What Should I Ask The Schwab Rep?

Have a question about your personal investments? No matter how simple or complex, you can ask it here.
Post Reply
Topic Author
willyd123
Posts: 141
Joined: Mon Feb 19, 2018 7:23 am

What Should I Ask The Schwab Rep?

Post by willyd123 » Sun Feb 10, 2019 8:55 am

Hello BHs -

Due to an employment requirement, I have been obligated to hold all assets with my present employer. I will be retiring soon at which point this obligation ceases and am strongly considering moving all of my assets to Schwab. I used Schwab prior to joining my current firm and was very pleased with their service.

I am planning to meet with a Schwab rep this week. I have a number of questions I plan to ask but was wondering based on your experiences if there's anything specific I should be asking or requesting? I know that some of these firms offer financial incentives to move your assets to them, etc. Should I be pushing on that or something else? I just want to be sure I don't miss out on an opportunity.

Thanks.

fabdog
Posts: 791
Joined: Wed Jan 16, 2013 1:59 pm
Location: Williamsburg VA

Re: What Should I Ask The Schwab Rep?

Post by fabdog » Sun Feb 10, 2019 9:04 am

You can certainly ask if they have any current incentives for bringing in new assets.

I'd spend some time thinking what you want... do you want them to manage your money? in what arrangement? (Intelligent portfolio or intelligent advisory) Do you just want to invest in their funds, or others? if other funds are they in their marketplace? Cause I bet they will ask you :happy

If you move over to them for banking as well do they have a branch near you that can do signature guarantees/medallion guarantees?

I have found their service excellent but I manage my own money using low cost index funds. I haven't been in a branch in 15 years but it hasn't been a problem. They are very responsive over the phone

Mike

User avatar
Nestegg_User
Posts: 1356
Joined: Wed Aug 05, 2009 1:26 pm

Re: What Should I Ask The Schwab Rep?

Post by Nestegg_User » Sun Feb 10, 2019 9:07 am

In addition to the incentive, if your assets are large enough you "qualify" for status that you can have certain families funds be free from purchase fees (we've got Vanguard set up for one of ours). Since you are likely DIY as well, there's not too much more....
others might chime in on their credit card, since I believe it's free from fees for international (ATM and foreign conversions)

edit: and if you find another (say Fido) has a better incentive, the Schwab rep matched it (the reps at the majors pretty much know what's out there)
again, just DIY for your portfolio, remember that Fido/Schwab/Vanguard don't all use the same index so be aware of differences
Last edited by Nestegg_User on Sun Feb 10, 2019 9:40 am, edited 1 time in total.

dbr
Posts: 30802
Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2007 9:50 am

Re: What Should I Ask The Schwab Rep?

Post by dbr » Sun Feb 10, 2019 9:15 am

Just be sure you don't end up letting them charge you fee for assets under management. You can have accounts at Schwab without paying a management fee, but you can also ask for management services ranging in cost from around 0.3% to 1% or so. If you do ask or they think you are asking you could end up getting something you don't want.

User avatar
Sandtrap
Posts: 8480
Joined: Sat Nov 26, 2016 6:32 pm
Location: Hawaii No Ka Oi , N. Arizona

Re: What Should I Ask The Schwab Rep?

Post by Sandtrap » Sun Feb 10, 2019 9:17 am

Actionable Options and Suggestions:

How to Shop for a Brokerage in This Order:

1 Research the "in house" (no fee) family of funds available to you at Schwab, Vanguard, Fidelity, etc.
(shop for the funds not nec. the brokerage)

2 Compare fees, cash management accounts, sweep account setup, Money Market account returns and fees, etc. of #1.

3. If you have a substantial sum, research what services and reduced costs are available to you at each brokerage.

4. Finally, research what "rep" help and advice is available to you at your level of service (account size) and if free or what charge.

5. Then, armed with this knowledge, talk to each brokerage rep. for further clarification of the above as well as what portfolio suggestions they might have. Get a list of "all and any" fees and/or charges involved for any account, fund, transaction, etc. without exception.
IE: 30 day wash sale fee. Schwab's website will let you complete the transaction and later inform you of a hefty penalty. Vanguard will inform before transaction completion, if not, disallow it.
IE: There are new account incentives at various brokerages. Learn the details, what kickback the rep will get if possible. Etc.
Research each brokerage on the forum archives. Learn what you will not be told. :shock:

6. Compare the portfolio (long term strategy) recommendations of each.

7. Post a "Portfolio Review" on the forum in the "forum format" and compare what the experienced portfolio reviewers suggest to what each brokerage rep suggested.

8. Decide.

9. Act. :D
Last edited by Sandtrap on Sun Feb 10, 2019 9:22 am, edited 1 time in total.
Wiki Bogleheads Wiki: Everything You Need to Know

TravelforFun
Posts: 1940
Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2012 11:05 pm

Re: What Should I Ask The Schwab Rep?

Post by TravelforFun » Sun Feb 10, 2019 9:20 am

As fabdog said, make sure you ask about transfer bonus. Last year I got $2,400 for transferring an account I had at TD Ameritrade to Schwab. I manage my own account so I just use Schwab as a resource. I don't pay them fees.

TravelforFun

dbr
Posts: 30802
Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2007 9:50 am

Re: What Should I Ask The Schwab Rep?

Post by dbr » Sun Feb 10, 2019 9:28 am

It is also possible to go to the web to scan for possible incentives at different brokers: https://www.creditdonkey.com/promotions/charles-schwab/

You may not get all of them, but any rep you talk to may also not get all of them either. After all, once you are in the door the purpose of the incentive has already worked for them.

Topic Author
willyd123
Posts: 141
Joined: Mon Feb 19, 2018 7:23 am

Re: What Should I Ask The Schwab Rep?

Post by willyd123 » Sun Feb 10, 2019 11:36 am

All -

Thanks so much. Extremely helpful.

radiowave
Posts: 2270
Joined: Thu Apr 30, 2015 5:01 pm

Re: What Should I Ask The Schwab Rep?

Post by radiowave » Sun Feb 10, 2019 12:18 pm

Schwab has some excellent low cost index funds: https://www.schwab.com/public/schwab/in ... 38151865

Also, there are some low cost target retirement index funds for about 0.08% ER.
Bogleheads Wiki: https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Main_Page

Dottie57
Posts: 7159
Joined: Thu May 19, 2016 5:43 pm
Location: Earth Northern Hemisphere

Re: What Should I Ask The Schwab Rep?

Post by Dottie57 » Sun Feb 10, 2019 12:30 pm

Evaluate any suggestions from the FA with skepticism. Remember he or she needs to make a living - usually trying to sell you on something more expensive than index funds. Be wary of annuities.

Good luck.

Luckywon
Posts: 547
Joined: Tue Mar 28, 2017 10:33 am

Re: What Should I Ask The Schwab Rep?

Post by Luckywon » Sun Feb 10, 2019 12:33 pm

I have had investment funds at Schwab, Fidelity, Ameritrade, ETrade, Merrill Lynch. My experience has been that I can easily live with the services offered and customer service provided at most of them, (except I would never do business with Merrill Lynch/BA again).

With that in mind, I have been moving funds across the major brokerages in a fairly regular cycle in order to obtain brokerage incentives. I have found that the usual incentive is 0.25% of funds and requires you to keep funds at the brokerage for a year or less. I do not cycle the funds at the absolute maximum rate, so my average incentive payout is probably about half of what it could be, or around 0.12% per year. I view this as reducing the expense ratio of my investments. My portfolio comprises almost entirely low expense ratio Vanguard funds. When I account for the brokerage incentives, I calculate that my expense ratio is actually around negative 0.05%, i.e, it is an addition, not a subtraction to the bottom line.

This does not require much work. With some of the account types, I do not transfer the entire account, and so I keep some accounts of the same type open at several institutions. This makes moving the money around easier, as I do not have to open up a new account for the transfer. In such a case, the transfer is amazingly simple, requiring only 10 minutes or less to initiate online.

I do not move my checking or corporate accounts around, as I want to keep all of those records and payment methods at the same place. Also, the balance in those accounts is low and would not generate anything significant in terms of an incentive bonus.

In your case, certainly ask about incentive bonuses (and that they reimburse any transfer fees). Consider if the strategy above is for you. Or, if you think Schwab is the best brokerage for you, consider moving the funds with one or two "stops" at a couple of the other brokerage houses first, in order to collect incentive bonuses there, before finally transferring them to Schwab, maybe a couple of years from now.

User avatar
Sandtrap
Posts: 8480
Joined: Sat Nov 26, 2016 6:32 pm
Location: Hawaii No Ka Oi , N. Arizona

Re: What Should I Ask The Schwab Rep?

Post by Sandtrap » Sun Feb 10, 2019 2:49 pm

Dottie57 wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 12:30 pm
Evaluate any suggestions from the FA with skepticism. Remember he or she needs to make a living - usually trying to sell you on something more expensive than index funds. Be wary of annuities.

Good luck.
+1
And, significant commisions for large new account transfers into their brokerage. :moneybag
Wiki Bogleheads Wiki: Everything You Need to Know

User avatar
Earl Lemongrab
Posts: 7270
Joined: Tue Jun 10, 2014 1:14 am

Re: What Should I Ask The Schwab Rep?

Post by Earl Lemongrab » Sun Feb 10, 2019 4:49 pm

A lot depends on what you need, of course. I like Merrill Edge. They have a good bonus transfer program, and for asset levels greater than $50K you get free ETF trades. Like many others, Edge is figuring out the new Vanguard Admiral program. Some reported that they bought Admiral shares without commission, but that might have been an early fluke.

NotWhoYouThink
Posts: 2753
Joined: Fri Dec 26, 2014 4:19 pm

Re: What Should I Ask The Schwab Rep?

Post by NotWhoYouThink » Sun Feb 10, 2019 4:57 pm

What services do you want from Schwab?
Do you want them to manage your assets? If so, you might ask how much they charge and what a nominal portfolio might look like.
Do you want them to be custodians of your assets and otherwise leave you alone? If so, remember to fill out the paperwork (yes, it is a paper with ink from Schwab) that lets you sell mutual fund shares using something close to but not quite specific ID. They make it complicated.
Do you want to transfer securities in kind to Schwab? If so, you might ask whether your holdings can transfer.

Most of what you need to know you can find out online.
You should definitely ask about transfer bonuses.

Lazareth
Posts: 126
Joined: Tue Nov 01, 2016 9:21 am
Location: New England

Re: What Should I Ask The Schwab Rep?

Post by Lazareth » Wed Feb 13, 2019 6:38 pm

willyd123 wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 8:55 am
Hello BHs -

Due to an employment requirement, I have been obligated to hold all assets with my present employer. I will be retiring soon at which point this obligation ceases and am strongly considering moving all of my assets to Schwab. I used Schwab prior to joining my current firm and was very pleased with their service.

I am planning to meet with a Schwab rep this week. I have a number of questions I plan to ask but was wondering based on your experiences if there's anything specific I should be asking or requesting? I know that some of these firms offer financial incentives to move your assets to them, etc. Should I be pushing on that or something else? I just want to be sure I don't miss out on an opportunity.

Thanks.
30-year Schwab client here... checking, brokerage, t-IRA's and Roths. Love the total Schwab online experience... bill pay, banking, and portfolio management. The 24/7 phone support is always prompt and effective. All ATM charges refunded, no-fee checking and VISA. In November 2018 I terminated our AUM manager and I created a self-managed Schwab 3-fund portfolio across all accounts... SWTSX, SWISX, and SWAGX , approx $1 MM total. Now our total aggregate expense ratio is only .055%

The only weak link in the Schwab experience is the assigned rep/salesperson. Mine, located in the nearby Hartford CT office, is commission driven, and will recommend whatever produces the highest income for him. He was probably getting a good chunk of that 1% AUM fee which he recommended when I had asked him to suggest a 3rd party AUM manager. I took his advice only to later learn that the firm he put me into, Windward Investments, had been bought by Schwab. No wonder that every quarter they generated dozens of transactions across their chosen commission-generating funds, some with ridiculous expense ratios. So I now avoid the rep and rely totally on the excellent 800# phone support. In November the online support person credited me a flat $200 to cover estimated transaction costs of converting from non-Schwab funds to my no-fee Schwab funds.
"I want to light the lights of patriotism." - Lech Walesa

Post Reply