Is Being a Private Banking Client Worth it?

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chazas
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Re: Is Being a Private Banking Client Worth it?

Post by chazas »

I expect “private banking” means different things to different people. I’ve been a Citi Private Bank customer since I was a lowly law firm associate and they were trying to expand into the DC market. I always ask them first when i need something extra - usually it’s been a mortgage, though for the one I’m working on now they could not compete with the internet lenders. But I still have my pay direct deposited there and use them as a hub. Because I have actual human beings I know and can call if I need something.
Aged Maduro
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Re: Is Being a Private Banking Client Worth it?

Post by Aged Maduro »

It has been worth it to me. I have about $2,000,000 in liquid assets with a regional bank in the Philadelphia area. They handle my taxable brokerage account, money market, secure line of credit and rental property mortgages. They always treat me well and i pay less than 1% in annual fees for them to manage my investment account. They are always willing to meet with me, are very responsive and i get invited to a swanky Christmas party every year. I'm sure it is all relative though...To them i am a significant client. If i was banking with a large national firm like Goldman Sachs i would be small potatoes, if they even took me as a client.
HawkeyePierce
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Re: Is Being a Private Banking Client Worth it?

Post by HawkeyePierce »

My ideal number of times to speak to a banker is zero.

I've yet to see a single interesting private banking perk that I don't already get for free as an average joe customer at Schwab.
Super Hans
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Re: Is Being a Private Banking Client Worth it?

Post by Super Hans »

chazas wrote: Sun Jan 03, 2021 7:58 pm I expect “private banking” means different things to different people. I’ve been a Citi Private Bank customer since I was a lowly law firm associate and they were trying to expand into the DC market. I always ask them first when i need something extra - usually it’s been a mortgage, though for the one I’m working on now they could not compete with the internet lenders. But I still have my pay direct deposited there and use them as a hub. Because I have actual human beings I know and can call if I need something.
I signed up for the Citi Private Bank as a summer associate. I think they waived my AAdvantage credit card annual fee for a while, I sent a couple of wires for free, and I used a Citigold airport lounge once in Moscow. Also, I took the elevator to a high floor of Citi headquarters once to see a dedicated Private Bank teller for some kind of simple banking transaction. Otherwise it was just a free checking account. Nobody offered, let alone tried to sell, me any investment services. After ~15 years in which I never spoke with a banker, Citi sent me a letter giving me the boot from PB! Their rationale was that I no longer was employed by the same firm. Seems like terrible customer relationship building, especially just as my assets were coming into the zone that might have been interesting to them. I've kept the account open (as basic banking), at least until I use up all the "Private Bank" branded checks.
chazas
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Re: Is Being a Private Banking Client Worth it?

Post by chazas »

Super Hans wrote: Sun Jan 03, 2021 9:06 pm
chazas wrote: Sun Jan 03, 2021 7:58 pm I expect “private banking” means different things to different people. I’ve been a Citi Private Bank customer since I was a lowly law firm associate and they were trying to expand into the DC market. I always ask them first when i need something extra - usually it’s been a mortgage, though for the one I’m working on now they could not compete with the internet lenders. But I still have my pay direct deposited there and use them as a hub. Because I have actual human beings I know and can call if I need something.
I signed up for the Citi Private Bank as a summer associate. I think they waived my AAdvantage credit card annual fee for a while, I sent a couple of wires for free, and I used a Citigold airport lounge once in Moscow. Also, I took the elevator to a high floor of Citi headquarters once to see a dedicated Private Bank teller for some kind of simple banking transaction. Otherwise it was just a free checking account. Nobody offered, let alone tried to sell, me any investment services. After ~15 years in which I never spoke with a banker, Citi sent me a letter giving me the boot from PB! Their rationale was that I no longer was employed by the same firm. Seems like terrible customer relationship building, especially just as my assets were coming into the zone that might have been interesting to them. I've kept the account open (as basic banking), at least until I use up all the "Private Bank" branded checks.
Lol well, I didn’t even know they had airport lounges. I agree the benefits are fairly minimal, but they’ve been worth it for me, just barely. They made a serious effort to sell me investment services once. Didn’t go well.
solaris17
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Re: Is Being a Private Banking Client Worth it?

Post by solaris17 »

Just curious for anyone holding >$100k in Vanguard ETFs at Merrill Edge to qualify for preferred rewards status, how do you handle the appx. $2k in annual dividends? Do you:

1. Enroll in Merrill Edge's automatic DRIP
2. Manually reinvest dividends at Merrill (to avoid fractional etf shares, which could become a slight hassle if you ever choose to transfer assets out of Merrill)
3. Use dividends to pay monthly expenses, such as BofA credit card bills
4. Transfer dividends out of Merrill/BofA to purchase index funds at another broker (e.g. Fidelity, Schwab, Vanguard).
5. Have a different strategy?

I currently only own index mutual funds directly with Vanguard, and wonder if transferring assets to Merrill/BofA could lead to potential behavioral errors: such as failing to reinvest dividends regularly, which could potentially offset the financial perks of the preferred rewards program by interrupting the compounding of the index funds.
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JDCarpenter
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Re: Is Being a Private Banking Client Worth it?

Post by JDCarpenter »

solaris17 wrote: Sun Jan 03, 2021 10:02 pm Just curious for anyone holding >$100k in Vanguard ETFs at Merrill Edge to qualify for preferred rewards status, how do you handle the appx. $2k in annual dividends? ....
We each split off a bit of our IRAs to hold at Merrill. We reinvest dividends in vanguard ETFs and it has never been an issue.
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Shorty
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Re: Is Being a Private Banking Client Worth it?

Post by Shorty »

A couple plugs here. I have had good experiences with both in the last year, including new account bonuses.

- Merrill/BofA: IRA including ROTH counts toward the status limit. $100k gets you the highest tier without any cash tied up in bank accounts or direct deposit reqs. Their CCs are a very good deal with status - 2.65% to 5.25%, category based. I’ve been very happy with their app.
- Chase: New “Sapphire” banking account requires $75k. It has most of the perks of their Private Clent @$250k. I have taxed equites to meet this limit. Again, no cash or direct deposit requirement. Big plan for me was the “no fee”, “no foreign transaction cost” for international withdraw in local currency. This can be valuable for some - COVID killed the travel for me. Also, free incoming and outgoing bank wires. I haven’t used the free safe deposit box. Checks are free, ATM fees reimbursed, etc. I’ve been very happy with Chase credit cards as well - if you’re willing to actively manage.

Nothing Earth shattering. Both accounts are what I would expect from very good bank accounts. Very nice if you qualify based on equity balances alone. I did get good treatment in person at both, not something that I do regularly. Free notary from Chase (depends on branch). Free K-cup coffee. These accounts have absurdly high fees if you don’t meet the requirements. Pay attention...
smalliebigs
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Re: Is Being a Private Banking Client Worth it?

Post by smalliebigs »

Talk about a 4 year necro-post revival.

I recently was upgraded to Sapphire Checking. The benefits are a 'nice to have' for me. But if it improves my relationship with the bank, then why not.
VictorStarr
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Re: Is Being a Private Banking Client Worth it?

Post by VictorStarr »

smalliebigs wrote: Sun Jan 03, 2021 11:00 pm Talk about a 4 year necro-post revival.

I recently was upgraded to Sapphire Checking. The benefits are a 'nice to have' for me. But if it improves my relationship with the bank, then why not.
What is here for you in improved "relationship with the bank"?

Virtually all benefits that come with the Chase Sapphire Checking are available with free Schwab checking and Fidelity CMA accounts.
anil686
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Re: Is Being a Private Banking Client Worth it?

Post by anil686 »

Shorty wrote: Sun Jan 03, 2021 10:48 pm A couple plugs here. I have had good experiences with both in the last year, including new account bonuses.

- Merrill/BofA: IRA including ROTH counts toward the status limit. $100k gets you the highest tier without any cash tied up in bank accounts or direct deposit reqs. Their CCs are a very good deal with status - 2.65% to 5.25%, category based. I’ve been very happy with their app.
- Chase: New “Sapphire” banking account requires $75k. It has most of the perks of their Private Clent @$250k. I have taxed equites to meet this limit. Again, no cash or direct deposit requirement. Big plan for me was the “no fee”, “no foreign transaction cost” for international withdraw in local currency. This can be valuable for some - COVID killed the travel for me. Also, free incoming and outgoing bank wires. I haven’t used the free safe deposit box. Checks are free, ATM fees reimbursed, etc. I’ve been very happy with Chase credit cards as well - if you’re willing to actively manage.

Nothing Earth shattering. Both accounts are what I would expect from very good bank accounts. Very nice if you qualify based on equity balances alone. I did get good treatment in person at both, not something that I do regularly. Free notary from Chase (depends on branch). Free K-cup coffee. These accounts have absurdly high fees if you don’t meet the requirements. Pay attention...
I also have Private Client status at Chase - due to brokerage where I keep enough to meet the minimum (rest is at VG). I find the high limit on the mobile deposit (up to 100K) useful and the the free wires in and out. I have used these quite a few times for business needs and also personal deposits that I would typically have to go into the branch to deposit. Now it is really easy with my smart phone to deposit large checks....
smalliebigs
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Re: Is Being a Private Banking Client Worth it?

Post by smalliebigs »

VictorStarr wrote: Sun Jan 03, 2021 11:13 pm What is here for you in improved "relationship with the bank"?

Virtually all benefits that come with the Chase Sapphire Checking are available with free Schwab checking and Fidelity CMA accounts.
Man, I get it, there are other institutions that might have better services or on par for less requirements. But so what? I just like where I am now. The branch is near me in a nice downtown location next to a fancy cafe. As I said, the benefits are 'nice to have', but I'm not going to move all my assets just for these things.

Life isn't always about min/max-ing everything.
seawolf21
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Re: Is Being a Private Banking Client Worth it?

Post by seawolf21 »

HawkeyePierce wrote: Sun Jan 03, 2021 8:29 pm My ideal number of times to speak to a banker is zero.

I've yet to see a single interesting private banking perk that I don't already get for free as an average joe customer at Schwab.
Same here. I see no reason to speak with a banker or even go to a branch. Mortgage discounts are a gimmick. Free checks; useless. No fx rate or ATM fees; anyone can get that.
Super Hans
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Re: Is Being a Private Banking Client Worth it?

Post by Super Hans »

One word of caution for those sending any significant amount of money outside the United States: JPMorgan/Chase offer free wires to many clients, but the level of your relationship determines how good the exchange rate is. For a wire to Italy, we noticed that sending the wire with Chase Sapphire Banking would be at a noticeably poorer rate than from an account with the JPMorgan branding. Unfortunately, I don't remember the percentage difference. I believe CPC is in between JPM and Sapphire.
anil686 wrote: Sun Jan 03, 2021 11:16 pm
Shorty wrote: Sun Jan 03, 2021 10:48 pm A couple plugs here. I have had good experiences with both in the last year, including new account bonuses.

* * * *
I also have Private Client status at Chase - due to brokerage where I keep enough to meet the minimum (rest is at VG). I find the high limit on the mobile deposit (up to 100K) useful and the the free wires in and out. I have used these quite a few times for business needs and also personal deposits that I would typically have to go into the branch to deposit. Now it is really easy with my smart phone to deposit large checks....
kevdude
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Re: Is Being a Private Banking Client Worth it?

Post by kevdude »

solaris17 wrote: Sun Jan 03, 2021 10:02 pm Just curious for anyone holding >$100k in Vanguard ETFs at Merrill Edge to qualify for preferred rewards status, how do you handle the appx. $2k in annual dividends?
We have ours set up to reinvest. Very easy process and has never been an issue.
afan
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Re: Is Being a Private Banking Client Worth it?

Post by afan »

Since this thread is back up, has anyone compared Chase Private Client to Bank of American Preferred Rewards Platinum? The perks seem quite similar, although the amount of money you need on deposit is larger for CPC that for Platinum.

Has anyone compared either of these to JP Morgan Private Client?

From the earlier discussion on this thread, it sounds like the private client services might be worth something to people who want:
A combined business and personal banking service. Not worthwhile if you don't have a business or don't need anything special to run the one you have.
Access to things few bogleheads want- private equity, IPOs, venture capital, hedge funds...
Invitations to events with other people whose only common feature is that they are private clients of the bank. I would stand around wondering how much I was paying to come to this "free" event.
Perhaps a good way for people on the sales side to round up clients. Completely unappealing otherwise. I would hate to be surrounded by people who were there to sell me something.

Once COVID restrictions are over, free museum tickets could be worth it, assuming I was not paying more than museum memberships in fees to be in the Private Client group.

For anyone who is a private client at BofA, Chase/JPMorgan, or elsewhere, do you get something that a boglehead would want?
Lower mortgage rates?
I am not sure what else there might be, but if there is something, can someone say what it is?
We don't know how to beat the market on a risk-adjusted basis, and we don't know anyone that does know either | --Swedroe | We assume that markets are efficient, that prices are right | --Fama
Cruise
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Re: Is Being a Private Banking Client Worth it?

Post by Cruise »

Marseille07 wrote: Sun Jan 03, 2021 3:50 pm I have a private banker at Chase but not at all impressed by them or Chase in general. They flag literally every transaction as fraudulent or requires my approval. When I opened a checking account, the local branch - being unaware of my private banking client status - threatened to close my account because they failed to go over all the documents I brought to the branch.

Basically they are acting in very disoriented fashion because PBC is just some status only certain bankers are aware of, but not shared across the organization. One corner of Chase treats you well, another corner of Chase treats you badly.
lstone19 wrote: Sun Jan 03, 2021 7:32 pm Ditto. DW is executor and successor trustee for her late mother. Her mother was a JP Morgan Chase private bank client and it is proving to be a royal PITA as it appears there is one and only one person at JPM Chase, her private banker, who can handle the account transition and he was on vacation the last two weeks. There are now some substantial final bills to be paid and my wife still does not have access to any of the funds in her mother's trust to pay them. Meanwhile, her IRA that was at Fidelity where she was a "nothing" client was distributed to the beneficiaries two weeks ago as with Fido, anyone in the appropriate department was able to handle it.
I find these experiences interesting. While not a JPM PB client, I've read a ton of posts on the JPMR Flyertalk forum in which PB customers talk about contacting their "team" at PB, and all sorts of magic happens.

As an aside, I'm in a higher-level group with Fidelity, and typically just call the main number for this group instead of my relationship manager. All the people who answer the phone know that I'm in the higher-level group and customer service is routinely fantastic.
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JDCarpenter
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Re: Is Being a Private Banking Client Worth it?

Post by JDCarpenter »

afan wrote: Mon Jan 04, 2021 6:41 pm ...
For anyone who is a private client at BofA, Chase/JPMorgan, or elsewhere, do you get something that a boglehead would want?
Lower mortgage rates?
I am not sure what else there might be, but if there is something, can someone say what it is?
I don't know if platinum preferred honors counts as private banking? I've never considered it to be so. In any event, for that "status," discount and attractive rates on HELOC, 2.625% rebate rewards on free travel rewards card with no international surcharge, free ATM withdrawals anywhere in USA (if you have account at schwab or Fidelity, this is no biggie), and although increasingly irrelevant (particularly to bogleheads), some number of free trades at Merrill edge.

The credit card rebate/rewards on all purchases is the biggie for us. Everything that isn't travel or dining (aka chase sapphire reserve) goes on the BoA free card. Granted, the rebate rewards can only be redeemed against "travel," but they apply a very loose definition that encompasses such things as wine tastings and even many of our online purchases of wines....
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JDCarpenter
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Re: Is Being a Private Banking Client Worth it?

Post by JDCarpenter »

Cruise wrote: Mon Jan 04, 2021 9:01 pm ...

As an aside, I'm in a higher-level group with Fidelity, and typically just call the main number for this group instead of my relationship manager. All the people who answer the phone know that I'm in the higher-level group and customer service is routinely fantastic.
If you wouldn't mind, could you let us know if this higher level group is the Rewards Plus program that requires one to be in wealth management, or something else?

(We are debating how best to allocate our accounts that are currently located in 4 different places; don't see much value from flagship select, and aren't interested for (hopefully) quite a few more years in having anyone doing any active work with our accounts.)
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afan
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Re: Is Being a Private Banking Client Worth it?

Post by afan »

JDCarpenter wrote: Mon Jan 04, 2021 9:07 pm

I don't know if platinum preferred honors counts as private banking? I've never considered it to be so. In any event, for that "status," discount and attractive rates on HELOC, 2.625% rebate rewards on free travel rewards card with no international surcharge, free ATM withdrawals anywhere in USA (if you have account at schwab or Fidelity, this is no biggie), and although increasingly irrelevant (particularly to bogleheads), some number of free trades at Merrill edge.

The credit card rebate/rewards on all purchases is the biggie for us. Everything that isn't travel or dining (aka chase sapphire reserve) goes on the BoA free card. Granted, the rebate rewards can only be redeemed against "travel," but they apply a very loose definition that encompasses such things as wine tastings and even many of our online purchases of wines....
That was my question. The Preferred Rewards is not marketed as Private Banking, but the perks seem the same as the Chase Private Client, with lower asset requirements. If there is something one gets as CPC beyond BofA Platinum, I cannot figure out what it is.
BofA has what it calls Private Banking, but it is completely opaque about what you get. As is JP Morgan Private Bank.
As a boglehead, I am much more comfortable with "here is what you get and this is the price" than I am with "come to the office, meet with a banker and let's discuss the relationship". I suspect this would all be sales pitch. In any case, I would have to get a lot to be willing to take a trip to the bank in person- I mean, it is 2021! What in the world requires an in-person meeting at a bank? If I cannot do it after business hours, all online, I doubt I want whatever it is.
We don't know how to beat the market on a risk-adjusted basis, and we don't know anyone that does know either | --Swedroe | We assume that markets are efficient, that prices are right | --Fama
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JDCarpenter
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Re: Is Being a Private Banking Client Worth it?

Post by JDCarpenter »

afan wrote: Mon Jan 04, 2021 9:53 pm ...
BofA has what it calls Private Banking, but it is completely opaque about what you get. As is JP Morgan Private Bank.
As a boglehead, I am much more comfortable with "here is what you get and this is the price" than I am with "come to the office, meet with a banker and let's discuss the relationship". I suspect this would all be sales pitch. In any case, I would have to get a lot to be willing to take a trip to the bank in person- I mean, it is 2021! What in the world requires an in-person meeting at a bank? If I cannot do it after business hours, all online, I doubt I want whatever it is.
:beer I couldn't agree more in our present situation.
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lstone19
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Re: Is Being a Private Banking Client Worth it?

Post by lstone19 »

Cruise wrote: Mon Jan 04, 2021 9:01 pm
lstone19 wrote: Sun Jan 03, 2021 7:32 pm Ditto. DW is executor and successor trustee for her late mother. Her mother was a JP Morgan Chase private bank client and it is proving to be a royal PITA as it appears there is one and only one person at JPM Chase, her private banker, who can handle the account transition and he was on vacation the last two weeks. There are now some substantial final bills to be paid and my wife still does not have access to any of the funds in her mother's trust to pay them. Meanwhile, her IRA that was at Fidelity where she was a "nothing" client was distributed to the beneficiaries two weeks ago as with Fido, anyone in the appropriate department was able to handle it.
I find these experiences interesting. While not a JPM PB client, I've read a ton of posts on the JPMR Flyertalk forum in which PB customers talk about contacting their "team" at PB, and all sorts of magic happens.
What my wife is learning is that there are some things only the account manager (or whatever he/she is called) can do. The "team" keeps taking messages. Today, she got an email asking to set a time to talk. She immediately replied "right now would be good" along with other possible times but heard nothing further. I guess the good news is the most immediate bill to be paid is a credit card payment to Chase. She might just have to tell them can't pay right now because another part of your bank has the money locked.
As an aside, I'm in a higher-level group with Fidelity, and typically just call the main number for this group instead of my relationship manager. All the people who answer the phone know that I'm in the higher-level group and customer service is routinely fantastic.
We are as well. Don't have or want a "relationship manager" because, like you, if we need to call, we immediately get someone who can take care of things.
erebusxc47
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Re: Is Being a Private Banking Client Worth it?

Post by erebusxc47 »

I once interned for a private bank, that was a division of a major Wall Street institution, that catered to UHNW individuals and familes. The account minimums for the institution was generally $25M, although they would make exceptions for smaller accounts [usually down to $10M unless there was special extenuating circumstance]. I sat on the desk of one of their top teams, and that particular team had minimums of $75M-$100M [I forget the exact specifics, but I think each advisor could only have 30 clients, so as your client list grows, you selectively jettison lower value accounts to younger teams and don't consider new accounts that would "dilute" your average AUM].

On that particular team, several of their clients had billions in AUM and the client names would be instantly recognizable to most Americans. Those clients had all kinds of crazy demands and needs that most BHers simply won’t. A few examples below:
  • Using your private art collection for collateral on your yacht loan.
  • Unique liquidity issues because your millions are invested in hedge funds/private equity funds with multi-year commitments that simply can’t be unwound easily but you need access to a large amount of cash to do whatever it is. Particularly true for founders of PE and HFs who make huge sums of money via co-investments and carry in their funds.
  • All kinds of estate/trust needs- including staging false meetings to appease family members and then having the real meeting later where you cut out or significantly modify the distribution.
  • Tech founders with vast amounts of their net worth tied into single stock positions that they can only slowly unwind [if your company IPO'd, you usually have to divest your position over several years per the IPO agreement - you wouldn't want to invest in a company that just IPO'd if the founder divested all their stake the next day, as the stock would likely tank.
  • On a similar note, there is a financial instrument called an Exchange Fund [not to be confused with an ETF]. Long story short, exchange funds allow you tocontribute your single stock position into a pool with other execs who have single stock positions in different stocks. After a few years, you exchange your stocks for an average return across the entire pool. It's a good way to diversify your position away from your single stock.
  • Having the discussion with your banker that having two G6s is probably a bit much for your needs and significantly skews your asset allocation into real assets.
Another team I sat on was more “moderate” and the clientele usually consisted of regional business people who sold their manufacturing companies and had no idea what to do with $30M other than put it in their savings account. Usually they just needed some hand holding and basic investment education, and the firm would take a hefty profit for doing that- but these people would earn less by just letting it sit in savings.

There were some networking events - and there was some pass along between the different sides of the bank (the M&A team just advised John Doe’s company on being purchased, and now John Doe himself has a huge windfall due to the transaction and needs helps on a personal level). The bankers themselves often had very deep connections to their clients, including taking vacations together or participating in their children’s religious ceremonies.

Very interesting segment of banking that I thought I wanted to work in at one point of my life - but am grateful that I did not go that route. However, when my NW reaches several million to a billion dollars [currently at -$300k, so a long, long way to go, maybe next year..], I know a fair amount on how to handle an account that size. Certainly eye opening for a young person who came from a poor family in one of the poorest parts of the country to interact with the wealthiest individuals in the world.

All that being said, I think the real “value” in the private banking is for the uber uber wealthy. Even if you knew everything about investing and could execute the trades yourself, would you really want to spend your entire livelihood just monitoring your own assets vs. doing something you enjoy? The rest of us could probably get by with a couple of sharp lawyers, accountants, and a good investment advisor.
Cruise
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Re: Is Being a Private Banking Client Worth it?

Post by Cruise »

lstone19 wrote: Mon Jan 04, 2021 10:32 pm
Cruise wrote: Mon Jan 04, 2021 9:01 pm
lstone19 wrote: Sun Jan 03, 2021 7:32 pm Ditto. DW is executor and successor trustee for her late mother. Her mother was a JP Morgan Chase private bank client and it is proving to be a royal PITA as it appears there is one and only one person at JPM Chase, her private banker, who can handle the account transition and he was on vacation the last two weeks. There are now some substantial final bills to be paid and my wife still does not have access to any of the funds in her mother's trust to pay them. Meanwhile, her IRA that was at Fidelity where she was a "nothing" client was distributed to the beneficiaries two weeks ago as with Fido, anyone in the appropriate department was able to handle it.
I find these experiences interesting. While not a JPM PB client, I've read a ton of posts on the JPMR Flyertalk forum in which PB customers talk about contacting their "team" at PB, and all sorts of magic happens.
What my wife is learning is that there are some things only the account manager (or whatever he/she is called) can do. The "team" keeps taking messages. Today, she got an email asking to set a time to talk. She immediately replied "right now would be good" along with other possible times but heard nothing further. I guess the good news is the most immediate bill to be paid is a credit card payment to Chase. She might just have to tell them can't pay right now because another part of your bank has the money locked.
Horrible customer service for paying the AUM fees. :moneybag
InvestorThom
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Re: Is Being a Private Banking Client Worth it?

Post by InvestorThom »

erebusxc47 wrote: Mon Jan 04, 2021 11:41 pm I once interned for a private bank, that was a division of a major Wall Street institution, that catered to UHNW individuals and familes. The account minimums for the institution was generally $25M, although they would make exceptions for smaller accounts [usually down to $10M unless there was special extenuating circumstance]. I sat on the desk of one of their top teams, and that particular team had minimums of $75M-$100M [I forget the exact specifics, but I think each advisor could only have 30 clients, so as your client list grows, you selectively jettison lower value accounts to younger teams and don't consider new accounts that would "dilute" your average AUM].

On that particular team, several of their clients had billions in AUM and the client names would be instantly recognizable to most Americans. Those clients had all kinds of crazy demands and needs that most BHers simply won’t. A few examples below:
  • Using your private art collection for collateral on your yacht loan.
  • Unique liquidity issues because your millions are invested in hedge funds/private equity funds with multi-year commitments that simply can’t be unwound easily but you need access to a large amount of cash to do whatever it is. Particularly true for founders of PE and HFs who make huge sums of money via co-investments and carry in their funds.
  • All kinds of estate/trust needs- including staging false meetings to appease family members and then having the real meeting later where you cut out or significantly modify the distribution.
  • Tech founders with vast amounts of their net worth tied into single stock positions that they can only slowly unwind [if your company IPO'd, you usually have to divest your position over several years per the IPO agreement - you wouldn't want to invest in a company that just IPO'd if the founder divested all their stake the next day, as the stock would likely tank.
  • On a similar note, there is a financial instrument called an Exchange Fund [not to be confused with an ETF]. Long story short, exchange funds allow you tocontribute your single stock position into a pool with other execs who have single stock positions in different stocks. After a few years, you exchange your stocks for an average return across the entire pool. It's a good way to diversify your position away from your single stock.
  • Having the discussion with your banker that having two G6s is probably a bit much for your needs and significantly skews your asset allocation into real assets.
Another team I sat on was more “moderate” and the clientele usually consisted of regional business people who sold their manufacturing companies and had no idea what to do with $30M other than put it in their savings account. Usually they just needed some hand holding and basic investment education, and the firm would take a hefty profit for doing that- but these people would earn less by just letting it sit in savings.

There were some networking events - and there was some pass along between the different sides of the bank (the M&A team just advised John Doe’s company on being purchased, and now John Doe himself has a huge windfall due to the transaction and needs helps on a personal level). The bankers themselves often had very deep connections to their clients, including taking vacations together or participating in their children’s religious ceremonies.

Very interesting segment of banking that I thought I wanted to work in at one point of my life - but am grateful that I did not go that route. However, when my NW reaches several million to a billion dollars [currently at -$300k, so a long, long way to go, maybe next year..], I know a fair amount on how to handle an account that size. Certainly eye opening for a young person who came from a poor family in one of the poorest parts of the country to interact with the wealthiest individuals in the world.

All that being said, I think the real “value” in the private banking is for the uber uber wealthy. Even if you knew everything about investing and could execute the trades yourself, would you really want to spend your entire livelihood just monitoring your own assets vs. doing something you enjoy? The rest of us could probably get by with a couple of sharp lawyers, accountants, and a good investment advisor.
Thanks for the informative and enjoyable read!

I bookmarked it to refer back to when I get my second Gulfstream. :D
mws13
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Re: Is Being a Private Banking Client Worth it?

Post by mws13 »

Maybe I skipped over it, but Bogleheads is a natural alliance with Credit Unions. I still use Chase for my business because I simply do not want to make every client move over to my Credit Union. The Private Bank at Chase used to hit me up when I have a large deposit, but they seemed to have stopped years ago. Here is a good overview of CU vs Banks:

https://www.investopedia.com/credit-uni ... ks-4590218

I would suggest a local CU or one you are aligned with, but if you like space, you can join NASA CU (as one example) -https://www.nasafcu.com/personal/membership
MikeG62
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Re: Is Being a Private Banking Client Worth it?

Post by MikeG62 »

JDCarpenter wrote: Mon Jan 04, 2021 9:19 pm
Cruise wrote: Mon Jan 04, 2021 9:01 pm ...

As an aside, I'm in a higher-level group with Fidelity, and typically just call the main number for this group instead of my relationship manager. All the people who answer the phone know that I'm in the higher-level group and customer service is routinely fantastic.
If you wouldn't mind, could you let us know if this higher level group is the Rewards Plus program that requires one to be in wealth management, or something else?

(We are debating how best to allocate our accounts that are currently located in 4 different places; don't see much value from flagship select, and aren't interested for (hopefully) quite a few more years in having anyone doing any active work with our accounts.)
I think Cruise is referring to the Private Client Group. I too call the PCG phone number when I have a question. Rarely do I call my assigned advisor. Never even one attempt to be "sold" anything by a PCG rep.
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JackoC
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Re: Is Being a Private Banking Client Worth it?

Post by JackoC »

kevdude wrote: Mon Jan 04, 2021 4:45 pm
solaris17 wrote: Sun Jan 03, 2021 10:02 pm Just curious for anyone holding >$100k in Vanguard ETFs at Merrill Edge to qualify for preferred rewards status, how do you handle the appx. $2k in annual dividends?
We have ours set up to reinvest. Very easy process and has never been an issue.
I have non-Vanguard ETF's (that doesn't really matter) in Merrill IRA to qualify. I don't view doing a manual no fee purchase of 100 shares at a time (I'd rather keep in round lot size) to be a big deal. And the opportunity cost of a little more cash sitting around is dwarfed in our case by the extra CC cash back, we get around $1k more under the BOA Preferred/Cash cards than 2% card, including the 5.25%, 3.5% categories and 2.625% minimum. Cash drag in between trades on $100k ETF is single digit $'s per year.

All in all, 5-6 yr old thread, but the reality remains BOA/Merr Preferred Rewards Platinum Honors level is not 'private banking'. It's a highly attractive loyalty discount program that's a no brainer IMO unless you don't have $100k in ETF's to park at Merrill, or you travel so much and are so good at maximizing travel points value you might be better off in the Chase or other card universe. I have no personal contact at BOA/Merrill and have never gotten an in person solicitation for other business; at least some implicit sales pressure from an assigned personal account rep to me is a necessary component of 'private banking'.
afan
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Re: Is Being a Private Banking Client Worth it?

Post by afan »

It seems that people who cannot think of something private banking would give them that they want are unlikely to be missing anything.
The thread on mortgages for moving assets to a bank suggested that this could be one specific feature for which holding a lot of money at a bank might pay off. Even then, it did not seem that one needed to keep that money there for years on end. Get the mortgage, keep the funds at the bank for however long your deal requires and then move on.

It also seems that even the truly wealthy, $30 Million and up, only need private banking if they need something the bank provides. If they are happy with their $30M in a three fund portfolio at Vanguard, don't want to borrow money, regularly wire money internationally or invest in hedge funds, they may have no more need of a private bank than the rest of us.
We don't know how to beat the market on a risk-adjusted basis, and we don't know anyone that does know either | --Swedroe | We assume that markets are efficient, that prices are right | --Fama
kirkir
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Re: Is Being a Private Banking Client Worth it?

Post by kirkir »

Talk about reviving, but an interesting thread. In my opinion, there's a couple levels

Private Banking: 1M+ etc
Preferred/Priority: 100k-500k
Regular

While this thread focuses on Private Banking, it doesn't seem there's much tangible benefits for us BH type of folks doing standard financial planning. However, Preferred/Priority can get some nice benefits as some people have mentioned on this thread if you're stacking with credit card optimization.

BoA: 75% on credit cards makes this one of the best no fee cards when used correctly
Citigold: $145 fee waiver on their premium cards (Prestige or Executive AA)

But agreed with the rest of the discussion here...the preferred/priority 'features' are mostly already free with Ally/Fidelity/Schwab/CU and the 'regular' accounts, which are probably 99% good enough for the rest of our BH banking needs.

What preferred/priority features do you all known about from other banks or use?
fyre4ce
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Re: Is Being a Private Banking Client Worth it?

Post by fyre4ce »

I was a Private Client at Chase for a while (min $250k in their accounts). I found the benefits to be nice but overall underwhelming: fee-free checking (but I was able to avoid fees with their retail accounts by maintaining min balances), a "private" banker (but I was otherwise able to call and get my questions answered by anyone at my local branch), discounts on a mortgage (ended up being only 1/8%, was able to get a better deal elsewhere), a "SoCal entertainment discount card" (only had a few attractions listed, and only small discounts), and a safe deposit box (but my branch, nor any other ones in the area, had any available boxes). I had to downgrade back to the basic account when I moved my money to WF for a mortgage discount, and I can't say I miss it.

Bennies I would have liked to get, maybe fee-free currency exchanges or large sign-up bonuses on credit cards, were not available.

I remember being told there were several "real" tiers of private banking, maybe starting around $1M in assets and going up to $5-10M or maybe higher.

I can think of a few legitimate needs that UHNW individuals might have that a real private banker might help with. For example, you can't get a traditional mortgage on a very expensive house (relative to your local market), because the bank is worried they won't be able to resell it quickly if they have to foreclose on you. If you want to buy a mansion, a private banker can help you with a low-interest loan using other assets as collateral. If you're into private investments, maybe that's another potential hook; personally, I'd be very suspicious. If your private banker is hooking you up with free backstage passes to concerts and tickets to the Oscars, well, I guess those are bennies that come to people who have a lot more money than I do.
ChicagoBear7
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Re: Is Being a Private Banking Client Worth it?

Post by ChicagoBear7 »

As was mentioned somewhere above, we need to be more precise about what is called "private banking". Programs like Chase Private Client, Bank of America Platinum Honors and Citigold ARE NOT private banking. These programs are loyalty programs and/or enhanced services for the "mass affluent". These can be great programs for people who concentrate a portion of their holdings at one institution to eliminate fees and get better service, but they are not real private banking.
NYCaviator
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Re: Is Being a Private Banking Client Worth it?

Post by NYCaviator »

It's worth it depending on where you bank and if you have a more complex financial life. A lot of people think private banking requires investment management, but often it doesn't. If you have a business with significant deposits/loans at a bank, that usually qualifies you.

Private banks tend to offer free everything, better interest rates on accounts, and more options for financing at lower rates. If you need a customized jumbo loan for a house, financing for your business, financing for an airplane, etc. having a relationship with a private banker is immensely helpful. They can get creative and push things through that a retail banker otherwise couldn't and you have one point of contact for all of your needs.

If the bank requires you to move investment accounts over, its probably not worth it. I agree with the poster above who said that Chase Private Client and BoA Platinum is not real private banking. It's retail banking with a "special priority line" in the branch to appeal to people's vanity, but in reality its just a way to get you to move investment accounts over to the bank.
OldBallCoach
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Re: Is Being a Private Banking Client Worth it?

Post by OldBallCoach »

We had Private Client at Chase....my wife would go in and there would be 10 people in line with one teller working...the other 8 people in the branch were all trying to sell things to people...LOL..then she would go to the private client window and they would wait on her right away while the other people stood in line....last trip my wife said to the teller, how about you open a window and help these people then when they are helped you take care of me...the teller said " dont be silly" ...well...an hour later she had opened up an account at the University Credit Union...and thats where we have been for a few years...for us its just a checking account and a small savings account as we dont keep much there anyway...maybe 100K, but it was the point of their arrogance to the folks standing in line...maybe we wait in line a few times...but...I like the CU, they even know us..how about that huh?
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8foot7
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Re: Is Being a Private Banking Client Worth it?

Post by 8foot7 »

OldBallCoach wrote: Wed Jan 06, 2021 8:10 pm We had Private Client at Chase....my wife would go in and there would be 10 people in line with one teller working...the other 8 people in the branch were all trying to sell things to people...LOL..then she would go to the private client window and they would wait on her right away while the other people stood in line....last trip my wife said to the teller, how about you open a window and help these people then when they are helped you take care of me...the teller said " dont be silly" ...well...an hour later she had opened up an account at the University Credit Union...and thats where we have been for a few years...for us its just a checking account and a small savings account as we dont keep much there anyway...maybe 100K, but it was the point of their arrogance to the folks standing in line...maybe we wait in line a few times...but...I like the CU, they even know us..how about that huh?
Seems like your wife could have just waited in the regular line and not gone to the special window if she was truly bothered by being served before others. Some folks really hate waiting in line and are willing to deepen relationships with organizations in order to access faster service with shorter waits.
bltn
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Re: Is Being a Private Banking Client Worth it?

Post by bltn »

nedsaid wrote: Sun Aug 02, 2015 9:03 am This is what Nisiprius calls stealing bait from the trap. Sooner or later you will get caught in the trap and the big lure is appealing to your ego. We all like the special attention but all of that for the purpose of getting you to buy expensive financial products. Bernie Madoff did this perfectly, he made it hard to invest with him. The more you "restrict" something, the more people beat the doors down trying to get in.

There is no snob appeal to saying that you have all your retirement in three index funds at Vanguard.
Nice post. Particularly the first two sentences. “Stealing bait from the trap”. That s a spot on way of describing all for profit brokerages. Some investment firms are more subtle with their fees than others. The only investment firm I ve used that doesn t include “incentives” in their fee structure is Vanguard. As far as I can tell.
OldBallCoach
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Re: Is Being a Private Banking Client Worth it?

Post by OldBallCoach »

8foot7 wrote: Wed Jan 06, 2021 8:25 pm
OldBallCoach wrote: Wed Jan 06, 2021 8:10 pm We had Private Client at Chase....my wife would go in and there would be 10 people in line with one teller working...the other 8 people in the branch were all trying to sell things to people...LOL..then she would go to the private client window and they would wait on her right away while the other people stood in line....last trip my wife said to the teller, how about you open a window and help these people then when they are helped you take care of me...the teller said " dont be silly" ...well...an hour later she had opened up an account at the University Credit Union...and thats where we have been for a few years...for us its just a checking account and a small savings account as we dont keep much there anyway...maybe 100K, but it was the point of their arrogance to the folks standing in line...maybe we wait in line a few times...but...I like the CU, they even know us..how about that huh?
Seems like your wife could have just waited in the regular line and not gone to the special window if she was truly bothered by being served before others. Some folks really hate waiting in line and are willing to deepen relationships with organizations in order to access faster service with shorter waits.
That is exactly what I told her but one look was all it took to know that as always she was completely right and I should find something else to do...so...LOL...Love that CU...
atdharris
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Re: Is Being a Private Banking Client Worth it?

Post by atdharris »

I know we had a thread about this a while back, but are you able to enroll in Merrill wealth management with preferred rewards without paying a brokers' fee to manage your account? The reason I ask is I would like to have access to no fees on worldwide ATM withdrawals and free wire transfers that Preferred Rewards with wealth management. I meet the criteria of over $250k at BOA/ME.

I have my Roth in all Vanguard mutual funds and my taxable account in a mix of Vanguard ETFs and a few old individual names. I'd prefer not to have someone overhaul/mess with my holdings.
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Bogle7
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Who knows?

Post by Bogle7 »

According to my neighbor, the JP Morgan private banker, it is.
But, you need a net worth of $10+M for him to deign to talk with you.
I don't qualify. LOL.
Last edited by Bogle7 on Fri Jan 08, 2021 2:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Old fart who does three index funds, baby.
MikeG62
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Re: Is Being a Private Banking Client Worth it?

Post by MikeG62 »

atdharris wrote: Thu Jan 07, 2021 10:17 am I know we had a thread about this a while back, but are you able to enroll in Merrill wealth management with preferred rewards without paying a brokers' fee to manage your account? The reason I ask is I would like to have access to no fees on worldwide ATM withdrawals and free wire transfers that Preferred Rewards with wealth management. I meet the criteria of over $250k at BOA/ME.
Platinum honors level status at BofA (which you can attain by moving $100K in assets to Merrill Edge) gets you free domestic ATM withdrawals, but not free wire transfers. It also gets you a 75% uplift on the benefits of the two BofA rewards cards (cash rewards and premium rewards). You can get free wire transfers either at Marcus bank (open an OLS account) or at Fidelity Investments (may require Private Client status).

$250K at Chase gets your Private Client status and with that comes free ATM withdrawals worldwide and free wire transfers. Plus you can pick up a $2,000 transfer bonus.
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atdharris
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Re: Is Being a Private Banking Client Worth it?

Post by atdharris »

MikeG62 wrote: Thu Jan 07, 2021 1:59 pm
atdharris wrote: Thu Jan 07, 2021 10:17 am I know we had a thread about this a while back, but are you able to enroll in Merrill wealth management with preferred rewards without paying a brokers' fee to manage your account? The reason I ask is I would like to have access to no fees on worldwide ATM withdrawals and free wire transfers that Preferred Rewards with wealth management. I meet the criteria of over $250k at BOA/ME.
Platinum honors level status at BofA (which you can attain by moving $100K in assets to Merrill Edge) gets you free domestic ATM withdrawals, but not free wire transfers. It also gets you a 75% uplift on the benefits of the two BofA rewards cards (cash rewards and premium rewards). You can get free wire transfers either at Marcus bank (open an OLS account) or at Fidelity Investments (may require Private Client status).

$250K at Chase gets your Private Client status and with that comes free ATM withdrawals worldwide and free wire transfers. Plus you can pick up a $2,000 transfer bonus.
Yes, I have Platinum Honors now at BOA. However, I know there is a Preferred Rewards for Wealth Management at ML that includes the Platinum Honors perks plus free wire transfers and international ATM withdrawals. But, perhaps that requires you to have an advisor and be set up with wealth management. However, I do remember some Bogleheads were automatically moved to that tier even without an advisor. At the time it did not include free trades, but I believe it does now that all commissions have been waived on all tiers.
Lastrun
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Re: Is Being a Private Banking Client Worth it?

Post by Lastrun »

atdharris wrote: Thu Jan 07, 2021 4:40 pm However, I do remember some Bogleheads were automatically moved to that tier even without an advisor. At the time it did not include free trades, but I believe it does now that all commissions have been waived on all tiers.
Could someone confirm this, as this year I will likely go over the $250K shortly, and absent a major move downward in VXUS, will stay there.
SwampDonkey
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Re: Is Being a Private Banking Client Worth it?

Post by SwampDonkey »

erebusxc47 wrote: Mon Jan 04, 2021 11:41 pm I once interned for a private bank, that was a division of a major Wall Street institution, that catered to UHNW individuals and familes. The account minimums for the institution was generally $25M...........
Very interesting read. The exchange fund idea makes complete sense; surprised this is the first I've heard of it. Thank you for providing your experiences.
2tall4economy
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Re: Is Being a Private Banking Client Worth it?

Post by 2tall4economy »

A little ago while I “interviewed” with a bunch of banks, pretending to have different levels of assets to hear their pitches. I wrote a thread on it you can check if you want.

There are certainly a handlful of perks. If they matter to you and you can swim with the sharks got for it.

TLDR; the real perks don’t accrue until you’re paying them huge annual fees. Minor, but good, perks can be had by shopping around enough.

Just be aware that there is:

“private client” level - chases term - or whatever you want to call it which gets you better interest rates and other products and maybe better service but nothing else and no special investments. Requires giving them Investable assets of a few hundred thou. This is probably where you should stop as a bogle head.

“Wealth management” requires about $2m investable with them. You will also get an annual aum fee and usually have to give them discretion. The main perk here is customer service - depending on the bank - and fancy but not great investments (ie hedge funds). Some dabbling in trusts.

“Private wealth management” requires $10m investable with them. Lower fee percentage but higher aggregate fees. Top notch customer service. Any investment you want, including some ipos and private equity. Lots and lots of trusts options and focus. Planning for future and generational wealth. Also some networking with other people, but only within your wealth level. I’d guess they keep people separated so the truly rich don’t get annoyed by the riff raff. This MAY get you that fabled concierge service where you ask your banker for a famous entertainer and a native Arabian horse for your daughters birthday party. But I don’t think they will do it. Just give you contacts.

“Family office”. I’ve heard anywhere from $25m to $100m minimum. This is the fabled thing you hear about. Huge annual fees and/or literally creating your own bank and employing the people yourself. This is where you get the famous entertainer and the horse race tickets. And the loans to buy businesses and the bankers try to manage juniors cocanie problem without cutting him off or making him, their future boss, angry.
You can do anything you want in life. The rub is that there are consequences.
Pandemic Bangs
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Re: Is Being a Private Banking Client Worth it?

Post by Pandemic Bangs »

Sharpematt wrote: Sun Aug 02, 2015 10:00 pm The value add for these folks are:

Block Trades on large positions in dark-pools
Direct access to prop private equity deals sourced by the bank.
Private access to hedge fund managers and highly unique networking meetings
Syndicate access to IPOs prior to retail investors
Very competitive rates in FX hedges for business transactions
Having a banker who you can call on their cell any hour of the week, and they will drop everything to assist you.
Instituional rates in lending with odd collateral like art or jets. Typically not much over LIBOR.
Philanthropic review of 501c3's prior to charitable donations
Advanced tax entities to help with estate planning.
I see the list. But I do not see the value-add.

There's not one thing on that list that I covet.
Wait 'til I get my money right | Then you can't tell me nothing, right?
2tall4economy
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Re: Is Being a Private Banking Client Worth it?

Post by 2tall4economy »

  • Tech founders with vast amounts of their net worth tied into single stock positions that they can only slowly unwind [if your company IPO'd, you usually have to divest your position over several years per the IPO agreement - you wouldn't want to invest in a company that just IPO'd if the founder divested all their stake the next day, as the stock would likely tank.
  • On a similar note, there is a financial instrument called an Exchange Fund [not to be confused with an ETF]. Long story short, exchange funds allow you tocontribute your single stock position into a pool with other execs who have single stock positions in different stocks. After a few years, you exchange your stocks for an average return across the entire pool. It's a good way to diversify your position away from your single stock.
This was THE big perk takeaway for me when I spoke to the banks. By the way only the one who though I had $10m+ offered it...

I actually think a number of people on this board could really benefit from this.

But as many others have said, diy and non business owners and non generational wealth and non liquidity event people simply won’t find value. Because there isn’t any (other than saving time which we all need - but likely not at the prices charged).

What I find most interesting about this thread is how proud people are to tell everyone how they don’t see value in the service.

Great, you don’t. Dont do it. Others do / will. Especially people who don’t like finance, don’t like managing money, don’t like investing in their own.

Boggle heads are the least likely people to use this service. Yet some still do.

Anyway, for me personally I can see this as value as an exec with a lot of wealth in restricted stock and as I age and pass away to help my wife who isn’t Saavy and/or my kids.

Yep it costs money. So do my vacations and my cars that are equally frivolous.

But I still haven’t done it. I’m still in accumulation phase and saving every penny.
You can do anything you want in life. The rub is that there are consequences.
SlowMovingInvestor
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Re: Is Being a Private Banking Client Worth it?

Post by SlowMovingInvestor »

MikeG62 wrote: Thu Jan 07, 2021 1:59 pm
$250K at Chase gets your Private Client status and with that comes free ATM withdrawals worldwide and free wire transfers. Plus you can pick up a $2,000 transfer bonus.
Even 75K at Chase will get you Sapphire Checking, which comes with free wires.

It used to be that Chase Private Client might allow one to bypass Chase's credit card restrictions (5/24) which is useful for those who play the awards game. I don't think that is so any more, however, you may show up as preapproved for more cards because of your status (on your 'private' banker's computer checks) and that will get you approved. Interestingly though, I don't see Chase retail bankers push credit cards when you visit the branch. My guess is they don't have any incentives for doing that.
atdharris
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Re: Is Being a Private Banking Client Worth it?

Post by atdharris »

Lastrun wrote: Thu Jan 07, 2021 6:35 pm
atdharris wrote: Thu Jan 07, 2021 4:40 pm However, I do remember some Bogleheads were automatically moved to that tier even without an advisor. At the time it did not include free trades, but I believe it does now that all commissions have been waived on all tiers.
Could someone confirm this, as this year I will likely go over the $250K shortly, and absent a major move downward in VXUS, will stay there.
I read on here that it is random. Some seemed to be moved into wealth management while others remained at Merrill Edge. I have yet to be moved, but I think my 3 mo average will hit 250k next month
downtownrb
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Re: Is Being a Private Banking Client Worth it?

Post by downtownrb »

atdharris wrote: Thu Jan 07, 2021 10:17 am I know we had a thread about this a while back, but are you able to enroll in Merrill wealth management with preferred rewards without paying a brokers' fee to manage your account? The reason I ask is I would like to have access to no fees on worldwide ATM withdrawals and free wire transfers that Preferred Rewards with wealth management. I meet the criteria of over $250k at BOA/ME.

I have my Roth in all Vanguard mutual funds and my taxable account in a mix of Vanguard ETFs and a few old individual names. I'd prefer not to have someone overhaul/mess with my holdings.
I believe so. I moved $250k of Vanguard ETFs to Merrill Edge. Never have spoken to anyone and received an automated email from them.

Welcome to Merrill Edge® Premium Services
We're delighted to let you know that your self-directed investing relationship now includes Merrill Edge® Premium Services. In the coming month, you will receive a call from a Premium Services specialist to tell you more.

I never heard from them, nor do I care to speak to them.
atdharris
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Re: Is Being a Private Banking Client Worth it?

Post by atdharris »

downtownrb wrote: Fri Jan 08, 2021 1:23 pm
atdharris wrote: Thu Jan 07, 2021 10:17 am I know we had a thread about this a while back, but are you able to enroll in Merrill wealth management with preferred rewards without paying a brokers' fee to manage your account? The reason I ask is I would like to have access to no fees on worldwide ATM withdrawals and free wire transfers that Preferred Rewards with wealth management. I meet the criteria of over $250k at BOA/ME.

I have my Roth in all Vanguard mutual funds and my taxable account in a mix of Vanguard ETFs and a few old individual names. I'd prefer not to have someone overhaul/mess with my holdings.
I believe so. I moved $250k of Vanguard ETFs to Merrill Edge. Never have spoken to anyone and received an automated email from them.

Welcome to Merrill Edge® Premium Services
We're delighted to let you know that your self-directed investing relationship now includes Merrill Edge® Premium Services. In the coming month, you will receive a call from a Premium Services specialist to tell you more.

I never heard from them, nor do I care to speak to them.
How long ago was that? I only ask because I expect my average to cross the $250k mark next month barring a market crash. I already get calls from bankers at Merrill asking for me to call them for my "quarterly check up." I have yet to call the banker back.
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