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Old 03-08-2015, 08:56 AM   #21
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I'm wondering why Vanguard is so popular with folks here. I'm into a number of Fidelity funds, mostly because my 401k is with Fidelity. Is there something special about Vanguard funds that I'm missing?
As you have read in the other replies, Vanguard has a structure which is based on low fees. As Vanguard has grown, the competitors have lowered fees and offer other benefits to draw new, and keep old, business.

I think I understand your question to be about your 401k with Fidelity. You probably have access to low cost Fidelity ETFs and funds, and are wondering if you are paying more than you should. If your plan is reviewed at Brightscope, take a look. You may be using a higher cost fund at Fidelity, but that is just speculation on my part.

We have held accounts at all three institutions mentioned, and we would be fine with any. My core accounts are with Vanguard and Schwab. We primarily used Fidelity with the kids' accounts, and have no current interest there. Also had experience with a Fidelity 401k employer account. My goto account for research is Schwab. They also provide a credit card which rebates fees and exchange rates when you travel.
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Old 03-08-2015, 08:56 AM   #22
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A little of both for me. Every company I've worked for had their 401K at Fido and my very first account was with them. Made rollover after I left a breeze. Several years ago, after a windfall, I opened up a Vanguard account so I have some there, too. Somebody said that Fido doesn't have the full selection of index funds that Vanguard does - that's correct, though the missing ones (like a small cap value fund) are available through ishares ETF's at Fido.
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Old 03-08-2015, 09:31 AM   #23
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I think that OP was taking about Funds and not about brokerage account.

I am not too keen on having Vanguard or Fidelity Brokerage account while I love Vanguard ETFs, but as I mentioned Schwab now offers same ETFs at penny less in fees then Vanguard.

So I would put new money in Schwab ETFs.

Not to forget that you may have Institutional Fund with Fidelity or Vanguard in your 401k with fees even smaller. Such as 2 Cents on 100 dollars S&P 500 Index Fund. In that case I will take both Vanguard and Fidelity. That is why rollover of 401k is often bad thing to do Personally we have both Vanguard and Fidelity with 2 and 2.5 cents on 100 dollars in fees in our 401k.s. I love them both
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Old 03-08-2015, 09:40 AM   #24
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Index funds at present, omitting share class duplicates:

Asset ClassVanguardFidelity
Dom Eq155
Intl Eq103
Bonds55

FWIW
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Old 03-08-2015, 09:57 AM   #25
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If you're interested in mutual fund history, the ICI Factbook has a tremendous amount of information. You have to look at alot of data but it's a fun book. I don't think the ICI(at least how I read their terms) allows us to post it here, but you can Google and download it yourself.

Fees are way lower across the board, front end loads mostly gone. Many factors contribute to this. Index funds(thanks Mr. Bogle), internet accessibility for most investors. That internet thing was a biggie for all the fund companies. Way back everything came in by post, a nightmare to sort, process, and save all that paper.

There's been a great change in who the leaders in the industry are. Wasn't too long ago Vanguard was in the middle of the pack, today number one in AUM.
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Old 03-08-2015, 10:22 AM   #26
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The vast majority of my assets are with Vanguard, but I use both for brokerage in order to trade options. Fidelity's options trading platform is much superior to Vanguard's, and Fidelity will allow certain trades that Vanguard won't. If you are a Flagship client, Vanguard's commisions are lower on stocks, ETF's, and smaller options trades.
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Old 03-08-2015, 10:41 AM   #27
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I have most of our portfolio at vanguard (60%), followed by fidelity (20%) and insignificant amount at schwab. Trading vanguard funds at fidelity is costly (don't know about schwab).

The way I think about this is that vanguard is the most dedicated to reduced fees and indexing. In my opinion, they will likely still have the lowest fees in 10, 20, and 30 years from now as well as the broadest choices.

While Fidelity and Schwab might have some funds that are currently competitive or even lower than vanguard, I'm deciding based on who I think will be best in the long term.

I do have significant money in spartan funds and ishares (at vanguard). My concern with these funds is that the managers will let the expense ratio drift up over time (or not reduce them as much as the competition) and it would be costly to switch out.
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Old 03-08-2015, 11:14 AM   #28
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Unless something has changed recently, Vanguard has a better selection of index mutual funds available.
+1. The Vanguard indices are broader than most index funds offered by other companies. You can put together the 3-fund portfolio consisting of total stock market + total bond market + total international, rebalance periodically, and forget about it otherwise. Not sure if this is possible with any other mutual fund company.
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Old 03-08-2015, 11:36 AM   #29
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I don't use Fidelity. But the reasons are emotional rather than logical. I used to have funds in Fidelity before I discovered Vanguard, even in their famous Magellan fund in the 80s, and had some state retirement funds there as well.

But Fidelity started out as a very high load and high expense fund family. IMO they would still be that way today if it were not for Vanguard and because of people like me switching and forcing them to realize they had to change or decline. I also like Schwab for the rare trading I do and for their banking.

If it were not for John Bogle and Vanguard we might still be paying those high fees today. As far as I recall Vanguard was the only player trying to actually reduce fees.

As I said, emotional.
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Old 03-08-2015, 12:05 PM   #30
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I'm wondering about the poor customer service comments about Vanguard. They have answered every question I've had and made transfer of funds go smoothly. Almost a decade ago DW and I had no money with Vanguard. We were desperately looking for a brokerage account that would let DW set up a custodial account for her father who had been diagnosed with Alzheimers. He had a hodge podge of small accounts at high fee locations or at banks. Vanguard let us set up a custodial account and it functioned without problems the rest of his life. When the great split came when his estate was settled. DW moved half of the account into SILs account and half into ours. Quick and easy.

Because of their help through this period, it seemed a no brainer to consolidate our accounts there since I had been buying Vanguard ETFs through my ETrade account. We quickly became Flagship which I realize gets a higher level of support but I really haven't noticed a difference.
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Old 03-08-2015, 12:50 PM   #31
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I mainly own Vanguard and iShares index ETFs, and I house it all at Fidelity. I'm quite happy with that arrangement, which resulted from quite a bit of research and trial-and-error over the years.
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Old 03-08-2015, 12:53 PM   #32
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I've also had no issues with the maybe 2 times I've called Vanguard in the last 25 years+ that I've had funds there, and don't anticipate needing to call them for much of anything in the next 25. As mentioned above, low cost and broad selection of indexes is way more important to me than customer service as you can do almost everything online.

I do like Fidelity's tools on the web however and am happy to hold roughly 50/50 between them and Vanguard (most of the Fido stuff in a 401k courtesy of my former MegaCorp employer). I've never had to call Fido for anything and when I set up a BrokerageLink account for my 401k in the mail it was done very quickly by them.
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Old 03-08-2015, 02:44 PM   #33
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I'm wondering about the poor customer service comments about Vanguard. They have answered every question I've had and made transfer of funds go smoothly. Almost a decade ago DW and I had no money with Vanguard. We were desperately looking for a brokerage account that would let DW set up a custodial account for her father who had been diagnosed with Alzheimers. He had a hodge podge of small accounts at high fee locations or at banks. Vanguard let us set up a custodial account and it functioned without problems the rest of his life. When the great split came when his estate was settled. DW moved half of the account into SILs account and half into ours. Quick and easy.

Because of their help through this period, it seemed a no brainer to consolidate our accounts there since I had been buying Vanguard ETFs through my ETrade account. We quickly became Flagship which I realize gets a higher level of support but I really haven't noticed a difference.

I have found most encounters with the reps to be very helpful. Though I had one curious encounter with an "income specialist" when I had to call in an order that couldn't be bought online. He kept cautioning on buying the security I wanted because it had a negative 25% 30 day to call return. I couldn't get him to understand that was meaningless as the next dividend was officially declared by BoD and I could not lose a penny on any call down the road.


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