Considering switch from Vanguard to eTrade...pros, cons and other input?

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Wiggums
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Re: Considering switch from Vanguard to eTrade...pros, cons and other input?

Post by Wiggums »

With the race to the bottom on fees, I think it’s very possible that we will see the acquisition of smaller brokers.

I’ve had trading errors with Fidelity but never Vanguard. Now Fidelity calls me at home every time I transfer money (100k) out. I find that super annoying.

I’ve been with both over 25 years. It would not surprise me to find out that the backend systems are very old with 3rd party apps to handle mobile.

I’m a buy and hold investor, so I don’t experience a lot of issues reported on here.

Good luck to you...
TSPballer
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Re: Considering switch from Vanguard to eTrade...pros, cons and other input?

Post by TSPballer »

Put me down as a fan of E*Trade.

Before I was deep into indexing and FI as a whole, I bought individual equities via OptionsHouse. OH was bought out by E*Trade and I stayed with them.

After my time here on BH, I've realized how stupid having the amount of $ I do in individual stocks that I do (even though I've done quite well). I say that to say, I was going to start an account with VG until I found out that I can get every VG fund that I was going to hold via ET and there would be no transaction fees.

I was originally going to go Schwab as I absolutely love their customer service and checking account. Having said that, CS wanted $50 per purchase of VG funds. No thanks.

I see ET as the best of all worlds. No fees to buy VG, excellent CS, and their app is incredibly easy to utilize. I keep my EF in their premier savings @ 1.75% currently.

One thing I will say, is you will get emails, and asked by associates if you call in, about ET managed portfolios. I always give them a no thanks and that's the end of it.

I think you'll enjoy ET.
557880yvi
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Re: Considering switch from Vanguard to eTrade...pros, cons and other input?

Post by 557880yvi »

The original post could have be me writing it. LT Vanguard customers, retired early about 16 mos ago - now super PO'd with Vanguard after consolidating > $3 million in assets from Fidelity, TIAA, Am Century and a few other smaller employer plans last year after being enticed with the Advantage Account features. Found out that as they were selling us on Advantage, they knew they would soon be discontinuing. A lot of work to move assets, set up new trusts, checking, Bill pay then it was pulled out under our feet. We are just shy of the Vanguard Flagship Select, likely to hit soon but also see few differences once that level is attained.

Our biggest pain point is that we had to open a local bank account to replace checking/bill pay (currently TDBank only because there is a branch 5 minutes from our home and for their no fee 60+ account at the moment - just dismal in every way and the most incompetent people I have ever encountered.) Now have to forecast cash needs 2x/mo, 3-5 days ahead of transactions and sell VMMXX (Prime Money Market) and hope TD posts the $ in time for the transactions ($0 interest in TD checking, and I know, not huge amount by keeping $cash in VMMXX a few weeks longer, but it is >$0!).

So we have been seriously looking at leaving Vanguard entirely, moving everything to Schwab (my husband prefers a physical branch nearby should something happen to me and closest eTrade branch is hellish 2-hr commute.)

Planning to do a major overhaul of our investments now that we are in retirement (we not sure we would stay retired, but after a year and the clear need to have minimal income and do ROTH conversions until 70 or so to reduce RMD's, it would make no financial sense to return to paid work - we are volunteering instead).

So have not seen in this thread, but with the major brokerages offering ETF's - why not move everything to Schwab and create a Paul Merriman Best-in-Class/Buy and Hold type portfolio of no transaction fee ETF's ? Aren't ETF's almost all alike? Simplified - 3, 5 or 10 ETF's to fit the Buy and Hold strategy of the same class from Schwab or what is available transaction-free (does not look like Vanguard ETF's are free at Schwab now) - would there really be any difference over the next 30ish years to stay with Vanguard and have to maintain an outside bank to handle paying our bills and withdrawing cash if needed?

Just want to be sure I am not missing some key point about staying with Vanguard (it is truly disappointing as the concept of the non-profit ownership by investors was very important to us) but am struggling to find a reason to stay. But don't want to do something stupid :oops: just because Vanguard Advantage accounts were discontinued and how they did that was pretty disappointing. :(

Thank you - don't want to work harder in retirement managing our savings than when we were working to save it!
TSPballer
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Re: Considering switch from Vanguard to eTrade...pros, cons and other input?

Post by TSPballer »

VG ETFs and a large number of their MFs are no fee at E*Trade.

That's the selling feature that made me stay with ET.
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galawdawg
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Re: Considering switch from Vanguard to eTrade...pros, cons and other input?

Post by galawdawg »

Thanks again to all for their input and feedback. Here's an update of my move from Vanguard to E*Trade thus far:

I went to the local E*Trade office to open the account and chat with them face to face about some practical questions about the accounts, CMA, etc. The rep was very knowledgeable and helpful. Only one mention during our meeting that while he knew we were self-directed "Boglehead" investors if we did find the need for advisory services in the future, he'd be happy to help us with that. (He did also mention that he was a fan of Vanguard index mutual funds and mentioned that they offer 110 of Vanguard's funds with no commission or transaction fees). Account opening was smooth and hassle free. At his suggestion, we set up the in-kind transfers for just over $1m so that we could move the remainder over after this promotion period ends (December 31) to take advantage of another promotion with the remainder of our portfolio transfer. He did preface that by noting that since E*Trade also went commission free recently, there was the possibility that future bonus offers may be cut or reduced, but that it wouldn't hurt to keep the remainder of our funds at Vanguard until the first of the year until we saw what E*Trade was offering. We are told that the cash bonus will post to our account within sixty days of account funding.

Cash sweep account for uninvested cash pays virtually no interest (.01-.03%) but I can put cash in VMFXX at E*Trade with no fees, so no problem there. That does require an easy move of funds from VMFXX to the cash sweep account for cash management purposes when I wish to use E*Trade for online billpay and such. All the cash management features come without fees and unlimited ATM fee rebates.

In-kind transfer took six days (opened the account Wednesday afternoon and funds were in the account on Tuesday night) and I received a notification from E*Trade on Monday that the in-kind transfer was accepted and the assets would be posted to my E*Trade account 1-2 business days later. However, while the shares of VTSAX and VBTLX moved fine, the in-kind transfer of VMFXX did not occur (perhaps because it is a money market). But I was only moving a modest amount of that (in case the market moved lower during the ACATS process) and since the assets that did transfer were over $1m, I'll move the VMFXX later as a cash transfer. No fees from Vanguard for transfers. E*Trade does charge a transfer-out fee ($75 for full account, $25 for partial account if less than $5k left at E*Trade) but since I received a very generous cash bonus to sign up with E*Trade, I figure that is more than fair if I have reason to close the account in the future.

I did learn of two other differences between E*Trade and Vanguard that require some "manual" steps. First, the mutual funds that transfer in-kind are not set up for dividend reinvestment by default and that option cannot be set up online. Instead, you have to let E*Trade know which accounts and funds you want set up for automatic reinvestment of dividends and they will set that up from their end. Also, E*Trade will not set up consolidated account access for spouses (so that I can view and manage both my IRA and my wife's IRA on the same login and webpage) unless you complete their power of attorney form and mail it in. I am told that once they receive the power of attorney form, I will be able to view and manage my wife's IRA on the same login and webpage as my IRA and our joint account. With Vanguard, you can set that ability up online.

Their website and app are both very navigable and user friendly and have thus far been trouble-free. A secure message sent on their app received a prompt reply (no two to three business days later like I've gotten as a Flagship customer at Vanguard). Also, no annoying pop-ups or banner ads (yet), unlike Vanguard who essentially refused to remove or disable those PAS advertisements from my log-in experience on their website.

I've had one occasion since opening the account to call customer service (available seven days a week, twenty four hours a day) and the representative was very helpful and able to handle my request during the call. I received a follow-up call the other day from the local representative thanking me for my business, updating me on the in-kind transfer completion and confirming the bonus offer eligibility. He also let me know that the cost basis information has not yet come over from Vanguard but that he would be watching for it and would keep me posted. So far, I have been well-pleased with the level of service provided by E*Trade and have found it to be significantly better than what I have experienced at Vanguard these past few years.

I'll follow up down the road with updates on the good, the bad and any ugly, particularly for the benefit of anyone else who is considering a move away from Vanguard Brokerage Services to E*trade. Particularly since E*Trade appears to be the only brokerage outside of Vanguard where you can buy, sell and hold most Vanguard mutual funds without commissions or fees.
Holden42
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Re: Considering switch from Vanguard to eTrade...pros, cons and other input?

Post by Holden42 »

galawdawg wrote: Tue Oct 29, 2019 4:42 am Thanks again to all for their input and feedback. Here's an update of my move from Vanguard to E*Trade thus far:

I went to the local E*Trade office to open the account and chat with them face to face about some practical questions about the accounts, CMA, etc. The rep was very knowledgeable and helpful. Only one mention during our meeting that while he knew we were self-directed "Boglehead" investors if we did find the need for advisory services in the future, he'd be happy to help us with that. (He did also mention that he was a fan of Vanguard index mutual funds and mentioned that they offer 110 of Vanguard's funds with no commission or transaction fees). Account opening was smooth and hassle free. At his suggestion, we set up the in-kind transfers for just over $1m so that we could move the remainder over after this promotion period ends (December 31) to take advantage of another promotion with the remainder of our portfolio transfer. He did preface that by noting that since E*Trade also went commission free recently, there was the possibility that future bonus offers may be cut or reduced, but that it wouldn't hurt to keep the remainder of our funds at Vanguard until the first of the year until we saw what E*Trade was offering. We are told that the cash bonus will post to our account within sixty days of account funding.

Cash sweep account for uninvested cash pays virtually no interest (.01-.03%) but I can put cash in VMFXX at E*Trade with no fees, so no problem there. That does require an easy move of funds from VMFXX to the cash sweep account for cash management purposes when I wish to use E*Trade for online billpay and such. All the cash management features come without fees and unlimited ATM fee rebates.

In-kind transfer took six days (opened the account Wednesday afternoon and funds were in the account on Tuesday night) and I received a notification from E*Trade on Monday that the in-kind transfer was accepted and the assets would be posted to my E*Trade account 1-2 business days later. However, while the shares of VTSAX and VBTLX moved fine, the in-kind transfer of VMFXX did not occur (perhaps because it is a money market). But I was only moving a modest amount of that (in case the market moved lower during the ACATS process) and since the assets that did transfer were over $1m, I'll move the VMFXX later as a cash transfer. No fees from Vanguard for transfers. E*Trade does charge a transfer-out fee ($75 for full account, $25 for partial account if less than $5k left at E*Trade) but since I received a very generous cash bonus to sign up with E*Trade, I figure that is more than fair if I have reason to close the account in the future.

I did learn of two other differences between E*Trade and Vanguard that require some "manual" steps. First, the mutual funds that transfer in-kind are not set up for dividend reinvestment by default and that option cannot be set up online. Instead, you have to let E*Trade know which accounts and funds you want set up for automatic reinvestment of dividends and they will set that up from their end. Also, E*Trade will not set up consolidated account access for spouses (so that I can view and manage both my IRA and my wife's IRA on the same login and webpage) unless you complete their power of attorney form and mail it in. I am told that once they receive the power of attorney form, I will be able to view and manage my wife's IRA on the same login and webpage as my IRA and our joint account. With Vanguard, you can set that ability up online.

Their website and app are both very navigable and user friendly and have thus far been trouble-free. A secure message sent on their app received a prompt reply (no two to three business days later like I've gotten as a Flagship customer at Vanguard). Also, no annoying pop-ups or banner ads (yet), unlike Vanguard who essentially refused to remove or disable those PAS advertisements from my log-in experience on their website.

I've had one occasion since opening the account to call customer service (available seven days a week, twenty four hours a day) and the representative was very helpful and able to handle my request during the call. I received a follow-up call the other day from the local representative thanking me for my business, updating me on the in-kind transfer completion and confirming the bonus offer eligibility. He also let me know that the cost basis information has not yet come over from Vanguard but that he would be watching for it and would keep me posted. So far, I have been well-pleased with the level of service provided by E*Trade and have found it to be significantly better than what I have experienced at Vanguard these past few years.

I'll follow up down the road with updates on the good, the bad and any ugly, particularly for the benefit of anyone else who is considering a move away from Vanguard Brokerage Services to E*trade. Particularly since E*Trade appears to be the only brokerage outside of Vanguard where you can buy, sell and hold most Vanguard mutual funds without commissions or fees.
Thanks for this, I’m considering a similar move. Curious why did you pick etrade over Schwab?
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galawdawg
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Re: Considering switch from Vanguard to eTrade...pros, cons and other input?

Post by galawdawg »

Holden42 wrote: Tue Oct 29, 2019 5:31 am Thanks for this, I’m considering a similar move. Curious why did you pick etrade over Schwab?
I chose E*Trade over Schwab and Fidelity because E*Trade has no transaction fees and no commissions on many Vanguard mutual funds. Since I hold VTSAX and VBTLX and was not interested in converting to the ETF versions of these index funds, that was important to me. Fidelity charges a $75 transaction fee to purchase Vanguard mutual funds, Schwab charges a $49.95 transaction fee.

I also liked that E*Trade offers VMFXX (again with no fees).
SlowMovingInvestor
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Re: Considering switch from Vanguard to eTrade...pros, cons and other input?

Post by SlowMovingInvestor »

galawdawg wrote: Tue Oct 29, 2019 6:14 am
Holden42 wrote: Tue Oct 29, 2019 5:31 am Thanks for this, I’m considering a similar move. Curious why did you pick etrade over Schwab?
I chose E*Trade over Schwab and Fidelity because E*Trade has no transaction fees and no commissions on many Vanguard mutual funds. Since I hold VTSAX and VBTLX and was not interested in converting to the ETF versions of these index funds, that was important to me. Fidelity charges a $75 transaction fee to purchase Vanguard mutual funds, Schwab charges a $49.95 transaction fee.

I also liked that E*Trade offers VMFXX (again with no fees).
If you only intend to sell, you can move to Schwab which has no fees on selling. They may even allow dividend reinvestment. I would personally still suggest converting the MFs to ETF before leaving Vanguard since it makes them totally portable. Once you leave VG, you have to go back to convert them.

Fido is different -- they don't even allow certain Vanguard Admiral Funds to be transferred, and rarely give bonuses for smaller accounts. Otherwise if you have only ETFs, they are good, and their sweep fund is good too (although not as good as VG).

Very little to choose in terms of customer service -- I might say Fido is slightly better than the other two and all three are much better than VG.
Portfolio: 50% DOGE, 20% SPACs, 10% MOON, 10% NFTs , 5% FOMO, 5% New Jersey Delis with $100M market cap
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Re: Considering switch from Vanguard to eTrade...pros, cons and other input?

Post by galawdawg »

Happy Holidays Bogleheads!

As promised, here is an update on our move from Vanguard to E*TRADE.

Cash management features were set-up smoothly, we received ATM cards and checks a few weeks after opening the account. I haven't used the bill pay feature yet, I'll be starting to use that after January 1.

The account opening bonus posted sixty days after funding our accounts. One difference between E*TRADE and some of the other brokerages with cash bonus offers was that E*TRADE calculated the bonus by combining all of our household accounts (joint accounts and individual retirement accounts). Other brokerages don't combine the individual retirement account and joint account balances to calculate the bonus. The local E*TRADE representative had suggested moving our portfolio over in increments to possibly maximize account bonus opportunities. As he believed would occur, E*TRADE offered another bonus to transfer over additional funds (https://us.etrade.com/promo/5000cfc-combined) so we'll move over the remainder of our holdings at Vanguard and be eligible for another bonus (and thanks to market performance, we'll realize a higher bonus tier).

Buying additional shares of Vanguard mutual funds was a quick and easy process, again with no fees to buy OR sell. Online statements are comprehensive and easy to download.

We have experienced zero issues with their website or app and their customer service has been exceptional. Not only has our local representative been proactive about following up with us, providing updates on the status of the ACATS transfer, the receipt of cost-basis information from Vanguard, and when the account bonus would post to the account, he has been responsive to all of my questions. He also gave us a heads up on the additional bonus offer and enrolled our accounts. The response I have received when calling their Client Support line and sending online messages has been prompt, courteous and helpful. Phones are answered by a person who has been able to assist and messages received a quick reply...no waiting several business days as we have come to expect from Vanguard.

While I had been hesitant to move away from Vanguard as our brokerage after decades as a loyal "client-owner," I came to believe that Vanguard has changed to the extent that it no longer resembles "the house that Jack built" and that there are now other "no fee" options for those investors like me who want to hold Vanguard mutual funds but have become dissatisfied with Vanguard as a brokerage. I am pleased that we have started this process and have had nothing but great experience with E*TRADE. I'll post another update in 2020 after we transfer the remainder of our portfolio from Vanguard to E*TRADE and will be able to report on our experience with E*TRADE's bill pay features as well as how they handle year end tax reporting.
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Wiggums
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Re: Considering switch from Vanguard to eTrade...pros, cons and other input?

Post by Wiggums »

Thanks for the update.
lostdog
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Re: Considering switch from Vanguard to eTrade...pros, cons and other input?

Post by lostdog »

galawdawg wrote: Fri Dec 20, 2019 1:29 pm Happy Holidays Bogleheads!

As promised, here is an update on our move from Vanguard to E*TRADE.

Cash management features were set-up smoothly, we received ATM cards and checks a few weeks after opening the account. I haven't used the bill pay feature yet, I'll be starting to use that after January 1.

The account opening bonus posted sixty days after funding our accounts. One difference between E*TRADE and some of the other brokerages with cash bonus offers was that E*TRADE calculated the bonus by combining all of our household accounts (joint accounts and individual retirement accounts). Other brokerages don't combine the individual retirement account and joint account balances to calculate the bonus. The local E*TRADE representative had suggested moving our portfolio over in increments to possibly maximize account bonus opportunities. As he believed would occur, E*TRADE offered another bonus to transfer over additional funds (https://us.etrade.com/promo/5000cfc-combined) so we'll move over the remainder of our holdings at Vanguard and be eligible for another bonus (and thanks to market performance, we'll realize a higher bonus tier).

Buying additional shares of Vanguard mutual funds was a quick and easy process, again with no fees to buy OR sell. Online statements are comprehensive and easy to download.

We have experienced zero issues with their website or app and their customer service has been exceptional. Not only has our local representative been proactive about following up with us, providing updates on the status of the ACATS transfer, the receipt of cost-basis information from Vanguard, and when the account bonus would post to the account, he has been responsive to all of my questions. He also gave us a heads up on the additional bonus offer and enrolled our accounts. The response I have received when calling their Client Support line and sending online messages has been prompt, courteous and helpful. Phones are answered by a person who has been able to assist and messages received a quick reply...no waiting several business days as we have come to expect from Vanguard.

While I had been hesitant to move away from Vanguard as our brokerage after decades as a loyal "client-owner," I came to believe that Vanguard has changed to the extent that it no longer resembles "the house that Jack built" and that there are now other "no fee" options for those investors like me who want to hold Vanguard mutual funds but have become dissatisfied with Vanguard as a brokerage. I am pleased that we have started this process and have had nothing but great experience with E*TRADE. I'll post another update in 2020 after we transfer the remainder of our portfolio from Vanguard to E*TRADE and will be able to report on our experience with E*TRADE's bill pay features as well as how they handle year end tax reporting.

Thanks for the update. I see they offer a checking account and a very competitive high yield savings account. Are you using the checking and savings feature?
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galawdawg
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Re: Considering switch from Vanguard to eTrade...pros, cons and other input?

Post by galawdawg »

I'm not using the separate checking and savings accounts they offer, although I may in the future. I am using the checking and bill payment features of the brokerage account. Since E*TRADE offers VMFXX with no transaction fees, I'm using that instead of the savings account option.

But since the E*TRADE savings is currently paying 1.75% vs the 1.51% on VMFXX, maybe I should revisit that...
Luckywon
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Re: Considering switch from Vanguard to eTrade...pros, cons and other input?

Post by Luckywon »

Thanks for the update. I've been a happy E*trade customer for many years, though I also have accounts at Schwab, Fidelity, Ameritrade. I think E*trade's customer service and products are as good as any, and their prototype 401k is a clear winner over most others.

One thing I've found is that at E*trade my representative has been particularly helpful. When opening up new accounts or doing anything slightly off the routine, I do it through my representative and he follows through to make sure the process goes smoothly.

All this excellent service and I've never paid a dime in fees to them. In fact, they provided excellent brokerage incentives to move funds to them. As you described, they aggregated deposits across accounts so I could meet threshold for a higher bonus, which is something I never saw at any other brokerage.
Last edited by Luckywon on Sat Feb 15, 2020 1:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
UpperNwGuy
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Re: Considering switch from Vanguard to eTrade...pros, cons and other input?

Post by UpperNwGuy »

galawdawg wrote: Sat Feb 15, 2020 1:49 pm I'm not using the separate checking and savings accounts they offer, although I may in the future. I am using the checking and bill payment features of the brokerage account. Since E*TRADE offers VMFXX with no transaction fees, I'm using that instead of the savings account option.

But since the E*TRADE savings is currently paying 1.75% vs the 1.51% on VMFXX, maybe I should revisit that...
Wow! Please tell us next week that you have switched your savings from VMFXX to the 1.75% savings account.
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Re: Considering switch from Vanguard to eTrade...pros, cons and other input?

Post by Cheez-It Guy »

What's the latest on E*TRADE as an acquisition target?
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Re: Considering switch from Vanguard to eTrade...pros, cons and other input?

Post by iamblessed »

galawdawg wrote: Sat Feb 15, 2020 1:49 pm I'm not using the separate checking and savings accounts they offer, although I may in the future. I am using the checking and bill payment features of the brokerage account. Since E*TRADE offers VMFXX with no transaction fees, I'm using that instead of the savings account option.

But since the E*TRADE savings is currently paying 1.75% vs the 1.51% on VMFXX, maybe I should revisit that...
Thank You please keep us updated if you tie the savings to the brokerage on how that goes.
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Re: Considering switch from Vanguard to eTrade...pros, cons and other input?

Post by ARoseByAnyOtherName »

Luckywon wrote: Sat Feb 15, 2020 1:55 pm Thanks for the update. I've been a happy E*trade customer for many years, though I also have accounts at Schwab, Fidelity, Ameritrade. I think E*trade's customer service and products are as good as any, and their prototype 401k is a clear winner over most others.
Since you are happy with E*trade why do you have accounts with these other brokerages? Are they mandatory due to your workplace or is there some other reason?
Luckywon
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Re: Considering switch from Vanguard to eTrade...pros, cons and other input?

Post by Luckywon »

ARoseByAnyOtherName wrote: Mon Feb 17, 2020 9:30 pm
Luckywon wrote: Sat Feb 15, 2020 1:55 pm Thanks for the update. I've been a happy E*trade customer for many years, though I also have accounts at Schwab, Fidelity, Ameritrade. I think E*trade's customer service and products are as good as any, and their prototype 401k is a clear winner over most others.
Since you are happy with E*trade why do you have accounts with these other brokerages? Are they mandatory due to your workplace or is there some other reason?
A combination of workplace retirement plans and brokerage incentives.
ausmatt
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Re: Considering switch from Vanguard to eTrade...pros, cons and other input?

Post by ausmatt »

I made the switch fully to Etrade from vanguard a couple of years ago and it is much much better. For some reason this forum has a blind obsession with Vanguard as a brokerage. E*Trade, Fidelity, Schwab, and TD are SO much better as full service brokerages.

With the exception of 529 accounts (and this is the only exception), E*TRADE is better for banking ($1.5M at 1.75%+ FDIC inspired), broader fund options at same ERs or ETFs, very good fills and price improvement on all trades, website is 1000x better, access to knowledgeable trade desks, bond and treasuries of all types and durations, easy tax loss harvesting, line of credit against your portfolio at low rates (but not lowest), and many other benefits.

Just open some accounts at various brokers and try to do different things and see how you like it.
lexor
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Re: Considering switch from Vanguard to eTrade...pros, cons and other input?

Post by lexor »

mortfree wrote: Sun Oct 20, 2019 3:46 pm E*Trade will email you offers to sign up for their managed investment program. Free for a certain period of time.

Maybe if you access vanguard or E*Trade via an app you won’t be bombarded with ads. That’s how I typically access my accounts.

I have investments with both of these companies as well as Fidelity.
I have about half a million at E-Trade and get no such emails. Fidelity also has not emailed me about Fidelity Go.

Vanguard has emailed me advertising PAS.
“The miracle of compounding returns is overwhelmed by the tyranny of compounding costs.” -Mr. John C. Bogle
ARoseByAnyOtherName
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Re: Considering switch from Vanguard to eTrade...pros, cons and other input?

Post by ARoseByAnyOtherName »

mortfree wrote: Sun Oct 20, 2019 3:46 pm E*Trade will email you offers to sign up for their managed investment program. Free for a certain period of time.
But you can unsubscribe from these emails, right?
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Re: Considering switch from Vanguard to eTrade...pros, cons and other input?

Post by iamblessed »

ausmatt wrote: Mon Feb 17, 2020 9:33 pm I made the switch fully to Etrade from vanguard a couple of years ago and it is much much better. For some reason this forum has a blind obsession with Vanguard as a brokerage. E*Trade, Fidelity, Schwab, and TD are SO much better as full service brokerages.

With the exception of 529 accounts (and this is the only exception), E*TRADE is better for banking ($1.5M at 1.75%+ FDIC inspired), broader fund options at same ERs or ETFs, very good fills and price improvement on all trades, website is 1000x better, access to knowledgeable trade desks, bond and treasuries of all types and durations, easy tax loss harvesting, line of credit against your portfolio at low rates (but not lowest), and many other benefits.

Just open some accounts at various brokers and try to do different things and see how you like it.
Is it fast to move money from the bank side to the brokerage side of etrade?
17outs
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Re: Considering switch from Vanguard to eTrade...pros, cons and other input?

Post by 17outs »

My company stock plan is at ETrade and I've had a great experience the last 4 years. I have a 401k at Fidelity and managed taxable accounts at Vanguard. The transfers at ETrade were entirely electronic and easy. Vanguards were all paper. I'm proud to be at Vanguard for what it is, but I don't hate having other accounts. Maybe someday I will consolidate but they each have their purpose.
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galawdawg
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Re: Considering switch from Vanguard to eTrade...pros, cons and other input?

Post by galawdawg »

Cheez-It Guy wrote: Sat Feb 15, 2020 2:01 pm What's the latest on E*TRADE as an acquisition target?
Morgan Stanley is purchasing E*TRADE for $13 billion. It will be interesting to see what changes I see as a fairly new E*TRADE customer.
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Cheez-It Guy
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Re: Considering switch from Vanguard to eTrade...pros, cons and other input?

Post by Cheez-It Guy »

galawdawg wrote: Thu Feb 20, 2020 7:46 am
Cheez-It Guy wrote: Sat Feb 15, 2020 2:01 pm What's the latest on E*TRADE as an acquisition target?
Morgan Stanley is purchasing E*TRADE for $13 billion. It will be interesting to see what changes I see as a fairly new E*TRADE customer.
Asked and answered! Thanks! I'll stay tuned.
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Re: Considering switch from Vanguard to eTrade...pros, cons and other input?

Post by UpperNwGuy »

galawdawg wrote: Thu Feb 20, 2020 7:46 am
Cheez-It Guy wrote: Sat Feb 15, 2020 2:01 pm What's the latest on E*TRADE as an acquisition target?
Morgan Stanley is purchasing E*TRADE for $13 billion. It will be interesting to see what changes I see as a fairly new E*TRADE customer.
Whoa! When was this announced? How did I miss such big news?
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Cheez-It Guy
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Re: Considering switch from Vanguard to eTrade...pros, cons and other input?

Post by Cheez-It Guy »

This morning.
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galawdawg
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Re: Considering switch from Vanguard to eTrade...pros, cons and other input?

Post by galawdawg »

Since I just moved to E*TRADE a few months ago after decades at Vanguard, I'll be following developments and changes very closely. Thus far, E*TRADE has met or exceeded my expectations with superb customer service, an easy to use and reliable website and app, and a large list of NTF Vanguard mutual funds. It will be disappointing if the acquisition results in a decline in service or a change in the availability of NTF Vanguard mutual funds. But it appears the deal isn't expected to close until Q4 so I would think it will be quite a while before any impact to E^TRADE customers is seen.
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Re: Considering switch from Vanguard to eTrade...pros, cons and other input?

Post by lostdog »

galawdawg wrote: Thu Feb 20, 2020 8:17 am Since I just moved to E*TRADE a few months ago after decades at Vanguard, I'll be following developments and changes very closely. Thus far, E*TRADE has met or exceeded my expectations with superb customer service, an easy to use and reliable website and app, and a large list of NTF Vanguard mutual funds. It will be disappointing if the acquisition results in a decline in service or a change in the availability of NTF Vanguard mutual funds. But it appears the deal isn't expected to close until Q4 so I would think it will be quite a while before any impact to E^TRADE customers is seen.
I'm watching this thread closely. I might switch.

Do you have a husband/wife? Do you feel confident that E-Trade will have their best interest if you pass?
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lexor
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Re: Considering switch from Vanguard to eTrade...pros, cons and other input?

Post by lexor »

lostdog wrote: Thu Feb 20, 2020 9:15 am
galawdawg wrote: Thu Feb 20, 2020 8:17 am Since I just moved to E*TRADE a few months ago after decades at Vanguard, I'll be following developments and changes very closely. Thus far, E*TRADE has met or exceeded my expectations with superb customer service, an easy to use and reliable website and app, and a large list of NTF Vanguard mutual funds. It will be disappointing if the acquisition results in a decline in service or a change in the availability of NTF Vanguard mutual funds. But it appears the deal isn't expected to close until Q4 so I would think it will be quite a while before any impact to E^TRADE customers is seen.
I'm watching this thread closely. I might switch.

Do you have a husband/wife? Do you feel confident that E-Trade will have their best interest if you pass?
You could use a flat fee advisor like PlanVision and introduce your heirs to them before you pass. From their standards of liability it says
PlanVision will not be liable to Client for any loss
that Client may suffer as a result of good faith decisions or actions of PlanVision when PlanVision exercised the degree
of care, skill, prudence and diligence that a prudent person acting in a fiduciary capacity would use.
Another, more complex, option - couldn't creating a trust help solve this problem as the trustee has a fiduciary responsibility?

Brokers don't ever have fiduciary responsibility unless you are using their advice I don't think. And advice is almost always overpriced. So this problem isn't specific to E-Trade.
“The miracle of compounding returns is overwhelmed by the tyranny of compounding costs.” -Mr. John C. Bogle
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Re: Considering switch from Vanguard to eTrade...pros, cons and other input?

Post by simplesimon »

My wife opened a solo 401K with E*Trade because Vanguard's product is horrible. I've been very impressed with E*Trade but plan on staying with Vanguard for non-401K related investing as our trading frequency is very low.

I do rebalance in <90 day intervals, for which E*Trade would charge a fee for for mutual fund holdings. I prefer not to deal with ETFs...too much temptation to day-trade.
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Re: Considering switch from Vanguard to eTrade...pros, cons and other input?

Post by Puretaxableindexer »

E-Trade was bought up by Morgan Stanley. I wouldn't move your assets over now. E-Trade and MS are like oil and water It won't work. I know, I worked for MS.
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Re: Considering switch from Vanguard to eTrade...pros, cons and other input?

Post by lostdog »

Puretaxableindexer wrote: Thu Feb 20, 2020 10:18 am E-Trade was bought up by Morgan Stanley. I wouldn't move your assets over now. E-Trade and MS are like oil and water It won't work. I know, I worked for MS.
Thanks for the warning. I'll stick with Vanguard. :sharebeer
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Re: Considering switch from Vanguard to eTrade...pros, cons and other input?

Post by bertilak »

The answer's in the name "eTrade." Are you a trader or an investor? Either is a reasonable answer, but I see from an earlier statement by you (in this thread) that you don't do much trading.

The advantages to eTrade you list in your original post look like trading features, banking features, and a one-time come-on. Do you already have a banking institution?
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Re: Considering switch from Vanguard to eTrade...pros, cons and other input?

Post by Puretaxableindexer »

bertilak wrote: Thu Feb 20, 2020 10:22 am The answer's in the name "eTrade." Are you a trader or an investor? Either is a reasonable answer, but I see from an earlier statement by you (in this thread) that you don't do much trading.
You are right, I don't trade, I invest. Frequent traders make less money, pay more fees, and are on the wrong pick. I stick to ETFs/index funds that cover small, medium, and large blended US stocks and the same in Europe and Asia. I also have multi-sector bond funds in the US and overseas. I maintain a 70 stock/30 bond ratio. I don't need to trade since I buy proven/efficient index stock funds/ETFs.
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Re: Considering switch from Vanguard to eTrade...pros, cons and other input?

Post by Jack FFR1846 »

galawdawg wrote: Tue Oct 01, 2019 9:01 pm
Jack FFR1846 wrote: Tue Oct 01, 2019 8:20 pm
galawdawg wrote: Tue Oct 01, 2019 7:33 pm Have you used the desktop platform, Power E*Trade, on your E*Trade account? I wonder how well that works compared to your experience with the web platform....
I don't know what this all means. I use a laptop with monitors. I don't know what Power etrade is.
If I understand correctly from my online research, E*Trade has their basic web or app based platform as well as Power E*Trade (which appears to be downloadable to a PC or available online or as an app), which offers more available research, along with additional features and investing tools, such as backtesting, hat aren't available on their basic platform. it looks like Power E*Trade is only available if you have $250,000 in your account or execute thirty trades per quarter. Again, this is what I have gleaned from my research...
Thanks for that.

I don't research and I don't back test. I want simple, intuitive website interfaces that I don't have to take a week long course to understand. I also have TDAmeritrade and after a conversation with a mistaken phone pick up from a TDA advisor, he recommended I download think or swim. I did. To me, it's useless and difficult. I deleted it.

All I want is to monitor my ETFs (watchlists on TDA do this easily), see what my investments are doing, close to real time (TDA appears to be 15 minutes faster than Schwab), easily buy, easily sell with all options when selling coming up easily (Schwab is the absolute best for this). The consolidated 1099 should be comprehensive, but I think everyone's is. Finding history should be easy (it's only easy on Schwab).

In my lineup, Schwab and TDAmeritrade battle for who's best. When they merge, I hope they keep the best parts of both sites. I deal with eTrade for a bit of profit for a new account and for company RSU and ESPP required use. I expect after I get my bonus, I'll move everything but maybe one share to cash, then move it in to Schwab.
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Re: Considering switch from Vanguard to eTrade...pros, cons and other input?

Post by galawdawg »

As retirees in our decumulation phase with a desire to simplify, E*TRADE has thus far met our needs very well. During our working years, we were on "autopilot" where we simply sent money to VG and invested and held in VTSAX (eventually moving to a two fund portfolio of VTSAX and VBTLX as we entered retirement). No need for banking services, rebalancing, withdrawing or holding cash reserves and dividends were all reinvested.

Now in retirement, we take distributions from taxable dividends, maintain a cash reserve in VMFXX so we don't need to sell in a down market, sell holdings to replenish our cash reserves and for spending wants/needs not met by my pension, and rebalance as needed to maintain our desired asset allocation as we do this. Having the ability to manage all of this at one brokerage where we can also write checks, pay our bills and withdraw cash as desired, all at no cost, is a benefit.

The ability to buy and sell VG mutual funds with no transaction fees as we draw from our portfolio and rebalance accordingly is also an advantage. And as our needs have changed as we approached and entered retirement, having efficient customer service that provides timely, accurate and helpful assistance and information has also been a plus. While some may use E*TRADE for frequent trading, it appears to me that they offer many benefits to buy and hold investors as well. So far, E*TRADE can count me as a very satisfied customer.
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Re: Considering switch from Vanguard to eTrade...pros, cons and other input?

Post by Admiral »

Etrade was just bought my Morgan Stanley, if no one else has posted it yet. Announced today.

I had my fill of MS in the 90s. No thanks.
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Re: Considering switch from Vanguard to eTrade...pros, cons and other input?

Post by ruralavalon »

Admiral wrote: Thu Feb 20, 2020 11:02 am Etrade was just bought my Morgan Stanley, if no one else has posted it yet. Announced today.

I had my fill of MS in the 90s. No thanks.
Too bad.

E*Trade has a good solo 401k plan which permits both Roth contributions and incoming rollovers. I hope that stays available under Morgan Stanley.
"Everything should be as simple as it is, but not simpler." - Albert Einstein | Wiki article link:Getting Started
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Re: Considering switch from Vanguard to eTrade...pros, cons and other input?

Post by lexor »

I don't know much about Morgan Stanley tbh but this quote from WSJ made it sound a lot better then everyone on Bogleheads seems to think
“We’ll take on Schwab. We’ll take on Fidelity” -James Gorman, Morgan Stanley CEO
“The miracle of compounding returns is overwhelmed by the tyranny of compounding costs.” -Mr. John C. Bogle
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Re: Considering switch from Vanguard to eTrade...pros, cons and other input?

Post by Blue456 »

557880yvi wrote: Mon Oct 21, 2019 10:49 am

Our biggest pain point is that we had to open a local bank account to replace checking/bill pay
That was my need as well. I decided to go with Merrill Edge/BoA. One broker and branches all around the country. The only downside to Schwab is that you don't get world wide free ATMs.
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Re: Considering switch from Vanguard to eTrade...pros, cons and other input?

Post by ausmatt »

iamblessed wrote: Mon Feb 17, 2020 10:18 pm
ausmatt wrote: Mon Feb 17, 2020 9:33 pm I made the switch fully to Etrade from vanguard a couple of years ago and it is much much better. For some reason this forum has a blind obsession with Vanguard as a brokerage. E*Trade, Fidelity, Schwab, and TD are SO much better as full service brokerages.

With the exception of 529 accounts (and this is the only exception), E*TRADE is better for banking ($1.5M at 1.75%+ FDIC inspired), broader fund options at same ERs or ETFs, very good fills and price improvement on all trades, website is 1000x better, access to knowledgeable trade desks, bond and treasuries of all types and durations, easy tax loss harvesting, line of credit against your portfolio at low rates (but not lowest), and many other benefits.

Just open some accounts at various brokers and try to do different things and see how you like it.
Is it fast to move money from the bank side to the brokerage side of etrade?
It takes seconds.
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Re: Considering switch from Vanguard to eTrade...pros, cons and other input?

Post by Luckywon »

Blue456 wrote: Fri Feb 21, 2020 7:47 am The only downside to Schwab is that you don't get world wide free ATMs.
Is this new? What I have read at Schwab website and experienced is that they provide unlimited worldwide ATM rebates. So far I have seen this to be true in every country I've visited, including in Africa, Europe and Asia.
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Re: Considering switch from Vanguard to eTrade...pros, cons and other input?

Post by jzachary »

Luckywon wrote: Sat Feb 22, 2020 7:17 am
Blue456 wrote: Fri Feb 21, 2020 7:47 am The only downside to Schwab is that you don't get world wide free ATMs.
Is this new? What I have read at Schwab website and experienced is that they provide unlimited worldwide ATM rebates. So far I have seen this to be true in every country I've visited, including in Africa, Europe and Asia.
It's fake news.

https://www.schwab.com/checking
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Re: Considering switch from Vanguard to eTrade...pros, cons and other input?

Post by kabob »

"Considering Switching from Vanguard to eTrade..."

Why not consider using Both! One gets the Best of both with the combination of Vanguard and eTrade...
Keeping it simple, I keep the Big Money in Vanguard (under BoglePlan management) , and an eTrade acct with enough balance/drypower and opportunity money to get eTrade-Pro for free!
It's a great combination! Since retirement all other investment accts I had like Fidelity/Janus & various other 401Ks/investments) got consolidated into Vanguard - and I just love eTrade's eTrade-Pro desktop app for it's absolutely outstanding online market interface! eTrade-Pro is one Fine piece of Interactive Software, unrivaled by any of the other common competitive brokers. Most all of the skinny minny apps offered like PowerEtrade, MarketCaster, TD's ThinkOrSwim and such are truly limited lightweights compared to Etrade-Pro's totally inclusive online interaction and analysis.

Keeping Vanguard for Rock Solid management & returns and Etrade for fine tuning, testing and timing BooglePlan allocations works for me...
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Re: Considering switch from Vanguard to eTrade...pros, cons and other input?

Post by tj »

Luckywon wrote: Sat Feb 22, 2020 7:17 am
Blue456 wrote: Fri Feb 21, 2020 7:47 am The only downside to Schwab is that you don't get world wide free ATMs.
Is this new? What I have read at Schwab website and experienced is that they provide unlimited worldwide ATM rebates. So far I have seen this to be true in every country I've visited, including in Africa, Europe and Asia.
I'm assuming ttr downside being described was referring to BofA/Merrill in comparison to the Schwab perk.
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Re: Considering switch from Vanguard to eTrade...pros, cons and other input?

Post by Luckywon »

tj wrote: Sun Feb 23, 2020 12:54 pm
Luckywon wrote: Sat Feb 22, 2020 7:17 am
Blue456 wrote: Fri Feb 21, 2020 7:47 am The only downside to Schwab is that you don't get world wide free ATMs.
Is this new? What I have read at Schwab website and experienced is that they provide unlimited worldwide ATM rebates. So far I have seen this to be true in every country I've visited, including in Africa, Europe and Asia.
I'm assuming ttr downside being described was referring to BofA/Merrill in comparison to the Schwab perk.
Ahh got it! :sharebeer
poundwise
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Re: Considering switch from Vanguard to eTrade...pros, cons and other input?

Post by poundwise »

Thank you much for this detailed research. I am in a very similar boat -- switching a portion of my assets to etrade -- and have greatly benefitted from your research. As someone who will not be using the etrade cash management features, here are the only downsides that mattered to me thus far (both already mentioned in the thread):

* Not every Vanguard fund is transaction fee free. Some of the muni funds I would use are $19.99 / trade.

* Sweep account earns almost no interest. So if you have any stock/fund where you do not wish to reinvest dividends, you have to pay attention and regularly move to VMFXX.

Something I will watch out for this tax season is whether taxes are "easy." I own single-state state muni funds and every year am worried these will not show up the right way in the 1099 and in Turbotax, and I will end up paying federal or state taxes. I've gotten to trust the Vanguard + Turbotax will get it right, and the tax forms nicely separate these out, but I will have to be vigilant again as I figure out how e*trade handles this.
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Re: Considering switch from Vanguard to eTrade...pros, cons and other input?

Post by ulladulla28 »

Another option for looking at Brick & Mortar Bank plus brokerage/retirement accounts is Chase. Their YouInvest platform allows you to hold most every Vanguard Mutual Fund as NTF. The Sapphire Checking gives you virtually fee-free banking with fees waived on wires, atm's, checks, stop pays, etc... We moved investments from Vanguard last year and I have really enjoyed it thus far. My only complaints are the lackluster website and the lack of tax lot info online for mutual funds. I have been submitting feedback that they add some tools for assessing your portfolio performance and allocation. No luck yet. Customer Service is okay, but I believe Chase is investing in improving the You Invest platform. They will have to if they want to keep up with the other brokerages. I have been tempted to move brokerages to Fidelity or eTrade and leave retirement accounts with Chase. I was planning on moving our Capital One Savings to Chase and into VMFXX, but then the interest rates fell out of the sky. It looks like even eTrade has dropped their savings rate to .20%., while CO360 is still 1.5%.
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Re: Considering switch from Vanguard to eTrade...pros, cons and other input?

Post by darkside »

galawdawg wrote: Thu Feb 20, 2020 11:00 am As retirees in our decumulation phase with a desire to simplify, E*TRADE has thus far met our needs very well. During our working years, we were on "autopilot" where we simply sent money to VG and invested and held in VTSAX (eventually moving to a two fund portfolio of VTSAX and VBTLX as we entered retirement). No need for banking services, rebalancing, withdrawing or holding cash reserves and dividends were all reinvested.

Now in retirement, we take distributions from taxable dividends, maintain a cash reserve in VMFXX so we don't need to sell in a down market, sell holdings to replenish our cash reserves and for spending wants/needs not met by my pension, and rebalance as needed to maintain our desired asset allocation as we do this. Having the ability to manage all of this at one brokerage where we can also write checks, pay our bills and withdraw cash as desired, all at no cost, is a benefit.

The ability to buy and sell VG mutual funds with no transaction fees as we draw from our portfolio and rebalance accordingly is also an advantage. And as our needs have changed as we approached and entered retirement, having efficient customer service that provides timely, accurate and helpful assistance and information has also been a plus. While some may use E*TRADE for frequent trading, it appears to me that they offer many benefits to buy and hold investors as well. So far, E*TRADE can count me as a very satisfied customer.
Any update on your move to Etrade?

I am new to investing and about to open a taxable brokerage account. I have read the the Bogleheads book and scoured the forums and see a lot of endorsement for Vanguard in general, but I am interested in knowing why Etrade would not be an appropriate place to buy VTSAX, VTIAX, or VBTLX for a simple 3 fund portfolio with no transaction fees.

The out of date website and app doesn't really bother me as much as the stories of subpar customer service. Any other thoughts would be helpful.
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