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Old 01-27-2021, 10:40 AM   #21
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So does anyone think that the callback centers at Vanguard, Schwab, Fido and others prioritize the callback list based on some back office algorithm like attained level of service, having a personal advisor, gross assets, number of calls made in the past, etc? Or do you really think it is first call in gets the first callback?

Bear in mind that this time of year is a busy time for all with end of year rebalancing, tax season, end of year bonuses needing to be invested and such.
Yes, I do think they use algorithms. That's the beauty of the call-back feature. It gives them time to evaluate the importance of the call(er).
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Old 01-27-2021, 10:51 AM   #22
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So does anyone think that the callback centers at Vanguard, Schwab, Fido and others prioritize the callback list based on some back office algorithm like attained level of service, having a personal advisor, gross assets, number of calls made in the past, etc? Or do you really think it is first call in gets the first callback? ...
We used to be in some kind of heavy hitter category at Schwab and I suppose we still are. The Customer Service number I have is not the one they advertise publicly. IIRC having a personal advisor assigned at Schwab requires assets of $100K or $250K. For us, IIRC the heavy hitter category was based on assets -- $1M maybe? You can call them and ask about all this stuff.
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Old 01-27-2021, 11:00 AM   #23
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Keeping Admiral Shares at Schwab isn't a big stretch. You can buy Admiral shares of Index funds at Schwab and if you have at least $1M, you can do it without a fee. For actively managed Admiral shares like VWIAX, I buy at Vanguard but then transfer to Schwab. The transfer process can be done completely online without paperwork or cost.
Yeah but once those shares of the actively-managed funds are at Schwab you can only sell shares and never buy additional ones, which defeats the purpose (especially because those funds don't permit automatic reinvestment of dividends).
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Old 01-27-2021, 11:05 AM   #24
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We used to be in some kind of heavy hitter category at Schwab and I suppose we still are. The Customer Service number I have is not the one they advertise publicly. IIRC having a personal advisor assigned at Schwab requires assets of $100K or $250K. For us, IIRC the heavy hitter category was based on assets -- $1M maybe? You can call them and ask about all this stuff.
Well we'd be firmly in the "heavy hitter" category with Vanguard based on assets invested with them but here's the message I sent them together with this morning's response:

"I've been an enthusiastic proponent for and owner of Vanguard funds and ETF's for decades and have gradually moved most of our investments to Vanguard from Schwab, but you have me seriously considering reversing that decision.

I've also been a participant in the Bogleheads and earlier Vanguard Diehards forums for years and see from a blizzard of posts there that the problems I am experiencing are far from unique.

How can it be that a year into the pandemic it can take literally HOURS to get a return phone call (and of course forget about getting a representative on the phone to begin with)? You have no brick-and-mortar offices, unlike Schwab or Fidelity, yet they offer customer service and web site tools and functionality that are light-years better than Vanguard's.

Perhaps the best indicator of all of just how atrocious the experience has gotten is that nowhere on your site is their even an option for "customer service" via phone, email, etc. - so that I'm forced to resort to sending this secure message on the off chance that someone will read it and respond. A far cry from not-so-long ago when having Voyager or Select status meant access to knowledgeable reps via a separate phone number. Now whether you have 50K or a million+ invested all you get by way of thanks is endless pop-up ads for Vanguard’s “Personal Advisory” services, through which you have the “opportunity” to pay an additional .30% of total assets for services you receive for free by buying any of Vanguard’s Target Retirement Date or LifeStrategy funds.

Jack Bogle would surely be sorely disappointed to see what has happened to the company he founded."



Dear :

Thank you for taking the time to contact us.

I apologize for any delays you have experienced in attempting to reach us. Vanguard experiences seasonal changes in volumes, as well as unexpected changes in volume related to events in the marketplace. While we focus on staffing to handle the additional requests, there are some occasions when hold times are longer than anticipated.

Your patience is greatly appreciated and we will use your feedback to help us improve your experience going forward.

The answers to the majority of questions can be located online through our support page. To access the page, copy and paste the link below into your web browser: https://support.vanguard.com/

If you are unable to find your answer there, you can reply back to this message for assistance. Please note that we are unable to transact on your account through email.

Sincerely,

Michael Wiley
Registered Representative
Vanguard Retail Investor Group

So the short version is what was our unofficial motto when I worked for AT& T back in its monopoly days: "We Don't Care - We Don't Have To." Sad to see this happen to such a great organization.

I don't see any indication on the Schwab site of any kind of premium service except for Private Client status that required 1M in assets minimum and in exchange for .80% of AUM gets you a whole suite of advisory and wealth management services. Not an attractive proposition IMHO given that I can get the same services for a $3000-4000 fixed fee from FA's who use Schwab as their custodian but provide access to institutional class funds not available to Schwab retail clients (e.g. DFA, various CEF's, etc.).

I don't want to give the impression that I frequently need to call any of these brokerages because that's not the case. But when I do call I expect to get someone knowledgeable and competent on the phone in minutes, not hours. And of course there's much less need for that kind of contact if the web site has good tools - which again is something that Fido and Schwab do quite well. The Vanguard online experience meanwhile seems to be designed by folks who got fired from Microsoft a couple of decades ago.
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Old 01-27-2021, 11:08 AM   #25
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Keeping Admiral Shares at Schwab isn't a big stretch. You can buy Admiral shares of Index funds at Schwab and if you have at least $1M, you can do it without a fee. For actively managed Admiral shares like VWIAX, I buy at Vanguard but then transfer to Schwab. The transfer process can be done completely online without paperwork or cost.
Do you know if it is possible to transfer a Vanguard fund (from a mutual fund account) to Schwab account (brokerage acct already established)?

I was actually looking for this in my Vanguard account online yesterday but did not find the way.

Thanks!

edited for spelling
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Old 01-27-2021, 11:19 AM   #26
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Do you know if it is possible to transfer a Vanguard fund )from a mutual fund account) to Schwab account (borkerage acct already established)?

I was actually looking for this in my Vanguard account online yesterday but did not find the way.

Thanks!
I'd initiate the process from the Schwab side.
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Old 01-27-2021, 11:31 AM   #27
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Yeah but once those shares of the actively-managed funds are at Schwab you can only sell shares and never buy additional ones, which defeats the purpose (especially because those funds don't permit automatic reinvestment of dividends).
This is false. Reinvestments on my VWIAX at Schwab go thru just fine.
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Old 01-27-2021, 11:34 AM   #28
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I'd initiate the process from the Schwab side.
Correct. Always start a transfer at the gaining firm.
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Old 01-27-2021, 11:38 AM   #29
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I don't see any indication on the Schwab site of any kind of premium service except for Private Client status that required 1M in assets minimum and in exchange for .80% of AUM gets you a whole suite of advisory and wealth management services. Not an attractive proposition IMHO given that I can get the same services for a $3000-4000 fixed fee from FA's who use Schwab as their custodian but provide access to institutional class funds not available to Schwab retail clients (e.g. DFA, various CEF's, etc.).

.
There is. If you have at least $250K, you can be assigned to a local Financial Consultant. Use him or her and their Client Relationship Specialist as your go to for service. If you are calling the 800#, you may be designated "heavy hitter" based on assets. These designations include Pinnacle (usually $2M+) or Chairman's Circle ($20M+). The phone system will route your call appropriately after you enter your account number
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Old 01-27-2021, 11:39 AM   #30
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We used to be in some kind of heavy hitter category at Schwab and I suppose we still are. The Customer Service number I have is not the one they advertise publicly. IIRC having a personal advisor assigned at Schwab requires assets of $100K or $250K. For us, IIRC the heavy hitter category was based on assets -- $1M maybe? You can call them and ask about all this stuff.
I was just thinking that some sort of automatic algorithm as opposed to first call in - first out might explain the different reports of hold times we are getting in this, and other posts regarding this topic, even among the various companies. Personally, I am a Fido client. I never had a problem contacting them via the phone number shown on my monthly statements. I do believe I am in their Private Client Group. (no AUM fees but a dedicated person)
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Old 01-27-2021, 12:03 PM   #31
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So does anyone think that the callback centers at Vanguard, Schwab, Fido and others prioritize the callback list based on some back office algorithm like attained level of service, having a personal advisor, gross assets, number of calls made in the past, etc? Or do you really think it is first call in gets the first callback?

Bear in mind that this time of year is a busy time for all with end of year rebalancing, tax season, end of year bonuses needing to be invested and such.
Call centers in the fund world can be very complicated. Look at the logistics, multiple call centers in different time zones with callers from multiple time zones. Now add in the complexity of your relationship with these entities. A call center representative for retail investors has a very different skill set from the 401k side. They use different systems and have completely different knowledge. These places have a lot of people who staff phones, it's very hard to retain quality people(I remember having beers with some folks in Boston and the discussion about how they would bounce between fund providers for a slight upgrade in pay).

Now pretend you are the person responsible for paying all these "bums in seats" and they're expensive, especially if they aren't helping customers. Sure they can share calls but what do you do when it's 5pm? These people are paid by the hour and an expense for the funds to absorb. I'm not suggesting what level of service a fund company should provide but Vanguard is clearly low cost, low hand holding fund company. I'd suggest American Funds staffing per account holder is higher than Vanguards, is it worth a 6% FE load and 10x fees? Not for me..
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Old 01-27-2021, 01:38 PM   #32
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This is false. Reinvestments on my VWIAX at Schwab go thru just fine.
Thanks for correcting me on this! Indeed dividend reinvestments are allowed for all of these funds, though purchase of additional shares is not. I apologize for the error.
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Old 01-27-2021, 01:55 PM   #33
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There is. If you have at least $250K, you can be assigned to a local Financial Consultant. Use him or her and their Client Relationship Specialist as your go to for service. If you are calling the 800#, you may be designated "heavy hitter" based on assets. These designations include Pinnacle (usually $2M+) or Chairman's Circle ($20M+). The phone system will route your call appropriately after you enter your account number
It's 500K, not 250 and they offer to refer you to a fee-charging FA (see "Investment Management Fees & Minimums in this document):

https://www.schwab.com/pricing#acc1-...acdefault74726

Good to know about the Pinnacle and Chairman's Circle tiers. I continue to be really impressed with the value-for-money Schwab delivers.
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Old 01-27-2021, 02:19 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by Ncc1701 View Post
Keeping Admiral Shares at Schwab isn't a big stretch. You can buy Admiral shares of Index funds at Schwab and if you have at least $1M, you can do it without a fee. For actively managed Admiral shares like VWIAX, I buy at Vanguard but then transfer to Schwab. The transfer process can be done completely online without paperwork or cost.
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Originally Posted by target2019 View Post
Do you know if it is possible to transfer a Vanguard fund (from a mutual fund account) to Schwab account (brokerage acct already established)?

I was actually looking for this in my Vanguard account online yesterday but did not find the way.

Thanks!

edited for spelling
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I'd initiate the process from the Schwab side.
Yes, it is possible to initiate this from Schwab. But I was specifically asking Ncc1701 about the transaction process he mentioned, where it is all done online at Vanguard.

I went through the support FAQ and eventually landed at this question and answer:

Quote:
Transferring assets from Vanguard to another investment company
In order to transfer money out of Vanguard, please reach out to the institution you’re transferring money to, they should be able to help you from there.
If you're transferring assets from a 401(k), 403(b), or other employer-sponsored retirement plan held at Vanguard, log on to our retirement plans participant website for additional information.
I haven't yet found a link or hint on the Vanguard site to transfer one mutual fund (in a taxable Vanguard mutual fund account) to a Schwab brokerage account. Maybe it requires a different account type on the Vanguard side.
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Old 01-27-2021, 03:07 PM   #35
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It's 500K, not 250 and they offer to refer you to a fee-charging FA
Kevink - the $500K minimum is for enrollment in Schwab Private Client or Schwab Advisor Network. Those are fee based advisory services and that's not what I'm talking about. If you have $250K, you can be assigned to a Schwab Financial Consultant in the branch. NO portfolio management or extra fees to pay for. All you have to do is ask.

"How can I get access to a Financial Consultant?
Dedicated Financial Consultants are generally made available to clients with $250,000 or more in assets at Schwab. Of course, any Schwab client can talk to an investment professional anytime."
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Old 01-27-2021, 03:11 PM   #36
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Yes, it is possible to initiate this from Schwab. But I was specifically asking Ncc1701 about the transaction process he mentioned, where it is all done online at Vanguard.
Hi Target 2019, I never stated the transaction process is done on the Vanguard website. If you hold an Admiral share at Vanguard in either a MF only or brokerage account, you can start the transfer process at Schwab on their website and just input your Vanguard account number. It takes a week for the fund to transfer, no fees and you'll be able to reinvest at Schwab no matter which share class it is.

Here is the link to do it: https://client.schwab.com/Apps/Servi...etting-started
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Old 01-27-2021, 03:22 PM   #37
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Kevink - the $500K minimum is for enrollment in Schwab Private Client. That's not what I'm talking about. If you have $250K, you can be assigned to a Schwab Financial Consultant in the branch. NO portfolio management or extra fees to pay for. All you have to do is ask.
FWIW I don't recall that we even asked. It just happened. In probably 15-20 years with Schwab we've probably had three or four. Our current guy has been with us 5+ years. He is very helpful with admnistrivia and answering questions. He is not there to sell, though he does get spiffs if someone in his book buys an annuity or sign$ up for advisory service. I think he is not permitted to make specific recommendations. Not sure about that but he never has.
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Old 01-27-2021, 03:30 PM   #38
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Hi Target 2019, I never stated the transaction process is done on the Vanguard website. If you hold an Admiral share at Vanguard in either a MF only or brokerage account, you can start the transfer process at Schwab on their website and just input your Vanguard account number. It takes a week for the fund to transfer, no fees and you'll be able to reinvest at Schwab no matter which share class it is.

Here is the link to do it: https://client.schwab.com/Apps/Servi...etting-started
Thank you. I see I misinterpreted your statements. Sorry about that.
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Old 01-27-2021, 03:31 PM   #39
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FWIW I don't recall that we even asked. It just happened. In probably 15-20 years with Schwab we've probably had three or four. Our current guy has been with us 5+ years. He is very helpful with admnistrivia and answering questions. He is not there to sell, though he does get spiffs if someone in his book buys an annuity or sign$ up for advisory service. I think he is not permitted to make specific recommendations. Not sure about that but he never has.

Oh he's definitely there to sell...I used to be one of them ...LOL

But yes, depending on the geographical area, clients may be automatically assigned to a consultant.
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Old 01-29-2021, 06:16 PM   #40
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Do you know if it is possible to transfer a Vanguard fund (from a mutual fund account) to Schwab account (brokerage acct already established)?

I was actually looking for this in my Vanguard account online yesterday but did not find the way.

Thanks!

edited for spelling

Not sure about Schwab but I transferred a few accounts to Fidelity with zero problems... and all completed in a couple of days...


Really shocked how quickly they were able to do it compared to Vanguard....
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