Consolidate to Single Financial Institution?

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nasrullah
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Consolidate to Single Financial Institution?

Post by nasrullah » Mon Jan 01, 2018 10:02 pm

Hi all,

I have appointments setup with Vanguard, Schwab and Fidelity to discuss moving my accounts from Wealthfront. While I expected to go straight to Vanguard the others were included for due diligence and potential convenience of having a local branch. Reading threads on this topic Merill Edge is another popular recommendation and on my list to investigate.

Tonight at dinner another thought occurred to me... should I be looking at this from an angle of leveraging my entire financial services needs (business accounts, personal accounts, mortgage, heloc, credit card, brokerage, etc..) with a single institution? Individually I probably wouldn't be that interesting, but the business accounts cash churn is respectable and with some luck my brokerage should hit two commas next year.

Is this a bad idea? How large of an asset base do you need to have before a bank rolls out the red carpet so to speak? Who should I look at for this?

Thanks!
"We have a lot to do, and very little time, so we must work slowly." Liviu Ciulei | | Thanks vineviz (https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/memberlist.php?mode=viewprofile&u=134698) for the quote.

radiowave
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Re: Consolidate to Single Financial Institution?

Post by radiowave » Mon Jan 01, 2018 10:35 pm

Hi,

Many on the forum have multiple brokerage accounts as well as online savings. Yes, it is beneficial to have cash and investments spread across multiple institutions. On the other hand, it adds complexity and multiple points of entry for hackers/other bad actors. If you want to add cash management to your brokerage account either Fidelity or Schwab would work well for you. Vanguard is a good, basic and low cost brokerage so if your concern is mostly to move your investments, that would be an excellent choice. Merrill Edge is best paired with Bank of America. If you have a local branch near you, there are advantages to having that combination with a BoA rewards credit card. Note, ME works best with ETFs.
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Watty
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Re: Consolidate to Single Financial Institution?

Post by Watty » Mon Jan 01, 2018 10:53 pm

One thing to be aware of is that if you have a credit card or other loan at the same place you have other accounts at then the company usually has the "right of offset" (Google this) to take money out of your other accounts to pay off the credit card.

This could be important in case you have something like large fraudulent charge on your credit card that company researches then declines to reimburse you for. The details of their "right of offset" will vary depending on the what type of institution they are.

I have always made of point of not having any credit cards where I have my other financial accounts because of this.

edge
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Re: Consolidate to Single Financial Institution?

Post by edge » Mon Jan 01, 2018 11:46 pm

I prefer to have a couple of different accounts eg fidelity and vanguard.

scifilover
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Re: Consolidate to Single Financial Institution?

Post by scifilover » Tue Jan 02, 2018 9:29 am

Just my opinion, but it's very difficult to do everything with one entity. I do most business with Schwab. However, Schwab, isn't competitive on everything they do. When I shopped for a loan for a 2nd home, they were not competitive. I used to have a Schwab CC, via Schwab Bank, but it wasn't making money for them and they stopped. Additionally, what they pay on cash balances isn't very much.

I don't think Schwab would be good if one had a business and needed typical business banking services.

It is difficult to leverage business between different departments inside a multi-profit center financial company. USAA for example, is a great Auto insurer, but no as great in other areas. Inside a company like USAA, they expect each business to be a profit maker and pay its own way including a share of the holding company expenses. Having a huge brokerage account with them won't cut you any slack with their insurance underwriters. Most businesses begin with a single expertise. Then as they grow, someone sees the customers as potential markets for additional services. Banks try to do securities brokerage for example. In the world of today, to be successful you must have rock bottom costs, and you can only achieve these cost levels with significant scale in the business. How would you compete with Vanguard for example?

I think this means that you have to be very careful as you seek financial service providers. If you try to jam too many things into one entity, you will end up leaving money on the table.

livesoft
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Re: Consolidate to Single Financial Institution?

Post by livesoft » Tue Jan 02, 2018 9:37 am

nasrullah wrote:
Mon Jan 01, 2018 10:02 pm
How large of an asset base do you need to have before a bank rolls out the red carpet so to speak? Who should I look at for this?
My experience is that it doesn't have to be asset base, but simply who you know and your personality. For instance, my neighbor (since moved) was the manager of the local Wells Fargo. Or maybe your brother-in-law works for Chase. Or maybe you are a good sales person in your own right and can sell yourself to your financial institution and get everything for free.

FWIW, we have our accounts at several financial institutions, but not Bank of America after they made a terrible mistake
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dcabler
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Re: Consolidate to Single Financial Institution?

Post by dcabler » Tue Jan 02, 2018 9:58 am

edge wrote:
Mon Jan 01, 2018 11:46 pm
I prefer to have a couple of different accounts eg fidelity and vanguard.
+1 I have rollover IRA's and a taxable account at Fidelity and a taxable account at Vanguard. My current 401K is at Vanguard, but that's always just a roll of the dice linked to where you work.

123
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Re: Consolidate to Single Financial Institution?

Post by 123 » Tue Jan 02, 2018 10:25 am

nasrullah wrote:
Mon Jan 01, 2018 10:02 pm
...I have appointments setup with Vanguard, Schwab and Fidelity to discuss moving my accounts from Wealthfront...
While some people respond to a personal touch I don't see much of a point on meetings to evaluate essentially self-service providers.

The three brokerage firms are not strong on business services. A bank could probably offer a better line of business services but they'd like to grab your personal assets into their associated brokerage as well. I'd tend to segregate my personal and business assets between different entities. If you're looking to get the "high roller" treatment be sure to go in with your bs detector on.
The closest helping hand is at the end of your own arm.

nasrullah
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Re: Consolidate to Single Financial Institution?

Post by nasrullah » Tue Jan 02, 2018 2:06 pm

Thanks everyone for the responses/information. I was assuming that it wouldn't make sense, it's great getting the same feedback.
"We have a lot to do, and very little time, so we must work slowly." Liviu Ciulei | | Thanks vineviz (https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/memberlist.php?mode=viewprofile&u=134698) for the quote.

Broken Man 1999
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Re: Consolidate to Single Financial Institution?

Post by Broken Man 1999 » Tue Jan 02, 2018 3:20 pm

We use Vanguard exclusively for our investments, and our credit union for our banking needs. Vanguard sends money to our credit union. We spend it.

The setup we use works well for us. But, our financial life is simple, and getting simpler.

Broken Man 1999
“If I cannot drink Bourbon and smoke cigars in Heaven than I shall not go. " -Mark Twain

Jack FFR1846
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Re: Consolidate to Single Financial Institution?

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Tue Jan 02, 2018 3:56 pm

I would ask the OP: "What does it mean for an institution to roll out the red carpet?".

I'm a Fidelity private client. This means that whenever I call, they ask if I'd like to speak with my specific private client manager, which I always say "no" because I have no desire to go right to voicemail. I do get free turbotax.

I've heard lots of benefits with Merrill Edge and Bank of America. Every time I look at those benefits, music from John Williams plays in the background and a dark figure walks by my office with a black cape and breathing sounds. I suppose they have good matching plans for Storm Troopers who deposit a million dollars.

For the moment, I'll stick with my multiple institutions.
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Mike Scott
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Re: Consolidate to Single Financial Institution?

Post by Mike Scott » Tue Jan 02, 2018 4:36 pm

I can't think of a single financial institution that could handle everything. I'm in the middle of "making things more complicated" in order to save a bit of money as well as make some functions more user friendly. I suppose you could pay someone to take care of everything for you... :)

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Taylor Larimore
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Re: Consolidate to Single Financial Institution?

Post by Taylor Larimore » Tue Jan 02, 2018 5:02 pm

nasrullah:

For most of us, I think a single (strong) institution is much better than having investments spread among several institutions. I picked Vanguard in 1986 to hold all our securities and I am very satisfied. Her's why:

1.Vanguard has strength, honesty, and integrity instilled by its founder, Jack Bogle

2. Many experts believe that "expense" is the most important criteria in selecting funds. You know you always have this advantage working for you in Vanguard.

3. Vanguard website is more than adequate.

4. Premium Service: Consolidating everything with Vanguard results in earlier eligibility for Admiral, Voyager, and Flagship service. When my son died, Vanguard sent me flowers. Loyalty is appreciated.

5. Fund selection. Vanguard has enough funds to be adequate for anyone.

6. Company knowledge: By concentrating on one company, we can much better learn fund details, including: fee's, past returns, risk, manager changes, etc.

7. Exchanges and other transactions are easier within one company.

8. One easily understood consolidated statement.

9. In event of disability or death, it will be much easier for survivors if they have only one company to deal with.

Read my "Simplicity" link below.

Best wishes and Happy New Year!

Taylor
"Simplicity is the master key to financial success." -- Jack Bogle

Dottie57
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Re: Consolidate to Single Financial Institution?

Post by Dottie57 » Tue Jan 02, 2018 5:15 pm

Taylor Larimore wrote:
Tue Jan 02, 2018 5:02 pm
nasrullah:

For most of us, I think a single (strong) institution is much better than having investments spread among several institutions. I picked Vanguard in 1986 to hold all our securities and I am very satisfied. Her's why:

1.Vanguard has strength, honesty, and integrity instilled by its founder, Jack Bogle

2. Many experts believe that "expense" is the most important criteria in selecting funds. You know you always have this advantage working for you in Vanguard.

3. Vanguard website is more than adequate.

4. Premium Service: Consolidating everything with Vanguard results in earlier eligibility for Admiral, Voyager, and Flagship service. When my son died, Vanguard sent me flowers. Loyalty is appreciated.

5. Fund selection. Vanguard has enough funds to be adequate for anyone.

6. Company knowledge: By concentrating on one company, we can much better learn fund details, including: fee's, past returns, risk, manager changes, etc.

7. Exchanges and other transactions are easier within one company.

8. One easily understood consolidated statement.

9. In event of disability or death, it will be much easier for survivors if they have only one company to deal with.

Read my "Simplicity" link below.

Best wishes and Happy New Year!

Taylor
Taylor,

i am worried about hackers which is why i may have two brokerages.

nasrullah
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Re: Consolidate to Single Financial Institution?

Post by nasrullah » Tue Jan 02, 2018 6:02 pm

Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Tue Jan 02, 2018 3:56 pm
I would ask the OP: "What does it mean for an institution to roll out the red carpet?".
Mortgage rates at LIBOR for example.
"We have a lot to do, and very little time, so we must work slowly." Liviu Ciulei | | Thanks vineviz (https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/memberlist.php?mode=viewprofile&u=134698) for the quote.

nasrullah
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Re: Consolidate to Single Financial Institution?

Post by nasrullah » Tue Jan 02, 2018 6:04 pm

Taylor Larimore wrote:
Tue Jan 02, 2018 5:02 pm
nasrullah:

Read my "Simplicity" link below.

Best wishes and Happy New Year!

Taylor
Thank you Taylor and Happy New Year!
"We have a lot to do, and very little time, so we must work slowly." Liviu Ciulei | | Thanks vineviz (https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/memberlist.php?mode=viewprofile&u=134698) for the quote.

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birdog
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Re: Consolidate to Single Financial Institution?

Post by birdog » Tue Jan 02, 2018 6:07 pm

Dottie57 wrote:
Tue Jan 02, 2018 5:15 pm
Taylor Larimore wrote:
Tue Jan 02, 2018 5:02 pm
nasrullah:

For most of us, I think a single (strong) institution is much better than having investments spread among several institutions. I picked Vanguard in 1986 to hold all our securities and I am very satisfied. Her's why:

1.Vanguard has strength, honesty, and integrity instilled by its founder, Jack Bogle

2. Many experts believe that "expense" is the most important criteria in selecting funds. You know you always have this advantage working for you in Vanguard.

3. Vanguard website is more than adequate.

4. Premium Service: Consolidating everything with Vanguard results in earlier eligibility for Admiral, Voyager, and Flagship service. When my son died, Vanguard sent me flowers. Loyalty is appreciated.

5. Fund selection. Vanguard has enough funds to be adequate for anyone.

6. Company knowledge: By concentrating on one company, we can much better learn fund details, including: fee's, past returns, risk, manager changes, etc.

7. Exchanges and other transactions are easier within one company.

8. One easily understood consolidated statement.

9. In event of disability or death, it will be much easier for survivors if they have only one company to deal with.

Read my "Simplicity" link below.

Best wishes and Happy New Year!

Taylor
Taylor,

i am worried about hackers which is why i may have two brokerages.
Have you considered that you may double your chances of being hacked if you have two brokerages?

BigPrince
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Re: Consolidate to Single Financial Institution?

Post by BigPrince » Tue Jan 02, 2018 6:10 pm

You should see what your total assets are and if that balance helps you attain a certain level of service that you would miss out on should your separate out your assts.

I also agree with the point that less institutions makes it easier to sort out your estate.

radiowave
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Re: Consolidate to Single Financial Institution?

Post by radiowave » Tue Jan 02, 2018 7:30 pm

Have you considered that you may double your chances of being hacked if you have two brokerages?
It's like the dilemma of flying in a 2 engine airplane, you have a second engine to get you back on the ground hopefully in one piece if one engine quits, but you double your chances of having an engine failure.
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ThePrince
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Re: Consolidate to Single Financial Institution?

Post by ThePrince » Tue Jan 02, 2018 7:33 pm

nasrullah wrote:
Mon Jan 01, 2018 10:02 pm
Hi all,

I have appointments setup with Vanguard, Schwab and Fidelity to discuss moving my accounts from Wealthfront. While I expected to go straight to Vanguard the others were included for due diligence and potential convenience of having a local branch. Reading threads on this topic Merill Edge is another popular recommendation and on my list to investigate.

Tonight at dinner another thought occurred to me... should I be looking at this from an angle of leveraging my entire financial services needs (business accounts, personal accounts, mortgage, heloc, credit card, brokerage, etc..) with a single institution? Individually I probably wouldn't be that interesting, but the business accounts cash churn is respectable and with some luck my brokerage should hit two commas next year.

Is this a bad idea? How large of an asset base do you need to have before a bank rolls out the red carpet so to speak? Who should I look at for this?

Thanks!
I suppose I am a believer in the adage “don’t place all your eggs in one basket.”

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randomizer
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Re: Consolidate to Single Financial Institution?

Post by randomizer » Tue Jan 02, 2018 7:33 pm

The eternal struggle between simplifying and diversifying.
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Taylor Larimore
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Vanguard Safety

Post by Taylor Larimore » Tue Jan 02, 2018 8:21 pm

i am worried about hackers which is why i may have two brokerages.
Dottie:

I am not a techie or security expert, but I'm doubtful your "worry" is realistic.

I have not heard of any retail customer of a mutual fund company or bank losing money from a hacker. Also, it seems to me that if hackers were a significant problem, mutual funds and banks could not operate. I think you would be reimbursed by the fund company if a hacker stole your funds and it was not your fault.

Vanguard Safety

Happy New Year!
Taylor
"Simplicity is the master key to financial success." -- Jack Bogle

patrick
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Re: Vanguard Safety

Post by patrick » Tue Jan 02, 2018 8:37 pm

Taylor Larimore wrote:
Tue Jan 02, 2018 8:21 pm
i am worried about hackers which is why i may have two brokerages.
Dottie:

I am not a techie or security expert, but I'm doubtful your "worry" is realistic.

I have not heard of any retail customer of a mutual fund company or bank losing money from a hacker. Also, it seems to me that if hackers were a significant problem, mutual funds and banks could not operate. I think you would be reimbursed by the fund company if a hacker stole your funds and it was not your fault.

Vanguard Safety

Happy New Year!
Taylor
I think you would probably get back your money eventually, but I doubt you would get it back immediately. In the meantime you could be without any access to the compromised account, which does not sound like fun when it is your only account.

An even longer delay might happen in the case of something going wrong with the financial institution itself. Third-party custody of mutual fund assets could protect you, but if the failure of a financial institution involved severe problems with their record keeping I would expect there to be a long wait to get what you are owed.

Scotttheking
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Re: Consolidate to Single Financial Institution?

Post by Scotttheking » Tue Jan 02, 2018 9:12 pm

Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Tue Jan 02, 2018 3:56 pm
I would ask the OP: "What does it mean for an institution to roll out the red carpet?".

I'm a Fidelity private client. This means that whenever I call, they ask if I'd like to speak with my specific private client manager, which I always say "no" because I have no desire to go right to voicemail. I do get free turbotax.

I've heard lots of benefits with Merrill Edge and Bank of America. Every time I look at those benefits, music from John Williams plays in the background and a dark figure walks by my office with a black cape and breathing sounds. I suppose they have good matching plans for Storm Troopers who deposit a million dollars.

For the moment, I'll stick with my multiple institutions.
I split funds to get the mass affluent tier of services at a few places that benefit me. BofA gives a 75% bonus on credit card rewards resulting in a 2.6% back card, and citi gives points equal to around $120/year. The benefits are small but noticeable. Fidelity provides offices that have come in useful.
Do what makes sense for you.
Last edited by Scotttheking on Tue Jan 02, 2018 9:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Dottie57
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Re: Vanguard Safety

Post by Dottie57 » Tue Jan 02, 2018 9:45 pm

Taylor Larimore wrote:
Tue Jan 02, 2018 8:21 pm
i am worried about hackers which is why i may have two brokerages.
Dottie:

I am not a techie or security expert, but I'm doubtful your "worry" is realistic.

I have not heard of any retail customer of a mutual fund company or bank losing money from a hacker. Also, it seems to me that if hackers were a significant problem, mutual funds and banks could not operate. I think you would be reimbursed by the fund company if a hacker stole your funds and it was not your fault.

Vanguard Safety

Happy New Year!
Taylor
I am a software developer. Never chose to develop nefarious technical skills. But there is alway someone who,is smarter.
Right now I am at fidelity (401k, taxable, and iras). Right now I am in a state of inertia.

Broken Man 1999
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Re: Consolidate to Single Financial Institution?

Post by Broken Man 1999 » Wed Jan 03, 2018 2:01 pm

Depending on your banking needs, you might be OK at Vanguard for certain banking tasks, such as a credit card and a bill-pay program, via VanguardAdvantage. Might be free if you have certain level of holdings at Vanguard.

While I find the idea of having Vanguard handle some banking efforts for us interesting, I believe I will continue having separation of our investments, and our banking.

Listed below are the specifics:

The VanguardAdvantage account, offered through Vanguard Brokerage Services®, has the following cash management features.
Unlimited checkwriting
Write checks whenever you need to and for any amount up to your available account balance. Your first 50 checks are free of charge. The checkwriting feature is automatically applied to all VanguardAdvantage accounts. It will replace any existing checkwriting privileges on your Vanguard money market account.

Visa Gold debit card
Use your Visa® Gold debit card at any ATM worldwide wherever the Visa or Plus® System logos are displayed. Vanguard never charges a fee for an ATM transaction. However, you may be charged a surcharge by the bank that owns the ATM. All transactions from PNC-affiliated banks are free.

Online bill payment
Pay your bills online using our secure website. Pay each bill separately or enter several payments at once. You can even schedule payments months in advance for added convenience.
Learn more about online bill payment

Overdraft protection
Apply for overdraft protection through a margin account secured by eligible stocks, bonds, and non-Vanguard mutual fund shares.
Apply for margin approval | Learn more about margin investing

Direct deposit
Arrange for full or partial direct deposit of any recurring payment—paycheck, Social Security, or pension check—into your money market account.
Set up this service

Cost basis accounting
To simplify your tax preparation, Vanguard Brokerage Services tracks the cost basis of your nonretirement investments, helping you to calculate and record capital gains and losses. After your account has been established, we'll automatically record future transactions, taking into account adjustments for corporate actions such as stock splits and mergers.
Learn more about cost basis accounting

Comprehensive statements for easy recordkeeping
Shortly after the end of each calendar quarter, we'll send you a comprehensive portfolio summary and account statement that includes all of the activity in your VanguardAdvantage account as well as your Vanguard fund accounts. Between quarters, you'll only receive statements for your VanguardAdvantage account for each month that your account has activity.
View a sample statement | View my statement

Easy online account management
Register your account on our website to manage all of your investments online, including Vanguard funds, stocks, bonds, options, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), CDs, and thousands of mutual funds from hundreds of leading fund companies available through our FundAccess® program. You can also track investments you hold outside of Vanguard.
Register today
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drg02b
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Re: Consolidate to Single Financial Institution?

Post by drg02b » Wed Jan 03, 2018 2:19 pm

ThePrince wrote:
Tue Jan 02, 2018 7:33 pm

I suppose I am a believer in the adage “don’t place all your eggs in one basket.”
Hard to fend off a wolf when you're holding two baskets, though... :)

afan
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Re: Consolidate to Single Financial Institution?

Post by afan » Wed Jan 03, 2018 4:08 pm

I love Vanguard but there are many things it does not do: no bank accounts, no credit cards, no mortgages, no notary, no safe deposit box, no insurance products...

We use multiple providers. If something were to happen with one not all of our money would be tied up while straightening it out.
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gasdoc
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Re: Consolidate to Single Financial Institution?

Post by gasdoc » Wed Jan 03, 2018 6:49 pm

For us, it is Vanguard for investments and an online bank and local credit union for banking. (Also an HSA at Saturna).

gasdoc

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Earl Lemongrab
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Re: Consolidate to Single Financial Institution?

Post by Earl Lemongrab » Thu Jan 04, 2018 10:42 am

I would not want everything at the same place. At a minimum I want two bank accounts and two credit cards from different institutions. In this electronic age, it's so easy to manage accounts that I don't see the problem at all.
This week's fortune cookie: "Your financial life will be secure and beneficial." So I got that going for me, which is nice.

TwstdSista
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Re: Consolidate to Single Financial Institution?

Post by TwstdSista » Thu Jan 04, 2018 10:46 am

We use two financial institutions -- a credit union for our banking and cash needs and Fidelity for our brokerage and retirement needs. We've had more, but I eventually realized it was silly given the small-ish amount of money we have.

It really depends on your own personal comfort level.

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