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Anyone Using Fidelity BrokerageLink in a 401K?
Old 04-08-2011, 01:49 PM   #1
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Anyone Using Fidelity BrokerageLink in a 401K?

I have a 401K with quite a lot of investment options, but nothing that lets me invest in precious metals, like the GLD or SLV funds. I would have to enable the "Fidelity BrokerageLink" option in my 401K to get into specific funds like those.

Anyone use Fidelity BrokerageLink? How was / is your experience with them ?

Thanks,

JG III
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Old 04-08-2011, 02:04 PM   #2
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Got a 401(k) at FIDO, but no brokerage option...


Got an IRA with Vanguard and a brokerage account... works great...


Now, our old FIDO account had brokerage options and the few people here who used it liked it... they want our new plan to have a brokerage option, but our servicer does not offer it for small plans... (FIDO is our servicer)...
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Old 04-08-2011, 06:27 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Galt III View Post
I have a 401K with quite a lot of investment options, but nothing that lets me invest in precious metals, like the GLD or SLV funds. I would have to enable the "Fidelity BrokerageLink" option in my 401K to get into specific funds like those.

Anyone use Fidelity BrokerageLink? How was / is your experience with them ?

Thanks,

JG III
I established an IRA brokerage account at Fidelity in 2009 and have directed all contributions there since. I am very satisfied with it, and I like the variety of investment choices, including option trading using ETFs, which is pretty much all I've been doing in it to date (selling cash-covered puts and covered calls).

Fidelity reps are good, and don't bother you if you don't want them to. Of course, the more $$ you have with Fidelity, the more accommodating they are.

EDIT: Oops, perhaps I was unaware of exactly what Fidelity BrokerageLink is when I replied, and it appears to be a little different than a straightahead IRA brokerage account. But not too much. I also noticed that if you Google Fidelity BrokerageLink a similar posting/question from Bogleheads comes up, which may help provide more info/opinions from participants.
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Old 04-08-2011, 07:56 PM   #4
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I used the brokerage link account about 10 years ago when I was actively trading in my 401k plan.

It is just like any brokerage account except there is an annual fee and if I remember it correctly about $100 or $150. In addition there is also a fee for any non Fidelity holdings (perhaps 25 basis points - deducted automatically quarterly). I believe that these fees are negotiable based on the size of the plan and other factors. You need to ask your plan administrator for details. Other than that it was great, I used to trade tech stocks during the bubble.

mP
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Old 04-09-2011, 11:40 PM   #5
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I have a small 401k from a former employer that has been transferred to a Fidelity BrokerageLink account. I have been satisfied with it. I haven't paid the fees mentioned above, but that may be negotiable based on the employer. I would have rolled it to an Ira, but BrokerageLink gives me all the flexibility I could ask for, so I've left it where it is.
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Old 04-10-2011, 09:44 AM   #6
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DW has Brokerage Link w/ her 403B plan. We've only used it to retain some Fidelity funds that weren't going to be available in the new version of the 403B plan. I believe there was no fee for buying those tho there might be for non-Fido investments. The only minor annoyance was when doing an exchange between the non-brokerage-link part of the plan to the Brokerage Link side.....
since they claim they don't exactly how much you will get from the sale on one side, they allot some % of what they guess will be available (90%??) and then you have to come back the next day and pick up the remainder. I assume it also works the same going back the other way.
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Old 04-10-2011, 09:43 PM   #7
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Thanks for the replies.
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Old 04-15-2011, 09:37 PM   #8
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Not familiar with the "Brokerage Link" terminology, but Fido is custodian for my current and former 401k plans which allow IRA rollovers (some do not permit this) and I have established a Fidelity IRA to invest in individual stocks and funds that are not available in the 401k. Fidelity loves it when you do this. They sound giddy whenever I do a rollover to the Fidelity IRA, but they sound disappointed when I order a rollover to an IRA outside of Fidelity. When I log into the Fidelity Website, it shows all Fidelity accounts (current and former 401k's and the IRA). The Fido site has a link to the employer 401k website which has different features such as contribution details and fund exchanges.
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Old 04-16-2011, 06:45 AM   #9
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I've read that some Fidelity BrokerageLink plans have restrictions on what you can buy. For example, one person wrote they could purchase mutual funds only, but not ETFs. So I guess it depends on how your plan is set up. Best to check out the details first.
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Old 04-25-2011, 08:56 PM   #10
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I started using the Fidelity Brokerage Link option in my 401K before I retired. Our plan had restrictions that I could only invest 50% of my money in the Brokerage Link. Once I retired, I was able to roll over all the money in the non-brokerage part of my 401K to TD Ameritrade where I keep my pension rollover. I kept the money I had in my brokerage link option of my 401K in Fidelity so I can access the money until I turn 59 1/2.

Some of the funds you may want to get into can have high fees. For example, I have money invested in Vanguard TIPs thru Fidelity and there was a $75.00 commission for this. I have been pleased with the results. There were a lot more options available for investments.
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Fidelity Brokerage Link
Old 02-22-2015, 11:32 AM   #11
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Fidelity Brokerage Link

I moved most of my 401A to a Brokerage Link account I opened within my retirement account. We have over 5,000 employees where I work. I pay only $7.00/trade no matter the amount or price of the stock. I run it very similar to my Scottrade Account. I track stocks with Alerts that I am interested in buying & also selling at a specific price. I'm getting a much better return than the Fidelity Funds offered within the plan. Fidelity was also removing some of the funds that had very good returns as an option.
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Old 02-25-2015, 12:00 PM   #12
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When I was working, my 401K was at Fidelity and I used the BrokerageLink option for access to the whole universe of investing options. Back then, I mainly owned iShares index ETFs, which traded commission-free and had lower ERs than the limited investment choices available inside the 401K. I don't remember any restrictions or additional fees related to BrokerageLink. Just the normal 401K fees. When I retired, I rolled it into an IRA to avoid the 401K fees.
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Old 02-25-2015, 12:36 PM   #13
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I used brokerage link at a previous employer where there were no additional fees. My current employer also provides brokerage link, but the fees are ridiculous, something like $30/quarter. My wife has a brokerage link account with no fees, so we use that one.

My take is that you build your portfolio across all of your accounts in the least expensive way that still provides the flexibility you need. If I didn't have any good alternatives in my 401k, then I'd pay the fee.

Also, if you're looking to buy ETFs, then make sure you can do this with your brokerage link account. Employers can restrict what type of investments you can buy. I know in my wife's brokerage link account she can only purchase mutual funds, no stocks/ETFs.
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Old 02-25-2015, 02:19 PM   #14
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I used them at one of my previous employers. As I understand it, every company's 401K might be set up a little different for brokeragelink. In my case
1. There was no fee for it. I understand that some companies charge a yearly fee for access.
2. We had access to any mutual funds offered by Fidelity. But only mutual funds - no stocks, no etf's
3. We could deposit no more than 90% of our 401K into brokeragelink. We had to keep 10% in one of the approved mutual funds in our 401K. I think this was only for deposits as gains may obviously move things around over time.
4. Deposits into brokeragelink could not be automatically used to buy a mutual fund. It went into a cash account and after each paycheck I had to manually purchase shares of whatever fund I was interested it. A bit of a pain, but not too bad.

Overall I was happy with it. Unfortunately, even though I've worked for several companies that use Fidelity for 401K since then, none of them offered brokeragelink, despite my inquiries.

Hope this helps.
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