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Old 04-22-2021, 02:15 PM   #21
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I have used Schwab since I started investing. Their costs are very competitive with VG.
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Old 04-22-2021, 02:26 PM   #22
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I only use Fidelity of those 3 brokers and always find their service to be very good.
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Old 04-22-2021, 04:12 PM   #23
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I haven't read all the responses but I've had a t-IRA with Schwab for years. I haven't contributed for a long time but I have made trades in that account from time to time including a couple this year. I've never had any trouble with them. The website is good.

The bulk of our portfolio is with Vanguard as I think they excel in the low cost MF department but I have nothing at all negative to say about Schwab.
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Old 04-22-2021, 04:32 PM   #24
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I'm another in a string of echoes by this point, but I have a majority of my financial assets with Schwab, and have been a client since '97. Consistently very good customer service. I had some taxable funds at Vanguard, and consolidated them to Schwab a handful of years ago. Chances are that, after I retire, everything but my I-bonds will be held through Schwab.
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Old 04-22-2021, 04:43 PM   #25
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I've had accounts at both Schwab and Vanguard for many years.

The only advantage Vanguard has nowadays in my view is the ability to invest in Admiral class shares of Wellesley and Wellington without paying a transaction fee. Otherwise their customer service is abysmal regardless of how much you have with them (i.e. Voyager status is meaningless) and their website and tools and laughably awful. As a great admirer of Jack Bogle and Vanguard's pioneering role in index funds and lowering costs I hate to be so harsh but they've really deteriorated in recent years. And bear in mind that with no physical offices to support they have only one job - to be a great online brokerage - and they do a lousy job of it.

The lack of a physical office is something to take seriously if either your or your spouse (or heirs?) aren't savvy about investing. I've known quite a few Vanguard investors who've ended up moving assets to Schwab or Fido specifically to make it easy on their spouse in case they go first.

Schwab Bank offers a debit card that reimburses ATM fees worldwide. That service alone has saved me several thousand dollars during my many years of international travel and living as an expat pre-COVID.

I've never had a sales call from Schwab or been encouraged to sell the Vanguard funds and ETFs that make up most of my portfolio with them. Conversely Vanguard has a steady stream of pop-up ads on their site urging you to switch to their % of assets Personal Advisory Service - a "service" whose very existence runs completely counter to everything Jack Bogle stood for and which is completely unnecessary given their plethora of LifeStrategy and Target Retirement funds.

Honestly the only reason I keep funds at Vanguard is inertia and as way to maintain access to money in the event of a short-term interruption in service due to cybercrime.
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Old 04-22-2021, 04:59 PM   #26
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I am happy with Fido. I moved DW's holdings from UBS, who was a PITA to deal with to Fido. I looked at the funds she held, all of which had high expense ratios and moved them to similar Fido funds with much lower expense ratios.
I also have some of my holdings there as well as three 529 funds for my grandchildren.
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Old 04-22-2021, 06:23 PM   #27
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My IRAs & day to day checking are with Schwab quite happy. Easy to get a live person.

401k is at Fidelity. Impossible to get a person.
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Old 04-22-2021, 06:46 PM   #28
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I've been with all three also. When working, for a while, VG managed the companies 401ks. Had limited interactions/transactions. Later, before I retired, them moved to Prudential which kind of sucks.

Never had an issue with Schwab. Have some kids 59s there now, but again, never used them much transactionlly. Seemed solid.

Do a lot with Fidelity, and really, really like their website and tools. Also recently had some good Zoom calls with our rep who helped us with a budget and model when DW retires next year. They only have 25% of our portfolio now, but I intend to move near 100% of it there once we start drawing from it.
Well of course it is my opinion, why would I express someone else's??
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Old 04-22-2021, 07:14 PM   #29
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I grew up on Vanguard, and still have most of my funds there. I'm content because I'm a very low maintenance customer, but I did not have a good experience recently trying to make a simple change (rolling one ESA into a second existing ESA) - it was literally 10 times harder than it should have been.

When I went to start my teenagers on Roth IRAs, Schwab beat out Vanguard. They were OK with small initial deposits, they had a local office, and their expense ratios were close enough.

I remember thinking at the time that my kids would grow their Roths and eventually move them all to Vanguard for the lower costs. But that's not what happened. Their service and website are really good, and their costs have dropped to where they're essentially identical if not a basis point or so better. I expect my kids will end up being Schwab people, and I think that's fine.

Schwab's monthly magazine that comes in the mail does seem a bit biased in favor of active investing, so maybe they're hoping my kids will be converted to that train of thought someday.
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Old 04-22-2021, 07:39 PM   #30
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As other have said, you may just not have noticed the Schwab support on this forum. There are really only the big 3 now. I have my brokerage account, Roth, and a 401K rollover at Schwab. And when I retire next year I will roll my current employer 401K to Schwab. It used to be you couldn't buy a Vanguard fund at Schwab without paying a fee. But that changed a year or so ago. So IMHO Schwab is equal to any of the other 2. I like their website and I have a local office 20 minutes away. Easy to talk to a real person as other have mentioned. No complaints.
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Old 04-22-2021, 09:57 PM   #31
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I have had most of my investable assets with Schwab for almost 15 years. No complaints at all. I think their customer service is really good. The online platform is user-friendly and I can handle almost all transactions without calling in--including Roth conversions.

They have plenty of investment options, and many of their company-brand mutual funds are competitive with the offerings from Vanguard.

I think many of the forum members here are also members of Bogleheads (I'm one of them) and of course Jack Bogle founded Vanguard. Could explain some of the perceived bias?
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Old 04-23-2021, 06:31 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by KenZ71 View Post
My IRAs & day to day checking are with Schwab quite happy. Easy to get a live person.

401k is at Fidelity. Impossible to get a person.

The support for 401k are handled by a different group of people at fund companies.They use different tools and systems to service the participants.

My experience with Fidelity's group was a one phone call, with them sending a follow-up email months later.
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Old 04-23-2021, 07:51 AM   #33
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Agree. I opened my Schwab account in 1992 never any problems. Loads of research included (CFRA, M*star, others). Waive wire transfer fees even outgoing etc. Very helpful if you need help. FIDO has most of my retirement assets no problems there either.
Originally Posted by DenverCraig View Post
Thanks for the quick feedback. The point "you may not hear much about Schwab because people are more likely to post a complaint not a compliment" is well-taken. Good to know I'm not really missing anything, short of people don't dislike Fidelity as much as I was inferring.

Gonna just stay put with my non-work portfolio. It ain't broke.
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Old 04-23-2021, 10:04 AM   #34
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I'm very happy with Schwab and often recommend it. Met with a guy named Lou Mercer who set up my screens /showed me how to modify / quite a long individual session and we always still seemed to run into each other pre-pandemic at the downtown SF office. I had only 2 issues: (1) I was assigned to an upstairs rep who asked me to draw up a list of possibilities to research on our 1st mtg. He was 1/2 hr late to our 2nd then stated he did not discuss individual stocks. WTF? I was an active trader at the time so never saw him again. (2) Reassigned to another upstairs rep who immediately told me that she charged ◊% to completely handle my account. Walked into the Branch Mgr office was was immediately flagged for 'downstairs only' which is where the newbies sit. Never disappointed again. Seems that once your account passes a certain point it is to be assigned 'upstairs.' Nope.Not.For.Me. Especially since I'm now primarily low expense ratios ETFs (0.03%)

Fido Rep tried to sell my 86 yo mother an annuity. At the time her fixed expenses were less than 1/3 of her net income. Went to the next mtg with her and he kept flattering her eyes. Jerk. Tore it up / told him I was reporting him.

So there's good & bad at both
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Old 04-23-2021, 10:35 AM   #35
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Schwab is good, website is very easy navigate and I have found I can do just about everything myself. Customer Service is very responsive. I've been with them for a very long time, and initially went with them because they had a focus on the individual investor and lower fees than most if you wanted to buy stocks.

Today, of course all three Vangard, Fidelity, and Schwab compete with each other on fees. Fidelity and Schwab have a huge library of mutual funds and etfs, many which are no-fee. Like any company, Schwab goes through periods where the focus changes. For a while they did have paid advisers on their premises. I just ignore the call from the new account manager.
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Old 04-23-2021, 12:03 PM   #36
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We have not done it yet, but will eventually move everything from Vanguard into either Schwab or Fidelity because both have offices within five miles. Looking at the personnel on each website for those two offices, the Schwab people are head and shoulders above the Fidelity in terms of education (business degrees vs BAs in sports medicine, for example) and so I am leaning toward Schwab.
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Old 04-23-2021, 12:11 PM   #37
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I have been with Schwab for 25 years. Very happy with them.
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Old 04-23-2021, 12:30 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by DenverCraig View Post
Hi There,

I have the majority of my portfolio in Schwab, mostly because my company's 401K and stock administration is through them. I also have a bit of money in Fidelity from an old 401K that turned into a rollover IRA that I never moved. My company is in the process of being acquired and the new company uses Fidelity so we're going to be moving the work stuff to Fidelity.

Anyway, following the posts on this forum for the past few years, I never see anyone say hardly anything about Schwab, people are indifferent-to-hostile to Fidelity, and Vanguard seems to be a favorite (very unscientific, but that's my take).

I've had zero issues with Schwab. Their customer service has been great and their website is pretty easy to use, there's a branch near my house where I can get a free cup of coffee from time to time. On the other hand, the few times I've needed support from Fidelity, it's really been sub-par, though their local office also has free coffee. :-)

I've never used Vanguard (and they don't have a local office).

So what does Vanguard do better than Schwab? Since things are going to be in turmoil for me with the acquistion, I'm interested to know if there's a compelling reason to move my non work stuff to Vanguard.


I don't think there is a compelling reason to move from one company to another. There are threads comparing the 3 companies, sometimes two, and I don't think there's a reason to cross any single company off the list. Each has its advantages, and I think it is common for an investor to have two companies, as that is what happens with 401(k) accounts.
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Old 04-23-2021, 01:50 PM   #39
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I was with USAA for brokerage, insurance and banking until about seven years ago, when I moved the brokerage and banking to Schwab. About three years ago, I moved the insurance from USAA to Amica. Regarding the change from USAA to Schwab - we’ve been very happy with the level of service we’ve received, the availability of various investments, and the ever-improving website (investment analysis, bill pay, etc.). The only thing I have a complaint about is the fact that I cannot use my VPN while traveling to access the website. When I queried Schwab tech support about this, I was told that my VPN (along with many others) is a common attack vector from hackers and that they had made the decision to not allow access using said VPN. Other than that, Schwab is fine for our needs.
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Old 04-23-2021, 03:00 PM   #40
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I love Schwab. Schwab has always been good to me and very responsive. The account rep for Schwab has included me in a few cool things, like free tickets to Star Wars movies and other entertainment. I havenít taken advantage of these opportunities but itís nice to be asked.

Whenever I have needed help, Iíve always received a quick response.

I havenít had issues with Fidelity either. I hadnít used them for a while; my 401kís have been with other companies in the past several years but my current company uses Fidelity for 401kís and the employee stock purchase plan. My rollover from my previous employer was very easy. In fact, Fidelity made it easy to set an individual brokerage account so I have purchased a few mutual funds recently. The only thing I donít like is that the 401k home page shows all the companies where I had a Fidelity 401k or pension account, and rather than displaying my current company, it shows the colors and logo of a company I havenít worked for in 15 years. I wish I could figure out how to change that, but itís a minor irritation.
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