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Who provides valuable services for $250K, $500K, $1M? - Fidelity vs Schwab vs X
Old 07-20-2019, 04:47 AM   #1
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Who provides valuable services for $250K, $500K, $1M? - Fidelity vs Schwab vs X

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Originally Posted by braumeister View Post
I have accounts at both, and I'm very happy with it that way.
This is something I need to think more about, however, I'm worried about losing whatever benefit might be forthcoming once we roll 401ks from w*rk into IRAs at Fidelity and/or Schwab.

What valuable benefits (if any, and something more than just free TurboTax) do the two companies offer their high balance customers? And if forced to choose between the two (because you have only $250K, $500K or $1M), which should you favor?
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Old 07-20-2019, 05:16 AM   #2
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Here is a link to the Vanguard service and benefits levels. The Voyager level starts at $50000 and Voyager Select level starts at $500000. Perks include reduced commissions and access to their advisors.

https://investor.vanguard.com/invest...nefits/voyager

Fidelity offers straightforward fee structures and a variety of advisor services that becomes more personalized as you balance increases.

https://www.fidelity.com/why-fidelity/pricing-fees

Iím not as familiar with Schwab but Iíve heard good things about their services. Here is their fee structure for their services.

https://www.schwab.com/pricing
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Old 07-20-2019, 05:45 AM   #3
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I have an account with Schwab. High balance clients have access to specific investments at a lower buy-in cost than the "man in the street".

For example. Polen Capital is an investment fund that normally requires a minimum purchase/investment of $1M. With Schwab you can buy it as a SMA, separately managed account, for $100K. Polen has recently extended this to smaller investors as a No-Load fund with a minimum purchase of only $2500.

I assume the No-Load has a higher management percentage, but maybe not.
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Old 07-20-2019, 07:10 AM   #4
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Don't have a Schwab account, but the primary advantages of being a Fido customer for us are:
  • great customer service
  • very good web site
  • free turbo tax
  • local office
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Old 07-20-2019, 08:25 AM   #5
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We qualify for T R Price's Private Asset Management group but don't use them.

We do have a personal account manager who we check in with once or twice a year but sometimes I wonder if I know more than he does.

He'll sometimes suggest that we re-balance but when I look at it he'll be talking about a 1% move or so, so that tells me he's just looking at a screen.

He has done a few special things for us like waiving fees and opening funds for us that were closed; it is good to have a second opinion once in a while.

I do get free WSJ online, M* Premium and a monthly investor newsletter.
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Old 07-20-2019, 09:36 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bUU View Post
This is something I need to think more about, however, I'm worried about losing whatever benefit might be forthcoming once we roll 401ks from w*rk into IRAs at Fidelity and/or Schwab.

What valuable benefits (if any, and something more than just free TurboTax) do the two companies offer their high balance customers? And if forced to choose between the two (because you have only $250K, $500K or $1M), which should you favor?
We have accounts with Fidelity and Schwab. Looking at their balance thresholds, they offer advantages to highly active traders, and wealth management/portfolio advisory services for a fee. The info is readily available on their websites under those general headings.

I'm not an active trader and don't want to pay for wealth management, so thresholds don't concern me. Both have low commissions on stocks/individual bonds, NTF ETFs/mutual funds, zero commission new issue brokered CDs, checking/cash management/online billpay options, cash back credit cards that automatically deposit rewards into your account, etc. Schwab has an edge with individual muni bonds, if that matters. Fidelity's co-branded credit card gives more cash back, if that matters.

I prefer to maintain accounts at more than one firm, in the admittedly unlikely event that systems are down, or some other temporary problem prevents access to funds for a uncomfortable period of time. If you don't care about that, I'd advise you to browse their websites and their offerings starting now. It may come down to which website seems more intuitive for you, which is also a vitally important consideration, IMO.
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Old 07-20-2019, 09:47 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by mrfeh View Post
Don't have a Schwab account, but the primary advantages of being a Fido customer for us are:
  • great customer service
  • very good web site
  • free turbo tax
  • local office
Iím with Fido and would add that we get an advisor for free and have met with her several times preparing for FIRE and will meet again next month to review post FIRE. Not sure what the balance requirements are for the advisor, but I think it kicks in because of the 401K and balance over $1M.
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Old 07-20-2019, 10:04 AM   #8
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Suggest you consider firm and individual. While they will sell you the resources of the entire firm, likely comes down to one or few people.
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Old 07-20-2019, 10:29 AM   #9
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Suggest you consider firm and individual. While they will sell you the resources of the entire firm, likely comes down to one or few people.
+100

We had an advisor with Fido who moved from suburban office to downtown DC and they transferred our account to another advisor. We just didnít click so I contacted the original advisor and we are back with her, no problem. Iíll do most over phone or email, and visit her on occasion downtown.
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Old 07-20-2019, 02:37 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by RetireBy90 View Post
I’m with Fido and would add that we get an advisor for free and have met with her several times preparing for FIRE and will meet again next month to review post FIRE. Not sure what the balance requirements are for the advisor, but I think it kicks in because of the 401K and balance over $1M.
Until early this year, I'd been with Fidelity since the mid 1980's and had around $2M with them in a taxable and IRA accounts. My statements over the years have had fancy logos like "Preferred Services", "Premium Services" and "Fidelity Private Client Group". They never told me what those things entitled me to, I never got any invitations to events at the local offices, etc.

I made a small handful of appointments at the local office over the years, and all they wanted to do was show me their online retirement planning tool, which I knew better than they did.

For my 2016 and 2017 taxes, Fidelity gave me access to free Turbo Tax. First time they gave me anything of value. For 2018, no code and their drones actually had the balls to tell me that "my relationship with Fidelity was insufficient".

Within weeks, two of the three accounts were transferred out to Schwab who gave me 2 years of free trades, $2500 in cash, and (so far) a free dinner seminar which was actually very good.

Fidelity's reaction to losing over $1M of my business? None at all.
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Old 07-20-2019, 02:44 PM   #11
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Iím with Fido and would add that we get an advisor for free and have met with her several times preparing for FIRE and will meet again next month to review post FIRE. Not sure what the balance requirements are for the advisor, but I think it kicks in because of the 401K and balance over $1M.
We've met twice with our local Fido rep pre-FIRE, primarily to evaluate our readiness. Both times he went over the RIP assessment with us.

Neither meeting was treated as a sales opportunity by the rep.
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Old 07-20-2019, 02:45 PM   #12
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Until early this year, I'd been with Fidelity since the mid 1980's and had around $2M with them in a taxable and IRA accounts. My statements over the years have had fancy logos like "Preferred Services", "Premium Services" and "Fidelity Private Client Group". They never told me what those things entitled me to, I never got any invitations to events at the local offices, etc.

I made a small handful of appointments at the local office over the years, and all they wanted to do was show me their online retirement planning tool, which I knew better than they did.

For my 2016 and 2017 taxes, Fidelity gave me access to free Turbo Tax. First time they gave me anything of value. For 2018, no code and their drones actually had the balls to tell me that "my relationship with Fidelity was insufficient".

Within weeks, two of the three accounts were transferred out to Schwab who gave me 2 years of free trades, $2500 in cash, and (so far) a free dinner seminar which was actually very good.

Fidelity's reaction to losing over $1M of my business? None at all.
They didnít lose a million in business, they lost a million in assets. Thereís a difference.
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Old 07-20-2019, 03:01 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by mrfeh View Post
We've met twice with our local Fido rep pre-FIRE, primarily to evaluate our readiness. Both times he went over the RIP assessment with us.

Neither meeting was treated as a sales opportunity by the rep.
Should have added that our initial and current advisor never tried to sell anything. Replacement (advisor #2) did try to hook us up with managed account but took my no graciously.

Both did use the tool but i Had filled out most of the info so it was more like reading my arrest report as it had my income sources and expected expenses.
She did recommend (rather firmly as was appropriate) we update our wills and suggested we look into a trust for real property. Neither of the suggestions were for any product of Fido.
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Old 07-20-2019, 06:13 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by RetireBy90 View Post
Iím with Fido and would add that we get an advisor for free and have met with her several times preparing for FIRE and will meet again next month to review post FIRE. Not sure what the balance requirements are for the advisor, but I think it kicks in because of the 401K and balance over $1M.

Yes, at $1M total with Fidelity, you qualify for Fidelity Premium Services. I can't say that I've noticed any difference. I mean, I know that I've gotten more personal calls and appointments, but the advisors haven't really been any help, they've mostly tried to sell me on their products. I need to find a fiduciary, fee-only advisor, and Fidelity apparently doesn't offer that.
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