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One Brokerage VG or Fidelity
Old 04-23-2015, 10:37 AM   #1
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One Brokerage VG or Fidelity

I am planning to rollover my 401k into an IRA so that I can mover the after tax contributions into a Roth IRA. Most of my funds and IRAs are in VG. I inherited some funds from my mother late last year that are at Fidelity. To simplify our lives, DH and I were thinking of consolidating everything into VG. So far I have not been very impressed with Fidelity.

Among other things, since last December they have sent my sister and I email almost every day. When I asked if there was a way to stop the promotional email I was told "no". I changed my email but they still sent some to the old account, which I still use for other things. The Fidelity rep can't figure out why they were doing it. It seems to have stopped for now. They also tend to answer a message with a phone call. If I wanted to talk to them, I would have called in the first place!!!

Anyway, our biggest concerns with moving most of the investments to VG or any one firm is safety. What if they have a security breach like Anthem, Target or Home Depot? OR heaven forbid "Bernie Madoff's cousin" embezzles funds?

Anyone have any thoughts on consolidating accounts? We are already at Flagship level at VG. Is there a similar benefit at Fidelity if you hit a certain $ amount? I searched the forum and only saw "old" threads on this so if there were newer ones from 2010 on, I apologize.
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Old 04-23-2015, 11:40 AM   #2
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Mama always said, "Never put all your eggs in one basket."
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Old 04-23-2015, 12:08 PM   #3
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Fidelity offers a Private Client status for portfolios $1 Million + (same as Vanguard Flagship)--dedicated staff and separate phone number.
The debate on Fido vs VG is kinda a Ford vs Chevy discussion. There are other recent threads on the choices so try some other search terms combos. The decision usually breaks down to what level and problem solving skills you want in your reps. We are in the process of consolidating at Fido but were Flagship in prior times. VG reps for us largely seemed unable to do anything but follow their scripts and rules (and they have a rule for everything). Initially we were going maintain both our VG and Fido positions while moving to our new revocable Living Trusts. Paperwork to do at Vanguard more complicated with more forms. Oh, once submitted, VG would not have changes made for two to three weeks! Fido could make the changes in one week, and maintained the existing account numbers and all "connections" to other financial institutions. There are a number of reports by other posters here how VG seems to have a habit of loosing paperwork repeatedly. The delay and history of loosing paperwork drove us to move it all to Fido. It also helped that Fido is offering cash for new funds--$600 for 250-500 and more for larger balances.
VG will always have the lowest cost but not necessarily the most effective service. For example, while in the process of consolidating accounts my Fido rep offered to fill out all the forms and overnight for signatures. VG rep followed a very convoluted path to point me to the forms on their website for me to download and complete. More important to us has been the effective proactive services we get from the Fido group.
Another major differentiator is breadth of services. If you buy Vanguard you get some low cost mutual funds, but you can not trade many of them without being locked out for 90 days. So if you want to manage tax exposure, this gets complicated. All stock/ETF trades at Fido are 7.95 and there are no restrictions. Fido trading is generally rated by most money mags as one of the top in the country for selection, execution, and research offerings. Vanguard much less. VG in the last year has just taken over their own brokerage functions so much less depth in this dept as well. If you are a buy and hold mutual fund investor, than VG is fine.
I have never had any issues with the Fido office support no what our account status was/is.
Nwsteve
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Old 04-23-2015, 12:11 PM   #4
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I think you'll find as many here who prefer Fidelity as those who prefer Vanguard. So it's more of a religious argument, since both are excellent. Many Schwab devotees as well.

Personally, I use both, and I'm happy with that.

And yes, FIDO has preferred layers of customer service similar to Vanguard.

https://www.fidelity.com/wealth-mana...emium-services

https://www.fidelity.com/wealth-mana...e-client-group
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Old 04-23-2015, 12:52 PM   #5
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To your data security concern. Both Fidelity and Vanguard offer a "no loss security gaurentee". Play by our rules: current virus detection, keep passwords secret, cooperate with our investigation. .... We'll take care of losses. There is already $500k SPIC protection. Neither firm wants a WSJ front page article on how they lost your retirement.

I use Fidelity as they have a B&M storefront 15 miles away.
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Old 04-23-2015, 01:49 PM   #6
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I've had a Fidelity account for decades, and have never received an unsolicited email or phone-call. Then again, on my communications preferences page, everything is set to snail-mail. You might want to check your preferences.
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Old 04-23-2015, 06:17 PM   #7
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same here , 28 years now and not one call to sell a thing.

once they called when we pulled a large sum out for a house.

they wanted to make sure we were happy and it wasn't to move it .

that is more concern than any bank ever showed us.
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Old 04-24-2015, 03:17 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Corporate ORphan View Post
I am planning to rollover my 401k into an IRA so that I can mover the after tax contributions into a Roth IRA. Most of my funds and IRAs are in VG. I inherited some funds from my mother late last year that are at Fidelity. To simplify our lives, DH and I were thinking of consolidating everything into VG. So far I have not been very impressed with Fidelity.

Among other things, since last December they have sent my sister and I email almost every day. When I asked if there was a way to stop the promotional email I was told "no". I changed my email but they still sent some to the old account, which I still use for other things. The Fidelity rep can't figure out why they were doing it. It seems to have stopped for now. They also tend to answer a message with a phone call. If I wanted to talk to them, I would have called in the first place!!!

Anyway, our biggest concerns with moving most of the investments to VG or any one firm is safety. What if they have a security breach like Anthem, Target or Home Depot? OR heaven forbid "Bernie Madoff's cousin" embezzles funds?

Anyone have any thoughts on consolidating accounts? We are already at Flagship level at VG. Is there a similar benefit at Fidelity if you hit a certain $ amount? I searched the forum and only saw "old" threads on this so if there were newer ones from 2010 on, I apologize.
I use both Fidelity and Vanguard and I am extremely happy using both companies.

Fidelity is known for their great customer service so you must have had really bad luck.

Is there a Fidelity office in your city?
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Old 04-24-2015, 03:25 AM   #9
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we have gotten nice perks and service from fidelity being private access clients.

you need to have 1 million or more with them and you have your own private ,highly skilled group to handle your account.

they do not manage your money though , that is up to you but they will make suggestions if asked..
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Old 04-24-2015, 05:57 AM   #10
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Like others, I use both. My rollover IRAs are all at Fidelity, primarily because every company I've worked for had their 401K's at Fidelity. After I left, rolling over from 401K to IRA was a snap. I have taxable accounts at both. Very gross generalization, but I'm at Fidelity because I like the choice of managed funds and I'm at Vanguard because I like the cost of their index funds.


Also, because I have >$1M at Fidelity, the service has been great. Not there yet at Vanguard, but since it's a taxable account, all I do is deposit and rebalance, so there isn't much service that's actually needed from them.


I do get emails from both, but well below my tolerance of annoying.
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Old 04-24-2015, 06:14 AM   #11
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Mama always said, "Never put all your eggs in one basket."
+1

Best to spread out over a few brokerages.
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Old 04-24-2015, 08:24 AM   #12
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Either one is fine. Choose the lowest expense option.

If you are going to use target date funds, I suggest VG, as their fees on those funds are lower than Fido's. If you're gonna use index funds, either one has very low cost options.

We use both. Most of our funds are at Fido.
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Old 04-24-2015, 08:43 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Corporate ORphan View Post
I am planning to rollover my 401k into an IRA so that I can mover the after tax contributions into a Roth IRA. Most of my funds and IRAs are in VG. I inherited some funds from my mother late last year that are at Fidelity. To simplify our lives, DH and I were thinking of consolidating everything into VG. So far I have not been very impressed with Fidelity.

Among other things, since last December they have sent my sister and I email almost every day. When I asked if there was a way to stop the promotional email I was told "no". I changed my email but they still sent some to the old account, which I still use for other things. The Fidelity rep can't figure out why they were doing it. It seems to have stopped for now. They also tend to answer a message with a phone call. If I wanted to talk to them, I would have called in the first place!!!

Anyway, our biggest concerns with moving most of the investments to VG or any one firm is safety. What if they have a security breach like Anthem, Target or Home Depot? OR heaven forbid "Bernie Madoff's cousin" embezzles funds?

Anyone have any thoughts on consolidating accounts? We are already at Flagship level at VG. Is there a similar benefit at Fidelity if you hit a certain $ amount? I searched the forum and only saw "old" threads on this so if there were newer ones from 2010 on, I apologize.
I'd keep the inherited stuff at Fidelity. You have access to very low cost index funds if that is your goal. The online tools are better.

If you have trouble with Fidelity phoning you, have a look at your preferences. Maybe change your contact phone to some google voice thing or similar. Same with email. If they overuse these contact options and don't let you out of promotional emails, then set up mail filter to discard or block these emails.

As for security, only time will tell if one institution is more secure than another.
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Old 04-24-2015, 05:05 PM   #14
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we have gotten nice perks and service from fidelity being private access clients.

you need to have 1 million or more with them and you have your own private ,highly skilled group to handle your account.

they do not manage your money though , that is up to you but they will make suggestions if asked..
What kind of perks and service do you get? We stopped by the office today to ask them since we were next door at FroYo. The person we needed to talk to wasn't there and they said we should set up an appointment. They mentioned they might give us an incentive if we wanted to move the funds to Fidelity but he was very vague on what that would be.
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Old 04-24-2015, 05:14 PM   #15
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google fidelity promotions . they list all their deals but most require you to slide over 50k or more.

the perks we get are some really nice customer appreciation dinners with no sales speeches.

we get them riding herd on certain things for us. our bank released cd money to fidelity prematurely. fidelity kept on top of our bank until they credited the penalty.

we have a very detailed retirement work up every so often with even more details than the on line planner.

they offer private webcasts with the managers of our funds . most of the stuff i do not take advantage of.

we also have a personal account rep to handle any issues that come up instead of just calling the 800 number and getting a different person each time.
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Old 04-24-2015, 06:10 PM   #16
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I inherited some funds from my mother late last year that are at Fidelity. To simplify our lives, DH and I were thinking of consolidating everything into VG.
Sorry for your loss ...

One thing to keep in mind: you want the cost basis of your inherited funds to be accurate. You probably know that, in most instances, the cost basis of a stock or a mutual fund you inherit is "stepped-up" to reflect the fair market value on the date of death.

Before you consider transferring the inherited funds, make sure the cost basis is correct. Hopefully Fidelity has its act together in that regard and has already taken care of it, but it doesn't hurt to make sure.

I know whereof I speak -- when my FIL died, he held stock at various brokerages (I was the executor of his estate). When the shares were transferred to the beneficiary (my DH), it was was a real PITA to get a couple of the brokerages to assign the correct cost basis to those shares. Like the OP, we were planning all along to consolidate all of the inherited stock in our VG brokerage rather than scattered among the other firms. My VG flagship rep was a great help in getting the stock transferred and getting the cost basis assigned correctly. He was my hero.

As to whether to keep your inherited funds at Fidelity vs move them to Vanguard, I can't say which is better, I haven't dealt with Fidelity in well over a decade. In your case it might be easier to keep them at Fidelity. Just make sure they got the cost basis right.
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Old 04-24-2015, 06:57 PM   #17
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I am going to continue with both. My DW and I had some hassles and what I consider incompetence when rolling over her 403b's to a Vanguard IRA. On the Boglehead site this was considered blasphemy. Fidelity, while slightly higher cost index funds, provides much better customer service. I value this even though I do not require hand holding.

Plus, someday I may want to talk to someone in person. I can do that with Fido. Meanwhile I'll hedge my portfolio with the ultra low cost VG accounts. 2/3 FIDO, 1/3 VG.
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Old 04-25-2015, 04:11 AM   #18
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you won't find these on the fidelity website.

Fidelity Promotions - Nine Offers to Choose From
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Old 04-25-2015, 07:51 AM   #19
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I have both. bottom line.....VG is cheaper with many cheap ETF accounts that can be traded at no cost. So, if you want to save money, choose VG. Fidelity tries to sell you more; they want to manage your money (you pay), they want to sell you managed funds (you pay), they want to sell you annuities (you pay), and.....if you want any of these services you should go to Fidelity. My company has its 401k with Fidelity since they have an office in my town; it's good for the employees and I keep a minimul relationship with them since I'm former management and I still support the company and its benefits.

If I had to choose one it would be VG......I couldn't afford Fidelity.
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Old 04-25-2015, 07:53 AM   #20
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28 years with fidelity , quite a few consultations and i am still waiting for them to try to sell me anything.
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