Should I move all my investments to Vanguard?

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Djtjak
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Should I move all my investments to Vanguard?

Post by Djtjak » Tue Jul 10, 2018 3:07 am

I have about 60% of my investments held at Vanguard and 40% of my investments held at Fidelity. The Fidelity support leaves much to be desired and I am think of moving all my investments to Vanguard. What would you say are the pros and cons of this move?
Thanks
Dennis

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oldcomputerguy
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Re: Should I move all my investments to Vanguard?

Post by oldcomputerguy » Tue Jul 10, 2018 6:07 am

Well, the pros would include simplicity and better choice of index fund offerings.

As for cons, that gets into several conversations that have been held here. Your experience with Fidelity support doesn’t seem to be echoed by the majority here; in fact a search here will find many threads bemoaning Vanguard support. (Bear in mind that it’s natural that positive support experiences rarely prompt one to go online and complain. :wink: )

There is also a concern held by some that, by putting one’s entire nest egg in one place, one takes a larger risk of being wiped out by a breach of the provider’s security. Some here (myself included) keep their retirement funds divided between fund companies precisely for this reason.
It’s taken me a lot of years, but I’ve come around to this: If you’re dumb, surround yourself with smart people. And if you’re smart, surround yourself with smart people who disagree with you.

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Re: Should I move all my investments to Vanguard?

Post by ResearchMed » Tue Jul 10, 2018 6:31 am

oldcomputerguy wrote:
Tue Jul 10, 2018 6:07 am
Well, the pros would include simplicity and better choice of index fund offerings.

As for cons, that gets into several conversations that have been held here. Your experience with Fidelity support doesn’t seem to be echoed by the majority here; in fact a search here will find many threads bemoaning Vanguard support. (Bear in mind that it’s natural that positive support experiences rarely prompt one to go online and complain. :wink: )

There is also a concern held by some that, by putting one’s entire nest egg in one place, one takes a larger risk of being wiped out by a breach of the provider’s security. Some here (myself included) keep their retirement funds divided between fund companies precisely for this reason.
Even if there isn't a security breach that "wipes out" everything at one investment firm (be it "just" one's own account or a problem with the entire firm, many/all accounts), there could be - and have been - assorted computer glitches that left one unable to access funds at that time.

I just think there are likely to be more and more threats like this, although there may also be more and more "backup systems" (?).
So... "just in case", better to have funds available at more than one firm.

(Now, IF there is "trouble" at many/all such firms, well... we'll all have much bigger problems, too.)

It's just one more part of the SWAN plan (Sleep Well At Night).

RM
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bondsr4me
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Re: Should I move all my investments to Vanguard?

Post by bondsr4me » Tue Jul 10, 2018 6:35 am

I think the split you have is certainly OK.
They are both excellent firms.

That is most likely where I am heading.
I currently use Vanguard, Fidelity, Schwab and TDA, but I will be culling the list.

If I had to choose just one it would be Vanguard.
I trust VG the most.

Have a great day,

Don

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Re: Should I move all my investments to Vanguard?

Post by nisiprius » Tue Jul 10, 2018 6:46 am

I wouldn't be in any big hurry.

I am surprised by what you said about Fidelity support "leaving much to be desired." I had accounts at both Fidelity and Vanguard for about ten years, and I personally found that, for what I needed, customer service at both was about the same: very good, not perfect. You probably should tell us exactly what you find lacking at Fidelity.

I eventually consolidated. I chose Vanguard over Fidelity. It was almost a coin flip decision. My reason was mostly that I have a preference for Vanguard's index funds and ETFs, but that's just brand loyalty and Boglehead fan appreciation. Given the fee structures and the fact that I wanted Vanguard index funds and not Fidelity's perfectly good index funds, Vanguard was a better choice for me.

The big disadvantage to using two firms is complexity. I can't tell you what a relief and a simplification it is to have everything in one place, and not have to do spreadsheet work to get overall totals, or fuss with the issue of giving the password for X to the consolidated-view-calculator on site Y.

The big advantage to using two firms is that you can always be comparing their offerings! And as others have said it gives you some redundancy against IT problems or "unusual call volume" at a firm.
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Re: Should I move all my investments to Vanguard?

Post by grok87 » Tue Jul 10, 2018 6:56 am

Personally i’m Going with vanguard, fidelity and tiaa. They each do something different for me.

Vanguard: mutual funds not brokerage. I hope to be their last customer on their mutual fund platform.

Fidelity: brokerage acct, individual treasuries for example.

Tiaa: real estate annuity and eventually an immediate annuity. Maybe They’ll even have an inflation indexed one at some point...
Keep calm and Boglehead on. KCBO.

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Re: Should I move all my investments to Vanguard?

Post by dcabler » Tue Jul 10, 2018 6:58 am

I'm like you - I do both, but I'm used to dealing with multiple companies/accounts because
1. Bulk of savings is at Fidelity, but spread across my IRA, her IRA, our taxable Mutual Funds, and our taxable brokerage
2. A taxable mutual fund account at Vanguard
3. My current company's 401K at Vanguard
4. A deferred compensation account from a previous company at Prudential.

Except for a small convenience factor of only logging in 3 times to check accounts instead of 4 time, for me, I don't see any good reason to consolidate. I've never had to deal with Vanguard's customer service, but I have with Fidelity and have only had great experiences with them.

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Re: Should I move all my investments to Vanguard?

Post by welderwannabe » Tue Jul 10, 2018 7:02 am

Djtjak wrote:
Tue Jul 10, 2018 3:07 am
The Fidelity support leaves much to be desired and I am think of moving all my investments to Vanguard. What would you say are the pros and cons of this move?
Thanks
Dennis
Interesting I am about 60% Fidelity and 40% Vanguard. My experience has been the opposite...I find Fidelity's support better than Vanguard's. Not enough either way to get me to swing however.
I am not an investment professional, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.

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Re: Should I move all my investments to Vanguard?

Post by Silk McCue » Tue Jul 10, 2018 7:03 am

Unless you have a unique compelling reason to the contrary I would opt for simplicity as it is its own reward.

Cheers

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Re: Should I move all my investments to Vanguard?

Post by JW-Retired » Tue Jul 10, 2018 7:33 am

Djtjak wrote:
Tue Jul 10, 2018 3:07 am
I have about 60% of my investments held at Vanguard and 40% of my investments held at Fidelity. The Fidelity support leaves much to be desired and I am think of moving all my investments to Vanguard. What would you say are the pros and cons of this move?
We have about equal assets at Vanguard and Fidelity. I've found that Fidelity has more knowledgeable people if you ever need to talk to somebody, but I rarely ever need that. What sort of "support" are you looking for?
JW
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car733
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Re: Should I move all my investments to Vanguard?

Post by car733 » Tue Jul 10, 2018 7:36 am

It might be secure to hold everything in a single firm but I prefer to have several accounts.

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Re: Should I move all my investments to Vanguard?

Post by TomatoTomahto » Tue Jul 10, 2018 7:40 am

I have had a total of one support issue. It happened to have been at Fidelity. It could probably, as easily, have occurred at Vanguard. That’s one issue over the space of decades, with many accounts, and considerable assets.

Leave well enough alone.

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Re: Should I move all my investments to Vanguard?

Post by jhfenton » Tue Jul 10, 2018 7:46 am

I'm not retired yet, but I would be perfectly comfortable in retirement having nearly all of my assets at Vanguard, as long as I had a few months to a year's expenses elsewhere. If I were doing it right now, I'd probably set it up with Checking, maybe High Yield Savings, and some Short Term Investments somewhere else and everything else I could at Vanguard. At the moment, that would mean having my HSA at Lively + TD Ameritrade, since Vanguard doesn't offer HSAs.

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Re: Should I move all my investments to Vanguard?

Post by Rick Ferri » Tue Jul 10, 2018 7:56 am

I have consolidated all of my accounts at Vanguard. Although their technology is arguably not the best, the simplicity and convenience of having one custodian outweighs the disadvantages.

The security question of having on one custodian (Vanguard or Schwab or Fidelity) is not a concern and should not be a concern for anyone. Your money is yours.

Rick Ferri
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Re: Should I move all my investments to Vanguard?

Post by ruralavalon » Tue Jul 10, 2018 8:26 am

Djtjak wrote:
Tue Jul 10, 2018 3:07 am
I have about 60% of my investments held at Vanguard and 40% of my investments held at Fidelity. The Fidelity support leaves much to be desired and I am think of moving all my investments to Vanguard. What would you say are the pros and cons of this move?
Thanks
Dennis
Both Vanguard and Fidelity are good.

We have all of our accounts (my rollover IRA, 2 Roth IRAs, and a joint taxable account) at Vanguard, and use only Vanguard funds. I like the convenience, simplicity, and the very broad selection of low expense mutual funds. I also prefer the Vanguard website.
"Everything should be as simple as it is, but not simpler." - Albert Einstein | Wiki article link:Getting Started

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Re: Should I move all my investments to Vanguard?

Post by bondsr4me » Tue Jul 10, 2018 8:43 am

Rick Ferri wrote:
Tue Jul 10, 2018 7:56 am
I have consolidated all of my accounts at Vanguard. Although their technology is arguably not the best, the simplicity and convenience of having one custodian outweighs the disadvantages.

The security question of having on one custodian (Vanguard or Schwab or Fidelity) is not a concern and should not be a concern for anyone. Your money is yours.

Rick Ferri
+1

Agree with Rick...heading in that direction in a little bit of time (due to commitments).

Don

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goingup
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Re: Should I move all my investments to Vanguard?

Post by goingup » Tue Jul 10, 2018 8:45 am

Taylor Larimore often posts his list of benefits in using a single custodian. I agree and hope he doesn't mind me reposting his list!

Benefits of having all investments in one company:
1. One familiar statement.
2. Less paperwork.
3. Easier tax preparation.
4. Avoidance of low-balance and other small fees.
5. It's much easier to learn only one company's policies, fees, regulations, etc.
6. With larger holdings it may be possible to qualify for lower costs and premium services (Voyager, Admiral, Flagship).
7. Rebalancing and exchanges are easier.
8. Eliminates 3rd party brokerage.
9. A loyal customer is appreciated and usually treated better.
10. Less chance of errors.
11. Knowledge that Vanguard's fine reputation and low-costs are always working for us.
12. More free time for ourselves.
13. In event of death or disability, it will be much easier for others.

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Re: Should I move all my investments to Vanguard?

Post by dwickenh » Tue Jul 10, 2018 8:58 am

goingup wrote:
Tue Jul 10, 2018 8:45 am
Taylor Larimore often posts his list of benefits in using a single custodian. I agree and hope he doesn't mind me reposting his list!

Benefits of having all investments in one company:
1. One familiar statement.
2. Less paperwork.
3. Easier tax preparation.
4. Avoidance of low-balance and other small fees.
5. It's much easier to learn only one company's policies, fees, regulations, etc.
6. With larger holdings it may be possible to qualify for lower costs and premium services (Voyager, Admiral, Flagship).
7. Rebalancing and exchanges are easier.
8. Eliminates 3rd party brokerage.
9. A loyal customer is appreciated and usually treated better.
10. Less chance of errors.
11. Knowledge that Vanguard's fine reputation and low-costs are always working for us.
12. More free time for ourselves.
13. In event of death or disability, it will be much easier for others.
Great list and thanks for posting this again!!

Dan
The market is the most efficient mechanism anywhere in the world for transferring wealth from impatient people to patient people.” | — Warren Buffett

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Re: Should I move all my investments to Vanguard?

Post by obafgkm » Tue Jul 10, 2018 9:13 am

goingup wrote:
Tue Jul 10, 2018 8:45 am
Taylor Larimore often posts his list of benefits in using a single custodian. I agree and hope he doesn't mind me reposting his list!

Benefits of having all investments in one company:
(...)
6. With larger holdings it may be possible to qualify for lower costs and premium services (Voyager, Admiral, Flagship).
(...)
11. Knowledge that Vanguard's fine reputation and low-costs are always working for us.
(...)
Uh, while the others in this list could indeed be benefits of just using one company, these two are specifically about Vanguard. In my opinion, they don't belong on a list extolling the benefits of using just one company.

For myself, I have my 403(b) with TIAA (using Vanguard mutual funds as well as TIAA Traditional) and my taxable and Roth IRA with Fidelity (using Fidelity mutual funds). I've been quite happy with the arrangement.

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Re: Should I move all my investments to Vanguard?

Post by CnC » Tue Jul 10, 2018 11:45 am

Djtjak wrote:
Tue Jul 10, 2018 3:07 am
I have about 60% of my investments held at Vanguard 40% of my investments held at Fidelity. The Fidelity support leaves much to be desired and I am think of moving all my investments to Vanguard. What would you say are the pros and cons of this move?
Thanks
Dennis
Are you sure you don't have the two mixed up?

My Fidelity support has been great. The website is great the funds are pretty great.

I believe vanguard is a bit cheaper but everything I have heard is their hand holding and website bells are whistles are a bit lacking.


If you don't need those things there is no reason to keep Fidelity. I personally like the usability of fidelity.

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Re: Should I move all my investments to Vanguard?

Post by protagonist » Tue Jul 10, 2018 11:50 am

Djtjak wrote:
Tue Jul 10, 2018 3:07 am
I have about 60% of my investments held at Vanguard and 40% of my investments held at Fidelity. The Fidelity support leaves much to be desired and I am think of moving all my investments to Vanguard. What would you say are the pros and cons of this move?
Thanks
Dennis

I have gotten excellent support at Fidelity over the past 20-30 years or so.

The only reason to move is to consolidate, for simplicity, or if Vanguard is offering you better products for what you want.

Djtjak
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Re: Should I move all my investments to Vanguard?

Post by Djtjak » Tue Jul 10, 2018 1:55 pm

CnC wrote:
Tue Jul 10, 2018 11:45 am
Djtjak wrote:
Tue Jul 10, 2018 3:07 am
I have about 60% of my investments held at Vanguard 40% of my investments held at Fidelity. The Fidelity support leaves much to be desired and I am think of moving all my investments to Vanguard. What would you say are the pros and cons of this move?
Thanks
Dennis
Are you sure you don't have the two mixed up?

My Fidelity support has been great. The website is great the funds are pretty great.

I believe vanguard is a bit cheaper but everything I have heard is their hand holding and website bells are whistles are a bit lacking.


If you don't need those things there is no reason to keep Fidelity. I personally like the usability of fidelity.
I am quite sure I don't have the two mixed up. I had two inherited IRAs to convert, one with Vanguard and one with Fidelity, clearly an unusual process and somewhat complicated. The one with Vanguard went fine. The Fidelity process has been a nightmare.
Dennis

Djtjak
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Re: Should I move all my investments to Vanguard?

Post by Djtjak » Tue Jul 10, 2018 1:58 pm

goingup wrote:
Tue Jul 10, 2018 8:45 am
Taylor Larimore often posts his list of benefits in using a single custodian. I agree and hope he doesn't mind me reposting his list!

Benefits of having all investments in one company:
1. One familiar statement.
2. Less paperwork.
3. Easier tax preparation.
4. Avoidance of low-balance and other small fees.
5. It's much easier to learn only one company's policies, fees, regulations, etc.
6. With larger holdings it may be possible to qualify for lower costs and premium services (Voyager, Admiral, Flagship).
7. Rebalancing and exchanges are easier.
8. Eliminates 3rd party brokerage.
9. A loyal customer is appreciated and usually treated better.
10. Less chance of errors.
11. Knowledge that Vanguard's fine reputation and low-costs are always working for us.
12. More free time for ourselves.
13. In event of death or disability, it will be much easier for others.
Great list, this is exactly what I was hoping to see.
Thanks for the info
Dennis

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Re: Should I move all my investments to Vanguard?

Post by bikechuck » Tue Jul 10, 2018 2:40 pm

grok87 wrote:
Tue Jul 10, 2018 6:56 am
Personally i’m Going with vanguard, fidelity and tiaa. They each do something different for me.

Vanguard: mutual funds not brokerage. I hope to be their last customer on their mutual fund platform.

Fidelity: brokerage acct, individual treasuries for example.

Tiaa: real estate annuity and eventually an immediate annuity. Maybe They’ll even have an inflation indexed one at some point...
Your comment about TIAA maybe having an inflation indexed annuity offering at some point caught my eye. Have you heard that this is in the works? If so it would be great news.

My wife and I are using TIAA traditional as a bond substitute for a portion of the bond space in our portfolio and we will consider annuitizing it when we are in our 70's. We also have TIAA Real Estate which I consider more equity like than bond like. I feel fortunate to have these TIAA investments. We use Schwab and Vanguard as well to protect ourselves from institutional risks associated with today's computer systems which every company experiences from time to time.

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Re: Should I move all my investments to Vanguard?

Post by grok87 » Tue Jul 10, 2018 4:18 pm

bikechuck wrote:
Tue Jul 10, 2018 2:40 pm
grok87 wrote:
Tue Jul 10, 2018 6:56 am
Personally i’m Going with vanguard, fidelity and tiaa. They each do something different for me.

Vanguard: mutual funds not brokerage. I hope to be their last customer on their mutual fund platform.

Fidelity: brokerage acct, individual treasuries for example.

Tiaa: real estate annuity and eventually an immediate annuity. Maybe They’ll even have an inflation indexed one at some point...
Your comment about TIAA maybe having an inflation indexed annuity offering at some point caught my eye. Have you heard that this is in the works? If so it would be great news.

Alas no, just wishful thinking on my part.
Keep calm and Boglehead on. KCBO.

chrisjul
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Re: Should I move all my investments to Vanguard?

Post by chrisjul » Tue Jul 10, 2018 4:41 pm

IMHO, Vanguard customer service has slipped badly over the last few years.

I am currently having another problem with them. I am supposed to be a "Voyager Select" level which provides $2 stock trades.

Vanguard agrees with me, but they seem unable to correct the problem, and refuse to provide refunds for my overpayment.

Their emails are hilarious... "we are forwarding this to" so and so with no further communication.

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Re: Should I move all my investments to Vanguard?

Post by radiowave » Tue Jul 10, 2018 5:05 pm

Having two separate brokerages is like having an airplane with two engines, safety if one engine fails should get you on the ground, but you double your chance of having an engine failure with 2 to worry about.
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Re: Should I move all my investments to Vanguard?

Post by peterinjapan » Wed Jul 11, 2018 3:20 am

Another vote for Vanguard, they are outstanding, and nearly free to trade. ($5 per trade.) The one downside is, trying to own some mutual funds, including Vanguard.

student
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Re: Should I move all my investments to Vanguard?

Post by student » Wed Jul 11, 2018 4:49 am

Personally I like redundancy. When I was a graduate student, I was known as the guy who has two alarm clocks. I usually bring two to conferences. Currently I have multiple accounts, some of which were opened many years ago when I was trying out different mutual fund companies. In the future, I do plan to consolidate to fewer.

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Re: Should I move all my investments to Vanguard?

Post by TwstdSista » Wed Jul 11, 2018 4:54 am

I'm a huge fan of simple so think consolidating to one brokerage is a fantastic idea.

I was at Vanguard when I married my husband who was at Fidelity. We consolidated to Fidelity and I haven't regretted the simplicity yet.

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Re: Should I move all my investments to Vanguard?

Post by oldcomputerguy » Wed Jul 11, 2018 5:05 am

peterinjapan wrote:
Wed Jul 11, 2018 3:20 am
Another vote for Vanguard, they are outstanding, and nearly free to trade. ($5 per trade.)
I assume you meant “Fidelity”, which charges $4.95 per trade. Vanguard charges quite a bit more unless you have $500,000 or more.
It’s taken me a lot of years, but I’ve come around to this: If you’re dumb, surround yourself with smart people. And if you’re smart, surround yourself with smart people who disagree with you.

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Re: Should I move all my investments to Vanguard?

Post by rich126 » Wed Jul 11, 2018 7:41 am

oldcomputerguy wrote:
Wed Jul 11, 2018 5:05 am
peterinjapan wrote:
Wed Jul 11, 2018 3:20 am
Another vote for Vanguard, they are outstanding, and nearly free to trade. ($5 per trade.)
I assume you meant “Fidelity”, which charges $4.95 per trade. Vanguard charges quite a bit more unless you have $500,000 or more.
I'm might sure I follow, or maybe I just don't agree.

Vanguard charges $7 per trade (assuming you have under $500K). Unless you are trading very frequently or very small amounts that is insignificant. On a $5,000 stock purchase it is 0.14%. Very small accounts you are limited to 25 trades but you probably shouldn't be trading that much anyhow. $500K-$1M it is $2 per trade.

Back to the OP's question, I'm a big believe in having multiple accounts unless your account size is small. Too many technical issues/security can happen to lock up your money. Wells Fargo had a problem recently where they double processed bill payments so that some people's accounts ended up being zero or negative. It was quickly fixed but if you were one of the people it affected and happened to need to use your ATM card to access your money and it said zero, you better had a backup plan.

As a kid I remember there was a savings and loan issue and many people lost access to their money for a while. I had a relative that didn't get money for nearly a year. He didn't need it but if he did, he would have been out of luck.

The advantages posted upstream aren't worth the risks to me. At a minimum you should always have at least one other account that you can live off of for a few months in case something bad happens.

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