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  • Sven msf
    Hi Mark,

    Read your latest move from Vanguard and transferring to Schwab. Couple questions:
    1. You mentioned several funds you want but they are not available at Fidelity. I thought brokerages offer similar but not identical open end mutual funds. Am I missing something?
    2. What is the incentives at Schwab when transfer from Vanguard?
    3. We have had use Schwab for many years, and decided to consolidate the $ at Fidelity. We are willing to give Schwab another chance.

    I transferred the bulk of our Vanguard accounts to Fidelity last several weeks. Still have some Vanguard index funds left. The ETFs are done but they sold the fractional shares instead of in-kind transfer.

    Your advices are most appreciated.

    June 25
    • msf
      Hi Sven,

      1. Brokerage fund lists almost never exactly line up. For example (this is an existence proof, definitely not a recommendation) CMNVX is available and open at Fidelity ($5K min), but the fund is not sold at Schwab. Conversely, GPGEX is available and open at Schwab ($2,500/$1,000 IRA min), but the fund is not sold at Fidelity. As to what I might get at Schwab that isn't available (with reasonable min) at Fidelity, I'm just starting to look around. See #3, below.

      2. Schwab is offering $1,000 for $500K transfer from anywhere (with referral). It currently has an unpublished, higher promotion from Fidelity. Talk with them about this. As soon as I mentioned bonus, Schwab volunteered this info. So long at the assets are transferred from Fidelity, it doesn't matter that they originated at Vanguard.

      I was told that Schwab wants to make it easy for Vanguard (and I presume Fidelity) customers to come to Schwab without losing benefits. So they said they were offering TF waivers on Vanguard, Fidelity, and D&C funds. From what I see so far, even though my account is tagged as having the waiver, the Schwab online system doesn't handle it. This could take time to work its way through the system, or I might have to place orders via a rep. I have to research this.

      3. Like you, I decided years ago to consolidate Schwab and Fidelity at Fidelity. Their offerings and service were similar enough and I liked some features at Fidelity - notably the better cash management and the ability to add to TF funds for $5. I have a vague recollection of changing my portfolio somewhat to work with what was at Fidelity. Now I'm looking at what I might use at Schwab, mindful that I might reconsolidate at Fidelity in the future. (So getting a TF fund that has a low min at Schwab could be a good thing - move it back to Fidelity for $5 additions.)

      I will be retaining Fidelity as my primary institution. Adding Schwab now doesn't complicate things because I'm simultaneously dropping Vanguard. And using Merrill CMA to replace Vanguard Cash Plus doesn't add a new institution because I already had an IRA at Merrill to qualify for higher cash back amounts with BofA credit cards.

      It's always a question of tradeoffs. How much do you really want that one fund you can't get at Fidelity, or wherever? How important is it to reduce portfolio complexity (number of holdings, number of institutions)? I'm trying to hit a happy medium. Each person's preferences are different.
  • Thanks. MSF... that will help & good start.
    If they have Schwab or Fidelity, I was looking for an easy sweep-type MM a/c, similar to Fidelity or Schwab.
    April 10
    • msf
      For nearly all accounts, Schwab doesn't have a sweep into a MMF. It just sweeps cash into a low paying (0.45%) bank account.

      Though I suppose even that beats E*Trade's 0.01% bank sweep rate.
  • Mona msf

    Thank you for your last post. While my friend would like an HSA, she is very conservative, and after reading all the posts and great uncertainly, has become frightened about the prospects of a problem if she unenrolls from Medicare Part A. The last thing that she needs/wants are problems, especially since her plans are to work only a few more years, limiting the benefits of an HSA, and then will need Medicare Part A & B and Medicare Advantage or a Medigap policy. Also, she has sufficient assets which limit the appeal of an HSA, especially in light of facing so much uncertainty regarding unenrolling from Part A. I will suggest that she talks with her HR department, but they are not the authoritative source. If you can think of anyone else that she can contact to try to sort this out, please let me know.

    Thank you for your input!


    October 2023
  • yogibearbull
    Good info on post formatting at MFO.
    As I post at various places, I try to use minimal formatting that should work universally. But I try to be aware of what works and where.
    Info you provided for MFO has been archived at ProBoards,
    September 2023
    • msf
      Thanks. I recognize that some of the formatting isn't easy to do and that most people won't. Still, it helps readers to know what can be done in case they want to try.
  • Sven,

    I agree that the value of this IRA is in the REA option.

    Annuity contracts in general are a mess, because they are insurance contracts that overlay terms on top of the investment portfolios. TIAA is worse because it has so many different types of contracts, each with its own rules. And the IRA contracts seem to be an afterthought.

    Technically, TIAA Real Estate Account does not impose the restrictions you describe; it is the IRA annuity contract that invests in it that does. (Same result, more complexity.) I'm having trouble finding the specific IRA contract, but most likely the $150K limit and quarterly withdrawal restrictions are in it.

    The quarterly is due to all the private, illiquid investments in the account. The $150K limit, to be honest, I'd missed before. That does seem odd.

    Disclosure: I own a TIAA after-tax VA. Different animal. No access to CREF, TREA. But wide variety of funds (institutional class); annuity fees drop to 0.10% after 10 years.
    July 2022
    • Sven
      Mark, Quite honestly I don’t know enough about VA. I need to do so since I have an option to convert my 401(k) to an annuity after retirement. So I need to shore up my knowledge on the pros and cons given my financial situation before I start discussion with an advisor.

      To clarify some of the questions I have on the mechanics of withdrawal for RMD purpose, I need to talk with TIAA agents again.
  • Sven msf

    I am only interested in TIAA REA in an IRA account, not so much with their brokerage service. For now, Fidelity and Vanguard will serve majority of my need. It was your June’s MFO article that got me interested of this REA, and I am still learning the ins and outs of this VA. Devesh Khan’s video was very I informative on private market on REITs. My previous experience on REIT mutual funds has less than rewarding, especially during stressful time like this year.

    The prospectus is long and not so readable. It appears that the investors can only make one redemption per quarter, and there is a $150K limit on the account (very strange). I will talk more with TIAA agents again to ascertain their rules. Once again, thank you.

    July 2022
  • Hi Sven,

    I'm sorry but I'm not going to be able to help you here. I've got a relative with a 403(b) which is how I got access to this IRA. I had called TIAA to ask if there was any way to see what's available through the brokerage, and somehow wound up opening an empty IRA with them.

    My attitude was, fine, they're telling me I don't have to fund it, and I never did. I was able to look around and see what was available. Even with an account, I couldn't find the search tool for mutual funds. At least with this TIAA was very helpful over the phone.

    Again, my apologies for not being able to offer more insight. I'm still of the belief that if one is interested in TIAA Real Estate, using this IRA can make sense. Otherwise, I'm not so sure, unless one is trying to consolidate at TIAA.
    July 2022
  • Sven msf
    Mark, I have finally established an IRA account with TIAA and now I hesitated to move $ from Fidelity. Can you share your experience so far? This is new experience and I will start slow to build the position for the next 6 months. Thanks
    July 2022
  • johnN
    Thank you sir
    Think we have 13 died do far it's been few weeks now still too early to tell
    Another person works in private hospitals told me the incidence maybe way under reported in term of how many gets it and how many may decrease. Large private owned hospitals do not want to report because patients may stop coming to their hospitals. Only states and gov entities report incident complications. So the numbers maybe way under report. Where we live at least 20 cases already that are not reported in media, so its here and blowing up quickly. You are right at the end game many more will die compared to flus
    March 2020
  • johnN
    Hi sir...thx for does taxations work with buying or selling gold bullions ..are they 15% capital gains tax..thx
    February 2020
    • msf
      I'm about as far away as possible from being a goldbug, so this is not something I've paid that much attention to. My understanding is that physical gold is taxed as a collectible.

      That means that it is taxed as ordinary income for short term gains, and as ordinary income with a 28% cap for long term gains. Both subject to the 3.8% net investment income surtax for taxpayers with high MAGI.

      See instructions for line 18 of Schedule D, including 28% worksheet:

      Collectibles include works of art, rugs, antiques, metals (such as gold, silver, and platinum bullion)
  • No degrees, though I did take Accounting 101 in high school :-)

    I'm pretty careful with my own taxes, so it's not too hard to respond to questions where I've had personal experience - such as selling a home or inheriting property. But if a question concerns something I've never seen, I'll beg off. There's nothing like seeing a question about a state specific tax issue in, say, Montana.
    August 2019
  • johnN
    hi sir. do you do your own tax or have cpa degree. thx..hagd..maybe looking for a new cpa
    August 2019
  • Old_Joe
    Hi msf- In the current thread "House Just Passes Tax Overhaul" you seem to be responding to Ted, but to this point he hasn't really commented, other than his original post starting the whole thing.

    My comment was actually a parody of a typical "Ted" comment when something displeases him, complete with a bunch of frowning emoji. I did note that I was just kidding, but perhaps you read my "contribution" in haste and thought that it was actually Ted. That's probably why davidrmoran wondered who you were responding to. Sorry for causing unnecessary chaos.

    November 2017
  • davidrmoran
    Not truly random but pseudorandom, I think, right?
    What an excellent post, and impressive about no formal stat work. Me either, as they say.
    July 2017
  • davidrmoran
  • davidrmoran
  • davidrmoran
  • I want to thank you for the great tip of share class conversion. Wish I had thought of it earlier. Happy investing!!!!!
    July 2016