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Vanguard vs Fidelity vs other mgr.
Old 05-04-2008, 08:20 PM   #1
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Vanguard vs Fidelity vs other mgr.

My mandatory retirement started nearly 3 years ago, and I later transferred a large part of my DC pension to a financial management company. At the time, this was a good move- we were involved in a complicated company Ch 11 and involuntary pension takeover by the PBGC, with various payments being made to individuals both during the Ch 11 and after the company emerged. The advisors managing my account were very good at understanding what was happening and gave me excellent information and advice about how to handle developments.

That was then, this is now. Their actual investment performance, after the 1% fee, has lagged the benchmarks both during the market climb and market slump. It's not like I've actually lost money, but their lackluster results indicate that over a 30 year retirement, I'd probably be better off with someone else managing the account.

My wife agrees with me, but she wants someone who will manage the account appropriately without her needing to worry about it; if I kick off first. She has lots of talents, but managing money is not one of them. The original employer DC plan was awful about that- if I died, they immediately sold everything and converted it all to money market; she had to transfer it all out within a short period. Not sure if they still do it that way, but with that kind of attitude... And some of their answers to my previous questions have turned ou to be incorrect.

Both Vanguard and Fidelity offer some consultation and planning services, especially for larger accounts. But do they pay enough attention to individual circumstances to be a good choice for her/me, or should i look elsewhere?
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Old 05-04-2008, 08:46 PM   #2
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I spent 10 years with Fido and switched to VG about 5 years ago. They are both among the best IMHO, but Fido is more likely to include some/more actively managed funds (with higher expense ratios), and that's probably not in your wife's best interest as you describe her interest in money management. Fido and VG both charge as much as -1% to advise you depending on your total $ holdings. However, you could have it all put in the appropriate Target Retirement Fund when you go poof and probably get similar results without the 1% advisory fee - and net more as a result. She wouldn't have to do anything with a Target Retirement Fund, no selection or rebalancing, all done for her. Probably what I'd do for my DW...
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Old 05-05-2008, 04:29 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gearhead Jim View Post

Both Vanguard and Fidelity offer some consultation and planning services, especially for larger accounts. But do they pay enough attention to individual circumstances to be a good choice for her/me, or should i look elsewhere?
IMHO - I would roll the funds over if allowed.

My 401k has some lousy choices. Funds with high fees that tend to track the benchmark or slightly underperform. There is one index fund which has a high fee for an index fund, but still a full percent less than the others. I put all of the money in the Index. Once I ER, I will roll the funds immediately to an IRA.

I VG's planning is done with conference calls and you get a report. Nothing wrong with that.

Since you are in in decumulation, perhaps you might consider one of the new Managed Payout funds.
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Old 05-05-2008, 07:30 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chinaco View Post
IMHO - I would roll the funds over if allowed.

My 401k has some lousy choices. Funds with high fees that tend to track the benchmark or slightly underperform. There is one index fund which has a high fee for an index fund, but still a full percent less than the others. I put all of the money in the Index. Once I ER, I will roll the funds immediately to an IRA.
In my case my 401k fees are less than I can get, ie for total stock index
in my 401K is 1/4 of what I would pay as and individual. Every 401K plan
is unique. You should understand that you lose some protection from
lawsuits when you transfer it to an IRA (depending on which state you
live in).
TJ
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