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Old 05-09-2012, 05:27 PM   #21
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Oh so many thanks! I've been pondering the HOW to dump the FA since it seems that we're not getting what we're paying for. But that is another question...
We ditched Ameriprise in 2010. I'd be happy to share how we did it if you want to PM me.
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Old 05-09-2012, 05:32 PM   #22
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Oh so many thanks! I've been pondering the HOW to dump the FA since it seems that we're not getting what we're paying for. But that is another question...
We've had some refugees who have already been "through the program". I'd imagine they would be happy to help others free themselves from their tentacles as well.

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We ditched Ameriprise in 2010. I'd be happy to share how we did it if you want to PM me.
Soeaking of which...
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Old 05-09-2012, 06:04 PM   #23
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I am currently with Fidelity, Vanguard, and Price - the main reason for having three of them is that it is (was ) related to workplace-related limitations. All three are fine, my plan is to end up with everything at Fidelity for convenience, low cost, and ease of bookkeeping. Currently, I am still waiting due to things like age-related restrictions, etc.

I've moved things around in the past, and my experience was that it generally involves liquidating, completing some paperwork to do a "transfer of assets" (which might involve things like signature guarantees), and then waiting for it to happen. A little bit of a pain, but well worth it (to me) in the end.

Then, once you have assets at your chosen brokerage or fund firm, they may start out in a money market or cash account, but you are then free to invest in your choice of funds.

Edit: please see additional comment by Nords below
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Old 05-09-2012, 06:48 PM   #24
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Oh so many thanks! I've been pondering the HOW to dump the FA since it seems that we're not getting what we're paying for. But that is another question...
You could write a simple letter, mentioned to your FA, that "your path lies elsewhere." Not the exact wording, but similar. In otherwords, "Dear FA,
It's not you, it's me", leaving out the part that you've seen the light
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Old 05-09-2012, 07:16 PM   #25
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I've been a Schwab customer since 1989 and they really haven't given me reason to take my money elsewhere.

I go at least that far back with Schwab too. To date, everything seems to work fine. And because my DW leans towards being financial-phobic, it's handy to have a nearby brick and mortar office where she could go for "how to" help should I be incapacitated.

I'm familar with both Fidelity and Vanguard and if Schwab stumbled I wouldn't hesitate to use either, perhaps with the exception that I think Vanguard's brokerage services are a bit weak.
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Old 05-09-2012, 07:36 PM   #26
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Oh so many thanks! I've been pondering the HOW to dump the FA since it seems that we're not getting what we're paying for. But that is another question...
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Originally Posted by steelyman View Post
I've moved things around in the past, and my experience was that it generally involves liquidating, completing some paperwork to do a "transfer of assets" (which might involve things like signature guarantees), and then waiting for it to happen. A little bit of a pain, but well worth it (to me) in the end.
Then, once you have assets at your chosen brokerage or fund firm, they may start out in a money market or cash account, but you are then free to invest in your choice of funds.
Palomalou, one of the keys seems to be to not speak to your current FA about the situation any more than absolutely necessary. Above all, let your new firm (Fidelity, Vanguard, or Schwab) initiate the action.

If your assets are held at the firm where you want them to be held, then send your FA a "Dear John" letter. Reassure them that it's you, not them. "Thank you but I'm taking over my investments" letter, and then try to avoid all contact. If you must you could answer their phone calls, but resist their warnings & entreaties & offers.

If you want to move your assets elsewhere then apply for an account at the new firm. As part of the application process, you'll fill out the "transfer of assets" form. You can choose to transfer the assets "in kind", which moves the shares from one firm to the other without tax consequences. Or you could choose "liquidation", which sells the shares and moves the cash-- with applicable capital gains taxes.

For various reasons, I closed my father's Vanguard account and moved the assets to Fidelity. It was easily done online at Fidelity's website with only one page, a consent form, having to be printed out, signed, and mailed back. Fidelity took it from there. We got one call from Fidelity that Vanguard wouldn't transfer the shares in kind-- was liquidation OK? Once I agreed to liquidation, they finished the transfer the next business day. I never once had to speak to Vanguard, and I've never heard from them again.
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Old 05-09-2012, 10:12 PM   #27
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If you want to move your assets elsewhere then apply for an account at the new firm. As part of the application process, you'll fill out the "transfer of assets" form. You can choose to transfer the assets "in kind", which moves the shares from one firm to the other without tax consequences. Or you could choose "liquidation", which sells the shares and moves the cash-- with applicable capital gains taxes.
Thanks for this very important caveat, which is an issue for taxable accounts. My transfers were done between employer (tax-deferred) plans or for my parents' accounts (for which the tax issues were a bit different).
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Old 05-10-2012, 04:09 AM   #28
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In the past I have bought my CDs and munis with Edward Jones. I guess they handle mutual funds too. I like Edward Jones.
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Old 05-10-2012, 07:51 AM   #29
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A piggyback question to this: if you hold an IRA with, say, Wells Fargo, I assume can you still buy Vanguard mutual funds? And if so, is there a higher cost?
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Old 05-10-2012, 10:26 AM   #30
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A piggyback question to this: if you hold an IRA with, say, Wells Fargo, I assume can you still buy Vanguard mutual funds? And if so, is there a higher cost?
You'll have to check Wells Fargo's list of available funds and list of no transaction fee funds. Or simply look up the fund you want at Wells Fargo and that info should be there. All brokerages carry a slightly different set of funds. I can get some Vanguard funds at Fidelity, but they have a transaction fee, IIRC. ETF's are available through any brokerage, but different sets may be commission free at some brokerages.
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