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Roll over IRA... who to go with?
Old 06-14-2013, 09:11 PM   #1
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Roll over IRA... who to go with?

I will soon move my 401K, Lump sum pension and Vanguard Roth IRA into a Roll over IRA. About $850k

Any real plusses on whom to go with?

Thought I would just go Vanguard, but am having to do this a few years earlier than planned. So am questioning everything now.........

My Roth is with Vanguard, 401K is in a Charles Schwab PCRA account.

Is it better to go with any one Co. over another?
Seems there are hundreds of options out there.......
And everyone would like my business. lol lol

Thanks in advance!
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Old 06-14-2013, 09:31 PM   #2
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I started with my lump sum settlement with everything at Schwab, but within a year I split it up among several different financial institutions, including some I left at Schwab. I still haven't found one that I really like so I'll be watching this thread with some interest.
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Old 06-14-2013, 10:00 PM   #3
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While its more streamlined and easier to manage with all your eggs in one basket, wisdom would tell you to divide it up amongst 2 or 3 reputable fund managers just in case something out of the ordinary happens to one of them (remember The Merrill Lynch worries?). IMO I'd choose between Fidelity, Schwab and Vanguard. Pick 2 or all 3.
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Old 06-14-2013, 10:22 PM   #4
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It also depends on which company offers the funds you want without a transaction fee. If you like Vanguard funds I'd put most of your money there.
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Old 06-14-2013, 10:25 PM   #5
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Fidelity, Schwab & Vanguard are custodians who offer investments. If you invest almost exclusively in index funds Vanguard is the go-to place. Fidelity has only a couple in-house index funds, it offers a broad array of no-fee mutual funds as well as ETFs, stocks and bonds. I haven't done business with Schwab.

Fidelity has offices in most med-large cities so if you want to do business face to face it is better than Vanguard.
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Old 06-15-2013, 07:47 AM   #6
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As several have said, I don't think you can go too far wrong with Fidelity, Vanguard or Schwab. I was with Fidelity when I was younger and my portfolio was mostly individual stocks and actively managed mutual funds, and thought face to face service was desirable (I almost never used it). When I got out of individual stocks and moved to index funds (entirely), I moved everything to Vanguard as they had far more index funds for all the asset classes (and lower fees at the time, since changed).

My former Megacorp 401k was with Schwab, so I have experience with them too.

I would decide exactly what I want to invest in, and then choose the firm that has the best offerings that fit your desired funds instead of choosing a firm first.
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Old 06-15-2013, 08:23 AM   #7
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Fidelity has offices in most med-large cities so if you want to do business face to face it is better than Vanguard.
This would be the deciding factor for me, between the three - which has a convenient local office. If none of the three do (really "none of the two" because Vanguard doesn't have any), then I would choose based on which additional services you plan to or guess you might someday capitalize on, between the availability of free ATM access (with ATM fee reimbursement); the quality of the free bill pay service; the quality of the online retirement planner; the quality of the financial dashboard; etc.
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Old 06-15-2013, 09:19 AM   #8
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The need for a brick & mortar presence to do business as a financial institution is so 20th century. I haven't been inside the doors of my bank or brokerage in years...
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Old 06-15-2013, 09:20 AM   #9
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Simple is better. Simple and by far the best chances for success is best. Establish a diversified portfolio of index funds through Vanguard. With the evidence so overwhelming that this is the best way to invest, I will never understand why so many overthink this. This is especially so when all that effort and anxiety most often leads lower returns. Thought this Swedroe post summed it up well:

Why do so many investors ignore the evidence? - CBS News
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Old 06-15-2013, 02:25 PM   #10
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The need for a brick & mortar presence to do business as a financial institution is so 20th century. I haven't been inside the doors of my bank or brokerage in years...
While I share this opinion and left my B&M bank in 1994 to go all online, I have to say that almost all B&M institutions can now be treated as essentially online.

Since there is really no cost or convenience difference between online-only and online w/ local office, that should not be a signficant deciding factor.

Every once in a while, I do go into the local office. Some examples are:

1. Didn't use my ATM card in about a year, so it was de-activated. Walked into office and got ATM card the day before going on a trip to Europe.

2. Needed to deposit ESOP checks on day 59 before the 60 day rollover window was used up. Walked into local office and deposited the check.

3. Needed to donate shares to charity on 12/31/2012 at last minute. Walked into local office and did the deed.

4. $1,000 bonus for new deposits was no longer shown on web pages, but I had saved a printout showing expiration date was still a month in the future. Went into local office and got the $1,000 bonus by sitting down and talking face-to-face. I'm not sure if a phone call would have been as effective.

As for who-to-go-with? I'd recommend Vanguard if you only want to have mutual funds. I like ETFs and use TDAmeritrade and WellsFargo. Both give me free trades of Vanguard ETFs. I have a Fidelity account as well, but use only their Spartan Advantage index funds and donor-advised fund. I do not have experience with Scwhab.

WellsFargo was the place to go last year, but their free-trades deal is not available for new clients. TDAmeritrade should have sign-up bonuses, so if you want free money and like Vanguard ETFs, they are the place to go. If you don't like free money and want mutual funds, then Vanguard is the place.
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Old 06-15-2013, 02:44 PM   #11
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The need for a brick & mortar presence to do business as a financial institution is so 20th century. I haven't been inside the doors of my bank or brokerage in years...
+1

I can't remember the last time I went into a bank, certainly pre-2004 which is when we moved to Texas and closed our account in the CU we had in Louisiana. Never been into an office of Vanguard or Fidelity which is where our retirement accounts are.
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Old 06-15-2013, 05:06 PM   #12
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I'm on here doing my best to learn.

I'm in a Merrill Edge account through Merrill Lynch. It's a self directed account for my Roth IRA, that to my knowledge, doesn't have any fees beyond transactions (over a certain number/month). I've been happy with this, but I'm not an expert and haven't had an account for long.

Any reason this isn't suggested? Again, I'm still learning about fee structures for funds, brokerages, etc.
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Old 06-15-2013, 05:36 PM   #13
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I'm in a Merrill Edge account through Merrill Lynch. ....
Any reason this isn't suggested?
i can think of a few reasons why Merrill Edge is not suggested.
1. Merrill Lynch with its sales reps has a pretty poor reputation with lots of folks trying to extract themselves from their high fees. I suppose this was also the case of the old Wells Fargo deal in that WellsTrade with free everything was always tainted by the Wachovia and WellsFargo highly paid sales reps. Certainly, folks kept confusing the two all the time.

2. Bank of America has its own problems with fees as well.

3. Merrill Edge deal today is not the deal it was a year ago. I think one had to to keep cash in a money market, CD, checking, or saving accounts in order to get the free trades. WellsFargo et al. did not have that requirement. That is, at WF the minimum balance required to get free trades could be kept in stocks, mutual funds, and ETFs, so no drag from having a deposit account was required. (This is still true for WF customers grandfathered into the old system.)

4. For me personally, I opened a Bank of America checking account with the intention of using the low-cost (at the time $5 per trade) brokerage they had. Unfortunately, BoA effed up my deposit and said it was a withdrawal, so instead of a 6-figure positive balance, they said i had a 6-figure negative balance. Even though informed of their mistake within 12 hours, BoA took 3 weeks to fix that while all my checks, bill pays, etc bounced. Basically, I cannot recommend a bank that cannot perform its basic business without mistakes or at least without fixing their mistakes within 24 hours.
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Old 06-15-2013, 06:01 PM   #14
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Every once in a while, I do go into the local office.
Me too. Both my local bank and Schwab can be dealt with 100% via the Internet. But like you, I wind up in both places on rare occasion.


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As for who-to-go-with? I'd recommend Vanguard if you only want to have mutual funds. I like ETFs and use TDAmeritrade and WellsFargo..
I like those but currently I'm 100% with Schwab and think they're doing a fine job. I also wouldn't hesitate to use Fidelity.
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Old 06-15-2013, 06:53 PM   #15
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I use Fidelity, there are other good choices, such as Vanguard. I must ask do you have to roll this money out or just want to.

A part of our ER is being able to hit my employer sponsored 401k (make sure this applies to yours), good low cost funds until I'm 59.5. I'm retired at 56 but can tap that resource without penalty.

Also many of my Co-workers used NUAs for company stock to avoid penalties and get the lower cap gains tax rate.

MRG
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Old 06-15-2013, 11:56 PM   #16
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I have accounts at Vanguard at Schwab and I could recommend either.

But if you are going to be investing mostly in Vanguard ETFs (or funds of course), I would recommend them. When your account balance is above $500K or so, all of your Vanguard ETF transactions are free, or mostly so, and most of your other stock transactions are cheap, like $2.00.

But the thing that differentiates Vanguard from the others is their inexpensive Bond Funds. And Bond funds are really the only mutual funds I own nowadays. They have the lowest costs.

I agree on the uselessness of the Brick and Mortar thing. I actually have not visited a bank or brokerage branch of mine in this century.

Brick and Mortar can be useful for a few things in a Bank. Like getting or depositing big cash, Medallion Signature guarantee, etc.
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Old 06-16-2013, 01:56 AM   #17
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But if you are going to be investing mostly in Vanguard ETFs (or funds of course), I would recommend them. When your account balance is above $500K or so, all of your Vanguard ETF transactions are free, ....
Vanguard ETFs are no commission at Vanguard no matter what size account you have. One can avoid the $20 annual VBS account fee by signing up for electronic statements. So one doesn't need anywhere near $500K to get things free at Vanguard (or anywhere else for that matter).

(I'd post a link but the Vanguard web site is non-functional at the moment.)
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Old 06-16-2013, 03:03 AM   #18
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Vanguard ETFs are no commission at Vanguard no matter what size account you have. One can avoid the $20 annual VBS account fee by signing up for electronic statements. So one doesn't need anywhere near $500K to get things free at Vanguard (or anywhere else for that matter).

(I'd post a link but the Vanguard web site is non-functional at the moment.)
Thanks for the clarification. I guess it is the $2.00 commission on everything else you get for having more funds, not free Vanguard ETF commissions. It looks like the OP will qualify for what they call Voyager Select (> $500K).

Most of what I own is Vanguard ETFs, so it is a good deal for me.
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Old 06-16-2013, 07:16 AM   #19
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I use Fidelity, there are other good choices, such as Vanguard. I must ask do you have to roll this money out or just want to.


MRG

Want to, do not have to. Almost everyone I know under age breaks away from the Co's 401K plan. And even though the pension pays 4.5% at this time most folks roll things together. Mainly for the 72t rule option for gaining access to their money if under 55 or 59 1/2 yrs old.
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Old 06-16-2013, 11:11 AM   #20
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I opened my first brokerage account with Fidelity back in 1990 so I already had a long-standing relationship with them including people in my local office which is about a 10-minute drive away. When I ERed in 2008, I did a Rollover IRA with them at the time. I have a personal Account Executive I talk to once in a while but do not pay any fees to, of course. I find this handy because he knows the ins and outs of my overall account and ER situation so I don't have to explain things to a phone rep in case I have a question specific to my portfolio.

Just after I left my company in late 2008, I had a big meeting with my AE to set up my Rollover IRA and to deposit the large proceeds of the cashed-out company stock. With more than $500,000 involved in these transactions, I wanted to do these in person.
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