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Old 03-05-2011, 06:20 PM   #21
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Vanguard. I'm happy.
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Old 03-05-2011, 06:40 PM   #22
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I have been loyal Schwab customer for closing in on 30 years, while they aren't always the cheapest a couple of bucks on $25K or so order just isn't worth the hassle. Over the years they have bent over backwards to treat me more than fair.

I think the important thing for Schwab, Fidelity, TDAmtrade (I have accounts with both) or any other broker is to put enough money that you qualified for top tier status. Vanguard seems to be very good for the strictly mutual fund inquiries, but I notice a big difference in the knowledge levels between my Schwab Platinum team and the Flagships (2nd tier) at Vanguard.
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Old 03-05-2011, 06:48 PM   #23
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One thing is that once RMDs start, it is much simpler and safer to have all standard IRAs Keoghs, and 401ks in the same brokerage. Include anything that counts toward your RMD requirement. Fidelity or any other adequate high service broker can figure your requirement based on all your RMD accounts, and if you like you can keep adequate cash in only one of these and have the withdrawals come from it.

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Old 03-05-2011, 08:05 PM   #24
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I've used Zecco because you had 10 free trades a month with $25k in assets. This had just changed recently, all their trades are now $4.95.

I have some at Vanguard, I am trying to get to the $2 trade level. I still have $499k to go though
Until then I am just buying the free ETF's
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Old 03-05-2011, 10:43 PM   #25
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I have been loyal Schwab customer for closing in on 30 years, while they aren't always the cheapest a couple of bucks on $25K or so order just isn't worth the hassle. Over the years they have bent over backwards to treat me more than fair.
I'm a long term Schwab customer too and also have been satisfied.
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Old 03-06-2011, 12:52 AM   #26
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I have been at Schwab since 1998. The few times I have needed assistance (401k transfers, first 72t transfer, etc) they have been very responsive.
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Old 03-06-2011, 06:35 AM   #27
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Satisfied Schwab user here also. I have been a customer for about the last 12 years.
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Old 03-06-2011, 07:18 AM   #28
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No brokerage accounts anymore. As a Boglehead I can do everything I want with retail mutual funds. Now that Vanguard has lowered the minimums for Admiral class funds it's an amazingly inexpensive way to invest. Some might not like the trading restrictions......but by definition I'm not a market timer and rebalancing has worked very well. Selling total bond index and buying total stock index at DOW 7000 turned out well enough.
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Old 03-06-2011, 08:32 AM   #29
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Schwab customer since 1998. There was a time in the early 2000s when they started trying to squeeze out the hundred thousandaires in favor of the whales and started treating small fry like me less well. I actually wrote a lengthy letter of complaint/suggestion to management pointing out that they were turning their backs on their core customer base (got a polite response, too). I must not have been the only one because within 6 months of my letter they fired Pottruck, brought back Chuck and moved back toward the mass affluent market.

Now I have everything (including main checking account, credit card, HELOC and billpay) there except my employers 401k and DW's solo 401k (Fido was way more competitive than Schwab when we set that account up). No complaints at all. I even called to make sure an odd lot warrant order got executed and they were really nice about it.
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Old 03-15-2011, 11:25 PM   #30
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I was a long-time Vanguard customer and proponent until they decided I am a persona non grata because I live in Canada.

Now after switching to Fidelity, I'm very satisfied with their website, customer service, and fees. At my level of assets, I have a personal account executive who actually phones me up to see if he can do anything for me...nice.
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Old 03-16-2011, 09:14 PM   #31
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I have been a long-time customer of Schwab, Scottrade, and Ameriprise, all with self-directed brokerage and IRA accounts. Just last year, opened a Vanguard IRA account for my wife, just for the heck of it, and funded that instead of adding to her existing IRA at Schwab. And it was Wellesley I bought, heh heh heh...

Just discovered that Schwab now has broad-indexed ETFs that it claims has lower expense ratios than Vanguard. For example, its international small-cap SCHC has an ER of 0.35%, compared to Vanguard's VSS of 0.40%. And Schwab's ETFs are traded commission-free with Schwab accounts.

I am glad I discovered that a couple of days ago, when I wanted to get some more shares of VSS for a Schwab account. It is good that Vanguard's low-cost model puts pressure on other brokerage houses to stay competitive. Free market at work! I love it.
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Old 03-17-2011, 10:37 AM   #32
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I have been a long-time customer of Schwab, Scottrade, and Ameriprise, all with self-directed brokerage and IRA accounts.(snip)
I also use Scottrade, for a Roth IRA. Do you mean Ameriprise or Ameritrade?
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Old 03-17-2011, 11:01 AM   #33
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Charles Schwab is our custodian preference.
In a contest for the worst, though, there just cannot be any competition for State Street Bank. Ugh!
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Old 03-17-2011, 11:22 AM   #34
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I also use Scottrade, for a Roth IRA. Do you mean Ameriprise or Ameritrade?
It's Ameriprise, the brokerage often disparaged on this forum.

As I have described a couple of times earlier, I opened an on-line account with them in the late 90s, when they offered 10 free trades per month. Back then, Schwab was charging $29.95 per trade, so I jumped at the chance.

Later, Ameriprise raised that to $4/trade for the first 10 trades of the month for the early account holders. It is still cheaper than Scottrade now at $7, and $9 at Schwab. As it is self-directed, no one there has bothered me.
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Old 03-17-2011, 11:30 AM   #35
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I also use Scottrade, for a Roth IRA. Do you mean Ameriprise or Ameritrade?
It's Ameriprise, the brokerage often disparaged on this forum.

As I have described a couple of times earlier, I opened an on-line account with them in the late 90s, when they offered 10 free trades per month. Back then, Schwab was charging $29.95 per trade, so I jumped at the chance.

Later, Ameriprise raised that to $4/trade for the first 10 trades of the month for the early account holders. It is still cheaper than Scottrade now at $7, and $9 at Schwab. As it is self-directed, no one there has bothered me.

Due to the difference of a few bucks in fees, when I make quick trades, I reach for my Ameriprise account first. I usually do not exceed the 10 trades per month. The reason I have not consolidated there is the fact that Schwab and Scottrade accounts make it easier to write covered calls, something I do a few times.

Just two weeks ago, while preparing my taxes and needing to look up the cost basis of some long-time held stocks, I found out that Ameriprise computer system let me look back in time far longer than that of Schwab.
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Old 03-17-2011, 12:10 PM   #36
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Surprised more folks here are not using Wells Fargo, 100 free trades per account with only $25K minimum balance in any account. I have found them to execute well and have decent investing tools.
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Old 03-19-2011, 11:04 AM   #37
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I was a long-time Vanguard customer and proponent until they decided I am a persona non grata because I live in Canada.

Now after switching to Fidelity, I'm very satisfied with their website, customer service, and fees. At my level of assets, I have a personal account executive who actually phones me up to see if he can do anything for me...nice.
So...Any comments on brokers other than Vanguard who aren't friendly to those residing outside the USA?
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