Do Fidelity Offices/Advisors Add Value?

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FinTruth
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Re: Do Fidelity Offices/Advisors Add Value?

Post by FinTruth » Tue Jun 11, 2019 3:25 pm

I visited the local Fidelity office once (5 minutes from my home). I went in to ask for their offerings for fixed income. To me that meant CD's, Bonds, etc. To the advisor, that somehow was interpreted as an opportunity for a sales pitch for their advisory services. I have no idea how he made the connection. I have never returned.

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unclescrooge
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Re: Do Fidelity Offices/Advisors Add Value?

Post by unclescrooge » Tue Jun 11, 2019 4:16 pm

nedsaid wrote:
Fri Nov 30, 2018 9:02 pm
After having looked at the suggested annuity, the concept was interesting but I will pass. For one thing there is a lot of uncertainty right now with different things in my life now, not a good time to make such a decision. I did tell the advisor that I might buy a Single Premium Immediate Annuity in retirement.
....
Was their annuity indexed to inflation?

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nedsaid
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Re: Do Fidelity Offices/Advisors Add Value?

Post by nedsaid » Tue Jun 11, 2019 4:24 pm

unclescrooge wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 4:16 pm
nedsaid wrote:
Fri Nov 30, 2018 9:02 pm
After having looked at the suggested annuity, the concept was interesting but I will pass. For one thing there is a lot of uncertainty right now with different things in my life now, not a good time to make such a decision. I did tell the advisor that I might buy a Single Premium Immediate Annuity in retirement.
....
Was their annuity indexed to inflation?
It was not. I did research and as I recall you could buy inflation adjustments but that was not part of the proposal.

Also, I did get a follow-up call from the advisor a couple of weeks ago. Told him nothing had changed.
A fool and his money are good for business.

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FelixTheCat
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Re: Do Fidelity Offices/Advisors Add Value?

Post by FelixTheCat » Tue Jun 11, 2019 4:40 pm

Fidelity is my brick and mortar bank. The only time I went to see them is when a check would not deposit via the mobile app.
Felix is a wonderful, wonderful cat.

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FIREchief
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Re: Do Fidelity Offices/Advisors Add Value?

Post by FIREchief » Tue Jun 11, 2019 4:48 pm

I've taken advantage of a local Fidelity office/consultant for years. My wife and I both meet with him approximately once per year. I've never asked him what I should do. Many times I told him what I was planning and a) asked him what might be wrong with it and b) what I should learn more about.

Since my wife has been there for every conversation, she's learned much by osmosis without me having to try to "teach a class." Works for us. :beer

It also can extend beyond financial planning. Fidelity has experienced estate planning attorneys on staff and I have had the benefit of being able to meet with two different ones at the local office over the past five years. I won't go into any further details other than to say that this was a great service at an unbeatable price.
I am not a lawyer, accountant or financial advisor. Any advice or suggestions that I may provide shall be considered for entertainment purposes only.

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PatrickA5
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Re: Do Fidelity Offices/Advisors Add Value?

Post by PatrickA5 » Tue Jun 11, 2019 5:58 pm

retiredjg wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 3:17 pm
PatrickA5 wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 1:13 pm
Well, several emails and phone calls later, I can't even get a response. Ugh.
I think that is surprising. You should be getting responses. I suspect he may have move to another employer. He may have not be allowed to tell you before he left and probably not allowed to contact you after he left.
That's what I'm wondering. I'll keep trying to contact the branch and see what's up.

Horsefly
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Re: Do Fidelity Offices/Advisors Add Value?

Post by Horsefly » Tue Jun 11, 2019 6:22 pm

I've found having a local office and a senior rep assigned to me to be very useful. A few examples:
  • Medallion signature guarantee. They do it for free, and it is getting harder and harder to find a bank that will do it. Some banks will do it, but only for forms/transactions with their bank.
  • Free estate review. This may require having status with Fidelity (we are "Private Client" level). I had one attorney draw up some stuff for us and it seemed overkill to me, so I was planning on going to another attorney to clean it up. I just wanted someone without a stake in it to review what we had and make some recommendations. They had an estate attorney (actually retired attorney) who traveled around the mountain region providing such reviews and recommendations. He gave some great insight, and it didn't cost me a cent.
  • Help through some complicated account stuff. My siblings and I have a partnership and two trusts that were set up by our parents. Moving stuff around can be complicated. My private client rep has a few times taken personal charge of walking paperwork through to avoid snags.
I've said before here that my private client rep has never tried to sell me anything. He knows I'm DIY, and just calls me now and then to see if I want any reviews or anything. He mainly wants me to let him know if I am ever considering moving to another firm, so that he can get a chance to fix whatever reason I would leave Fidelity. Great relationship.

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Re: Do Fidelity Offices/Advisors Add Value?

Post by KyleAAA » Tue Jun 11, 2019 6:22 pm

I visited a Fidelity office once. It was just easier than trying to do it over the phone. Other than that, I've never had a need.

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beyou
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Re: Do Fidelity Offices/Advisors Add Value?

Post by beyou » Tue Jun 11, 2019 6:38 pm

I have a brand new Fidelity office that opened minutes from my home, and I work in a major city that I believe has multiple Fidelity offices.
As I walk/drive by, I never regret my decision long ago to go with Vanguard. I barely want to speak to anyone on the phone much less go to some
kid sitting at a desk. If vanguard started opening branches, I wouldn't visit.

I also have an account at Etrade (barely used), and they have an office IN MY OFFICE BUILDING.
Went in there once ever, and they told me I had to call their main number for the help I needed :oops:

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aspirit
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Re: Do Fidelity Offices/Advisors Add Value?

Post by aspirit » Tue Jun 11, 2019 6:48 pm

FinTruth wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 3:25 pm
I visited the local Fidelity office once (5 minutes from my home). I went in to ask for their offerings for fixed income. To me that meant CD's, Bonds, etc. To the advisor, that somehow was interpreted as an opportunity for a sales pitch for their advisory services. I have no idea how he made the connection. I have never returned.
And you expected otherwise from a uncompensated fiduciary ? Walking in off the street and all?

Should you have been his "client" you might have received other advice, ...but maybe not.
Time & tides wait for no one. A man has to know his limitations. | "Give me control of a nation's money and I care not who makes it's laws" | — Mayer Amschel Bauer Rothschild ~

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PatrickA5
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Re: Do Fidelity Offices/Advisors Add Value?

Post by PatrickA5 » Wed Jun 12, 2019 10:29 am

I finally got through to the branch office. Apparently, not returning emails and phone calls is normal at my office. The guy on the phone said my consultant (and the rest of them) have a full slate of in-office clients every day and it's not unusual that they don't have time to return emails and calls.
Looking at my guys calendar, it appears he's booked out with meetings for weeks. The office guy really wasn't trying to apologize, just stating it as a fact. I told him to put a note on my advisors desk telling him I called.

Looks like I wouldn't have to worry about cold calls trying to sell me something. :happy

Oh well, this was a "test" anyway. Looks like I'll be staying with Vanguard.

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HueyLD
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Re: Do Fidelity Offices/Advisors Add Value?

Post by HueyLD » Wed Jun 12, 2019 10:33 am

I am surprised that the Fido advisor does not have an assistant who makes virtually all the phone calls to clients and potential clients.

Maybe they need to open more offices in your area.

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PatrickA5
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Re: Do Fidelity Offices/Advisors Add Value?

Post by PatrickA5 » Wed Jun 12, 2019 10:48 am

HueyLD wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 10:33 am
I am surprised that the Fido advisor does not have an assistant who makes virtually all the phone calls to clients and potential clients.

Maybe they need to open more offices in your area.
Probably. It's the only office in the state and according to the advisor is the busiest in the region. The guy that answered the phone sounded frazzled and acted like he's had to say the same thing to other people.

retiredjg
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Re: Do Fidelity Offices/Advisors Add Value?

Post by retiredjg » Wed Jun 12, 2019 10:48 am

Or hire another person at that office. :happy

Horsefly
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Re: Do Fidelity Offices/Advisors Add Value?

Post by Horsefly » Wed Jun 12, 2019 11:00 am

HueyLD wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 10:33 am
I am surprised that the Fido advisor does not have an assistant who makes virtually all the phone calls to clients and potential clients.
I agree with this. If I call or email my private client rep, I may or may not hear back directly from him. If it is something simple, one of the lower echelon members of the office will handle it, responding directly back to me. I've never had to wait more than two business days to get an answer. On the other hand, if I call or email early in the day I probably won't hear back until sometime the following day.

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PatrickA5
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Re: Do Fidelity Offices/Advisors Add Value?

Post by PatrickA5 » Wed Jun 12, 2019 11:11 am

retiredjg wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 10:48 am
Or hire another person at that office. :happy
According to the guy I talked to, it's the same for all advisors. I asked specifically if there was someone with a lesser workload and he said no.

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FIREchief
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Re: Do Fidelity Offices/Advisors Add Value?

Post by FIREchief » Wed Jun 12, 2019 11:53 am

beyou wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 6:38 pm
I barely want to speak to anyone on the phone much less go to some
kid sitting at a desk.
How do you know if it is just "some kid" if you haven't used the service? My current guy is extremely knowledgeable and is even familiar with Bogleheads. :beer
I am not a lawyer, accountant or financial advisor. Any advice or suggestions that I may provide shall be considered for entertainment purposes only.

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HueyLD
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Re: Do Fidelity Offices/Advisors Add Value?

Post by HueyLD » Wed Jun 12, 2019 1:07 pm

PatrickA5 wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 10:48 am
HueyLD wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 10:33 am
I am surprised that the Fido advisor does not have an assistant who makes virtually all the phone calls to clients and potential clients.

Maybe they need to open more offices in your area.
Probably. It's the only office in the state and according to the advisor is the busiest in the region. The guy that answered the phone sounded frazzled and acted like he's had to say the same thing to other people.
I guess your state is sparsely populated.

In my area, there are many Fido investor centers within two hours of drive.

Presintense
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Re: Do Fidelity Offices/Advisors Add Value?

Post by Presintense » Wed Jun 12, 2019 1:11 pm

PatrickA5 wrote:
Wed Nov 28, 2018 12:36 pm
DW and I currently have all of our retirement accounts and a brokerage account at Vanguard. We've been fairly pleased over the years with Vanguard customer service and website - at least to the point that we wouldn't change just for improvements in those areas. We're also happy with the funds and costs at VG.

One advantage that I see with Fidelity is the availability (in my city) of an actual office. Since I handle 100% of our finances (and actually enjoy it), I don't really have a need to go talk to somebody. But, once I'm gone, I'm concerned for DW and wonder if it might be better to have our money someplace where she could actually go sit down and get help, if necessary.

So, my questions:

What are the pros/cons of being able to go to a Fidelity office versus doing everything online/phone with VG?

Do the advisors try to "hard sell" products? This is one area that concerns me a little.

Is a spouse (that doesn't know much about finances) better off being able to talk to someone in person, rather than over the phone with VG?

Anybody use Fidelity (over VG) mainly because of having an office available?
I don't use Fidelity over Vanguard. My thought is that Fidelity brick, mortar and advisors are there to add value to Fidelity, not investors.
Performance = Potential - Distraction

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FIREchief
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Re: Do Fidelity Offices/Advisors Add Value?

Post by FIREchief » Wed Jun 12, 2019 4:45 pm

Presintense wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 1:11 pm
I don't use Fidelity over Vanguard. My thought is that Fidelity brick, mortar and advisors are there to add value to Fidelity, not investors.
Why would that be an issue? My local B&M bank makes their money off of others (not me) but I still keep a checking account there and benefit from notarized signatures, safe deposit box, ATM, etc. I'm happy that others are making Fidelity profitable. It allows them to have 24/7 customer service, a great website, etc.
I am not a lawyer, accountant or financial advisor. Any advice or suggestions that I may provide shall be considered for entertainment purposes only.

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beyou
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Re: Do Fidelity Offices/Advisors Add Value?

Post by beyou » Wed Jun 12, 2019 4:50 pm

FIREchief wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 11:53 am
beyou wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 6:38 pm
I barely want to speak to anyone on the phone much less go to some
kid sitting at a desk.
How do you know if it is just "some kid" if you haven't used the service? My current guy is extremely knowledgeable and is even familiar with Bogleheads. :beer
"Your guy" is at the Fidelity office 365 days a year, all day ?
Nobody puts their best and brightest sitting at a desk waiting to greet walk-ins.
For investing strategy, I doubt I will ever need help from anyone at Fidelity or Vanguard.
For administrative issues, many brokers have the empowered, experienced staff in a more centralized office.
One may get lucky with some person at some branch, and maybe Fidelity branches have better trained staff than other broker branches,
but I'll bet Fidelity has even more helpful people at their main offices.

Presintense
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Re: Do Fidelity Offices/Advisors Add Value?

Post by Presintense » Wed Jun 12, 2019 5:00 pm

FIREchief wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 4:45 pm
Presintense wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 1:11 pm
I don't use Fidelity over Vanguard. My thought is that Fidelity brick, mortar and advisors are there to add value to Fidelity, not investors.
Why would that be an issue? My local B&M bank makes their money off of others (not me) but I still keep a checking account there and benefit from notarized signatures, safe deposit box, ATM, etc. I'm happy that others are making Fidelity profitable. It allows them to have 24/7 customer service, a great website, etc.
I don't think it's an issue whatsoever. My not using Fidelity over Vanguard isn't related to their offices/advisors. I was merely stating that I don't use Fidelity and should have made that more clear.

Independent of the fact that I don't use Fidelity (over Vanguard) I believe that the offices/advisors are there to add value to Fidelity, not its investors.

Like you, I'm happy when companies make money off of others and especially happy if it is a company that is listed on the U.S. stock market!
Performance = Potential - Distraction

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FIREchief
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Re: Do Fidelity Offices/Advisors Add Value?

Post by FIREchief » Wed Jun 12, 2019 5:03 pm

beyou wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 4:50 pm
FIREchief wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 11:53 am
beyou wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 6:38 pm
I barely want to speak to anyone on the phone much less go to some
kid sitting at a desk.
How do you know if it is just "some kid" if you haven't used the service? My current guy is extremely knowledgeable and is even familiar with Bogleheads. :beer
"Your guy" is at the Fidelity office 365 days a year, all day ?
Nobody puts their best and brightest sitting at a desk waiting to greet walk-ins.
For investing strategy, I doubt I will ever need help from anyone at Fidelity or Vanguard.
For administrative issues, many brokers have the empowered, experienced staff in a more centralized office.
One may get lucky with some person at some branch, and maybe Fidelity branches have better trained staff than other broker branches,
but I'll bet Fidelity has even more helpful people at their main offices.
Well, you've certainly convinced me that you have never set foot in that Fidelity office. :beer
I am not a lawyer, accountant or financial advisor. Any advice or suggestions that I may provide shall be considered for entertainment purposes only.

Horsefly
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Re: Do Fidelity Offices/Advisors Add Value?

Post by Horsefly » Wed Jun 12, 2019 8:39 pm

Presintense wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 1:11 pm
I don't use Fidelity over Vanguard. My thought is that Fidelity brick, mortar and advisors are there to add value to Fidelity, not investors.
So I suppose it isn't possible that Fidelity has determined this adds value to investors, and as a result adds value to Fidelity? I.e., I think Fidelity is smarter than you or I, and has decided helping its customers actually helps Fidelity.

NYCwriter
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Re: Do Fidelity Offices/Advisors Add Value?

Post by NYCwriter » Wed Jun 12, 2019 10:27 pm

I have accounts at both Vanguard and Fidelity. There are Fidelity branches here, though I've yet to use them. I only use Fidelity for the small basket of individual equities I still own, so if I was looking for an advisor, it'd likely be Vanguard, someone with the NYS retirement fund, or an independent advisor recommend through my work network.

Fidelity does have nice research tools. I'm Deaf, so by necessity I've had to do a lot of learning on my own.

Vanguard was really good with customer service, then terrible. They seem to have gotten better recently.
For a 500K I've yet to consider PAS but it's an option.

My late mother had a financial advisor she really liked, so much that she purchased 4 different annuities. Sigh. Not that I think Fidelity is like this, but I do feel a bit safer with a company or advisor that isn't under pressure to sell products.

NOTARY? As for notaries--there isn't a single bank within 4 miles of me in NYC (and that's a lot of banks!) that still offers a notary. Not Citi (old bank), not Chase (credit card), not Cap One (current). Not even TD (old brokerage). They've all stopped providing this service. The college where I teach or the little hole-in-wall pharmacy a few blocks away is where I can find a notary.

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Re: Do Fidelity Offices/Advisors Add Value?

Post by Presintense » Thu Jun 13, 2019 8:47 am

Horsefly wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 8:39 pm
Presintense wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 1:11 pm
I don't use Fidelity over Vanguard. My thought is that Fidelity brick, mortar and advisors are there to add value to Fidelity, not investors.
So I suppose it isn't possible that Fidelity has determined this adds value to investors, and as a result adds value to Fidelity? I.e., I think Fidelity is smarter than you or I, and has decided helping its customers actually helps Fidelity.
That's great! Neither of us actually knows what Fidelity is thinking and we are left with what we think Fidelity is thinking. I think Fidelity builds offices and employs advisors to benefit Fidelity. You think they do so to benefit investors which, in turn, benefits Fidelity. Anyone else following along have another thought on the matter?
Performance = Potential - Distraction

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PatrickA5
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Re: Do Fidelity Offices/Advisors Add Value?

Post by PatrickA5 » Thu Jun 13, 2019 10:12 am

Update: My advisor called this morning and apologized. He said the person that is in charge of reading the emails wasn't forwarding them to him. I'm not sure what happened on the voicemail I left. He said the problem has been addressed. We had a nice chat after that. So, I guess we'll see how things go from here. At least he called.

blueskytoo
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Re: Do Fidelity Offices/Advisors Add Value?

Post by blueskytoo » Thu Jun 13, 2019 11:17 am

I don't know what Fidelity is thinking, and don't care. Outstanding service is what I care about, and they provide it.

We first opened an account nearly 30 years ago, and have added ROTH IRA'S and 3 related accounts.

We also have accounts at Vanguard, and are happy with them for internet access transactions, and occasional phone calls for questions.

I do get excellent service and advice when I make my rare visits to Fidelity brick and mortar offices.

The front desk employees are very skilled at the ordinary business that walk in customers need, and find more experienced employees, or go to the phones for more complex issues.

Account management is often offered, never pressed.

The Fidelity check writing feature is rarely used, but when used, is a vital feature.

Recently, I received a large check, and desired a set of bonds of specific terms, and maturities, to co ordinate with some that I already had, which had been original issue, bought on line. The adviser asked for additional information, to be sure that he understood the exact dollars, maturities, and months that I had outlined on a spreadsheet that I presented to him. He then went to his computer, selected the correct number to reach the correct expert, and then carefully outlined the exact plan we wished to carry out, and transmitted a picture of the spreadsheet.

The large check had been presented to the young employee at the front desk, who had entered it electronically, and the money was in our account, ready to invest.

The employee on the other end of the speakerphone call repeated back, we agreed he had the right information, and he bought all the bonds we wished, correct in every detail. The total charge for the service was less than $50, but might have been more had my accounts been smaller.

We had not mailed in the check and waited for it to appear in our account, then spent time on the telephone tree finding the right office to handle the transaction, and then stumbling through the instructions and read backs ( I am hard of hearing), I do most of my business at Fidelity on the computer, but sometimes, the transaction is too complex to be comfortable with trying to do that way.

We have visited Fidelity offices in 5 cities and 3 states, and the service is always excellent.

The office is just a short drive away, and if we have a check we wish to invest immediately, we take it there. Mail to Vanguard, and waiting for it to clear and become available is typically a week, and a wire transfer was lost in the computer for much longer, but back credited with appropriate interest adjustments. We are happy with Vanguard, it is just a different type of service.

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Re: Do Fidelity Offices/Advisors Add Value?

Post by dcabler » Thu Jun 13, 2019 12:02 pm

Been with Fidelity since I started investing. No issues at all with them. Never got a sales pitch, though I sometimes get an email from the person assigned to me to "go over things". Nope, no thanks. Most of my money is there and nearly all of it in index funds. I do have a taxable Vanguard account as well as my current company's 401K. No big issues there either, though I'll roll over my 401K to my Fidelity IRA when the time comes.

Now to the OP's actual question: we have 2 offices where I live. I've decided to go into an office probably 4 or 5 times total since the early 90's. They were quite helpful, answered my questions, got me what I needed. Again, no sales job whatsoever. Much better than a phonecall, in my opinion.

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Re: Do Fidelity Offices/Advisors Add Value?

Post by Horsefly » Thu Jun 13, 2019 8:52 pm

Presintense wrote:
Thu Jun 13, 2019 8:47 am
Horsefly wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 8:39 pm
Presintense wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 1:11 pm
I don't use Fidelity over Vanguard. My thought is that Fidelity brick, mortar and advisors are there to add value to Fidelity, not investors.
So I suppose it isn't possible that Fidelity has determined this adds value to investors, and as a result adds value to Fidelity? I.e., I think Fidelity is smarter than you or I, and has decided helping its customers actually helps Fidelity.
That's great! Neither of us actually knows what Fidelity is thinking and we are left with what we think Fidelity is thinking. I think Fidelity builds offices and employs advisors to benefit Fidelity. You think they do so to benefit investors which, in turn, benefits Fidelity. Anyone else following along have another thought on the matter?
Me thinks you are completely missing my point. A company as big as Fidelity (or for that matter, any company) doesn't do much without considering what helps their bottom line. My point is that Fidelity may have just enough smarts to have figured out that it would help their bottom line to provide more face-to-face support to their customers. Otherwise, there are two choices:

1) It does nothing for Fidelity, but somehow helps their customers. Why would any company do that?
2) It does nothing for their customers, but Fidelity spends the $$ to open offices but doesn't think it will help their bottom line. Why would any company do that?

Why is it more logical to think that a company would go through the effort to open up a bunch of B&M offices if their customers won't benefit from it? Why spend the $$? Is this some sort of reverse psychology? Spend money on something that won't generate more business, just because?

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nedsaid
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Re: Do Fidelity Offices/Advisors Add Value?

Post by nedsaid » Thu Jun 13, 2019 11:58 pm

I think the reason that Fidelity has many offices around the country is the "Edward Jones effect." Lots of folks would rather do business face to face rather than over the phone. Some folks are more likely to do business with a company that has a local office. Edward Jones is seemingly everywhere, there are something like 8 offices in my town. They enjoy a certain amount of success simply because they are there. Though I do most all of my business over the phone, it is comforting to know that there are two Fidelity offices in my area.
A fool and his money are good for business.

Presintense
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Re: Do Fidelity Offices/Advisors Add Value?

Post by Presintense » Fri Jun 14, 2019 8:31 am

Horsefly wrote:
Thu Jun 13, 2019 8:52 pm
Presintense wrote:
Thu Jun 13, 2019 8:47 am
Horsefly wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 8:39 pm
Presintense wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 1:11 pm
I don't use Fidelity over Vanguard. My thought is that Fidelity brick, mortar and advisors are there to add value to Fidelity, not investors.
So I suppose it isn't possible that Fidelity has determined this adds value to investors, and as a result adds value to Fidelity? I.e., I think Fidelity is smarter than you or I, and has decided helping its customers actually helps Fidelity.
That's great! Neither of us actually knows what Fidelity is thinking and we are left with what we think Fidelity is thinking. I think Fidelity builds offices and employs advisors to benefit Fidelity. You think they do so to benefit investors which, in turn, benefits Fidelity. Anyone else following along have another thought on the matter?
Me thinks you are completely missing my point. A company as big as Fidelity (or for that matter, any company) doesn't do much without considering what helps their bottom line. My point is that Fidelity may have just enough smarts to have figured out that it would help their bottom line to provide more face-to-face support to their customers. Otherwise, there are two choices:

1) It does nothing for Fidelity, but somehow helps their customers. Why would any company do that?
2) It does nothing for their customers, but Fidelity spends the $$ to open offices but doesn't think it will help their bottom line. Why would any company do that?

Why is it more logical to think that a company would go through the effort to open up a bunch of B&M offices if their customers won't benefit from it? Why spend the $$? Is this some sort of reverse psychology? Spend money on something that won't generate more business, just because?
Hi Horsefly.

Ironically, I think we are saying the same thing: Fidelity’s strategy with brick and mortar, advisors, etc. is not of altruistic nature but to ultimately benefit Fidelity. That’s all. I definitely don’t believe my thought is “more logical” than yours.

No “reverse psychology”. The company invests their resources to generate revenue. I agree entirely. Do not recall implying otherwise.

Forgive me if I’m still missing your point. I think I understand what you are saying but could be wrong.

Anyway, nice of you taking time to share your point of view and have a great day.
Performance = Potential - Distraction

cherijoh
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Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 4:49 pm
Location: Charlotte NC

Re: Do Fidelity Offices/Advisors Add Value?

Post by cherijoh » Fri Jun 14, 2019 8:49 am

HueyLD wrote:
Wed Nov 28, 2018 2:30 pm
Do you have children that can be trusted with managing your assets?

If your wife is not into money management, having responsible and capable child(ren) can be the next best thing. Alternatively, you can set up VG PAS in advance and treat the annual AUM fee as an insurance against possible future money grab against her.

I agree that Fidelity is a good company, but Fidelity is also very “bottom line” oriented. They are known to steer unsuspecting widows and widowers into high cost variable annuities and high cost actively managed funds.

And I agree that it is easier to handle things in person, especially for older people. But your wife may need some outside help (such as a child, friend, etc.) in order to not being talked into high cost investments.

P.s. Leaving instructions to a wife who is not Intrested in money management doesn’t work without additional help (such as a trusted child, friend). If she is not interested in money management when he is around, she will be totally lost and be very vulnerable to smooth talking salesman who would become the long lost son she never had. I have seen enough of such situations to caution those who think that leaving instructions will suffice.
I helped my mom with investments and taxes after my dad died. Mom hated to hang up on people, so I was worried she might get talked into meeting with a financial vulture (Edward Jones springs to mind). But then I found out she was telling cold callers "Thank you, but my daughter manages my finances" and that solved the problem.

FrugalConservative
Posts: 39
Joined: Thu Aug 17, 2017 9:44 am

Re: Do Fidelity Offices/Advisors Add Value?

Post by FrugalConservative » Fri Jun 14, 2019 9:02 am

SavageAmusement wrote:
Wed Nov 28, 2018 2:15 pm
For example, you probably wouldn’t want to buy the cheapest parachute you could find.

WHen it comes to index funds, that is exactly what you want, the cheapest. Everything else is noise that eats away at your return.

Topic Author
PatrickA5
Posts: 413
Joined: Mon Jul 28, 2014 1:55 pm

Re: Do Fidelity Offices/Advisors Add Value?

Post by PatrickA5 » Fri Jun 14, 2019 9:34 am

nedsaid wrote:
Thu Jun 13, 2019 11:58 pm
I think the reason that Fidelity has many offices around the country is the "Edward Jones effect." Lots of folks would rather do business face to face rather than over the phone. Some folks are more likely to do business with a company that has a local office. Edward Jones is seemingly everywhere, there are something like 8 offices in my town. They enjoy a certain amount of success simply because they are there. Though I do most all of my business over the phone, it is comforting to know that there are two Fidelity offices in my area.
Agreed. I enjoyed meeting with the Fidelity Advisor much more than I do talking to someone on the phone. Maybe it was the free coffee and candy. I do 99% of our finances online. But, the ability to actually sit down and talk to someone is worth something to me. If the Edward Jones guy would let me buy my low cost index funds, I might even go there. Of course, there wouldn't be an Edward Jones guy in business if that was the case.

AlwaysaQ
Posts: 518
Joined: Fri Apr 13, 2007 7:37 am

Re: Do Fidelity Offices/Advisors Add Value?

Post by AlwaysaQ » Fri Jun 14, 2019 9:35 am

I have had accounts at Fidelity for over 10 years and have gone to an office only 3 or 4 times in that period. However, I am in my late 70s and have 4 beneficiaries of my IRA so having an office to go to should help them out when the time comes.

I did meet very early with someone. I said I was DIY and an indexer. He mentioned the Four-In-One Index and handed me the big book of all Fidelity Mutual Funds to take home.

My current Private Client Advisor calls me occasionally and asks how things are going and I reply "as expected". He does now and then send me emails pointing to Fidelity articles he thinks might be of interest to me. I've never received a hard sell but then I don't invite them either. The only problem is that he is not located at the Fidelity office I prefer since I have two within about 15 miles.

jkrm
Posts: 73
Joined: Wed Oct 08, 2008 8:20 am

Re: Do Fidelity Offices/Advisors Add Value?

Post by jkrm » Fri Jun 14, 2019 9:47 am

My experience with Fidelity advisors has been mixed. I've been a Fidelity "Private Client", or whatever they call it, for about ten years. The first advisor I had was really good - he gave me some good advice that didn't involve buying high-fee Fidelity funds (I made it clear from the first meeting that I was an indexer, and only an indexer). He also worked with me on my plan for investing up to retirement. I met with him maybe once a year about three or four times and while he always would point out a possible Fidelity investment that would meet a need, he never applied any pressure. The few times I emailed him with a question I got a detailed response either the same day or the next.

Unfortunately he left Fidelity, and I was assigned a new advisor. I agreed to a first meeting with him, where within five minutes he was trying to get me to sell the guaranteed interest rate account (in a 403(b) ) that my first advisor had recommended to me (which was GREAT advice) and put the proceeds into a bond fund making slightly more than the 3% I was getting, but with a lot of low-rated bonds. He hadn't even asked about goals, my investment style, or anything. My next encounter was when I needed to move some money from Vanguard to Fidelity - I left a voice mail that was not answered, a week later I sent an email that was not answered, and a week after that I called Fidelity's general number, who put me through to his assistant, who told me that my advisor was too booked up with meetings to be responsive (he worded it differently, of course) and who handled the transaction for me.

On the Vanguard side of this transaction, my Flagship rep answered my initial email within a couple of hours with a phone call, answered all of my questions, and put me through to someone who could walk me through the transaction. That same person followed up with me and when I had an additional question, responding to a voice mail within the hour. In general I have found my current Flagship rep, as well as her predecessor, to be extremely responsive and helpful. The downside is that if you are looking for investment advice, the Flagship reps don't do that. Instead it seems they set you up with an appointment with a PAS representative several weeks in the future, and you have to undergo a soft sell for PAS. But they have never been pushy, and I think they've given me good advice.

2beachcombers
Posts: 608
Joined: Sat Jul 31, 2010 5:10 pm
Location: Savannah

Re: Do Fidelity Offices/Advisors Add Value?

Post by 2beachcombers » Sat Jun 15, 2019 9:40 am

All investments consolidated in FIDO in 2000. PAS customer for 5 years. With the help of education, books and this forum--- Have managed my own Bernstein(IDA) account for the the rest.
My advisor adds value. His assistants handle complex transfer issues. I review my accounts with him once/yr. Phone service outstanding. Web site and analysis very good. Have a few Mutual funds, by most are Ishares and some Vanguard. 2% cashback great.

Sandi_k
Posts: 1005
Joined: Sat May 16, 2015 11:55 am
Location: SF Bay Area

Re: Do Fidelity Offices/Advisors Add Value?

Post by Sandi_k » Sat Jun 15, 2019 4:26 pm

We use Fidelity because they are custodians for my work's retirement plan.

We've used the B&M office primarily to drop off checks on April 14/15 for IRAs. ;)

When I had a friend dying of cancer, it was useful to be able to stop by and ask specific questions for her account (I had POA authority).

Never had a hard sell, or a meeting with a Fido advisor; there is a special number for me to call, given my employer's plan, but that's it...

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