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Old 12-04-2017, 02:23 AM   #21
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I feel a bit bad for our Fidelity guy. I guess he is just doing his job but he wants to build a relationship with us and we don't really want one back. He leaves messages to call and I always email and ask for the reason for the call. It is always something like just checking in and to review our investments. We have investments like 30 year TIPS, stable value and index funds so there just isn't that much to talk about from month to month.

I do like that they have local offices. When I was setting up a retirement plan for our businesses that came in handy.
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Old 12-04-2017, 03:52 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by bingybear View Post
I pulled out of Vanguard several years back. Not happy with the service. I have accounts at both Fidelity and Schwab. First of all you title is comparing apples to oranges. Fidelity Private Client isa service level, not an advisory/investing service. Schwab Intelligent Portfolio Service is a robo advisor.
Fidelty does have services for investing. Private client is not one of them. Although the PC rep can help you determine your AA and investments.
I do like the availability of having local offices of both firms.

I don't use either of their advisory services, but have used some in the past (the more expensive "defined strategy" type advisors). I tried them for a couple years and went back to doing all my own investing.

I find both of them are good for doing you own investing. I use mostly ETFs. I would say Fidelity has more no transaction fee ETFs, but some are more thinly traded than I like.
same here , pulled out of vanguard . been with fidelity 30 years and private access clients and now chase private banking clients too .

fidelity has provided excellent customer service . vanguard should send it's reps there for training ha ha ha
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Old 12-04-2017, 07:55 AM   #23
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Thanks all for the helpful advice. I understand the Fidelity Private Client and Schwab Intelligent Portfolio services are both not really advisory/investment services. They just provide tools & research for me to do my own trading. I already know which types of funds i want to invest in and what percentage of equity to fixed/cash funds based on my tolerance of risk. I intend to replicate the purchase of same domestic/international equity and fixed income index fund types I have today with whichever company i move my account to. I live in a city where both Fidelity and Schwab have local offices. Was just curious of others opinions. I am also looking at the Schwab Intelligent Advisory service, which has a fee that is 1/3rd of what I'm paying today. Completely agree it's important to talk to both companies in F2F meetings.
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Old 12-04-2017, 08:53 AM   #24
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I would not pay Schwab the advisory fee. You can get most of what they offer that you would want or need for free.
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Old 12-04-2017, 09:58 AM   #25
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I would not pay Schwab the advisory fee. You can get most of what they offer that you would want or need for free.
+1

Either Fidelity or Schwab would be fine choices. Just don't sign up for any fee-based advisory service, especially since you stated:

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...I already know which types of funds i want to invest in and what percentage of equity to fixed/cash funds based on my tolerance of risk...
With $1M, you'll get access to senior reps for free when/if needed.

We've been very happy with Fidelity's service over the years. The website and other tools are perfect for our DIY style of investing, planning, and money management. Our portfolio is a 50/50 mix of iShares and Vanguard ETFs.

Our PCG rep is there if needed. I email him once or twice a year with questions or issues. He's very helpful and responsive. He typically contacts me once a year for a "portfolio review", but last few years I usually decline.
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Old 12-04-2017, 04:34 PM   #26
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In full agreement with the majority sentiment here -- "no" to Vanguard wrt personal services, Schwab and Fidelity both fine. I've been with Fidelity for more than 30 years, and I can say w/o reservation, their customer service is second to none. You simply can't do better.
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Old 12-04-2017, 08:32 PM   #27
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I agree that Fidelity's service is excellent, especially to help you execute what you already know you want.

For those that rely on investment advice from Fidelity, how did you get someone you felt was appropriately seasoned? When we hired an FA in 2013, we moved most of our self-managed portfolio out of Fidelity. The "advisor" Fido had assigned to us for free was very young and I felt I knew quite a bit more than he did about investing. I went for free portfolio review meetings a couple of times but didn't feel they were that valuable.
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Old 12-05-2017, 12:03 AM   #28
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Years ago I met a Fidelity adviser in the local office, and didn't click. A colleague had an adviser in the same office he liked, and they were happy to set me up with another appointment with this fellow who I enjoyed working with.

Several years and accounts later, I suppose I grew to private client status, and now meet with the office lead when something comes up or an annual checkup. I am pleased with the level of engagement, they usually reach out once a year our during market turbulence. Never pushy or selling services. It's obvious I have my own low cost investment philosophy, and am adept at using their retirement planning projections, but the discussions usually yield some productive insights or useful suggestions.

I prefer Fidelity over the other options for the reasons noted. I suggest calling the office for an appointment to discuss opening a private client account and hopefully you meet with the A team. Don't hesitate to ask for another adviser if you have any concerns with personality or approach.

I'm not sure if they're still offering a transfer bonus, it was $2,500 for 1MM+ new accounts a year ago. Kind of hard to find on the Fidelity web site, check other google sites.
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Old 12-05-2017, 08:23 AM   #29
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I'm a Fidelity Private Client and I haven't heard from my assigned representative in over 2 years. He used to call twice a year for a review. I do my own thing so maybe that is why he stopped calling. I do get a free Turbo Tax download so that is something I guess. Ha.
Likewise I only get a few emails a year from my FPC REP. The only time I've used the local office and met with my rep was to do a transfer in kind rollover of my 401k. The transaction was flawless. Perhaps it was my demeanor but there was no pressure to buy anything. At this point the free turbo tax is the only perk I use. The Fido website is another big plus.

Now, on the other hand I need to call VG as they are showing 2017 IRA distributions for this year that are 2x the actual amt. At some point I'll probably move out but really don't look forward to the hassle.
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Old 12-05-2017, 09:54 AM   #30
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... how did you get someone you felt was appropriately seasoned? ... I felt I knew quite a bit more than he did about investing. ...
I think the solution here is the same as for other professionals; never accept people at random. Check background (brokercheck.com, linkedin, etc.) and do other research to a degree that reflects the importance of the relationship. While it's certainly true that young brokers need to start somewhere, I have never felt that it was my responsibility to start them.

Think about it this way: If you take "random" you are very likely to be taking "below average." The top people are busy and probably won't be taking random new customers. It's the newbies and the unsuccessful who are most likely to need new customers and are most likely to be given to the next uncritical customer coming through the door.

So, I suggest that you simply call the branch manager, tell him of your unhappiness, and ask to interview a couple other reps who might be a better fit for you, including age, investment interests, etc. I would also specify at least 15 years of experience, which would mean that they started before the 2007-8 excitement and hence at least have some dim idea of what a normal interest rate environment looks like and hopefully have also lived through the tech bubble. ("Bubble experience" is going to be of increasing importance here soon, IMO.)
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Old 12-05-2017, 11:08 AM   #31
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Happy Fido private client here. They switched reps on us about a year ago and much happier with new guy. Go in once a year, office is 3 miles from here which is a huge plus. I know most stuff can be handled by phone, but we've had some tricky international transfers to son in Africa that dealing with in person was made quite convenient.

DW is totally ambivalent about how it all gets invested but as I've drug her in for the annual meeting I'm pretty confident that Fido PC service would be all she needs to keep her solvent. Right now we get all the service we do or don't want, whatever the case is.
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Old 12-05-2017, 11:14 AM   #32
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+1

Either Fidelity or Schwab would be fine choices. Just don't sign up for any fee-based advisory service, especially since you stated:



With $1M, you'll get access to senior reps for free when/if needed.

We've been very happy with Fidelity's service over the years. The website and other tools are perfect for our DIY style of investing, planning, and money management. Our portfolio is a 50/50 mix of iShares and Vanguard ETFs.

Our PCG rep is there if needed. I email him once or twice a year with questions or issues. He's very helpful and responsive. He typically contacts me once a year for a "portfolio review", but last few years I usually decline.
+2

I will say though that I didnít like the first PCG rep assigned to me. But, ended that relationship and the current one is great.
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Old 12-05-2017, 11:21 AM   #33
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I don't like Schwab's robot trading service but I still prefer Schwab advisers over Fidelity's.
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Old 12-06-2017, 02:50 AM   #34
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I think the solution here is the same as for other professionals; never accept people at random. Check background (brokercheck.com, linkedin, etc.) and do other research to a degree that reflects the importance of the relationship. While it's certainly true that young brokers need to start somewhere, I have never felt that it was my responsibility to start them.

Think about it this way: If you take "random" you are very likely to be taking "below average." The top people are busy and probably won't be taking random new customers. It's the newbies and the unsuccessful who are most likely to need new customers and are most likely to be given to the next uncritical customer coming through the door.

So, I suggest that you simply call the branch manager, tell him of your unhappiness, and ask to interview a couple other reps who might be a better fit for you, including age, investment interests, etc. I would also specify at least 15 years of experience, which would mean that they started before the 2007-8 excitement and hence at least have some dim idea of what a normal interest rate environment looks like and hopefully have also lived through the tech bubble. ("Bubble experience" is going to be of increasing importance here soon, IMO.)


Great approach, thank you.
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Old 12-06-2017, 05:39 PM   #35
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...At Vanguard, Fido, and Schwab you will be dealing with fiduciaries...
Is this likely to remain the case, now that financial institutions are no longer required to be fiduciaries? (or am I misunderstanding? - quite possible)
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Old 12-06-2017, 06:00 PM   #36
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Just found out that my advisor has moved to the Oakland office and I really don't want to go any farther than my local office which is in Walnut Creek. So they transferred me upstairs to an A Team Advisor. Actually they told me I was supposed to be there five years ago when my account crossed a certain level. I really wish I didn't have to get used to somebody new all the time.
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Old 12-06-2017, 06:09 PM   #37
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Is this likely to remain the case, now that financial institutions are no longer required to be fiduciaries? (or am I misunderstanding? - quite possible)
I think you are referring to the June 9 initial Dept. of Labor rule mandating that investment salespeople act as fiduciaries when selling retirement-related investments.

1) The industry is fighting this tooth and nail. It will probably stick but that is not a certainty.

2) It applies only to retirement money, so the same sales guy who is required to be a fiduciary for your retirement accounts can rape and pillage as he likes for your non-retirement accounts.

3) IMHO all those sales people who have been raping and pillaging with load funds, 12b1 fees, and high cost products like indexed annuities, private investment "opportunities," etc. are not going to suddenly and magically be clothed in white raiment and become St. Francis of Assisi. Tigers don't change their stripes that easily.

4) DOL allows a thing called a "Best Interest Contract Exemption" that I don't understand but it appears to be a way that an FA can get a customer to waive the fiduciary requirement.

So my advice to the few people who ask is to avoid brokerages that are on the fiduciary bandwagon only because of the DOL rule and to insist they have it in writing that their relationship with their FA is a fiduciary relationship. IOW a piece of paper that you can show the judge if necessary.
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Old 12-06-2017, 06:17 PM   #38
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It seems that I am an exception, but I have been very happy with VG customer service. I am at the Flagship level so perhaps the better reps. work at that level. I do agree with the frequent changing of "my" advisor being an issue. It seems that frrequent moves are to be expected in these businesses.
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Old 12-10-2017, 10:30 AM   #39
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I am meeting with a Fido rep on Monday. I've had an account with both Fidelity and Vanguard for years. I finally got fed up with having to get medallion signatures and notary stamps to transfer money or link to bank accounts.

It will be interesting to see if they still have a transfer bonus and to see if he try's to sell anything.

I have never met with a Fido rep, I ignored their requests in the past. At this point we are sitting on too much capital gains to move things around, so I will just let him do the paperwork of moving and merging accounts.
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Old 12-10-2017, 11:47 AM   #40
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I have never met with a Fido rep, I ignored their requests in the past. At this point we are sitting on too much capital gains to move things around, so I will just let him do the paperwork of moving and merging accounts.
Keep in mind that in most cases you can transfer your positions "in kind" and have no taxable event to report. About the only thing Fido will not take are thinly traded positions, and proprietary funds that some hedge funds use,
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