I am finally getting my daughter out from under a UGMA my parents set up. Decided to set her up at Fidelity. Needed a medallion signature. Had to have an account with Fidelity before they would stamp for me. So, what the heck? I'm moving the IRA out of Vanguard, and consolidating separate taxable accounts from Vanguard, Dodge & Cox, and Sequoia.
The taxable account will go into a family trust. At around RMD age I'll want to annuitize some of the IRA. I can't even begin to imagine trying to do any of that with Vanguard.
The bulk of my taxable account will remain with Wells Fargo for now.
So far, about as pleasant an experience as I could hope for.
Having accounts at both, can you elaborate on those investments where Schwab has lower costs than Fido?
Schwab has always made me feel that people are products to be bought and sold.
That firm (TRP) is almost unrecognizable from what it was in the 90s. And not all for the better.
I’ve heard a lot of positive things about Schwab from clients. Not meant to knock the firm. But, to bee’s point, CS seems to be a born salesman if ever there was. (It’s hard not to like Liz Ann Saunders.)
I went to my local Schwab office to take care of some paperwork which was handled very politely and promptly. Afterwards, I received a followup email from a senior FA in the office to check to make sure my transaction was handled to my satisfaction.
Also, I would not leave a dime in any Wells Fargo accounts. That bank has a poor history, and I'm not convinced that the culture there has changed. If a bank is opening accounts that customers didn't approve, you don't deal with that bank.
"Wells Fargo has been sanctioned repeatedly by U.S. regulators for violations of consumer protection laws going back to 2016, when employees were found to have opened millions of accounts illegally in order to meet unrealistic sales goals. Since then, executives have repeatedly said Wells is cleaning up its act, only for the bank to be found in violation of other parts of consumer protection law, including in its auto and mortgage lending businesses."
"While Wells Fargo tried to frame the agreement with the CFPB as a resolution of established bad behavior, CFPB officials said some of the violations cited in Tuesday’s order took place this year."
Over the last few years I have been bought by Schwab twice… and counting. I was sold by USAA to Schwab 3 years ago. Instead, I moved to TD. Recently sold again.
In a world where big (Schwab) eat little (USAA), I should appreciate the added value these efficiencies create. I was as unhappy with USAA, maybe more so. At USAA, the $1.6B (corrected) (what Schwab paid) went to improve shareholder experience at USAA. Hmm, I have heard that one before.
Now, this time, big (Schwab) eats big (TD). Not sure who benefited from these sale proceeds, but it wasn’t me. I was the product.
Being a Fidelity customer may have its own drawbacks, but it appears I am a bigger risk to them… being sold.
USAA mutual funds, etc were sold to Victory Capital/VCTR. Victory even moved its HQ from Cleveland, OH to San Antonio, TX (the old USAA facilities).
USAA Brokerages, wealth management, etc were sold to Schwab/SCHW for $1.6 billion (it was reduced from $1.8 billion during the pandemic) and the AUM involved was about $80 billion.
USAA is now focusing on its services to military families and and veterans.
To bee's point, I have had a TD Ameritrade Roth IRA account for close to 20 years. I, contrary to bee, am looking forward to the TDA conversion to Schwab. I find the CS trading tools and web site as a whole more to my liking. I guess I've never felt like a product "of" CS. Contrarily, with the switch there are many more financial products open to me.
Prior to the switch, I was tempted to transfer that TDA account to Fidelity just to have a comparative experience between CS and Fidelity. I still might. Just been lazy.
Generally, fees at Fidelity are the same or slightly less than at Schwab. And Fidelity offers a relatively high paying government MMF as a transaction account, while Schwab requires you to use a bank sweep paying 0.45%.
Of interest to mutual fund investors, Schwab charges its short term trading fee on NTF funds if you trade in under 90 days. At Fidelity it is only 60 days. And Fidelity enables you to add shares to a TF position for $5, while Schwab charges the full $49.95. OTOH, at least a couple of posters have said they've been able to get Schwab to waive its fund transaction fees altogether.
Also, some funds offer multiple institutional share classes and Schwab may give you access to the cheaper share class than Fidelity does. For example, you can buy PIMIX at Schwab (TF), while at Fidelity you're stuck with the higher ER class PIPNX (TF).
I think the service is excellent at both brokerages. In this regard one could not go wrong either way.
WIth respect to brokerage acquisitions: I've not seen a company pay its customers when it was acquired. And I've rarely seen customers complain about that. Certainly Tweeters have complained about Twitter service since Musk bought it. But at the time he purchased the company I didn't see them saying they should get a share of his payment.
FWIW, Schwab advertises that it has more locations than Fidelity. Of course what matters is whether it has a brokerage location near you, not how many it has elsewhere.
We did have two positive mortgage experiences with them. One was a refinance of Fort Knox on the Marin-Sonoma border. The other was our house in Arizona that we decided to pay off.
These days, the ETF trades are free, and they charge less for non-NTF funds than Fido. But they don't have near the selection universe.
The funny thing--to us--is that when we attended college in Minnesota. we both had bank accounts at the bank that bought Wells Fargo
When we got to San Francisco in October 1979, our first bank account was with Crocker. They were bought by somebody, who was eventually bought by Wells Fargo. Old Joe might remember.
The Crocker commercial, performed by Paul Williams:
Years ago, when we tried to open a Wells Fargo account, WF insisted that one of our SSNs was wrong. That they already had a customer with that SSN. They wouldn't open the account until we proved that the SSN was legit.
Ironic, given WF's excessive zeal in opening accounts.
It turned out that for three years, WF had been reporting mortgage payments (deductible) with the wrong SSN.
And it's been downhill for Wells Fargo ever since.
During the process of registering for SSI my wife discovered that she had two social security numbers. A second one had been issued for some unknown reason. It was never used.
And finally, for the moment, Schwab did not have a location near us. Fidelity has about three about equal-distant from where we are.