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Fidelity vs. Vanguard: Which is best?
Old 05-08-2013, 02:13 PM   #1
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Fidelity vs. Vanguard: Which is best?

We see this question asked repeatedly on E-R.org - Fidelity or Vanguard?
Quote:
...if you have a choice, you should look "under the hood" for some details about Fidelity and Vanguard. Every time I do that, I find that Vanguard comes out on top.
The author points out several differences between the two companies and says these three factors put Vanguard on top:
Quote:
Vanguard has lower expenses, lower turnover and more index funds. That means higher returns.
YMMV
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Old 05-08-2013, 02:14 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by REWahoo View Post
We see this question asked repeatedly on E-R.org - Fidelity or Vanguard?
The author points out several differences between the two companies and says these three factors put Vanguard on top:
YMMV
i like fidelity

why you may ask.

i like to deal in brokered cd's both initial and secondary. although vanguard will sell initial cd's they do not provide a market for secondary cd's themselves=they send them off to fidelity. also fidelity make it much easier to deal in structured products

i will agree that vanguard has some excellent funds and low fees.

if you want easy access to esoteric products plus everything else fidelity is the way to go. i find their website is easily the most manageable
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Old 05-08-2013, 02:39 PM   #3
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Old 05-08-2013, 02:44 PM   #4
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Old 05-08-2013, 02:54 PM   #5
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I'm a Fido fan.

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Old 05-08-2013, 02:56 PM   #6
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I have funds in both Vanguard and Fidelity. I personally like Vanguard better, for the reasons mentioned. Also, whenever I contact Fidelity to ask a question about my account, it seems like about 2-3 days later, I start getting phone calls from Fidelity reps offering to do something like a complimentary portfolio review. Although a lot of people would probably jump at that offer, it irritates me.
Having said all that, I don't plan on selling my Fidelity funds any time soon. I think they are better than average.
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Old 05-08-2013, 03:12 PM   #7
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Old 05-08-2013, 03:19 PM   #8
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Pre tax IRA with FIDO, after tax accounts with VG. Both are good firms with plenty of choices. BTW do all my stuff on line and never talk to any reps. last time I talked to a rep was eight years ago when I rolled over my 401 with FIDO.
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Old 05-08-2013, 04:27 PM   #9
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I seldom see TIAA-CREFF mentioned. I don't use them (long time VG client) but thry have a good rep.
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Old 05-08-2013, 04:45 PM   #10
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Clearly Vanguard wins the expense race. However, if need anything out of the norm, Fido wins hands IMHO. Ask the typical Vangd rep for anything not in their policymanual, the answer always seems to be a problem
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Old 05-08-2013, 04:59 PM   #11
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I had a peculiar problem researching some cost basis with Fidelity. I had excellent service, the guy didn't give up, and if he had left me on my own it would have been about impossible, going back over 15 years. It pretty much was what I have learned to expect from them. I get a call from my account rep once every 6 months or so; if I don't return his call then they just drop it. Just the way I want it. The service, plus the now local office, makes me a real fan. Although now with smartphone deposit app I don't really need the office. Is nice to attend the seminars now and then. I had Vanguard funds for a long time, no problems at all. Just have been won over by FIDO.
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Old 05-08-2013, 05:08 PM   #12
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I like Vanguard funds. But their customer service is less than spectacular. When my dad passed away it was very painful to get control of the taxable and IRA accounts. It's one thing to be directed to a self-service form... but quite another to then lose that form AND the certified death certificate THREE TIMES. (My sister was executor and had to keep running down to the county office to get new copies of the death certificate.)

It left a bad taste in my mouth.

I still have my kids 529's there. But I rolled the inheritance to Schwab... (Dad also had accounts there.) Similar low expense index funds... and no issues so far with customer service.

I have an old rolled 401k/IRA at Fido. I'm to lazy to move it. It's in index funds so I'm not to worried about the expenses.
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Old 05-08-2013, 05:23 PM   #13
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DH's 401(k) is at Fidelity. Because such a large % of our portfolio is there, I decided to share some of the fun with Vanguard for our taxable $. So far I'm very pleased with customer service and returns.
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Old 05-08-2013, 05:32 PM   #14
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I really wouldn't worry about keeping one's nestegg at either Vanguard, or Fidelity, or both.

I use Vanguard, and got started there before I ever heard of Fidelity. Why, you may ask? Because of my extraordinarily astute analyses of expense rates and mutual fund offerings? Nope - - the real reason I picked Vanguard is because my brother uses them.

I have no firsthand knowledge of Fidelity, since I have never invested there at all. I am sure they are fine, too.
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Old 05-08-2013, 06:29 PM   #15
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I have most of my accounts with fido, but I do have two accts. with vang. and I have had nothing but trouble with them. I have never had a problem dealing with fido. Every year when vang. tries to charge extra fees on the accts I have to battle with them to reverse them.
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Old 05-08-2013, 06:35 PM   #16
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Old 05-08-2013, 06:40 PM   #17
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We have around 30% of our portfolio at Vanguard, with the rest in my TSP account. Wife's rollover 401k & a couple of Roth IRA's are at VG. No issues thus far, but we've never done anything besides add to the accounts, plus changed the allocations a few times. Pretty simple. We only use the Target Retirement funds, so not much brain work required.
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Old 05-08-2013, 07:16 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by rodi View Post
I like Vanguard funds. But their customer service is less than spectacular. When my dad passed away it was very painful to get control of the taxable and IRA accounts. It's one thing to be directed to a self-service form... but quite another to then lose that form AND the certified death certificate THREE TIMES. (My sister was executor and had to keep running down to the county office to get new copies of the death certificate.)

It left a bad taste in my mouth.

I still have my kids 529's there. But I rolled the inheritance to Schwab... (Dad also had accounts there.) Similar low expense index funds... and no issues so far with customer service.

I have an old rolled 401k/IRA at Fido. I'm to lazy to move it. It's in index funds so I'm not to worried about the expenses.
Vang's handling of transfer of my Mom's assets at her passing was a case study of Vang ineptness. It had just taken me 3 months to get them to properly show bebeficiaries, when we needed to use. Got a lot of negative attitude from rep. Was still Flagship then and it took a MAJOR effort from that rep to get things corrected. Retitling accounts went okay but had to make an issue of it with Flagship rep to get correct basis put on the accounts. Took about 3 months. Not sure what a non-Flagship client would get for service.
It is these type of simple service issues that puts Vang behind Fido
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Old 05-08-2013, 08:30 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by REWahoo View Post
We see this question asked repeatedly on E-R.org - Fidelity or Vanguard?
The author points out several differences between the two companies and says these three factors put Vanguard on top:
YMMV
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.
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Old 05-08-2013, 08:42 PM   #20
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