my review of my HSA with Saturna brokerage

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goodtimes
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Re: my review of my HSA with Saturna brokerage

Postby goodtimes » Fri Mar 20, 2015 6:06 pm

I'm working through the Saturna brokerage application and find some of the questions to be fairly intrusive (asking for income, net worth, liquid net worth, tax bracket, knowledge and experience on 12 different investment types). Is it really necessary to fill this information out? It's been a while since I've opened a new brokerage account and I am just wondering if these questions are standard. For those of you who are Saturna HSA customers, has Saturna been soliciting you for other business, presumably based on answers in the brokerage application?

Easy Rhino
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Re: my review of my HSA with Saturna brokerage

Postby Easy Rhino » Fri Mar 20, 2015 7:06 pm

Those types of questions are fairly common when I've opened brokerage accounts. More intrusive than a bank account. I believe some questions regarding day-trading, for instance, are required by the SEC.

I haven't been contacted by Saturna for any reason whatsoever, except when I accidentally made my rollover check payable to "Saturna" instead of "Pershing" for the brokerage account.

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Rainier
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Re: my review of my HSA with Saturna brokerage

Postby Rainier » Fri Mar 20, 2015 7:14 pm

Who cares? It's not like they asked your religion or when your last colonoscopy was.

Also, there's no verification process, just part of "know your client"
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Re: my review of my HSA with Saturna brokerage

Postby Mysticcal » Tue Mar 24, 2015 3:10 pm

Loving Saturna so far.

I have a question though, I'm investing in the exact same fund via Saturna and via Vanguard directly but they have slightly different gains and losses (Saturna /w the same fund is currently at a 2% lower gain over the same time period)

Would these just be expense ratios from each broker?

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Re: my review of my HSA with Saturna brokerage

Postby Easy Rhino » Tue Mar 24, 2015 5:58 pm

Which fund is it? In general, if you look at the NAV of the fund from the same date for the same ticker, then it should be the same.

Saturna's going to charge transaction fees on purchase, is there any chance that's accounting for the perceived performance difference?

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Re: my review of my HSA with Saturna brokerage

Postby Rainier » Wed Mar 25, 2015 5:00 am

I've got all my forms filled, just don't want to botch the rollover from UMB.

What's the best way to handle so everything is reported properly?
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Re: my review of my HSA with Saturna brokerage

Postby Easy Rhino » Wed Mar 25, 2015 9:26 am

Rainier wrote:I've got all my forms filled, just don't want to botch the rollover from UMB.

The distribution form UMB doesn't really matter, there's no special reporting code they need to use.

When you mail the check to Saturna, include a note that it's a rollover contribution.

Mysticcal
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Re: my review of my HSA with Saturna brokerage

Postby Mysticcal » Wed Mar 25, 2015 2:02 pm

Easy Rhino wrote:Which fund is it? In general, if you look at the NAV of the fund from the same date for the same ticker, then it should be the same.

Saturna's going to charge transaction fees on purchase, is there any chance that's accounting for the perceived performance difference?


It was mint being stupid, I guess they show the net overall change in relation to original purchase price and not net gains/losses over time periods.

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Re: my review of my HSA with Saturna brokerage

Postby Mike14 » Wed Jun 17, 2015 7:36 pm

Saturna now provides all forms on its website. They also revamped the brokerage website.

There was some confusion about the cost structure regarding Vanguard funds in this thread and also in the Wiki.

Vanguard Mutual Funds
=========================
Cost per trade: $24.95
Admiral Shares: Yes (*without* meeting the minimum 10k requirement).
Dividend re-invest: no charge
Inactivity fee (no trade within calendar year): $12.50


Fidelity Mutual Funds
=========================
Cost per trade: $14.95
Admiral Shares: Yes* (but *will* need to meet 10k requirement). The new website will give you an error right away if the order doesn't meet the fund's minimum.
Dividend re-invest: no charge
Inactivity fee (no trade within calendar year): $12.50


ETF (Vanguard & Fidelity)
=========================
Cost per trade: $14.95
Dividend re-invest: $1
Inactivity fee (no trade within calendar year): $25
Last edited by Mike14 on Fri Jun 19, 2015 8:43 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: my review of my HSA with Saturna brokerage

Postby LadyGeek » Wed Jun 17, 2015 9:35 pm

^^^ Thanks, but I don't quite see how Vanguard mutual funds are $24.95 per trade.

From: Commission Schedule, trades are $14.95 online, $24.95 broker assisted.

Here's the wiki article: Health savings account (HSA custodians and options)

What should be changed?

FYI - All wiki editors are welcome to update any article, including this one. This is a collaborative effort.
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Re: my review of my HSA with Saturna brokerage

Postby stlutz » Wed Jun 17, 2015 10:15 pm

Mike 14: Is Vanguard one of the families that falls under footnote 3 on their commissions page?

³ Additional charges may apply for certain mutual funds. Please contact Saturna for details.


I know when I briefly had a "window account" in my 401K administered by Hewitt, there was an additional upcharge for VG funds.

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Re: my review of my HSA with Saturna brokerage

Postby Easy Rhino » Thu Jun 18, 2015 1:20 am

thanks for the update Mike, I looked around at the new website. It looks much prettier than the old one. it seems to present more useful information as well (it might be a bit slow on my browser, though). I think I like it.

pretending to walk through an order, but cancelling last minute, I can buy VIPSX (tips investor) and VAIPX (admiral)for a 14.95 fee being displayed on the confirmation screen. Similarly, VTSMX (total stock market investor) through VITSX (institutional) show a 14.95 fee. it would be funny if they let me buy the institutional shares.

Mike14
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Re: my review of my HSA with Saturna brokerage

Postby Mike14 » Fri Jun 19, 2015 8:44 am

Easy Rhino wrote:pretending to walk through an order, but cancelling last minute, I can buy VIPSX (tips investor) and VAIPX (admiral)for a 14.95 fee being displayed on the confirmation screen. Similarly, VTSMX (total stock market investor) through VITSX (institutional) show a 14.95 fee. it would be funny if they let me buy the institutional shares.


The new website displays the $10 surcharge for Vanguard mutual funds prior to placing the order (it will only show it during trading hours).
VIPSX, VAIPX, VTSMX, VITSX all show a $24.95 fee when placing an order from the new website.

The old website wouldn't show the $10 surcharge for Vanguard mutual funds when placing the order, but withholding it automatically (hence the conflicting reports in this thread).

I doubt buying VITSX will go through, but you can try. In the past, they would let you place any order regardless of whether you qualify (which would then ultimately get rejected). Now, they'll give you an error when confirming the order.

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Re: my review of my HSA with Saturna brokerage

Postby bobert » Mon Aug 10, 2015 11:10 pm

I'm interested in using Saturna has a long-term investment account. However, I would like to fund it through payroll deductions rather than a lump sum. Is there any issue or fees associated with making multiple contributions throughout the year?

If I eventually lose eligibility to contribute to the HSA, are there ways to avoid the inactivity fee if I no longer have funds to make a once-a-year purchase?

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Re: my review of my HSA with Saturna brokerage

Postby Easy Rhino » Wed Aug 12, 2015 10:27 am

I checked with Saturna customer service and they don't offer the ability for your payroll or wherever to "direct deposit" into your brokerage account. The closest thing would be to set up automatic withdrawals from your checking account.

bobert
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Re: my review of my HSA with Saturna brokerage

Postby bobert » Wed Aug 12, 2015 8:26 pm

Easy Rhino wrote:I checked with Saturna customer service and they don't offer the ability for your payroll or wherever to "direct deposit" into your brokerage account. The closest thing would be to set up automatic withdrawals from your checking account.


Is this a common restriction of most HSA custodians? My employer has no HSA affiliations or contributions, but I'd like to contribute before taxes to avoid FICA. Is this possible?

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Re: my review of my HSA with Saturna brokerage

Postby mikep » Wed Aug 12, 2015 11:23 pm

Mike14 wrote:Saturna now provides all forms on its website. They also revamped the brokerage website.

There was some confusion about the cost structure regarding Vanguard funds in this thread and also in the Wiki.

Vanguard Mutual Funds
=========================
Cost per trade: $24.95
Admiral Shares: Yes (*without* meeting the minimum 10k requirement).
Dividend re-invest: no charge
Inactivity fee (no trade within calendar year): $12.50


Fidelity Mutual Funds
=========================
Cost per trade: $14.95
Admiral Shares: Yes* (but *will* need to meet 10k requirement). The new website will give you an error right away if the order doesn't meet the fund's minimum.
Dividend re-invest: no charge
Inactivity fee (no trade within calendar year): $12.50


ETF (Vanguard & Fidelity)
=========================
Cost per trade: $14.95
Dividend re-invest: $1
Inactivity fee (no trade within calendar year): $25


Thanks! I tried to buy FSIYX (Fidelity advantage TIPS index fund) and had enough for the $10,000 minimum when I opened my account in Jan 2014. I tried and the trade was rejected, they told me on the phone that I could only buy the investor shares.

Are Fidelity advantage shares available now - has someone bought them online?
Would it be a taxable event (for CA state taxes) and/or commission to switch from investor shares to advantage shares TIPS?

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Re: my review of my HSA with Saturna brokerage

Postby grabiner » Thu Aug 13, 2015 7:46 pm

mikep wrote:Would it be a taxable event (for CA state taxes) and/or commission to switch from investor shares to advantage shares TIPS?


If you sell one share class and buy another, the change is a taxable event (and a wash sale if you sell for a loss). If Fidelity converts you to another share class without a sale, it is not a taxable event because you didn't sell anything. Vanguard's conversions to Admiral and ETF shares work the same way.
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Re: my review of my HSA with Saturna brokerage

Postby Hector » Mon Nov 16, 2015 7:58 pm

Easy Rhino wrote:I got a PM with a question about this account, and I thought I'd share. Since I'm in California, I need to worry about capital gains for state tax purposes. Saturna offers several different methods of lot identification when selling, including individual lot selection.

Also, I looked at a few companies in the "no fee" mutual fund list, even though I had previously burned out on it, and didn't find any really compelling mutual funds. Just a few, because I have to enter the ticker to see if a specific fund is no-fee.

For instance, Dreyfus has two SP500 mutual funds. DSPIX has a 0.2% expense ratio, but is will have a transaction fee at Saturna. PEOPX has a 0.5% expense ratio, and it looks like it is part of their no fee program. (although I'd need to receive a prospectus before I could review the order, lol).


So customer will have to pay $30 in fees every time for doing TLH, $50 if trading vanguard funds, correct?

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Re: my review of my HSA with Saturna brokerage

Postby integritetus » Thu Nov 26, 2015 2:36 am

Thanks to those who have gone before in exploring Saturna as an HSA custodian. My wife and I just rolled our HSAs from Health Savings Administrators to Saturna.

I’d had my HSA with Health Savings Administrators since 2007 and had been generally quite satisfied. At the time I opened the account, it was one of the least expensive options for investing in Vanguard mutual funds, with Admiral class shares available on the first dollar. We added a second HSA for my wife when she became eligible for catch-up contributions. We plan to contribute the maximum amount each year for about ten more years. We plan to leave the HSA assets invested and pay healthcare expenses with other funds.

Until earlier this year, Health Savings Administrators’ fee structure was $45 per account plus 0.32% per fund capped on the first $20,000. For a small-balance account with every dollar invested, not a bad deal relative to current options, and for a large-balance account, the pain was limited. This year they lowered the per fund fee to 0.25% but eliminated the cap. For one of our HSAs with a balance above $20,000, the cost became unacceptable. A phone call to a Health Savings Administrators customer service representative (who to her credit appealed to her supervisor) yielded no relief on the expenses. In my opinion, a Vanguard-fund-only house adding an uncapped 25 basis points to the cost of each Vanguard fund held is an exercise in boglehead dissonance.

We decided we needed a new HSA custodian.

In our HSAs, we prefer mutual funds to ETFs and balanced funds to a mix of funds. Our ideal allocation in each account is to have a single position in Vanguard Balanced Index Fund Admiral Shares (LifeStrategy Moderate Growth would be another acceptable choice). Seeking a reasonable degree of simplicity, we prefer to have most of our tax-advantaged accounts allocated this way, and we achieve our desired overall asset allocation with other funds in a taxable account and one traditional IRA.

Saturna appears to be the best fit for us from the current array of HSA custodians. Total annual cost per account with each year’s annual contribution invested and held in Balanced Index Admiral shares is $24.95 (a $14.95 no-load mutual fund transaction fee plus $10 extra for a transaction in a Vanguard fund). Dividends and capital gains are reinvested at no cost (mutual funds only, ETFs incur a $1/event reinvestment charge). No rebalancing transactions needed in these HSAs for our allocation strategy. Admiral shares for every dollar, even though one of our HSAs has a balance that is less than the $3,000 Vanguard minimum for Balanced Index Investor shares. If in some year we do not make a transaction, there is an inactivity fee of $12.50 (for an account with only mutual fund positions, $25 for accounts that hold stocks or ETFs).

Obviously Saturna would quickly become expensive relative to say HSA Bank ($66/account in fees if one wants every dollar invested, with no other transaction costs when choosing from a quite reasonable selection of ETFs) if the number of transactions per year isn’t kept very small. And there is no debit card feature for expenses. And even after linking a bank account to the brokerage account, moving money in for new contributions or out for disbursements requires a phone call. But if one’s objective is to invest HSA contributions in a single Vanguard fund (or perhaps two) and hold that position for a long time, I think Saturna is currently unbeatable with respect to costs.

The application process involved a lot of paper forms which had to be mailed (fortunately mostly electronically fillable pdf forms). Many of the forms were Pershing’s and many were much more general than needed for a humble HSA; I suggest a review of the forms by phone with one of the Saturna customer reps so that you know what you do need to fill out and what you can skip. Ideally, Saturna would develop a simplified application for HSA brokerage accounts.

I’ve no connection to Saturna other than being a new customer, so far satisfied.

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Re: my review of my HSA with Saturna brokerage

Postby Lieutenant.Columbo » Thu Nov 26, 2015 11:12 pm

integritetus wrote:Vanguard Balanced Index Fund Admiral Shares (LifeStrategy Moderate Growth would be another acceptable choice).
...
Total annual cost per account with each year’s annual contribution invested and held in Balanced Index Admiral shares is $24.95 (a $14.95 no-load mutual fund transaction fee plus $10 extra for a transaction in a Vanguard fund).
...
...if the number of transactions per year isn’t kept very small
...
The application process involved a lot of paper forms which had to be mailed (fortunately mostly electronically fillable pdf forms).


I am trying to set up a family HDHP+HSA by Dec 1st so that we can put the max for 2015 in the HSA.

1) do you think Saturna's regular-mail lots-of-paper application will get in the way of attaining our Dec 1st goal?

2) do I understand that if I put the max each year in one transaction, the only cost of the HSA for that year would be $25 plus the cost of the index fund?

3) do you know if Saturna/Vanguard will still allow buying Admiral shares even if our initial contribution is under $10K (as limited by HSA max contribution per yr)?

thank you very much for any guidance on this (if only searching for qualifying HDHPs were easier...)
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

Postby integritetus » Fri Nov 27, 2015 10:45 am

JLMA wrote:
integritetus wrote:Vanguard Balanced Index Fund Admiral Shares (LifeStrategy Moderate Growth would be another acceptable choice).
...
Total annual cost per account with each year’s annual contribution invested and held in Balanced Index Admiral shares is $24.95 (a $14.95 no-load mutual fund transaction fee plus $10 extra for a transaction in a Vanguard fund).
...
...if the number of transactions per year isn’t kept very small
...
The application process involved a lot of paper forms which had to be mailed (fortunately mostly electronically fillable pdf forms).


I am trying to set up a family HDHP+HSA by Dec 1st so that we can put the max for 2015 in the HSA.

1) do you think Saturna's regular-mail lots-of-paper application will get in the way of attaining our Dec 1st goal?

2) do I understand that if I put the max each year in one transaction, the only cost of the HSA for that year would be $25 plus the cost of the index fund?

3) do you know if Saturna/Vanguard will still allow buying Admiral shares even if our initial contribution is under $10K (as limited by HSA max contribution per yr)?

thank you very much for any guidance on this (if only searching for qualifying HDHPs were easier...)


It may be a challenge to get the account open by December 1st given the calendar. This Saturna page has details about opening accounts and states that some of the forms aren't acceptable by fax. Don't know why.

http://www.saturna.com/sbs/opening_account.shtml

Your best bet may be to give them a call today and explain what you would like to do. According to their website, their office closes early today because the market closes early, but perhaps they can help.

Yes, your total cost for the year with one transaction for a Vanguard mutual fund would $24.95 (plus the fund's ER). Saturna only charges for transactions; there are no fees for holding a position other than the inactivity fee, which can be avoided by having one transaction per calendar year.

If you bought an ETF instead your initial cost to open the fund and buy the ETF would be $!4.95, but then you would also pay $1 per dividend reinvestment if you chose to automatically reinvest. So VTI with its four dividends per year would cost $18.95 if held for a full year.

Yes, you can get a position in an Admiral fund even if your initial position is less than $10K.

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Re: my review of my HSA with Saturna brokerage

Postby integritetus » Fri Nov 27, 2015 11:47 am

JLMA wrote:
integritetus wrote:Vanguard Balanced Index Fund Admiral Shares (LifeStrategy Moderate Growth would be another acceptable choice).
...
Total annual cost per account with each year’s annual contribution invested and held in Balanced Index Admiral shares is $24.95 (a $14.95 no-load mutual fund transaction fee plus $10 extra for a transaction in a Vanguard fund).
...
...if the number of transactions per year isn’t kept very small
...
The application process involved a lot of paper forms which had to be mailed (fortunately mostly electronically fillable pdf forms).


I am trying to set up a family HDHP+HSA by Dec 1st so that we can put the max for 2015 in the HSA.

1) do you think Saturna's regular-mail lots-of-paper application will get in the way of attaining our Dec 1st goal?

2) do I understand that if I put the max each year in one transaction, the only cost of the HSA for that year would be $25 plus the cost of the index fund?

3) do you know if Saturna/Vanguard will still allow buying Admiral shares even if our initial contribution is under $10K (as limited by HSA max contribution per yr)?

thank you very much for any guidance on this (if only searching for qualifying HDHPs were easier...)


JLMA,

In thinking about your first question a bit more, I realized you might be trying to establish HSA-contribution eligibility for 2015 under the last-month rule. From IRS publication 969, Health Savings Accounts and Other Tax-Favored Health Plans:

Last-month rule.
Under the last-month rule, if you are an
eligible individual on the first day of the last month of your
tax year (December 1 for most taxpayers), you are consid-
ered an eligible individual for the entire year. You are
treated as having the same HDHP coverage for the entire
year as you had on the first day of the last month.

Testing period.
If contributions were made to your
HSA based on you being an eligible individual for the en-
tire year under the last-month rule, you must remain an eli-
gible individual during the testing period. For the
last-month rule, the testing period begins with the last
month of your tax year and ends on the last day of the
12th month following that month. For example, December
1, 2014, through December 31, 2015.


Once you've established HSA-contribution eligibility for 2015 by having an HSA-eligible health plan as of December 1st, and assuming that you maintain such coverage during 2016 so that you satisfy the testing period, then I think you would have until April 15, 2016 (or until you file your 2015 return) to make your 2015 HSA contribution.

Again from Publication 969:

When To Contribute
You can make contributions to your HSA for 2014 until
April 15, 2015.


I think the key is to have the health plan in place by December 1st; the HSA contribution can follow later. So if this is your intention, perhaps you don't have a December 1st deadline to open the account with Saturna?

Hope that helps.

integritetus
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Re: my review of my HSA with Saturna brokerage

Postby integritetus » Fri Nov 27, 2015 12:35 pm

In looking at Saturna's site to research an answer to JLMA's questions, I realized I missed an opportunity when my wife and I recently rolled over our HSA accounts to Saturna.

At the bottom of this page on Saturn's website, http://www.saturna.com/sbs/opening_account.shtml, I find

Help With Transfer Exit Fees

If you transfer an existing account to us and your old broker charges an exit fee, be sure to inform your representative before your first trade. We'll reduce your first commission with us, up to the full commission amount, to help offset that cost. This is only valid for your first commission charge with Saturna. Please contact a representative with any questions.


Our previous custodian, Health Savings Administrators, charged us $25 per account to transfer our assets to Saturna. We paid $24.95 per account at Saturna to establish a single Vanguard mutual fund position in each new Saturna HSA. Had I been aware of this offer from Saturna, we could have saved the $50. That is assuming that when they say "commission charge" Saturna includes the $10 surcharge for buying Vanguard mutual funds. If not, we would at least have saved 2 X $14.95 for the standard mutual fund commission.

I'm a bit surprised the Saturna customer service reps didn't mention this in my phone conversations with them.

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Re: my review of my HSA with Saturna brokerage

Postby FItoBFree » Tue Feb 02, 2016 12:33 am

Easy Rhino wrote:

Forms I needed to fill out to complete my application:
1) a Saturna Capital HSA application
2) a Saturna Brokerage Services brokerage application
3) an IRS 5305-B form
4) an ACH authorization for EFT withdrawals
5) a voided copy of a check (for the ACH authorization)
6) a copy of my drivers license or passport
7) NetExchange client access form (to get online account access)

Little ProTips I noted:
- the SBS brokerage application account type should be checked as "retirement"
- deposit checks need to be made out to "Pershing, LLC"
- 5498-SA forms (for contributions) aren't published until May or so (so I haven't gotten mine yet)



I walked through the forms today and specifically wanted to share some information the rep gave me regarding the SBS brokerage application.

He said that it is a common mistake for people to mark that this account is a Retirement account in Step 1. Instead, check the box for Retail and then check the box for Other and write in 'HSA.'

For Step 2, he advised that more than likely your answer will be None of the Above for the first section and then the second section does not apply, but of course, read the paperwork to be sure.

In my case, I am making a rollover contribution so I checked the Rollover box in Step 3.

Step 4 is self-explanatory but he did indicate that you can skip the piece where it says Financial Information -- this is for office use only. Also, in the section for government ID, he noted that although there are boxes for two forms of ID, they only need one.

You only need to fill out Step 5 if opening a joint account.

Step 6 is optional, e.g. you want to give access to an accountant.

Step 7 is where you indicate how you want to handle cash and where to hold it.

He advised that Steps 8-11 are NOT required. For Step 11, he noted that while there is a box there for electronic delivery, in order to actually sign-up for electronic delivery you need to fill out the Online Access and Electronic Delivery Form.

Step 12 is where you indicate how to handle interest and dividends and he noted that you would be able to select dividend reinvestment when selecting your mutual funds. I don't recall what he said for ETFs.

Step 13 you read and Step 14 you sign.

I hope that was helpful -- I certainly felt better after that walkthrough! I thought calling while I was at work was going to be a pain and take forever but I got someone on the line right away and explained that I was looking for some assistance in walking through the forms for setting up an HSA with a self-directed brokerage account and was warm transferred to someone ready to help!

Edit: He also mentioned that they need signatures to be in PEN.

Cheers :)
Last edited by FItoBFree on Sun Feb 14, 2016 5:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

vizel
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Re: my review of my HSA with Saturna brokerage

Postby vizel » Sat Feb 13, 2016 12:30 pm

I've been meaning to open an account for a long time...but I always get stuck on "Saturna Brokerage Services" application.

Is that the same as Pershing LLC Account Application?

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Re: my review of my HSA with Saturna brokerage

Postby FItoBFree » Sun Feb 14, 2016 5:36 pm

vizel wrote:I've been meaning to open an account for a long time...but I always get stuck on "Saturna Brokerage Services" application.

Is that the same as Pershing LLC Account Application?


Yes, it should be the same. It's also the same application I am referencing in my post above.

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Re: my review of my HSA with Saturna brokerage

Postby vizel » Mon Feb 15, 2016 12:06 pm

Thanks! That helps a lot

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Re: my review of my HSA with Saturna brokerage

Postby *3!4!/5! » Sat Sep 03, 2016 11:36 pm

I was wondering if anyone has had experience with doing a partial transfer from Health Equity HSA to Saturna brokerage HSA. Any costs, delays, hassles or difficult paperwork, or was the transfer basically just fine.

(I'd also be interested in hearing about either half - transferring out of Health Equity and/or transferring into Saturna.)

My employer payroll deducts to Health Equity HSA, so I definitely have to keep that plan, but transferring the bulk of the balance to Saturna would be a way to avoid Health Equity's hefty 40bp wrap fee.

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Re: my review of my HSA with Saturna brokerage

Postby sungchiahao » Sun Oct 09, 2016 10:43 pm

*3!4!/5! wrote:I was wondering if anyone has had experience with doing a partial transfer from Health Equity HSA to Saturna brokerage HSA. Any costs, delays, hassles or difficult paperwork, or was the transfer basically just fine.

(I'd also be interested in hearing about either half - transferring out of Health Equity and/or transferring into Saturna.)

My employer payroll deducts to Health Equity HSA, so I definitely have to keep that plan, but transferring the bulk of the balance to Saturna would be a way to avoid Health Equity's hefty 40bp wrap fee.


I am also in a same situation. Employee uses Health Equity, but I want to move to Saturna for the low investment fees. Where can I see the list of available funds at Saturna? Interested in index funds for total stocks or S&P500 index.

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Re: my review of my HSA with Saturna brokerage

Postby Easy Rhino » Tue Oct 11, 2016 8:46 am

*3!4!/5! wrote:I was wondering if anyone has had experience with doing a partial transfer from Health Equity HSA to Saturna brokerage HSA. Any costs, delays, hassles or difficult paperwork, or was the transfer basically just fine.

(I'd also be interested in hearing about either half - transferring out of Health Equity and/or transferring into Saturna.)

My employer payroll deducts to Health Equity HSA, so I definitely have to keep that plan, but transferring the bulk of the balance to Saturna would be a way to avoid Health Equity's hefty 40bp wrap fee.


I've done pretty much exactly that. Every 13 months or so I do a rollover from my employer HSA to Saturna.
1) I request a "reimbursement check" from my employer HSA... no special coding for a rollover on their side
2) I mail a check to Saturna, with a letter attached asking them to code it as a rollover contribution.

And then I buy an ETF with my one trade a year.

And hey, I actually see some more useful information on which funds are fee free with them.

General page here:
http://www.saturna.com/sbs/ntf.shtml

General list of fund families here:
http://www.saturna.com/sbs/fundvest_families.shtml

(note that Vanguard and some other companies have an extra $10 surcharge on top of the $14.95 commission)

Specific list of no fee funds here:
http://www.saturna.com/sbs/fundvest_focus.shtml

now, even this may not be comprehensive, because it doesn't list Saturna funds, but I think I could buy those fee-free through the brokerage as well. But I don't remember the list a few years ago, so that's handy. The couple I spot checked with my trading log in seemed to match the Fundvest Focus list.

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Re: my review of my HSA with Saturna brokerage

Postby *3!4!/5! » Tue Oct 11, 2016 12:36 pm

As a general rule NTF or "fee free" funds should be avoided as it's well known they usually have high expense ratios.

I have looked around the Saturna website for confirmation of fund availability. I think the link
Easy Rhino wrote:General list of fund families here:
http://www.saturna.com/sbs/fundvest_families.shtml
(note that Vanguard and some other companies have an extra $10 surcharge on top of the $14.95 commission)

that list "Available Fund Families" including "VANGUARD FUNDS*(*Surcharges may apply.)" under "Other Fund Families Available" is the closest I could get. I don't think you can see an actual list of specific Vanguard funds.

So I suppose "sungchiahao" and I were just wanting confirmation from people who already used Saturna, that they were able to get the Vanguard (or other) funds that they wanted with only the trading fees (no other fees).

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Re: my review of my HSA with Saturna brokerage

Postby Boglemeister » Tue Oct 11, 2016 12:59 pm

$10 surcharge and $14.95 fee for VTSAX. Can anyone confirm if Fidelity low cost index funds such as Fidelity Total Market Index Fund (FSTVX) are available through Saturna/Pershing in their HSA without the $10 surcharge? If so, would it not make more sense to use that fund vs VTSAX? If one was investing $6750 in a lump sum yearly does saving $10/yr really matter that much in the long run between those 2 options?

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Re: my review of my HSA with Saturna brokerage

Postby Easy Rhino » Tue Oct 11, 2016 5:19 pm

Boglemeister wrote:$10 surcharge and $14.95 fee for VTSAX. Can anyone confirm if Fidelity low cost index funds such as Fidelity Total Market Index Fund (FSTVX) are available through Saturna/Pershing in their HSA without the $10 surcharge? If so, would it not make more sense to use that fund vs VTSAX? If one was investing $6750 in a lump sum yearly does saving $10/yr really matter that much in the long run between those 2 options?


I tried FUSEX and FUSVX. They both appear to be purchasable for 14.95 without the extra surcharge.

Emphasis on appear to be... i only have $40 in free cash in my account :happy

Although personally, I just buy the Vanguard ETF. Makes things simpler to me.

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Re: my review of my HSA with Saturna brokerage

Postby sungchiahao » Mon Oct 31, 2016 5:30 pm

Question on how HSA transfer to Saturna work. I asked if I could purchase VIIIX with Pershing LLC, and I got the following reply...

The VIIIX mutual fund is closed by Vanguard to new investment through this platform, so you would not be able to purchase shares of VIIIX unless you already own them and transfer them here first. If you don't already own VIIIX, it appears that the only way to buy them initially is directly through Vanguard. You would need to contact them to confirm if that is the case, but regardless you cannot initially buy them through Pershing LLC. If you do own them at HealthEquity and transfer them here, then once the transfer settles you would be able to purchase additional VIIIX shares through Pershing's platform.


How does my ability to purchase VIIIX through Pershing LLC depends on if I have VIIIX to start or not? Is this common?

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Re: my review of my HSA with Saturna brokerage

Postby *3!4!/5! » Mon Oct 31, 2016 9:18 pm

sungchiahao wrote:Question on how HSA transfer to Saturna work. I asked if I could purchase VIIIX with Pershing LLC, and I got the following reply...

The VIIIX mutual fund is closed by Vanguard to new investment through this platform, so you would not be able to purchase shares of VIIIX unless you already own them and transfer them here first. If you don't already own VIIIX, it appears that the only way to buy them initially is directly through Vanguard. You would need to contact them to confirm if that is the case, but regardless you cannot initially buy them through Pershing LLC. If you do own them at HealthEquity and transfer them here, then once the transfer settles you would be able to purchase additional VIIIX shares through Pershing's platform.


How does my ability to purchase VIIIX through Pershing LLC depends on if I have VIIIX to start or not? Is this common?


I doubt that you can transfer in kind out of HealthEquity. You'd probably have to liquidate funds and transfer as cash.

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Re: my review of my HSA with Saturna brokerage

Postby duckcalldan » Sun Dec 11, 2016 10:37 pm

If one were looking for a no-fee VTI or VTSAX-like mutual fund with Saturna, I found T Rowe Price's version POMIX for a quite reasonable .30% ER. https://www3.troweprice.com/fb2/fbkweb/ ... cker=POMIX
So, for me just starting my HSA next year after I retire, this would be a very good fee-free option. Once the account is, say, over $20K, a transition to a Fido/Vanguard fund would be more cost effective.

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Re: my review of my HSA with Saturna brokerage

Postby indexfundfan » Sun Dec 11, 2016 11:25 pm

duckcalldan wrote:If one were looking for a no-fee VTI or VTSAX-like mutual fund with Saturna, I found T Rowe Price's version POMIX for a quite reasonable .30% ER. https://www3.troweprice.com/fb2/fbkweb/ ... cker=POMIX
So, for me just starting my HSA next year after I retire, this would be a very good fee-free option. Once the account is, say, over $20K, a transition to a Fido/Vanguard fund would be more cost effective.

I am planning to start HSA next year and came to a similar conclusion. It's either POMIX or PREIX (S&P500 index, ER 0.27%) @ Saturna.
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Re: my review of my HSA with Saturna brokerage

Postby Lieutenant.Columbo » Mon Dec 12, 2016 6:01 am

duckcalldan wrote:If one were looking for a no-fee VTI or VTSAX-like mutual fund with Saturna, I found T Rowe Price's version POMIX for a quite reasonable .30% ER. https://www3.troweprice.com/fb2/fbkweb/ ... cker=POMIX
So, for me just starting my HSA next year after I retire, this would be a very good fee-free option. Once the account is, say, over $20K, a transition to a Fido/Vanguard fund would be more cost effective.
why not VTSAX itself with Saturna Brokerage? what is optimal about holding VTSAX with Saturna? What am I missing?
(I just checked my Saturna Brokerage account and was not able to find the ER for the VTSAX I hold, so maybe THAT ER is what I am missing... :oops: )
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Re: my review of my HSA with Saturna brokerage

Postby duckcalldan » Mon Dec 12, 2016 7:01 am

Lieutenant.Columbo wrote:
duckcalldan wrote:If one were looking for a no-fee VTI or VTSAX-like mutual fund with Saturna, I found T Rowe Price's version POMIX for a quite reasonable .30% ER. https://www3.troweprice.com/fb2/fbkweb/ ... cker=POMIX
So, for me just starting my HSA next year after I retire, this would be a very good fee-free option. Once the account is, say, over $20K, a transition to a Fido/Vanguard fund would be more cost effective.
why not VTSAX itself with Saturna Brokerage? what is optimal about holding VTSAX with Saturna? What am I missing?
(I just checked my Saturna Brokerage account and was not able to find the ER for the VTSAX I hold, so maybe THAT ER is what I am missing... :oops: )

POMIX with no fees and .30 ER vs VTSAX, $24.95 trades and a .05 ER. Or Fidelity's version, FSTVX, for $14.95 and .045. No right answers, just do the math for your situation.

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Re: my review of my HSA with Saturna brokerage

Postby Lieutenant.Columbo » Mon Dec 12, 2016 9:08 am

duckcalldan wrote:
Lieutenant.Columbo wrote:
duckcalldan wrote:If one were looking for a no-fee VTI or VTSAX-like mutual fund with Saturna, I found T Rowe Price's version POMIX for a quite reasonable .30% ER. https://www3.troweprice.com/fb2/fbkweb/ ... cker=POMIX
So, for me just starting my HSA next year after I retire, this would be a very good fee-free option. Once the account is, say, over $20K, a transition to a Fido/Vanguard fund would be more cost effective.
why not VTSAX itself with Saturna Brokerage? what is optimal about holding VTSAX with Saturna? What am I missing?
(I just checked my Saturna Brokerage account and was not able to find the ER for the VTSAX I hold, so maybe THAT ER is what I am missing... :oops: )

POMIX with no fees and .30 ER vs VTSAX, $24.95 trades and a .05 ER. Or Fidelity's version, FSTVX, for $14.95 and .045. No right answers, just do the math for your situation.
wait, but the math us the same for everyone, and seem to have done the math already...
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Re: my review of my HSA with Saturna brokerage

Postby Easy Rhino » Mon Dec 12, 2016 9:33 am

duckcalldan wrote:If one were looking for a no-fee VTI or VTSAX-like mutual fund with Saturna, I found T Rowe Price's version POMIX for a quite reasonable .30% ER. https://www3.troweprice.com/fb2/fbkweb/ ... cker=POMIX
So, for me just starting my HSA next year after I retire, this would be a very good fee-free option. Once the account is, say, over $20K, a transition to a Fido/Vanguard fund would be more cost effective.


or just buy the VTI ETF directly instead of the mutual fund, then the commissions are around $15 and you get the crazy low expense ratio.

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Re: my review of my HSA with Saturna brokerage

Postby duckcalldan » Mon Dec 12, 2016 9:47 am

Lieutenant.Columbo wrote:
duckcalldan wrote:
Lieutenant.Columbo wrote:
duckcalldan wrote:If one were looking for a no-fee VTI or VTSAX-like mutual fund with Saturna, I found T Rowe Price's version POMIX for a quite reasonable .30% ER. https://www3.troweprice.com/fb2/fbkweb/ ... cker=POMIX
So, for me just starting my HSA next year after I retire, this would be a very good fee-free option. Once the account is, say, over $20K, a transition to a Fido/Vanguard fund would be more cost effective.
why not VTSAX itself with Saturna Brokerage? what is optimal about holding VTSAX with Saturna? What am I missing?
(I just checked my Saturna Brokerage account and was not able to find the ER for the VTSAX I hold, so maybe THAT ER is what I am missing... :oops: )

POMIX with no fees and .30 ER vs VTSAX, $24.95 trades and a .05 ER. Or Fidelity's version, FSTVX, for $14.95 and .045. No right answers, just do the math for your situation.
wait, but the math us the same for everyone, and seem to have done the math already...

By "the math", I meant it depends on the size of your HSA account. The larger the assets, ER becomes more important than transaction costs. Although it does seem that FSTVX is a better choice than VTSAX. $10 lower transaction cost and virtually the same portfolio. And no reinvestment costs for either unlike VTI or other ETFs.

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Re: my review of my HSA with Saturna brokerage

Postby Lieutenant.Columbo » Mon Dec 12, 2016 10:54 am

.....
Last edited by Lieutenant.Columbo on Mon Dec 12, 2016 12:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: my review of my HSA with Saturna brokerage

Postby Lieutenant.Columbo » Mon Dec 12, 2016 12:36 pm

duckcalldan wrote:The larger the assets, ER becomes more important than transaction costs. Although it does seem that FSTVX is a better choice than VTSAX. $10 lower transaction cost and virtually the same portfolio. And no reinvestment costs for either unlike VTI or other ETFs.
I just spoke to Kalen at Saturna and he confirmed No Commission nor Fee for reinvesting dividends in my VTSAX held in my HSA account at Saturna Brokerage.
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Re: my review of my HSA with Saturna brokerage

Postby duckcalldan » Mon Dec 12, 2016 3:04 pm

Lieutenant.Columbo wrote:
duckcalldan wrote:The larger the assets, ER becomes more important than transaction costs. Although it does seem that FSTVX is a better choice than VTSAX. $10 lower transaction cost and virtually the same portfolio. And no reinvestment costs for either unlike VTI or other ETFs.
I just spoke to Kalen at Saturna and he confirmed No Commission nor Fee for reinvesting dividends in my VTSAX held in my HSA account at Saturna Brokerage.

Yes, that's what I understand. They only charge for ETF reinvestment, not mutual funds.

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Re: my review of my HSA with Saturna brokerage

Postby Lieutenant.Columbo » Mon Dec 12, 2016 11:25 pm

duckcalldan wrote:
Lieutenant.Columbo wrote:
duckcalldan wrote:The larger the assets, ER becomes more important than transaction costs. Although it does seem that FSTVX is a better choice than VTSAX. $10 lower transaction cost and virtually the same portfolio. And no reinvestment costs for either unlike VTI or other ETFs.
I just spoke to Kalen at Saturna and he confirmed No Commission nor Fee for reinvesting dividends in my VTSAX held in my HSA account at Saturna Brokerage.

Yes, that's what I understand. They only charge for ETF reinvestment, not mutual funds.
thank you
I just reread all your recent posts in this Topic; at first I read and replied on the go and I see now that I missed your points;
you are planning on transferring your HSA account to Vanguard or Fidelity funds when your balance is above certain amount.
with $6750/year HSA family contributions, my math shows that only during Year 1 (and assuming no gains no appreciation in order to simplify math) is POMIX at 0.3 ER a better choice than VTSAX ($20.25 POMIX vs $28). During Year 2 POMIX costs $40.5 and VTSAX costs $31.7.
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Re: my review of my HSA with Saturna brokerage

Postby bphaedrus » Sun Jan 01, 2017 9:56 pm

Lieutenant.Columbo wrote:
duckcalldan wrote:The larger the assets, ER becomes more important than transaction costs. Although it does seem that FSTVX is a better choice than VTSAX. $10 lower transaction cost and virtually the same portfolio. And no reinvestment costs for either unlike VTI or other ETFs.
I just spoke to Kalen at Saturna and he confirmed No Commission nor Fee for reinvesting dividends in my VTSAX held in my HSA account at Saturna Brokerage.


I'm pretty sure that there is a $1 charge to reinvest dividends. This would cost $4 a year for this fund.

Also, assuming you are buying and holding, why not just buy VTI? This ETF does not incur the extra $10 fee.
Last edited by bphaedrus on Sun Jan 01, 2017 10:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: my review of my HSA with Saturna brokerage

Postby Lieutenant.Columbo » Sun Jan 01, 2017 10:01 pm

bphaedrus wrote:
Lieutenant.Columbo wrote:
duckcalldan wrote:The larger the assets, ER becomes more important than transaction costs. Although it does seem that FSTVX is a better choice than VTSAX. $10 lower transaction cost and virtually the same portfolio. And no reinvestment costs for either unlike VTI or other ETFs.
I just spoke to Kalen at Saturna and he confirmed No Commission nor Fee for reinvesting dividends in my VTSAX held in my HSA account at Saturna Brokerage.


I'm pretty sure that there is a $1 charge to reinvest dividends. This would cost $4 a year for this fund.
Kalen aid there aren't any reinvestment fees in their brokerage (Pershing) accounts. After I spoke to him I checked and there were no charges for dividends reinvestment throughout the year.
I did see the fee charged when I first deposited my HSA contribution, though (meaning, that I would have expected to also see the reinvestment fee if there had been one).
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Re: my review of my HSA with Saturna brokerage

Postby bphaedrus » Sun Jan 01, 2017 10:07 pm

Lieutenant.Columbo wrote:
bphaedrus wrote:
Lieutenant.Columbo wrote:
duckcalldan wrote:The larger the assets, ER becomes more important than transaction costs. Although it does seem that FSTVX is a better choice than VTSAX. $10 lower transaction cost and virtually the same portfolio. And no reinvestment costs for either unlike VTI or other ETFs.
I just spoke to Kalen at Saturna and he confirmed No Commission nor Fee for reinvesting dividends in my VTSAX held in my HSA account at Saturna Brokerage.


I'm pretty sure that there is a $1 charge to reinvest dividends. This would cost $4 a year for this fund.
Kalen aid there aren't any reinvestment fees in their brokerage (Pershing) accounts. After I spoke to him I checked and there were no charges for dividends reinvestment throughout the year.
I did see the fee charged when I first deposited my HSA contribution, though (meaning, that I would have expected to also see the reinvestment fee if there had been one).


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


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