Brokerage recommendation

Have a question about your personal investments? No matter how simple or complex, you can ask it here.
Post Reply
SloaneKerker
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:37 am

Brokerage recommendation

Post by SloaneKerker » Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:58 am

I invest at Vanguard, but am also seeking recommendation for another firm. Customer service complaints are terrible about Fidelity. BBB gives them a C minus. Charles Schwab gets a B minus. can anyone vouch for charles schwab or an alternate? seeking firm that has wide variety of mutual funds and a handle on cyber security.

User avatar
mhc
Posts: 3572
Joined: Mon Apr 04, 2011 10:18 pm
Location: NoCo

Re: Brokerage recommendation

Post by mhc » Tue Feb 13, 2018 2:19 pm

The normal recommendations, as you probably know, are Vanguard, Fidelity, and Schwab.

Are you going to switch from Vanguard or add a second brokerage? If you want to add a second, why?

Jack FFR1846
Posts: 6300
Joined: Tue Dec 31, 2013 7:05 am

Re: Brokerage recommendation

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Tue Feb 13, 2018 2:34 pm

I have accounts at Vanguard, Fidelity, Schwab and TDAmeritrade. My comments.

Putting money into Vanguard was relatively easy and made me feel like I was back in 1972. Nothing was done online. Snail mail everything and they "forgot" to send all the forms so that delayed things a bit. I had my Concierge rep's extension but there was no option to put in an extension with the phone number I was given, so I talked with the front line people. I've been scared to do anything with the account since, so it sits in the one fund I wanted it to be in.

Fidelity is easy all around. So long as you don't go in and ask them to manage your account, they've got everything covered. 24/7 phone and chat. Transferring funds is a matter of filling out the forms online, printing a signature page, signing it and scanning it back in. A click brings me to the online tracker while the other company twiddles its thumbs before sending the money over. The brick and mortar stores are there for the 19 page form to move under $4k from the wife's old 403b. I have zero complaints.

Schwab: I only have one ETF I buy there. The pages are easy to work with, the physical location worked when they had to verify my wife's identy. Web page is easy to work with. Transfers of money are super fast (I find it to be same day in or out). Zero complaints. Again, I don't go doing silly things like asking them to manage my stuff.

TDAmeritrade: Although I'm not happy that VTI is no longer free to buy/sell, I can't complain otherwise. I use TDAs website to follow all of my funds and ETFs because it auto updates about every 5 seconds and it's really easy to import all of those funds and watch them on one screen while watching the dow, S&P and nasdaq on a small screen. Never been to the physical location although I know where it is.

There ya go. I gotta think the bad reviews were from advice someone took, but who knows.
Bogle: Smart Beta is stupid

livesoft
Posts: 59180
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 8:00 pm

Re: Brokerage recommendation

Post by livesoft » Tue Feb 13, 2018 2:38 pm

I'm afraid that if you require decent mutual funds and don't want to pay a fee for mutual fund transactions, then you are limited to Vanguard, Fidelity, and Schwab. Perhaps Merrill Edge still gives free trades on mutual funds, but I am not sure.

There is the higher fee TRowePrice. I am told that USAA now lets one buy Fidelity mutual funds, so that may also be a possibility.

If you don't require mutual funds and are able to use ETFs, then add TDAmeritrade to your list.

But guess what? All of these places will have problems that are just random or dependent on the person sitting in the local office if there is one.
This signature message sponsored by sscritic: Learn to fish.

btenny
Posts: 4336
Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2007 6:47 pm

Re: Brokerage recommendation

Post by btenny » Tue Feb 13, 2018 2:47 pm

Wells Trade (Wells Fargo on line brokerage) is pretty good IMO. Low cost and good internet interface and easy to use. It also is fully integrated with their banking stuff and credit cards so you see all your stuff in one location and can move between accounts easily. Good security as well with two factor log in and hard security token plus password if desired. I have been with them for 15 years or so and have nothing but good to report.

I also used to be a fan of Scottrade but they sold out to TD Ameritrade and I have no idea how that will work out. Ask me again in a few months.

Good Luck.

User avatar
ruralavalon
Posts: 12392
Joined: Sat Feb 02, 2008 10:29 am
Location: Illinois

Re: Brokerage recommendation

Post by ruralavalon » Tue Feb 13, 2018 2:51 pm

Welcome to the forum :) .
SloaneKerker wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:58 am
I invest at Vanguard, but am also seeking recommendation for another firm. Customer service complaints are terrible about Fidelity. BBB gives them a C minus. Charles Schwab gets a B minus. can anyone vouch for charles schwab or an alternate? seeking firm that has wide variety of mutual funds and a handle on cyber security.
What exactly are you seeking in a second firm?

Vanguard has an A rating from the Better Business Bureau.

Vanguard has by far the largest selection of low expense mutual funds offered anywhere.

I can't comment on cyber security, I have no expertise in that area.
"Everything should be as simple as it is, but not simpler." - Albert Einstein | Wiki article link:Getting Started

boglewill34
Posts: 40
Joined: Thu Nov 16, 2017 12:52 pm

Re: Brokerage recommendation

Post by boglewill34 » Tue Feb 13, 2018 2:59 pm

Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 2:34 pm
Schwab: I only have one ETF I buy there. The pages are easy to work with, the physical location worked when they had to verify my wife's identy. Web page is easy to work with. Transfers of money are super fast (I find it to be same day in or out). Zero complaints. Again, I don't go doing silly things like asking them to manage my stuff.

TDAmeritrade: Although I'm not happy that VTI is no longer free to buy/sell, I can't complain otherwise. I use TDAs website to follow all of my funds and ETFs because it auto updates about every 5 seconds and it's really easy to import all of those funds and watch them on one screen while watching the dow, S&P and nasdaq on a small screen. Never been to the physical location although I know where it is.

There ya go. I gotta think the bad reviews were from advice someone took, but who knows.
Me on Schwab, somewhat new to them. +1 to the transfers, one I set up last night was available this AM. I did NOT go to a physical location when likewise they needed to verify the wife's identity, she did it over the phone at like 6:30ET Friday night, and it was smoooooth as silk, took like 7 minutes. Otherwise, their real time chat function online is my go-to, and also very smooth and they are quick to respond, like <2 minutes.

+1 to TDA. The free trades offerings are very thin now, and even the free trade mutual funds are all higher ER funds. Their real time 'My Dock' IS really cool, you can even customize to a variety of financial news sources. I may keep a little money in there just to have that.

onourway
Posts: 782
Joined: Thu Dec 08, 2016 3:39 pm

Re: Brokerage recommendation

Post by onourway » Tue Feb 13, 2018 3:02 pm

Like others - what specifically are you looking for in another brokerage?

Will this be used for taxable holdings or tax-advantaged?

User avatar
saltycaper
Posts: 2531
Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2014 8:47 pm
Location: The Tower

Re: Brokerage recommendation

Post by saltycaper » Tue Feb 13, 2018 3:39 pm

SloaneKerker wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:58 am

...seeking firm that has wide variety of mutual funds...
Don't pick a firm because it has a wide variety of funds. You're only going to need a handful of them. Determine the assets you want to invest in, then pick the best funds to achieve your desired asset allocation, then pick the firm that offers best/cheapest access to those funds.
Quod vitae sectabor iter?

User avatar
Earl Lemongrab
Posts: 3632
Joined: Tue Jun 10, 2014 1:14 am

Re: Brokerage recommendation

Post by Earl Lemongrab » Tue Feb 13, 2018 4:50 pm

SloaneKerker wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:58 am
Customer service complaints are terrible about Fidelity.
Not usually around here. Fidelity is pretty well-regarded. Right now they aren't offering any bonuses I can use, so I wouldn't consider them, but that might not matter to you.

I like Merrill Edge, because they have bonuses and lots of good features for those who qualify for the highest Preferred Rewards level (100k+).
This week's fortune cookie: "Your financial life will be secure and beneficial." So I got that going for me, which is nice.

TwstdSista
Posts: 489
Joined: Thu Nov 16, 2017 4:03 am

Re: Brokerage recommendation

Post by TwstdSista » Tue Feb 13, 2018 5:04 pm

I've been with Fidelity for 14 years -- no complaints! I'm very happy with my options and their customer service.

bondsr4me
Posts: 724
Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2013 7:08 am

Re: Brokerage recommendation

Post by bondsr4me » Tue Feb 13, 2018 5:28 pm

Op....
Unless you have to for some unknown reason feel the need to add another broker, just stay with VG.

Things will be much simpler for you dealing with one firm instead of 2 or 3 or more brokers.

VG certainly has plenty of mutual funds and etf’s.

So unless they don’t have an investment for you, keep things simple.

I currently have 4 brokers but by the yr-end it is my intention to simplify things.

Don

Post Reply