Recommendations for One-Stop Shop Brokerage Account

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
Post Reply
Topic Author
capitalhockey
Posts: 98
Joined: Mon Jul 23, 2018 10:35 am

Recommendations for One-Stop Shop Brokerage Account

Post by capitalhockey »

Hello,

We have various accounts (IRA, Roth IRA, Taxable) at different places. I am looking to consolidate them into a single one-stop shop brokerage account so I dont have to log into multiple places. I would like to stay long term at the same venue up to and into retirement years. I am trying to get this in place so my wife know our finances well if somehow I got hit by a bus tomorrow. Below are some general criteria I have in mind:

1) Very Low or preferably zero trade fees. I am not an active trader but would like to have this option. We are mainly index funds investors with a few individual stocks.

2) Brick & Mortar available. I would feel safer if there was an option to stop by a branch location if I can't get help on the phone. I don't need to have 10 branches near my house.

3) Travel friendly. Where I can access funds overseas while on travel or living internationally for a limited period.

4) User Friendly for Beginners. My wife is not financially savvy at all. I would like to pick a venue that I think would be easier for her to manage if I am not around any more.

5) Quality Customer Service. I would like to resolve whatever issue I have quickly with a live person and not a robot answering service.

I am trying to compare between Vanguard vs. Fidelity vs. Charles Schwab. Please let me know which one you recommend based on your experience. Is there another place I should considered?
penumbra
Posts: 311
Joined: Thu Mar 29, 2007 2:42 am

Re: Recommendations for One-Stop Shop Brokerage Account

Post by penumbra »

Your questions are not unique. This has been asked so many times before: do a search. I have the same requirements as you and am completely happy with Fidelity. Schwab could work also, but NOT Vanguard.
Last edited by penumbra on Wed Mar 11, 2020 1:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
mervinj7
Posts: 1567
Joined: Thu Mar 27, 2014 3:10 pm

Re: Recommendations for One-Stop Shop Brokerage Account

Post by mervinj7 »

capitalhockey wrote: Wed Mar 11, 2020 1:26 pm Hello,

We have various accounts (IRA, Roth IRA, Taxable) at different places. I am looking to consolidate them into a single one-stop shop brokerage account so I dont have to log into multiple places. I would like to stay long term at the same venue up to and into retirement years. I am trying to get this in place so my wife know our finances well if somehow I got hit by a bus tomorrow. Below are some general criteria I have in mind:

1) Very Low or preferably zero trade fees. I am not an active trader but would like to have this option. We are mainly index funds investors with a few individual stocks.

2) Brick & Mortar available. I would feel safer if there was an option to stop by a branch location if I can't get help on the phone. I don't need to have 10 branches near my house.

3) Travel friendly. Where I can access funds overseas while on travel or living internationally for a limited period.

4) User Friendly for Beginners. My wife is not financially savvy at all. I would like to pick a venue that I think would be easier for her to manage if I am not around any more.

5) Quality Customer Service. I would like to resolve whatever issue I have quickly with a live person and not a robot answering service.

I am trying to compare between Vanguard vs. Fidelity vs. Charles Schwab. Please let me know which one you recommend based on your experience. Is there another place I should considered?
See previous threads:
Fidelity: viewtopic.php?t=266538
Schwab: viewtopic.php?t=287311
RetiredAL
Posts: 1062
Joined: Tue Jun 06, 2017 12:09 am
Location: SF Bay Area

Re: Recommendations for One-Stop Shop Brokerage Account

Post by RetiredAL »

I use both Schwab and Fidelity and find them about equal in service and function.

I've done no transactions from out of the country. There has been dialog here that says Schwab is more friendly to out-of-country people.

A couple of caveats to be aware of:

Fidelity's std POA form can be marked "durable", whereas Schwab's states it IS NOT durable. To be durable at Schwab, you have to submit your lawyer drawn-up POA to them for their approval.

I have/use POA to my Dad's Schwab IRA and can freely withdraw funds from it online, including defining and sending to external accounts.

At Fidelity where my DW has POA to my IRA's, they block online transfers and require her to call to make a transfer. Having not needed/used this, so I don't know if a POA withdrawal would be by ETF or a check. We have Trust account, so it might be a simple as call, withdraw to our trust account, and transfer out of the trust account to wherever.
123
Posts: 6519
Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2012 3:55 pm

Re: Recommendations for One-Stop Shop Brokerage Account

Post by 123 »

Since a brick-and-mortar office is part of your criteria likely only Schwab and Fidelity are competitive in that area. Even there Schwab has far more offices than Fidelity, that said the local situation varies a lot. In some areas there is neither a convenient Schwab or Fidelity office.
The closest helping hand is at the end of your own arm.
Post Reply