believe American Century is just funds, not truly a brokerage. That said I'm frequently wrong. Edit once again I'm incorrect they claim to have a full service brokerage.

I don't have an account with them. My knowledge comes from working with some of their ex-employees and knowing folks that went to work for them(their HQ is in the city I live in). I would agree they are very customer focused(or so say their exs). One of my former Megacorp Co-workers has a large sum of money in their funds, he's been very happy with them.

All that said, no clue to the specifics of their products ER, or active vs. passive funds.

MRG
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Old 09-21-2013, 02:21 PM   #38
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We started out with American Century (nee Twentieth Century) in the early 1980's. My kid has an UGMA with them started by grandma. We moved our assets away many years ago.

While the service is great, nowadays they are just another undistinguished run-of-the-mill actively-managed mutual fund company with expense ratios that are high enough to be avoided. Even if they did have a brokerage operation, they are just not a place where I would want to put my money whether in funds or a brokerage.
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