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Old 11-03-2013, 07:36 PM   #61
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Since you're comparing only two, it's "which is better".
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Old 11-03-2013, 10:05 PM   #62
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I've got accounts at both Fido and Vanguard. I don't do a lot of trading, I don't buy individual stocks, etc. I don't need any analytical tools/screeners on my brokerage's web site (all I need, and it ain't much, is at Morningstar). I prefer Vanguard to Fido. While Fido does have some low-cost MFs, Vanguard has a larger selection. The VGD web page does everything I need it to do, including the new cost-basis tracking (and easy specific-shares identification when selling, it absolutely could not be better). Both the VGD reps and the Fido reps have beenhelpful when I've had an administrative question. There are Fido offices in many towns (including one a few miles from me) and I can't see needing them--just another thing to be paid for by somebody, and I always suspect it's the customers doing the paying.
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Old 11-03-2013, 10:12 PM   #63
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gerntz View Post
Since you're comparing only two, it's "which is better".
The one without the grammar police?
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Old 11-03-2013, 10:47 PM   #64
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I have been with Fido for nearly 24 years and they have been great. I liked having investment centers nearby so I could meet with actual humans if I wanted to instead of talking on the phone with phone reps, some of whom were very good but once in a while I spoke to someone who was not as good (perhaps due to inexperience).

Back in 2005, I had a problem with their phone system I used to make purchases of mutual fund shares. Fido has made some changes to their system and they had a glitch which prevented me from making my purchases because they were not meeting their minimum amount. But I was grandfathered in under other rules which allowed me to make those lower purchases. When I spoke to various phone reps to make my purchases, a slow and arduous process compared to the quick automated phone service, I explained this to them and they promised to take the matter to a higher level (they did accept my order). Then in a Fido newsletter, some VP was boasting about the changes they made to their system. I got annoyed and wrote the guy, telling him how their so-called new-and-imprved system was failing me and how I would invest elsewhere (I have a small account with Dreyfus) until they fixed it. A few weeks later, the VP's assistant called me to discuss my letter and they eventually fixed the problem. I have kept that VP's assistant phone number in case I needed help at a high level, a privilege I have used (but not abused) a fre times over the years.

In the 18 months leading up to my ER back in 2007-08, I met with some Account Executives to go through my ER plan (such as setting up their RIP program) which was helpful. Just after I ERed 5 years ago, I was ready to create a Rollover IRA and to invest the company stock proceeds into a big bond fund. The AE was great at helping me through the whole process and get my greatly expanded accounts up and running. I also learned how to better use the Fido website.

When my friend's remaining parent passed away last year, he decided to take his inheritance to Fido (from Morgan Stanley, who had his mom's accounts). He did this after I told him how good Fido had been for me over the years. We have the same AE at our local office, and the AE helped him set up his inherited brokerage and IRA accounts although I did the actual transfer on one of them after the AE showed me how to do it. Even though my friend is not very savvy with these things, he can manage to log in and make some transactions on his own.

I mentioned Dreyfus where I have a small account from the 1990s I have kept open. The one thing I like a little better about them regarding their website is that they have a sitekey you have to verify before you can sign in. Fido does not have this security feature.
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Old 11-04-2013, 07:45 AM   #65
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Fidelity helped me roll over my after-tax 401(k) contributions to a Roth IRA. It was a little like taking a camel through the eye of a needle as it was a gray area of the law and a limited opportunity. It would have been easier for them just to blow me off. So, when hand holding is needed, Fidelity has come through for me at their brick and mortar store.
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Old 11-04-2013, 09:33 AM   #66
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I still use four. During the darks days in 2008 I was a bit more comfortable knowing my funds were spread out some.

I keep the most money in Vanguard. Their website has gotten better over the years (it was pretty bad a while back, but is decent now) and I've never encountered a problem with them.

Fidelity has an office 10 miles from here. It's been handy to be able to stop in on rare occasions. They also were very helpful consolidating my grandma's stocks when I was helping her out. (She had a munch of old stock certificates in a safe deposit box, long story...) So they earned some loyalty from me for that.

I also keep a Schwab account. This used to be my main investment account, but I mainly keep around now because my son's UTMA account is there.

And eTrade. It's also a legacy account holding the remaining shares of my old companies stock in there. It's has a record of all that. When I finally get that them all sold off, I'll probably close it down.

Honestly, all these companies provide pretty good web sites, fine service, and I can't think of really good reasons to favor one over the other. They're all good enough these days.
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Old 11-05-2013, 01:10 PM   #67
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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!
Huston55
Could you update us on if you were successful on this conversion, please.
I have checked with my Fido rep and am told

"we (fido) don't have a selling agreement to hold Admiral shares for our retail clients. If the bloggers happen to use our platform but have assets through an advisory firm they could potentially get that share class"

Are you a "retail" client or are your Fido positions through an employer 401k type investment?
Thanks
Nwsteve
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Old 11-06-2013, 06:29 PM   #68
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Huston55
Could you update us on if you were successful on this conversion, please.
I have checked with my Fido rep and am told

"we (fido) don't have a selling agreement to hold Admiral shares for our retail clients. If the bloggers happen to use our platform but have assets through an advisory firm they could potentially get that share class"

Are you a "retail" client or are your Fido positions through an employer 401k type investment?
Thanks
Nwsteve
+1
This is kind of what they told me when I tried to upgrade my Wellesley shares.
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Old 11-06-2013, 06:52 PM   #69
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gerntz View Post
Since you're comparing only two, it's "which is better".
Or which of the two is "best of all", not just of each other.
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Old 11-06-2013, 06:53 PM   #70
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+1
This is kind of what they told me when I tried to upgrade my Wellesley shares.
I even had my rep double check but all she could learn was that Fido does have Vanguard's authorization to hold Admiral shares. When I moved my Vanguard position to Fidelity, I had to first convert my Admiral shares to standard shares before a transfer could be done.
Oh well, sounded great when Huston 55 said he was getting a conversion but guess it is not happening.
Thanks for confirming the understanding.
Nwsteve
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Old 11-07-2013, 05:01 AM   #71
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nwsteve View Post
Huston55
Could you update us on if you were successful on this conversion, please.
I have checked with my Fido rep and am told

"we (fido) don't have a selling agreement to hold Admiral shares for our retail clients. If the bloggers happen to use our platform but have assets through an advisory firm they could potentially get that share class"

Are you a "retail" client or are your Fido positions through an employer 401k type investment?
Thanks
Nwsteve
So, I did get a return call from Fido as promised, to confirm the conversion. But, the rep told me she was mistaken and that Fido doesn't have an agreement to sell Admiral shares to retail customers. Good customer service, just not a good result. I guess that's...Boom, Undone!
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