Fidelity vs Vanguard

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maryelai
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Fidelity vs Vanguard

Post by maryelai » Wed Feb 13, 2019 2:50 pm

We are retired and have been Vanguard investors for many years. Recently, my husband made inquiries at Fidelity regarding his 401k (which is held by Fidelity). We received an invitation to meet an advisor and were given an aggressive sales pitch by a "financial advisor of high-value clients" to turn our entire portfolio (mostly Vanguard index funds) over to Fidelity index funds. He became quite convincing by showing us the expense ratio comparisons on equivalent Vanguard and Fidelity funds. Vanguard Total Stock Market Index ER = 0.04 / Fidelity Total Market Index ER= 0.015. He also said that Fidelity shops widely for the best CD/savings account rates since we do have substantial cash invested. It seems that all things being more or less the same, we'd do better with Fidelity.

It seems like such a big step. We have taken this up with Vanguard but feel we'd like an outside view on this. Any help?

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tennisplyr
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Re: Fidelity vs Vanguard

Post by tennisplyr » Wed Feb 13, 2019 3:03 pm

If it ain't broke don't fix it. If this thought is driven largely by greed, be careful.
Those who move forward with a happy spirit will find that things always work out.

pward
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Re: Fidelity vs Vanguard

Post by pward » Wed Feb 13, 2019 3:05 pm

The cost difference between index funds at Fidelity and Vanguard is not worth swapping in and of itself. Surprisingly he also failed to mention that Fidelity has a zero % fee total stock market offering these days. But even then, the differences are so small that it can easily be eaten up in tracking error.

Fidelity does have better customer service. They also do have a much better platform for purchasing treasuries, bonds, and CD's direct. Those two things might be worth swapping depending on whether or not you would use them. Then again, you could also keep accounts at both so you can use the unique strengths of both companies to compliment each other. There's nothing wrong with that. Of course both companies would love for you to move more funds over, but at the end of the day you have to decide if it's worth going through the change.
Last edited by pward on Wed Feb 13, 2019 3:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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emlowe
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Re: Fidelity vs Vanguard

Post by emlowe » Wed Feb 13, 2019 3:11 pm

Vanguard has better money market funds - depending on where you like to keep your "cash"

pward
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Re: Fidelity vs Vanguard

Post by pward » Wed Feb 13, 2019 3:12 pm

emlowe wrote:
Wed Feb 13, 2019 3:11 pm
Vanguard has better money market funds - depending on where you like to keep your "cash"
This is easily cancelled out by Fidelity having no commissions on purchasing T-Bills at auction direct and having an auto-rollover feature. It cuts the middle man and their fees out of the equation entirely and is no more difficult to setup than purchasing and holding a mutual fund.

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Wiggums
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Re: Fidelity vs Vanguard

Post by Wiggums » Wed Feb 13, 2019 3:15 pm

I have accounts at both places. There are pros and cons to each, however, there’s not enough difference in the fees to switch. You’ll find that the money market and CDs Are higher at Vanguard. Fidelity has auto renewal. You would be happy at either place.

Good luck to you.
Last edited by Wiggums on Thu Feb 14, 2019 5:53 am, edited 1 time in total.

Olemiss540
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Re: Fidelity vs Vanguard

Post by Olemiss540 » Wed Feb 13, 2019 3:20 pm

I have also read that Vanguard can have better tax efficiency and diversity within their funds than many of their competitors, but my point is there are many reasons to look at aside from what a salesman is pitching you.

4 hundredths of a percent is completely negligible in the scheme of things, and ranks way down on the list of things I would consider when making a change. Think you would do fine with either institution, but I tend to give the nod to loyalty with a brand that started much of this low cost revolution and tends to offer much less in the way of high cost fee driven products. Having said that I have accounts at both companies.....
I hold index funds because I do not overestimate my ability to pick stocks OR stock pickers.

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SlowMovingInvestor
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Re: Fidelity vs Vanguard

Post by SlowMovingInvestor » Wed Feb 13, 2019 3:27 pm

Olemiss540 wrote:
Wed Feb 13, 2019 3:20 pm
I have also read that Vanguard can have better tax efficiency and diversity within their funds than many of their competitors, but my point is there are many reasons to look at aside from what a salesman is pitching you.
According to OP, this a 401k, so tax efficiency shouldn't be an issue.

Olemiss540
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Re: Fidelity vs Vanguard

Post by Olemiss540 » Wed Feb 13, 2019 3:39 pm

SlowMovingInvestor wrote:
Wed Feb 13, 2019 3:27 pm
Olemiss540 wrote:
Wed Feb 13, 2019 3:20 pm
I have also read that Vanguard can have better tax efficiency and diversity within their funds than many of their competitors, but my point is there are many reasons to look at aside from what a salesman is pitching you.
According to OP, this a 401k, so tax efficiency shouldn't be an issue.
I read the OP as saying the 401k is ALREADY at Fido, and they were trying to convince them to most the rest of their portfolio. Thanks,
I hold index funds because I do not overestimate my ability to pick stocks OR stock pickers.

zubinh
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Re: Fidelity vs Vanguard

Post by zubinh » Wed Feb 13, 2019 3:43 pm

The 2.5 basis points you will save by switching is not worth it unless you highly value the other advantages of Fidelity.

Also bear this in mind. If you do swap out of Vanguard funds and into Fidelity, you will place sell orders and then buy orders over a two day period. You will be out of the market for a day. And if that day is an up day, it can cost you a lot more than 2.5bps.

WhiteMaxima
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Re: Fidelity vs Vanguard

Post by WhiteMaxima » Wed Feb 13, 2019 3:45 pm

Toyota vs Honda

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Kenkat
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Re: Fidelity vs Vanguard

Post by Kenkat » Wed Feb 13, 2019 3:46 pm

The expense ratio difference is close to irrelevant in my opinion. Both are good companies; I have accounts at both as a result of an inheritance that was held at Fidelity. We left it there as there is not really a compelling case for moving it in my opinion.

jahol000
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Re: Fidelity vs Vanguard

Post by jahol000 » Wed Feb 13, 2019 3:51 pm

Wasn't sure if any of your holdings at Vanguard are in taxable accounts. If so, and depending on your basis, you could experience a significant tax hit on the capital gains. This also could overwhelm any benefits Fido is offering.

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SlowMovingInvestor
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Re: Fidelity vs Vanguard

Post by SlowMovingInvestor » Wed Feb 13, 2019 4:09 pm

zubinh wrote:
Wed Feb 13, 2019 3:43 pm
The 2.5 basis points you will save by switching is not worth it unless you highly value the other advantages of Fidelity.

Also bear this in mind. If you do swap out of Vanguard funds and into Fidelity, you will place sell orders and then buy orders over a two day period. You will be out of the market for a day. And if that day is an up day, it can cost you a lot more than 2.5bps.
You would be out of the market for one day if you sold Vanguard one day and bought Fido the next day. But you can minimize the impact if you have some cash in the portfolio -- you just buy and sell the cash amount every day. A little bit of a hassle, but that by itself should not be a reason to not switch.

Tax hit (if any) is definitely a reason to not switch. Also, several Vanguard funds such as Admiral funds can't be held at Fidelity at all, so you have to sell them (no choice). And there could be transaction fees for selling Vanguard funds at Fidelity if you do that after transfer. And Vanguard charges fees for buying Fidelity funds, as I recall, so it's not easy to avoid fees one way or the other or to avoid being out of the market.

Not even worth considering if this is not a tax sheltered account. If this is tax sheltered, there may be ways to avoid fees -- convert Vanguard funds to ETFs if possible, transfer to Fidelity, ask Fidelity for free trades, and then put in sell orders for VG ETFs and either buy ETFs like ITOT or Fido zero/low fee index funds.
Last edited by SlowMovingInvestor on Wed Feb 13, 2019 4:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

rasta
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Re: Fidelity vs Vanguard

Post by rasta » Wed Feb 13, 2019 4:14 pm

pward wrote:
Wed Feb 13, 2019 3:12 pm
emlowe wrote:
Wed Feb 13, 2019 3:11 pm
Vanguard has better money market funds - depending on where you like to keep your "cash"
This is easily cancelled out by Fidelity having no commissions on purchasing T-Bills at auction direct and having an auto-rollover feature. It cuts the middle man and their fees out of the equation entirely and is no more difficult to setup than purchasing and holding a mutual fund.
i buy/sell t-bills at vanguard all the time, there are no commissions.

H-Town
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Re: Fidelity vs Vanguard

Post by H-Town » Wed Feb 13, 2019 4:19 pm

maryelai wrote:
Wed Feb 13, 2019 2:50 pm
We are retired and have been Vanguard investors for many years. Recently, my husband made inquiries at Fidelity regarding his 401k (which is held by Fidelity). We received an invitation to meet an advisor and were given an aggressive sales pitch by a "financial advisor of high-value clients" to turn our entire portfolio (mostly Vanguard index funds) over to Fidelity index funds. He became quite convincing by showing us the expense ratio comparisons on equivalent Vanguard and Fidelity funds. Vanguard Total Stock Market Index ER = 0.04 / Fidelity Total Market Index ER= 0.015. He also said that Fidelity shops widely for the best CD/savings account rates since we do have substantial cash invested. It seems that all things being more or less the same, we'd do better with Fidelity.

It seems like such a big step. We have taken this up with Vanguard but feel we'd like an outside view on this. Any help?
It's not worth moving taxable accounts. Those sales pitch sound great at times; but they don't have any substance.

Few things that the advisor failed to mention:
1) Capital Gain distribution of fidelity total market vs. Vanguard total market.
2) Taxable events when switch from Vanguard funds to Fidelity funds.
3) Vanguard's MM market has a very competitive rate compared to what he calls the best CD/saving account rates.
4) The commission he would get when he's able to get you to switch to Fidelity.

pward
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Re: Fidelity vs Vanguard

Post by pward » Wed Feb 13, 2019 5:51 pm

rasta wrote:
Wed Feb 13, 2019 4:14 pm
pward wrote:
Wed Feb 13, 2019 3:12 pm
emlowe wrote:
Wed Feb 13, 2019 3:11 pm
Vanguard has better money market funds - depending on where you like to keep your "cash"
This is easily cancelled out by Fidelity having no commissions on purchasing T-Bills at auction direct and having an auto-rollover feature. It cuts the middle man and their fees out of the equation entirely and is no more difficult to setup than purchasing and holding a mutual fund.
i buy/sell t-bills at vanguard all the time, there are no commissions.
Yes, but Vanguard does not have the auto-roll feature, which is a real quality of life improvement. Also, Fidelity does have a better all around platform for bonds, treasuries, and CD's. Vanguard's site leaves a lot to be desired.

3spots
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Re: Fidelity vs Vanguard

Post by 3spots » Wed Feb 13, 2019 6:49 pm

When I had to make a decision of where to consolidate, I finally opted for customer service and convenience. The fees were comparable enough, and the ease of a local office with everything in one place should something befall me cinched the deal. I am DIY, though. If I had to rely on their expertise, I would probably seek out professional credentials, and go with that one. But having a local office is big..

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Re: Fidelity vs Vanguard

Post by bondsr4me » Wed Feb 13, 2019 6:51 pm

Both firms are good to invest with.

They each have good and not-so-good points.

Apparently you are currently using both.

Is there anything about Vanguard that would cause you to transfer the VG account to Fidelity?

Is there anything about Fidelity that would cause you to transfer the Fido account to VG?

Either one or both are good to use.

Good Luck.....either way you can’t go wrong.

Mr.BB
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Re: Fidelity vs Vanguard

Post by Mr.BB » Wed Feb 13, 2019 7:17 pm

was the advisor wanting you to let him manage your money? If so, did he include his AUM in his totals?
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Re: Fidelity vs Vanguard

Post by mighty72 » Wed Feb 13, 2019 10:44 pm

WhiteMaxima wrote:
Wed Feb 13, 2019 3:45 pm
Toyota vs Honda
+1

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goingup
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Re: Fidelity vs Vanguard

Post by goingup » Thu Feb 14, 2019 9:37 am

maryelai wrote:
Wed Feb 13, 2019 2:50 pm
We received an invitation to meet an advisor and were given an aggressive sales pitch by a "financial advisor of high-value clients" to turn our entire portfolio (mostly Vanguard index funds) over to Fidelity index funds. He became quite convincing by showing us the expense ratio comparisons on equivalent Vanguard and Fidelity funds. Vanguard Total Stock Market Index ER = 0.04 / Fidelity Total Market Index ER= 0.015.
This may be an effort to get your assets into an AUM fee program. You'll want to find out what he is truly proposing. He may want 1%-2% AUM to manage your portfolio. Did you want an advisor? If you do, you'll likely have to pay for it.

As far as the .04 ER vs .015 ER--that is insignificant. For a $1,000,000 portfolio the difference is $400 vs $150.

DesertMan
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Re: Fidelity vs Vanguard

Post by DesertMan » Thu Feb 14, 2019 10:51 am

See related topic here: viewtopic.php?f=10&t=272672&newpost=4380455

There really ought to be a Fidelity vs. Vanguard (vs. Schwab/E*Trade/TDA/etc.) wiki page.

TBillT
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Re: Fidelity vs Vanguard

Post by TBillT » Fri Feb 15, 2019 8:35 pm

The lower money market fund rates at Fidelity is a bummer.
In fact just tonite I got an email from Fidelity touting 0.8-2.25% in Money Market Funds and I replied to the email that that was non-competitive compard to VG (probably nobody reads it of course...but I felt better). I do not recall that problem back before the Great Recession when money market funds were 5% ish. Now Fidelity is holding the competitive rates to over $1MM accounts.

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darkhorse346
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Re: Fidelity vs Vanguard

Post by darkhorse346 » Sat Feb 16, 2019 7:01 am

First hand experience with both.

We switched from Vanguard to Fidelity after dealing with a loved one's financial affairs at the end of life and after death. Individual who passed away had accounts at both. Fidelity was very easy to work with. They made things simple. Vanguard was okay, but not nearly as prompt and timely as Fidelity. In addition, there were some cost basis errors that Vanguard made that had they not been caught by me, could have been costly. Prior to death, Fidelity was a lot more accomodating, whereas Vanguard was not as easy to work with.

I also know of a close acquaintance, who lives overseas, who went through the same thing. Inherited Vanguard and Fidelity accounts. Fidelity = easy. Vanguard = difficult. Got so bad, that while visiting the US, this person had to go to a Fidelity office to get help on filling out Vanguard forms and dealing with their requirements. This person ultimately consolidated at Fidelity.

Bottom line: Investment-wise, you can't go wrong with either one, if you want simple, 3 fund portfolios. Personally, I do think Vanguard has a better selection of low-cost allocation funds, e.g., target retirement, LifeStrategy, etc. Vanguard also has better money market funds, in my opinion. Ultimately, it came down to what firm, assuming one wanted a 3 fund portfolio, provided a better overall experience? (Experience being broadly defined as good, low cost investment options, outstanding customer service, account accuracy, easy to read statements, and a better website.) For us, Fidelity was the better choice, based on our experience with both firms.

I would also highly recommend consolidating accounts. It makes it a lot easier for you and your loved ones.

Good luck. :beer

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Re: Fidelity vs Vanguard

Post by ruralavalon » Sat Feb 16, 2019 9:32 am

Welcome to the forum :) .

maryelai wrote:
Wed Feb 13, 2019 2:50 pm
We are retired and have been Vanguard investors for many years. Recently, my husband made inquiries at Fidelity regarding his 401k (which is held by Fidelity). We received an invitation to meet an advisor and were given an aggressive sales pitch by a "financial advisor of high-value clients" to turn our entire portfolio (mostly Vanguard index funds) over to Fidelity index funds. He became quite convincing by showing us the expense ratio comparisons on equivalent Vanguard and Fidelity funds. Vanguard Total Stock Market Index ER = 0.04 / Fidelity Total Market Index ER= 0.015. He also said that Fidelity shops widely for the best CD/savings account rates since we do have substantial cash invested. It seems that all things being more or less the same, we'd do better with Fidelity.

It seems like such a big step. We have taken this up with Vanguard but feel we'd like an outside view on this. Any help?
Is happy with Vanguard, stay there. If it's not broken, don't fix it.

The expense ratio differences between Fidelity and Vanguard funds are tiny, and will likely have no significant impact. Vanguard offers by far the largest selection of low expense mutual funds and ETFs, has better money market funds (Vanguard Prime Money Market Fund, VMMXX, currently pays 2.50% compound yield), has more tax-exempt bond funds, and it's stock index funds are more tax-efficient.

I am always sceptical of an "aggressive sales pitch".
Last edited by ruralavalon on Sat Feb 16, 2019 12:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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TBillT
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Re: Fidelity vs Vanguard

Post by TBillT » Sat Feb 16, 2019 12:04 pm

darkhorse346 wrote:
Sat Feb 16, 2019 7:01 am
I would also highly recommend consolidating accounts. It makes it a lot easier for you and your loved ones.
Good luck. :beer
Nice post, Darkhorse...also recognized your Avatar because for Halloween my granddaughter was asking for Unicorn pumpkin so we used the exact same picture for the pumpkin design. Yours is missing the unicorn horn.

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Re: Fidelity vs Vanguard

Post by darkhorse346 » Sat Feb 16, 2019 6:22 pm

TBillT wrote:
Sat Feb 16, 2019 12:04 pm
darkhorse346 wrote:
Sat Feb 16, 2019 7:01 am
I would also highly recommend consolidating accounts. It makes it a lot easier for you and your loved ones.
Good luck. :beer
Nice post, Darkhorse...also recognized your Avatar because for Halloween my granddaughter was asking for Unicorn pumpkin so we used the exact same picture for the pumpkin design. Yours is missing the unicorn horn.
Thank you, TBillT, and good story about your granddaughter and Halloween! Fun times! :)

2015
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Re: Fidelity vs Vanguard

Post by 2015 » Sat Feb 16, 2019 10:42 pm

H-Town wrote:
Wed Feb 13, 2019 4:19 pm
maryelai wrote:
Wed Feb 13, 2019 2:50 pm
We are retired and have been Vanguard investors for many years. Recently, my husband made inquiries at Fidelity regarding his 401k (which is held by Fidelity). We received an invitation to meet an advisor and were given an aggressive sales pitch by a "financial advisor of high-value clients" to turn our entire portfolio (mostly Vanguard index funds) over to Fidelity index funds. He became quite convincing by showing us the expense ratio comparisons on equivalent Vanguard and Fidelity funds. Vanguard Total Stock Market Index ER = 0.04 / Fidelity Total Market Index ER= 0.015. He also said that Fidelity shops widely for the best CD/savings account rates since we do have substantial cash invested. It seems that all things being more or less the same, we'd do better with Fidelity.

It seems like such a big step. We have taken this up with Vanguard but feel we'd like an outside view on this. Any help?
It's not worth moving taxable accounts. Those sales pitch sound great at times; but they don't have any substance.

Few things that the advisor failed to mention:
1) Capital Gain distribution of fidelity total market vs. Vanguard total market.
2) Taxable events when switch from Vanguard funds to Fidelity funds.
3) Vanguard's MM market has a very competitive rate compared to what he calls the best CD/saving account rates.
4) The commission he would get when he's able to get you to switch to Fidelity.
+1

jadedfalcons
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Re: Fidelity vs Vanguard

Post by jadedfalcons » Sun Feb 17, 2019 9:22 am

SlowMovingInvestor wrote:
Wed Feb 13, 2019 4:09 pm
zubinh wrote:
Wed Feb 13, 2019 3:43 pm
The 2.5 basis points you will save by switching is not worth it unless you highly value the other advantages of Fidelity.

Also bear this in mind. If you do swap out of Vanguard funds and into Fidelity, you will place sell orders and then buy orders over a two day period. You will be out of the market for a day. And if that day is an up day, it can cost you a lot more than 2.5bps.
You would be out of the market for one day if you sold Vanguard one day and bought Fido the next day. But you can minimize the impact if you have some cash in the portfolio -- you just buy and sell the cash amount every day. A little bit of a hassle, but that by itself should not be a reason to not switch.

Tax hit (if any) is definitely a reason to not switch. Also, several Vanguard funds such as Admiral funds can't be held at Fidelity at all, so you have to sell them (no choice). And there could be transaction fees for selling Vanguard funds at Fidelity if you do that after transfer. And Vanguard charges fees for buying Fidelity funds, as I recall, so it's not easy to avoid fees one way or the other or to avoid being out of the market.

Not even worth considering if this is not a tax sheltered account. If this is tax sheltered, there may be ways to avoid fees -- convert Vanguard funds to ETFs if possible, transfer to Fidelity, ask Fidelity for free trades, and then put in sell orders for VG ETFs and either buy ETFs like ITOT or Fido zero/low fee index funds.
Regarding the admiral funds part, this may still hold true on funds where there are both an investor class & and an admiral class, but I hold VTSAX (Total Market Admiral) in a Fidelity HSA as a result of transferring it from Saturna.

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SlowMovingInvestor
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Re: Fidelity vs Vanguard

Post by SlowMovingInvestor » Sun Feb 17, 2019 9:32 am

jadedfalcons wrote:
Sun Feb 17, 2019 9:22 am
SlowMovingInvestor wrote:
Wed Feb 13, 2019 4:09 pm
Also, several Vanguard funds such as Admiral funds can't be held at Fidelity at all, so you have to sell them (no choice). And there could be transaction fees for selling Vanguard funds at Fidelity if you do that after transfer. And Vanguard charges fees for buying Fidelity funds, as I recall, so it's not easy to avoid fees one way or the other or to avoid being out of the market.
Regarding the admiral funds part, this may still hold true on funds where there are both an investor class & and an admiral class, but I hold VTSAX (Total Market Admiral) in a Fidelity HSA as a result of transferring it from Saturna.
My comment about Admiral Funds at Fidelity seems out of date. A number of brokers (Etrade) now do have Vanguard Admiral Funds available, (not just for transfer, but also for purchase NTF). And it looks like Fidelity does allow holding/buying some Admiral funds now (but with a fee).

Looking at Fido's MF search tool, a number of Vanguard MFs do seem to be available with a fee, so they can presumably be transferred. Selling at Fido is fee free, so no fees for that, but buying more Vanguard MFs would incur a fee.

TBillT
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Re: Fidelity vs Vanguard

Post by TBillT » Sun Feb 17, 2019 9:54 am

TBillT wrote:
Fri Feb 15, 2019 8:35 pm
The lower money market fund rates at Fidelity is a bummer.
In fact just tonite I got an email from Fidelity touting 0.8-2.25% in Money Market Funds and I replied to the email that that was non-competitive compard to VG (probably nobody reads it of course...but I felt better). I do not recall that problem back before the Great Recession when money market funds were 5% ish. Now Fidelity is holding the competitive rates to over $1MM accounts.
Geez Louise it seems Fidleity is taking my email to heart. Management team is reviewing the comment.

Boglemeister
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Re: Fidelity vs Vanguard

Post by Boglemeister » Sun Feb 17, 2019 10:08 am

No fees for holding or selling VTSAX in an individual HSA at Fidelity, correct? Only for purchase? What about reinvestment of dividends?

infotrader
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Re: Fidelity vs Vanguard

Post by infotrader » Sun Feb 17, 2019 10:47 am

I have accounts with both, and I have one more thing to add:
The fidelity online interface is much more user friendly. The vanguard one is difficult to use and not intuitive.
I have about equal amount in each, and I will keep it this way.

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Re: Fidelity vs Vanguard

Post by rotorhead » Sun Feb 17, 2019 1:04 pm

maryelai,

Good question you asked here. I've been customer of Fidelity for more than 30 years, first through my company's 401k; and then directly after rolling the 401 over. Have been totally satisfied with them. I am Private Client status; and meet with my adviser once a year. We have a cup of coffee, & a very pleasant chat. And he reinforces the notion that I am doing quite well with my 3-fund account - Total Stock, Total Bond & Short Term Bond. He knows that I am an "indexer" and doesn't try to up sell me.

Additionally, my wife's Rollover IRA has been with Vanguard more than 6 years, quite deliberately, so we could get experience with both houses. She is very happy with her 2-index funds account.

One day we will consolidate to one or the other, most likely Fidelity since they have a shop just a few minutes from our home. And that might be significant as we get older - I am 11 years older than my wife.

Both websites are perfectly adequate for our purposes; and quite easy to navigate after some experience. They both have a broad selection of Index funds, with competitive ER's, so I wouldn't switch either way for that reason.

I think there is no "wrong" answer here; but I would be wary of any attempt to put my portfolio under management. Those fees add up.

StealthRabbit
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Re: Fidelity vs Vanguard

Post by StealthRabbit » Sun Feb 17, 2019 4:04 pm

I have both, but will likely transition everything to FID (Including DAF).

Vanguard is making it very tough on clients who spend a lot of time traveling internationally (Mandatory Cell Phone security). My USA cell stays in USA while I am traveling overseas, and I buy SIM cards when needed from a variety of carriers.

I would imagine > $1m _ range would buy you some benefit to consolidate. (personal rep)

I do keep funds in discount brokerages for beneficial margin rates (and better trading platforms).

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maryelai
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Re: Fidelity vs Vanguard

Post by maryelai » Tue Feb 19, 2019 5:55 pm

Thank you so much for your replies. We're mulling it all over (procrastination is our middle name!) much to the consternation of our Fidelity guy. To his credit, he was clear and open with us that his aim was to eventually convince us of the benefit of his managing our investments. I believe Vanguard's advisor services are cheaper (and we've just taken advantage of a free review). Thanks again.

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Vulcan
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Re: Fidelity vs Vanguard

Post by Vulcan » Tue Feb 19, 2019 6:07 pm

StealthRabbit wrote:
Sun Feb 17, 2019 4:04 pm
Vanguard is making it very tough on clients who spend a lot of time traveling internationally (Mandatory Cell Phone security). My USA cell stays in USA while I am traveling overseas, and I buy SIM cards when needed from a variety of carriers.
Sign up for Google Voice.
If you torture the data long enough, it will confess to anything. ~Ronald Coase

Dead Man Walking
Posts: 886
Joined: Wed Nov 07, 2007 6:51 pm

Re: Fidelity vs Vanguard

Post by Dead Man Walking » Wed Feb 20, 2019 2:14 am

WhiteMaxima wrote:
Wed Feb 13, 2019 3:45 pm
Toyota vs Honda
I have driven Hondas since 1985 and have never owned a Toyota. The automotive media has rated Hondas highly lately; however, there is a major difference between driving a new model and owning it for several years. Hondas haven’t faired as well on J.D. Powers ratings. There have been problems with the 1.5 liter turbocharged engines. Honda has increased their advertising to counteract any negative publicity. Basically, Honda is putting lipstick on a pig. Toyota has chosen to stick with normally aspirated engines and styling.

I have invested with both Vanguard and Fidelity. I chose to transfer all of my accounts to Vanguard because I have instructed my wife to move my tilted portfolio to a Life Strategy fund upon my death. Vanguard’s Life Strategy Funds are better than Fidelity’s options. The Life Strategy Funds are similar to Toyotas on the market now. However, Vanguard’s customer service is similar to the turbocharged Hondas currently on the market. I’ve never understood the debate about the websites.

DMW

mtmingus
Posts: 234
Joined: Sun Jan 07, 2018 4:15 pm

Re: Fidelity vs Vanguard

Post by mtmingus » Wed Feb 20, 2019 9:31 am

mighty72 wrote:
Wed Feb 13, 2019 10:44 pm
WhiteMaxima wrote:
Wed Feb 13, 2019 3:45 pm
Toyota vs Honda
+1
++1

bernoulli
Posts: 111
Joined: Sat Feb 02, 2019 1:13 pm

Re: Fidelity vs Vanguard

Post by bernoulli » Wed Feb 20, 2019 10:30 am

I second DMW's opinion.

Having owned both Honda and Toyota cars, Toyota is my preferred brand.

I think I understand the preference for Fidelity less than that for Honda. I have accounts at both Fidelity and Vanguard and I try not to call Fidelity precisely because the overzealous sales pitch I usually receive. To be fair, the last time I called Fidelity which is a few days ago about rolling a 401K out, I fully expected and was prepared for a pitch to stay with them, but to my surprise, they carried out my request with efficiency and without any advertising activity. But I prefer Vanguard, although I have not called them about anything complicated (or uncomplicated) like removing someone from a joint account discussed in another post.

I also find Fidelity's website "cluttered." Maybe it can do more but for my purposes, I don't need that much to buy mutual funds and hold them.

WhiteMaxima
Posts: 2001
Joined: Thu May 19, 2016 5:04 pm

Re: Fidelity vs Vanguard

Post by WhiteMaxima » Wed Feb 20, 2019 11:34 am

Dead Man Walking wrote:
Wed Feb 20, 2019 2:14 am
WhiteMaxima wrote:
Wed Feb 13, 2019 3:45 pm
Toyota vs Honda
I have driven Hondas since 1985 and have never owned a Toyota. The automotive media has rated Hondas highly lately; however, there is a major difference between driving a new model and owning it for several years. Hondas haven’t faired as well on J.D. Powers ratings. There have been problems with the 1.5 liter turbocharged engines. Honda has increased their advertising to counteract any negative publicity. Basically, Honda is putting lipstick on a pig. Toyota has chosen to stick with normally aspirated engines and styling.

I have invested with both Vanguard and Fidelity. I chose to transfer all of my accounts to Vanguard because I have instructed my wife to move my tilted portfolio to a Life Strategy fund upon my death. Vanguard’s Life Strategy Funds are better than Fidelity’s options. The Life Strategy Funds are similar to Toyotas on the market now. However, Vanguard’s customer service is similar to the turbocharged Hondas currently on the market. I’ve never understood the debate about the websites.

DMW
Fidelity has better customer service and some better active managed fund. Now Fidelity has zero fund. Besides, I have a Fidelity 2% reward card. So I have them both.

taxgeek2255
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Aug 07, 2019 12:32 pm

Re: Fidelity vs Vanguard

Post by taxgeek2255 » Fri Nov 08, 2019 11:29 am

Fidelity's customer service is far superior to Vanguard's. My family has been high-net-worth clients of both for 20+ years. [We are Flagship Select clients at Vanguard and Private Client Group clients at Fidelity.] Vanguard's ETF and mutual fund offerings (the "products") may in fact be better all things considered (tax efficiency, costs after securities lending fee rebates, broadness of indexes, etc.), but the Fidelity brokerage service (the "platform") is in fact far superior. Better customer service hands-down and without exception, fully paid securities lending (which is not available on Vanguard's brokerage platform), ease of buying and selling anything and everything (with zero commissions on stocks and ETFs, whereas Vanguard Flagship Select clients receive 100 trades free per year or so), far better online brokerage account interface (with greater ability to find and extract info and advice), cash management account features unavailable with Vanguard, etc. So what my family has decided to do is move everything to the Fidelity brokerage "platform" where we will probably continue to buy Vanguard ETF "products." It's the best of both worlds.

colodane
Posts: 34
Joined: Tue Oct 23, 2018 11:32 pm

Re: Fidelity vs Vanguard

Post by colodane » Fri Nov 08, 2019 5:54 pm

I've been a Vanguard investor for several decades now, and have 97% of my assets with them. The remaining 3% are with a local bank for quick access, checking account, etc. I have been extremely pleased with Vanguard over the years and have come to know and accept their somewhat poorly-documented website procedures. I am very happy with my returns, their expense ratios, and on the growth of my accounts there. I have had no real need to use their free Flagship Advisor services so can't comment on the impact of the discontinuation of these kinds of services. Overall, I can say that I'm very comfortable with Vanguard. And, at age 76, I don't plan on moving. My wife, who has her own Vanguard accounts, would most likely agree with my assessment.

Having said that, I would have some concerns about recommending Vanguard to a significantly younger or new investor. Lately their customer service seems to be deteriorating. Their website isn't as user-friendly as Fidelity. They seem to be getting somewhat "sloppy" in their communications. For example, they often post the wrong day's data in their market-closing and before-the-bell emails. No real damage to my holdings, but it might create an aura of mistrust for new customers. Most disturbingly, they seem to want out of the customer "hand-holding" part of the business with their recent campaign go get their customers to switch to ETFs. I, for one, am not doing so.

The bottom line is, that for a young new investor, I would probably suggest Fidelity or Schwab as a first choice and Vanguard as #3. It pains me to say this. I feel loyalty to Vanguard for the services and results they have provided me. But I also feel an obligation to be honest about my outlook for the future.

retired@50
Posts: 477
Joined: Tue Oct 01, 2019 2:36 pm

Re: Fidelity vs Vanguard

Post by retired@50 » Fri Nov 08, 2019 7:38 pm

maryelai wrote:
Tue Feb 19, 2019 5:55 pm
Thank you so much for your replies. We're mulling it all over (procrastination is our middle name!) much to the consternation of our Fidelity guy. To his credit, he was clear and open with us that his aim was to eventually convince us of the benefit of his managing our investments. I believe Vanguard's advisor services are cheaper (and we've just taken advantage of a free review). Thanks again.
The "aggressive" sales pitch you mentioned in your original post would be enough to turn me off. I'd avoid this "Fidelity guy" just on principle at this point.

Regards,

michaelingp
Posts: 219
Joined: Tue Jan 17, 2017 8:46 pm

Re: Fidelity vs Vanguard

Post by michaelingp » Fri Nov 08, 2019 10:18 pm

Dead Man Walking wrote:
Wed Feb 20, 2019 2:14 am
I’ve never understood the debate about the websites.
Agree. I have equal amounts at Fidelity and Vanguard, use the web sites fairly frequently, and they both work fine for what I have to do. I'm not saying that others have not found one or the other more intuitive or better in one way or another, just that for me and what I need to do, they seem equivalent.

I don't know if it's totally rational, but I like the idea of having assets in both firms. Gives me some sense of security.

nix4me
Posts: 312
Joined: Sat Oct 13, 2018 9:32 am

Re: Fidelity vs Vanguard

Post by nix4me » Fri Nov 08, 2019 10:31 pm

Fidelity is better. Vanguard ok.

Raraculus
Posts: 8
Joined: Sat Jul 20, 2019 10:43 am

Re: Fidelity vs Vanguard

Post by Raraculus » Fri Nov 08, 2019 11:02 pm

When I first started index investing, I started at Vanguard.

I found its interface to be somewhat confusing. Sweep funds into an account. Take funds out of an account and it comes up with the second column where you'd like to put the money in...

This wasn't a slick interface. Eventually, I figured it out and I've gotten used to it.

I suspect I would like Fidelity even more. One day, I'll check it out, I guess.

lakpr
Posts: 2842
Joined: Fri Mar 18, 2011 9:59 am

Re: Fidelity vs Vanguard

Post by lakpr » Fri Nov 08, 2019 11:16 pm

WhiteMaxima wrote:
Wed Feb 13, 2019 3:45 pm
Toyota vs Honda
Funny that you with a user handle of a Nissan make should say that! 😄

Vanguard Fan 1367
Posts: 1153
Joined: Wed Feb 08, 2017 3:09 pm

Re: Fidelity vs Vanguard

Post by Vanguard Fan 1367 » Fri Nov 08, 2019 11:53 pm

I have liked Fidelity's 2% Visa for years. Vanguard pushed me a little more toward Fidelity when they discontinued their Vanguard Advantage Checking Accounts.

I really like John Bogle and the Vanguard Story. I have about 85% of my assets at Vanguard, the rest at Fidelity. I don't think that Fidelity and others would be offering such low ERs if it wasn't for Vanguard's pioneering of low expense ratios.

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