A simple question. Non-account specific. A question that anyone at their end should be able to answer. If you could GET THROUGH to anyone. At last, in desperation, I did. He was no help. Human, alright--- but prevented by his system and protocols from doing anything for me. Wrong department. And apparently prevented by the rules he must follow from simply THINKING.
TRP has very well hidden their corporate phone lines, too. NO ONE IS HOME. Why would I attempt to call CORPORATE? Because "customer service" is not servicing customers.
I've read here on the board about references to the fact that TRP must have farmed out the Customer Rage and Aggravation lines to some Call Center somewhere. I don't doubt it. ... Clearly they are too big for their britches, these days. I see that they've just acquired some other investment outfit too, by the way. The culture has changed. No shareholder deserves this kind of treatment.
I'm aware that customer "service" at Vanguard is equally as bad, so I won't go THERE. Years ago, some guy at Matthews got up on the wrong side of the bed, and very quickly, they found themselves without my money.
...I could--- as most of the rest of you do--- use a brokerage. There are offices for all the famous ones here in this city. But unless I NEEDED to do it, there'd be normally no reason to have to do things in person. Transferring via a direct rollover involves some basic paperwork by remote-control between offices. I've done THAT before. The TRP brokerage? In which I have a tiny amount invested? I'll just wait for my stock to climb out of its hole. Today is a good day, despite the rest of the Markets.
This is a serious question: I'm hoping to get input from any of you others about Fund Houses you are HAPPY with in terms of customer service. And if you wouldn't mind: how do the people get paid at those brokers like Schwab or Fidelity? Is $200+K too small for them to worry about? Is that amount so small that it would restrict my options if I used a brokerage? I'm grateful ahead of time for replies. Thanks. Who's got the skinny?
I'll wait, and choose my moment to exit TRP when it's more advantageous.
*I just got a call-back from them! That's funny: when that previous fellow disconnected me, there was no indication that such a thing would happen. And of course, she wanted name and address. OK.
...Oh, but wait: I need your investor number or account number.
How about my Social? How DIFFICULT does this need to BE? I gave her my shoe size, hat size and physical location on the WEST side of the street, too. Jesus H. Christ.
Well, then... can you verify your account balance? I recalled the approx. total and gave it to her.... OK, yes: they must verify identity. But my question did not even involve any particulars about my account. I offered to give her my SS. But that wasn't good enough, either. What a cluster-fuck. And after 25 minutes and multiple attempts to get to a human who was empowered and willing to listen and give me an answer, she was able to answer my question. In three seconds.
NOTHING should be THIS difficult.
Sorry to hear TRP is still having issues. As far as fund quality and selection go, they’re near the top. But, I couldn’t take the lousy support and fled in June & July. I don’t run into those kinds of issues at Dodge and Cox and Invesco, where I still have some money.
(*Added: ork! No Fidelity office here. I suppose I'll call them. )
The fund is "soft closed". So you should be able to add to your account, wherever that winds up.
I was also having 40 minute waits on the phone with TRP, so while I am sorry about the experience you had, it's not surprising.
Here's Fidelity's compensation disclosure:
I would not hesitate to recommend either Fidelity or Schwab in terms of customer service.
I'm biased with Fido, as our investment accounts started with them in 1978. Fully our decision after investigation. We also have some experience with Schwab (now closed) that was offered via an employee plan. YES !!!
--- How many funds does Fidelity offer?
Over 10,000 funds from Fidelity & other companies. Well, I suppose; if one includes all of the share classes offered. BUT, needless to say; you'll have an overwhelming choice of funds from different houses, as well as just about any individual stock or bond you'd like to purchase. NO!!! I've helped several over the years set up Roth accts. for them and their kids. Start with $100...........cool, no problem.
--- A Fido account (IRA in your case) for buy/sell of funds, etf's, stocks, etc. has a cash account attached. The cash acct. Not knowing your circumstance for money going into a new acct.; the monies generally would "land" in the cash area of your IRA acct. From there you may buy whatever, with the transaction being inside of the IRA. This in itself is a form of "brokerage" within the IRA acct. Buys and sells move from/to the core cash acct. in the IRA........the core cash acct. EX: $10,000 setting in the core cash and you buy $5,000 of fund, etf, or stock of "X". You now have $5K remaining in core cash (for future buys) and $5K in whatever you purchased. The reverse would take place upon the sale of investment "X"........the proceeds of the sale would move back into the core cash area of your IRA.
NOTE: Fido funds have no minimum purchase...........so, $100 or whatever with get you into the door. This does not apply to other fund houses you may want to buy.
NOTE 2: We have a Fido brokerage acct. (taxable acct.), but it has little use over many years. This taxable brokerage acct. is what we will use when the big LOTTO win happens.
Small summary: A stand-alone brokerage is NOT mandatory to have a full functioning IRA account for all buy/sell with Fido; as noted in the example.
FIDO, HONO. I would expect a full knowledge team in place at this office. Make a list of questions and be patient, eh?
FIDO house overview This page has several "blue" tabs for selecting a Fido funds investment area....click a few for a view of offerings.
Lastly, over the many years here; you have seen many ticker symbols. With a few exceptions, you'd likely be able to buy any one of those via your IRA account.
MFO folks........please revise, as needed; any info I have provided here. TY.
Time to go exploring, eh?
There are also other rankings from Kiplinger, etc. LINK2
I ran a “test” and it appeared they’d allow me to add more to PRWCX (which I transferred over “in kind.”) So I’m 90% confident that’s the case. But I didn’t actually send the order through. No guarantee. Your results could be different.
Vanguard and Schwab are technology Luddites.
You should be able to transfer PRWCX in kind and continue to purchase via Fido. 200K is definitely not a small account size.
The easiest way to avoid the hassle if it’s something you intend to trade in and out of is to buy ETFs. As far as I know, they carry no restrictions on trading. In addition the expenses tend to be lower. I use both. Mutual funds I own and rarely trade: PRWCX, CVSIX, RPGAX. / ETFs I use: PSMM, QED. Of course, you can buy virtually any stock by specifying number of shares or dollar amount. Fido’s own funds look awesome, but I don’t have any particular “slot” to plug one in at present.
But frequent-trading restrictions are more nuanced and are based on number of trades, buys-only (OK) or sells-only (OK) or round-trips (BAD), and the penalty is some types of account trading restrictions. I have worked within these restrictions at Fido, Schwab and Vanguard.
The first few weeks really were a nightmare.
Here’s something I dug up recently that might be of general interest. Just by chance, today I sold off part of an an etf in the morning and than had reason to add $$ back into to it in the afternoon. A really unusual event even for me.
Day Trading Restrictions
“Buying and selling a stock during a single market day is known as day trading. Selling a stock then buying the same would also qualify as a day trade. If you day trade more than four times in any five-day period and those trades are worth more than 6 percent of the account, your account will be classified as a pattern day trading account. A designated day trading account can only be a margin account, and since your IRA cannot be a margin account, moving in and out of stocks on a daily basis will not be allowed in your IRA. A single or occasional day trade would not set your account up to be classified as pattern day trading.”
(Not sure of the source, Just cut and pasted from my own files.)
As a brokerage, Fidelity is paid by other fund families to hold shares in Fidelity's client accounts. Fidelity gets paid a percentage of the assets of outside funds each day that you hold in your account. So the longer you hold those outside fund shares, the more money it makes.
It's not worth Fidelity's time to hold those shares for you for just a few days. Fidelity wants to make a profit. So it tells you that if you sell a share in under 60 days, it's going to make its profit off of you. Here, what matters is how long each particular share is held. So Fidelity uses FIFO.
If you buy 100 shares of XYZZX on Oct 1, another 100 shares of XYZZX on Nov 30th, and then sell 100 shares on Dec 2, Fidelity (the brokerage) is okay with that. You held the first 100 shares over 60 days, and you're still holding the 100 newer shares.
Funds are different. What they care about is stability - it is hard to manage funds when money keeps churning in and out. So funds want to limit your round trips. Many funds do this by imposing short term redemption fees. These fees typically trigger if you sell shares within 30 days of buying shares in the same fund. Same shares, different shares, doesn't matter. That's because regardless, the fund is seeing money rapidly flow in and flow out.
In the example with XYZZX, this hypothetical non-Fidelity fund might charge a short term redemption fee even though Fidelity, as a brokerage, doesn't charge a fee.
Fidelity funds take a different approach in limiting how much churning you can do. Instead of charging a short term redemption fee, they restrict you from trading a Fidelity fund if you churn it too often. Here, too often means buying then selling the same fund in the same account within 30 days, and doing that twice within a 90 day window.
The rules and penalties are different because one affects brokerage profits and the other affects the ability of Fidelity funds to manage their cash flows.
What I’ve long wondered about is the mutual fund “skimming” scandals of the late 90s / 2000 that involved Strong and a number of other houses. Slick (sometimes organized) traders were allegedly buying and selling funds frequently to “skim” profits. It was alleged by the SEC that this practice harmed the other (99%) of shareholders in the fund. I get it. In fact, it led me to scatter my holdings among 5 separate fund houses back than to gain more flexibility in trading and get around the heavy handed restrictions that followed the SEC crackdown.
But now - We’ve got ETFs - including some actively managed ones - which mimic mutual funds in most respects. Yet, no restrictions on trading. No inquiring SEC. What gives?
LATE EDIT - Thanks @msf for clarifying FIFO as pertains to selling NTF funds. That’s where I’ve been confused. I’ll save that to my files. Probably put it to the test some day.
The only time fund assets of an ETF rise or fall is when an authorized participant (AP) buys or sells shares. For APs, ETFs are truly open end funds. But those buy and sell trades are (usually) done by swapping ETF shares for the underlying securities. There's usually not much cash exchanged. So the funds don't have the same problem of deploying or raising cash that one finds in OEFs.
And, this would appear more serious in an actively managed ETF.
1. Frequent trading - the funds, in violation of their prospectus, allowed only certain investors to trade frequently. That's different from your example, where everyone has the ability to trade the same way. You don't have any special advantage here, unlike the funds' privileged clients.
Some funds, like ProFunds, are explicitly promoted for use by market timers. Most claim to restrict frequent trading; several lied about that and committed fraud.
2. Late trading - selling not at 3:59PM but at 6:00PM, based on after close information. Illegal generally. Several fund families nevertheless permitted certain clients to trade after market close. Again, this is different from the example you gave.
Sometimes while writing one can iron out an issue. That was the case with me here. “Skimming” from a mutual fund ISTM is much more focused (therefore affecting a smaller number of participants to a higher degree) than skimming from an ETF. With an ETF that excess profit is coming from the investment community at large (anyone owning those assets) perfectly legitimate.
In TRP's Bizarro world, "elite customers" don't get to leave a call-back number, so I had to listen to their crappy music for 35 minutes. Go figure!