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Playing Fido
Old 12-02-2020, 01:14 PM   #1
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Playing Fido

I did something today that I rarely do, I answered my cell phone when I didn't recognize the number (was from our local area code and we have lots going on with contractors, realtors,etc). It was a guy from our local Fidelity Office...


We had a nice chat. My assumption is that my account totals there just last week, crossed a 6 figure threshold and someone got assigned me and told to "reach out". The accounts there represent maybe 22% of the total portfolio with Prudential having about 75%.


I have always liked Fidelity and I think that their website is probably the best in the business. And I had been thinking about contacting them any way for some review/planning. We talked for maybe 30 mins, the guy actually specializes in post retirement withdrawal and tax planning, and area that I have not given much thought to. (I am 4 years FIRE'ed, DW is still working but plans to retire in '22.


So I told him I would set up a meeting after the holidays. Prudential has never called.



Although I have always managed my own portfolio, I seek financial advice everywhere I can (doesn't mean I follow it though...). We hired a "for fee" advisor twice in the last 5 or so years and made some fairly modest adjustments as a result.



This guy has been with Fido for 21 years. But I also know who is paying who, what is motivation is an isn't. Yes he wants me to be a happy client, but if/when he sees the balances outside Fidelity, he will probably drool on his desk. But I am not impressed with Prudential at all, their website sucks. Only there because when DW and I were both at megacorp, that is who they offered. And I think I can transfer the Prudential holdings over to Fido and keep them the same (ie.: not convert to Fidelity products). And if I did that, what really changed?



So it won't hurt to meet with him and see what he suggests. He is close by, easy to get to. Many years ago, when I had a lot more money at Fido, and an advisor assigned, he caught wind of the balances in my other accounts and said that Fido would deposit $2500 in one of my accounts if I brought $1M or more over.


Long term, especially after DW retires, I can see an advantage of having the lion's share of the portfolio under one roof, one with a good web interface. All the while with (maybe) an advisor at my disposal. And monthly transfers to our local bank if that is what we want.


But have not made any decisions. Closing on an investment real estate deal/sale this month and will have some cash that potentially be put in a Fido account, might use that as a "test".


Sorry for the rant, if you made it this far, congrats.


So any thoughts? I know that many here are adamantly opposed to FA's and that is fine. But I'd like to hear data and $$ driven reasons pro and con if you are so motivated to provide. As I said, I try to get as much financial advice as I can.... from anywhere. The only decision I have made at this point is to meet with him in January.
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Old 12-02-2020, 01:18 PM   #2
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I’m always happy to talk to the Fidelity and Vanguard advisors from time to time. They have mostly been very professional and they do not try to sell me things I don’t need. I don’t need a financial advisor but I get access to them for free for having funds in both firms. It’s always nice to bounce ideas off them and see if I’m missing anything.
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Old 12-02-2020, 01:31 PM   #3
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I would get that money out from Prudential's thumb ASAP. My last employer's 457 plan was with them. Crap funds and high fees. I did leave some money in their guaranteed interest account when I retired because the rate was substantially higher than offered elsewhere. Eventually moved that elsewhere when things changed.
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Old 12-02-2020, 01:33 PM   #4
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there are perks for those with "enough" invested with fido. free dinner events at nice venues, free sporting events, free turbotax, etc. i find it is easier to have most of financial assets at one location.
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Old 12-02-2020, 01:39 PM   #5
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I donít need a financial advisor but I get access to them for free for having funds in both firms. Itís always nice to bounce ideas off them and see if Iím missing anything.

Exactly, that is the way I see it. Just another data point.
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Old 12-02-2020, 03:42 PM   #6
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there are perks for those with "enough" invested with fido. free dinner events at nice venues, free sporting events, free turbotax, etc. i find it is easier to have most of financial assets at one location.
The only "perk" I have received was a mini 3 musketeer and a stale Coke when I went to the office once.

My advisor has never called me. If I want to talk to him (even on the phone) I have to go online and set up an appointment. So, any questions I have I go through the main number and have been very happy. I think my local office is understaffed or something.
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Old 12-02-2020, 04:11 PM   #7
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Is your local Fido office offering in-person meetings or virtual? I am very satisfied with Fido and they just opened a new local office but so far it's virtual meetings only
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Old 12-02-2020, 04:17 PM   #8
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As of last Summer when I talked to him last, it was by phone only. I imagine it's still that way.
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Old 12-02-2020, 04:41 PM   #9
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I was impressed with our local office. Clean, professional, well staffed, a person at the front to greet you and let your FA know you are there. Not sure if they are doing IP or virtual now. He did say he would e-mail me a link and that I would have visibility and access to his calendar to make appointments.
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Old 12-02-2020, 04:48 PM   #10
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I would move from prudential. You could move to Ally financial, get a much better website and some bonus money to boot.

The financial advisors my friends speak to are mainly talking about cookie cutter portfolios. Not sure how they would be adding value.

A roboadvisor could be a middle ground.
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Old 12-02-2020, 04:57 PM   #11
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Move everything to Fido.
But, before you do, call him and ask about a "signing bonus".

We have everything at Fidelity.
1. We like the concept of the local office. Just in case.
2. The website is very good.
3. We have had 3 "advisors".
a. The first one was knowledgeable and OK, but ditched us when she determined that we were not going to pay for advice.
b. I ditched the 2nd one when he did a horrible job of answering a question. He was lazy and did zero research for the answer. Research that would have required 10 minutes of effort on his part.
c. Our current advisor is a nice young man who is too junior to have clients, but I like him and asked for him. He was/is the assistant to the other two.
4. We meet once a year (in the slow time of August) to discuss our portfolio. I listen to their recommendations and then ignore them. They don't seem to be fans of Taylor Larimore, John Bogle, and Michael Kitces.
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Old 12-02-2020, 05:07 PM   #12
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Had a 401k with Fidelity for years. Got a call from an adviser a few months ago. He has been very helpful. So far we have....rolled over 401k to IRA. Transferred a Schwab IRA, a Schwab Solo 401k and a Schwab Inherited IRA over to Fidelity. These were all invested in bond funds. Also opened a Trust Account and funded with some additional bond fund liquidations. Fidelity in conjunction with Invesco constructed a corporate bond ladder in the IRA and 401k account and a muni bond ladder in the after tax account. Fees are cheaper than the fees I was paying the bond funds.

They are also doing a complete estate financial plan review and when complete will consult with me and my estate attorney on their recommendations. These services are at no charge.

Hope to get the free TurboTax as well.
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Old 12-02-2020, 05:10 PM   #13
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Thanks for all the tips. If I move from Prudential, it will be to Fidelity. I have easily $1.6M I could let them have quickly, so I hope it gets their attention. At one poster's comment above about Prudential's fees, I logged in an checked and I only paid a $5.75 fee quarterly this year. But I can't even see a graph of my account's performance at their website. Lame.

Just discussed with DW and she thinks it's a good idea to *potentially* move there, but we are going to start with just meeting and maybe dangling a "carrot" bunch of cash from the RE sale to invest there.
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Old 12-02-2020, 05:16 PM   #14
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They are also doing a complete estate financial plan review and when complete will consult with me and my estate attorney on their recommendations. These services are at no charge.

Estate planning as in Trusts?? We want to do that too, but have been putting it off forever for no good reason. I think we want to do a revocable trust. Met with an attorney a few years back that wanted $2k+ to do it.....
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Old 12-02-2020, 05:25 PM   #15
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there are perks for those with "enough" invested with fido. free dinner events at nice venues, free sporting events, free turbotax, etc. i find it is easier to have most of financial assets at one location.
At what level does one need to be to get such perks? The only "perk" I have gotten is TT.
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Old 12-02-2020, 05:30 PM   #16
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Iím always happy to talk to the Fidelity and Vanguard advisors from time to time. They have mostly been very professional and they do not try to sell me things I donít need. I donít need a financial advisor but I get access to them for free for having funds in both firms. Itís always nice to bounce ideas off them and see if Iím missing anything.
Same for me in Fidelity. I can ask them for decently detailed advice without paying any fees. No chance I will pay fees.
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Old 12-02-2020, 05:35 PM   #17
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Estate planning as in Trusts?? We want to do that too, but have been putting it off forever for no good reason. I think we want to do a revocable trust. Met with an attorney a few years back that wanted $2k+ to do it.....
They won't do the legal work but they will provide recommendations on what your estate plan should look like based on your assets, goal, objectives, etc. They handle more of the financial aspect of estate planning (what accounts to withdrawal from, Monte Carlo simulations, taxes, etc) but we did talk about an irrevocable trust possibility should it look like estate taxes might go up.

Already have a revocable trust set up and the $2k is a pretty good price. Mine was more than that but I have some complications that you might not have.
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Old 12-02-2020, 05:38 PM   #18
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At what level does one need to be to get such perks? The only "perk" I have gotten is TT.

https://www.investmentnews.com/fidel...clients-193142
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Old 12-02-2020, 05:39 PM   #19
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If you're worried about how your new guy gets paid, just ask him. My Schwab guy gets a small monthly payment, like $20?" for having me assigned to his book. He also gets a small payment when he brings in assets. He doesn't recommend products and he isn't paid commissions. IIRC he does get a small spiff when he refers a client to their AUM program. The whole Schwab compensation program is on line for review. Given the competitive nature of the business I would not be surprised to see that Fido's was too.

My guy is an asset for dealing with administriva and for answering questions. I asked him one time about leveraged loans and he had a recent Schwab analysis to me within a few hours. I'm glad to have him.

IIRC the "named personal rep" thresholds at Schwab and Fido are $100K and $250K but I don't remember which is which.
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Old 12-02-2020, 05:40 PM   #20
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Already have a revocable trust set up and the $2k is a pretty good price. Mine was more than that but I have some complications that you might not have.

Thanks. And uh, we have trust related "complications", trust me (see what I did there?)
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