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Fidelity vs Vanguard or others
Old 01-29-2008, 04:14 PM   #1
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Fidelity vs Vanguard or others

Ok I'm a slow learner but I just got wacked over the back of my head and I see the light.

I am currently with Merrill with $530,000 in wife and my IRA's and as I head into ER I have really been going over all my expenses.

I hardly ever trade stocks, I'm kinda of a buy mutual fund and hold type of person but a week ago the price on a stock I liked went down enough to where I wanted to by it. I purchased 300 shares of a $27 stock and Merrill wacked me with a $200 fee. I looked further and noticed there were $100 yearly fees on each account and the funds they put me in had quite high expenses which would be fine if they out performed my no load funds but they didn't.

I want to pull out our money and transfer it to another company and I was considering Fedelity and Vanguard.

So I thought I'd come here for some advice.

Vanguard, Fidelity or someone else. What do you think?
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Old 01-29-2008, 04:20 PM   #2
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Vanguard sounds ideal for you. Can't really go wrong with Vanguard, Fidelity, or Schwab, IMO.
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Old 01-29-2008, 04:25 PM   #3
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A WellsTrade brokerage account might be something to consider, but only if you are able to make your own investment decisions. With $25,000 in an account you get 100 free stock and mutual fund trades a year, enough for 99.9% of us. There are hundreds of no-load mutual fund options. You can call their 800 number and someone will make sure all the forms get filled out correctly over the phone.
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Old 01-29-2008, 04:28 PM   #4
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I/wife have a 50/50 split between Vanguard and Fidelity.

Both have their good/bad points, and I won't recommend either since everybody has their different "requirements" for a fund company.

For me, I'll agree with a lot of folks on this board that Vanguard has the lowest fees (in certain areas).

As for myself, I perfer Fidelity's tools. For example, a person in my situation (retired) finds more value in using Fidelity's Retirement Income Planner (RIP) rather than Vanguard's tool (Financial Engines) which is good for a person in their employment years (pre-retired) but is not designed for the retiree.

I also use Fidelity's IMA (Income Management Account) for managing my income (won't go into details, here), but Vanguard supplying the same type of service would cost $30/yr for each of us.

I'm sure you will receive a lot of comments on who is "better". I'm from the camp that says "why can't you just take the best from each?"....

- Ron
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Old 01-29-2008, 04:28 PM   #5
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Its very easy to pay no account fees at Vanguard. (minimum of 100K total or 10K per fund, or all electronic statements) Most funds have very low E.R. Full disclosure: I use Vanguard. I've heard nothing but good about Fidelity, T.R. Price and Schwab.

One thought; if you tend to buy individual stocks at all Vanguard may not be your choice. Their brokerage fees are not competitive.

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Old 01-29-2008, 04:44 PM   #6
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Vanguard. Especially if you have substantial funds to bring over. Fido has a few cheap funds, but if you fully diversify with VG you will probably come out on top in the long run as most of their funds seem to have a declining ER and they have a great selection of index funds. My ER the last time that I checked was 0.17% with Vanguard.
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Depends...
Old 01-29-2008, 05:28 PM   #7
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Depends...

I was exclusively with Fidelity for more than 10 years until 2004 when my holdings were individual equities and actively managed funds. I then switched all my holdings to Vanguard, simply because William Bernstein (and others) convinced me to use more index funds and Fidelity's index offerings were considerably fewer with higher expenses. Fidelity's statements were better but that's about it. I'd much rather have Vanguard's lower expenses for the same performance from my experience at least. They both offer impressive service for the most part, although I would give Vanguard a slight edge there too. Just one person's opinion...
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Old 01-29-2008, 06:07 PM   #8
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I use T. Rowe-Price and am quite satisfied.
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Old 01-29-2008, 06:31 PM   #9
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I moved my entire retirement portfolio from Merrill to Vanguard and am very pleased. DH just moved his IRA and portfolio from Merrill to VG as well. Easy to do on the phone; VG handled all the paperwork and follow up; and if you're moving over a sizeable sum, they give you extra benefits like a complimentary portfolio review, reduced fee or free stock trades, etc.
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Old 01-29-2008, 06:42 PM   #10
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when you take your dough from merrill dont forget to thank them for screwing up our economy
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Old 01-29-2008, 07:01 PM   #11
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Here's a rational way to separate two reputable low-cost investment fund firms...VG vs. FD

How many VG commercials have you seen lately? I've seen zero, but I've seen a couple dozen of FD's IRA commercial over the last month or so. My guess is that VG passes along those non-expenditures to its customers through lower costs. To another posters point though, I'm sure there are a few positives of FD's over VG..i.e. tools. Not sure you can really go wrong if you're going to stick with one for the longhaul.
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Old 01-29-2008, 07:31 PM   #12
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VG is primarily a bond house and index fund outfit. Can't beat it for low costs. I am currently moving my stuff from Schwab to VG. However, if you want a brokerage account to do a little trading this is not the place and they do not have margin accounts.
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Old 01-29-2008, 07:38 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by cashflo2u2 View Post
VG is primarily a bond house and index fund outfit. Can't beat it for low costs. I am currently moving my stuff from Schwab to VG. However, if you want a brokerage account to do a little trading this is not the place and they do not have margin accounts.
VG does in fact have margin accounts. I use them for my trading with no problems. They also give me 12 free trades a year.
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Old 01-29-2008, 07:38 PM   #14
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I use Spartan funds at Fido, total stock market / small mid cap index funds at Vanguard.
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Old 01-29-2008, 09:29 PM   #15
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we use Fidelity, simply b/c I like a brick and mortar place to walk into on occasion. Last month I had a bunch of different things that I wanted to do, so we went with a stack of papers and settled it all at once. Doing it online is a bigger hassle for me, since invariably I hit electronic hiccups, or frozen screen. Undoubtedly I'm doing something wrong probably, but I also like getting free snacks, drinks, and if you go at the end of the day on a Friday, they let you take the periodicals, including Barron's (heh, which I know no one here much likes).
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Old 01-29-2008, 10:34 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by P.S. View Post
we use Fidelity, simply b/c I like a brick and mortar place to walk into on occasion. Last month I had a bunch of different things that I wanted to do, so we went with a stack of papers and settled it all at once. Doing it online is a bigger hassle for me, since invariably I hit electronic hiccups, or frozen screen. Undoubtedly I'm doing something wrong probably, but I also like getting free snacks, drinks, and if you go at the end of the day on a Friday, they let you take the periodicals, including Barron's (heh, which I know no one here much likes).
I'm so glad you posted this because I wondered if being able to go face to face with Fidelity would be a factor in Fidelity vs. Vanguard. Free snack and drinks, too!
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Old 01-30-2008, 08:50 AM   #17
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To All, Thank you.

A lot of helpful insight was given and even though trading stocks excites me (I also like to go to Atlantic City) I don't think I'd like to play with my Retirement. After reading all the comments and my desire to keep things simple it sounds like Vanguard offers the type of funds I would want to be in along with reasonable expenses and fees. If I want to gamble I'll just go to AC.
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Old 01-30-2008, 03:39 PM   #18
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Free snack and drinks, too!
Can't anyone just walk in and snack away?
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Old 01-30-2008, 03:48 PM   #19
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Hmmm - being highly opionated after forty years - the three I liked best: Vanguard, and T Rowe Price/Fidelity almost even.

I even like the Boglehead moniker.

heh heh heh
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Old 01-30-2008, 05:11 PM   #20
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Can't anyone just walk in and snack away?
I don't know about "anybody", but I've attended customer presentations during the lunch hour and they've had pizza & drinks (soda/tea).

Yes I know I'm "paying" for it in some way, but it still is nice to have a "place to go". Just as you can get better returns by using a net bank vs. "brick & mortar" bank, it's a nice touch.

- Ron
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