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Old 02-01-2018, 02:47 PM   #121
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Originally Posted by MRG View Post
You will find hit and miss all over. I've been a Fidelity Privite Client for a decade and they won't even return a phone call. I'm currently chatting with someone on their FB page. This is after several calls to the main 800 number.

All I want is a fourth new Privite Client rep in a year. One who's my fiduciary not his own.
I'm so surprised that they don't call you back. As I mentioned before, if my rep is out and I leave a message, someone from that office calls me back to see if they can help me.
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Old 02-01-2018, 04:27 PM   #122
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Originally Posted by Helen View Post
I don't believe a Private Client rep has a fiduciary responsibility to you. They have a conflict of interest in that their bonus is tied to things like the amount of money they funnel to PAS, trusts and DAF.
I have never had a Fidelity Private Client rep who got bonus or commissions on directing funds to another group or sales. All the docs I have seen say that PC employee ratings are tied to results from annual customer satisfaction ratings. Many PC reps are CFPs which adds to what I have been led to believe they are fiduciaries.
I am certainly willing to hear if there substantive info to the contrary.
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Old 02-01-2018, 05:05 PM   #123
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If you were starting out today- from scratch- which house would you choose? Vanguard. Fidelity? Or another? We all know itís a major pain to switch everything once a lot of money is at stake. And also once a major mistake had been made, forgiveness is hard to come by. So assuming no prior negative baggage- which house wins for current and future business?
I have been an E*Trade customer for many years. I have looked into Vangard and Fido every few years but as yet have found no compelling reason to change.
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Old 02-01-2018, 05:18 PM   #124
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I have been an E*Trade customer for many years. I have looked into Vangard and Fido every few years but as yet have found no compelling reason to change.
You might when you try to withdraw some money, at least if your experience is like mine.
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Old 02-01-2018, 05:21 PM   #125
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You might when you try to withdraw some money, at least if your experience is like mine.
I make withdrawals all the time. Scheduled once a month and other transfers as needed. Never had an issue.
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Old 02-01-2018, 05:39 PM   #126
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In my experience a couple of calls to the company usually gets the fix made. At the end of the day some IT db admin needs to make a simple update to a couple records in the database and your good.

Good reminder companies make mistakes. Even VG.

At least ae haven't had a data breach that we know of.
A direct database update to production account or financial records is what gets IT dB admins fired.
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Old 02-01-2018, 05:49 PM   #127
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I guess I'm just not picky.

I have accounts with Vanguard, Fidelity, Schwab, and eTrade.

They all have decent web sites - these days, all have improved a lot over the years!

I transfer money in and out of these accounts on occasion and have never had any problems. Seriously, it's just a couple of clicks to invoke a transfer. How can that get complicated?

I actively avoid talking to people at these places, though I've had to a couple of times and the actual humans have always been helpful and seem to be trying hard to solve whatever issue I have.

I see no reason to consolidate to one company over another. I actually like spreading my assets around just in the unlikely event of some catastrophe at one of them. During the dark days of the last financial crisis it was reassuring to not have all my eggs in one basket.
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Old 02-01-2018, 08:45 PM   #128
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Anybody use Merrill Lynch? Looks like you can get free trades with enough money...


https://www.stockbrokers.com/review/merrilledge
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Old 02-01-2018, 09:16 PM   #129
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Originally Posted by bw5972 View Post
A direct database update to production account or financial records is what gets IT dB admins fired.
Having seen how the sausage is made in the kitchen, I can speak to this.

People have to remember that Vanguard is a BIG company with LOTS of client accounts. First thing, a client rep, whether flagship or not, wouldn't even know how to get hold of an IT db admin. All a rep can do is report production problems, which then get entered into a database to be investigated by IT.

The IT production staff then prioritizes these problems, and works them off. A problem reported by a single client tends to get lower priority unless the client is very important or it's a serious problem as assessed again by IT. A client can yell and scream all they want but that doesn't tend to grease the wheels much.

Then once an investigation is started IT staff won't just update the production data. First thing is to do a root cause analysis to verify (1) it is in fact a problem, (2) is it possible other clients have the problem, (3) is a software change needed to fix the problem from happening again. If a software fix is warranted, the the fix has to first be extensively tested in a test region before the fix is scheduled and deployed to production. And then lastly (4), IT staff would typically fix/patch the data of any impacted clients.

This is a very formalized process that exactly prevents IT db admin from just going in and wily nilly directly changing client account data in production. In fact, most IT staff do not even have the necessary access to see actual production data.

I would think most large financial companies have similar processes.

Sorry to be long winded, but yes I agree, just going in directly and fixing production data will have an admin kicked out the door.

And to be honest, when I trust all my retirement money to a company, this is how I want them to operate.
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Old 02-01-2018, 09:23 PM   #130
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Having seen how the sausage is made in the kitchen, I can speak to this.

People have to remember that Vanguard is a BIG company with LOTS of client accounts. First thing, a client rep, whether flagship or not, wouldn't even know how to get hold of an IT db admin. All a rep can do is report production problems, which then get entered into a database to be investigated by IT.

The IT production staff then prioritizes these problems, and works them off. A problem reported by a single client tends to get lower priority unless the client is very important or it's a serious problem as assessed again by IT. A client can yell and scream all they want but that doesn't tend to grease the wheels much.

Then once an investigation is started IT staff won't just update the production data. First thing is to do a root cause analysis to verify (1) it is in fact a problem, (2) is it possible other clients have the problem, (3) is a software change needed to fix the problem from happening again. If a software fix is warranted, the the fix has to first be extensively tested in a test region before the fix is scheduled and deployed to production. And then lastly (4), IT staff would typically fix/patch the data of any impacted clients.

This is a very formalized process that exactly prevents IT db admin from just going in and wily nilly directly changing client account data in production. In fact, most IT staff do not even have the necessary access to see actual production data.

I would think most large financial companies have similar processes.

Sorry to be long winded, but yes I agree, just going in directly and fixing production data will have an admin kicked out the door.

And to be honest, when I trust all my retirement money to a company, this is how I want them to operate.
Your detailed explanation concurs with my 20 years in megacorp IT. My curt response was not theory but experience, having seen a couple of people "shown the door" for this type of well minded but out of line activity
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Old 02-01-2018, 09:59 PM   #131
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Originally Posted by RetiredAt55.5 View Post
Having seen how the sausage is made in the kitchen, I can speak to this.

People have to remember that Vanguard is a BIG company with LOTS of client accounts. First thing, a client rep, whether flagship or not, wouldn't even know how to get hold of an IT db admin. All a rep can do is report production problems, which then get entered into a database to be investigated by IT.

The IT production staff then prioritizes these problems, and works them off. A problem reported by a single client tends to get lower priority unless the client is very important or it's a serious problem as assessed again by IT. A client can yell and scream all they want but that doesn't tend to grease the wheels much.

Then once an investigation is started IT staff won't just update the production data. First thing is to do a root cause analysis to verify (1) it is in fact a problem, (2) is it possible other clients have the problem, (3) is a software change needed to fix the problem from happening again. If a software fix is warranted, the the fix has to first be extensively tested in a test region before the fix is scheduled and deployed to production. And then lastly (4), IT staff would typically fix/patch the data of any impacted clients.

This is a very formalized process that exactly prevents IT db admin from just going in and wily nilly directly changing client account data in production. In fact, most IT staff do not even have the necessary access to see actual production data.

I would think most large financial companies have similar processes.

Sorry to be long winded, but yes I agree, just going in directly and fixing production data will have an admin kicked out the door.

And to be honest, when I trust all my retirement money to a company, this is how I want them to operate.
We may have crossed paths.

The last couple of years I spent with IT and audits in a financial services environment.

Yeah, sometimes stuff happens. You didn't want to be the person who did it very often. I saw the underbelly of when systems go bad, and it wasn't everyday(week, month..) you updated production data. In the end it took the sign off from 27 idiots.

In the early days, the 1980s it was a lot of fun. You were a hero or a zero if you kept systems up when they were dying. I remember teaching a guy how to post an ECB under CICS. I told him to put an x'80' in a byte. He asked if I was sure? Well of course "who are you to question me?".

Haha!

That online system and all its thousands of 3270 operators fell down! It's not an x'80 but a x'40'. Who knew? At least we(maybe) found the correct byte.
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Old 02-01-2018, 10:32 PM   #132
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We may have crossed paths.

The last couple of years I spent with IT and audits in a financial services environment.

Yeah, sometimes stuff happens. You didn't want to be the person who did it very often. I saw the underbelly of when systems go bad, and it wasn't everyday(week, month..) you updated production data. In the end it took the sign off from 27 idiots.

In the early days, the 1980s it was a lot of fun. You were a hero or a zero if you kept systems up when they were dying. I remember teaching a guy how to post an ECB under CICS. I told him to put an x'80' in a byte. He asked if I was sure? Well of course "who are you to question me?".

Haha!

That online system and all its thousands of 3270 operators fell down! It's not an x'80 but a x'40'. Who knew? At least we(maybe) found the correct byte.


Yes, IT used to be a lot of fun for me too in the 80's and 90's. Now, not so much. "Cowboys" are mostly extinct in IT now.
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Old 02-02-2018, 04:56 AM   #133
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We also have Vanguard IRA and it pales in comparison to FIDO. IT's ok, but just very very basic with no bells or whistles. If anything Fido has too many bells, whistles, and buttons.
You said something that points to the real question: what does OP need?

For some retirees, the needs are simple: one withdrawal a year, one re-balance a year. For this, does one need bells and whistles?

For other retirees, who have complex portfolios and perhaps more fiddling with the portfolio, bells and whistles are welcome and perhaps needed.
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Old 02-02-2018, 05:08 AM   #134
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Been Flagship for about 6 years. 2 flagship reps in that time. But just last week, I got thrown into the pool.
Just out of curiosity, what's flagship at VG? A certain $ amount like $250K? $500K?
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Old 02-02-2018, 06:09 AM   #135
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Just out of curiosity, what's flagship at VG? A certain $ amount like $250K? $500K?
Account size of 1 million of Vanguard products
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Old 02-02-2018, 10:33 AM   #136
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I'm so surprised that they don't call you back. As I mentioned before, if my rep is out and I leave a message, someone from that office calls me back to see if they can help me.
I did get a call this morning from a manager at the branch. He apologized profusely and promised to get me some assistance on fixed income. I explained I had been happy until their last guy decided to knock their offerings now I'm gunshy.

I didn't need to bash the past rep, he started using the F word, fiduciary. He had a great understanding of where Fidelity screwed up with me. Why would I want to start an income stream while I'm managing my income levels for the next few years?
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Old 02-02-2018, 11:35 AM   #137
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OK... the final outcome of my problem with Vanguard...

A quick synopsis.... I have many accounts at Vanguard, one is a brokerage account. They give cost basis info on all securities in the brokerage. One security had a corporate action and they lost track of that security completely on the cost basis page (it does show on my holdings page). This also caused my totals for that account on the cost basis page to be wrong. And that error is not the missing cost basis. The number just do not add.

Being an accountant I think it is important for numbers that are displayed to add to the total number at the bottom in ALL cases. I could live with 'we lost that security and will not put it back on', but I am also getting 'we will not fix the totals that are wrong'...


Now, I am thinking about selling that security to see if the totals get fixed and then buy it back. Not much price movements as it is preferred shares so it would not cost me much to do this. However, I have a feeling that will not fix the totals and I will have to live with totals that are wrong for as long as I keep this account at Vanguard.
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Old 02-02-2018, 11:52 AM   #138
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OK... the final outcome of my problem with Vanguard...

A quick synopsis.... I have many accounts at Vanguard, one is a brokerage account. They give cost basis info on all securities in the brokerage. One security had a corporate action and they lost track of that security completely on the cost basis page (it does show on my holdings page). This also caused my totals for that account on the cost basis page to be wrong. And that error is not the missing cost basis. The number just do not add.

Being an accountant I think it is important for numbers that are displayed to add to the total number at the bottom in ALL cases. I could live with 'we lost that security and will not put it back on', but I am also getting 'we will not fix the totals that are wrong'...

Now, I am thinking about selling that security to see if the totals get fixed and then buy it back. Not much price movements as it is preferred shares so it would not cost me much to do this. However, I have a feeling that will not fix the totals and I will have to live with totals that are wrong for as long as I keep this account at Vanguard.
Just face the possibility that administrative excellence is not on Vanguard's priority list. In fact to do administrative stuff well, it will probably up your expense ratio. ;-)
Other providers have systems to help them just do it right the first time. When an error does occur it is usually fixed pronto.
Just sayin
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Old 02-02-2018, 12:12 PM   #139
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You said something that points to the real question: what does OP need?



For some retirees, the needs are simple: one withdrawal a year, one re-balance a year. For this, does one need bells and whistles?



For other retirees, who have complex portfolios and perhaps more fiddling with the portfolio, bells and whistles are welcome and perhaps needed.


Yep. I was thinking the same thing when I threw in the last line about too many frills. Fido does have some customization options to tailor the available views but again some folks are happier with a clean and simple view.
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Old 02-09-2018, 05:29 PM   #140
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I'm not too happy with Vanguard or Fidelity right now. As I've mentioned in a couple of threads, I'm buying a house for cash and need to close quickly. The money is at Vanguard. When I requested a wire transfer to the title company, Vanguard hit me with "you must submit a signed request with a signature guarantee via mail, no FAX". OK, PITA, but I'll play. My credit union says, we don't do signature guarantees for over $250K, so sorry.

But wait, I have a million with Fidelity and they are nearby with a brick and mortar. Surely they'll help me. Nope. They only do signature guarantees on Fidelity paper work, sorry.

If I had more time, I'd just ACH it to my credit union and get a certified check, but when time is of the essence I don't find either one of them to be particularly helpful.
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