Is it Possible to Opt-out of Fidelity Premium Services?

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aj76er
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Is it Possible to Opt-out of Fidelity Premium Services?

Post by aj76er » Thu Mar 05, 2020 6:37 pm

A few months ago, I must have crossed some magical threshold at Fidelity because in the upper right-hand corner I now have some advisor person's name pop-up on my accounts page. Furthermore, I've been starting to receive "strategic" bulk emails from this person with links to generic Fidelity articles about finances, markets, investor behavior pitfalls, etc. This latest email showed up this morning, perfectly timed with the latest bout of market volatility, and contained all sorts of "helpful" article links related to markets performance during pandemics, etc.

I'm starting to have a very visceral reaction to this and would prefer to not be bothered by this person. It seems very unnerving to me that this person's name just shows up above my portfolio to make it "look" like they are suddenly managing things. I've been a DIY investor for over 20yrs and have never once used (or hope to ever use) an AUM fee-sucking financial advisor. I find myself double-checking the transaction page to ensure they aren't siphoning off fees.

The latest email also infuriates me because I know they are trying to capitalize on any fear or uncertainty I may have. I've remained cool and calm during the latest bout of volatility, but this financial advisor's tactics bothers me greatly.

In the very bottom of the email, in tiny text, it says this:

To stop receiving account service communications by email, log in to your Fidelity account and turn off the "Account activity and service emails" indicator.

I can't even find that switch, but turning it off would make me concerned that I might miss something important related to my account. Combining an "opt-out for bulk emails" with a legitimate alert is just one more tactic that I find distasteful.

Anyway, if you are a "Premium Service" member, how do you deal with this? Do you simply ignore the emails and the Advisor name hanging over your portfolio? If I complain to Fidelity, will they remove the advisor from my account? Is there a way to opt-out of Fidelity Premium Services?
"Buy-and-hold, long-term, all-market-index strategies, implemented at rock-bottom cost, are the surest of all routes to the accumulation of wealth" - John C. Bogle

123
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Re: Is it Possible to Opt-out of Fidelity Premium Services?

Post by 123 » Thu Mar 05, 2020 6:49 pm

Probably easiest to just ignore it and unsubscribe any undesired emails from Fidelity that include that opportunity. If you pick up the phone or get an email them asking for an appointment just respond that you're not interested and prefer to do things on your own, but that you will call them if you have any questions or concerns.

My take it that if you have a significant cash/MMF position in an account the brokers will target you. With Schwab I found that after I switched from a three fund portfolio to a 100% LifeStrategy position in retirement accounts they stopped calling me. I guess they realized that I had picked Vanguard as my "financial adviser".

Edited to addL
Fidelity also has a "Private Client" level, advice is the same.
Last edited by 123 on Thu Mar 05, 2020 6:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Lombarto
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Re: Is it Possible to Opt-out of Fidelity Premium Services?

Post by Lombarto » Thu Mar 05, 2020 6:51 pm

The same thing happened to me about 6 weeks ago. I also recently got a phone call from my "advisor" wanting to get together to discuss my investments. (The call went to voice mail.) I've just ignored this.

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Third Son
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Re: Is it Possible to Opt-out of Fidelity Premium Services?

Post by Third Son » Thu Mar 05, 2020 7:20 pm

My experience with Fidelity is that they try to gently push their products but cease to do so if you request. Just say no :D. I find their approach very non invasive.
"A part of all you earn is yours to keep" | | -The Richest Man in Babylon

Retired1809
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Re: Is it Possible to Opt-out of Fidelity Premium Services?

Post by Retired1809 » Thu Mar 05, 2020 8:14 pm

I can relate to much of what you say. Much of their marketing approach really turns me off in how they're trying to "reach out and be of help." (I really dislike the term "reach out" and if I need something, I have consistently found it faster to just call their regular 800 number rather than to try to reach my assigned Fidelity Premium services rep who always seemed to be "unavailable at the moment.") My rep's assistant contacts me once a year to schedule a meeting and I cooperate and listen patiently to the "adviser" frame Fidelity in the most positive way possible. They seem to be well-coached in marketing Fidelity as they should be.

The only negative I can think of for opting out of the Fidelity Premium Services would be the possible loss of free Turbotax (which is a REAL Premium service!!)

I like the ease of using Fidelity website and their Visa card with unlimited 2% cash rebates. But while the personal reps mean well, I personally like being able to reach "whomever" is immediately available at the 800 number when I have a question. (And I've actually identified a couple of the outstanding ones in other cities and keep their contacts in my phone contacts. I suppose I like to be the one to pick my own premium adviser.)

I would like a rep who would act in my best interests rather than the firm's. Think of the Santa in the movie "Miracle on 34th Street" who was overheard by a floorwalker directing a Macy's customer to Gimbels because they had "just the present" that her daughter wanted. But now I'm dreaming. There are no Santas on Wall Street. Buyer, beware. You're on your own. It's your future; take it seriously.

Just my 2 cents worth. (And for what it's worth, I felt the same way about Vanguard's Flagship client rep assignments.) That said, both Fidelity and Vanguard are exemplary organizations. Investors are better off because of what they've each built. I find some products I like at Fidelity and others that I like at Vanguard. But please, let me be the one "reaching out!" Keep your hands to yourself.

inbox788
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Re: Is it Possible to Opt-out of Fidelity Premium Services?

Post by inbox788 » Fri Mar 06, 2020 12:49 am

Don't know about Fidelity, but my Citibank account lists "Your Financial Advisor: NATIONAL INVESTOR CENTER", so I know there's not an individual advisor. However, they keep trying to foist a "relationship manager" that they've assigned to me, who's main job seems to be to route me to the local financial advisor. It's hard to stop the flow of selling when everything is designed for that purpose. FWIW, I've cut ties as much as possible, and only a couple of steps away from terminating my relationship with them. It will be harder to cut out Fidelity or Vanguard, but Schwab may be a suitable alternative. I'm trying to pare down all the accounts, and after closing all the unnecessary or minimally used ones, I'm starting to cut some with lesser benefits, but less optimal overall results, but simpler.

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WoodSpinner
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Re: Is it Possible to Opt-out of Fidelity Premium Services?

Post by WoodSpinner » Fri Mar 06, 2020 1:19 am

OP,

I am a Premium Services member and am also a DIY investor. I find their support very helpful and insights useful.

They haven’t pushed products in me but have been helpful in their suggestions.

Might consider a meeting to see if you like the Rep. Never know when it might be helpful.

WoodSpinner

Chip
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Re: Is it Possible to Opt-out of Fidelity Premium Services?

Post by Chip » Fri Mar 06, 2020 4:54 am

I don't like those kinds of emails or phone calls either. "Reach out" is one of the more distateful euphemisms.

I'm at Fidelity and get none. In the past, when I did, I told them to stop. As others have mentioned, it worked. Somehow I've managed to not even have an advisor name on my accounts.

But I still get free TurboTax. :happy

mw1739
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Re: Is it Possible to Opt-out of Fidelity Premium Services?

Post by mw1739 » Fri Mar 06, 2020 7:01 am

I get similar emails a couple times a month from Fidelity. I also get similar emails from Schwab who holds my 401k. Who cares? I get far more silly emails from any store I've ever bought something from each week than I do Fidelity. In fact, the title of the Fidelity emails is clear enough that I don't even open them before deleting.

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aj76er
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Re: Is it Possible to Opt-out of Fidelity Premium Services?

Post by aj76er » Sat Mar 07, 2020 5:09 pm

I found where to turn off the emails.

1. Go To "Account Features"
2. At the very bottom, there is a link: "View and edit personal information and preferences in your profile"
3. In the bottom right, there is a box with a link: "Electronic/paper mail preferences"
4. Near the bottom of the page, one can Opt-Out of "Account activity and service emails" and "Financial insights and education emails". I believe the former will turn off the advisor emails.

I wish I could Opt-Out of the "Premium Services" and remove some advisor name from appearing over my accounts. I could probably call and request this, but for now I'll leave things be.
"Buy-and-hold, long-term, all-market-index strategies, implemented at rock-bottom cost, are the surest of all routes to the accumulation of wealth" - John C. Bogle

DarkHelmetII
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Re: Is it Possible to Opt-out of Fidelity Premium Services?

Post by DarkHelmetII » Sat Mar 07, 2020 6:36 pm

For my Fidelity managed ESPP I received unsolicited emails around customer experience surveys with similar references to nonexistent 'switches' on the website where supposedly I could opt out. I had similar negative reaction however a phone call straightened this our pretty quickly. Agent basically said she had to invoke some sort of offline process to opt me out; this seems to have worked but still very annoying the extra hoops to jump through and misleading communication.

eukonomos
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Re: Is it Possible to Opt-out of Fidelity Premium Services?

Post by eukonomos » Sat Mar 07, 2020 7:35 pm

Retired1809 wrote:
Thu Mar 05, 2020 8:14 pm

...
I would like a rep who would act in my best interests rather than the firm's. Think of the Santa in the movie "Miracle on 34th Street" who was overheard by a floorwalker directing a Macy's customer to Gimbels because they had "just the present" that her daughter wanted. But now I'm dreaming. There are no Santas on Wall Street. Buyer, beware. You're on your own. It's your future; take it seriously.
...
I've met with my rep a couple of times. He's made some suggestions, but not pushy. When I told him I started a side gig and would open a solo 401k, he said I should do a Roth. "Even though Fidelity doesn't offer a Roth solo 401k?" "Yep."
He was right.

Dottie57
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Re: Is it Possible to Opt-out of Fidelity Premium Services?

Post by Dottie57 » Sat Mar 07, 2020 7:46 pm

Third Son wrote:
Thu Mar 05, 2020 7:20 pm
My experience with Fidelity is that they try to gently push their products but cease to do so if you request. Just say no :D. I find their approach very non invasive.
+1

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Re: Is it Possible to Opt-out of Fidelity Premium Services?

Post by pkcrafter » Sat Mar 07, 2020 7:50 pm

You don't think you're getting those zero ER's for nothing do you? :happy Fidelity wants to pull you in, then get you into the profit zone. :dollar


Paul
When times are good, investors tend to forget about risk and focus on opportunity. When times are bad, investors tend to forget about opportunity and focus on risk.

Horsefly
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Re: Is it Possible to Opt-out of Fidelity Premium Services?

Post by Horsefly » Sat Mar 07, 2020 7:58 pm

I personally think the OP is overreacting.

I've been Fidelity Private Client for something over 10 years now. I'm no the third VP/Advisor assigned to me, but this one has been there for over 5 years. He called me one-time, and that was just to introduce himself as the replacement for the previous. His words to me: "I know you are DIY, so I will respect that. I won't call you unless you ask me to. All I ask is that you talk to me before you decide to move money out of Fidelity." That was a pleasantly reasonable request.

Since that time I have called him a couple of times, and he has been an enormous help with some sticky situations (trusts, partnerships, etc.).

As for the emails, I get them too but either ignore them if the subject isn't interesting or read them if they are. Much like emails I get from Bloomberg and Forbes. No biggy. Some have been interesting.

Ferdinand2014
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Re: Is it Possible to Opt-out of Fidelity Premium Services?

Post by Ferdinand2014 » Sat Mar 07, 2020 9:27 pm

aj76er wrote:
Thu Mar 05, 2020 6:37 pm
A few months ago, I must have crossed some magical threshold at Fidelity because in the upper right-hand corner I now have some advisor person's name pop-up on my accounts page. Furthermore, I've been starting to receive "strategic" bulk emails from this person with links to generic Fidelity articles about finances, markets, investor behavior pitfalls, etc. This latest email showed up this morning, perfectly timed with the latest bout of market volatility, and contained all sorts of "helpful" article links related to markets performance during pandemics, etc.

I'm starting to have a very visceral reaction to this and would prefer to not be bothered by this person. It seems very unnerving to me that this person's name just shows up above my portfolio to make it "look" like they are suddenly managing things. I've been a DIY investor for over 20yrs and have never once used (or hope to ever use) an AUM fee-sucking financial advisor. I find myself double-checking the transaction page to ensure they aren't siphoning off fees.

The latest email also infuriates me because I know they are trying to capitalize on any fear or uncertainty I may have. I've remained cool and calm during the latest bout of volatility, but this financial advisor's tactics bothers me greatly.

In the very bottom of the email, in tiny text, it says this:

To stop receiving account service communications by email, log in to your Fidelity account and turn off the "Account activity and service emails" indicator.

I can't even find that switch, but turning it off would make me concerned that I might miss something important related to my account. Combining an "opt-out for bulk emails" with a legitimate alert is just one more tactic that I find distasteful.

Anyway, if you are a "Premium Service" member, how do you deal with this? Do you simply ignore the emails and the Advisor name hanging over your portfolio? If I complain to Fidelity, will they remove the advisor from my account? Is there a way to opt-out of Fidelity Premium Services?
I ignore the happy fat face in the upper right hand corner. I appreciate the 800 number to the premium service. I did have one (free) ‘portfolio review’ with him out of morbid curiosity. Friendly fellow. His advice was mostly in line with boglehead 3 fund philosophy. He pointed out my lack of international and my lack of bonds. I am t-bills and S&P 500 aka Warren Buffett. Ignored his suggestions and that was the last I’ve heard from him other then occasional emails to stay the course associated with the markets gyrations. I figure if I need help with setting up accounts or some issue with trusts, estates, etc, he would be a resource.
“You only find out who is swimming naked when the tide goes out.“ — Warren Buffett

cdltrance
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Re: Is it Possible to Opt-out of Fidelity Premium Services?

Post by cdltrance » Sun Mar 08, 2020 12:05 am

good job on saving >250k but why opt of a complementary service?

BlueRidgePro
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Re: Is it Possible to Opt-out of Fidelity Premium Services?

Post by BlueRidgePro » Sun Mar 08, 2020 8:31 am

Don't try to opt out. If you've got an account problem or question, use your adviser and premium status for better service. Ignore all other offers and pitches.

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