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Old 02-04-2015, 12:23 PM   #21
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Also, on a related note, I read with interest in a recent Consumer Reports that if your IRA with Vanguard (or any other firm) is hacked and the money taken, they are not required to reimburse your account. Though many firms do have a voluntary program to do so.

Hackers are becoming more sophisticated, and I have a lot of money in my IRA and 401K accounts. Yikes.

How Do I Keep My IRA Safe From Cybertheft - Consumer Reports
Thanks for posting this, Live Free - and also to Midpack for the original post. I think it's time for me to get on board with Vanguard's 2-factor authentication. I have held off in the past, as I don't have a cellphone. However, I think my phone company will actually translate texts received on my land-line into synthesized speech. Even if they don't, this alone would be reason enough to cave in and get a cheap cell. I'd hate to have my Vanguard account hacked, only to realize that 2-factor authentication could have saved me.
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Old 02-04-2015, 01:26 PM   #22
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Ok, maybe I'm the odd man (woman) out but I think the automated email is a great idea. What would have happened if it WASN'T you ? I don't see the letter as a nastygram. Its a CYA for Vanguard and a potential fraud alert to the account holder.

Lesson: when logging into spouses account, make sure all references to self use spouses name.
It was an actual snail mail letter, so more effort than an auto email on VG's part.

And your lesson is exactly what I learned. I've handled her accounts for more than 10 years, usually logged in as self but sometimes as her, without issue. It was only when I used my name in an message while using DW's login, it triggered a stern letter to DW - nasty gram was probably too strong, though DW was upset when she ready before I got to her. And I was a little surprised when they found out it was just me, they still politely but strongly recommended DW have her own login unbeknownst to me.

Again, I am OK with it as stated in the OP, I was just surprised more than anything. And I thought it might help someone else who manages a spouses accounts avoid the innocent mistake I made...
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Old 02-04-2015, 01:30 PM   #23
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I think it's time for me to get on board with Vanguard's 2-factor authentication. I'd hate to have my Vanguard account hacked, only to realize that 2-factor authentication could have saved me.
+1. I have 2/3-factor authentication (username, text verification code, password - and sometimes a security question) on several of our accounts now, and I welcome it. You can't be too careful with privacy these days IMO.
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Old 02-04-2015, 01:55 PM   #24
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Yeah - we are going to set up Fidelity's extra authentication. I delegated that to DH.
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Old 02-04-2015, 01:59 PM   #25
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Thanks for the original OP. We also have Agent Authorizations set up, but it is I who manage both accounts. The other week she received a physical check for 25c as a dividend from her Money Market account so I sent a personal message asking why it didn't get re-invested as it was a waste of VG's money to issue paper checks for 25c.

I did however write the message as if I was her, and she got the email telling her that she had a secure message waiting. I did wonder what would happen if I asked as myself rather than pretending to be her - now I know.

PS
If you empty out a MM account then a residual dividend from the previous month will be paid by physical check, even when you have the fund set up for ACH bank transfers and/or re-investing dividends, so now I will be sure and leave $1 in that account.
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Old 02-04-2015, 02:09 PM   #26
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Thanks for the original OP. We also have Agent Authorizations set up, but it is I who manage both accounts. The other week she received a physical check for 25c as a dividend from her Money Market account so I sent a personal message asking why it didn't get re-invested as it was a waste of VG's money to issue paper checks for 25c.

I did however write the message as if I was her, and she got the email telling her that she had a secure message waiting. I did wonder what would happen if I asked as myself rather than pretending to be her - now I know.

PS
If you empty out a MM account then a residual dividend from the previous month will be paid by physical check, even when you have the fund set up for ACH bank transfers and/or re-investing dividends, so now I will be sure and leave $1 in that account.
This drives me nuts too. Occasionally I transfer some assets from our short-term mutual fund account to our brokerage account. I have dividends directed to cash in that account, but if I have transferred all mutual fund shares they inevitably issue and mail a check for that last partial month of dividends. This time I even did it on Jan 2 hoping to avoid a dividend. But nope - got notice last Friday they'd mailed me a check for $7.50. Annoying!!!!
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Old 02-04-2015, 02:16 PM   #27
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Yeah - we are going to set up Fidelity's extra authentication. I delegated that to DH.
Thanks for the hint, I just did that. It doesn't look like Fidelity has 2-factor available at log on, but you can set it up for any transactions being made (verification code to cell phone).
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Old 02-04-2015, 02:25 PM   #28
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This drives me nuts too. Occasionally I transfer some assets from our short-term mutual fund account to our brokerage account. I have dividends directed to cash in that account, but if I have transferred all mutual fund shares they inevitably issue and mail a check for that last partial month of dividends. This time I even did it on Jan 2 hoping to avoid a dividend. But nope - got notice last Friday they'd mailed me a check for $7.50. Annoying!!!!
Last year I received an unexpected sum of just over $1k into my old employer 401k plan. (Class action lawsuit settlement). I requested a complete withdrawal and received a check in the mail in December (no other option but paper checks from this particular account, managed by Schwab).

Anyhoo, I got an email Feb 1st saying that my January statement was ready so I log on and see that the account has 4c sitting in it. I contacted Schwab by secure message telling them that they can zero out the account and close it, and I don't need them to go to the expense of cutting me a check. No can do, which I expected, so now I am expecting a check of 4c from Schwab.

If I just destroy the check will it close the account, or do I have to have my bank go through the expense of processing a check for 4c?
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Old 02-04-2015, 02:35 PM   #29
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...It doesn't look like Fidelity has 2-factor available at log on, but you can set it up for any transactions being made (verification code to cell phone).
Fidelity does in fact offer 2-factor authentication at log in. I believe you have to call in to set it up. They offer both hardware token and VIP Access smartphone app. Either way, once your account is configured for 2-factor, you'll need to provide an additional security code from the device after the usual log in.
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Old 02-04-2015, 02:40 PM   #30
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Fidelity does in fact offer 2-factor authentication at log in. I believe you have to call in to set it up. They offer both hardware token and VIP Access smartphone app. Either way, once your account is configured for 2-factor, you'll need to provide an additional security code from the device after the usual log in.
That was my understanding. It's a way to verify the computers/devices used to access your Fidelity account.

Anyway - I'll leave it to DH to work out the details. I think it means we're going to get the hardware token. But we'll only need to use it to authenticate each computer/device.

Oh - I see the Symantec VIP App can be used instead of a hardware token. http://thefinancebuff.com/security-t...ab-etrade.html
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Old 02-04-2015, 02:43 PM   #31
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You closed your account at Schwab? Did you not use their Investor Checking feature? Seems like a useful thing for an international traveler to have if they already have a Schwab brokerage.
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Old 02-04-2015, 02:54 PM   #32
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FWIW, I have heard that when you make a phone call to a brokerage, and they have confirmed it is you via their questions, codes or whatever, some brokerages are making an electronic voice print from your call and using it to confirm your identity at later times.

Here's one:

TD Waterhouse Discount Brokerage launches voice biometric - Bloomberg
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Old 02-04-2015, 02:57 PM   #33
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You closed your account at Schwab? Did you not use their Investor Checking feature? Seems like a useful thing for an international traveler to have if they already have a Schwab brokerage.
Never had a Schwab Brokerage account, they were just the custodians of my employer's 401k.

We have always kept our UK bank account with CHIP & PIN card, and use the Penfed card with no foreign transaction fees. Our existing interest bearing bank checking account has no minimum balance, no annual fee and $8 refunded for out of network ATMs (including foreign ATM's) per month, so I have not looked around for anything better in years.

I use XE.com to transfer funds internationally, which is not that often, but it was pretty useful last year to send a chunk of money to my brother in Australia so that we had cash on arrival without having to mess with ATMs.

Not saying that Schwab Investor Checking is not good, just that I haven't seen the need, or have been too lazy to look for something better than what I have.
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Old 02-04-2015, 03:05 PM   #34
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Never had a Schwab Brokerage account, they were just the custodians of my employer's 401k.

We have always kept our UK bank account with CHIP & PIN card, and use the Penfed card with no foreign transaction fees. Our existing interest bearing bank checking account has no minimum balance, no annual fee and $8 refunded for out of network ATMs per month, so I have not looked around for anything better in years.

I use XE.com to transfer funds internationally, which is not that often, but it was pretty useful last year to send a chunk of money to my brother in Australia so that we had cash on arrival without having to mess with ATMs.

Not saying that Schwab Investor Checking is not good, just that I haven't seen the need, or have been too lazy to look for something better than what I have.
Not only does Schwab Investor Checking offer refund of ATM fees, but they have no transaction fees on ATM withdrawals. Pretty sweet compared to other offers.

But since I'm not willing to open a Schwab Brokerage, I'll have to live with the 1% foreign transaction fee on my ATM card which reimburses all other ATM fees.
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Old 02-04-2015, 03:16 PM   #35
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Not only does Schwab Investor Checking offer refund of ATM fees, but they have no transaction fees on ATM withdrawals. Pretty sweet compared to other offers.

But since I'm not willing to open a Schwab Brokerage, I'll have to live with the 1% foreign transaction fee on my ATM card which reimburses all other ATM fees.
Same here, and when in Australia last year I used my Penfed card as much as possible, and when the cash I had sent over ran out I did have to use my bank ATM card a couple of times and put up with the 1% fee (no ATM fee). My UK HSBC card charges 2% for foreign cash from an ATM.
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Old 02-05-2015, 12:21 AM   #36
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I'm the money guru in the household so the Schwab stuff is mine to manage. I shared my password with DH when he needed to check something. Two portfolios belong to both of us and two are mine alone (IRA and inherited IRA). I am glad the companies are so diligent. After all, these accounts are our financial future and our life savings.

I had access to my dad's information when I took care of his affairs. For certain things I logged in as him (to order medications on line, I did it from his computer--heck, I set the whole thing up!).

This thread makes me think DH and I should register our power-of attorney papers with the county, get certified copies, and send them to the various financial institutions so they all know that we can act on each other's behalf, now and forever.
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Old 02-05-2015, 07:02 AM   #37
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I also think VG did the right thing, and handles this stuff appropriately. It's easy enough (minor paperwork annoyance) to get set up as an Authorized Agent. I'm set up to handle both DW and DD's accounts. I used to do the "log on as the other person" method, but once I found the Authorized Agent feature I do it that way, although I still am the only one that knows DW's and DD's sign on info (including them). I would never consider a security warning a nastygram.
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Old 02-05-2015, 07:06 AM   #38
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I was thinking the same thing re POAs.

Over the years I have impersonated others online doing things for them that they were not able to do (grandmother, great aunt, mother, DW) but in each case I had either a POA or was the court-appointed legal custodian. While I concede what I did may not have been totally legit in form, it was in substance and expedited the matter.

Gotta go, there is a knock on the door and they say they are the FBI......
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Old 02-05-2015, 08:17 AM   #39
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I was thinking the same thing re POAs.

Over the years I have impersonated others online doing things for them that they were not able to do (grandmother, great aunt, mother, DW) but in each case I had either a POA or was the court-appointed legal custodian. While I concede what I did may not have been totally legit in form, it was in substance and expedited the matter.

Gotta go, there is a knock on the door and they say they are the FBI......
Same here when I was working on behalf of my dad. Had the POA, but they didn't know it.

What I've learned through much of this process is everything is a little gray. Trusts, wills, POAs, etc. are all based on a certain amount of trust among the parties. But if it goes bad, then you better have your ducks in a row in front of the courts.

Vanguard is only doing what they need to do to legally cover themselves in the event it went bad. I don't blame them.
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Old 02-05-2015, 08:58 AM   #40
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I also think VG did the right thing, and handles this stuff appropriately. It's easy enough (minor paperwork annoyance) to get set up as an Authorized Agent. I'm set up to handle both DW and DD's accounts. I used to do the "log on as the other person" method, but once I found the Authorized Agent feature I do it that way, although I still am the only one that knows DW's and DD's sign on info (including them). I would never consider a security warning a nastygram.
Harley your spot on, it's not a nastygram. It's a method to ensure you're following their rules and absolve them of any liability. Those automated smails, are terse. They are all "canned", likely appoved by the fraud detection/legal department. Many people in these j*bs don't have a great sense of humor.

All these controls are in line with best pratices to gaurd against fraud. There's many more audits that Vanguard et al perform to keep your money safe.

None of these fund or brokerage companies want to see their name in the WSJ saying "they lost my retirement money".
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