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Old 05-08-2013, 08:04 PM   #21
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Does Fidelity provide personal return information farther back than 5 years?

My biggest complaint with Vanguard is that they only provide personal return information for the most recent 5 years.

I'm not obsessed with money, I'm obsessed with work! Er, rather the not doing it anymore part...
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Old 05-08-2013, 08:05 PM   #22
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Due to early investment decisions, company 401k plan and an inherited IRA I have accounts at Vanguard, Fidelity and T. Rowe Price. I really like TRP customer service (personal services client). I haven't personally dealt with customer service at Vanguard or Fidelity yet, although that will be coming up soon when I rollover my 401k to an IRA.

My sister was executor for my mom's estate and had to deal with a specific Vanguard rep who was not very helpful. It took many phone calls to get the information needed to handle the account. She lives 20 miles from Vanguard and threatened to go camp out at his office until he took care of it. Looks like others have had this same problem with Vanguard.

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Old 05-08-2013, 08:14 PM   #23
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I use both Fidelity and Vanguard for diversity. At Vanguard I use Target Retirement funds. The equivalent Fidelity Freedom funds are composed of a laundry list of many Fidelity funds with high ER.

So, at Fidelity I use only Spartan Advantage Index funds to replicate the equivalent Vanguard Target Retirement fund. So far, the total return and ER is very close to the equivalent Vanguard Target Retirement Fund.
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Old 05-08-2013, 08:40 PM   #24
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I personally go with vanguard as they have removed the more money from wall street to personal investors pockets than any other firm I can think of.
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Old 05-08-2013, 10:24 PM   #25
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Has anyone considered Charles Schwab also?
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Old 05-09-2013, 03:35 AM   #26
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A co-worker of mine uses Schwab. They're basically as good as Fidelity from what she describes, and therefore also better than Vanguard in terms of customer service.

For me, the fact that there is a Fidelity Investor Center in town makes the decision trivial: There's no way that Vanguard could ever be a consideration placed over Fidelity. However, even if I only had to deal with the companies remotely, Fidelity is still better, and deliberately so: Vanguard is like the Wal-mart of the financial services industry: Deliberately less expensive even at the expense of a small amount of quality. (Though, to be fair, there's basically nothing I get from Vanguard that is less expensive than what I could get at Fidelity, since Fidelity has lowered so many of its Spartan ERs to complete.)

But there really is no reason to make a decision between Fidelity and Vanguard. For brokerage services, use Fidelity. If you would like to own some Vanguard funds, just go to and open a mutual funds account. I see no reason to not have both.
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Old 05-09-2013, 05:27 AM   #27
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85% of assets with Vanguard.Only time I talked to a rep was five years ago when I rolled over my 401k.Went smoothly.My sister-in-law uses T.RowePrice cause she likes to walk into the local office,to each his own.Vanguard,Fidelity,and Price are the only ones I would use.Good reputations and reasons given already.
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Old 05-09-2013, 05:40 AM   #28
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This is such a personal-taste decision. I don't know if I've been lucky, or some of the other responders here have been unlucky; BUT, I find Vanguard's customer service superlative.
I've needed their help several times and each tiome they have gone above and beyond.
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Old 05-09-2013, 05:58 AM   #29
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I have about 35% of my assetts with Fidelity (all 401k). They have been very good and I do like the investment centers. I set up my solo 401k with them and they made it very easy. They also allow rollovers into their solo 401k (I'm told Vanguard does not, but never actually asked Vanguard) so this was helpful with preparing for my backdoor ROTH strategies. I've spoken to them on the phone and at the investment center several times and they've been great.

I haven't done anything very complicated with Vanguard. The most difficult thing I did was roll a ROTH IRA to them and that was pretty smooth. I'm pleased with both firms, but if I was forced to choose one I would go with Vanguard. They have a nice selection of low cost index funds over many sectors which works very well for the way I invest. As others have said though, I don't think you can go very wrong either way.
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Old 05-09-2013, 08:38 AM   #30
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Have a taxable account and a mini Roth at VG, and two different employer accounts - 401k and 457b - with Fidelity. No complaints with either, but may consolidate completely once I fully FIREd...
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Old 05-09-2013, 08:46 AM   #31
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If you stick with mutual funds, I'd prefer Vanguard. If you want a one-stop broad array of financial services, including buying and selling individual securities and banking services, Fidelity or Schwab might be a better choice.

There's no reason it has to be either/or, though, except for convenience and ease of moving money around. I have some Vanguard mutual funds, my last Megacorp's 401K is still in a Fidelity account and most of my IRA assets and a checking account are with Schwab. I may consolidate at some point but haven't found a compelling reason or need to do so just yet.
"Hey, for every ten dollars, that's another hour that I have to be in the work place. That's an hour of my life. And my life is a very finite thing. I have only 'x' number of hours left before I'm dead. So how do I want to use these hours of my life? Do I want to use them just spending it on more crap and more stuff, or do I want to start getting a handle on it and using my life more intelligently?" -- Joe Dominguez (1938 - 1997)

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Old 05-09-2013, 09:00 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by Spanky View Post
Has anyone considered Charles Schwab also?
I've got most of my money at Schwab (taxable, inherited IRA, and a rolled 401k).
As mentioned previously - I have a rolled IRA at Fidelity, and a couple 529's at Vanguard.

Haven't dealt much with FIDO customer service except when I was getting my name changed when I got married. (Had a glitch, but they helped me solve it.... and didn't lose the certified marriage certificate.)

Schwab I have a personal "financial consultant". She's very nice - calls me once a quarter to "check in" - and knows I'm a roll-your-own type. She's been working with me on a 401k roll over (my division was sold off - so we can roll our 401k out and start anew with the new company's 401k).
My sister needs/wants more hand holding - uses their managed funds services. She stops in to chat with the rep (we have the same one) about once a month. So the level of service is whatever you want. The one time I met my financial rep in person was when I went in to double check my retirement plan estimates. (She green lighted things after we discussed the budget side to confirm to her that our budget was based on reality.)

My impression of Vanguard - fine for do-it-yourselfers... not so good after you die, for your family or estate.
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Old 05-09-2013, 05:14 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by CJHorne View Post
I understand Vanguard is owned by its members. I remember reading how much Jack Bogle made when he was running Vanguard (don't remember the number) but it was a pittance compared to CEOs of comparable public companies. If a company is owned by its members, their interest is more aligned with the members than if the company has public or private owners. I am sure someone will straighten me out if I am wrong on this.
This article says what I was trying to say...but stated much better:
Fidelity vs. Vanguard: Which is best? - MarketWatch

Amazing timing on the article!
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Old 05-09-2013, 05:22 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by rodi View Post
I've got most of my money at Schwab (taxable, inherited IRA, and a rolled 401k).
We have been with Schwab since opening our first IRAs back in the early 80s and have never had problems. Most of our money is there.

More recently, we have rolled some IRA funds to Vanguard so we could get into Wellesley. We intend to roll more funds from a credit union to VG when a couple CDs mature.

We will keep some combination of Schwab and VG, I imagine.
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Old 05-09-2013, 05:30 PM   #35
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Fidelity wins on customer service Vanguard on expenses. We use both, index funds at Fidelity- Spartan Advantage class and others at Vanguard. However I don't see a good ST bond fund at Fidelity at all. The ST investment grade expenses eat big time into the paltry interest rates. Likewise when comparing the risk of the Fidelity junk bond funds compared to Vanguard - again VG wins with higher quality holdings and minimal expense. Compare the BBB, BB and B holding % if you're curious.
So I guess I'll continue to use both.
Taking Social Security at 62 and hoping I live long enough to regret the decision.
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Old 05-10-2013, 02:04 PM   #36
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The only thing I do like about Fidelity is their Retirement Income Planning program. Very nice. I think you need to have an account there to use it. My wife has a small (old) IRA there.
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Old 05-10-2013, 08:08 PM   #37
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Looked at fidelity but went with VG. I like the funds, and it's easy to set up a diverse and balanced portfolio with 2 to 4 funds. Easy process to set up with plenty of assistance over the phone, and even set a plan for me for free based on the AA I wanted. They do RMDs automatically, and have always been helpful when I called. Like the portfolio manager on their website. Overall, a good experience.
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Old 05-11-2013, 08:47 PM   #38
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Here is something I thought was a little strange--

My new Megacorp 401(k) is at Fido, but has mostly Vanguard funds in it.
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Old 05-11-2013, 10:09 PM   #39
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Fidelity wins every time for customer service, before one even takes their walk in offices into consideration. Vanguard closed their walk in offices; they had several in the Philly area back in the 1990s. I really have to wonder about Vanguard's work environment as their customer service reps seem quite irritated, like they don't want you to call. Fidelity reps couldn't be friendlier. Also, Vanguard wouldn't send me an account opening kit; he told me to go online and print it out. American Century has excellent customer service; I can't say enough good things about it. If it is customer service you are looking for, American Century and Muriel Siebert are both tops in my book. T Rowe Price is also good.

Several years ago I walked into a Charles Schwab office to open an account in a trust. As I was filling out the application, I had a few questions so I asked the man behind the desk. He apparently knew nothing as every time I asked him a question, he got up and ran into the back room and asked for help. After completing the application, I had him look it over and handed him a substantial check to begin the account and walked out. Exactly 30 days later, I received my application and uncashed check in an envelope in the mail with a note saying they couldn't process my application because it was not completed properly. It doesn't take 30 days to send a letter to Antarctica, and the Schwab office is in the same town that I live! I have to wonder why they did not contact me as they had my phone number, cell number, and e-mail address on the application. I would like to think that when I hand money to a bank or broker it is safe, and I don't need to worry about it floating around in the mail. Needless to say, I took my business elsewhere.
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Old 05-12-2013, 04:09 AM   #40
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Originally Posted by Hamlet View Post
Here is something I thought was a little strange--

My new Megacorp 401(k) is at Fido, but has mostly Vanguard funds in it.
Best both worlds. My 401k does the same thing. Institutional class of VG index funds with miniscule expenses. The only VG fund they don't have is an emerging market equity fund to fill in for the VG Developed market Instl. class. I use a brokeragelink acct with Fidelity EM Index advantage class (current Er .2%) to round out my diversified portfolio.

Taking Social Security at 62 and hoping I live long enough to regret the decision.
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