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Where to invest?
Old 07-23-2010, 10:38 AM   #1
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Where to invest?

All of our retirement savings are currently in my company's 401k plan, but we have another 65k presently sitting in credit union savings accounts. We want to start a Roth IRA and also a taxable account but are not sure who to go with i.e. Schwab, Wells Fargo, Scottrade etc. 401k is with Vanguard. We just want to have access to a greater variety of funds, ETFs etc than the 401k offers. We'd also like to be able to do a little individual stock investing to satisfy Unclemick type hormonal urges

Bottom line question: Who do you like and why do you like them? Thanks.
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Old 07-23-2010, 11:12 AM   #2
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I have half my stash with Vanguard and half with Fidelity.

Fido has a brick and mortar store a few miles from my house and they have done some hand holding for rollovers. I use their Spartan funds and no-cost-to-buy iShare ETFs. I don't buy many individual stocks, but I think they have relatively low trade fees, though not the cheapest. I also have a 2% back credit card with them.

Vanguard has a huge selection of index funds and low fees, so I find about all I need there for that portion of my portfolio.
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Old 07-23-2010, 01:30 PM   #3
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Different ways to go, DWs IRA is in Vanguard mine is at Wells Fargo, We also have a trading account there. THE WF PMA account gives 100 free trades and you can hold quite a range of stocks, bonds, ETFs and mutual funds. Vanguard is good too. If you know the fund/s you want for your IRA you could go to that fund company or get it through a brokerage like WF. Low costs and lots of choices are good.
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Old 07-23-2010, 01:56 PM   #4
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The 401k and pension plan are with Fidelity. We've been happy with them so far and enjoy being able to go to an office close by when there is a need. We also own a fund with Vanguard and I love the low ER.

As far as individual stocks go, we just have a few that we bought back in the 90's. These were purchased through our bank rep and have not bought any more since. We just let the dividends collect in the money market side of the account.

We found out buying individual stocks was not our cup o' tea.
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Old 07-23-2010, 02:00 PM   #5
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All with Fidelity, except for a chunk with Pen Fed. Fidelity offers everything I need and I have been with them forever. I'm sure others can do the same thing.
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Old 07-23-2010, 02:11 PM   #6
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Mostly with Schwab, although DW's solo 401k is with Fido. I like both of them, although I would say that Schwab offers slightly wider range of services. From what I understand, you could basically not go wriong with Schwab, Fido or VG. If you want index funds, I would say VG is the clear winner. Otherwise, spin the wheel.
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Old 07-23-2010, 02:52 PM   #7
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I've also been with Fidelity for more than 25 years and have been very happy with them. I think Vanguard is a great company too.

Fidelity lowered their trading fee to $7.95 for individual stocks including odd lots which is close to all the others. I like their free research tools and have made my own basket of stocks which include mostly divy payers till the CD's and Bonds start paying a little more.

Some of Fidelity's mutual funds and other products are not for me but if you do your research you can build a good portfolio of funds, stocks, etc.
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Old 07-23-2010, 04:49 PM   #8
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Vanguard for me because of the low expenses and they are helpful.

Had good experience with them when I moved my pension, 401K to VG IRA. Made the process very simple. Also fits my investment philosophy as for the most part, I just try to ride the indexing rollercoaster
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Old 07-24-2010, 08:21 AM   #9
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Good info. Thanks to all. I also like the idea of having a local office to visit when questions on complex issues come up. I believe WF, Fido and Schwab all have one in my area.
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Old 07-24-2010, 08:51 AM   #10
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I love Vanguard, lower fees on mutual funds, good variety, can buy their ETFs on the market with no brokerage fee, can buy individual stocks for $2 for each trade, also good tools to watch your portfolio and a link to Financial Engines, all free in my case. We have 99% of our money at Vanguard. I also subscribe to Motley Fool Stock Advisor and get good stock tips and investing wisdom.

I hope this helps
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Old 07-24-2010, 08:53 AM   #11
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Another one here with assets split between Vanguard and Fidelity. The brick and mortar Fido offices close to where we spend our time give us the additional services - like notary and signature guarantee - that our previous bank refused (WaMu), and now that we have a Fido Visa, we almost don't need a bank.
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Old 07-24-2010, 09:09 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by travelover View Post
I have half my stash with Vanguard and half with Fidelity.
Same here - including the local Fido office.
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Old 07-24-2010, 09:16 AM   #13
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I use three companies: Schwab, American Century and Invesco AIM.

Invesco AIM because it took over the company that held my first account, a sentimental favorite because it served me as finance/investment 101 and that fund did very well over the years. It started out as a load fund, became unloaded at some point, is loaded now again but my account remains no load. The account is so old the company cannot figure my cost basis because computers did not keep the records back in those days.

American Century is a family favorite, an Uncle pointed me toward it. He was a familiar type to this board, made investing a hobby during retirement, did some investment-related volunteer work, attended investment seminars, etc.

Schwab: no complaints there, account was set up for an employee benefit. I always made the annual deposits in person and went there to give them the paperwork to convert it to a regular IRA.
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Old 07-24-2010, 10:00 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hankster View Post
Good info. Thanks to all. I also like the idea of having a local office to visit when questions on complex issues come up. I believe WF, Fido and Schwab all have one in my area.
Warning: The great WF PMA package contains the free online broker, but the local WF banks/offices do not have the free broker. Instead, they have the high-fee wealth advisors. So if you want a local office, WF is not the way to go. But the PMA package comes with free checking, so having a local WF is a plus for banking, not investing.

We have personal accounts at WF, TDAmeritrade, Vanguard, and company retirement plans at Fidelity and TIAA-CREF. If I had to choose one place to consolidate all our accounts, then I would choose the WellsFargo PMA package*. With WF, you can buy all the Vanguard and Fidelity funds without commission, so you get for free almost everything that Vanguard and Fidelity offer. Also at WF, you can buy all the ETFs without commission as well, including the iShares, the Schwab, and the Vanguard ETFs.

Another plus for WF is that the downloadable 1099DIV and 1099B are complete, so tax returns are trivial. WF also has online trivial specific lot identification when selling shares. Both these are advantages over Vanguard. Vanguard has not completely integrated their mutual fund business with their brokerage business, so that makes me rate them l lower as well

As for "research", there really is no need to do any special research. All the stuff you need is available on the web for free. Thus, one should not use "research" to rate brokers or financial institutions.

*I'd also open a TreasuryDirect account.
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Old 07-24-2010, 11:14 AM   #15
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We split between Schwab (taxable) and Vanguard (retirement), with all banking at USAA. Happy with all three. Some of my preferred funds (like Vanguard) cost $50 a trade at Schwab, but if you trade little that isn't a big deal.
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