Vanguard vs. Fidelity??

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MathIsMyWayr
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Re: Vanguard vs. Fidelity??

Post by MathIsMyWayr »

I have both. Employer-based accounts (401(k), ESPP, RSU, and stock options) are at Fidelity. Personal accounts (taxable and Roth IRA) at Vanguard. I chose Vanguard through the influence of the BH forum and the Jack Bogle's philosophy. Hope Vanguard will keep Jack Bogle's lofty idea which we all benefit from. Fidelity local offices are convenient when I need face-to-face occasions. I will keep both.
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Re: Vanguard vs. Fidelity??

Post by BUBear29 »

Vulcan wrote: Tue Aug 20, 2019 12:13 pm
Doug007 wrote: Mon Aug 19, 2019 9:26 pm I am about to deposit a significant sum into either Vanguard or Fidelity. I am FIRE and like to keep my finances as simple as possible, while also maximizing return, minimizing expenses. I plan to use a 2 fund portfolio probably around 85/15 (85 being S+P or total market/ 15 for bonds+cash). I won't be doing any trades, so the brokerage aspect is not at all important to me. Nor am I interested in any actively managed funds. I really am just looking to park it and draw down on it as needed to live.
I currently have a smaller size account at Vanguard, but have not been particularly impressed with anything there really and I have heard good things about Fidelity.
Can you offer a compelling reason to use one vs. the other?
By the way this is for taxable investments.
Thanks.
Vanguard has VTWAX.
Fidelty has nothing of the sort.
Untrue.

FWWFX or URTH
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Vulcan
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Re: Vanguard vs. Fidelity??

Post by Vulcan »

BUBear29 wrote: Tue Aug 20, 2019 10:23 pm Untrue.

FWWFX or URTH
FWWFX is an active fund with .94% ER. It holds 265 stocks.
URTH is developed markets large cap, holds 1,223 stocks, and is still more than twice as expensive as VTWAX.

They simply are not in the same category with VTWAX, which holds over 8,000 stocks.
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BUBear29
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Re: Vanguard vs. Fidelity??

Post by BUBear29 »

Vulcan wrote: Wed Aug 21, 2019 5:35 am
BUBear29 wrote: Tue Aug 20, 2019 10:23 pm Untrue.

FWWFX or URTH
FWWFX is an active fund with .94% ER. It holds 265 stocks.
URTH is developed markets large cap, holds 1,223 stocks, and is still more than twice as expensive as VTWAX.

They simply are not in the same category with VTWAX, which holds over 8,000 stocks.
I see your point but to say that Fidelity has “nothing of the sort” is a bit disingenuous. However based on the two fund criteria, I agree that VTWAX (or VT) is the better option.
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Vulcan
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Re: Vanguard vs. Fidelity??

Post by Vulcan »

BUBear29 wrote: Wed Aug 21, 2019 8:19 am
Vulcan wrote: Wed Aug 21, 2019 5:35 am FWWFX is an active fund with .94% ER. It holds 265 stocks.
URTH is developed markets large cap, holds 1,223 stocks, and is still more than twice as expensive as VTWAX.

They simply are not in the same category with VTWAX, which holds over 8,000 stocks.
I see your point but to say that Fidelity has “nothing of the sort” is a bit disingenuous. However based on the two fund criteria, I agree that VTWAX (or VT) is the better option.
I don't know what is so disingenuous about stating the fact that Fidelity doesn't have a total world stock index fund like VTWAX.

If someone wants to buy a fund that costs ten times as much and holds 3% of the stocks VTWAX does, that is certainly their right, but they can hardly insist that it is a VTWAX equivalent.
If you torture the data long enough, it will confess to anything. ~Ronald Coase
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Re: Vanguard vs. Fidelity??

Post by indexfundfan »

Doug007 wrote: Mon Aug 19, 2019 9:26 pm I am about to deposit a significant sum into either Vanguard or Fidelity. I am FIRE and like to keep my finances as simple as possible, while also maximizing return, minimizing expenses. I plan to use a 2 fund portfolio probably around 85/15 (85 being S+P or total market/ 15 for bonds+cash). I won't be doing any trades, so the brokerage aspect is not at all important to me. Nor am I interested in any actively managed funds. I really am just looking to park it and draw down on it as needed to live.
I currently have a smaller size account at Vanguard, but have not been particularly impressed with anything there really and I have heard good things about Fidelity.
Can you offer a compelling reason to use one vs. the other?
By the way this is for taxable investments.
Thanks.
OP asked about 85% in S&P/Total market and 15% in bonds. VTWAX is not even the product he asked about.

My suggest to OP is if he wants to use Fidelity, he can use one of the commission-free ETFs, like IVV (S&P500) or ITOT (total market). At Vanguard, he can also use the above, or Vanguard's VOO or VTI, all commission-free.

I would rather not use the equity or bond mutual funds, at either Fidelity or Vanguard, because it makes changing brokers in future more complicated.

Vanguard has the edge on slightly better yielding money market funds.

Fidelity provides very convenient money management features which you cannot find at Vanguard. Fidelity also has local branches if that is important to you.
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anon_investor
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Re: Vanguard vs. Fidelity??

Post by anon_investor »

indexfundfan wrote: Wed Aug 21, 2019 10:07 am
Doug007 wrote: Mon Aug 19, 2019 9:26 pm I am about to deposit a significant sum into either Vanguard or Fidelity. I am FIRE and like to keep my finances as simple as possible, while also maximizing return, minimizing expenses. I plan to use a 2 fund portfolio probably around 85/15 (85 being S+P or total market/ 15 for bonds+cash). I won't be doing any trades, so the brokerage aspect is not at all important to me. Nor am I interested in any actively managed funds. I really am just looking to park it and draw down on it as needed to live.
I currently have a smaller size account at Vanguard, but have not been particularly impressed with anything there really and I have heard good things about Fidelity.
Can you offer a compelling reason to use one vs. the other?
By the way this is for taxable investments.
Thanks.
OP asked about 85% in S&P/Total market and 15% in bonds. VTWAX is not even the product he asked about.

My suggest to OP is if he wants to use Fidelity, he can use one of the commission-free ETFs, like IVV (S&P500) or ITOT (total market). At Vanguard, he can also use the above, or Vanguard's VOO or VTI, all commission-free.

I would rather not use the equity or bond mutual funds, at either Fidelity or Vanguard, because it makes changing brokers in future more complicated.

Vanguard has the edge on slightly better yielding money market funds.

Fidelity provides very convenient money management features which you cannot find at Vanguard. Fidelity also has local branches if that is important to you.
Using VFIAX or VTSAX at Vanguard is okay, because you can always do a tax free change to their ETF equivalents (VOO or VTI) before transferring to another brokerage.
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Re: Vanguard vs. Fidelity??

Post by cameljockey »

I've been with Fidelity for 15 years for brokerage accounts. For taxable, I have been doing research on this and am leaning towards Fidelity as a platform but purchasing Vanguard ETFs. Far from comprehensive on all pros and cons - here are my reasons for this:

1. Fidelity's customer service is very good, especially if you have a physical office near by. I have never walked into an office without either a resolution, or a plan for resolution. While the front desk person is not always knowledgable, they have a direct line to corp.

2. I have not used Vanguard's website, but many people say that it is lacking. They have an issue before as well where their website went down during a market correction. Fidelity's website and tools are very good.

3. Fidelity offers automatic t-bill rollover - Vanguard does not. For example if you want to purchase a 6 month treasure bills, with Vanguard after 6 months, it cashes out and moves to your default position. You then need to go back in and repurchase. With Fidelity, you can choose to automatically purchase again. This is good in cases where you are dollar cost averaging money into the market and want to park your cash in a safe but interest yielding investment.

<up to this point, I have given no reason to hold Vanguard - below is where it changes dramatically for a taxable account>

4. Fidelity's funds are mutual funds, which for a taxable account are not as efficient as ETFs (with the exception of Vanguard Mutual Funds, which are as tax-efficient as their ETFs).Yes, Fidelity offers free trades on iShares. But iShares have shown at least once before that once they have you in, they don't really look out for you. The case in point is that iShares dropped the expense ratio of one of their indext funds, but instead of dropping it within the fund itself, they created a new fund. So for a taxable account, this would mean you'd either have to i) sell your existing fund and pay cap gains or ii) stick with your existing fund and pay the higher expense ratio. Inversely, Vanguard has dropped expense ratios and does it within the fund itself - no action needed.

5. As good as Fidelity as been, I don't trust them to look out for my best interests. One key point for me is that they *might* at some point sell to a larger financial financial institution. For example, if they sold to Wells Fargo, you'd have to scrutinize everything to ensure you don't get screwed over. Another example is that one of my friends moved his retired parents money to Fidelity, and then did some trades. They were supposed to be given a few hundred free trades, but when he looked at their statement, they were charged for it. Apparently this "offer" wasn't automatic so now he is fighting with them to add it, or threaten to leave (brokerage account so not a hard move). Fidelity certainly feels at times like they are trying to make an extra buck off of you. Not as bad as a bank like Bank of America, but likely not as good as Vanguard.

Fidelity offers free trades for money brought in. So you could bring in most of your money, get the free trades which last 2 years I think, buy Vanguard ETFs, and then bring in more money in two years for more free trades. This is all a moot point if you are putting all the money in at once and not consistently putting money in. If Fidelity raises fees, or sells to a larger bank, you can transfer your Vanguard funds in kind to Vanguard, so you are not stuck between the decisions mentioned above. Also all moot points for brokerage accounts. It is worth noting one downside of ETFs is that you cannot auto-invest (with anyone), so if you are dollar cost averaging money in, you'd need to do it manually. For my case, this would be the key reason to go with Vanguard for taxable since I could do mutual funds with the same tax advantages of ETFs yet still be able to auto invest monthly.

On a related note, Fidelity charges $75 to purchase Vanguard Mutual Funds. From my understanding, ETFs are treated like stocks and are therefore $4.95, or part of the free allotment, hence the strategy above. Definitely check on this though before moving money over.

Also, try to get a signup bonus. They range from $1500-$4000, but there is a 'definitive' thread on this somewhere on Bogleheads. :)

So the way I am currently looking at it is like this - I want the customer service and platform of Fidelity and am fine with having my brokerage accounts with them since the tax efficiencies are not important and they are easy to move if Fidelity tries to pull a fast one or sells. But on my taxable account, I have more or less determined I want ETFs, and surely do not want to have to sell funds and realize cap gains if Fidelity or iShares does something I don't like. So the aforementioned approach is one you could consider as the best of both worlds.

Interested to hear others thoughts as well.
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Re: Vanguard vs. Fidelity??

Post by BUBear29 »

cameljockey wrote: Wed Aug 21, 2019 3:56 pm I've been with Fidelity for 15 years for brokerage accounts. For taxable, I have been doing research on this and am leaning towards Fidelity as a platform but purchasing Vanguard ETFs. Far from comprehensive on all pros and cons - here are my reasons for this:

1. Fidelity's customer service is very good, especially if you have a physical office near by. I have never walked into an office without either a resolution, or a plan for resolution. While the front desk person is not always knowledgable, they have a direct line to corp.

2. I have not used Vanguard's website, but many people say that it is lacking. They have an issue before as well where their website went down during a market correction. Fidelity's website and tools are very good.

3. Fidelity offers automatic t-bill rollover - Vanguard does not. For example if you want to purchase a 6 month treasure bills, with Vanguard after 6 months, it cashes out and moves to your default position. You then need to go back in and repurchase. With Fidelity, you can choose to automatically purchase again. This is good in cases where you are dollar cost averaging money into the market and want to park your cash in a safe but interest yielding investment.

<up to this point, I have given no reason to hold Vanguard - below is where it changes dramatically for a taxable account>

4. Fidelity's funds are mutual funds, which for a taxable account are not as efficient as ETFs (with the exception of Vanguard Mutual Funds, which are as tax-efficient as their ETFs).Yes, Fidelity offers free trades on iShares. But iShares have shown at least once before that once they have you in, they don't really look out for you. The case in point is that iShares dropped the expense ratio of one of their indext funds, but instead of dropping it within the fund itself, they created a new fund. So for a taxable account, this would mean you'd either have to i) sell your existing fund and pay cap gains or ii) stick with your existing fund and pay the higher expense ratio. Inversely, Vanguard has dropped expense ratios and does it within the fund itself - no action needed.

5. As good as Fidelity as been, I don't trust them to look out for my best interests. One key point for me is that they *might* at some point sell to a larger financial financial institution. For example, if they sold to Wells Fargo, you'd have to scrutinize everything to ensure you don't get screwed over. Another example is that one of my friends moved his retired parents money to Fidelity, and then did some trades. They were supposed to be given a few hundred free trades, but when he looked at their statement, they were charged for it. Apparently this "offer" wasn't automatic so now he is fighting with them to add it, or threaten to leave (brokerage account so not a hard move). Fidelity certainly feels at times like they are trying to make an extra buck off of you. Not as bad as a bank like Bank of America, but likely not as good as Vanguard.

Fidelity offers free trades for money brought in. So you could bring in most of your money, get the free trades which last 2 years I think, buy Vanguard ETFs, and then bring in more money in two years for more free trades. This is all a moot point if you are putting all the money in at once and not consistently putting money in. If Fidelity raises fees, or sells to a larger bank, you can transfer your Vanguard funds in kind to Vanguard, so you are not stuck between the decisions mentioned above. Also all moot points for brokerage accounts. It is worth noting one downside of ETFs is that you cannot auto-invest (with anyone), so if you are dollar cost averaging money in, you'd need to do it manually. For my case, this would be the key reason to go with Vanguard for taxable since I could do mutual funds with the same tax advantages of ETFs yet still be able to auto invest monthly.

On a related note, Fidelity charges $75 to purchase Vanguard Mutual Funds. From my understanding, ETFs are treated like stocks and are therefore $4.95, or part of the free allotment, hence the strategy above. Definitely check on this though before moving money over.

Also, try to get a signup bonus. They range from $1500-$4000, but there is a 'definitive' thread on this somewhere on Bogleheads. :)

So the way I am currently looking at it is like this - I want the customer service and platform of Fidelity and am fine with having my brokerage accounts with them since the tax efficiencies are not important and they are easy to move if Fidelity tries to pull a fast one or sells. But on my taxable account, I have more or less determined I want ETFs, and surely do not want to have to sell funds and realize cap gains if Fidelity or iShares does something I don't like. So the aforementioned approach is one you could consider as the best of both worlds.

Interested to hear others thoughts as well.
just moved everything to Fidelity and this is what i am doing. All retirement accounts are fidelity index fund (3 fund portfolio) and taxable account is Vanguard etf VTI.
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jmanter
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Re: Vanguard vs. Fidelity??

Post by jmanter »

Two thoughts and a question...

1. I use Fidelity for most of my accounts. I use exclusively iShares ETFs in my taxable account. I'm satisfied with that arrangement, but I slightly prefer holding mutual funds. At any given time, I have $0-50 sitting in a money market account because I don't have enough there to buy one of the ETFs in the account.

2 . I LOVE that I can connect my Fidelity Visa to my brokerage account. It's a way to mindlessly funnel 2% of card purchases to that account.

Question: Is there any speculation as to what will happen when Vanguard loses the patent on their mutual fund structure (2023?)? Will Fidelity and others re-structure their mutual funds to be as tax efficient as their ETFs? Maybe there's a common answer, but I haven't read anything on that topic.
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Re: Vanguard vs. Fidelity??

Post by tibbitts »

I might do both given FIRE. Someone relatively young shouldn't have a huge problem managing two accounts. However you would want to select investments such that they can be transferred without significant tax implications (no matter whether you choose one or two institutions to hold the funds.)
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Re: Vanguard vs. Fidelity??

Post by UpperNwGuy »

jmanter wrote: Wed Aug 21, 2019 5:44 pm Question: Is there any speculation as to what will happen when Vanguard loses the patent on their mutual fund structure (2023?)? Will Fidelity and others re-structure their mutual funds to be as tax efficient as their ETFs? Maybe there's a common answer, but I haven't read anything on that topic.
I have often wondered that, too. If Fidelity were to set up new Vanguard-style funds after Vanguard's patent expires, what would that do to their current business arrangement with BlackRock to sell iShares ETFs? And what if BlackRock were to set up new Vanguard-style funds?

Schwab, has both in-house mutual funds and similar in-house ETFs, so they might have an easier time than Fidelity at implementing Vanguard-style funds.
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Doug007
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Re: Vanguard vs. Fidelity??

Post by Doug007 »

OP here...Yesterday I went into Fidelity and opened up a brokerage account. I haven't funded it yet as I am still working out the best strategy here... If my aim is to hold the S+P 500 (or total market) in a taxable account would the obvious choice be to buy the Fidelity Zero Large Cap -FNILX (which mirrors the S+P). It is their ETF and as the name implies has zero ER, zero commissions to buy/ sell? Seems like the way to go, but I see some people are suggesting buying Vanguard's ETF VOO through Fidelity. What is the advantage of buying the Vanguard ETF which has some fees associated with it? Related question- given that this is a taxable account, if I wanted to change brokerages down the line would I be forced to sell my position in the FNILX fund and incur the capital gains in order to move to a comparable fund elsewhere?
drzzzzz
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Re: Vanguard vs. Fidelity??

Post by drzzzzz »

I wouldn't pay fees at Fidelity for Vanguard funds or ETF, consider IVV or ITOT (both commission free at Fidelity) or use their no cost mutual funds.
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Re: Vanguard vs. Fidelity??

Post by mervinj7 »

Doug007 wrote: Thu Aug 22, 2019 12:05 pm OP here...Yesterday I went into Fidelity and opened up a brokerage account. I haven't funded it yet as I am still working out the best strategy here... If my aim is to hold the S+P 500 (or total market) in a taxable account would the obvious choice be to buy the Fidelity Zero Large Cap -FNILX (which mirrors the S+P). It is their ETF and as the name implies has zero ER, zero commissions to buy/ sell? Seems like the way to go, but I see some people are suggesting buying Vanguard's ETF VOO through Fidelity. What is the advantage of buying the Vanguard ETF which has some fees associated with it? Related question- given that this is a taxable account, if I wanted to change brokerages down the line would I be forced to sell my position in the FNILX fund and incur the capital gains in order to move to a comparable fund elsewhere?
Check out the wiki: https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Fidelity

For taxable holding of U.S. Total Market, I would suggest ITOT over VOO since ITOT is commission-free. I don't who is suggesting that you buy VOO in a Fidelity brokerage account. There's no obvious reason.
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Re: Vanguard vs. Fidelity??

Post by indexfundfan »

Doug007 wrote: Thu Aug 22, 2019 12:05 pmRelated question- given that this is a taxable account, if I wanted to change brokerages down the line would I be forced to sell my position in the FNILX fund and incur the capital gains in order to move to a comparable fund elsewhere?
Yes, this is exactly why people are suggesting to buy an ETF like VOO or IVV.

FNILX is a Fidelity mutual fund (not ETF). This particular mutual fund is only available at Fidelity, and as far as I know, it cannot be transferred out.

At Fidelity, for the S&P500 index, you can buy VOO for a $5 fee per trade or IVV commission-free. These ETFs can be easily transferred to another broker in future if you want to, without having to liquidate and pay capital gains taxes.
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dardeninvestor
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Re: Vanguard vs. Fidelity??

Post by dardeninvestor »

If at Fidelity: IVV.

If at Vanguard: IVV or VOO.

If at Schwab: SCHX (they do not have a true commission free ETF for S&P 500).
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Re: Vanguard vs. Fidelity??

Post by BUBear29 »

mervinj7 wrote: Thu Aug 22, 2019 12:13 pm
Doug007 wrote: Thu Aug 22, 2019 12:05 pm OP here...Yesterday I went into Fidelity and opened up a brokerage account. I haven't funded it yet as I am still working out the best strategy here... If my aim is to hold the S+P 500 (or total market) in a taxable account would the obvious choice be to buy the Fidelity Zero Large Cap -FNILX (which mirrors the S+P). It is their ETF and as the name implies has zero ER, zero commissions to buy/ sell? Seems like the way to go, but I see some people are suggesting buying Vanguard's ETF VOO through Fidelity. What is the advantage of buying the Vanguard ETF which has some fees associated with it? Related question- given that this is a taxable account, if I wanted to change brokerages down the line would I be forced to sell my position in the FNILX fund and incur the capital gains in order to move to a comparable fund elsewhere?
Check out the wiki: https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Fidelity

For taxable holding of U.S. Total Market, I would suggest ITOT over VOO since ITOT is commission-free. I don't who is suggesting that you buy VOO in a Fidelity brokerage account. There's no obvious reason.
Or if you want Vanguard etf VTI
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Doug007
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Re: Vanguard vs. Fidelity??

Post by Doug007 »

Gotcha. So it sounds like even though the Fidelity Zero Large Cap 500 (FNILX) mutual fund has an expense ratio of 0.0 and free trades in/ out it would be better to hold the equivalent ETF with an expense ratio of 0.4 and relatively small fees to trade just for the purpose of the ability to transfer the account to another brokerage in the future if I wanted to. Right?
But let's say I am holding $4M in this fund- by my calculations this results in a $12k/ year cost, which is not insignificant. Am I missing something?...
mervinj7
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Re: Vanguard vs. Fidelity??

Post by mervinj7 »

Doug007 wrote: Thu Aug 22, 2019 3:54 pm Gotcha. So it sounds like even though the Fidelity Zero Large Cap 500 (FNILX) mutual fund has an expense ratio of 0.0 and free trades in/ out it would be better to hold the equivalent ETF with an expense ratio of 0.4 and relatively small fees to trade just for the purpose of the ability to transfer the account to another brokerage in the future if I wanted to. Right?
But let's say I am holding $4M in this fund- by my calculations this results in a $12k/ year cost, which is not insignificant. Am I missing something?...
Yes, you got the ER wrong. ITOT has an ER of 0.03% or on a $4M holding, $1.2k/year.

https://www.ishares.com/us/products/239 ... market-etf
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Re: Vanguard vs. Fidelity??

Post by Big Dog »

nguy44 wrote: Mon Aug 19, 2019 9:53 pm I have both, and I am happy with both. Fideliey was driven via my employer, I chose Vanguard for more/cheaper fund options at the time (Fidelity has come down in fees since then). My investments are simple, so both work for me.
Same here. Don't care about retail offices or a Cash Management account or even trading. The bulk of my assets (2/3rds) are with Vanguard. Just my 401k/IRA from former employer at Fido (1/3rd).

Fido calls once a year to see if i need any help, and after i say, no thank you, they are courteous and hang up promptly.

As an aside, I find Vanguard's website easier, but that is prolly just my familiarity with it. No doubt that Fidelity answers the phones faster. :)
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Re: Vanguard vs. Fidelity??

Post by Jazzysoon »

I have both, but have always found Fidelity transfers money much faster. Today was even faster, requested transfer this afternoon (thinking I'd see it early next week), already hit my bank tonight!! Points to Fidelity!
Serenity Now
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Re: Vanguard vs. Fidelity??

Post by Serenity Now »

I was a die-hard vanguard fan until I realized Fidelity index funds ER either matched or better than vanguard now. In addition, 24/7 customer support for Fidelity as opposed to Mon - Fri 8AM-8PM EST nonsense Vanguard has..
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