Benefits of Fidelity vs Vanguard

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Randtor
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Benefits of Fidelity vs Vanguard

Post by Randtor » Mon Feb 11, 2019 7:42 pm

Hi all, this is a newbie question... I am transferring funds in a few days to Vanguard. My son-in-law works for Fidelity (not in the brokerage arm). I have a taxable account with stocks in Fidelity. He suggested I look at the different options that each firm has to offer. He said I could own Funds of both companies in either companies account that I own. So perhaps the difference of which company I should use comes down to several factors like: Ease of transferring money in as well as out; do they both offer the same perks like checking account, credit or debit cards, etc.
I am not going to be doing a lot of trading once I get situated. I plan on reducing my holdings to the basic 3 or 4 fund portfolio as the suggested boglehead method prescribes, and I am a proponent of long term holding.

1.Would it be worth investing 1/2 of my portfolio holdings in both companies and doing a like for like comparison in a year?
2. Does one have more to offer for ease of use than the other?

I will likely be retiring in the next 6 months or so, perhaps holding a part time position in my field if I choose, and earning a bit of 'personal use' money. We (my wife and I) will be needing to start withdrawing money for living expenses at that time.
Just trying to compare apples to apples before I decide how much to put where.... thanks for any insight you can provide.
Rand
"Whats done is done, and can't be undone"

lakpr
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Re: Benefits of Fidelity vs Vanguard

Post by lakpr » Mon Feb 11, 2019 8:11 pm

Vanguard doesn’t offer credit cards, only Fidelity does. But other than that, you can’t go wrong with either. Splitting your assets in the middle with each firm sounds good!

livesoft
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Re: Benefits of Fidelity vs Vanguard

Post by livesoft » Mon Feb 11, 2019 8:20 pm

I have accounts at both. I don't make transactions at either of them, but instead prefer 2 other brokers ahead of them.

But I can state that:

1. Vanguard does not answer the phone on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays. Many working people only deal with their investment companies when they are not working. Fidelity says Representatives are standing by to help, any time of the day or night.

2. Vanguard does not have an online chat or real-time messaging tool. Fidelity does.

3. Vanguard does not have local offices. You may have a local Fidelity office near you. I have never ever been into my local Fidelity office.

4. Vanguard offloads a lot of its customer service to Bogleheads.org. Fidelity does as well.
Last edited by livesoft on Mon Feb 11, 2019 8:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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retiredjg
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Re: Benefits of Fidelity vs Vanguard

Post by retiredjg » Mon Feb 11, 2019 8:24 pm

Randtor wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 7:42 pm
1.Would it be worth investing 1/2 of my portfolio holdings in both companies and doing a like for like comparison in a year?
Not in my opinion. But it can't hurt either.

2. Does one have more to offer for ease of use than the other?
It is said that Fidelity has a better website and better customer service. Having said that, I'm a Vanguard customer and their website offers everything I need and I've never needed customer service other than my original transfer in and that was fine.


The truth is you really can't go wrong with either choice unless you are looking for an advisor. In that case, I would recommend Vanguard, but not Fidelity.

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Re: Benefits of Fidelity vs Vanguard

Post by CarolL » Mon Feb 11, 2019 8:33 pm

I'm a Fidelity customer. I do go to my local office. It's very convenient to make deposits. I recently had to transfer some stocks that had been held by "Computershare". This transaction required a "gold medallion" for each company that I wanted transferred. Broker at the local office took care of the entire thing, and the "medallions" ( turned out to be just a stamp) were given gratis.
Btw, Fidelity is rolling out an "app". Transactions can be done similar to mobile banking.
I'm a recent widow, and the transfer of my husband's assets to me was taken care of very easily. I, of course, was his beneficiary. All I had to do is submit his death certificate via email, and they took care of everything. I was very satisfied.

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Taylor Larimore
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Re: Benefits of Fidelity vs Vanguard

Post by Taylor Larimore » Mon Feb 11, 2019 9:06 pm

Randtor:
1.Would it be worth investing 1/2 of my portfolio holdings in both companies and doing a like for like comparison in a year?

In my opinion, it is ideal to hold all investments in one good company for these reasons:

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. More free time for ourselves.
12. In event of death or disability, it will be much easier for others.


2. Does one have more to offer for ease of use than the other?
My 30-year relationship with Vanguard has been excellent the few times I have contacted them. My simple 3-fund portfolio seldom requires contact with Vanguard. A few years ago Consumer Reports rated Vanguard the highest in customer satisfaction of any similar company. Growing pains may have changed this.

I favor Vanguard primarily because they are the only mutual, mutual fund company. This means that all investment returns (after costs) go to fund shareholders--not shared with company stockholders.

Both Vanguard and Fidelity are excellent companies. You should not go wrong whichever company you choose--but use one or the other.

Best wishes.
Taylor
"Simplicity is the master key to financial success." -- Jack Bogle

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emlowe
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Re: Benefits of Fidelity vs Vanguard

Post by emlowe » Mon Feb 11, 2019 9:21 pm

I also think that consolidation to one company has a number of benefits, I have consolidated at Fidelity

A couple of things I like about Fidelity have already been mentioned, I'll add one more: I really like their Cash Management Account - you get ATM fees reimbursed (use any ATM anywhere to get cash), you can use bill pay, and write checks. The real advantage is you can keep your cash in any Fidelity money market - Fidelity will automatically sweep from the MM to handle cash transactions. Now, the downside is that the Fidelity MM funds aren't as good as Vanguard.

Vanguard is a great place to consolidate as well - it has other positives like better tax efficiency in their index mutual funds, better MM funds - and of course it has low-cost as a raison d'etre.

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Re: Benefits of Fidelity vs Vanguard

Post by Misenplace » Mon Feb 11, 2019 9:33 pm

I have accounts at both. I have had absolutely no issues with phone support at either company (although I have more than 10x more $ at Vanguard).

I actually prefer the Vanguard website- it’s more straightforward. I trust that Vanguard won’t try to steer my spouse into expensive funds or management when I’m gone. I enjoyed sharing a copy of William Bernstein’s “If You Can” with the recent college grads manning the front desk at my local Fidelity office. They had never seen anything like it.

I like Fidelity for 3 reasons:
1) By establishing my solo 401(k) and biz accounts there, I was able to roll in my old IRA from a previous job, and then do backdoor Roth at Vanguard.
2) They have a 2% cash back credit card that I use for most charges (U.S. based only). No thinking about it and I get a 2% rebate on everything I charge. [I can’t be bothered with revolving cash back categories.]
3) we opened our Donor advised fund there in 2017 because that was where I had the highly appreciated employer stock to donate, and they allow donor directed donations of as little as $50.

Other than these 3 reasons, probably would have stuck to Vanguard. I also have preferred status at a local brick and mortar bank where I can get notary and Medallion services, so I don’t need Fido for that.

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Re: Benefits of Fidelity vs Vanguard

Post by yogesh » Mon Feb 11, 2019 9:44 pm

Consolidate to 1. Our 401k is at Fidelity so the choice was simple to open checking, credit and brokerage accounts.
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Re: Benefits of Fidelity vs Vanguard

Post by student » Mon Feb 11, 2019 9:57 pm

I am on the camp of investing with both companies. If there is some temporary computer issue with one company, I want to be able to access my money from a different company. However, if I have to choose one, I will choose Fidelity because of the 24-hour customer service phone line. If I think something is wrong, I want to be able talk to someone right away. Fidelity also has ATM card that reimburses ATM fee internationally.

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Re: Benefits of Fidelity vs Vanguard

Post by radiowave » Mon Feb 11, 2019 10:20 pm

OP, We have both, and like both for many of the reasons above.

- from a retirement standpoint, there are some advantages to having all tax-deferred funds in one account and at one broker. This is mainly for the pragmatic issue of RMD and how that is implemented. Working across multiple accounts and brokerages can be tedious and potentially trigger a penalty if you do not take out enough $ each year.

- I like the cash management feature of Fidelity and up until recently, was using it like a bank, bill pay, etc. But have changed my philosophy and now use a regular bank for normal cash flow and bill pay.

- I wish I had the taxable and Roth IRA all at Vanguard. It's a pain with Fidelity that you have to first transfer the $ to Fidelity first then purchase the funds. It took me about 2 minutes at VG to do one Roth this year as they will pull from an offsite bank. With Fidelity, it took about 3 days to do the other Roth.

- There are varying opinions about customer support. When I was consolidating several 401ks a few years ago to Fido, it was nice to have the local office not too far away to handle the paperwork. They also have a courier if you need to physically send a check or other paperwork to main office. But I've had recent good experience with Vanguard as well, very pleasant and professional CSR who actually emailed a few days later to ask if he could be of any additional help. So my impression is Vanguard is making a concerted effort to improve customer interactions and I agree with Taylor, Vanguard is an excellent company and if I had to chose one, it would be them.

- Regarding having 2 brokerages, well it does add some solace if something happened with one (re the IT failure at Wells Fargo this past week), a second option would give some backup and access to funds. But like flying in an airplane, its nice to have two engines over a single engine airplane, but your chance of having an engine failure is double.

My very best wishes as you transition to retirement!
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Re: Benefits of Fidelity vs Vanguard

Post by BogleMelon » Mon Feb 11, 2019 10:35 pm

I am in the middle of moving from Vanguard to Fidelity after getting tired of their system glitches. I can deal with glitches and contact the customer service to fix, not a problem by itself, every company has its own issues. But Vanguard CS wasn't that helpful for me resolving my issues. Let alone that the phone and email are the only way to communicate. Chat feature in fido is crucial for me, and I prefer the 24/7 availability for them.
I have to be accurate though, a fido rep was once gave a not so accurate answer about if the MM fund shares are sold automatically in CMA account to cover purchases. He said it is impossible, but I learned it is being done with no issue.
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Re: Benefits of Fidelity vs Vanguard

Post by ruralavalon » Tue Feb 12, 2019 8:54 am

Congratulations on your imminent retirement :) .

Randtor wrote:1.Would it be worth investing 1/2 of my portfolio holdings in both companies and doing a like for like comparison in a year?
2. Does one have more to offer for ease of use than the other?
I would not split the portfolio to use two firms. I prefer the simplicity of having everything at one place.

Both are good companies. It is largely a matter of personal preference. My own personal preference is Vanguard. They have by far the largest and best selection of low expense mutual funds offered anywhere, I prefer their mutual structure which eliminates a lot of conflicts of interest, and like their website and app. Once a simple index fund portfolio is set up almost no customer service is required. I need to contact Vanguard at most once a year or so, and have found their customer service to be prompt, professional and courteous.
"Everything should be as simple as it is, but not simpler." - Albert Einstein | Wiki article link:Getting Started

Jack FFR1846
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Re: Benefits of Fidelity vs Vanguard

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Tue Feb 12, 2019 9:05 am

To understand what works best for YOU, I like your idea of splitting in two and trying both firms. I have accounts at both. I recently "upgraded" my mutual fund account to a brokerage account so I could convert my admiral shared into ETFs and possibly move out of Vanguard. In any case, here's what I have seen with both:

Vanguard:
Paperwork galore. To open an account, I first worked with a concierge rep. Unfortunately, when calling Vanguard, there was no way to connect to him. I received one snail mail pile of forms and filled them all out. Then I got a second pile of forms where the unreachable concierge rep explained in a letter that he forgot to include these forms. I filled them all out. I then had to get signatures notarized by the Queen and send them back by USPS. Then they moved some money from Fidelity to fund my account. From there, all went smoothly. Took a total of 3 weeks.

Fidelity:
Went onto their website. Filled in the form online. Attached PDF of the "from" IRA that I was moving in. Printed 2 signature pages, signed them, scanned them in and attached the PDFs to my online file. Watched Fidelity website as they updated the progress from application and forms all received to "from company" contacted to funds received and invested as I directed. No notary. No Queen. No mail. No stack of forms. Start to finish, 3 days.

Vanguard:
Good index funds for a fair price.

Fidelity:
Good index funds for less than Vanguard.

I happen to have a bunch of other accounts at Fidelity. IRA, 401k, a pension, credit card, 529.

Support:
Vanguard:
Bankers hours and bankers days.

Fidelity:
24/7, even Christmas, New Years, Halloween.
Bogle: Smart Beta is stupid

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Re: Benefits of Fidelity vs Vanguard

Post by cpumechanic » Tue Feb 12, 2019 9:09 am

I have funds at both Vanguard and Fidelity.
One thing I like about Fidelity is the "full view" feature that allows you to see all your accounts in one place and updates real time. I use this to keep track of all my other accounts, and my credit card spending.
It also does a nice Asset Allocation Summary for me so I can keep my Stock/Bond Ratio under some control.

They just botched an "upgrade" of Full View in the last 12 months.. but overtime the screw_up's have been addressed and it is back to being useful again.

Once you set it up.. all of your assets, CC accounts, asset allocation, life insurance, and other financial details are all on one page, and someone coming in after you are gone can easily see the up to date account balances and descriptions.
I force my wife to log in and pull up Full view once a month or so to be sure she knows where to go when I am no longer around. I can print a summary and leave it in a folder for others if needed.

Vanguard used to offer some kind of automated finance summary, but they dropped it, and Full View (once set up) is way easier to manage then a spreadsheet, or Mint . (IMHO)

CPU
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Re: Benefits of Fidelity vs Vanguard

Post by mslaw » Tue Feb 12, 2019 9:19 am

“Vanguard Brokerage imposes a $10,000 minimum for CDs purchased through Vanguard Brokerage. “
https://investor.vanguard.com/cd-bond/

At Fidelity, the minimum is $1,000.

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Re: Benefits of Fidelity vs Vanguard

Post by mpnret » Tue Feb 12, 2019 9:37 am

CarolL wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 8:33 pm
I'm a Fidelity customer. I do go to my local office. It's very convenient to make deposits. I recently had to transfer some stocks that had been held by "Computershare". This transaction required a "gold medallion" for each company that I wanted transferred. Broker at the local office took care of the entire thing, and the "medallions" ( turned out to be just a stamp) were given gratis.
Btw, Fidelity is rolling out an "app". Transactions can be done similar to mobile banking.
I'm a recent widow, and the transfer of my husband's assets to me was taken care of very easily. I, of course, was his beneficiary. All I had to do is submit his death certificate via email, and they took care of everything. I was very satisfied.
I just transferred a rather portfolio of individual stocks from ComputerShare to Vanguard without any issues. I did see a spot on the form for "gold medalllion" but my Vanguard Flagship rep said it wasn't necessary (something about electronic verification). The rep emailed me all the forms. I signed them, scanned them and emailed them back. Vanguard took care of everything. I never needed to speak to Computershare.
I do have a small checking account at a local bank for things like medallion sig (if I ever need one), certified checks, cashing paper savings bonds, etc.

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Re: Benefits of Fidelity vs Vanguard

Post by RickBoglehead » Tue Feb 12, 2019 9:43 am

cpumechanic wrote:
Tue Feb 12, 2019 9:09 am
I have funds at both Vanguard and Fidelity.
One thing I like about Fidelity is the "full view" feature that allows you to see all your accounts in one place and updates real time. I use this to keep track of all my other accounts, and my credit card spending.
It also does a nice Asset Allocation Summary for me so I can keep my Stock/Bond Ratio under some control.

They just botched an "upgrade" of Full View in the last 12 months.. but overtime the screw_up's have been addressed and it is back to being useful again.

Once you set it up.. all of your assets, CC accounts, asset allocation, life insurance, and other financial details are all on one page, and someone coming in after you are gone can easily see the up to date account balances and descriptions.
I force my wife to log in and pull up Full view once a month or so to be sure she knows where to go when I am no longer around. I can print a summary and leave it in a folder for others if needed.

Vanguard used to offer some kind of automated finance summary, but they dropped it, and Full View (once set up) is way easier to manage then a spreadsheet, or Mint . (IMHO)

CPU
Vanguard allows you to enter in assets held elsewhere. You simply put in the particulars - type of assets, amount owned, date acquired, cost paid, etc. With the stock symbol, Vanguard updates it just fine, and no one is logging into all your other accounts. If you add or decrease a holding, you simply go in and change the quantity, or the price paid.

You can also enter assets like a home or a car.

I have no need for anyone to manage my credit card information, I do everything on Quicken (on my PC) just fine.
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Re: Benefits of Fidelity vs Vanguard

Post by OhioGozaimas » Tue Feb 12, 2019 10:25 am

If you wish to establish a separate “carve-out” IRA for a different beneficiary, you can’t do that at Vanguard.

Per the Vanguard web site:
“The beneficiaries you select for your IRA won't carry over to your nonretirement account, or vice versa. But if you have multiple Vanguard IRAs of the same type—for example, 2 traditional IRAs—the beneficiaries you designate on one of them will carry over to all of them.” [Emphasis added.]
https://investor.vanguard.com/beneficiaries/

But at Fidelity, I found that you can “slice & dice” to create separate IRA accounts for different beneficiaries however you wish.
Map out your future – but do it in pencil. – Jon Bon Jovi

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Re: Benefits of Fidelity vs Vanguard

Post by Columbia85 » Tue Feb 12, 2019 11:04 am

mpnret wrote:
Tue Feb 12, 2019 9:37 am
I just transferred a rather portfolio of individual stocks from ComputerShare to Vanguard without any issues. I did see a spot on the form for "gold medalllion" but my Vanguard Flagship rep said it wasn't necessary (something about electronic verification). The rep emailed me all the forms. I signed them, scanned them and emailed them back. Vanguard took care of everything. I never needed to speak to Computershare.
I do have a small checking account at a local bank for things like medallion sig (if I ever need one), certified checks, cashing paper savings bonds, etc.
[/quote]

Hi mpnret:

I just have a small holding of shares at ComputerShare and it makes sense to transfer them to Vanguard. Does ComputerShare charge anything when the transfer occurs? Thanks for the info, it sounds straightforward to accomplish.

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Re: Benefits of Fidelity vs Vanguard

Post by abuss368 » Tue Feb 12, 2019 11:32 am

Randtor wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 7:42 pm
Hi all, this is a newbie question... I am transferring funds in a few days to Vanguard. My son-in-law works for Fidelity (not in the brokerage arm). I have a taxable account with stocks in Fidelity. He suggested I look at the different options that each firm has to offer. He said I could own Funds of both companies in either companies account that I own. So perhaps the difference of which company I should use comes down to several factors like: Ease of transferring money in as well as out; do they both offer the same perks like checking account, credit or debit cards, etc.
I am not going to be doing a lot of trading once I get situated. I plan on reducing my holdings to the basic 3 or 4 fund portfolio as the suggested boglehead method prescribes, and I am a proponent of long term holding.

1.Would it be worth investing 1/2 of my portfolio holdings in both companies and doing a like for like comparison in a year?
2. Does one have more to offer for ease of use than the other?

I will likely be retiring in the next 6 months or so, perhaps holding a part time position in my field if I choose, and earning a bit of 'personal use' money. We (my wife and I) will be needing to start withdrawing money for living expenses at that time.
Just trying to compare apples to apples before I decide how much to put where.... thanks for any insight you can provide.
Rand
Welcome to the Bogleheads!

You can certainly do whatever works and lets you sleep at night. I would however prefer the simplicity of using only on fund company. In my opinion using one company provides benefits and advantages such as one familiar statement, perhaps lower costs, easy on spouse, easy on heirs, familiar with only one company, one tax reporting statement, possibly qualifying for lower cost funds from hitting minimum balances, and so forth.

Moving our portfolio to Vanguard was the best financial decision we ever made.
John C. Bogle: "You simply do not need to put your money into 8 different mutual funds!" | | Disclosure: Three Fund Portfolio + U.S. & International REITs

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Re: Benefits of Fidelity vs Vanguard

Post by BogleMelon » Tue Feb 12, 2019 11:34 am

abuss368 wrote:
Tue Feb 12, 2019 11:32 am


Moving our portfolio to Vanguard was the best financial decision we ever made.
Mind me asking where it was before? Was it at Fidelity?
"One of the funny things about stock market, every time one is buying another is selling, and both think they are astute" - William Feather

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Re: Benefits of Fidelity vs Vanguard

Post by jhfenton » Tue Feb 12, 2019 11:39 am

CarolL wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 8:33 pm
Btw, Fidelity is rolling out an "app". Transactions can be done similar to mobile banking.
Vanguard and Fidelity both already have highly functional apps with mobile check deposit, mobile trading, etc.
Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Tue Feb 12, 2019 9:05 am
Vanguard:
Paperwork galore. To open an account, I first worked with a concierge rep. Unfortunately, when calling Vanguard, there was no way to connect to him. I received one snail mail pile of forms and filled them all out. Then I got a second pile of forms where the unreachable concierge rep explained in a letter that he forgot to include these forms. I filled them all out. I then had to get signatures notarized by the Queen and send them back by USPS. Then they moved some money from Fidelity to fund my account. From there, all went smoothly. Took a total of 3 weeks.

Fidelity:
Went onto their website. Filled in the form online. Attached PDF of the "from" IRA that I was moving in. Printed 2 signature pages, signed them, scanned them in and attached the PDFs to my online file. Watched Fidelity website as they updated the progress from application and forms all received to "from company" contacted to funds received and invested as I directed. No notary. No Queen. No mail. No stack of forms. Start to finish, 3 days.
The paperwork required is very much on a case-by-case basis. When I opened 5 Vanguard accounts for my wife and myself on Columbus Day 2015 and initiated transfers from existing accounts at TD Ameritrade, I printed out and signed exactly zero pieces of paper. Opening the accounts and initiating the transfers was entirely online. All 5 accounts arrived at Vanguard intact on Friday of the same week. The only paperwork we've ever had to send to Vanguard were our mutual full agent authorization forms that had to be witnessed and notarized, and that requirement is for security. (You can set up limited agent authorization entirely online.)

Likewise, when I transferred my HSA to Fidelity this past November, I did everything online and transferred my HSA in-kind from TD Ameritrade. It took less than two weeks beginning to end. For other folks in the long Fidelity HSA thread, Fidelity required paperwork to initiate transfers.

In other words, whether transfers require paperwork depends far more on the transferring custodian than on whether the recipient is Vanguard or Fidelity.

Vanguard and Fidelity are both perfectly fine companies.

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Re: Benefits of Fidelity vs Vanguard

Post by BogleMelon » Tue Feb 12, 2019 11:47 am

jhfenton wrote:
Tue Feb 12, 2019 11:39 am


Vanguard and Fidelity both already have highly functional apps with mobile check deposit, mobile trading, etc.

In my case, Vanguard mobile check deposit never worked. CS failed to resolve it. I read that others having the same issue, so I guess it is not just me...
"One of the funny things about stock market, every time one is buying another is selling, and both think they are astute" - William Feather

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Re: Benefits of Fidelity vs Vanguard

Post by jhfenton » Tue Feb 12, 2019 12:15 pm

BogleMelon wrote:
Tue Feb 12, 2019 11:47 am
jhfenton wrote:
Tue Feb 12, 2019 11:39 am
Vanguard and Fidelity both already have highly functional apps with mobile check deposit, mobile trading, etc.
In my case, Vanguard mobile check deposit never worked. CS failed to resolve it. I read that others having the same issue, so I guess it is not just me...
For the previous few years, Vanguard mobile check deposit didn't work with the consolidated brokerage accounts, but they finally fixed it a few months ago. I only knew because someone here mentioned that it was working.

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Re: Benefits of Fidelity vs Vanguard

Post by BogleMelon » Tue Feb 12, 2019 12:22 pm

jhfenton wrote:
Tue Feb 12, 2019 12:15 pm
BogleMelon wrote:
Tue Feb 12, 2019 11:47 am
jhfenton wrote:
Tue Feb 12, 2019 11:39 am
Vanguard and Fidelity both already have highly functional apps with mobile check deposit, mobile trading, etc.
In my case, Vanguard mobile check deposit never worked. CS failed to resolve it. I read that others having the same issue, so I guess it is not just me...
For the previous few years, Vanguard mobile check deposit didn't work with the consolidated brokerage accounts, but they finally fixed it a few months ago. I only knew because someone here mentioned that it was working.
Last time I checked was a week ago, it wasn't working, surprisingly I checked again now and it worked! It was good to know. Thanks
"One of the funny things about stock market, every time one is buying another is selling, and both think they are astute" - William Feather

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Re: Benefits of Fidelity vs Vanguard

Post by jhfenton » Tue Feb 12, 2019 12:30 pm

BogleMelon wrote:
Tue Feb 12, 2019 12:22 pm
jhfenton wrote:
Tue Feb 12, 2019 12:15 pm
BogleMelon wrote:
Tue Feb 12, 2019 11:47 am
jhfenton wrote:
Tue Feb 12, 2019 11:39 am
Vanguard and Fidelity both already have highly functional apps with mobile check deposit, mobile trading, etc.
In my case, Vanguard mobile check deposit never worked. CS failed to resolve it. I read that others having the same issue, so I guess it is not just me...
For the previous few years, Vanguard mobile check deposit didn't work with the consolidated brokerage accounts, but they finally fixed it a few months ago. I only knew because someone here mentioned that it was working.
Last time I checked was a week ago, it wasn't working, surprisingly I checked again now and it worked! It was good to know. Thanks
That's basically how it went for me. Someone said it worked. I thought, no it doesn't. But when I checked it did.

Maybe they rolled it out in phases. :confused

mpnret
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Re: Benefits of Fidelity vs Vanguard

Post by mpnret » Tue Feb 12, 2019 12:32 pm

Columbia85 wrote:
Tue Feb 12, 2019 11:04 am
mpnret wrote:
Tue Feb 12, 2019 9:37 am
I just transferred a rather portfolio of individual stocks from ComputerShare to Vanguard without any issues. I did see a spot on the form for "gold medalllion" but my Vanguard Flagship rep said it wasn't necessary (something about electronic verification). The rep emailed me all the forms. I signed them, scanned them and emailed them back. Vanguard took care of everything. I never needed to speak to Computershare.
I do have a small checking account at a local bank for things like medallion sig (if I ever need one), certified checks, cashing paper savings bonds, etc.
Hi mpnret:

I just have a small holding of shares at ComputerShare and it makes sense to transfer them to Vanguard. Does ComputerShare charge anything when the transfer occurs? Thanks for the info, it sounds straightforward to accomplish.
[/quote]


I initialized the move with Vanguard and never had to speak with CS at all. CS only transfers whole shares so afterwards I was left with a fractional share for each of my stocks in the CS account. CS sent me a check for the remaining balance separately for each stock. Some had a $15. handling fee deducted and others did not.

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Re: Benefits of Fidelity vs Vanguard

Post by abuss368 » Tue Feb 12, 2019 12:52 pm

BogleMelon wrote:
Tue Feb 12, 2019 11:34 am
abuss368 wrote:
Tue Feb 12, 2019 11:32 am


Moving our portfolio to Vanguard was the best financial decision we ever made.
Mind me asking where it was before? Was it at Fidelity?
Many years ago we traded individual stocks and had accounts at Brown Co (JP Morgan firm I believe acquired) and then eTrade.
John C. Bogle: "You simply do not need to put your money into 8 different mutual funds!" | | Disclosure: Three Fund Portfolio + U.S. & International REITs

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FrugalInvestor
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Re: Benefits of Fidelity vs Vanguard

Post by FrugalInvestor » Tue Feb 12, 2019 1:07 pm

As you'll see from my signature I am a fan of simplicity. That wasn't so much the case when I began investing but as I've traveled through my investing lifetime it's become a much higher priority. Now that I'm retired I've realized that eventually it will become of paramount importance.

Trying to move from a more complicated portfolio to one that is more streamlined can get messy and expensive. Starting off on the right foot (and staying there) can prevent a lot of headaches. For that reason I would recommend consolidating rather than splitting accounts and using a minimal number of funds such as a 3-fund approach or as close to that as possible.

I lean toward Vanguard but am admittedly biased because I've used them practically from the beginning, although not exclusively. Vanguard may not be as 'sophisticated' as some other companies but in my experience I've found that sophistication often leads to complication which can then lead to customers relying too much on their provider's advice and direction.

I am not suggesting that a company other than Vanguard can't be a good choice but am advising to use an abundance of caution and forethought when making your choices.
IGNORE the noise! | Our life is frittered away by detail... simplify, simplify. - Henry David Thoreau

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Re: Benefits of Fidelity vs Vanguard

Post by johnsmithsf » Tue Feb 12, 2019 1:23 pm

Each has strengths and weaknesses. Just one cannot satisfy my needs. Both are needed for different situations

Fidelity:
- excellent customer service (online and physical)
- best brokerage checking account with ability to deposit check with an app and keep money in a money market mutual fund( without needing manual purchase) and if you add a cash management account to it you can get the free ATM
- 2% cash back credit card
- human readable paper statements.
Problems
- Fidelity index mutual funds have got a higher tax cost ratio compared to Vanguard
- money market fund has a higher expense ratio

Vanguard
- if you want automatic investment in a taxable account, this is probably the only option as ETFs require manual purchase and non Vanguard mutual funds have got a higher tax cost ratio
- best national municipal bond funds in my opinion
- money market mutual fund has a lower expense ratio
Problems
- I can never figure out my total return in percent per year by reading Vanguard paper statements unless I check online. Vanguard also does not give me an end year investment report.
- inferior checking account
- no credit card option

Have not interacted with Vanguard customer care representative, but Fidelity and Schwab Representatives are excellent

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Re: Benefits of Fidelity vs Vanguard

Post by BanditKing » Tue Feb 12, 2019 1:30 pm

I currently have my ROTH and main taxable at Vanguard.

My Corp 401k as well as 2% credit card attached to a brokerage account are at Fidelity. I use that credit card for everything I possibly can and probably harvest $500+/yr in rewards, which I use to purchase whatever no-fee ETF looks interesting. If I had a Solo401k, it would also likely be at Fidelity as there is no cost.

As a whole, I prefer Vanguard. I find their interface easier to navigate and information easier to find. My Fidelity 401k interface (netbenefits) is atrocious and it's [darn]-near impossible to find performance details I need. It feels the whole Fidelity site is set up to sell me more services, rather than service the ones I have. I mean, I can eventually find what I'm looking for, it just feels harder. That said, if I'm interested in more-obscure investments, I think Fidelity handles it better.

At Vanguard, I also really like Wellington. If I was able to move my 401k, I would do so and put a sizable amount into this fund. This would also get me to Voyager Select status.

Customer service-wise, I've not had terrible issues with either, except for one issue with Fidelity where the agent needed to research and promised to get back to me, and never did. I had to follow up myself and it was pretty annoying.

I think, in the end, it comes down to personal feel. Both have good no-cost funds/ETFs that are comparable with minimal expenses.

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Re: Benefits of Fidelity vs Vanguard

Post by CarolL » Tue Feb 12, 2019 1:41 pm

I just transferred a rather portfolio of individual stocks from ComputerShare to Vanguard without any issues. I did see a spot on the form for "gold medalllion" but my Vanguard Flagship rep said it wasn't necessary (something about electronic verification). The rep emailed me all the forms. I signed them, scanned them and emailed them back. Vanguard took care of everything. I never needed to speak to Computershare.
I do have a small checking account at a local bank for things like medallion sig (if I ever need one), certified checks, cashing paper savings bonds, etc.
[/quote]
Hi Mpnret- I should have mentioned the "Computershare" account was under my husband's name. Needed to have the "gold medallion" and use of "transfer wizard" to transfer the shares to my name at Computershare. Then, the transfer to my account in Fidelity was easily done.

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Re: Benefits of Fidelity vs Vanguard

Post by DesertMan » Tue Feb 12, 2019 2:09 pm

Further to Johnsmithsf's list:

TL;DR : You'll get the best bang for your buck if you use both Fidelity and Vanguard. If you must choose only one broker, Vanguard wins if you are in a high tax bracket (funds are more tax efficient), need to park large amounts of money in a money market fund, frequently trade exotic (i.e. non-total-market) ETFs, need to make automatic investments into exotic index funds, or have a variable annuity. Fidelity wins in basically every other situation.

Fidelity:
- excellent customer service (online and physical)
- best brokerage checking account with ability to deposit check with an app and keep money in a money market mutual fund( without needing manual purchase) and if you add a cash management account to it you can get the free ATM
- 2% cash back credit card
- human readable paper statements.
- lower (i.e. zero) expense ratio index funds
- Full View account aggregator to get one-stop viewing of all your accounts including Vanguard
Problems
- Fidelity index mutual funds have got a higher tax cost ratio compared to Vanguard (but you can buy Vanguard ETFs at Fidelity for $5/transaction)
- money market fund has a higher expense ratio
- inferior variable annuity

Vanguard
- if you want automatic investment in a taxable account, this is probably the only option as ETFs require manual purchase and non Vanguard mutual funds have got a higher tax cost ratio
- best national municipal bond funds in my opinion
- money market mutual fund has a lower expense ratio
- no commissions on most ETFs
- best selection of index mutual funds
- superior variable annuity
- superior tax efficiency
Problems
- I can never figure out my total return in percent per year by reading Vanguard paper statements unless I check online. Vanguard also does not give me an end year investment report.
- inferior checking account
- no credit card option

johnsmithsf wrote:
Tue Feb 12, 2019 1:23 pm
Each has strengths and weaknesses. Just one cannot satisfy my needs. Both are needed for different situations

Fidelity:
- excellent customer service (online and physical)
- best brokerage checking account with ability to deposit check with an app and keep money in a money market mutual fund( without needing manual purchase) and if you add a cash management account to it you can get the free ATM
- 2% cash back credit card
- human readable paper statements.
Problems
- Fidelity index mutual funds have got a higher tax cost ratio compared to Vanguard
- money market fund has a higher expense ratio

Vanguard
- if you want automatic investment in a taxable account, this is probably the only option as ETFs require manual purchase and non Vanguard mutual funds have got a higher tax cost ratio
- best national municipal bond funds in my opinion
- money market mutual fund has a lower expense ratio
Problems
- I can never figure out my total return in percent per year by reading Vanguard paper statements unless I check online. Vanguard also does not give me an end year investment report.
- inferior checking account
- no credit card option

Have not interacted with Vanguard customer care representative, but Fidelity and Schwab Representatives are excellent

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Randtor
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Re: Benefits of Fidelity vs Vanguard

Post by Randtor » Tue Feb 12, 2019 3:23 pm

Great responses to this thread, and very helpful to me... thank you all!

It seems that there are pros and cons for each company, and depending on each individual situation. Based on all the responses, my thoughts at this point are leaning towards keeping all of my Ameriprise holdings with Vanguard, simply because I want to get everything transferred out of Ameriprise ASAP. They are all retirement funds so there shouldn't be tax implications. I have a separate portfolio of individual stocks with Fidelity. For the most part they are buy and hold, so I don't need a lot of bells & whistles from Fidelity. I can transfer these into VG at some point down the road, or opt to keep them as is. Right now my first priority is to close the Ameriprise portfolio...

I have 3 phone appts in a row tomorrow morning with Vanguard: 1-Advisor, then 2- Manager (who I spoke with first and he set this all up), then 3- transfer specialist. It is my intent to get everything moved over, then figure out which 3 or 4 funds I want to put my money into, rather than the complicated mess I am now in with Ameriprise (see my initial post detailing my portfolio if interested, viewtopic.php?f=1&t=272292&p=4369256#p4369256).

I don't see me needing an advisor once I am set up. I want to simplify! I will be following the 3 or 4 fund portfolio recommendations on this forum. It becomes a matter of choice as to which funds work the best. So I anticipate the initial advisor making recommendations with follow up by the 'manager'. I will have my thoughts on this as well, based on the information I have been greedily absorbing here. Then get the transfers going. Once the dust settles I will decide what to do with the stock portfolio with Fidelity.

I don't have a need for another credit card (I like mine), or a checking account ( I am at a local bank). My statement from Fidelity is fine, and I think the VG one will be no where near as cluttered or difficult as my current 40 page statement from Ameriprise! I am fine with transactions on the phone or online, and I don't need a local office (I've never been to an Ameriprise office, my rep always came to me). I want simplicity, and the most bang for my buck when picking average risk funds with low expense ratios. I am mostly buy & hold so I don't need a ton of free trades. I believe I should have enough assets in VG to qualify for Admiral shares ( I think...if I understand it all :confused !) if I transfer my whole portfolio over (I will ask about this tomorrow in my phone conversations).

What it comes down to is,
1. Can I buy and hold Fidelity Funds in my VG portfolio without incurring extra fees from either company?... specifically interested in the Fidelity zero expense funds
2. Is there any benefit to that as opposed to purchasing 'like' Vanguard funds?
3. Will I be able to set up a monthly withdrawal system going with either company? ( as I plan on retiring fully in the next 6-12 months and will need income on a regular schedule).

Thanks again for checking in!
Rand
"Whats done is done, and can't be undone"

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emlowe
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Re: Benefits of Fidelity vs Vanguard

Post by emlowe » Tue Feb 12, 2019 3:28 pm

Randtor wrote:
Tue Feb 12, 2019 3:23 pm
Great responses to this thread, and very helpful to me... thank you all!

What it comes down to is,
1. Can I buy and hold Fidelity Funds in my VG portfolio without incurring extra fees from either company?... specifically interested in the Fidelity zero expense funds
2. Is there any benefit to that as opposed to purchasing 'like' Vanguard funds?
3. Will I be able to set up a monthly withdrawal system going with either company? ( as I plan on retiring fully in the next 6-12 months and will need income on a regular schedule).

Thanks again for checking in!
Rand
1) The Zero Fidelity funds can only be held at Fidelity, other Fidelity funds may be available at some cost but see (2)
2) None that I can think of
3) At Fidelity for sure. I don't know at Vanguard

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Re: Benefits of Fidelity vs Vanguard

Post by anil686 » Tue Feb 12, 2019 3:43 pm

Vanguard (If it interests you) has really good, low cost actively managed funds. Some of the popular ones on this board are Wellington and Wellesley, but there are others. If you have flagship status, you can buy up to $25,000 of closed actively managed funds per account (Primecap gets mentioned). I don't use actively managed funds, but if I did, I think the best place to buy them is Vanguard - JMO though...

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Re: Benefits of Fidelity vs Vanguard

Post by Misenplace » Tue Feb 12, 2019 5:58 pm

emlowe wrote:
Tue Feb 12, 2019 3:28 pm
Randtor wrote:
Tue Feb 12, 2019 3:23 pm
Great responses to this thread, and very helpful to me... thank you all!

What it comes down to is,
1. Can I buy and hold Fidelity Funds in my VG portfolio without incurring extra fees from either company?... specifically interested in the Fidelity zero expense funds
2. Is there any benefit to that as opposed to purchasing 'like' Vanguard funds?
3. Will I be able to set up a monthly withdrawal system going with either company? ( as I plan on retiring fully in the next 6-12 months and will need income on a regular schedule).

Thanks again for checking in!
Rand
1) The Zero Fidelity funds can only be held at Fidelity, other Fidelity funds may be available at some cost but see (2)
2) None that I can think of
3) At Fidelity for sure. I don't know at Vanguard
+1
1) Fidelity 0 Funds are brand new- I want to look at how the tax efficiency and index tracking work out before I use them.
2) Agree that there is no benefit- you might as buy Vanguard funds at Vanguard since there is no commission.
3) Yes you can set up recurring distributions at Vanguard as well.

Columbia85
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Re: Benefits of Fidelity vs Vanguard

Post by Columbia85 » Tue Feb 12, 2019 7:32 pm

Hi mpnret:

Thanks for the reply about transferring shares from Computershare to Vanguard. I'll call Vanguard and get that finished.

Regarding the topic, we would only go with Vanguard but it made sense for certain personal reasons not to co-mingle an inheritance with other family investments. So it has been useful to use Schwab as well (didn't look at Fidelity at the time).

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Re: Benefits of Fidelity vs Vanguard

Post by fishandgolf » Tue Feb 12, 2019 8:14 pm

A very special friend introduced me to Vanguard 10+ years ago. Never heard of them before.....hell..... I was so new at this stuff.....the only investment firm I had any awareness was of Wells Fargo. That is because my 401k was with them.

Long story short............I developed a relationship with Vanguard; we became friends. I have no knowledge about Fidelity, Schwab or others...they make be equally as good....or even exceed Vanguard in some respects.........don't know....probably never will.

But for me............once I establish a friendship with a trust worthy company, person, group or other...........nothing will yank me away from continually staying within that friendship........nothing. Of course, if some unethical or devious activity would happen, all bets are off.

But for me.........Vanguard has earned my friendship.........they are the epitome of "The best of class".......they have earned my trust..... I have the utmost respect for Vanguard, Jack Bogle and others........:happy

Best of luck in your choices.........

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Re: Benefits of Fidelity vs Vanguard

Post by nisiprius » Tue Feb 12, 2019 8:39 pm

I had accounts at both Vanguard and Fidelity for about seven years or so. If you want to do it, I think having accounts at both places for a year or so could be interesting. Usually, it is a bad idea to take your business to a company in order to please a friend, but in this case, I think Fidelity is a good, straight-shooting firm and you will do yourself no harm trying it out if you're interested.

It's a Coke versus Pepsi, Toyota versus Honda kind of thing, and it boils down to personal preference.

The big thing to keep in mind is that while you can hold Fidelity mutual funds at Vanguard and vice versa, your friend was being a little disingenuous, because of the fee structures for the kinds of funds Bogleheads like to hold: index funds. I believe that Fidelity's own index funds are about as good as Vanguard's. However, Fidelity will charge you $49.95 to buy a Vanguard fund, while Fidelity fund trades are free. Vanguard will charge you $20 to trade a Fidelity fund, while Vanguard fund trades are free. So, obviously, in a Fidelity account you are better off sticking to Fidelity funds, and in a Vanguard account you are better off sticking to Vanguard funds.

I consolidated everything at Vanguard because I wanted to consolidate and simplify. And I personally found it to be a great relief and a great simplification. The choice of Vanguard versus Fidelity was very close to a coin-flip. In my case, fan appreciation of John C. Bogle and a generally liking for the way Vanguard does things made the difference.

There are some obvious differences. Fidelity is a little broader in the things it offers. For example, if you happen to want a storefront where you can talk to someone live, well, Fidelity has storefronts, Vanguard doesn't.
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Re: Benefits of Fidelity vs Vanguard

Post by johnsmithsf » Tue Feb 12, 2019 9:20 pm

DesertMan wrote:
Tue Feb 12, 2019 2:09 pm
Further to Johnsmithsf's list:

TL;DR : You'll get the best bang for your buck if you use both Fidelity and Vanguard. If you must choose only one broker, Vanguard wins if you are in a high tax bracket (funds are more tax efficient), need to park large amounts of money in a money market fund, frequently trade exotic (i.e. non-total-market) ETFs, need to make automatic investments into exotic index funds, or have a variable annuity. Fidelity wins in basically every other situation.

Fidelity:
- excellent customer service (online and physical)
- best brokerage checking account with ability to deposit check with an app and keep money in a money market mutual fund( without needing manual purchase) and if you add a cash management account to it you can get the free ATM
- 2% cash back credit card
- human readable paper statements.
- lower (i.e. zero) expense ratio index funds
- Full View account aggregator to get one-stop viewing of all your accounts including Vanguard
Problems
- Fidelity index mutual funds have got a higher tax cost ratio compared to Vanguard (but you can buy Vanguard ETFs at Fidelity for $5/transaction)
- money market fund has a higher expense ratio
- inferior variable annuity

Vanguard
- if you want automatic investment in a taxable account, this is probably the only option as ETFs require manual purchase and non Vanguard mutual funds have got a higher tax cost ratio
- best national municipal bond funds in my opinion
- money market mutual fund has a lower expense ratio
- no commissions on most ETFs
- best selection of index mutual funds
- superior variable annuity
- superior tax efficiency
Problems
- I can never figure out my total return in percent per year by reading Vanguard paper statements unless I check online. Vanguard also does not give me an end year investment report.
- inferior checking account
- no credit card option

johnsmithsf wrote:
Tue Feb 12, 2019 1:23 pm
Each has strengths and weaknesses. Just one cannot satisfy my needs. Both are needed for different situations

Fidelity:
- excellent customer service (online and physical)
- best brokerage checking account with ability to deposit check with an app and keep money in a money market mutual fund( without needing manual purchase) and if you add a cash management account to it you can get the free ATM
- 2% cash back credit card
- human readable paper statements.
Problems
- Fidelity index mutual funds have got a higher tax cost ratio compared to Vanguard
- money market fund has a higher expense ratio

Vanguard
- if you want automatic investment in a taxable account, this is probably the only option as ETFs require manual purchase and non Vanguard mutual funds have got a higher tax cost ratio
- best national municipal bond funds in my opinion
- money market mutual fund has a lower expense ratio
Problems
- I can never figure out my total return in percent per year by reading Vanguard paper statements unless I check online. Vanguard also does not give me an end year investment report.
- inferior checking account
- no credit card option

Have not interacted with Vanguard customer care representative, but Fidelity and Schwab Representatives are excellent
totally agree.
I think if you want to simplify things completely, just use Fidelity for everything including for your checking account needs. You won't even need a traditional bank. The same cannot not be said for Vanguard. With Vanguard you will need a traditional bank checking account

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Re: Benefits of Fidelity vs Vanguard

Post by bltn » Tue Feb 12, 2019 10:00 pm

Over the past 5-6 years, I consolidated my holdings from about 7 brokerages (don t ask) to my accounts with Vanguard and Fidelity. I ve had accounts with these two companies for 25 years. I currently have twice as much money with Vanguard.
I like Vanguard s website better and find it easier to use. I m ok with Fidelity s site.
I like having a local Fidelity office and rep a few miles from here. But I ve always been pleased with Vanguard s customer service. I like Fidelity s customer service also. I have no real need for in person service, but my account rep w Fidelity schedules an appointment to see him once a year. I am sorry that Vanguard did away with their after hours and weekend phone rep customer service.
I like the stock funds at both. I like the bond funds better at Vanguard.
I have a Fidelity Visa card that is my most used card. It pays a 2% cash rebate on all purchases. But, as I ve heard at least one financial"expert" say, people trying to get rich with credit card rebates are setting their sites too low!
I m staying with both for now, but when I do my final consolidation for the sake of simplicity for my heirs, I ll go with Vanguard.

I remember when Fidelity had twice as many assets under management as Vanguard. Now Vanguard has twice as many under management. I understand why.

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Re: Benefits of Fidelity vs Vanguard

Post by tooluser » Tue Feb 12, 2019 10:11 pm

And realize that no matter how much you want to simplify, sometimes things happen to ruin those plans. My employer changed from a 403b with six investment company choices to a 401k with only one investment company choice. That one company was one I had transferred from two years ago to simplify things. Now I am back again and it was not my choice. At least they hadn't actually closed my old account, just left it with zero balance, easy to restart.
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Re: Benefits of Fidelity vs Vanguard

Post by tbird » Tue Feb 12, 2019 10:14 pm

cpumechanic wrote:
Tue Feb 12, 2019 9:09 am
I have funds at both Vanguard and Fidelity.
One thing I like about Fidelity is the "full view" feature that allows you to see all your accounts in one place and updates real time. I use this to keep track of all my other accounts, and my credit card spending.
It also does a nice Asset Allocation Summary for me so I can keep my Stock/Bond Ratio under some control.

They just botched an "upgrade" of Full View in the last 12 months.. but overtime the screw_up's have been addressed and it is back to being useful again.

Once you set it up.. all of your assets, CC accounts, asset allocation, life insurance, and other financial details are all on one page, and someone coming in after you are gone can easily see the up to date account balances and descriptions.
I force my wife to log in and pull up Full view once a month or so to be sure she knows where to go when I am no longer around. I can print a summary and leave it in a folder for others if needed.

Vanguard used to offer some kind of automated finance summary, but they dropped it, and Full View (once set up) is way easier to manage then a spreadsheet, or Mint . (IMHO)

CPU
I have two rules. Never open an email address with a cable provider and never use an aggregator at a bank or brokerage you may end up leaving one day. I previously used Yodlee as my aggregator, they were the first, and supplied the back end for almost all the others. When they got bought out their site went to sh-t so I made personal Personal Capital my primary. They have the best aggregator out there and you don't need to have a brokerage account with them. It really helps me since I currently have 17 brokerage accounts and numerous banking and high yield savings accounts! (some are recently inherited.)

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Re: Benefits of Fidelity vs Vanguard

Post by BolderBoy » Tue Feb 12, 2019 10:51 pm

I agree with Taylor Larimore. Having all your investments at one company makes life easier.
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Re: Benefits of Fidelity vs Vanguard

Post by LadyGeek » Tue Feb 12, 2019 11:21 pm

This thread is now in the Investing - Theory, News & General forum.

At a local Bogleheads chapter meeting, someone wondered if they should move some of their investments to Fidelity just in case "something happens to Vanguard". The underlying assumption is that Vanguard owns their mutual funds, so it's better to diversify with funds owned by Fidelity.

Per SEC regulations, no investment management company can own their funds. Every mutual fund must be owned by a third-party custodian.* So, there's no reason split your investments between Vanguard and Fidelity for this reason.

If I was basing a decision solely on website quality, I'd go with Fidelity.

* See the wiki: Vanguard safety
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Re: Benefits of Fidelity vs Vanguard

Post by ruralavalon » Wed Feb 13, 2019 9:50 am

Randtor wrote:
Tue Feb 12, 2019 3:23 pm
. . . . .
. . . Right now my first priority is to close the Ameriprise portfolio...
. . . . .
I don't see me needing an advisor once I am set up. I want to simplify! I will be following the 3 or 4 fund portfolio recommendations on this forum. It becomes a matter of choice as to which funds work the best. So I anticipate the initial advisor making recommendations with follow up by the 'manager'. I will have my thoughts on this as well, based on the information I have been greedily absorbing here. Then get the transfers going. Once the dust settles I will decide what to do with the stock portfolio with Fidelity.

I don't have a need for another credit card (I like mine), or a checking account ( I am at a local bank). My statement from Fidelity is fine, and I think the VG one will be no where near as cluttered or difficult as my current 40 page statement from Ameriprise! I am fine with transactions on the phone or online, and I don't need a local office (I've never been to an Ameriprise office, my rep always came to me). I want simplicity, and the most bang for my buck when picking average risk funds with low expense ratios. I am mostly buy & hold so I don't need a ton of free trades. I believe I should have enough assets in VG to qualify for Admiral shares ( I think...if I understand it all :confused !) if I transfer my whole portfolio over (I will ask about this tomorrow in my phone conversations).

What it comes down to is,
1. Can I buy and hold Fidelity Funds in my VG portfolio without incurring extra fees from either company?... specifically interested in the Fidelity zero expense funds
2. Is there any benefit to that as opposed to purchasing tilike' Vanguard funds?
3. Will I be able to set up a monthly withdrawal system going with either company? ( as I plan on retiring fully in the next 6-12 months and will need income on a regular schedule).

Thanks again for checking in!
Rand
I agree that the top priority should be getting out of Ameriprise. I think you are correct that once your portfolio is set up you can easily manage for yourself. I agree that you can do without a local customer service office, handling things by phone or on-line. I also have banking functions (checking account, credit card, debit cards) with a bank branch, not with an investing firm.

1) You can only have Fidelity ZERO funds in an individual account at Fidelity, nowhere else. You could hold other Fidelity funds in an account at Vanguard, but there is no reason to.

2) I don't see a reason to use Fidelity funds in a Vanguard account.

3) I don't know if you can set up automatic withdrawals. I didn't have automatic withdrawals until Required Minimum Distributions started at age 70.5. Before then I just did withdrawals manually each month.
"Everything should be as simple as it is, but not simpler." - Albert Einstein | Wiki article link:Getting Started

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Randtor
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Joined: Sat Feb 02, 2019 8:44 am

Re: Benefits of Fidelity vs Vanguard

Post by Randtor » Wed Feb 13, 2019 7:41 pm

Once again, thank you all for some enlightening and educational conversation. I am in the process of transferring my assets as mentioned. Based on all the comments here it looks like I will keep most of my non taxable retirement funds with Vanguard, and for now I will keep my taxable stock portfolio (about 10% of my entire holdings) with Fidelity.

There is a small amount that I cannot sell in Ameriprise - the REITs in that account – worth about $206 and $1,848 are not liquid yet and not traded on the public market so I will have to wait until they go public to liquidate those. but it's a very minimal amount.
ruralavalon wrote:
Wed Feb 13, 2019 9:50 am
3) I don't know if you can set up automatic withdrawals. I didn't have automatic withdrawals until Required Minimum Distributions started at age 70.5. Before then I just did withdrawals manually each month.
Thank you for that. I will get more info on all of this when I get situated and start digging in with the Financial Advisory Service I am going to utilize for my initial foray into simplification!
"Whats done is done, and can't be undone"

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