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How many brokerages/banks do you use?
Old 09-17-2012, 07:11 PM   #1
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How many brokerages/banks do you use?

My DH just ER'ed and will be receiving a lump sum benefit. Although we have our AA pretty much set, I've been wondering if it shouldn't be rolled into a new brokerage. My late father always said to "never put all the eggs in one basket" but when he died, it was an ordeal gathering all his eggs from all the different baskets. We currently have a 401-K at Fidelity, most of our IRAs at Vanguard, and various other smaller investments scattered at Merrill-Lynch, banks, etc. Do I 'gather them up' in one place? Divvy them up equally (or not) among several (?) brokerages/banks? Advice please.
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Old 09-17-2012, 07:18 PM   #2
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In terms of "vendors", I'm very concentrated at Vanguard (except HSAs), Discover Bank. and local credit union. I like it simple. Bank/CU are under FDIC limits.
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Old 09-17-2012, 07:59 PM   #3
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It depends on what you see are the perceived benefits. Also many places are offering $600 to $2000 cash back for opening an account.

I'd gather up the small stuff and go to the no-fee brokers such as
WellsFargo, TDAmeritrade, Fidelity, Vanguard ..., but would not have it all in one place.

If one place pisses you off, then it is easier if you already have a relationship at another place. But I would make one place the main place for transactions. The other places should have maybe one or zero transactions per year.
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Old 09-17-2012, 09:02 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tessaduncan View Post
My DH just ER'ed and will be receiving a lump sum benefit. Although we have our AA pretty much set, I've been wondering if it shouldn't be rolled into a new brokerage. My late father always said to "never put all the eggs in one basket" but when he died, it was an ordeal gathering all his eggs from all the different baskets. We currently have a 401-K at Fidelity, most of our IRAs at Vanguard, and various other smaller investments scattered at Merrill-Lynch, banks, etc. Do I 'gather them up' in one place? Divvy them up equally (or not) among several (?) brokerages/banks? Advice please.
1 thing to keep in mind is future record-keeping.

Brokerages are required to track all purchases, and match them to your sales. It's a major PIA now (with many sales in the "unknown cost basis" category), but down the road, it will be a nice feature. If you ultimately decide to consolidate, might not be bad to simply sell off a few positions in one account, transfer the cash, and just reinvest in the surviving account(s) in something else.

Also, I'd suggest moving them to just 2 (maybe 3) accounts just because it's easier to keep track of everything.. Is there really a benefit to keep $100k in one broker, and $200k in another? You could even qualify for better benefits at some brokers with higher balances (like Vanguard's Voyager, if you have enough in Vanguard ETFs/funds, or discounted commissions....not to mention various other perks at other brokers).

I realize there's the theory of 'diversification' if one broker goes bust, but given the capitalization of most of the 'big names', I find it unlikely (especially for a non-profit like Vanguard/a few others). And again, it's unlikely a major broker will be pulling the shenanigans like MF Global, et. al., since the company isn't the child of one person that built it all up themselves, and is subject to the whims (or under-the-table dealings) of one individual.

When I got big into DRIPs, I opened up DRIP accounts at the transfer agent to both save commissions, and take advantage of some DRIPs that offered discounts if you DRIP through the transfer agent...but many discontinued the DRIP discount, so I transfered all but 2 DRIPs to my TD Ameritrade account. I have a Fidelity account only because I have the Fido Visa card, which gives you 1.5% cash back on everything if you redeem the points for a cash deposit into a Fido investment account (I just transfer the cash over to my checking account then, but did buy 2 Mutual Funds that Fido offered with a lower minimum purchase compared to other companies).

When it comes to AA...even if you have all holdings at Broker A in fixed income, and all holdings at Brokers B in International stocks and all at Broker C in Mutual Funds, if you want to rebalance, it can become cumbersome to sell in one, transfer the money to a checking account, wait 7 days to clear, then transfer it again, wait for it to clear, and then repurchase. Perhaps not a huge issue, but can be annoying if you see a purchase opportunity you want to take advantage of but have to wait.
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Old 09-17-2012, 09:48 PM   #5
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I think there is something to be said for using two different brokerages roughly evenly. But I use mostly Fidelity, with some assets held directly with fund companies.
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Old 09-18-2012, 12:34 AM   #6
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Two banks. Both so I have two debit cards for travel and to keep under CDIC limits on accounts.

Two brokerages, no real reason but tp seperate long term ETF holds and individual equities.
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Old 09-18-2012, 12:28 PM   #7
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My late father always said to "never put all the eggs in one basket" but when he died, it was an ordeal gathering all his eggs from all the different baskets.
We've been through that ordeal as well.

We have 2 brokerages and 2 bank accounts, plus a bunch of I-Bonds at Treasury Direct.

We also have a bank in the UK.
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Old 09-18-2012, 12:46 PM   #8
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My TSP is with with TSP. Wife & I have Roth IRA's with Vanguard, and she also has a rollover from an old 401k with Vanguard, although I'm about to roll it back over into her employer's 401k, till she retires in 3 yrs. Other than that, we bank at our credit union. That's it.
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Old 09-18-2012, 01:07 PM   #9
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My TSP is with the TSP, too.

Other than that, I only have accounts at Vanguard and a local bricks-n-mortar bank.
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Old 09-18-2012, 01:12 PM   #10
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Lessee...I'm spread out far enough that I have to think for a few seconds...
ING: my first 401k
Fidelity: my second 401k, now a rollover IRA
Schwab: my third 401k (now a rollover IRA) and my fourth and current 401k.
American Century: Mutual funds
Janus: Mutual funds, plus a Roth IRA with mutual funds in it
Scottrade: Brokerage account
Bank of America: Checking Account

I probably should consolidate, but honestly, everything's done fairly well over the long haul, so I've just left it alone for the most part.
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Old 09-18-2012, 01:32 PM   #11
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1 thing to keep in mind is future record-keeping.

Brokerages are required to track all purchases, and match them to your sales. It's a major PIA now (with many sales in the "unknown cost basis" category), but down the road, it will be a nice feature. If you ultimately decide to consolidate, might not be bad to simply sell off a few positions in one account, transfer the cash, and just reinvest in the surviving account(s) in something else.
If the money in question is tax defered (pretax IRA, 401k, etc) do you need to worry as much about record keeping/purchase prices etc.? Since you'll be paying income tax, not capital gains tax on the withdrawals.

to the OPs question. We've always had one bank and one credit union... that way we can get cash from ATMs from the max number of networks when we travel. In our case it's Schwab Bank and our local credit union.

For brokerage the bulk of my stuff is at Schwab - but I have an old rolled over IRA at Fidelity and the kids 529's at Vanguard. When I finally pull the trigger, I'll roll my 401k into Vanguard and move my fidelity account at that time. I like having 2 brokerages.
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Old 09-18-2012, 01:50 PM   #12
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I am in the process of consolidating to Vanguard. I have two credit unions, 'cause one wasn't enough.

My ex-bank didn't safeguard my safety deposit box and house abstract had to be fixed, and expensively too. My DW has money all over the place in mutual funds. That's why she gets to do the taxes.
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Old 09-18-2012, 02:14 PM   #13
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Two Credit Unions
E-Trade brokerage
Janus IRA's (DW & me, Roth & regular)
457 through w*rk
DW 457 through w*rk
Computershare (monthly stock purchased)

I'st order of business when I SIRE in March is to combine the investment accounts. Would love to get it down to the CU's plus one if I could. Heck who knows.

T-bird
Class of 2013
DW Class of 2012 (May, a done deal)
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Old 09-18-2012, 03:52 PM   #14
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I have struggled with this one. I know the benefits of consolidation but ....
No anonymous survey to hide behind here.
Fidelity-My primary MF provider, my IRA
Vanguard-Recent addition, I like the funds, got DW to move IRA there
Trowe - legacy, it is going away but I am not in a hurry
PenFed- Recent addition, good CD rates (a few years ago, when it mattered)
Treasury Direct
Local bank
DW retirement - very small
"Investment club" - very small

With the exception of Trowe, I don't see things getting simpler.
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Old 09-18-2012, 03:57 PM   #15
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Excluding my 401K which I am waiting to rollover, I have one brokerage/fund company and two banks (one checking, one savings).
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Old 09-18-2012, 05:46 PM   #16
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All market investments - VG
Immediate cash flow accounts - local credit union
US Govt bonds - some paper bonds in my firebox, the rest with Treasury Direct.

I used to have investment accounts all over the planet with different firms. Doing my tax form data entry for each account was a real pain. I am very happy to get exactly 1 consolidated tax statement each year.
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Old 09-18-2012, 05:51 PM   #17
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Most investments are at Vanguard
DW's 401K and charitable gift fund at Fidelity
Banking at USAA (plus 1 old inactive account at Wells Fargo)
DW's company stock at E-trade
His and hers Treasury Direct accounts for i-bonds
CDs at Penfed
Checking and savings accounts in Europe
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Old 09-18-2012, 06:08 PM   #18
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FWIW I had stuff all over the place. I moved all "investments" to fido cause my company has the 401K there. I also have beneficary IRA with TRowe cause when I tried to move it there were problems.

Also have wells for banking, and penfed as mu credit union.

WHY: I ran crazy trying to get a good overall asset allocation picture every quarter, it seemed to take too long. Now that I'm in last 5 years of working, I'm buying a new CD every year at penfed to partial fund first 5 years of retirement. And finally, wells and b-of-a both have lots of ATM everywhere except Main.

Now after moving everything to one place, I find out that fido has full view that you can use to see stuff at penfed, wells, TRowe and many other places. Also tracks how much I owe on my mortgages. Gotta love this thing. Kinda heavy on the details but at one place I can get everything in one picture. Also with everything at fido I qualify for reduced fees.
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Old 09-18-2012, 06:14 PM   #19
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My father had many baskets and it was 2 years before we got it all straightened out. I think he had 13 accounts/places money was. OTOH, we have no heirs to annoy with it...
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Old 09-18-2012, 06:22 PM   #20
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With talk of a denial-of-service attack on Bank of America's web/internet site because of a certain youtube video, I think it is prudent to have assets in a few places.
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