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Outside the USA Vanguard FAILS
Old 07-28-2020, 06:53 PM   #81
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Outside the USA Vanguard FAILS

At 55 years old I got laid off. I sold my house in New England and move to Florida temporarily at my daughter's house. I was excited about the early retirement. I had no strings attached. No mortgage no credit card balances. For my first year I decided to live in Thailand. It's inexpensive and exotic. I sold my car in Florida and moved.
One day I go online to my Vanguard account and sell some equities. I chose the replacement equities and tried to purchase them. The system told me to call them.

I certainly understand that most companies in the United States are unfamiliar with their clients traveling around the world on a long-term basis so I keep my address at my daughter's house and I don't tell anybody that I'm outside the United States because it raises unnecessary red flags.

Vanguard tells me that their security department has blocked my transaction. They had me speak to the security department and they told me they wanted me to prove that I lived in Florida at my address. I told them no problem I have a Florida driver's license and I'm registered to vote in Florida I can supply them with both.

They told me sorry we want a utility bill with your name on it. We want your credit card statement for whichever credit card I'm using to verify that I'm making local purchases.

I told them my story leaving out the Thailand portion. I told them I live in Florida at my daughter's house because I haven't reestablished myself with my own condo or home yet. I told them I don't have a credit card any longer nor do I pay with ATM cards. Now that I have no job and no income I use cash for everything so I cannot supply you with a credit card statement.

They told me I will not be allowed to access my account and perform any transactions until I do. The only thing they would let me do is close my account and move my money to my fidelity accounts.

Do not depend on Vanguard if you're spending any time outside of the United States!
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Old 07-28-2020, 07:15 PM   #82
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Originally Posted by mikeL View Post
I told them my story leaving out the Thailand portion. I told them I live in Florida at my daughter's house because I haven't reestablished myself with my own condo or home yet. I told them I don't have a credit card any longer nor do I pay with ATM cards. Now that I have no job and no income I use cash for everything so I cannot supply you with a credit card statement.

They told me I will not be allowed to access my account and perform any transactions until I do. The only thing they would let me do is close my account and move my money to my fidelity accounts.

Do not depend on Vanguard if you're spending any time outside of the United States!
Why not keep it simple and just tell the truth?

It seems like you incurred quite the hassle by layering false statements (by you own admission) on top of one another.

What if you had actually told the truth?
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Old 07-28-2020, 07:16 PM   #83
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Originally Posted by mikeL View Post
At 55 years old I got laid off. I sold my house in New England and move to Florida temporarily at my daughter's house. I was excited about the early retirement. I had no strings attached. No mortgage no credit card balances. For my first year I decided to live in Thailand. It's inexpensive and exotic. I sold my car in Florida and moved.
One day I go online to my Vanguard account and sell some equities. I chose the replacement equities and tried to purchase them. The system told me to call them.

I certainly understand that most companies in the United States are unfamiliar with their clients traveling around the world on a long-term basis so I keep my address at my daughter's house and I don't tell anybody that I'm outside the United States because it raises unnecessary red flags.

Vanguard tells me that their security department has blocked my transaction. They had me speak to the security department and they told me they wanted me to prove that I lived in Florida at my address. I told them no problem I have a Florida driver's license and I'm registered to vote in Florida I can supply them with both.

They told me sorry we want a utility bill with your name on it. We want your credit card statement for whichever credit card I'm using to verify that I'm making local purchases.

I told them my story leaving out the Thailand portion. I told them I live in Florida at my daughter's house because I haven't reestablished myself with my own condo or home yet. I told them I don't have a credit card any longer nor do I pay with ATM cards. Now that I have no job and no income I use cash for everything so I cannot supply you with a credit card statement.

They told me I will not be allowed to access my account and perform any transactions until I do. The only thing they would let me do is close my account and move my money to my fidelity accounts.

Do not depend on Vanguard if you're spending any time outside of the United States!
Do I understand correctly?

You attempted a trade while in Thailand and Vanguard blocked it? You understand they can "see" where you are? They likely locked your account fearing it's been hacked. Your physical address in Florida isn't == your IP in Thailand. Checks like this are common in financial applications and may go way beyond a simple ip.

When you talked to their security people you misinformed them about your whereabouts? Vanguard, like the rest of the industry, understands US citizens living abroad, certain parts of their processes depend upon it. How can tax reporting work for non residents if you don't allow for people living abroad? If you had told them they could have worked with you.The only thing that surprises me is they allowed you to transfer out.
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Old 07-28-2020, 08:25 PM   #84
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FWIW, a third party source reported Investor Business Daily annual survey to rate online brokers in 15 categories including customer service, portfolio analysis and educational resources found Fidelity as overall winner. Schwab rated best on investment choice and website security.
Not clear if Vanguard was included (behind paywall) but often Vanguard is excluded from online brokers
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Old 07-28-2020, 10:21 PM   #85
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Originally Posted by mikeL View Post
At 55 years old I got laid off. I sold my house in New England and move to Florida temporarily at my daughter's house. I was excited about the early retirement. I had no strings attached. No mortgage no credit card balances. For my first year I decided to live in Thailand. It's inexpensive and exotic. I sold my car in Florida and moved.
One day I go online to my Vanguard account and sell some equities. I chose the replacement equities and tried to purchase them. The system told me to call them.

I certainly understand that most companies in the United States are unfamiliar with their clients traveling around the world on a long-term basis so I keep my address at my daughter's house and I don't tell anybody that I'm outside the United States because it raises unnecessary red flags.

Vanguard tells me that their security department has blocked my transaction. They had me speak to the security department and they told me they wanted me to prove that I lived in Florida at my address. I told them no problem I have a Florida driver's license and I'm registered to vote in Florida I can supply them with both.

They told me sorry we want a utility bill with your name on it. We want your credit card statement for whichever credit card I'm using to verify that I'm making local purchases.

I told them my story leaving out the Thailand portion. I told them I live in Florida at my daughter's house because I haven't reestablished myself with my own condo or home yet. I told them I don't have a credit card any longer nor do I pay with ATM cards. Now that I have no job and no income I use cash for everything so I cannot supply you with a credit card statement.

They told me I will not be allowed to access my account and perform any transactions until I do. The only thing they would let me do is close my account and move my money to my fidelity accounts.

Do not depend on Vanguard if you're spending any time outside of the United States!
Iím in Florida and my permanent address is a mailing service, theyíve never said anything and if they did I would move my money too. I canít believe they asked for a CC statement. In todayís world where people can use VPN it may look like Iím outside the USA, but they have no idea.
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Old 07-29-2020, 01:23 AM   #86
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What kind of difficulty
Not the person who posted about Vanguard having some difficulty. But, I know my answer.

Competition.

For a long time, Vanguard had low fees and was pretty no frills. Fidelity, et al had more frills but you paid for it. Many people (including me) didn't want to pay for it. But, Vanguard in a sense is the architect of their own competition. They were so successful that many places offer lots and lots of low fee funds. I like the Fidelity web site better. Fidelity is easier to deal with. I don't need to go into an office but there is one 15 minutes away if I want to. Vanguard has no compelling advantage. I stay there for one main reason: not putting all my in one basket. I like having stuff at 2 different places. But, if I had to pick just one I would pick Fidelity.
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Old 07-29-2020, 03:51 AM   #87
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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.
Is there a reason you prefer VTSAX and its .04% expense ratio over the equivalent VTI at .03% expense ratio?
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Old 07-29-2020, 06:13 AM   #88
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I very much prefer interacting with Fidelity online and agree with OP re: the benefits of Fido, but I very much prefer Vanguardís low cost products.

So we keep the part of my portfolio that is nearer-term at Fido (cash and bond funds/ETFs) and do all my bill paying, check writing, etc. at Fido. We keep the "buy-and-forget" portion of the portfolio at Vanguard (primarily equity funds/ ETFs).

This has worked out very well for us.
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Old 07-29-2020, 06:17 AM   #89
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Not the person who posted about Vanguard having some difficulty. But, I know my answer.



Competition.



For a long time, Vanguard had low fees and was pretty no frills. Fidelity, et al had more frills but you paid for it. Many people (including me) didn't want to pay for it. But, Vanguard in a sense is the architect of their own competition. They were so successful that many places offer lots and lots of low fee funds. I like the Fidelity web site better. Fidelity is easier to deal with. I don't need to go into an office but there is one 15 minutes away if I want to. Vanguard has no compelling advantage. I stay there for one main reason: not putting all my in one basket. I like having stuff at 2 different places. But, if I had to pick just one I would pick Fidelity.


Good reply. I agree with everything you said. I favored VG for a long time and we will probably use both. I was surprised to see Fidelity is smaller than Schwab and half the size of VG. If VG really is in trouble itís bad for everybody. I think they just need to tweak a few things to maintain their dominance. I am glad megacorp chose Fido to run our 401k and pension. They just opened a new office 10 miles away. Before this I was 15 miles away from two other offices. I only used them rarely but it is a real benefit to have them available.
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Old 07-29-2020, 07:58 AM   #90
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Is there a reason you prefer VTSAX and its .04% expense ratio over the equivalent VTI at .03% expense ratio?
I recently went almost all-ETF after having used open-ended funds for almost 30 years. Here are some possible reasons:

- No ask/bid spread on purchase and sell
- Until recent months (or years in restricted situations), ETF buying/selling cost commission
- Can buy or sell exactly how much you want
- Because of the previous point, reinvesting dividends is simpler and more complete
- Used to (?) not need a brokerage account for open-ended funds. (Outside of 401(k)s it's not clear to me that it's possible to open a non-brokerage account these days. Vanguard wouldn't let me do it.)

Of course ETFs have other advantages, and my positions are now mostly ETF, but I'm just offering answers to your question.
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Old 07-29-2020, 10:19 AM   #91
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I put my IRA/retirement accounts in Fidelity and kept my other accounts at Vanguard. Figured if I ever got hacked, Iíd still have half my money while I dealt with the theft.
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Old 07-29-2020, 10:24 AM   #92
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I put my IRA/retirement accounts in Fidelity and kept my other accounts at Vanguard. Figured if I ever got hacked, Iíd still have half my money while I dealt with the theft.
Has there ever been a case of money stolen from Fido or VG where it wasnít a spouse or someone else who had the password?
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Old 07-29-2020, 10:59 AM   #93
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Has there ever been a case of money stolen from Fido or VG where it wasnít a spouse or someone else who had the password?
They don't advertise.

Fidelity, Schwab, and Vanguard are the onlones who offer a no hack guarantee.
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Old 07-29-2020, 01:35 PM   #94
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Has there ever been a case of money stolen from Fido or VG where it wasnít a spouse or someone else who had the password?


I think the concern would be getting hacked or some technical glitch. I think someone here also reported a freeze was placed on assets by the state. The point is you donít get stuck while the problem is sorted out.

And then thereís this, which also maybe highlights a risk with being too frugal.

https://www.inquirer.com/business/va...-20190916.html
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Old 07-29-2020, 01:46 PM   #95
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Have funds in both VG and FIDO, each site has worked as expected for normal withdrawals/distributions and the annual AA adjustments I typically do.

I do like Vanguard's fraud protection policy (basically they will reimburse your assets lost to fraud if you maintain proper security and diligence over your accounts.) Does anyone know if Fidelity has a similar policy?
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Old 07-29-2020, 01:57 PM   #96
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... I do like Vanguard's fraud protection policy (basically they will reimburse your assets lost to fraud if you maintain proper security and diligence over your accounts.) Does anyone know if Fidelity has a similar policy?
I would expect Fido to be similar. Here is Schwab, which seems pretty bulletproof: "Schwab will cover 100% of any losses in any of your Schwab accounts due to unauthorized activity." However, if you have given your credentials to someone else, then any activity by/from that individual is considered to be authorized. You also have to "report any unauthorized transactions to us as quickly as possible." Which doesn't seem unreasonable. (https://www.schwab.com/schwabsafe/security-guarantee)
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Old 07-29-2020, 02:33 PM   #97
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I think the concern would be getting hacked or some technical glitch. I think someone here also reported a freeze was placed on assets by the state. The point is you donít get stuck while the problem is sorted out.

And then thereís this, which also maybe highlights a risk with being too frugal.

https://www.inquirer.com/business/va...-20190916.html
That may have been me. My Fidelity brokerage account was locked by the state of PA after my DF passed away when he lived there. His estate did a TOD of my share of his assets. PA still has inherentance taxes on children and PA locked my entire frigging brokerage account because some of my assets needed their share of taxes paid. IIRC they were owed 12k and locked 500k.

To be clear I could trade in the account all day long, I simply couldn't withdraw any assets including the money I had in there prior to the TOD being executed. It was cleared ~6 months later after his estate went through probate.


There's multiple reasons an agency can have your account locked including by the fund company. When fraud is suspected they become very aggressive at ensuring it's not their fault! It's more common than we might think.
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Old 07-29-2020, 03:15 PM   #98
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I love both Vanguard & Fidelity. Vanguard for their Admiral funds w/ low expense ratios and Fidelity for their ZERO funds. Hard to pick one over the other
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Old 07-29-2020, 03:22 PM   #99
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Originally Posted by sonnieseas View Post
...I do like Vanguard's fraud protection policy (basically they will reimburse your assets lost to fraud if you maintain proper security and diligence over your accounts.) Does anyone know if Fidelity has a similar policy?
Here is Fidelity's policy: Fidelity Customer Protection Guarantee

Quote:
Fidelity will reimburse you for losses from unauthorized activity in covered accounts occurring through no fault of your own.
They are all essentially the same. So this is not a reason to favor one over another.
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Old 07-29-2020, 03:39 PM   #100
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We moved everything from VG to Fido last year (in kind). Mainly for the CMA account, better customer service and the ability to go to an actual storefront. I think this will be better for DW when I'm gone.
+ 1/2

We moved all of dear partnerís $$ and all of our shared $$ to Fidelity because the website is so easy to use and there are local offices. If something happens to me, she can get personal assistance and she finds the Fido iPad app easy to use. My $$ is divided between Fido (cash and bond funds/ETFs - near term) and Vanguard (equity and real estate funds/ETFs - long term).
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