Fidelity competing harder w/Vanguard

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DaftInvestor
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Re: Fidelity competing harder w/Vanguard

Post by DaftInvestor » Mon Aug 29, 2016 2:05 pm

Schwab makes the same type of comparisons:
http://www.schwab.com/public/schwab/inv ... index_etfs

retiredjg
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Re: Fidelity competing harder w/Vanguard

Post by retiredjg » Mon Aug 29, 2016 2:23 pm

unius_legionis wrote:
retiredjg wrote:
unius_legionis wrote:Is Fidelity's portfolio rebalance tool available for these funds?
Which funds?
The ones quoted in the link provided by the OP but specifically these:

Fidelity® Total Market Index Premium ( FSTVX )

Fidelity® Total Intl Index Premium ( FTIPX )

Fidelity® US Bond Index Premium ( FSITX )
Oh. I don't use Fidelity and am not familiar with their portfolio rebalance tool. But I can't imagine their tool won't work for their funds.

I thought you might be asking about the funds in the posts directly above yours (target funds). That wasn't making a lot of sense, so I thought I'd ask.

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Re: Fidelity competing harder w/Vanguard

Post by ruralavalon » Mon Aug 29, 2016 2:59 pm

DaftInvestor wrote:Schwab makes the same type of comparisons:
http://www.schwab.com/public/schwab/inv ... index_etfs
Schwab still does not offer a competing intermediate-term bond index fund or ETF.
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Re: Fidelity competing harder w/Vanguard

Post by retiredjg » Mon Aug 29, 2016 3:15 pm

I think they do offer an ETF.

http://www.schwab.com/public/schwab/inv ... bol%3DSCHZ

Unless I'm missing something. Took me years to realize their total bond fund was not an index fund….

informal guide
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Re: Fidelity competing harder w/Vanguard

Post by informal guide » Mon Aug 29, 2016 4:03 pm

One other difference in Fidelity vs. Vanguard comparisons, for taxable investors in broad index funds. At least to date, Vanguard has not paid capital gains distributions, but Fidelity has -- for example just over $.423 (on a unit value averaging about $58 per share) on FSTVX (Total Market Index - Premium Class) in the last 12 months.

Although small, these real tax costs certainly outweigh the slight expense ratio advantage. For high income investors, the $0.106 tax costs (assuming 25% capital gains tax rate at Federal and state level) of taxable capital gains equate to around 2 basis points.

This difference is not relevant for IRA or 401k investors.

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Re: Fidelity competing harder w/Vanguard

Post by FinancialDave » Mon Aug 29, 2016 7:20 pm

SavageAmusement wrote:Fidelity and Vanguard are both great companies. It's hard to go wrong with either one of them. Any difference between the two will be dwarfed by your personal asset allocation decisions.
This is generally true but you just have to have a little narrower focus when using Fidelity because their costs are a little higher around the rest of their portfolio. I am glad to see they finally reduced their extremely ridiculous $75 transaction cost to trade no-load non-fidelity mutual funds to an only slightly ridiculous $50, which I think is still probably double the cost I could buy a non-Vanguard Mutual fund from my Vanguard account.

baby steps, baby steps.

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Re: Fidelity competing harder w/Vanguard

Post by Doc » Mon Aug 29, 2016 7:28 pm

FinancialDave wrote:...which I think is still probably double the cost I could buy a non-Vanguard Mutual fund from my Vanguard account.

I think Vg charges on buy & sell but Fido only on the buy.
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Re: Fidelity competing harder w/Vanguard

Post by Angst » Mon Aug 29, 2016 11:53 pm

Good for Fidelity, and good for the industry. But as far as my Vanguard VTI holdings go... this new ER is pretty much a yawn. I suggest one forget the minuscule difference in ER's and consider the bottom line, i.e. the funds' performance:

Image

Fidelity's ER could be 0.00% and it still looks like Vanguard would beat its performance.

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Re: Fidelity competing harder w/Vanguard

Post by FinancialDave » Tue Aug 30, 2016 12:46 am

Doc wrote:
FinancialDave wrote:...which I think is still probably double the cost I could buy a non-Vanguard Mutual fund from my Vanguard account.

I think Vg charges on buy & sell but Fido only on the buy.
Fidelity wins the fee game (in a negative way) since the $50 front end transaction cost compounds against you for the whole investment period, while the Vanguard fee is only $20 (at least for me) on the front end. If you held the fund for 20 years that $30 differential compounds to $200 after 20 years (10% growth rate), so when you compare that to the back end $20 transaction charge it dwarfs the Vanguard fees 10 to 1 over the 20 year period.

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Re: Fidelity competing harder w/Vanguard

Post by Kevin M » Tue Aug 30, 2016 1:06 am

White Coat Investor wrote:
akpk wrote:
Spirit Rider wrote: You do not need to use Vanguard to be a Boglehead.
very well said :sharebeer
The problem with this argument is that if Vanguard had never existed, you wouldn't be able to be a Boglehead at Fidelity. Fidelity's low cost index funds are a direct result of their need to compete with Vanguard. No Vanguard= No Need to have low cost index funds.

So whether you do your Bogleheading at Vanguard, Fidelity, Schwab, or iShares, you have Jack Bogle and Vanguard to thank for the ability to do it.
This, +1000.

John Bogle and Vanguard led the way. The others follow out of necessity to compete, and continue to staff fancy local offices, and perhaps offer better service in some respects, all funded by the higher average cost of their products.

I have accounts at Fidelity, and used to have accounts at Schwab, but generally prefer Vanguard for the broader range of low-cost funds. Last time I checked, Fidelity still didn't have a fund that was competitive with something like Vanguard's Intermediate-Term Investment-Grade bond fund (as well as others I could name).

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Re: Fidelity competing harder w/Vanguard

Post by retiredjg » Tue Aug 30, 2016 7:45 am

Angst wrote:
Image
What's going on with the 1 year 500 index number? :shock:

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Re: Fidelity competing harder w/Vanguard

Post by mongstradamus » Tue Aug 30, 2016 10:05 am

retiredjg wrote:
Angst wrote:
Image
What's going on with the 1 year 500 index number? :shock:
I think small caps are still negative on 1 year perfomance, hence the lower number for total market returns?

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Re: Fidelity competing harder w/Vanguard

Post by TOJ » Tue Aug 30, 2016 10:20 am

FinancialDave wrote:
Doc wrote:
FinancialDave wrote:...which I think is still probably double the cost I could buy a non-Vanguard Mutual fund from my Vanguard account.

I think Vg charges on buy & sell but Fido only on the buy.
Fidelity wins the fee game (in a negative way) since the $50 front end transaction cost compounds against you for the whole investment period, while the Vanguard fee is only $20 (at least for me) on the front end. If you held the fund for 20 years that $30 differential compounds to $200 after 20 years (10% growth rate), so when you compare that to the back end $20 transaction charge it dwarfs the Vanguard fees 10 to 1 over the 20 year period.

Dave
Why would you be buying non-Fidelity funds at Fidelity or non-Vanguard funds at Vanguard? They could charge $1,000,000 for such a transaction; irrelevant fee is irrelevant.

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Re: Fidelity competing harder w/Vanguard

Post by ruralavalon » Tue Aug 30, 2016 10:32 am

Angst wrote:Good for Fidelity, and good for the industry. But as far as my Vanguard VTI holdings go... this new ER is pretty much a yawn. I suggest one forget the minuscule difference in ER's and consider the bottom line, i.e. the funds' performance:

Image

Fidelity's ER could be 0.00% and it still looks like Vanguard would beat its performance.
Excellent point, the microscopic difference in expense ratio (0.005%) is outweighed by better performance at Vanguard.

The microscopic difference in expense ratio is for marketing purposes at Fidelity.
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Re: Fidelity competing harder w/Vanguard

Post by backpacker » Tue Aug 30, 2016 10:57 am

ruralavalon wrote:
Angst wrote:Good for Fidelity, and good for the industry. But as far as my Vanguard VTI holdings go... this new ER is pretty much a yawn. I suggest one forget the minuscule difference in ER's and consider the bottom line, i.e. the funds' performance:

Image

Fidelity's ER could be 0.00% and it still looks like Vanguard would beat its performance.
Excellent point, the microscopic difference in expense ratio (0.005%) is outweighed by better performance at Vanguard.

The microscopic difference in expense ratio is for marketing purposes at Fidelity.
I still want to know why the Vanguard index funds are performing better. Better trading? Lower historic fees? Fidelity has some weird hidden way of pumping money out of its index funds? I've read over both annual reports and haven't found anything.

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Re: Fidelity competing harder w/Vanguard

Post by William4u » Tue Aug 30, 2016 11:02 am

backpacker wrote:
ruralavalon wrote:
Angst wrote:Good for Fidelity, and good for the industry. But as far as my Vanguard VTI holdings go... this new ER is pretty much a yawn. I suggest one forget the minuscule difference in ER's and consider the bottom line, i.e. the funds' performance:

Image

Fidelity's ER could be 0.00% and it still looks like Vanguard would beat its performance.
Excellent point, the microscopic difference in expense ratio (0.005%) is outweighed by better performance at Vanguard.

The microscopic difference in expense ratio is for marketing purposes at Fidelity.
I still want to know why the Vanguard index funds are performing better. Better trading? Lower historic fees? Fidelity has some weird hidden way of pumping money out of its index funds? I've read over both annual reports and haven't found anything. Yet.
They both use the same indexes (for a number of the funds). They both reinvest the securities lending (and Fidelity reinvests more). Fidelity has a lower ER (at least on some funds). And yet with all that Vanguard still consistently puts more money into their investors' pockets.

This is very puzzling. Everything I know about the funds would indicate that Fidelity should outperform Vanguard by a few basis points, but it is usually the other way around.

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Re: Fidelity competing harder w/Vanguard

Post by lemonPepper » Tue Aug 30, 2016 1:20 pm

honest question from somebody in the early accumulation phase: should I trust fidelity to not play games over my 50 year investing life? will they bait and switch on me?

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Re: Fidelity competing harder w/Vanguard

Post by Doc » Tue Aug 30, 2016 1:24 pm

lemonPepper wrote:honest question from somebody in the early accumulation phase: should I trust fidelity to not play games over my 50 year investing life? will they bait and switch on me?
You are investing in the market. Fidelity is part of the market. If you don't belive in Fidelity you shouldn't belive in the market and shouldn't be investing in the market at all. Just buy US Treasuries and then rely on the politicians and the Fed instead?
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Re: Fidelity competing harder w/Vanguard

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Tue Aug 30, 2016 1:33 pm

lemonPepper wrote:honest question from somebody in the early accumulation phase: should I trust fidelity to not play games over my 50 year investing life? will they bait and switch on me?
They won't "anything" you if you use them as simply a house to store, buy, sell and research investments of your choosing. I have been with Fidelity forever, Vanguard for about a year and just opened my first ever taxable account today at Schwab. I have received the "I'm your account manager, is there anything I can help you with?" call. No sales, no hard sell. They all do exactly the same thing in my book. I follow the lowest ER ...period.
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Re: Fidelity competing harder w/Vanguard

Post by lemonPepper » Tue Aug 30, 2016 6:18 pm

Doc wrote:
lemonPepper wrote:honest question from somebody in the early accumulation phase: should I trust fidelity to not play games over my 50 year investing life? will they bait and switch on me?
You are investing in the market. Fidelity is part of the market. If you don't belive in Fidelity you shouldn't belive in the market and shouldn't be investing in the market at all. Just buy US Treasuries and then rely on the politicians and the Fed instead?
well.. what I meant was for some reason I trust vanguard. I haven't' developed that trust with fidelity, even though they have lowER ER for some funds. My guess is they are doing this to get some money in and when they have enough, they will raise the expense ratio and many people won't notice it. It wouldn't be the first time a financial institution pulls a fast one on you..

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Re: Fidelity competing harder w/Vanguard

Post by SavageAmusement » Tue Aug 30, 2016 6:32 pm

lemonPepper wrote:
well.. what I meant was for some reason I trust vanguard. I haven't' developed that trust with fidelity, even though they have lowER ER for some funds. My guess is they are doing this to get some money in and when they have enough, they will raise the expense ratio and many people won't notice it. It wouldn't be the first time a financial institution pulls a fast one on you..
My 30 years of experience with Fidelity has shown them to be an honorable and trustworthy organization. Their customer service is second to none. Vanguard is also a great company. Some people like vanilla ice cream and some like chocolate. It all depends on your taste. You've got two terrific choices.

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Re: Fidelity competing harder w/Vanguard

Post by Doc » Tue Aug 30, 2016 6:36 pm

lemonPepper wrote:
Doc wrote:
lemonPepper wrote:honest question from somebody in the early accumulation phase: should I trust fidelity to not play games over my 50 year investing life? will they bait and switch on me?
You are investing in the market. Fidelity is part of the market. If you don't belive in Fidelity you shouldn't belive in the market and shouldn't be investing in the market at all. Just buy US Treasuries and then rely on the politicians and the Fed instead?
well.. what I meant was for some reason I trust vanguard. I haven't' developed that trust with fidelity, even though they have lowER ER for some funds. My guess is they are doing this to get some money in and when they have enough, they will raise the expense ratio and many people won't notice it. It wouldn't be the first time a financial institution pulls a fast one on you..
So you are not going to invest in any firm in the financial sector? :)

My local supermarket has lost leaders every week and they will be different next week. So I should stop shopping there and go to a store with stable prices but poor customer service?

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Re: Fidelity competing harder w/Vanguard

Post by NYCwriter » Tue Aug 30, 2016 6:39 pm

I have my Roth and core taxable portfolio at Vanguard, and a couple of etfs and some individual equities at Fidelity. I've found customer service at Fidelity to be a bit more responsive than Vanguard, and the web site offers more features, including the ability to aggregate all investments for analysis. But I'm not seeing any reason to switch over.

If I were starting now, I might choose Fidelity just to have everything in one place. I'm still perplexed that people have accounts at 3-4 different brokerages. By the time I retire, I want to have simplified things a bit!

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Re: Fidelity competing harder w/Vanguard

Post by FinancialDave » Tue Aug 30, 2016 6:50 pm

TOJ wrote:
FinancialDave wrote:
Doc wrote:
FinancialDave wrote:...which I think is still probably double the cost I could buy a non-Vanguard Mutual fund from my Vanguard account.

I think Vg charges on buy & sell but Fido only on the buy.
Fidelity wins the fee game (in a negative way) since the $50 front end transaction cost compounds against you for the whole investment period, while the Vanguard fee is only $20 (at least for me) on the front end. If you held the fund for 20 years that $30 differential compounds to $200 after 20 years (10% growth rate), so when you compare that to the back end $20 transaction charge it dwarfs the Vanguard fees 10 to 1 over the 20 year period.

Dave
Why would you be buying non-Fidelity funds at Fidelity or non-Vanguard funds at Vanguard? They could charge $1,000,000 for such a transaction; irrelevant fee is irrelevant.
Believe it or not, not everyone buys only index funds, and puts all their money into one fund company, but they may want to consolidate all their investments at one site such as Fidelity or Vanguard.

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Re: Fidelity competing harder w/Vanguard

Post by triceratop » Tue Aug 30, 2016 8:35 pm

Doc wrote:
lemonPepper wrote:
Doc wrote:
lemonPepper wrote:honest question from somebody in the early accumulation phase: should I trust fidelity to not play games over my 50 year investing life? will they bait and switch on me?
You are investing in the market. Fidelity is part of the market. If you don't belive in Fidelity you shouldn't belive in the market and shouldn't be investing in the market at all. Just buy US Treasuries and then rely on the politicians and the Fed instead?
well.. what I meant was for some reason I trust vanguard. I haven't' developed that trust with fidelity, even though they have lowER ER for some funds. My guess is they are doing this to get some money in and when they have enough, they will raise the expense ratio and many people won't notice it. It wouldn't be the first time a financial institution pulls a fast one on you..
So you are not going to invest in any firm in the financial sector? :)

My local supermarket has lost leaders every week and they will be different next week. So I should stop shopping there and go to a store with stable prices but poor customer service?

TANSTAFL :sharebeer
One, Vanguard is structured as to not have loss leaders.

Two, yes there is (such a thing as a free lunch): Vanguard ETFs with a better brokerage house like Merrill Edge & free trades. Some might call this 'arbitrage'.
"To play the stock market is to play musical chairs under the chord progression of a bid-ask spread."

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Re: Fidelity competing harder w/Vanguard

Post by AllieTB1323 » Tue Aug 30, 2016 11:56 pm

SavageAmusement wrote:
lemonPepper wrote:
well.. what I meant was for some reason I trust vanguard. I haven't' developed that trust with fidelity, even though they have lowER ER for some funds. My guess is they are doing this to get some money in and when they have enough, they will raise the expense ratio and many people won't notice it. It wouldn't be the first time a financial institution pulls a fast one on you..
My 30 years of experience with Fidelity has shown them to be an honorable and trustworthy organization. Their customer service is second to none. Vanguard is also a great company. Some people like vanilla ice cream and some like chocolate. It all depends on your taste. You've got two terrific choices.
Agreed, In our thirtyish years of experience Fidelity and Vanguard are both honorable and trustworthy. IMHO, Fidelity's website and customer service is worth a few basis points; maybe someday competition will force Vanguard into spending money on those same backroom expenditures thus raising their fixed costs. We own decent amounts of parallel index funds at both houses and after years the differences expressed as dollars wouldn't buy us a dinner at a good restaurant. In our case good beats fussing around looking for perfection.

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Re: Fidelity competing harder w/Vanguard

Post by Quark » Wed Aug 31, 2016 6:23 am

Doc wrote:
lemonPepper wrote:honest question from somebody in the early accumulation phase: should I trust fidelity to not play games over my 50 year investing life? will they bait and switch on me?
You are investing in the market. Fidelity is part of the market. If you don't belive in Fidelity you shouldn't belive in the market and shouldn't be investing in the market at all. Just buy US Treasuries and then rely on the politicians and the Fed instead?
There's a difference between being an owner of a company (investing in the market) and being a customer of a company (in this case, Fidelity).

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Re: Fidelity competing harder w/Vanguard

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Wed Aug 31, 2016 6:32 am

I don't believe for a second that Fidelity (or Schwab or TDAmeritrade) use low cost index funds just as loss leaders. I'm a small potato but have 2 commas in Fidelity index funds with ERs that match or beat Vanguard. SCHB ETF at Schwab is 0.03%. Its volume is up there with VTI. I don't think Chuck is losing a dime on that ETF. What I *think* is that the commercial guys are just more efficient. They're able to provide low cost options, updated websites and excellent 24/7 customer service and still make money.
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Re: Fidelity competing harder w/Vanguard

Post by Da5id » Wed Aug 31, 2016 7:44 am

Jack FFR1846 wrote:I don't believe for a second that Fidelity (or Schwab or TDAmeritrade) use low cost index funds just as loss leaders.
I don't know either way, and as a privately held company how can you know if your name isn't Johnson?

There has been a net flow of money from most mutual fund companies towards Vanguard. If the low cost index funds are in fact "loss leaders" intended to compete with Vanguard, why would that be a problem? If they are operated "at cost" and the Johnson's profits come from active funds, why would that be a problem? As long as the fees are low, why does the reason matter unless you theorize they will pop up later and you'd have to take capital gains to switch?

Mind you, at this level the difference in fees is in fact basically irrelevant. For S&P 500 Fidelity Premium is .045%, Vanguard Admiral is .05%. That is a difference of $50 per year per million invested. Wouldn't be surprised if Vanguard gets down there too, it has been lowering its fees for years. I like that there is competition in the mutual fund space for who has the lowest cost, investors are clearly the winner there.

I had Fidelity and Vanguard for a long time, but consolidated to Vanguard last year for simplicity. I like both companies myself.
Last edited by Da5id on Wed Aug 31, 2016 7:54 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Fidelity competing harder w/Vanguard

Post by Doc » Wed Aug 31, 2016 7:48 am

Jack FFR1846 wrote:I don't believe for a second that Fidelity (or Schwab or TDAmeritrade) use low cost index funds just as loss leaders.
As a quick look I just looked up Schwab's S&P 500 fund on their site. The gross expense ratio is 0.11% and the net expense ratio is 0.09%. I call that 0.02% difference a loss leader. It doesn't mean diddly but it lets them say we are lower cost than xyz.

Once a firm starts this price cutting in response to say a Vanguard I don't belive they will ever stop it. While they might not increase their subsidy in the future stopping the subsidy altogether could be disastrous.
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Re: Fidelity competing harder w/Vanguard

Post by backpacker » Wed Aug 31, 2016 8:50 am

AllieTB1323 wrote: IMHO, Fidelity's website ... is worth a few basis points.
I've never understood this point about Vanguard's website. Sure, it's not the slickest one out there, but I'm on it once or twice a year for ten minutes. Snazzy website for 20 minutes a year can't be worth more than about $2.

If anything, a snazzy website would only encourage me to check my accounts more.

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Re: Fidelity competing harder w/Vanguard

Post by lostdog » Wed Aug 31, 2016 10:09 am

backpacker wrote:
AllieTB1323 wrote: IMHO, Fidelity's website ... is worth a few basis points.
I've never understood this point about Vanguard's website. Sure, it's not the slickest one out there, but I'm on it once or twice a year for ten minutes. Snazzy website for 20 minutes a year can't be worth more than about $2.

If anything, a snazzy website would only encourage me to check my accounts more.
I second this. I'll just use Vanguard's website when I hit my rebalancing band or I contribute to our Roth IRA's.
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Re: Fidelity competing harder w/Vanguard

Post by toto238 » Wed Aug 31, 2016 10:53 am

When I want to buy groceries cheap, I go to Walmart. It's entirely possible that Target may have one of the products I'm shopping for at a slightly cheaper price, but I still don't go there. I go to Walmart because I know no matter what product I buy, it will be at a very low price and possibly even the lowest price in the market.

In the same way, I know shopping for investments at Vanguard no matter what product I purchase I know it will be one of the cheapest funds for its category, possible the cheapest fund (as measured by ER). While I may be able to spend a lot of time and effort maintaining accounts at 7 different institutions to minimize expenses even further, the $10-20 per year in expenses it may save me isn't really worth the 100 hours a year it would take to maintain it all.

If you have $100,000 invested, then 0.01% (or one basis point) is $10 per year. If I had $10,000,000 invested it would be $1,000 a year and maybe would be worth hunting for that extra basis point. If I'm managing assets of $10,000,000,000 then each basis point is $1million I'm saving my clients collectively when I cut expenses. That's when it really starts to matter.

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Re: Fidelity competing harder w/Vanguard

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Wed Aug 31, 2016 11:06 am

toto238 wrote:When I want to buy groceries cheap, I go to Walmart. It's entirely possible that Target may have one of the products I'm shopping for at a slightly cheaper price, but I still don't go there. I go to Walmart because I know no matter what product I buy, it will be at a very low price and possibly even the lowest price in the market.

In the same way, I know shopping for investments at Vanguard no matter what product I purchase I know it will be one of the cheapest funds for its category, possible the cheapest fund (as measured by ER). While I may be able to spend a lot of time and effort maintaining accounts at 7 different institutions to minimize expenses even further, the $10-20 per year in expenses it may save me isn't really worth the 100 hours a year it would take to maintain it all.

If you have $100,000 invested, then 0.01% (or one basis point) is $10 per year. If I had $10,000,000 invested it would be $1,000 a year and maybe would be worth hunting for that extra basis point. If I'm managing assets of $10,000,000,000 then each basis point is $1million I'm saving my clients collectively when I cut expenses. That's when it really starts to matter.

If you buy a ton of different funds and don't want to be bothered with checking the ER, then I see your point. I do look and I look very hard. I only do a 3 fund portfolio and track it on an excel spreadsheet, which is extremely easy. I built the sheet myself and it tells me ER, cost per year of each fund, total cost, and asset allocations in a number of ways. I spend 15 minutes a year rebalancing.

I understand that not everyone is laser focused on costs. I thought that was what Bogleheads all did, but ok. My box that tells me total cost per year is very important to me and you know what? When I see that one of my funds has just cut its ER, I'm very happy to update the spreadsheet and see how much less I'm paying. You know....."you get what you don't pay for", right?

I do have money at Vanguard. ....and Fidelity and soon with Schwab. Yes, I do chase ERs. Back when I had a mortgage, I did a no cost refi to save $12 a month, so I've always chased the last penny. You don't have to do that, certainly, but it's sort of ingrained in me.
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toto238
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Re: Fidelity competing harder w/Vanguard

Post by toto238 » Wed Aug 31, 2016 11:17 am

Jack FFR1846 wrote:
toto238 wrote:When I want to buy groceries cheap, I go to Walmart. It's entirely possible that Target may have one of the products I'm shopping for at a slightly cheaper price, but I still don't go there. I go to Walmart because I know no matter what product I buy, it will be at a very low price and possibly even the lowest price in the market.

In the same way, I know shopping for investments at Vanguard no matter what product I purchase I know it will be one of the cheapest funds for its category, possible the cheapest fund (as measured by ER). While I may be able to spend a lot of time and effort maintaining accounts at 7 different institutions to minimize expenses even further, the $10-20 per year in expenses it may save me isn't really worth the 100 hours a year it would take to maintain it all.

If you have $100,000 invested, then 0.01% (or one basis point) is $10 per year. If I had $10,000,000 invested it would be $1,000 a year and maybe would be worth hunting for that extra basis point. If I'm managing assets of $10,000,000,000 then each basis point is $1million I'm saving my clients collectively when I cut expenses. That's when it really starts to matter.

If you buy a ton of different funds and don't want to be bothered with checking the ER, then I see your point. I do look and I look very hard. I only do a 3 fund portfolio and track it on an excel spreadsheet, which is extremely easy. I built the sheet myself and it tells me ER, cost per year of each fund, total cost, and asset allocations in a number of ways. I spend 15 minutes a year rebalancing.

I understand that not everyone is laser focused on costs. I thought that was what Bogleheads all did, but ok. My box that tells me total cost per year is very important to me and you know what? When I see that one of my funds has just cut its ER, I'm very happy to update the spreadsheet and see how much less I'm paying. You know....."you get what you don't pay for", right?

I do have money at Vanguard. ....and Fidelity and soon with Schwab. Yes, I do chase ERs. Back when I had a mortgage, I did a no cost refi to save $12 a month, so I've always chased the last penny. You don't have to do that, certainly, but it's sort of ingrained in me.
So when I talk about time commitment, it's not just rebalancing. It's also the time you spend dealing with any administrative whatnot. It's how much junkmail I get. It's how much time it takes me to aggregate the data from all the different websites to figure out what my actual performance was for the year. It's how many places I have to call to change my address or phone number whenever there's an update. It's how many places I have to update the info on Mint on a regular basis.

And it's not just my own accounts I have to worry about. I have friends and family members that I give informal advice and guidance to. Am I going to recommend my mother (with very little investment knowledge) spread out her assets over 5 different institutions? No.

I'm not saying everyone should think of it the way I do. To each their own. But for me, personally, the time, effort and stress of maintaining relationships with multiple financial institutions outweigh the possible benefits of chasing an extra 1-2 basis points in ER. I like having one place I can go to see all my investments, and I know my elderly mother appreciates that too.

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ruralavalon
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Re: Fidelity competing harder w/Vanguard

Post by ruralavalon » Wed Aug 31, 2016 11:29 am

A difference of 0.01% or 0.005% in expense ratio of a fund has no material impact on portfolio performance, and is likely swamped by other factors. Still I feel great whenever they slice another 0.01% off the expense ratio of any fund we use.
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Da5id
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Re: Fidelity competing harder w/Vanguard

Post by Da5id » Wed Aug 31, 2016 11:41 am

ruralavalon wrote:A difference of 0.01% or 0.005% in expense ratio of a fund has no material impact on portfolio performance, and is likely swamped by other factors. Still I feel great whenever they slice another 0.01% off the expense ratio of any fund we use.
Sure, free money is free money. I'd not switch fund families for $50 per year per million invested however. I do watch fees, and in fact dropped Lifestrategy fund (0.15% fee) for 3 Admiral fund equivalent without int'l bond (0.07% fee), though there were other reasons too.

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backpacker
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Re: Fidelity competing harder w/Vanguard

Post by backpacker » Wed Aug 31, 2016 11:46 am

Jack FFR1846 wrote:I understand that not everyone is laser focused on costs. I thought that was what Bogleheads all did, but ok. My box that tells me total cost per year is very important to me and you know what? When I see that one of my funds has just cut its ER, I'm very happy to update the spreadsheet and see how much less I'm paying. You know....."you get what you don't pay for", right?

I do have money at Vanguard. ....and Fidelity and soon with Schwab. Yes, I do chase ERs.
If you're laser focused on costs, why have money at Fidelity and Schwab? Their funds cost more, not less.*

*Maybe you think they cost less because the ERs are lower but, as already discussed, the cost of owning an index fund is really its tracking error against its index. If you look on ETF.com, you'll see that Vanguard funds do better against their index even when rival funds have a lower ER. So they cost less in the only sense that anyone should care about.

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Re: Fidelity competing harder w/Vanguard

Post by *3!4!/5! » Thu Sep 08, 2016 11:44 am

Comparing these at morningstar.com
Fidelity Emerging Markets Index Premium (FPMAX)
Vanguard Emerging Mkts Stock Index Admiral (VEMAX)

It looks like
FPMAX has Lg:Md:Sm at 91:9:0
whereas
VEMAX has Lg:Md:Sm at 81:15:4
so the Fidelity fund is missing the smallest 10% of the market. Seems like they are cutting corners, and fudging the "fund equivalence".

It's an easy decision for me to go with Vanguard funds, and I will when I can. Vanguard has much better alignment with client interests, and I believe their funds are superior, and 1bp ER discounts by other providers don't make up for that.

But at my employer, I can get Fidelity but not Vanguard, so it is a huge deal that Vanguard is pushing costs down at other providers.

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Doc
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Re: Fidelity competing harder w/Vanguard

Post by Doc » Thu Sep 08, 2016 11:56 am

*3!4!/5! wrote:It looks like
FPMAX has Lg:Md:Sm at 91:9:0
whereas
VEMAX has Lg:Md:Sm at 81:15:4
so the Fidelity fund is missing the smallest 10% of the market. Seems like they are cutting corners, and fudging the "fund equivalence".
Huh?

They follow different indexes FPMAX=MSCI EM Lrg/Mid and VEMAX=FTSE EM AC CHN A Inc ...
A scientist looks for THE answer to a problem, an engineer looks for AN answer and lawyers ONLY have opinions. Investing is not a science.

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Re: Fidelity competing harder w/Vanguard

Post by *3!4!/5! » Thu Sep 08, 2016 12:10 pm

Doc wrote:
*3!4!/5! wrote:It looks like
FPMAX has Lg:Md:Sm at 91:9:0
whereas
VEMAX has Lg:Md:Sm at 81:15:4
so the Fidelity fund is missing the smallest 10% of the market. Seems like they are cutting corners, and fudging the "fund equivalence".
Huh?

They follow different indexes FPMAX=MSCI EM Lrg/Mid and VEMAX=FTSE EM AC CHN A Inc ...
On their website
https://www.fidelity.com/mutual-funds/i ... ndex-funds
they directly equate these funds side-by-side and tout their 1bp cost advantage. But their 1bp discount is just for something similar, not the same.

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Doc
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Re: Fidelity competing harder w/Vanguard

Post by Doc » Thu Sep 08, 2016 1:16 pm

*3!4!/5! wrote: On their website
https://www.fidelity.com/mutual-funds/i ... ndex-funds
they directly equate these funds side-by-side and tout their 1bp cost advantage. But their 1bp discount is just for something similar, not the same.
Fidelity wrote:Who has lower expenses in index investing?
In a head-to-head comparison of our 27 stock and bond index mutual funds and sector exchange-traded funds (ETFs) with comparable offerings from Vanguard:
https://www.fidelity.com/mutual-funds/i ... ndex-funds

"Comparable" does not equal "equate".
A scientist looks for THE answer to a problem, an engineer looks for AN answer and lawyers ONLY have opinions. Investing is not a science.

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Re: Fidelity competing harder w/Vanguard

Post by friar1610 » Thu Sep 08, 2016 7:16 pm

There was an article in this morning's Boston Globe about Fidelity's movement into index funds even though the company remains primarily a managed fund shop. The link below may require registering with the Globe although I got it from Googling the article's title.

https://www.bostonglobe.com/business/20 ... story.html
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