Best place to invest (*other* than Vanguard)?

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Finridge
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Best place to invest (*other* than Vanguard)?

Post by Finridge » Thu Oct 19, 2017 5:36 pm

I love Vanguard. I love their low-cost index funds. I love their advice...

One of the things they say is: Diversify, diversify, diversify. I"m well diversified at Vanguard. But all my money is at Vanguard.

I'm thinking it wouldn't be a bad idea to have a second investment account with another firm. So my question is, if you had to move some of your funds out of Vanguard to a different firm, what firm would you choose?

jebmke
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Re: Best place to invest (*other* than Vanguard)?

Post by jebmke » Thu Oct 19, 2017 5:39 pm

I would probably look at Fidelity. But I'm not concerned about having all of our investments at Vanguard.
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krow36
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Re: Best place to invest (*other* than Vanguard)?

Post by krow36 » Thu Oct 19, 2017 5:43 pm

jebmke wrote:
Thu Oct 19, 2017 5:39 pm
I would probably look at Fidelity. But I'm not concerned about having all of our investments at Vanguard.
Agree with both points.

Dottie57
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Re: Best place to invest (*other* than Vanguard)?

Post by Dottie57 » Thu Oct 19, 2017 5:47 pm

I am at Fidelity and really like it.

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Sandtrap
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Re: Best place to invest (*other* than Vanguard)?

Post by Sandtrap » Thu Oct 19, 2017 5:50 pm

I have a few funds at Schwab as they are very very low ER.
But it doesn't bother me that most everything is in Vanguard.

At one time I had things spread out, TD, etc, etc. But I found it easier to simplify.

ccieemeritus
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Re: Best place to invest (*other* than Vanguard)?

Post by ccieemeritus » Thu Oct 19, 2017 5:52 pm

I'm loyal to both Vanguard and Charles Schwab.

Charles Schwab helped invent discount brokerages. We all pay lower commissions today thanks, in part, to Charles Schwab in the 1970's (just as we all pay lower ER's thanks, in part, to Vanguard).

In 1995 or 1996 I went to a Charles Schwab office and opened my first brokerage account. Schwab had a "Schwab Funds" newspaper in the lobby which said two things:

1) Never buy a mutual fund which charges a "load".

2) Buy mutual funds with low ER's.

(I do not recall if I first learned about index funds from this paper)

The newspaper then listed most of the funds Schwab offered, prominently featuring/recommending low-ER and some index funds. I bought the Schwab S&P-1000 fund with no load and a very low ER that day. I still have those shares.

Schwab also provides some other services:

1) I have Coverdells, Roths, and UTMA accounts at Schwab.

2) Schwab has an office near me, so if I need to talk to a human directly I can.

3) Schwab's website is superior to Vanguard. It supports more types of accounts and transactions.

One semi-minus: I used to get a periodic call from a Schwab financial advisor. I declined their services without any trouble. They answered one question I had about why a margin account might be beneficial even though I will never deliberately buy on margin.

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Earl Lemongrab
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Re: Best place to invest (*other* than Vanguard)?

Post by Earl Lemongrab » Thu Oct 19, 2017 5:53 pm

If I had to choose one custodian just on the services, irrespective of bonuses, then it would be Merrill Edge. With the Preferred Rewards I get free equity trades and a nice boost to my cash-back credit card. Note that I would not use Vanguard.
This week's fortune cookie: "You will do well to expand your horizons." Ow. Passive-aggressive and vaguely ominous.

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slayed
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Re: Best place to invest (*other* than Vanguard)?

Post by slayed » Thu Oct 19, 2017 5:57 pm

I have been very happy with the customer service at Fidelity so I recommend them.

Helo80
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Re: Best place to invest (*other* than Vanguard)?

Post by Helo80 » Thu Oct 19, 2017 5:59 pm

Finridge wrote:
Thu Oct 19, 2017 5:36 pm
I'm thinking it wouldn't be a bad idea to have a second investment account with another firm. So my question is, if you had to move some of your funds out of Vanguard to a different firm, what firm would you choose?

I am neither an accountant, lawyer, nor financial guru --- but I do not think it's a "bad idea" nor a particularly compelling one either. The two I would choose are Fidelity and Schwab as they have local offices to where I live, and have great, low cost Index funds equitable to Vanguard. I am more familiar with Fidelity's actively managed funds and have monies in them.

But, if Vanguard were to do something terrible and go bankrupt, we as investors are protected from Vanguard paying creditors with our assets. When you write a $10,000 or $1 million dollar check to Vanguard, I do not think it ever enters Vanguard's balance books anywhere... rather they pass the money off to a fiduciary company that is directed to buy assets/funds depending on whatever Vanguard product you're buying is composed of. That is likely a very simplistic explanation, but we as investors do not have much to worry about.

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JoMoney
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Re: Best place to invest (*other* than Vanguard)?

Post by JoMoney » Thu Oct 19, 2017 6:00 pm

I've been happy with Fidelity in the past, still have my 401k with them, used to have other accounts with them.
Charles Schwab and T.Rowe Price are also good as long as you are savvy enough to avoid their more expensive products/services.
"To achieve satisfactory investment results is easier than most people realize; to achieve superior results is harder than it looks." - Benjamin Graham

Easy Rhino
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Re: Best place to invest (*other* than Vanguard)?

Post by Easy Rhino » Thu Oct 19, 2017 6:05 pm

ccieemeritus wrote:
Thu Oct 19, 2017 5:52 pm
In 1995 or 1996 I went to a Charles Schwab office and opened my first brokerage account.
hey Me too! (well, it was maybe 93 or so). And I also held their Schwab 1000 fund for a while.

Fidelity and Schwab are both good.

most of my funds have most recently been with Wells Fargo and now Bank of America Merrill Edge. Which are both 'ok', but I went to them for the low costs.

dore
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Re: Best place to invest (*other* than Vanguard)?

Post by dore » Thu Oct 19, 2017 6:54 pm

Charles Schwab and Aspiration.

DippityDoo
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Re: Best place to invest (*other* than Vanguard)?

Post by DippityDoo » Thu Oct 19, 2017 7:35 pm

slayed wrote:
Thu Oct 19, 2017 5:57 pm
I have been very happy with the customer service at Fidelity so I recommend them.
Same here.

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White Coat Investor
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Re: Best place to invest (*other* than Vanguard)?

Post by White Coat Investor » Thu Oct 19, 2017 7:38 pm

Finridge wrote:
Thu Oct 19, 2017 5:36 pm
I love Vanguard. I love their low-cost index funds. I love their advice...

One of the things they say is: Diversify, diversify, diversify. I"m well diversified at Vanguard. But all my money is at Vanguard.

I'm thinking it wouldn't be a bad idea to have a second investment account with another firm. So my question is, if you had to move some of your funds out of Vanguard to a different firm, what firm would you choose?
I wouldn't go anywhere for the reasons you're worried about.

It should be noted that Vanguard is my SECOND choice, not my first. My first is the TSP.

But assuming no TSP or DFA access, it's a tie between Fidelity and Schwab. And I'd still buy Vanguard ETFs there.
1) Invest you must 2) Time is your friend 3) Impulse is your enemy | 4) Basic arithmetic works 5) Stick to simplicity 6) Stay the course

rrppve
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Re: Best place to invest (*other* than Vanguard)?

Post by rrppve » Thu Oct 19, 2017 7:44 pm

I like Fidelity's customer service best.
It sometimes is handy that Schwab also has a bank associated with it.
Interactive Brokers offers a lot of flexibility, but tough to get good customer service. Low cost and lowest margin rates I've ever found.

Indexboss
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Re: Best place to invest (*other* than Vanguard)?

Post by Indexboss » Thu Oct 19, 2017 7:58 pm

I don't see a need to diversify investment companies- my investments are already diversified. I would choose Schwab then Fidelity next.

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bligh
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Re: Best place to invest (*other* than Vanguard)?

Post by bligh » Thu Oct 19, 2017 8:06 pm

Finridge wrote:
Thu Oct 19, 2017 5:36 pm
I love Vanguard. I love their low-cost index funds. I love their advice...

One of the things they say is: Diversify, diversify, diversify. I"m well diversified at Vanguard. But all my money is at Vanguard.

I'm thinking it wouldn't be a bad idea to have a second investment account with another firm. So my question is, if you had to move some of your funds out of Vanguard to a different firm, what firm would you choose?
If you are going to use ETFs just find a brokerage you like and go with them. Fidelity, Schwab, ETrade, TDAmeritrade, etc. Just use non Vanguard ETFs.

I have the vast majority of my investments held and Vanguard, and the investments not at vanguard are held in Vanguard ETFs anyway. I sleep fine. :sharebeer

daveydoo
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Re: Best place to invest (*other* than Vanguard)?

Post by daveydoo » Thu Oct 19, 2017 8:57 pm

Finridge wrote:
Thu Oct 19, 2017 5:36 pm

One of the things they say is: Diversify, diversify, diversify. I"m well diversified at Vanguard. But all my money is at Vanguard.
A second brokerage account isn't diversification; it would likely hold the same asset classes. Is there something that you would like to diversify into where VG or Fidelity are not meeting your needs? REITs? Commodities? Actively-managed international small-cap value (etc.)? You would get better and more specific advice here if you could spell out what's missing. Getting another flavor of domestic equity index doesn't seem like diversification.

Finridge
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Re: Best place to invest (*other* than Vanguard)?

Post by Finridge » Fri Oct 20, 2017 1:10 am

Thanks for all the input. It is very helpful.

Regarding getting a second investment account, it seems that this is sometimes referred to as "custodian diversification". I'm still deciding whether or not to pull the trigger on this.

I enjoy the convenience of having everything in one place. But on the other hand, I"m a "buy and hold" investor. I don't do hardly any trading. So I'd only have to "worry" about the second account when downloading 1099-DIV statements at tax time. Or when I want to move money in now and then.

The main advantages are "not keeping all your eggs in one basket:
- Increased safety against ID theft. Someone could steal my Vanguard login and drain the account. If you have two accounts, it's less likely to they'll get both of them.
- Safety against "something happening to Vanguard". Cyberattack, etc. This doesn't have to result in a financial loss, but could result in our not being able to access funds for a while. Yeah, this is supposed to be impossible. But just over the last year, we've learned that the NSA, Yahoo (every single Yahoo email account compromised!), and Equifax have been hacked. That was supposed to be impossible also.

I see there are a number of Bogleheads threads discussing this already, and it seems that most people are comfortable keeping everything in only one firm:
- viewtopic.php?t=210019
- viewtopic.php?t=63216
- viewtopic.php?t=178444
- viewtopic.php?t=205267
- viewtopic.php?t=65706

Like I said, I haven't decided to go ahead with this. I'm just looking at my options. If I were to do it, this would be a good time because I just had a "liquidity event" and have enough to open another account with a high enough balance to avoid "low balance" fees.

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oncorhynchus
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Re: Best place to invest (*other* than Vanguard)?

Post by oncorhynchus » Fri Oct 20, 2017 1:35 am

Schwab was helpful and reliable when I first started investing 20+ years ago. They were an online presence when I opened my first IRA and taxable account back then, they stressed no-load mutual funds and low commissions, and were very helpful on the phone when I converted my IRA to a Roth when those became available.

The bulk of my retirement funds did well in their Schwab 1000 Index and Health Care Funds, making up for my other investing missteps. :oops:

I eventually left them when I simplified my portfolio with my holdings limited to the TSP, Treasury Direct, and Vanguard; however, if I find I need another firm, they'll be my first choice.

o
-- Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime. --

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ruralavalon
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Re: Best place to invest (*other* than Vanguard)?

Post by ruralavalon » Fri Oct 20, 2017 2:58 am

krow36 wrote:
Thu Oct 19, 2017 5:43 pm
jebmke wrote:
Thu Oct 19, 2017 5:39 pm
I would probably look at Fidelity. But I'm not concerned about having all of our investments at Vanguard.
Agree with both points.
My thoughts as well. Fidelity now has all of the basic low ER index funds that I would want to use.

I am happy having all accounts at Vanguard, using only Vanguard funds.

No one but Edward Jones has an office near me, so that is just not a factor for me.
"Everything should be as simple as it is, but not simpler." - Albert Einstein | Wiki article link:Getting Started

Swansea
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Re: Best place to invest (*other* than Vanguard)?

Post by Swansea » Fri Oct 20, 2017 4:42 am

Schwab provides lots of information via email and videos. While I don't deeply read them all, most are very well done.

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Toons
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Re: Best place to invest (*other* than Vanguard)?

Post by Toons » Fri Oct 20, 2017 6:14 am

You are fine with Vanguard,
No Need To Fret
It is like holding an umbrella over your head,,
when the sun is shining :happy
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msk
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Re: Best place to invest (*other* than Vanguard)?

Post by msk » Fri Oct 20, 2017 6:50 am

No harm in going with Interactive Brokers (IB) and iShares. I can't think of a plausible scenario where a Vanguard ETF (via any broker) disappears at the same time as an iShares equivalent held via IB. But then there was Madoff. Who foresaw that coming?

Pops1860
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Re: Best place to invest (*other* than Vanguard)?

Post by Pops1860 » Fri Oct 20, 2017 7:28 am

Finridge wrote:
Fri Oct 20, 2017 1:10 am
Regarding getting a second investment account, it seems that this is sometimes referred to as "custodian diversification"......

The main advantages are "not keeping all your eggs in one basket:
- Increased safety against ID theft. Someone could steal my Vanguard login and drain the account. If you have two accounts, it's less likely to they'll get both of them.
- Safety against "something happening to Vanguard". Cyberattack, etc. This doesn't have to result in a financial loss, but could result in our not being able to access funds for a while. Yeah, this is supposed to be impossible. But just over the last year, we've learned that the NSA, Yahoo (every single Yahoo email account compromised!), and Equifax have been hacked. That was supposed to be impossible also......
Yes, this is why DW and I keep accounts at two custodians, Vanguard and T. Rowe Price.

We use Vanguard for the routinely stated reasons.

We use TRP because when we first started using a 401(k), Vanguard was the administrator but TRP also offered attractive funds in the plan, so we invested in some (minimum number) from both firms. Now have everything converted to IRAs, with funds and custodians matched up, and have been happy with both firms since we started.

I see Vanguard (low cost index funds), Fidelity (also low cost funds and perhaps better website/customer service if you want to trade a bit), and TRP (low cost, conservative actively managed funds) as the 3 options I would consider.

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goodenyou
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Re: Best place to invest (*other* than Vanguard)?

Post by goodenyou » Fri Oct 20, 2017 8:23 am

Vanguard, Schwab and Fidelity here. Lousy 401k at work at Mass Mutual not by my choice.
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Earl Lemongrab
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Re: Best place to invest (*other* than Vanguard)?

Post by Earl Lemongrab » Fri Oct 20, 2017 10:02 am

Finridge wrote:
Fri Oct 20, 2017 1:10 am
- Increased safety against ID theft. Someone could steal my Vanguard login and drain the account. If you have two accounts, it's less likely to they'll get both of them.
At the cost of increasing the chance that something will happen to one of them. Frankly I don't spend a lot of time worrying about that. Having a brokerage account unavailable for a time isn't a huge deal. Now, bank accounts and credit cards are a different deal. There you do want multiples because the effects are immediate.

I have multiple brokerage accounts but it's not for any concern in that area. It's because of bonus-gathering.
This week's fortune cookie: "You will do well to expand your horizons." Ow. Passive-aggressive and vaguely ominous.

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tuningfork
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Re: Best place to invest (*other* than Vanguard)?

Post by tuningfork » Fri Oct 20, 2017 6:17 pm

I used to have investments at many firms due mainly to various employer accounts. I've been consolidating, and now my investments are split about evenly between Vanguard and Fidelity, in equivalent low cost index funds. I've considered consolidating to just one of them but haven't taken that step yet. I think having two is a hedge against cybersecurity or other problems that could potentially prevent account access for a period of time.

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