Account Proliferation - any tips to manage or combat?

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noraz123
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Account Proliferation - any tips to manage or combat?

Post by noraz123 » Thu Jan 11, 2018 1:04 pm

I just opened an HSA account for the first time this. Based on recommendations from this forum, I went with Lively, which uses a TD Ameritrade account to manage/invest contributions.

This has obviously added to the numerous accounts DW and I already have (personal vs. joint, savings vs. checkings vs. money market, brokerage vs. 401k vs. Roth vs. tIRA, mortgage, credit cards). Moreover, these accounts are spread across numerous institutions (Vanguard, Fidelity, Wells Fargo, credit unions, etc.)

I assume this is not too uncommon, but I do feel that the amount of accounts is unwieldy. Any pros/cons to consolidating? Any tips on how best to manage?

I use Mint and Personal Capital for tracking expenses and viewing portfolio holistically, but would love to declutter some of these accounts. Or find ways to consolidate with fewer institutions, but feel that the work/effort to do that could be a pain.

mhalley
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Re: Account Proliferation - any tips to manage or combat?

Post by mhalley » Thu Jan 11, 2018 1:10 pm

Some duplication is inevitable, ie his and hers 401k, roth, HSA, multiple cc, a b&m bank and an online bank, a joint taxable account, etc. I like having multiple accounts for the remote possibility of a (hopefully) temporary glitch where I can’t access one of my accounts. PC and mint help a lot. You could maybe consolidate the banking with a fidelity cash management account and cc.
https://www.fidelity.com/cash-managemen ... &gclsrc=ds
I don’t have one yet, but will get one when my rmds start.

MI_bogle
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Re: Account Proliferation - any tips to manage or combat?

Post by MI_bogle » Thu Jan 11, 2018 1:20 pm

I guess it's a work/reward question for you, really

If it really annoys you, put in the work to consolidate institutions and accounts to the degree possible. I think that's a better approach, personally, than to eliminate accounts altogether. But others probably feel the opposite.

Most of the accounts are unavoidable. But savings/checkings/money market has a lot of overlap, you could probably eliminate an account there

Broken Man 1999
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Re: Account Proliferation - any tips to manage or combat?

Post by Broken Man 1999 » Thu Jan 11, 2018 1:32 pm

I would simply pick one institution for your financial side, and one institution for your banking. If you are lucky, perhaps you can find a home for a HSA at your banking institution.

I am almost 65, and frankly having one place to see all our retirement accounts (Vanguard), and another place to see all our banking accounts (credit union) works for us. Heck, I even like Vanguard's brokerage platform as it allowed us to decrease the number of accounts at Vanguard.

My reason to do these type simplification activities is two-fold. As I age my mental faculties will decrease, I believe. Second, my estate will require much less effort to handle, as everything is at two institutions. Wife's accounts are held like mine as well.

YMMV

Broken Man 1999
“If I cannot drink Bourbon and smoke cigars in Heaven than I shall not go. " -Mark Twain

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Tyler Aspect
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Re: Account Proliferation - any tips to manage or combat?

Post by Tyler Aspect » Thu Jan 11, 2018 1:52 pm

I select the same set of investments for all of our tax deferred accounts. Even if you have many accounts you can still try to minimize the number of different funds.
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noraz123
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Re: Account Proliferation - any tips to manage or combat?

Post by noraz123 » Thu Jan 11, 2018 3:47 pm

Broken Man 1999 wrote:
Thu Jan 11, 2018 1:32 pm
My reason to do these type simplification activities is two-fold. As I age my mental faculties will decrease, I believe. Second, my estate will require much less effort to handle, as everything is at two institutions. Wife's accounts are held like mine as well.
Broken Man - this is exactly this use case that has me considering account consolidation. This holiday season, I helped my parents setup a Personal Capital account. I did this for a couple reasons - first to give them an ability to see all their financial assets in a single view. Second, if/when they pass away, my sister and I have a single place to see where their accounts are located.

They had even greater account proliferation than my wife and I, each with multiple IRA at different institutions and each with CDs or money market accounts at different banks and credit unions. My desire for them to simplify has now become a desire for my own accounts to be simplified.

noraz123
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Re: Account Proliferation - any tips to manage or combat?

Post by noraz123 » Thu Jan 11, 2018 3:52 pm

Tyler Aspect wrote:
Thu Jan 11, 2018 1:52 pm
I select the same set of investments for all of our tax deferred accounts. Even if you have many accounts you can still try to minimize the number of different funds.
Tyler - Agree. I do this when I can. However, another issue I had with the TD Ameritrade account is that there was a sales commission for Vanguard mutual funds and ETFs. The Bogleheads wiki has a good article on no-commission ETFs at TD Ameritrade. So while I was able to buy a low cost (low expense ratio), indexed, total US market ETF in my HSA account, I have a new fund/ETF to add to my mix.

First world problems, I guess. But would be nice to simplify. If only my employer and wife's employers had their 401ks at Vanguard, and Lively partnered with Vanguard.

Cash
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Re: Account Proliferation - any tips to manage or combat?

Post by Cash » Sun Jan 14, 2018 9:48 pm

noraz123 wrote:
Thu Jan 11, 2018 1:04 pm
This has obviously added to the numerous accounts DW and I already have (personal vs. joint, savings vs. checkings vs. money market, brokerage vs. 401k vs. Roth vs. tIRA, mortgage, credit cards). Moreover, these accounts are spread across numerous institutions (Vanguard, Fidelity, Wells Fargo, credit unions, etc.)
You could consolidate everything except the 401(k)'s, mortgage, and HSA with Fidelity. That's what I have done. Makes life a lot easier.

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