Fidelity, Schwab, or Vanguard

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GoldStar
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Re: Fidelity, Schwab, or Vanguard

Post by GoldStar » Thu Sep 13, 2018 6:30 am

GoldStar wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 6:14 am
tj wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 12:35 am
GoldStar wrote:
Wed Sep 12, 2018 9:18 pm
Vanguard for taxable and Fidelity for tax advantaged.
Why Fidelity for tax-advantaged?
The expense ratios of 2 funds is 0 - doesnt get any lower than that.
Additionally you are more likely to need customer support at some point for tax advantaged accounts - and fidelity is known to provide better support.
Vanguard for taxable since there funds have been slightly more tax efficient (at least in recent years).
You have to manage your taxable account separate than tax advantaged so you can use two different entities to do so.

TwstdSista
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Re: Fidelity, Schwab, or Vanguard

Post by TwstdSista » Thu Sep 13, 2018 6:35 am

GoldStar wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 6:14 am
tj wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 12:35 am
GoldStar wrote:
Wed Sep 12, 2018 9:18 pm
Vanguard for taxable and Fidelity for tax advantaged.
Why Fidelity for tax-advantaged?
The expense ratios of 2 funds is 0 - doesnt get any lower than that.
^ This. Plus the expense ratio on their already existing index funds are at rock bottom prices and less than half the ERs at Vanguard or Schwab.

betablocker
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Re: Fidelity, Schwab, or Vanguard

Post by betablocker » Thu Sep 13, 2018 8:33 am

I've found that the cheap options at Schwab and Fidelity are more limited. Maybe S&P 500 is no fee but then their muni money market is 3-4x times the fee of Vanguard's option. That's where these guys make their money. They are also defaulting your sweep account to a bank account with almost no interest instead of a money market that at least pays something. True, you can move it yourself but are you in that account often enough to catch it. On the other hand Vanguard has a bad website and is very cumbersome to work with compared with the others.

neveragain
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Re: Fidelity, Schwab, or Vanguard

Post by neveragain » Thu Sep 13, 2018 9:17 am

Fidelity has excellent customer service.

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ruralavalon
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Re: Fidelity, Schwab, or Vanguard

Post by ruralavalon » Thu Sep 13, 2018 9:33 am

neveragain wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 9:17 am
Fidelity has excellent customer service.
Vanguard has good customer service.
"Everything should be as simple as it is, but not simpler." - Albert Einstein | Wiki article link:Getting Started

bigdawgwill44
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Re: Fidelity, Schwab, or Vanguard

Post by bigdawgwill44 » Thu Sep 13, 2018 10:29 am

mervinj7 wrote:
Wed Sep 12, 2018 11:46 am
More than 52% of our current investments are in Vanguard funds. That said, all of our accounts including our 401k's with Vanguard funds are managed by Fidelity. Service has been great and it was nice to able to walk in to a local office when we needed to rollover multiple old 401ks and Rollover IRAs into our current employers' 401k. The young guy at the office handled all the paperwork and signatures. Here's a list of the accounts we have at Fidelity:
  • His 401k (Vanguard Funds)
  • Her 403b (Vanguard Funds)
  • His Roth IRA
  • Her Roth IRA
  • His HSA
  • DS's 529
  • Joint Cash Management Account --> free banking, Worldwide ATM reimbursement, "cash" is kept in Money Market Fund that is automatically liquidated for any checks written
  • Joint Taxable
  • Her Solo 401k (setup in progress)--> allows incoming rollovers!
I believe the only common account we are missing the Fidelity Visa with 2% Cash Back. As an added bonus, Fidelity funds have lower expenses and no minimums. For a complete list of their index funds, new share class structures, and comparisons against both Schwab and Vanguard equivalents, see below.
https://www.fidelity.com/bin-public/060 ... f_FAQs.pdf
When you work with a local office do they charge you fees? Or do you just stop by/make an appointment and they help you out? Just curious.

mervinj7
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Re: Fidelity, Schwab, or Vanguard

Post by mervinj7 » Thu Sep 13, 2018 10:41 am

bigdawgwill44 wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 10:29 am
When you work with a local office do they charge you fees? Or do you just stop by/make an appointment and they help you out? Just curious.
We were not charged any fees for the various account transfers and consolidation we did in 2016. We made the appointment ahead of time over the phone. If I remember correctly, there was no wire transfer fee either (e.g. transferring funds for earnest payment for house purchase).

neveragain
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Re: Fidelity, Schwab, or Vanguard

Post by neveragain » Thu Sep 13, 2018 11:00 am

ruralavalon wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 9:33 am
neveragain wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 9:17 am
Fidelity has excellent customer service.
Vanguard has good customer service.
Yes. Fidelity's service is excellent, Vanguard's is "good". I used to have Vanguard and switched to Fidelity because it would take me days to talk to a customer service rep with Vanguard. With Fidelity, I can speak with someone usually within minutes. Fidelity also has a walk-in office nearby which I find to be convenient. I'm also happy with their new free funds.

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Mursili
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Re: Fidelity, Schwab, or Vanguard

Post by Mursili » Thu Sep 13, 2018 11:10 am

I have no experience with Vanguard and Schwab.

With Fidelity, I have enough to have an assigned adviser. I forget what level that makes me, but it does not matter. I have met with the man once to see what he would have to say. He pointed me to higher-cost, non-boglehead investment products and seemed to actually have a visceral reaction to the name Jack Bogle. When asked for a favor regarding tax software, my request was turned down by this adviser. I learned to ignore all communications from this adviser. This is easy to do - they are not in my face in any way.

In all other ways, Fidelity seems great. All calls to them have resolved whatever needed to get done promptly. I do not know if there is a local office in a nearby city - there used to be - but I have considered stopping by at least once. That has never happened since there is so much else to do all the time.
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DaftInvestor
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Re: Fidelity, Schwab, or Vanguard

Post by DaftInvestor » Thu Sep 13, 2018 12:32 pm

I've got accounts at all three (IRA at Fidelity, Current 401K at Schwab, taxable at Vanguard).
I like the idea of taxable at Vanguard and tax-advantaged at Fidelity or Schwab (for reasons mentioned by others).
If I had to pick one I'd go with Fidelity. $0 Expense Ratio funds, $0 minimums.
Both Fidelity and Schwab have been beating Vanguard at their own game (Low ERs for index funds) and providing better service while doing so.

mindboggling
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Re: Fidelity, Schwab, or Vanguard

Post by mindboggling » Thu Sep 13, 2018 12:37 pm

If the investor is experienced and can ferret out the low-cost index funds at Fidelity or Schwab, either is OK. An inexperienced investor would be better off at Vanguard even if the customer service may not quite be at the Fido or Schwab level.
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ruralavalon
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Re: Fidelity, Schwab, or Vanguard

Post by ruralavalon » Thu Sep 13, 2018 4:19 pm

neveragain wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 11:00 am
ruralavalon wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 9:33 am
neveragain wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 9:17 am
Fidelity has excellent customer service.
Vanguard has good customer service.
Yes. Fidelity's service is excellent, Vanguard's is "good". I used to have Vanguard and switched to Fidelity because it would take me days to talk to a customer service rep with Vanguard. With Fidelity, I can speak with someone usually within minutes. Fidelity also has a walk-in office nearby which I find to be convenient. I'm also happy with their new free funds.
I got a Vanguard representative on the second or third ring today (I wanted to ask a question about the new security code system), and have never waited to talk to someone.

Nobody has a customer service office near me, except Edward Jones (no thanks).
"Everything should be as simple as it is, but not simpler." - Albert Einstein | Wiki article link:Getting Started

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LadyGeek
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Re: Fidelity, Schwab, or Vanguard

Post by LadyGeek » Thu Jan 10, 2019 6:34 pm

New member CxInvest has a question which I've moved into a new thread. See: [Split into taxable / non-tax advantage accounts]
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TheTimeLord
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Re: Fidelity, Schwab, or Vanguard

Post by TheTimeLord » Thu Jan 10, 2019 6:44 pm

Ron Scott wrote:
Wed Sep 12, 2018 5:30 am
Assume a traditional Bogle approach to investing. 50-50, 2-fund, US total stocks and bonds, DIY rebalancing, mix of taxable, IRA and Roth, straightforward asset location, low cost investing required.

Where do you put your money and why?
Fidelity, because green is the color of money in the U.S. except for $10 bills which is kind of odd. Now if I was in a country with blue money I would go Schwab and of course if the country has maroon money Vanguard is king.
IMHO, Investing should be about living the life you want, not avoiding the life you fear. | Run, You Clever Boy! [9085]

radiowave
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Re: Fidelity, Schwab, or Vanguard

Post by radiowave » Thu Jan 10, 2019 7:00 pm

Ron Scott wrote:
Wed Sep 12, 2018 5:30 am
Assume a traditional Bogle approach to investing. 50-50, 2-fund, US total stocks and bonds, DIY rebalancing, mix of taxable, IRA and Roth, straightforward asset location, low cost investing required.

Where do you put your money and why?

If you are also doing roll over IRAs, I found the local Fidelity office was very helpful a few years ago when we did some extensive restructuring and consolidation. There were several forms and the local office did the medallion stamp and then sent them by courier pouch to the main office and the process only took a few days to get set up (the actual fund transfer took about 2 weeks). the CSRs overall were excellent.

Now that we have everything settled, I hardly ever engage the local office, do get emails every once and a while and a rare follow up phone cold call just checking in an seeing how we were doing. I did have a bad experience with my cash management account and Fidelity Full View rollout (they lost 2 years of transactions, and I was getting double transactions on the new software that was a pain to delete and fix the new categories for transactions that were forced on my account.) I was disappointed with the CSR interaction, yes they were pleasant and professional but had no guidance for a few weeks.

Vanguard is like my old Honda CRV, it just keeps ticking, nothing fancy but works and actually easier on the taxable side in contributing new funds or exchanging to rebalance.

If I had to do it all over again, and use only 1 brokerage it would be Vanguard, and do cash management through an online or local back rather than the brokerage.
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Jmh04j
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Re: Fidelity, Schwab, or Vanguard

Post by Jmh04j » Fri Jan 11, 2019 9:53 am

I have accounts at all 3 and am currently using Fidelity as my main account (for now). A few things drew me to Fidelity:

- funds are immediately available to trade when transferring from my bank

- Total International ETF (IXUS) that is available commission free which Schwab does not have.

- Ability to adjust settings so Fidelity automatically sells shares in the most tax efficient method.

- my work 401k is there and I am considering consolidating.

I am staying away from their zero funds as they are not able to be held at a different brokerage should I decide to leave. Furthermore iShares are more tax efficient.

zubinh
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Re: Fidelity, Schwab, or Vanguard

Post by zubinh » Fri Jan 11, 2019 10:27 am

I am a former Financial consultant at both Fidelity (3 years) and Schwab (10 years).

IMHO Schwab is by far the more customer focused firm. The company is run with the mantra of always doing the right thing for clients. I can't say the same for Fidelity as I was constantly pressured into selling annuities and their expensive managed account. Schwab was much less greedy (up until recently).

Neither of them can match many Vanguard products but Vanguard can't compete with them on customer service. SO, what I do is, I buy my funds at Vanguard and then easily transfer them into my Schwab brokerage account. All it takes is an upload of a form to the Schwab website and about 10 days for processing - no fees! There are no fees to sell Vanguard Funds at Schwab.

Hope this helps.

austin_hiker
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Re: Fidelity, Schwab, or Vanguard

Post by austin_hiker » Thu Jan 31, 2019 1:18 pm

I’ve had accounts with Vanguard and with Fidelity going back several decades. I had both regular and retirement accounts with Fidelity starting around 1980, later closed both; I’ve had Vanguard retirement and regular since I rolledover a workplace savings account into an IRA account at Vanguard in the 90s. Also in the 90s I opened a workplace savings account from my employer at Fidelity (we are limited in Texas as to whom we may have 403b/457 accounts with.)

I’ve generally had much better customer service with Vanguard. Fidelity seems totally confused by my workplace savings account, constantly shifting me from one support person to another. (I have a 403b, a 457, and brokerage linked accounts for both.)

Now that I’ve retired it’s gotten worse; Fidelity is effectively blocking my pension (TRS) from sending me my checks from my state pension here in Texas. I rolled over some 403b money to purchase an additional year of service credit and TRS requires a form from Fidelity in addition to the $$$ to confirm this.

Fidelity won’t do this; they have told me several times over the past month “Oh, sorry, don’t know what the hold up is: I promise we’ll get that form sent today or in the next couple of business days.”

Yesterday I am told “no, my boss says we won’t fill out that form.”

So in conclusion: Fidelity’s support, at least in my experience wrt workplace savings accounts, *sounds* helpful and courteous but turns out to be woefully misinformed and uncommunicative.

YMMV.

bondsr4me
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Re: Fidelity, Schwab, or Vanguard

Post by bondsr4me » Thu Jan 31, 2019 2:01 pm

All 3 are good firms.
Each has good and not-so-good things about them.

For best technology and website, I give Schwab the top grade, but Fidelity is not too far behind.
I do like Fidelity’s bond screen and trading the best.
Vanguard is dead last on these points.

Fidelity and Schwab are both pretty good on customer service.
Vanguard is a little lacking in this area too.

Costs are now insignificant due to competition.

I will say that if you only hold Vanguard funds and etf’s, then VG may be a good choice.

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Artsdoctor
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Re: Fidelity, Schwab, or Vanguard

Post by Artsdoctor » Thu Jan 31, 2019 2:07 pm

WhiteMaxima wrote:
Wed Sep 12, 2018 2:30 pm
All are good. Vanguard has no office. But their Index fund has the lowest fee
Schwab has office, they have a few low cost index funds
Fidelity is similar to Schawb, But I like they have reward credit card.

So I have them all.
If you have mutual funds in a taxable account at Schwab, you will most likely resent their antiquated way of handling cost basis. This has been described in minute detail in a separate thread, but Schwab will not permit you to pick specific lot ID online with orchestrating a sale of mutual funds in your taxable account. If you're interested in tax-loss harvesting and using specific lot ID, you'll need to execute the trade manually. For many tax-savvy investors, this would render the taxable account unacceptably difficult to use properly.

Jmh04j
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Re: Fidelity, Schwab, or Vanguard

Post by Jmh04j » Thu Jan 31, 2019 2:13 pm

Artsdoctor wrote:
Thu Jan 31, 2019 2:07 pm
WhiteMaxima wrote:
Wed Sep 12, 2018 2:30 pm
All are good. Vanguard has no office. But their Index fund has the lowest fee
Schwab has office, they have a few low cost index funds
Fidelity is similar to Schawb, But I like they have reward credit card.

So I have them all.
If you have mutual funds in a taxable account at Schwab, you will most likely resent their antiquated way of handling cost basis. This has been described in minute detail in a separate thread, but Schwab will not permit you to pick specific lot ID online with orchestrating a sale of mutual funds in your taxable account. If you're interested in tax-loss harvesting and using specific lot ID, you'll need to execute the trade manually. For many tax-savvy investors, this would render the taxable account unacceptably difficult to use properly.
That is a good point. My understanding was one could sell ETFs tax efficiently through Schwab’s “Tax lot optimizer” ?

zubinh
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Re: Fidelity, Schwab, or Vanguard

Post by zubinh » Thu Jan 31, 2019 2:16 pm

Not only ETFs but you could also sell mutual fund shares using "Tax Lot Optimizer". You are correct in that Schwab does not allow specified lots on MF sales

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