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Fidelity or Vanguard
Old 07-27-2020, 08:36 AM   #61
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Fidelity or Vanguard

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Originally Posted by MRG View Post

While you can stay on the inexpensive side of Fidelity it's not guaranteed.

Somebodyís got to pay for Fidelity and Schwabís nice storefront offices and television ads and, one way or another, even if you canít see it, itís you . They arenít paying for air conditioning just because they enjoy seeing your freeloading mug occasionally. I understand the ability to walk in with oneís spouse to talk with a helpful human has great value and, if Vanguard didnít exist, Iíd use Fidelity or Schwab and be happy about it. In fact, my 403b, in which I own VG funds, is administered by Fidelity and Iím satisfied with them.
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Old 07-27-2020, 08:44 AM   #62
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Originally Posted by Markola View Post
Somebodyís got to pay for Fidelity and Schwabís nice storefront offices and television ads and, one way or another, even if you canít see it, itís you . They arenít paying for air conditioning just because they enjoy seeing your freeloading mug occasionally. I understand the ability to walk in with oneís spouse to talk with a helpful human has great value and, if Vanguard didnít exist, Iíd use Fidelity or Schwab and be happy about it. In fact, my 403b, in which I own VG funds, is administered by Fidelity.
They are paid by fools.

Fidelity or Schwab does not *force* to buy anything. You can make those accounts very cheap. BTW Schwab has outstanding exchange rates when traveling (Internationally)
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Old 07-27-2020, 08:48 AM   #63
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I have assets at Fidelity and Vanguard. DW'S been instructed if I go first move everything to Vanguard and put it in PAS and just take whatever she needs.
I had the same instructions for DW when I was at VG.

DW loves the fact there is a Fidelity office, though.
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Old 07-27-2020, 08:51 AM   #64
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Somebodyís got to pay for Fidelity and Schwabís nice storefront offices and television ads and, one way or another, even if you canít see it, itís you . They arenít paying for air conditioning just because they enjoy seeing your freeloading mug occasionally. I understand the ability to walk in with oneís spouse to talk with a helpful human has great value and, if Vanguard didnít exist, Iíd use Fidelity or Schwab and be happy about it. In fact, my 403b, in which I own VG funds, is administered by Fidelity and Iím satisfied with them.
I'm sure somebody is paying for the offices - so far at least, it isn't me.
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Old 07-27-2020, 09:07 AM   #65
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I think there are a couple of takeaways from this thread. First, the three we are talking about are all quite acceptable brokerages. To a degree it is a matter of taste, looking for particular funds, and fondness or not for the various web UIs. IMO multiple good choices are good thing for investors.

Second, partially from the thread and partially from looking at the competitive environment, I think we customers have not yet seen the brokers' offerings stabilize. Schwab made the decision to take out some of the competition by zeroing trading fees. Probably they expected TDAmeritrade to fall into their lap as it did. IIRC TD's reliance on trading fees as a % of revenue was double or triple what Schwabs was. Bye bye. But .. as discussed, someone has to pay the brokerage firms' costs, so all three of them are undoubtedly scouring the customer lists and scouring their operations costs looking to pick up enough pennies to run the business. Until that process runs its course we will not know where we as customers stand. For example, Schwab made their sweep account into an FDIC insured bank account, substantially increasing their income on customers' float. Fido did not do this and has been advertising the fact. Will Schwab reverse their decision or will Fido join them? No way to know. Schwab also revised their compensation plan (apparently) to put more emphasis on higher-profit services. So will their people become more aggressive/like Fido's?What about Vanguard? Who knows?

So IMO we customers have a pretty good deal going with three quite acceptable alternatives, but the brokers' world has not yet stabilized so our relationships can't be considered stable either.
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Old 07-27-2020, 10:43 AM   #66
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I was with VG for years (before moving to Fidelity), but not sure I ever really understood what benefit the above provided for me. With fees being for the most part equal these days, I don't see the benefit.


I agree. I have accounts at both VG and Fido. VG is a low cost pioneer but now that many others are competitive on cost, it seems their reluctance to invest in technology puts them behind the others wrt customer support. I hope they improve.
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Old 07-27-2020, 12:02 PM   #67
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Originally Posted by Markola View Post
Somebodyís got to pay for Fidelity and Schwabís nice storefront offices and television ads and, one way or another, even if you canít see it, itís you . They arenít paying for air conditioning just because they enjoy seeing your freeloading mug occasionally. I understand the ability to walk in with oneís spouse to talk with a helpful human has great value and, if Vanguard didnít exist, Iíd use Fidelity or Schwab and be happy about it. In fact, my 403b, in which I own VG funds, is administered by Fidelity and Iím satisfied with them.
Exactly and those storefronts don't exist for me. It's a day's journey to visit one.
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Old 07-27-2020, 12:33 PM   #68
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I agree. I have accounts at both VG and Fido. VG is a low cost pioneer but now that many others are competitive on cost, it seems their reluctance to invest in technology puts them behind the others wrt customer support. I hope they improve.
It is not just the tech VG has been slow to invest but also IMHO in selecting and training Reops who have the ability and training to listen and get answers to any question beyond "vanilla" and on a script. This last shortfall is what drove me to consolidate accounts at Fido. On average, Fido employees are much more capable than all but a few I experienced when was at VG even though we were Flagship when we left.
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Old 07-27-2020, 12:48 PM   #69
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It is not just the tech VG has been slow to invest but also IMHO in selecting and training Reops who have the ability and training to listen and get answers to any question beyond "vanilla" and on a script. This last shortfall is what drove me to consolidate accounts at Fido. On average, Fido employees are much more capable than all but a few I experienced when was at VG even though we were Flagship when we left.
My first Flagship rep was great. He had a lot of experience and could answer almost any question I threw at him. My last one (according to Linkdin) had two years of retail manger experience and zero financial experience or schooling. She was nice, but I felt like I was training her when I called. So far, my Fido questions have all been answered correctly and promptly regardless of who I contact (in person, on phone, or chat). From a customer service perspective, I'd give Fido an A and VG a C. Schwab was also good when I had an account there.
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Old 07-27-2020, 06:12 PM   #70
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I have both. I mostly keep Vanguard because I don't want all my eggs in one basket. I do like fidelity the best.
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Old 07-27-2020, 06:13 PM   #71
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Vanguard is facing some difficulty right now - they had a differentiator for many years, but it is gone.

I have accounts with both Vanguard and Fidelity - about the same size. Fidelity treats me like royalty - Vanguard seems slow in comparison.
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Old 07-27-2020, 07:47 PM   #72
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Vanguard is facing some difficulty right now - they had a differentiator for many years, but it is gone.

I have accounts with both Vanguard and Fidelity - about the same size. Fidelity treats me like royalty - Vanguard seems slow in comparison.
What kind of difficulty
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Old 07-28-2020, 04:08 PM   #73
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I guess I'm in the group of 2 baskets for my eggs. Between my wife and I, we had money spread between 6 or so companies. As we phased into retirement I consolidated all my 401K and Roth accounts to Vanguard and my wife's to Fidelity. We have a joint brokerage account in VG. It is probably because I use it more, but I like VG website better than Fidelity, both could be more user friendly. I have made a folder of bookmarks to the parts of VG's site I want to go back to so I don't have to figure out the path I used to get their again. I have had good luck with my Flagship rep, they often refer me to an expert on whatever I'm asking but I get good answers.

Didn't even know Fidelity had local offices, just looked and they do have one about 30 minutes from me but I don't see any reason why I would want to go.

Jim...
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Old 07-28-2020, 04:17 PM   #74
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BTW Schwab has outstanding exchange rates when traveling (Internationally)
That's well known here. Many of us have used the Schwab debit card for years to get cash from ATMs overseas. And that's really the point, I think. Each of us has to look at what we want from a financial relationship. Once that's determined, it's not hard to find the best choice of a firm to provide it.
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Old 07-28-2020, 04:24 PM   #75
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Choose a fund with the lowest cost and other fees. All funds and all companies are the same. Best income fund is Schwab Intelligent Portfolio and best investment is Vanguard VTSAX.
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Old 07-28-2020, 04:30 PM   #76
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Hola from Ecuador (trapped on a REALLY long virus holiday, another story...)


I am thinking of consolidating my 3 brokerage accounts down to 2. Idea is to make it easier to manage my assets and have them in one place for quicker access when needed.



I am considering which to stay with - Fidelity or Vanguard. Fid is my preferred choice and kinda decided to move that direction for these reasons:


- Good service
- Free wires domestic and intl *

- Free WW ATM usage via fee rebate *

- Easy website to use
- Low cost trading (I don't do much though)
* very important


Brief search of VG didn't show the * features and I have less assets in there so it seems logical to consolidate with Fid.



So my question is: Does anyone have any ideas about why keeping the VG account open would make sense? Am I missing anything important about VG?



I have access to all VG Index funds via Fid and I don't do anything with VG other than check the balance regularly and get my 1099.

Seems like youíve answered your own question
Since the Intl ATMs are very important, Fidelity is easy choice for you.
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Old 07-28-2020, 05:12 PM   #77
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... Didn't even know Fidelity had local offices, just looked and they do have one about 30 minutes from me but I don't see any reason why I would want to go. ...
Depending on your asset level, Schwab and Fido (probably others too) will assign a specific rep to you. This can cut down on having to dial a call center and wait on hold to talk to someone who never heard of you and will almost certainly never talk to you again.

I make it a point to occasionally touch base with my Schwab guy, usually just on the phone but we do meet face-to-face maybe every couple of years. I also like to flip him a referral or two a year and maybe email a couple of jokes.

The result is that he knows who I am when I call and he is very responsive helping with administrivia. One time I was trying to wire some money to South Africa and for some reason Schwab bank could not/would not do it. He was a surprised as I was and dug into the problem immediately, solving it with a transfer from one of our taxable brokerage accounts. One other time I called him to ask Schwab's opinion on leveraged loans. Within an hour he had found and sent to me a recent position paper. I think I get this kind of service because I am not just some random voice on the phone.

The risk is that an assigned rep will try to sell you stuff. My guy knows to not do that. With a new rep you might have to do a little training.

So if I were you I would get a rep assigned at the local office, go to visit at least once, then stay in occasional telephone contact. Ask about free services, like portfolio analysis, that they may have for you.
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Old 07-28-2020, 05:15 PM   #78
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... Since the Intl ATMs are very important, Fidelity is easy choice for you.
Same thing with the Schwab bank debit card. All ATM fees rebated worldwide and no foreign transaction fees. These three ponies run neck and neck on features and services IMO. If one pulls slightly ahead on something, the others will quickly catch up.
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Old 07-28-2020, 06:07 PM   #79
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I am a Fido fan and not a Vanguard fan.
But, had a question about the Fido retirement planning tool and was informed that my advisor (Jared Mabey) was the one to talk with. He and I spoke today and he was useless. Now, I have to start bugging Fido for an answer.
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Old 07-28-2020, 06:32 PM   #80
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With FIDO the Johnson family owns it. With VG, investors do. Your choice though.
Vanguard's co-op ownership is often touted as a plus. I see it as a big minus. I have never gotten good service from a co-op, utilities being a prime example. A for-profit firm has natural incentives to run a tight ship that co-ops do not. My Vanguard experience is an example of that. I don't care if someone gets rich from providing me with exceptional service, I like it.

I had a Vanguard IRA account for about 10 years. I dropped them about 5 years ago. JMO, Vanguard as a custodian would probably be okay for a plain vanilla retail customer. I wouldn't trust them with anything remotely complicated. I have an individual 401K (at Schwab) and mega-backdoor Roth and non-qualified deferred comp plan at Fidelity through my employer. There is no way I would trust Vanguard with those

I do hold Vanguard investment products.

My preference in brokerage accounts is Schwab slightly ahead of Fidelity and the rest of the pack some ways back. I would choose whichever of Schwab or Fidelity has more convenient branch locations.
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