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Old 05-12-2013, 09:49 AM   #41
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Originally Posted by CJHorne View Post
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!

having read this article-i don't think he actually know fidelitys funds. their Spartan funds are the equal of vanguards in the low costs department.
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Old 05-12-2013, 11:07 AM   #42
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Although I don't use fidelity directly I can certainly believe their customer service is better than vanguard. But I have been very happy with my interactions with vanguard reps and I think they are very good/excellent on this front. However, all I have to compare vanguard to are companies like banks, utilities, support lines, etc. so my maybe my expectations are too low.
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Old 11-01-2013, 08:01 PM   #43
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Just a bit of data on the VG vs Fido question; regarding customer service.

My accounts are with Fido but, I do have some VG funds. After several months of ownership, I noticed that I had Wellington (VWELX) vs Wellington Admiral (VWENX) shares in my taxable account, even though my account balance is large enough to qualify for Admiral shares, which have a 0.17% vs 0.25% ER.

So, I called a Fido rep, and spent <2 mins on the line while she confirmed that they could do a non-taxable exchange. I'll get an email Monday confirming the transaction. Boom! Done!
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Old 11-02-2013, 05:45 AM   #44
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They do do the conversion automatically on a "periodic" basis, but I like to initiate it myself.

https://personal.vanguard.com/us/ins...tions-10152010
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Old 11-02-2013, 06:03 AM   #45
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I like Vanguard funds owned in either Etrade or Schwab account.

Reason is that both Etrade and Schwab offer hardware RSA security token. BTW Schwab has some extremely cheap Index Funds which I would choose over Vanguard.....
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Old 11-02-2013, 10:10 AM   #46
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Both great companies. My Megacorp 401k with a 3rd party, its mostly in Vanguard funds. My rollover is in Fidelity, equities, index, small amount in active funds, an occasional call or put too.

A big decision point for me was the ability to be in Fidelity's office in 15 minutes. If you want low cost index funds they both have them. The article quoted seems to suggest only Vanguard did, perhaps I misunderstood the author.

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Both seem like quality companies
Old 11-02-2013, 12:11 PM   #47
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Both seem like quality companies

As sort of a layman, trying to learn more I'd ask:

Why not just spread the money out and use both Fidelity and Vanguard?
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Old 11-02-2013, 12:26 PM   #48
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As sort of a layman, trying to learn more I'd ask:

Why not just spread the money out and use both Fidelity and Vanguard?
Because it's a pain having $ in multiple places Nd doing so delays/prevents you getting higher level of service/free advice based on acct balance.
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Old 11-02-2013, 03:34 PM   #49
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Originally Posted by Huston55 View Post
Just a bit of data on the VG vs Fido question; regarding customer service.

My accounts are with Fido but, I do have some VG funds. After several months of ownership, I noticed that I had Wellington (VWELX) vs Wellington Admiral (VWENX) shares in my taxable account, even though my account balance is large enough to qualify for Admiral shares, which have a 0.17% vs 0.25% ER.

So, I called a Fido rep, and spent <2 mins on the line while she confirmed that they could do a non-taxable exchange. I'll get an email Monday confirming the transaction. Boom! Done!
Interesting that I just bought some Wellesley in my FIDO IRA recently and the trade would not go through as an Admiral acct even though I qualified. I went ahead and bought the non-Admiral anyway. Your post has encouraged me to give Fido a call on Monday and see what they can do to fix this.
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Old 11-02-2013, 05:09 PM   #50
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Another vote for Fidelity for service.......I have a 401K with both VG and Fidelity. In prep for taking RMDs this yr, I called them both asking if they could take distribution request via phone and be flexible about the timing,amount, taxes etc. Both said yes. When I finally did something,
Fidelity did as promised but it turned out that VG was unable to take phone orders so I had to do it by paper form, not by phone (perhaps they can do online too but I wasn't interested in that option). That means that VG is relatively inflexible tho you could change this mid yr, it is much more of a production that w/ Fido.

Then came the quarterly statements. Fidelity was clear and understandable and showed the distributions. I could not tell from the VG statement that I had taken a distribution even tho their statement took up the same number of pages as Fido's. VG lumped a share class exchange, distributions and dividends together as one line item so you had no idea what was going on.
Even the reps seemed confused about the share class exchange. One told me that I exchanged out at the end of the day and exchanged in at the beginning of another so that I gained or lost on the exchange. I have never seen that happen on a share class exchange. When I asked to get a detailed statement, they took so long responding that I called back to check and they ended up doing the same task twice. An incredible waste of everybodys' time when a simple change to the statement would fix things. I'm thinking of sending Fido's statement to VG to copy.

Perhaps the retail side is different than the institutional side..............

edit: to be fair to the reps, they are the beneficiaries or victims of the system
that has been set up , including the monthly statements, so this is not purely a service issue, but goes deeper into the institutional processes that have been set up for them.

edit2: it is likely that we are biased by our latest experiences and that our individual experiences have too small a sample size to reasonably conclude anything so someone would have to synthesize all the inputs to make a reasonable conclusion.
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Old 11-02-2013, 06:58 PM   #51
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It seemed pretty easy to set up distributions from my wife's Vanguard IRA acct via the online method. I just set up a monthly bank transfer account with her credit union checking account. We can easily change amounts, and take out withholding for Federal and state. Never had an issue with VG
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Old 11-02-2013, 07:08 PM   #52
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Originally Posted by Huston55 View Post
Just a bit of data on the VG vs Fido question; regarding customer service.

My accounts are with Fido but, I do have some VG funds. After several months of ownership, I noticed that I had Wellington (VWELX) vs Wellington Admiral (VWENX) shares in my taxable account, even though my account balance is large enough to qualify for Admiral shares, which have a 0.17% vs 0.25% ER.

So, I called a Fido rep, and spent <2 mins on the line while she confirmed that they could do a non-taxable exchange. I'll get an email Monday confirming the transaction. Boom! Done!
I hate Vanguard because of their poor website, stupid, inflexible policies, and lack of transparency. However, I have a bunch of money in an Admiral class bond fund with them. I was messing around on Fido trying to buy the same fund, and it gave me an error saying I couldn't do Admiral. Are you saying I can call and have it changed? If so, I'm going to move the account.
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Old 11-03-2013, 06:01 AM   #53
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Vanguard actively-managed Admiral funds are available at other brokerages. These include Wellesley, Wellington, GNMA, short-term investment grade bond, and so on.

Vanguard index funds in the Admiral share class are NOT available at other brokerages. However, Vanguard index funds in the Signal share class (same low expense ratio at Admiral) ARE available at other brokerages.

Of course, the other brokerage has to make them available, so one will need to check. Often the customer service reps of the other brokerage will be clueless about all this.

I know that WellsFargo has commission-free Vanguard funds for folks grandfathered into the PMA/WellsTrade deal of 100 free trades per year. I have owned both Signal share class and Admiral share class funds in the past at WellsTrade, but no longer do so. BTW, WellsTrade is better than both Vanguard and Fidelity if one wishes to have a portfolio of just funds and ETFs.
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Old 11-03-2013, 06:13 AM   #54
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Originally Posted by 45th Birthday View Post
I hate Vanguard because of their poor website, stupid, inflexible policies, and lack of transparency. However, I have a bunch of money in an Admiral class bond fund with them. I was messing around on Fido trying to buy the same fund, and it gave me an error saying I couldn't do Admiral. Are you saying I can call and have it changed? If so, I'm going to move the account.
Yes, just call a Fido rep.

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Vanguard actively-managed Admiral funds are available at other brokerages. These include Wellesley, Wellington, GNMA, short-term investment grade bond, and so on.

Vanguard index funds in the Admiral share class are NOT available at other brokerages. However, Vanguard index funds in the Signal share class (same low expense ratio at Admiral) ARE available at other brokerages.

Of course, the other brokerage has to make them available, so one will need to check. Often the customer service reps of the other brokerage will be clueless about all this.

I know that WellsFargo has commission-free Vanguard funds for folks grandfathered into the PMA/WellsTrade deal of 100 free trades per year. I have owned both Signal share class and Admiral share class funds in the past at WellsTrade, but no longer do so. BTW, WellsTrade is better than both Vanguard and Fidelity if one wishes to have a portfolio of just funds and ETFs.
Better in what sense?
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Old 11-03-2013, 10:24 AM   #55
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I just remembered that one cannot buy ETFs in a Vanguard IRA account, only funds.
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Old 11-03-2013, 10:32 AM   #56
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Why would I buy Admiral Shares if I can buy Vanguard ETF and I can buy at brokerage of my choice? BTW I think ETF is more Tax efficient as well.
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Old 11-03-2013, 12:38 PM   #57
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I just remembered that one cannot buy ETFs in a Vanguard IRA account, only funds.
This is categorically false. We have purchased ETFs at Vanguard in an IRA account. One needs to sign up at Vanguard for Vanguard Brokerage Services (VBS) to be able to purchase non-mutual funds (i.e. stocks, CDs, ETFs, Fidelity mutual funds, etc), but this is relatively easy.
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Old 11-03-2013, 12:41 PM   #58
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Why would I buy Admiral Shares if I can buy Vanguard ETF and I can buy at brokerage of my choice? BTW I think ETF is more Tax efficient as well.
Since Vanguard ETFs are just another share class of Vanguard mutual funds just like Admiral shares are just another share class of Vanguard mutual funds, the ETF is NOT more tax efficient than the Admiral share class.

I repeat: The ETF not more tax efficient.

There is probably some confusion because ETFs are generally more tax efficient than actively-managed mutual funds. Plus Vanguard ETFs are generally more tax efficient than index funds from places other than Vanguard. But when comparing Vanguard ETFs with Vanguard mutual funds for the same index fund, there is no difference in tax efficiency.
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Old 11-03-2013, 01:12 PM   #59
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Since Vanguard ETFs are just another share class of Vanguard mutual funds just like Admiral shares are just another share class of Vanguard mutual funds, the ETF is NOT more tax efficient than the Admiral share class.

I repeat: The ETF not more tax efficient.

There is probably some confusion because ETFs are generally more tax efficient than actively-managed mutual funds. Plus Vanguard ETFs are generally more tax efficient than index funds from places other than Vanguard. But when comparing Vanguard ETFs with Vanguard mutual funds for the same index fund, there is no difference in tax efficiency.
I ran numbers comparing ETF versus Mutual Fund and to my surprise you are correct.

Still I prefer ETFs which I can transfer to broker of my choice.
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Old 11-03-2013, 07:09 PM   #60
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Better in what sense?
1. Better web interface for showing what's going on. No need to click through many pages to get info. A customizable single page view of all accounts, gains/losses, lots, etc is available.

2. Better 1099s that are complete with no errors that download into TurboTax easily.

3. Orders submitted to national markets, so that one can "see" them with real-time level II quotes at another broker. Fidelity seems to try to trade internally with its other customers, so if one submits an order it does not show up. I can see my orders appear and get executed from my other broker. I cannot do that with Fidelity.

4. Real-time updating of all transactions including pending transactions. One knows where one's money is and where it is going. Fidelity gives you different numbers depending on which web page you are looking at. Fidelity silently cancels money transfers without telling you.

5. Nearly instantaneous transfers of cash between checking and investing accounts. Real-time updating of those transactions (see #4 above), too.

6. Dividends are shown and credited as they are paid and not a day or two later. Vanguard seems to always take an extra day or two to let you see your dividends even from Vanguard ETFs.

7. Web pages are not trying to sell me some investment or fund. They are purely functional.

8. Free trades on Vanguard mutual funds, Vanguard ETFs, non-Vanguard funds, non-Vanguard ETFs, stocks, etc. This include Vanguard Admiral and Signal share classes of Vanguard funds. This is less expensive than both Fidelity and Vanguard.

9. Superb online banking with free online bill pay. Yes, Fidelity has something, but it just ain't the same.

Anyways, only folks grandfathered into the free 100 trades a year probably don't pay any commissions. New accounts have to pay about the same as Fidelity.
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