Wells Fargo -- Can't Purchase/Hold Vanguard Funds?

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ARBear
Posts: 16
Joined: Sat Oct 29, 2011 4:43 pm

Wells Fargo -- Can't Purchase/Hold Vanguard Funds?

Post by ARBear » Fri Jan 08, 2016 3:59 pm

Hi Everyone,

I hope I'm posting in the right forum - my apologies if I am not.

Recently I accompanied an elderly relative on a visit to Wells Fargo Advisors. The advisor suggested selling the three American Funds (domestic US stock funds) in her Roth IRA to purchase American EuroPacific (AEPCX) to increase her international holdings. When he did so, I asked him about Vanguard alternatives to AEPCX. He told us that Wells Fargo Advisors cannot purchase and/or hold all Vanguard funds. Does anyone know if this is true or not?

My relative and I plan on contacting him to ask if he can provide a list of the Vanguard funds that Wells Fargo can purchase and/or hold, but I'm not confident he will give us a straight answer, so I thought there might be some knowledgeable Bogleheads who can provide some insight into his claim.

Thank you in advance for your time and help.

livesoft
Posts: 63093
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 8:00 pm

Re: Wells Fargo -- Can't Purchase/Hold Vanguard Funds?

Post by livesoft » Fri Jan 08, 2016 4:06 pm

See this post of mine from yesterday:
viewtopic.php?p=2749139#p2749139

And this post:
viewtopic.php?p=2747120#p2747120

It is probably true that the Advisor (aka SalesRep) cannot sell one Vanguard funds, but that doesn't mean that one cannot buy Vanguard funds with the right account at WellsFargo. In particular, with a WellsTrade account, one can easily purchase any ETF including all the Vanguard ETFs.

BTW, the SalesRep gets another commission for churning the relative's account like they suggested and part of the front-end load and some of the 12b-1 fees. If my livelihood depended on getting sales and commissions, then I would have suggested that your elderly relative do the same thing.

One can go online and read about WellsTrade: https://www.wellsfargo.com/investing/we ... brokerage/ although the SalesRep will never ever tell you about this.
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Franko1966
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Joined: Wed Jul 22, 2015 9:04 pm

Re: Wells Fargo -- Can't Purchase/Hold Vanguard Funds?

Post by Franko1966 » Fri Jan 08, 2016 4:18 pm

Sorry to hear about your situation. This is one of the reasons I left Wells Fargo and now with Scottrade! I wish you the best!

btenny
Posts: 4632
Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2007 6:47 pm

Re: Wells Fargo -- Can't Purchase/Hold Vanguard Funds?

Post by btenny » Fri Jan 08, 2016 4:42 pm

Wells Fargo Advisors is very high cost brokerage company completely owned by Wells Fargo bank. These people are recommended by the bank employees when you go to a local branch. But the actual Wells Advisors people are located at separate fancy offices. Their operating method is selling you high cost mutual funds or setting you up with stock accounts so they can trade them and charge you big commissions. They will not sell you any low cost funds. Strictly class A or C funds. Then they will also charge you a additional holding fee of 1% or so to "hold your money in a Wells Advisor account". Net net you will pay 1.5-2% fees for any account there. Run away from that outfit as fast as you can.

Wells Trade is low cost internet only stock brokerage trading company owned by Wells Fargo. They have no local offices or employees. You have to ask for them specifically by name at a local bank branch to set up a account there. The local bank employees are told not to sell Wells Trade. But if ask the local bank employees will set up a Wells Trade account by phone. But beware you cannot call anyone to ask for stock or mutual fund advice. The people on the phone will not buy/sell anything for you. They will tell you how to buy or sell on the internet from your home computer. But they offer 100 free on line internet trades a year if you also have a Wells Fargo checking account. They call this dual setup a PMA account. You can buy and sell all kinds of ETFs and all kinds of Vanguard funds and all kinds of other funds and stocks at Wells Trade but you must do the selection d activities online.

I have had a PMA account and Wells Trade account for 13 years or so and am very happy with it. I hold several Vanguard funds in that account.

Good Luck.

hicabob
Posts: 2723
Joined: Fri May 27, 2011 5:35 pm
Location: cruz

Re: Wells Fargo -- Can't Purchase/Hold Vanguard Funds?

Post by hicabob » Fri Jan 08, 2016 4:50 pm

btenny wrote:Wells Fargo Advisors is very high cost brokerage company completely owned by Wells Fargo bank. These people are recommended by the bank employees when you go to a local branch. But the actual Wells Advisors people are located at separate fancy offices. Their operating method is selling you high cost mutual funds or setting you up with stock accounts so they can trade them and charge you big commissions. They will not sell you any low cost funds. Strictly class A or C funds. Then they will also charge you a additional holding fee of 1% or so to "hold your money in a Wells Advisor account". Net net you will pay 1.5-2% fees for any account there. Run away from that outfit as fast as you can.

Wells Trade is low cost internet only stock brokerage trading company owned by Wells Fargo. They have no local offices or employees. You have to ask for them specifically by name at a local bank branch to set up a account there. The local bank employees are told not to sell Wells Trade. But if ask the local bank employees will set up a Wells Trade account by phone. But beware you cannot call anyone to ask for stock or mutual fund advice. The people on the phone will not buy/sell anything for you. They will tell you how to buy or sell on the internet from your home computer. But they offer 100 free on line internet trades a year if you also have a Wells Fargo checking account. They call this dual setup a PMA account. You can buy and sell all kinds of ETFs and all kinds of Vanguard funds and all kinds of other funds and stocks at Wells Trade but you must do the selection d activities online.

I have had a PMA account and Wells Trade account for 13 years or so and am very happy with it. I hold several Vanguard funds in that account.

Good Luck.

I think the PMA free trade deal is just for us long term customers and that they stopped new customers getting the free trades a year or two ago. Wells Trade w/ PMA free trades is about as good as it gets, I hope it lasts.

NotWhoYouThink
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Joined: Fri Dec 26, 2014 4:19 pm

Re: Wells Fargo -- Can't Purchase/Hold Vanguard Funds?

Post by NotWhoYouThink » Fri Jan 08, 2016 4:56 pm

Glad you asked, sorry to hear the answer. I also have an elderly relative with a WFA IRA. A 5-year CD just matured, and the helpful adviser got him to use the proceeds to buy a couple of mutual funds, with average 5.5% front load and 1.15% ER. ARRRGGH! Nothing I can do about it now, but it looks like the designated POA is about to be able to start managing things. I was hoping we could switch some of the higher cost funds to Vanguard, but it looks like no such luck.

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