Schwab vs fidelity

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Retire66
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Schwab vs fidelity

Post by Retire66 » Sat Jan 20, 2018 5:06 pm

Hello all, I have an Ira at Schwab currently and a 401k at Fidelity. I want to move the 401k and convert it to an Ira but I am considering moving it to a Fidelity Ira rather than to Schwab. The 401k ( Fidelity )will not do an electronic transfer to Schwab, they will send me a check made out to the broker of my choice. Its a lot of money! I would like to consolidate funds...Is there a benefit of one broker over the other? Schwab has been okay, its just where my Ira is. What do you think? Thanks

FBN2014
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Re: Schwab vs fidelity

Post by FBN2014 » Sat Jan 20, 2018 5:50 pm

I would consult a tax advisor who has expertise in these types of transfers. If you do it wrong it would be considered a taxable event causing you to pay the resulting income taxes and perhaps penalties. DO NOT rely on the advice of the customer service representative at Fidelity or Schwab without knowing that what they are telling you will not incur a tax liability.
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mouses
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Re: Schwab vs fidelity

Post by mouses » Sat Jan 20, 2018 5:53 pm

Can you move it to a Fidelity IRA and then have Schwab do a trustee to trustee transfer from that into an IRA at Schwab?

retiredjg
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Re: Schwab vs fidelity

Post by retiredjg » Sat Jan 20, 2018 6:00 pm

If the check comes to you made out to the broker of your choice FBO (for the benefit of) your IRA, that is normal and customary. You then send that check to the broker of your choice and they put it into your IRA. They do this so they can send the check to your real address already known to them, to reduce fraud. It is not something to worry about.

People have given both Fidelity and Schwab good reviews in terms of website and customer service. They often have offices in the same vicinity if you want to talk to a person. I'd recommend being cautious about getting involved with either company to actually manage your money.

I think Fidelity has a better lineup of index mutual funds. Schwab seems to have a good choice of ETFs and Ok choices for mutual funds. If you prefer index mutual funds to ETFs, Fidelity might be a slightly better choice.

drk
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Re: Schwab vs fidelity

Post by drk » Sat Jan 20, 2018 6:02 pm

Retire66 wrote:
Sat Jan 20, 2018 5:06 pm
Hello all, I have an Ira at Schwab currently and a 401k at Fidelity. I want to move the 401k and convert it to an Ira but I am considering moving it to a Fidelity Ira rather than to Schwab. The 401k ( Fidelity )will not do an electronic transfer to Schwab, they will send me a check made out to the broker of my choice. Its a lot of money! I would like to consolidate funds...Is there a benefit of one broker over the other? Schwab has been okay, its just where my Ira is. What do you think? Thanks
Rollovers are pretty straightforward. You'll receive the check made out to Schwab FBO Retire66 and then send it along with Schwab's rollover document to the address that Schwab indicates. They'll receive it and drop it into your settlement fund, from which you'll be able to invest it as you see fit. You can check out Schwab's information on the topic.

As for Schwab vs. Fidelity as a brokerage, they're both known for excellent customer service and solid technological offerings. I like Schwab better because of its checking account, but I would give the edge to Fidelity when it comes to commission-free ETF lists (Schwab's proprietary ones are good and cheap but lack the liquidity of iShares). If your goal is consolidation, Schwab seems like the logical choice. On the other hand, you could open an IRA at Fidelity just to try it out before consolidating after you've landed on a favorite. Transferring an IRA is far less restrictive than a rollover and can typically be completed electronically and even in-kind via ACATS.

SlowMovingInvestor
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Re: Schwab vs fidelity

Post by SlowMovingInvestor » Sat Jan 20, 2018 6:04 pm

FBN2014 wrote:
Sat Jan 20, 2018 5:50 pm
I would consult a tax advisor who has expertise in these types of transfers. If you do it wrong it would be considered a taxable event causing you to pay the resulting income taxes and perhaps penalties. DO NOT rely on the advice of the customer service representative at Fidelity or Schwab without knowing that what they are telling you will not incur a tax liability.
I don't see that you need a tax advisor at all. I've done many such rollovers, even when I was very naive about investing and had absolutely no problem.

To the OP -- You can first rollover to a Fidelity IRA, and then do an IRA to IRA transfer, as a previous poster suggested. It's fairly simple. Both Fido and Schwab allow you to sell funds without transaction fees, so you can setup a proper asset allocation in either.

I prefer Fidelity to Schwab, but there is relatlve little difference between the two. In either case, if you have a moderately large 401k balance, see if you can get a bonus from the firm you transfer it to.
Last edited by SlowMovingInvestor on Sat Jan 20, 2018 6:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

SlowMovingInvestor
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Re: Schwab vs fidelity

Post by SlowMovingInvestor » Sat Jan 20, 2018 6:05 pm

retiredjg wrote:
Sat Jan 20, 2018 6:00 pm

I think Fidelity has a better lineup of index mutual funds. Schwab seems to have a good choice of ETFs and Ok choices for mutual funds. If you prefer index mutual funds to ETFs, Fidelity might be a slightly better choice.
Fido gives you commission free access to some very good low cost iShares ETFs, like ITOT, IXUS, and AGG (besides it's own ETFs). I think Fido's lineup is a little better than Schwab's overall.

billthecat
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Re: Schwab vs fidelity

Post by billthecat » Sat Jan 20, 2018 7:17 pm

SlowMovingInvestor wrote:
Sat Jan 20, 2018 6:04 pm

To the OP -- You can first rollover to a Fidelity IRA, and then do an IRA to IRA transfer, as a previous poster suggested. It's fairly simple. Both Fido and Schwab allow you to sell funds without transaction fees, so you can setup a proper asset allocation in either.
Just bear in mind that you are limited to one IRA-to-IRA rollover in any 12-month period. https://www.irs.gov/retirement-plans/ir ... -year-rule

So the OP can use his one time in 12 mos., but he may want to do a trustee to trustee transfer instead. And the way to do that is work with the receiving entity, like Schwab in his example. Have them pull the funds from Fidleity, instead of having Fidelity push it to Schwab. I think your note recognizes that (referring to rollover and transfer separately) but I just wanted to make that clear.

Or roll the 401k directly to the Schwab IRA. https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-tege/rollover_chart.pdf
Last edited by billthecat on Sat Jan 20, 2018 7:25 pm, edited 3 times in total.

bondsr4me
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Re: Schwab vs fidelity

Post by bondsr4me » Sat Jan 20, 2018 7:17 pm

They are both very good, so you can’t go wrong with either one.
I prefer Fidelity mainly because their bond commission rate is cheaper than CS.
Schwab has a minimum commission of $10/trade whereas Fidelity is $1/bond.
Either broker offers excellent customer service and web tools.

Don

bikechuck
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Re: Schwab vs fidelity

Post by bikechuck » Sat Jan 20, 2018 8:48 pm

billthecat wrote:
Sat Jan 20, 2018 7:17 pm
SlowMovingInvestor wrote:
Sat Jan 20, 2018 6:04 pm

To the OP -- You can first rollover to a Fidelity IRA, and then do an IRA to IRA transfer, as a previous poster suggested. It's fairly simple. Both Fido and Schwab allow you to sell funds without transaction fees, so you can setup a proper asset allocation in either.
Just bear in mind that you are limited to one IRA-to-IRA rollover in any 12-month period. https://www.irs.gov/retirement-plans/ir ... -year-rule

So the OP can use his one time in 12 mos., but he may want to do a trustee to trustee transfer instead. And the way to do that is work with the receiving entity, like Schwab in his example. Have them pull the funds from Fidleity, instead of having Fidelity push it to Schwab. I think your note recognizes that (referring to rollover and transfer separately) but I just wanted to make that clear.

Or roll the 401k directly to the Schwab IRA. https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-tege/rollover_chart.pdf
I thought that you could also do a trustee to trustee transfer by working with the investment firm where you are closing out your funds and having them send a check to the receiving agency on your behalf. Unless I am mistaken it is considered a trustee to trustee transfer as long as you never receive and cash or temporarily deposit the funds.

Perhaps I am mistaken, but I don't think so.

gostars
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Re: Schwab vs fidelity

Post by gostars » Sat Jan 20, 2018 9:19 pm

Fidelity has a wider range of good no-load/NTF mutual funds available, but has a $10000 minimum investment to get Premium funds with the lower ERs. Schwab has fewer funds but no minimum investment. Both have a range of good commission-free ETFs available, with Fidelity probably having a slight edge. Schwab will give you cash for transferring over money, and possibly free trades depending on the amount. Fidelity also gives free trades, but no cash. Free trades are of limited use for most BH investors, generally being limited to Vanguard ETFs that don't have good commission-free equivalents at Schwab or Fidelity, like VBR (small-cap value) and VNQI (international real estate), or in the case of Schwab, a total international ETF like VXUS or IXUS.

One other consideration is what kind of funds you have available in the 401k and what kind of fees you're paying (if any). If you're not paying any fees and have access to institutional-class index funds it might be worth staying there. Schwab will let you link external accounts so you can easily monitor everything in one place.

seawolf21
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Re: Schwab vs fidelity

Post by seawolf21 » Sat Jan 20, 2018 9:26 pm

bikechuck wrote:
Sat Jan 20, 2018 8:48 pm
billthecat wrote:
Sat Jan 20, 2018 7:17 pm
SlowMovingInvestor wrote:
Sat Jan 20, 2018 6:04 pm

To the OP -- You can first rollover to a Fidelity IRA, and then do an IRA to IRA transfer, as a previous poster suggested. It's fairly simple. Both Fido and Schwab allow you to sell funds without transaction fees, so you can setup a proper asset allocation in either.
Just bear in mind that you are limited to one IRA-to-IRA rollover in any 12-month period. https://www.irs.gov/retirement-plans/ir ... -year-rule

So the OP can use his one time in 12 mos., but he may want to do a trustee to trustee transfer instead. And the way to do that is work with the receiving entity, like Schwab in his example. Have them pull the funds from Fidleity, instead of having Fidelity push it to Schwab. I think your note recognizes that (referring to rollover and transfer separately) but I just wanted to make that clear.

Or roll the 401k directly to the Schwab IRA. https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-tege/rollover_chart.pdf
I thought that you could also do a trustee to trustee transfer by working with the investment firm where you are closing out your funds and having them send a check to the receiving agency on your behalf. Unless I am mistaken it is considered a trustee to trustee transfer as long as you never receive and cash or temporarily deposit the funds.

Perhaps I am mistaken, but I don't think so.
You understanding is correct.

kaneohe
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Re: Schwab vs fidelity

Post by kaneohe » Sat Jan 20, 2018 10:01 pm

seawolf21 wrote:
Sat Jan 20, 2018 9:26 pm
bikechuck wrote:
Sat Jan 20, 2018 8:48 pm
billthecat wrote:
Sat Jan 20, 2018 7:17 pm
SlowMovingInvestor wrote:
Sat Jan 20, 2018 6:04 pm

To the OP -- You can first rollover to a Fidelity IRA, and then do an IRA to IRA transfer, as a previous poster suggested. It's fairly simple. Both Fido and Schwab allow you to sell funds without transaction fees, so you can setup a proper asset allocation in either.
Just bear in mind that you are limited to one IRA-to-IRA rollover in any 12-month period. https://www.irs.gov/retirement-plans/ir ... -year-rule

So the OP can use his one time in 12 mos., but he may want to do a trustee to trustee transfer instead. And the way to do that is work with the receiving entity, like Schwab in his example. Have them pull the funds from Fidleity, instead of having Fidelity push it to Schwab. I think your note recognizes that (referring to rollover and transfer separately) but I just wanted to make that clear.

Or roll the 401k directly to the Schwab IRA. https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-tege/rollover_chart.pdf
I thought that you could also do a trustee to trustee transfer by working with the investment firm where you are closing out your funds and having them send a check to the receiving agency on your behalf. Unless I am mistaken it is considered a trustee to trustee transfer as long as you never receive and cash or temporarily deposit the funds.

Perhaps I am mistaken, but I don't think so.
You understanding is correct.
I don't know what the reality is but I have read a number of posts here and elsewhere where some folks have trouble doing this. Kinda makes sense........if you have 2 institutions involved where one is losing the account and the other is gaining it, who has the most incentive to get the transaction done quickly?

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AAA
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Re: Schwab vs fidelity

Post by AAA » Sat Jan 20, 2018 10:16 pm

I've done partial rollovers of my 401K from Merrill Lynch to two different brokerages. Once the brokerage accounts were set up, ML mailed a check directly to the brokerage, not me. I think this is fairly normal and it was hassle free. Actually, when I withdrew both before tax and after tax money, there were two checks, one to go into a traditional IRA and the other to go into a Roth IRA.

SlowMovingInvestor
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Re: Schwab vs fidelity

Post by SlowMovingInvestor » Sat Jan 20, 2018 10:25 pm

One negative about going Fidelity 401k to Schwab IRA is that you might be out of the market for 2-3 weeks. You may find it annoying if the market goes up 3% in that time period. Of course, if the market goes down, you can commend yourself on your smartness at being out of the market at just the right time :)

I actually think it'd be quicker to rollover from Fido 401k to Fido IRA, and then transfer the IRA from Fido to Schwab via ACATS. The only time you might be out of the market is if some fund has to be liquidated or converted in going from 401k to IRA.

Retire66
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Re: Schwab vs fidelity

Post by Retire66 » Sat Jan 20, 2018 11:28 pm

Wow, thanks so much for all of your comments. I'm leaning towards transferring the 401k to an Ira at Fidelity. If I like what they offer better I'll consolidate. I'd rather not liquidate and be out of the market if I don't have to. Think I'll call the local Fidelity office and see what they can do. I do understand the tax implications so not to worry. Thanks again for the input.😊

Eagle33
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Re: Schwab vs fidelity

Post by Eagle33 » Sun Jan 21, 2018 12:20 am

My in-service 401k rollover to tIRA was trustee to trustee (ML to VG) via check. 2 common amount was out of the market 5 days. I worked with a VG transfer specialist rep to insure a smooth transaction. In fact the specialist did a conference call with me & ML to set it up.

seawolf21
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Re: Schwab vs fidelity

Post by seawolf21 » Sun Jan 21, 2018 1:25 pm

kaneohe wrote:
Sat Jan 20, 2018 10:01 pm
seawolf21 wrote:
Sat Jan 20, 2018 9:26 pm
bikechuck wrote:
Sat Jan 20, 2018 8:48 pm
billthecat wrote:
Sat Jan 20, 2018 7:17 pm
SlowMovingInvestor wrote:
Sat Jan 20, 2018 6:04 pm

To the OP -- You can first rollover to a Fidelity IRA, and then do an IRA to IRA transfer, as a previous poster suggested. It's fairly simple. Both Fido and Schwab allow you to sell funds without transaction fees, so you can setup a proper asset allocation in either.
Just bear in mind that you are limited to one IRA-to-IRA rollover in any 12-month period. https://www.irs.gov/retirement-plans/ir ... -year-rule

So the OP can use his one time in 12 mos., but he may want to do a trustee to trustee transfer instead. And the way to do that is work with the receiving entity, like Schwab in his example. Have them pull the funds from Fidleity, instead of having Fidelity push it to Schwab. I think your note recognizes that (referring to rollover and transfer separately) but I just wanted to make that clear.

Or roll the 401k directly to the Schwab IRA. https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-tege/rollover_chart.pdf
I thought that you could also do a trustee to trustee transfer by working with the investment firm where you are closing out your funds and having them send a check to the receiving agency on your behalf. Unless I am mistaken it is considered a trustee to trustee transfer as long as you never receive and cash or temporarily deposit the funds.

Perhaps I am mistaken, but I don't think so.
You understanding is correct.
I don't know what the reality is but I have read a number of posts here and elsewhere where some folks have trouble doing this. Kinda makes sense........if you have 2 institutions involved where one is losing the account and the other is gaining it, who has the most incentive to get the transaction done quickly?
For most rollovers, the amount being rolled out is a rounding error for Fidelity and Schwab.

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oldcomputerguy
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Re: Schwab vs fidelity

Post by oldcomputerguy » Sun Jan 21, 2018 1:39 pm

Moving a Fidelity 401k to a Fidelity IRA is silly simple. I did that about a year ago. Just call Fidelity and tell them what you want. They'll handle it. And unless you're in some Institutional-class funds in your 401k, they should be able to transfer in-kind, you will likely not be out of the market. (My 401k had an investment in FXSIX S&P500 Institutional, they "demoted" it to FUSVX Premium class, but it was never out of the market. My holdings in FSEVX, FTIPX and FSITX all transferred directly over.)

Sorry, no experience with Schwab (other than DW's 401k, but that's a whole 'nuther platform), so I can't advise there.
It’s taken me a lot of years, but I’ve come around to this: If you’re dumb, surround yourself with smart people. And if you’re smart, surround yourself with smart people who disagree with you.

euroswiss
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Re: Schwab vs fidelity

Post by euroswiss » Sun Jan 21, 2018 5:40 pm

While you are at it, check with both, Schwab and Fido if they have any incentive offers running. Amounts vary depending on company and size of account rolled over, and time of the year, but it can be thousands of dollars of "free cash". Definitely worth checking

drk
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Re: Schwab vs fidelity

Post by drk » Sun Jan 21, 2018 5:54 pm

euroswiss wrote:
Sun Jan 21, 2018 5:40 pm
While you are at it, check with both, Schwab and Fido if they have any incentive offers running. Amounts vary depending on company and size of account rolled over, and time of the year, but it can be thousands of dollars of "free cash". Definitely worth checking
Good call. Schwab has one ongoing right now.

Retire66
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Re: Schwab vs fidelity

Post by Retire66 » Sun Jan 21, 2018 6:34 pm

Great! All good things to ponder. Thanks again for the input!

billthecat
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Re: Schwab vs fidelity

Post by billthecat » Sun Jan 21, 2018 6:46 pm

seawolf21 wrote:
Sat Jan 20, 2018 9:26 pm
bikechuck wrote:
Sat Jan 20, 2018 8:48 pm
billthecat wrote:
Sat Jan 20, 2018 7:17 pm
SlowMovingInvestor wrote:
Sat Jan 20, 2018 6:04 pm

To the OP -- You can first rollover to a Fidelity IRA, and then do an IRA to IRA transfer, as a previous poster suggested. It's fairly simple. Both Fido and Schwab allow you to sell funds without transaction fees, so you can setup a proper asset allocation in either.
Just bear in mind that you are limited to one IRA-to-IRA rollover in any 12-month period. https://www.irs.gov/retirement-plans/ir ... -year-rule

So the OP can use his one time in 12 mos., but he may want to do a trustee to trustee transfer instead. And the way to do that is work with the receiving entity, like Schwab in his example. Have them pull the funds from Fidleity, instead of having Fidelity push it to Schwab. I think your note recognizes that (referring to rollover and transfer separately) but I just wanted to make that clear.

Or roll the 401k directly to the Schwab IRA. https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-tege/rollover_chart.pdf
I thought that you could also do a trustee to trustee transfer by working with the investment firm where you are closing out your funds and having them send a check to the receiving agency on your behalf. Unless I am mistaken it is considered a trustee to trustee transfer as long as you never receive and cash or temporarily deposit the funds.

Perhaps I am mistaken, but I don't think so.
You understanding is correct.
I did that with Schwab sending a check to Vanguard, and it was Schwab that warned me that I could only do it once every 12 mos. I never saw the check. It went straight into my Vanguard IRA.

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samsoes
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Re: Schwab vs fidelity

Post by samsoes » Sun Jan 21, 2018 7:51 pm

billthecat wrote:
Sun Jan 21, 2018 6:46 pm
seawolf21 wrote:
Sat Jan 20, 2018 9:26 pm
bikechuck wrote:
Sat Jan 20, 2018 8:48 pm
billthecat wrote:
Sat Jan 20, 2018 7:17 pm
SlowMovingInvestor wrote:
Sat Jan 20, 2018 6:04 pm

To the OP -- You can first rollover to a Fidelity IRA, and then do an IRA to IRA transfer, as a previous poster suggested. It's fairly simple. Both Fido and Schwab allow you to sell funds without transaction fees, so you can setup a proper asset allocation in either.
Just bear in mind that you are limited to one IRA-to-IRA rollover in any 12-month period. https://www.irs.gov/retirement-plans/ir ... -year-rule

So the OP can use his one time in 12 mos., but he may want to do a trustee to trustee transfer instead. And the way to do that is work with the receiving entity, like Schwab in his example. Have them pull the funds from Fidleity, instead of having Fidelity push it to Schwab. I think your note recognizes that (referring to rollover and transfer separately) but I just wanted to make that clear.

Or roll the 401k directly to the Schwab IRA. https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-tege/rollover_chart.pdf
I thought that you could also do a trustee to trustee transfer by working with the investment firm where you are closing out your funds and having them send a check to the receiving agency on your behalf. Unless I am mistaken it is considered a trustee to trustee transfer as long as you never receive and cash or temporarily deposit the funds.

Perhaps I am mistaken, but I don't think so.
You understanding is correct.
I did that with Schwab sending a check to Vanguard, and it was Schwab that warned me that I could only do it once every 12 mos. I never saw the check. It went straight into my Vanguard IRA.
That's incorrect. The once-every-every-12-month thing has to do if the check was made out to you and you cashed (or deposited) it. In such a case, you can roll the entire amount - including taxes withheld - into an IRA within 60 days without tax consequences. This you can do only once every rolling 12 months.

In the case of a direct trustee-to-trustee transfer, there is no such limitation. Also limitless are cases where you receive the check but it is made out to "Charles Schwab FBO Joe Retiree" - I did 2 of them over the course of a few months not very long ago.

The rep gave you bad information!

Disclaimer: I'm neither an accountant nor a tax attorney. Just a dude with some mileage.
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WoodSpinner
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Re: Schwab vs fidelity

Post by WoodSpinner » Sun Jan 21, 2018 8:38 pm

mouses wrote:
Sat Jan 20, 2018 5:53 pm
Can you move it to a Fidelity IRA and then have Schwab do a trustee to trustee transfer from that into an IRA at Schwab?
+100

Definitely do this for an 401k Rollover. Simplifies everything. Once it is in a Fidelity rollover IRA, it’s much easier to manage.

WoodSpinner

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Earl Lemongrab
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Re: Schwab vs fidelity

Post by Earl Lemongrab » Sun Jan 21, 2018 9:04 pm

I do a lot of account transfers because of bonus chasing. ACATS has really become very fast. We're generally talking 4-6 days transfer time once the form is filed. Fidelity doesn't charge transfer fees but there is a $50 IRA closing fee. A full-transfer might trigger that, although I know that a full transfer out of a taxable account does not close it.

I always like to get bonuses for moving any money, so I look for that.
This week's fortune cookie: "Your financial life will be secure and beneficial." So I got that going for me, which is nice.

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