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Need Help Consolidating multiple accounts
Old 12-29-2009, 03:17 PM   #1
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Need Help Consolidating multiple accounts

Iíve found over the years that I have accumulated more accounts than I want to keep track of separately. I do my regular banking at a credit union, have CDs at Penfed, savings at Emigrant Direct, HSA at another credit union and a variety of accounts at Vanguard (Roth, IRA and Individual) . Iíll need a brokerage account sometime soon to hold some bonds that Iíll be receiving and thought I might open one at Vanguard .
Iíd like to consolidate some of these accounts in 2010. I noticed a thread recently on the Wells Fargo PMA and Iím somewhat familiar with the Merrill Lynch CMA which is similar. Has anyone consolidated most of their accounts at Vanguard? Surprisingly enough, Vanguard has CDs at almost the same rates as Penfed. Now, I donít know whether they did back in the days of 6% CDs, but they do now.
How do you have your multiple accounts set up and are there any suggestions for consolidating with any different companies?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 12-29-2009, 03:31 PM   #2
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I just have three accounts:

1) Vanguard,
2) my TSP account, and
3) my local bricks-and-mortar bank.

However, I think my portfolio is a lot simpler than yours at the moment. Right now my portfolio just includes equity and bond mutual funds and money market (at Vanguard), and other funds in the TSP. I use the bricks-and-mortar bank for a local, tangible access point to my money for short term use.
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Old 12-29-2009, 04:00 PM   #3
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We have the bulk of our assets at Vanguard. It was a painless move some years ago, and I feel it paid off in simplicity and benefits. Look into the benefits of Voyager and Flagship accounts at VG.

We also have two checking accounts with funds for our daily use.
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Old 12-29-2009, 06:55 PM   #4
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Thanks for your responses.
I have Voyager status currently and will be adding to my account as time goes on. If I use Vanguard for CDs, I can get my accounts down to 4.
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Old 12-29-2009, 07:05 PM   #5
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I just got done with this exercise in November. I already had a VG direct account (Roth and nonretirement) and 2 accounts at TDA (ditto) and 1 account at American (nonretirement). All mutual funds and 1 stock issue in a very small quantity of shares.
This was a product of years of my beginner's mistakes , inheriting JTWROS accounts , and just plain procrastination to pull it all together. What a mess!

VG made the entire "get it all under one roof" operation so simple.
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Old 12-29-2009, 07:07 PM   #6
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Glad to hear it worked out OK. I feel like I have a mess with so many different accts.
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Old 12-29-2009, 07:10 PM   #7
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We got our financial institutions down to 7, but we have something like 16 different accounts. They cannot be consolidated much further without impacting our investment costs. They include 529 plans for the kids, 401(k) plans for the parents, inherited IRA, his & her rollover IRA, Roth IRAs, etc.

Most of the accounts are set-and-forget, so they are absolutely no trouble at all. There are no transactions in them or only one transaction a year. There is no incentive nor advantage to consolidate further.

As far as I am concerned, they are all under one "keyboard" --- the keyboard I am typing on at this very moment.
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Old 12-29-2009, 07:14 PM   #8
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Glad to hear it worked out OK. I feel like I have a mess with so many different accts.
I hear ya.
I had excellent customer service from VG. I hate paperw*rk and this was pretty painless.
I laid out all account statements on my dining room table and did the VG transfer forms (mailed to me by VG reps partially electronically prefilled out after I emailed them explaining what I needed to do) step by step, one by one, and had a separate folder for each.
Then I went to the bank for medallion signature guarantee.
Folded it up, sealed the envelope, and off it went.
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Old 12-29-2009, 08:32 PM   #9
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I'm single which doesn't lend for as many accounts as you have, LOL. That's a lot of accounts.


Other than the Bonds, I can move a few things on my own easily. I do need to wait for 1 CD to mature in May before I can close that account.
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Old 12-30-2009, 12:12 AM   #10
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I'm single and track 20 different accounts, although 6 of those are my kids' college accounts. They're all interconnected electronically and accessible online, and most have very few transactions, so except for the annual 1099 storm, they're pretty low maintenance.

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Old 12-30-2009, 09:02 AM   #11
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I'm going to go with Vanguard for most of my accounts and keep the credit union as my regular bank. I can see how that will be easier.

I tend to accumulate too much cash and have been chasing CD rates. I'll probably put more in Wellesley and keep less in cash this next year and see how that works out.
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Old 12-30-2009, 02:08 PM   #12
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I thought I was keeping things simple but now I think about it I have bank/savings/investment accounts at 7 places

Fidelity holds DW's IRA's
VG holds my IRA's plus our joint after tax savings
an internet bank for checking and short term savings
my 401(k) account
Penfed for CD's
Treasury Direct for I-Bonds
an English bank as I travel there a lot and also have a UK pension

I can see the 401(k) disappearing in about a year so I guess I'll be staying with about 6 accounts for quite a while.
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Old 12-30-2009, 02:23 PM   #13
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It's pretty easy to get to the point of having a number of different accounts used for different reasons.... Most make life easier, but when it becomes a list ...

I'm updating my 'just in case list' with ID and Passwords and realized my list was longer than I wanted. I forgot I had a Treasury Direct acct too. Thanks for the reminder.

Since many of these account send statements or notices by email, I wanted to leave my kids all the info to access my accounts.
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Old 12-30-2009, 07:53 PM   #14
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Maybe somebody can help me understand something. I have no brand loyalty. But I notice that people on this board are heavily skewed toward Vanguard. Why is that?

I understand that Vanguard has some of the best index funds and etfs. I understand that they helped bring this segment of the market forward.

But, from what I can see, if you want to invest in anything other than Vanguard mutual funds (say ETFs from other companies, or individual stocks), then their rates are higher than most other online brokers. They also seem to have flat annual fees that other companies don't have.

This seems to be a cost-conscious board, so there must be something I'm missing. I can (and do) buy Vanguard ETFs from my online broker. I don't need to suffer through $25, or $20, or even $12 per trade to do so.

I'm considering consolidating all my accounts with Wells Fargo which charges $0 per trade on the first 100 per year (way more than I'd need). If I did that, I could also buy Vanguard's mutual funds for no fee, but in general I prefer to buy ETFs anyway. But this would simplify my life. I'm not unhappy where I am, but low commissions matter just as low expense ratios do.

Much as I admire and appreciate Vanguard's place in the history of the industry, I just can't get by their high commissions--especially since I can buy their products without having an account with them.

What am I missing?
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Old 12-30-2009, 08:17 PM   #15
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I've been with Vanguard for almost 5 years and never paid a cent in commissions or fees. The more you have invested with them the less you pay.
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Old 12-30-2009, 08:26 PM   #16
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Many including me have a brokerage acct elsewhere for the etf's & buying TIPS at auction for free.

I don't pay anything to buy VG mutual funds and there is no annual fee with electronic consent/service, with the right account size the er's are etf like.

I'm sure all of us have experienced rate and term changes to our detriment with a host of institutions, while VG has a long history of reducing costs which seems likely to continue. It's not the only game in town just a very good choice.
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Old 12-30-2009, 09:13 PM   #17
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Quote:
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Maybe somebody can help me understand something. I have no brand loyalty. But I notice that people on this board are heavily skewed toward Vanguard. Why is that?
...

What am I missing?
You got it figured out. Most people do NOT purchase ETFs or stocks, so Vanguard mutual funds purchased without a commission are perfect for them. They don't see the fees of Vanguard Brokerage Services, so VBS has no impact on them whatsoever.

Or you dance with the one that brought you to retirement. And it is rather remarkable that the early-retired do-it-yourself crowd all have Vanguard in common, isn't it?

I have ETFs at Wells Fargo and can recommend them without hesitation. I even own a Vanguard fund through them in 3 different accounts. But I also have Vanguard funds at Vanguard where I have been a customer for more than 25 years. If I was restricted to a single vendor, I would go with WF and not Vanguard myself.
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Just opened Wells Fargo PMA Account
Old 12-30-2009, 10:03 PM   #18
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Just opened Wells Fargo PMA Account

In order to consolidate some accounts, I decides to open Wells Fargo PMA account last week. I transferred my Scottrade regular account mine and my DF's ROTH IRA. You can trade up to 100 stocks free of charge per year with them.
Wish me luck.
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