my review of my HSA with Saturna brokerage

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fish-steak
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Re: my review of my HSA with Saturna brokerage

Post by fish-steak » Fri Jan 06, 2017 5:04 pm

bphaedrus wrote:Interesting. Any reason not to invest with VTI (rather than VTSAX) to save the extra $10 fee?

According to Saturna's commission schedule (http://www.saturna.com/sbs/commsch.shtml), the inactive account fee is $25 for an account holding equities and ETFs, $12.50 for accounts holding only mutual funds and zero for accounts holding everything in cash or MM. If you plan to drop the HDHP at some point, it can be cheaper to pay higher commission in exchange for a lower maintenance fee.

I confirmed with Saturna customer service that holding a Vanguard ETF would result in the higher $25 inactivity fee.

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Re: my review of my HSA with Saturna brokerage

Post by mikep » Fri Jan 06, 2017 5:51 pm

fish-steak wrote:
bphaedrus wrote:Interesting. Any reason not to invest with VTI (rather than VTSAX) to save the extra $10 fee?

According to Saturna's commission schedule (http://www.saturna.com/sbs/commsch.shtml), the inactive account fee is $25 for an account holding equities and ETFs, $12.50 for accounts holding only mutual funds and zero for accounts holding everything in cash or MM. If you plan to drop the HDHP at some point, it can be cheaper to pay higher commission in exchange for a lower maintenance fee.

I confirmed with Saturna customer service that holding a Vanguard ETF would result in the higher $25 inactivity fee.


Wow this could cut my cost from $14.95 to $12.50 per year if I just leave it alone. I hold the Fidelity TIPS index mutual fund there for the CA tax advantages. Are mutual fund shares sold to pay the inactivity fee on Dec 31?

fish-steak
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Re: my review of my HSA with Saturna brokerage

Post by fish-steak » Sat Jan 07, 2017 7:31 pm

mikep wrote:Are mutual fund shares sold to pay the inactivity fee on Dec 31?

Good question. I'd like to know too. I'll report back on Saturna says about this on the weekday.

In the meanwhile, I'm trying to understand the advantages and disadvantages of their cash sweep options. The choices are Cash, FDIC insured (DIDE), Dreyfus Government Cash Management (DGVXX) and Dreyfus Treasury & Agency Cash Management (DTVXX). How did you guys justify your pick?

fish-steak
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Re: my review of my HSA with Saturna brokerage

Post by fish-steak » Mon Jan 09, 2017 3:00 pm

Good news: the inactive fee can be paid with a separate check. Trading commissions cannot--they're counted with the yearly contribution limit.

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Re: my review of my HSA with Saturna brokerage

Post by Lieutenant.Columbo » Mon Jan 09, 2017 3:41 pm

fish-steak wrote:Good news: the inactive fee can be paid with a separate check. Trading commissions cannot--they're counted with the yearly contribution limit.
when does one incur an inactivity fee with a Saturna brokerage account?
by calendar year?
or very 12 months since last transactions?
do reinvestments count as transactions in order to not incur inactivity fee?
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Re: my review of my HSA with Saturna brokerage

Post by Easy Rhino » Tue Jan 10, 2017 9:42 am

it's calendar year. I trade every 13-14 months or so and don't get a fee

I don't have any investments set to reinvest so I don't have any insight on if that affects the fee.

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Re: my review of my HSA with Saturna brokerage

Post by fish-steak » Tue Jan 10, 2017 3:11 pm

Lieutenant.Columbo wrote:do reinvestments count as transactions in order to not incur inactivity fee?

I checked with Saturna and my rep confirmed that reinvestments do not count as activity. There must be a buy or sale. (darn)

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cookymonster
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Re: my review of my HSA with Saturna brokerage

Post by cookymonster » Tue Jan 17, 2017 1:54 pm

Does anyone know of a non-Vanguard total bond fund with a rock bottom expense ratio? My current HSA is completely invested in VBMPX. I prefer to keep my HSA in bonds, and since these pay out dividends so frequently, I want to avoid ETF's (and the monthly dividend reinvestment fee).

If there are no better options than VBMPX, I'll pay the $24.95 a year for it, but it would be nice to use a decent alternative for $14.95.

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Re: my review of my HSA with Saturna brokerage

Post by indexfundfan » Tue Jan 17, 2017 2:05 pm

cookymonster wrote:Does anyone know of a non-Vanguard total bond fund with a rock bottom expense ratio? My current HSA is completely invested in VBMPX. I prefer to keep my HSA in bonds, and since these pay out dividends so frequently, I want to avoid ETF's (and the monthly dividend reinvestment fee).

If there are no better options than VBMPX, I'll pay the $24.95 a year for it, but it would be nice to use a decent alternative for $14.95.

I believe T Rowe Price funds are NTF at Saturna. The TRP US Bond Enhanced Index Fund PBDIX has an ER of 0.3%.
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cookymonster
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Re: my review of my HSA with Saturna brokerage

Post by cookymonster » Tue Jan 17, 2017 2:12 pm

indexfundfan wrote:
cookymonster wrote:Does anyone know of a non-Vanguard total bond fund with a rock bottom expense ratio? My current HSA is completely invested in VBMPX. I prefer to keep my HSA in bonds, and since these pay out dividends so frequently, I want to avoid ETF's (and the monthly dividend reinvestment fee).

If there are no better options than VBMPX, I'll pay the $24.95 a year for it, but it would be nice to use a decent alternative for $14.95.

I believe T Rowe Price funds are NTF at Saturna. The TRP US Bond Enhanced Index Fund PBDIX has an ER of 0.3%.

I'm aware of PBDIX. I think I'd rather pay the extra $24.95 than pay 0.26% more in ER (I have $17500 in my HSA, and those extra expenses are another $45 a year). I'm looking for something that's 0.10% or less. I'm surprised that I don't see anything like that offered by Fidelity or Schwab (on their websites, anway).

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Re: my review of my HSA with Saturna brokerage

Post by tfb » Wed Jan 18, 2017 12:47 am

cookymonster wrote:I'm looking for something that's 0.10% or less. I'm surprised that I don't see anything like that offered by Fidelity or Schwab (on their websites, anway).

FSITX at 0.05% ER is available for $14.95 commission.
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cookymonster
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Re: my review of my HSA with Saturna brokerage

Post by cookymonster » Wed Jan 18, 2017 1:36 am

tfb wrote:
cookymonster wrote:I'm looking for something that's 0.10% or less. I'm surprised that I don't see anything like that offered by Fidelity or Schwab (on their websites, anway).

FSITX at 0.05% ER is available for $14.95 commission.

Just the info I wanted, thanks!

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Re: my review of my HSA with Saturna brokerage

Post by NewtoInvesting403 » Wed Jan 18, 2017 12:15 pm

fish-steak wrote:Good news: the inactive fee can be paid with a separate check. Trading commissions cannot--they're counted with the yearly contribution limit.


Can you share how you accomplish this? I assumed they would just automatically deduct from the account balance.

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Thrifty Femme
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Re: my review of my HSA with Saturna brokerage

Post by Thrifty Femme » Wed Jan 18, 2017 10:01 pm

Can anyone comment on taking money out of a Saturna brokerage HSA?

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Re: my review of my HSA with Saturna brokerage

Post by Easy Rhino » Tue Jan 31, 2017 8:00 pm

Thrifty Femme wrote:Can anyone comment on taking money out of a Saturna brokerage HSA?


I've never personally tried. Knock on wood, it will be a while until i need to!

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Re: my review of my HSA with Saturna brokerage

Post by atxeng » Sun Mar 19, 2017 12:25 pm

So I am in the process of sending over my full HSA over to Saturna (~$25k).

Does anyone have recommendations of HSA portfolio strategy? It looks like the entire market is open to Saturna, is that right? Any reco's?

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Re: my review of my HSA with Saturna brokerage

Post by Lieutenant.Columbo » Sun Mar 19, 2017 1:06 pm

atxeng wrote:...recommendations of HSA portfolio strategy?
I'd invest in HSA the same asset class/es you have in Roth.
Lt. Columbo: Well, what do you know. Here I am talking with some of the smartest people in the world, and I didn't even notice!

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Re: my review of my HSA with Saturna brokerage

Post by *3!4!/5! » Sun Mar 19, 2017 1:32 pm

atxeng wrote:So I am in the process of sending over my full HSA over to Saturna (~$25k).

Does anyone have recommendations of HSA portfolio strategy? It looks like the entire market is open to Saturna, is that right? Any reco's?


I would have figured out what I want to invest in first, and then have chosen a suitable HSA. Saturna is most suited to making just one trade per year.

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Re: my review of my HSA with Saturna brokerage

Post by atxeng » Sun Mar 19, 2017 1:47 pm

*3!4!/5! wrote:I would have figured out what I want to invest in first, and then have chosen a suitable HSA. Saturna is most suited to making just one trade per year.


What do you mean, the $14.95 trade fee? Wasn't most people's analysis that even w/ that fee, Saturna is way better? No monthly fees, no min. cash balance, full open market to choose from rather than a few crappy funds in most others (Health Equity, Optum Bank, Health Savings Admin)?

Does reinvesting count as trading?

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Re: my review of my HSA with Saturna brokerage

Post by Lieutenant.Columbo » Sun Mar 19, 2017 2:32 pm

atxeng wrote:Does reinvesting count as trading?
with Saturna, reinvesting does not count as "one trade";
by the way, in Saturna reinvesting from mutual funds costs $0 and reinvesting from ETFs costs $1, FYI
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Re: my review of my HSA with Saturna brokerage

Post by *3!4!/5! » Sun Mar 19, 2017 2:47 pm

atxeng wrote:
*3!4!/5! wrote:I would have figured out what I want to invest in first, and then have chosen a suitable HSA. Saturna is most suited to making just one trade per year.


What do you mean, the $14.95 trade fee? Wasn't most people's analysis that even w/ that fee, Saturna is way better? No monthly fees, no min. cash balance, full open market to choose from rather than a few crappy funds in most others (Health Equity, Optum Bank, Health Savings Admin)?

Well, for example HealthEquity HSA has a 0/4%/yr wrap fee which is $100/yr on a $25k balance. Saturna certainly beats that, but not if you were to be doing a lot of trades.

atxeng wrote:Does reinvesting count as trading?

"Lieutenant.Columbo" gave right answer.

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Re: my review of my HSA with Saturna brokerage

Post by harvestbook » Sun Mar 19, 2017 7:17 pm

Easy Rhino wrote:
Thrifty Femme wrote:Can anyone comment on taking money out of a Saturna brokerage HSA?


Forgive this dumb question, but will it also count as a trade when you need to sell and therefore incur a $14.95 fee on the way in and the way out?

I recently opened a HealthSavings account figuring with Vanguard Total Stock Market, my expense ratio would be .3 plus the $45 annual fee (whose impact would be lessened after a few years of investing.) For background, this is a buy-and-hold account, since we have a day-to-day HSA at our credit union paying 1.5 percent. It seems like Saturna might be a slightly better choice for us but at this point we're in midstream so it may not be worth the hassle to change, at least until I plug in the 20-year effect of that additional .25 that HealthSavings charges on top!.
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Re: my review of my HSA with Saturna brokerage

Post by Easy Rhino » Mon Mar 20, 2017 8:48 am

A sell would count as a normal commission transaction, yes. (if you wanted to transfer out cash instead of transfer the security)

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Re: my review of my HSA with Saturna brokerage

Post by MikeTV » Wed Mar 22, 2017 10:11 am

Thanks for the thorough walkthrough! Majorly helpful.

Got an email from Saturna that "Fidelity index funds now incur a $10 surcharge". This information wasn't on their website or documents last I looked (a week ago)

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Re: my review of my HSA with Saturna brokerage

Post by cookymonster » Wed Mar 22, 2017 1:50 pm

MikeTV wrote: Got an email from Saturna that "Fidelity index funds now incur a $10 surcharge". This information wasn't on their website or documents last I looked (a week ago)
I didn't get that email, and don't get that surcharge when I put in a dummy transaction for Fidelity. I hope it's not true, as I'll probably have to look for something else to invest in (currently 100% FSITX)

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Re: my review of my HSA with Saturna brokerage

Post by atxeng » Wed Mar 22, 2017 2:13 pm

MikeTV wrote:Thanks for the thorough walkthrough! Majorly helpful.

Got an email from Saturna that "Fidelity index funds now incur a $10 surcharge". This information wasn't on their website or documents last I looked (a week ago)
I called and asked. So technically, Saturna is not charging the fee but the administrator Pershing LLC is charging the $10 fee on Vanguard funds. They say its listed on the page of available funds with an asterisk stating the charge.

https://www.saturna.com/saturna-brokera ... d-families
VANGUARD FUNDS*
*Surcharges may apply.

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Re: my review of my HSA with Saturna brokerage

Post by Lieutenant.Columbo » Wed Mar 22, 2017 9:26 pm

atxeng wrote:...Saturna is not charging the fee but the administrator Pershing LLC is charging the $10 fee on Vanguard funds
atxeng,
1. when does one incur this surcharge? when buying or selling? as maintenance regular fee?
2. also, is this $10 fee in addition to Saturna's $24.95/trade fee?

thanks
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Re: my review of my HSA with Saturna brokerage

Post by harvestbook » Thu Mar 23, 2017 8:32 am

My understanding is the $24.95 includes the $10 fee when buying Vanguard funds (and apparently now Fidelity as well). So $24.95 total. It is per trade. So, one purchase a year equals $24.95 total cost plus whatever the expense ratio of your selected fund. Obviously not a great choice for dollar-cost-averaging or making withdrawals. Pure buy-and-hold.

I am applying for a Saturna account today so I will share if I learn anything not yet mentioned. I can't face those Health Savings Adminsitrator fees for the next decade. Also proof how these accounts that seem good can change beneath your feet while you are sleeping--I expect a lot of turbulence in the HSA markets in the current era.

I crunched some numbers comparing Health Savings Administrators and Saturna in the Best HSA (2017) thread:
viewtopic.php?f=2&t=207051&start=50#p3292824
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Re: my review of my HSA with Saturna brokerage

Post by Lieutenant.Columbo » Thu Mar 23, 2017 9:01 am

harvestbook wrote:I am applying for a Saturna account today so I will share if I learn anything not yet mentioned.
find out what cost is involved in buying IJS, please :wink:
Lt. Columbo: Well, what do you know. Here I am talking with some of the smartest people in the world, and I didn't even notice!

atxeng
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Re: my review of my HSA with Saturna brokerage

Post by atxeng » Thu Mar 23, 2017 1:43 pm

I posted more details over in the other thread.

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Re: my review of my HSA with Saturna brokerage

Post by LadyGeek » Thu Mar 23, 2017 3:28 pm

^^^ Here's the link: Re: Best HSA (2017)
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Re: my review of my HSA with Saturna brokerage

Post by Lieutenant.Columbo » Sun Mar 26, 2017 8:44 pm

anyone here knows if tax payers should expect to receive an IRS Form showing the 2016 HSA contribution from their HSA custodian (Saturna in my case)?
thanks!
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Re: my review of my HSA with Saturna brokerage

Post by grabiner » Sun Mar 26, 2017 9:09 pm

Lieutenant.Columbo wrote:anyone here knows if tax payers should expect to receive an IRS Form showing the 2016 HSA contribution from their HSA custodian (Saturna in my case)?
thanks!
You will receive the form, but you don't need it in order to file your taxes. The final form 5498-SA normally comes out in May, in order to allow the form to reflect 2016 contributions made through April 15, 2017.
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indexfundfan
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Re: my review of my HSA with Saturna brokerage

Post by indexfundfan » Fri Sep 22, 2017 4:02 pm

Anyone knows if purchasing or selling a NTF mutual fund is sufficient to avoid the yearly inactivity fee?
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Re: my review of my HSA with Saturna brokerage

Post by numberman » Wed Nov 15, 2017 5:10 pm

indexfundfan wrote:
Fri Sep 22, 2017 4:02 pm
Anyone knows if purchasing or selling a NTF mutual fund is sufficient to avoid the yearly inactivity fee?
I had to call Saturna for something else today, and asked them this. The person I talked to said you can avoid the inactivity fee this way, as long as you're talking about the "FundVest Focus" funds in the brokerage account. "Saturna's affiliated mutual funds" don't count, since they're a separate mutual fund account, not through Saturna Brokerage Services.

And there are restrictions, as mentioned on https://www.saturna.com/saturna-brokera ... d-platform. You must buy in with $2,500, and you have to hold it for at least 6 months. So it sounds like you could buy $2,500 worth of, say, PREIX (the T Row Price S&P500 fund, ER 0.21%), and then a year later sell it all and buy it back the next day, and keep doing that every year. The savings seem pretty small, of course, and they get smaller over time:

With that system, you'd have $2,500 in PREIX effectively all the time, and presumably growing. Compared to VTSAX (Vanguard Total Stock Market, Admiral shares, ER 0.04%), that's about $4.25 per year lost from the higher expense ratio (assuming the only difference in performance is the ER), in order to save the $14.95 inactivity fee. So you save a whole $10.70 per year, less than $1 per month. :moneybag

And as mentioned, that amount would grow over time, so you save less every year. Assuming the value doubles every 10 years or so, the ER difference would exceed the inactivity fee in about 18 years I think, if everything else stays the same (log(14.95/(2500*.0017))/log(2) * 10). And if you ever change your mind and want to sell PREIX to buy back in to VTSAX, it'll cost you another $25, blowing away some of the previous savings.

Also keep in mind that the inactivity fee is paid with non-HSA funds (according to replies in this thread), but any loss from a higher ER is effectively lost from the HSA.

The bigger benefit may be that you don't need to go through the annoyance of sending them a check every year for the inactivity fee. Even then, I'd probably prefer to just let things sit in VTSAX, but that's just me.

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