Want the simplest and clearest online platform

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nejamefamily
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Joined: Thu Jan 24, 2019 7:35 pm

Want the simplest and clearest online platform

Post by nejamefamily » Thu Jan 24, 2019 8:21 pm

Hi everyone, I'm new here and would love your advice on moving my (expensive and underperforming) Wells Fargo brokerage account to a discount broker like Fidelity or Vanguard or some others you may suggest. Here are some thoughts:

1. I have a small account already at Fidelity, but find their online platform confusing - it's hard to even find performance metrics on funds I own.

2. I use Mint and LOVE the simplicity of their site. It really allows me to see things in one place. I'd love my new brokerage account to be similar.

3. I would like to be able to add OUTSIDE accounts to my new brokerage account. Things like my work's 401K etc. so I can see everything in one place like I do in Mint.

The clarity of the online experience is my 2nd biggest priority after moving my money to someplace less expensive than Wells Fargo and getting better returns.

Thanks in advance!

wetgear
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Re: Want the simplest and clearest online platform

Post by wetgear » Thu Jan 24, 2019 9:13 pm

Who is your work 401k with and could you move all of your accounts to them?

I don't think you'll find a Mint like experience to track outside accounts. I've never seen this with a brokerage company except Fidelity which can help track your outside crypto but nothing else from outside.

Clarity of online experience is sort of subjective so hard to say whats best for you from an outside perspective (I found Fidelity had a harder than desired learning curve but is intuitive now that I'm passed that). You could always open a Vanguard account and see if you find it more user friendly. If not you transfer out into something else.

One more note on Fidelity: The customer service is excellent so if you don't understand something they have lots of resources to help you. Maybe you just need to break through that learning curve as well.

latak215
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Re: Want the simplest and clearest online platform

Post by latak215 » Thu Jan 24, 2019 9:42 pm

In my humble opinion nothing beats investor owned vanguard as to transparency and brokerage costs. Platform needs improvement and I sent a few suggestions using their feedback box and hope they will address them but with mixed feelings that we have to bear the cost of it to save a few steps and there by making us frequent traders

megabad
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Re: Want the simplest and clearest online platform

Post by megabad » Fri Jan 25, 2019 5:43 pm

All of the actions in your post indicate your want to monitor things (ie. not a brokerage platform). The best monitoring platform out there to me is Personal Capital. I would place Fidelity as a 2nd place (but apparently you don't agree). I looked over someone's shoulder at Yodlee (Vanguard) a few years back and was not impressed at that time.

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alpenglow
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Re: Want the simplest and clearest online platform

Post by alpenglow » Fri Jan 25, 2019 5:44 pm

I greatly prefer Fido's website to Vanguard's.

euroswiss
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Re: Want the simplest and clearest online platform

Post by euroswiss » Fri Jan 25, 2019 5:52 pm

alpenglow wrote:
Fri Jan 25, 2019 5:44 pm
I greatly prefer Fido's website to Vanguard's.

I would agree. If you find the Fidelity site too complicated, you may need to invest some time in leaning the ins and outs. Fidelity gets consistently high marks for its website, so the problem may be you? Of course, it can't be everything to everyone - if all you need is a good consolidator, then I agree with another poster: check out Personal Capital

bondsr4me
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Re: Want the simplest and clearest online platform

Post by bondsr4me » Fri Jan 25, 2019 6:01 pm

OP

Vanguard, Fidelity or Schwab are all good brokers.
Which one you choose depends on what type of investor (or trader) you are.
If you invest solely in VG funds/etf’s, then VG is probably your best choice.
VG’s website is very bare bones, but is simple to use and view.
If you invest in other funds/etf’s, then you should consider Fidelity or Schwab.
If you are an active trader, then Fidelity or Schwab are better than VG.
Fidelity or Schwab have more comprehensive websites and both are very good.
It really depends on your type of investing (or trading).
Good luck!

livesoft
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Re: Want the simplest and clearest online platform

Post by livesoft » Fri Jan 25, 2019 6:45 pm

You may not like this, but I have accounts at Fidelity, Vanguard, TDAmeritrade, TIAA, and ...
WellsTrade.

It turns out that WellsTrade has the simplest and clearest online platform. I get 100 free trades per year on each and every account, so that's a plus for me. WellsTrade has the best, most accurate 1099 statements and sends them out fastest. The web site has no fluff which is important to me, plus it can be customized.

I don't suppose WellsFargo told you about their great discount brokerage, did they? It has really no connection to the high-fee, bad advice, financial rip-off sales reps that you may be used to.

I own many Vanguard products in my WellsTrade accounts, so I don't expect them to be underperforming since they are passively-managed, low-expense ratio, no-commission products. In the past, I've posted that WellsTrade out-Vanguards even Vanguard and that still holds true today. It is the least expensive of all the brokerages for me.

Another plus is that WellsTrade integrates well (pun!) with my WellsFargo checking account which is one of the best in the business for free checking, free online bill paying, free checks, free ATM, free, free, free!

BTW, one reason WellsTrade is simple is because they don't have any products of their own that they are trying to sell you. I have never done any "research" on their web site for things I might want to buy because I can do all my research at bogleheads.org of vanguard.com or even google.com. Of course, if you think you need "research", then you are asking a different question than what you specifically asked.
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Bodacious
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Re: Want the simplest and clearest online platform

Post by Bodacious » Sun Jan 27, 2019 8:50 am

IMHO, Personal Capital is the simplest and clearest online platform to view all accounts and track net worth. I also use Mint...mostly for tracking my budget. For what it is worth, I have a Schwab PCRA for my 457b account and have Schwab Roth IRA's.

dbr
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Re: Want the simplest and clearest online platform

Post by dbr » Sun Jan 27, 2019 10:31 am

For me the best tracking tool for investments is my own Excel spreadsheet and I don't think I am aware of some lack of clarity at one or another of the brokers I have used over time. But maybe you want to do more than I do manipulating and contemplating your investments. Spreadsheets have the advantage that you can carry whatever information you want and you know exactly what it is. For some people it is too much work, but for this you get what you pay for.

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Johnsson
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Re: Want the simplest and clearest online platform

Post by Johnsson » Sun Jan 27, 2019 12:48 pm

dbr wrote:
Sun Jan 27, 2019 10:31 am
For me the best tracking tool for investments is my own Excel spreadsheet and I don't think I am aware of some lack of clarity at one or another of the brokers I have used over time. But maybe you want to do more than I do manipulating and contemplating your investments. Spreadsheets have the advantage that you can carry whatever information you want and you know exactly what it is. For some people it is too much work, but for this you get what you pay for.
+1
'In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is.' Yogi Berra

Saving$
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Re: Want the simplest and clearest online platform

Post by Saving$ » Sun Jan 27, 2019 1:45 pm

euroswiss wrote:
Fri Jan 25, 2019 5:52 pm
alpenglow wrote:
Fri Jan 25, 2019 5:44 pm
I greatly prefer Fido's website to Vanguard's.

I would agree. If you find the Fidelity site too complicated, you may need to invest some time in leaning the ins and outs. Fidelity gets consistently high marks for its website, so the problem may be you? Of course, it can't be everything to everyone - if all you need is a good consolidator, then I agree with another poster: check out Personal Capital
+1
Fido website is much easier to navigate than Vanguard
Fido customer service seems better than Vanguard
Vanguard profits go back to members, unlike Fido

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AllieTB1323
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Re: Want the simplest and clearest online platform

Post by AllieTB1323 » Sun Jan 27, 2019 2:09 pm

euroswiss wrote:
Fri Jan 25, 2019 5:52 pm
alpenglow wrote:
Fri Jan 25, 2019 5:44 pm
I greatly prefer Fido's website to Vanguard's.

I would agree. If you find the Fidelity site too complicated, you may need to invest some time in leaning the ins and outs. Fidelity gets consistently high marks for its website, so the problem may be you? Of course, it can't be everything to everyone - if all you need is a good consolidator, then I agree with another poster: check out Personal Capital
I agree, to me FIDO's website and customer service blows the doors off V'G's product.

HEDGEFUNDIE
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Re: Want the simplest and clearest online platform

Post by HEDGEFUNDIE » Sun Jan 27, 2019 2:11 pm

dbr wrote:
Sun Jan 27, 2019 10:31 am
For me the best tracking tool for investments is my own Excel spreadsheet and I don't think I am aware of some lack of clarity at one or another of the brokers I have used over time. But maybe you want to do more than I do manipulating and contemplating your investments. Spreadsheets have the advantage that you can carry whatever information you want and you know exactly what it is. For some people it is too much work, but for this you get what you pay for.
Maintaining your own Excel spreadsheets is a pain, especially with events like dividend distributions, share class changes, etc.

dbr
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Re: Want the simplest and clearest online platform

Post by dbr » Sun Jan 27, 2019 2:22 pm

HEDGEFUNDIE wrote:
Sun Jan 27, 2019 2:11 pm
dbr wrote:
Sun Jan 27, 2019 10:31 am
For me the best tracking tool for investments is my own Excel spreadsheet and I don't think I am aware of some lack of clarity at one or another of the brokers I have used over time. But maybe you want to do more than I do manipulating and contemplating your investments. Spreadsheets have the advantage that you can carry whatever information you want and you know exactly what it is. For some people it is too much work, but for this you get what you pay for.
Maintaining your own Excel spreadsheets is a pain, especially with events like dividend distributions, share class changes, etc.
It's a choice that has advantages and disadvantages. I guess people who would just make a spreadsheet are probably not the one's asking here, so suggesting it is not helpful. Sorry.

stan1
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Re: Want the simplest and clearest online platform

Post by stan1 » Sun Jan 27, 2019 2:28 pm

Agree with trying Personal Capital to see if that gives you what you want since you like Mint.

Fidelity has a much better cash management account than Vanguard if that's important (it is to many people who consolidate accounts at Fidelity).

Topic Author
nejamefamily
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Re: Want the simplest and clearest online platform

Post by nejamefamily » Thu Jan 31, 2019 7:25 am

Thank you all for your kindly advice.

I have chosen Fidelity - I called them and had them bring me through their website so I'm clearer...and for those of you who recommended Personal Capital, I'm going to use them to help simplify all my accounts in one place...so thanks!

zubinh
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Re: Want the simplest and clearest online platform

Post by zubinh » Thu Jan 31, 2019 10:28 am

IMHO, Schwab's website is by far the best and most user friendly. Fidelity and Vanguard's is a mess - I use all three.

I know Personal Capital has probably the most useful, user friendly planning tools, but you have to keep in mind that they are just a private RIA. I would be very concerned about security. Mint.com on the other hand doesn't have the awesome tools Personal Capital does, but they are owned by Intuit and I trust them way more than I do Jay Shah and his pack of brokers looking to sell fee based accounts to people who thought it was just a free aggregator service.

Jmh04j
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Re: Want the simplest and clearest online platform

Post by Jmh04j » Thu Jan 31, 2019 12:40 pm

zubinh wrote:
Thu Jan 31, 2019 10:28 am
IMHO, Schwab's website is by far the best and most user friendly. Fidelity and Vanguard's is a mess - I use all three.

I know Personal Capital has probably the most useful, user friendly planning tools, but you have to keep in mind that they are just a private RIA. I would be very concerned about security. Mint.com on the other hand doesn't have the awesome tools Personal Capital does, but they are owned by Intuit and I trust them way more than I do Jay Shah and his pack of brokers looking to sell fee based accounts to people who thought it was just a free aggregator service.
+1 for Schwab’s website. That and their iPhone app are the best I have used. The only thing keeping me from consolidating to them is the lack of a total international ETF that trades commission free...

zubinh
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Re: Want the simplest and clearest online platform

Post by zubinh » Thu Jan 31, 2019 1:01 pm

Jmh04j wrote:
Thu Jan 31, 2019 12:40 pm
zubinh wrote:
Thu Jan 31, 2019 10:28 am
IMHO, Schwab's website is by far the best and most user friendly. Fidelity and Vanguard's is a mess - I use all three.

I know Personal Capital has probably the most useful, user friendly planning tools, but you have to keep in mind that they are just a private RIA. I would be very concerned about security. Mint.com on the other hand doesn't have the awesome tools Personal Capital does, but they are owned by Intuit and I trust them way more than I do Jay Shah and his pack of brokers looking to sell fee based accounts to people who thought it was just a free aggregator service.
+1 for Schwab’s website. That and their iPhone app are the best I have used. The only thing keeping me from consolidating to them is the lack of a total international ETF that trades commission free...
I think that's a plus. Holding both SCHF and SCHE gives you the ability to control what percentage you would like allocated to EM.

Smk18
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Re: Want the simplest and clearest online platform

Post by Smk18 » Thu Jan 31, 2019 1:04 pm

Schwab and Personal Capital.

Jmh04j
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Re: Want the simplest and clearest online platform

Post by Jmh04j » Thu Jan 31, 2019 1:05 pm

zubinh wrote:
Thu Jan 31, 2019 1:01 pm
Jmh04j wrote:
Thu Jan 31, 2019 12:40 pm
zubinh wrote:
Thu Jan 31, 2019 10:28 am
IMHO, Schwab's website is by far the best and most user friendly. Fidelity and Vanguard's is a mess - I use all three.

I know Personal Capital has probably the most useful, user friendly planning tools, but you have to keep in mind that they are just a private RIA. I would be very concerned about security. Mint.com on the other hand doesn't have the awesome tools Personal Capital does, but they are owned by Intuit and I trust them way more than I do Jay Shah and his pack of brokers looking to sell fee based accounts to people who thought it was just a free aggregator service.
+1 for Schwab’s website. That and their iPhone app are the best I have used. The only thing keeping me from consolidating to them is the lack of a total international ETF that trades commission free...
I think that's a plus. Holding both SCHF and SCHE gives you the ability to control what percentage you would like allocated to EM.
That is an interesting way to look at it. I assume more EM when younger and less when older?

zubinh
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Re: Want the simplest and clearest online platform

Post by zubinh » Thu Jan 31, 2019 1:10 pm

You could look at it that way but not necessarily. Many folks are just not comfortable with the level of volatility inherent with EM. I'm one of them. So personally I think no more than 20% of my international exposure belongs in EM. Holding both SCHF and SCHE enables me to stick to this allocation. EM can really take it on the chin sometimes and I think VXUS will be hit harder in those years. I'm willing to sacrifice some potential return in exchange for lower volatility.

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unclescrooge
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Re: Want the simplest and clearest online platform

Post by unclescrooge » Thu Jan 31, 2019 1:24 pm

latak215 wrote:
Thu Jan 24, 2019 9:42 pm
In my humble opinion nothing beats investor owned vanguard as to transparency and brokerage costs. Platform needs improvement and I sent a few suggestions using their feedback box and hope they will address them but with mixed feelings that we have to bear the cost of it to save a few steps and there by making us frequent traders
In my experience when you pay peanuts you get monkeys.
While vanguard had done tremendous things for investors, their technology is not competitive.
If your only criteria is cost them vanguard is fine.

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emlowe
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Re: Want the simplest and clearest online platform

Post by emlowe » Thu Jan 31, 2019 1:29 pm

Fidelity lets you track all your accounts, not just Fidelity using their "Full View" feature. Fidelity has been making improvements to this over time, but it still needs some work - so you may find it a little kludgy.

Select "Accounts & Trade" then Full View in the menu

If you use Personal Capital as an "Aggregator" just keep in mind that Personal Capital people are likely to call you about investing with them

Jmh04j
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Re: Want the simplest and clearest online platform

Post by Jmh04j » Thu Jan 31, 2019 1:31 pm

zubinh wrote:
Thu Jan 31, 2019 1:10 pm
You could look at it that way but not necessarily. Many folks are just not comfortable with the level of volatility inherent with EM. I'm one of them. So personally I think no more than 20% of my international exposure belongs in EM. Holding both SCHF and SCHE enables me to stick to this allocation. EM can really take it on the chin sometimes and I think VXUS will be hit harder in those years. I'm willing to sacrifice some potential return in exchange for lower volatility.
Right now is a good example:

SCHF is down 0.03% while SCHE is up 0.90% for a weighted average of +0.15%

VXUS is up 0.25%

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