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Old 05-07-2012, 08:21 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by MichaelB View Post
For sure. Some accounts, such as HSAs, are also separate simply because the major brokerage firms and many banks don't offer them or do but through subsidiaries. In general, though, lots of accounts are not worth the effort.
True that. In the case of my 401K and HSA I have no real choices -- sure, I could use any HSA I wanted but there's only one I can directly deposit into from my paycheck (with no SS or Medicare tax) -- and if I went elsewhere I'd have to pay the fees. I have most of my investments with Schwab and I did roll over my previous employer's 401K into an IRA there.

It can be a bit of a pain, especially for tax stuff and updating everything in Quicken.

"Hey, for every ten dollars, that's another hour that I have to be in the work place. That's an hour of my life. And my life is a very finite thing. I have only 'x' number of hours left before I'm dead. So how do I want to use these hours of my life? Do I want to use them just spending it on more crap and more stuff, or do I want to start getting a handle on it and using my life more intelligently?" -- Joe Dominguez (1938 - 1997)
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Old 05-07-2012, 08:31 AM   #22
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Mostly Vanguard, but some Fidelity, Ameritrade, Wells Fargo, ING.

Because we are still working, we have to use Fidelity and Wells Fargo in our 403b and 401k. The appeal of Vanguard's low fees and variety of options, we will probably move the Fidelity and Wells Fargo investments over to Vanguard after retirement.

Retire date sometime in 2017
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Old 05-07-2012, 08:39 AM   #23
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Everything that was movable went to Vanguard.

We're holding some I-Bonds and I still have a balance with my former employer's thrift plan (due to tax issues). Oh, and we still have two small FPRA's with lifetime 4.5% interest guarantees.
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Old 05-07-2012, 09:23 AM   #24
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In your question you are asking if someone has all their eggs in one basket or spread over several funds. Those different funds or stocks can be 100% correlated.
IMHO if it is in the market it is all eggs-and they can fall off the wall and be scrambled.

To answer your question, I am not rich and I have accounts at three brokerages, a credit union and a bank. But that is a historic building issue not an asset allocation decision.
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Old 05-07-2012, 09:50 AM   #25
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I'm happy enough to have my portfolio all in one brokerage, but sometimes it has been necessary to have accounts outside that. DW's 401k, my Solo 401k's, and several accounts direct with fund families are all held outside the main brokerage account. By opening an account directly with a fund company I can get lower minimums, no transaction fees, no clawback of transaction fees for short-term redemptions, and funds that are not offered though my brokerage. The main inconvenience is having to remember all the extra passwords, and accessing several sites if I'm doing a major rebalancing.
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Old 05-07-2012, 09:52 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by MichaelB View Post
There is a PITA factor in having multiple accounts. They each need to be tracked and monitored, records kept and fees paid. This doesn't sound like much and it may not be an issue for someone good at managing details, but it can be a problem if someone else needs to step and manage the finances in case of illness, accident or worse. We have simplified some since my ER and I continue to look for ways to reduce the number of accounts, and have also included instructions on how to do even more should I leave the scene unexpectedly.
I think for most retired people one investment account and one bank is enough. Working people need to deal with employer provisions that complicate that.
+1 Vanguard and local bank
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Old 05-07-2012, 10:04 AM   #27
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Rich? Maybe in another life. I have what is probably slightly below the average size nestegg for those here, although I am EXTREMELY rich in other ways, such as my happiness in being retired, my incredibly good fortune in meeting F., and my lovely daughter.

At any rate, my taxable accounts and Roth IRA are all at Vanguard, but I also have a reasonably substantial TSP account that I'm leaving right there, except for equal monthly withdrawals for living expenses now that I am retired. And then I do have a bank account.
"You can never cross the ocean until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore." - - - C. Columbus
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Old 05-07-2012, 02:48 PM   #28
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Thank you all for your responses! And thank you, RunningBum for the link! I think I will keep on adding more money to Vanguard and spread the rest to multiple institutions.
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Old 05-07-2012, 04:27 PM   #29
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Not rich, but I do keep my money split among three different financial institutions.
If you are using your financial institution mostly as a "custodian" of your investments ( eg, you own GE stock kept at Merrill Lynch), then that investment is ultimately yours even if the financial institution goes belly up... although you may get very stressed out until it all gets sorted out, which can take a while. If on the other hand you are investing in that financial institution's funds, then you could really end up with a catastrophic loss... why take the risk when you don't have to?
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Old 05-08-2012, 11:05 AM   #30
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I maintain a spreadsheet updated monthly to keep track of all my "riches". It is spread across 4 firms. I am thinking of consolidating but never for convenience. And it will never be down to one.
For the fun of it...Keith
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Old 05-08-2012, 11:15 AM   #31
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Not rich, but very comfortable financially.
Hooray for the results of a lifetime habit of saving and investing.

All investment assets are with Vanguard, but not all are VG funds.
Fixed annuity is with MetLife, survivor pension is with US govt.
Personal savings and checking accounts are with local credit union.
EE and I bonds are with TreasuryDirect.

Simplicity is good for a person who hates paperw*rk with a passion.
"All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them." - Walt Disney
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Old 05-09-2012, 03:05 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by Spanky View Post
We are not rich, but we keep most of our money at Vanguard and Fidelity.
Ditto, about a 60/40 split, just in case....

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