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Individual broker rating: where can I find that?
Old 09-26-2008, 08:22 AM   #1
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Individual broker rating: where can I find that?

For ages, I have wanted to change brokerages, and now I have just "had it" enough to do it.
I have the brokerage, which I find excellent..................BUT is there some website or phone number where I can find out just how a potential individual broker rates, how many years he has been in the business and any reviews on him? (Yeah, I've asked all the questions to him, but, after over 30 years in sales, do you really think I go by someone's word strictly?)?? Anyone out there know of such a thing?:confused:
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Old 09-26-2008, 08:39 AM   #2
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FWIW, I have never read a broker review or rating that matched my experiences at the brokers I use. That is, I think the reviews and ratings are not worth the electrons used to store them digitally or the paper they are written on. Every review contradicted my actual experience and was filled with mis-information.

Your best bet is to mention the firm the broker works for and solicit comments about them and to get opinions of other brokerages as well.
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Old 09-26-2008, 09:43 AM   #3
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Fidelity, and, from my understanding, Vanguard & T. Rowe are just as good; however, if I choose to live overseas or even in Mexico for awhile, I have read over and over on these boards that Vanguard won't take the calls. Not for me as I have something like 150,000 American Airlines miles when my duty is thru here = 4 trips almost overseas (and I plan to really use those puppies)...ayyy yai yai yai!
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Old 09-26-2008, 11:26 AM   #4
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Vanguard is not a real broker. They are good at mutual funds. TRowePrice is good, but an expensive also-ran. Fidelity gets very high marks for both funds and stocks. There are many folks on this forum who use Fidelity. I no longer have any accounts with them, but they are a good company.

The best broker for you will depend I think on what you intend to do with them.

If you want only index mutual funds and the lowest costs, the answer is Vanguard.

If you want lowest costs want to do everything yourself, and have at least $25,000 to commit, then the answer is WellsFargo.

If you have less than $3000, the answer is probaby TRowePrice.

If you want some funds, some stocks, some handholding, and you are OK paying for it, then the answer is Fidelity or TDAmeritrade or Schwab.

You should specifically find out which firm seems to be OK for folks living overseas. I don't believe I've seen that covered in any brokerage reviews. OTOH, if you have internet access, you can pretty much do anything (I have conducted transactions via the internet from all over the world).

Full disclosure: I have assets at WellsFargo > TDAmeritrade > TIAA-CREF > Vanguard.
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Old 09-26-2008, 11:44 AM   #5
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Over and over I have read that you cannot call Vanguard IF you are out of the USA. Please correct me if you find out otherwise. And I surely appreciate all the information, gracias as they say in PV.
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Old 09-26-2008, 11:47 AM   #6
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Why not call up Vanguard directly and ask them the question?

Do the same for ALL the firms you are considering.
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Old 09-26-2008, 11:57 AM   #7
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I have Schwab and can connect with them online, call them from overseas (not a free call), and whatnot. If you are not a US resident to begin with, I think they set you up with an International Account with some restrictions like higher account fees and enforced tax witholding. I use my US mail address with them.

They have worked ok for me, but I haven't used them to consult with, or to do anything complicated beyond wire transfers, so I can't really speak about the quality of anyone's investment advice there. You can buy Vanguard funds but with a higher trading commission than through VG.

What brokerage are you unhappy with, and why? Maybe you could talk to a supervisor and get them to switch you to another rep? These days I don't think anyone wants to lose business, so they might be eager to seriously address your concerns.
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