How many brokerage firms are you using?

General Discussion on the Permanent Portfolio Strategy

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How many brokerage firms are you using?

Post by vnatale » Tue Sep 10, 2019 7:53 pm

I am about to become a level 4 Permanent Portfolio investor.

The book advises you to have all your investments in at least two brokerages.

Presently I have all my investments with Vanguard. Last Friday I opened an account with Fidelity in anticipation of it taking half of my present Vanguard investments.

How many brokerages are you using:

1
2
More than 2

And, could you please identify which ones you are using and why?

Thanks

Vinny
Above provided by: Vinny, who always says: "I only regret that I have but one lap to give to my cats."
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Re: How many brokerage firms are you using?

Post by boglerdude » Tue Sep 10, 2019 9:10 pm

Just vanguard. Too big to fail
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Re: How many brokerage firms are you using?

Post by vnatale » Tue Sep 10, 2019 9:25 pm

To just get started, I am thinking of fulfilling as much of the Permanent Portfolio investing through my present Vanguard accounts. Then later I may transfer some of the investments to Fidelity. But to just immediately become a full fledged Level 4 Permanent Portfolio investor seems too consuming.
Seems that I can fully transition to it over time.

Vinny
boglerdude wrote:
Tue Sep 10, 2019 9:10 pm
Just vanguard. Too big to fail
Above provided by: Vinny, who always says: "I only regret that I have but one lap to give to my cats."
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Re: How many brokerage firms are you using?

Post by Smith1776 » Wed Sep 11, 2019 3:02 pm

Just one: Wealthsimple Trade.

Literally zero fees of any kind. I’ll take that over brokerage diversification any day.
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Re: How many brokerage firms are you using?

Post by Tortoise » Wed Sep 11, 2019 3:14 pm

vnatale wrote:
Tue Sep 10, 2019 9:25 pm
To just get started, I am thinking of fulfilling as much of the Permanent Portfolio investing through my present Vanguard accounts. Then later I may transfer some of the investments to Fidelity. But to just immediately become a full fledged Level 4 Permanent Portfolio investor seems too consuming.
Seems that I can fully transition to it over time.
Absolutely. That’s the way to do it.

Within the PP investing strategy, I think simplicity and safety sometimes have to be balanced. Sometimes you can get both (e.g., by investing in a broadly diversified index fund), but sometimes extra/advanced safety comes at the cost of simplicity (e.g., dividing assets between accounts at multiple brokerages).

I tend to err on the side of simplicity since I think that will be most likely to help me stay the course long-term. And staying the course is probably the most important element of long-term financial safety.

So mostly I invest through Vanguard, with smaller amounts at a couple of other brokerages where my employer 401(k)s are. Ideally it would all be at Vanguard for simplicity.
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Re: How many brokerage firms are you using?

Post by mathjak107 » Thu Sep 12, 2019 4:31 am

i use fidelity and chase . fidelity 90% and chase 10% ... i pulled my money out of vanguard .. not only was their customer service the worst i ever experienced but they are quite self serving in their company policies .. it seems whatever they get in to theire is a new study that promotes it or else they do stupid things o try to force you in to some of these things .

like they were promoting their trust dept heavily ...next thing we know they deleted beneficiaries off of joint accounts ... they tell you you are better served with a trust or else take your joint accounts and split them in to 2 single accounts and you can add a beneficiary...nonsense , i don't a trust for that .
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Re: How many brokerage firms are you using?

Post by dualstow » Thu Sep 12, 2019 9:12 am

Two.

I only meant to have Vanguard, but they weren’t doing solo 401k’s when I set mine up, so I used Fidelity for that. I had a rough beginning with Fidelity, but then it smoothed out. Friendly service at their physical branches. There was one guy one year who took my annual contribution out of my hand, processed it and tossed the receipt to me without a word, but that was one guy.

Vanguard certainly has growing pains. I had good service over the phone and online for the most part.
+ I had some directly held shares of this and that from when I was a kid, and Vanguard made it easy to transfer those over.
+ I got out of a smaller brokerage that I should have never been in. That was also from when I was young and didn’t have control over my investments. Vanguard got that done with no problems.

- I was disappointed in the beneficiary thing detailed by mathjak above. My dad and I had a joint account from my childhood, and for me it had never mattered that his name was attached. One day, I noticed that my wife’s name was no longer mentioned as my beneficiary. Or, I may have learned it when mathjak mentioned it in the past.

Vanguard had never told me about it. I had to ask them. And, almost my entire savings was in this joint account. We had to jump through some hoops to get the account in my name only so i could restore my wife as the named beneficiary. Not the end of the world, but...they should have told me.
- A few other headaches. No one’s perfect.

I do like that Vanguard is like a co-op where every shareholder is kind of a co-owner. I think about that when I buy shares of a corporate bond fund with a purchase fee. Fidelity, as good as they are, are not like that. I remember asking them how much money I had to have in my account to get free trades like I do at Vanguard (US$2 if I run out of free trades each year). The answer: they don’t have different levels. Everyone has to pay for trading.

I like both firms and would not want to diversify any further. Even one firm would be enough for me, plus a checking account elsewhere.
RIP Dusty Hill and be well, Bob Odenkirk
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Re: How many brokerage firms are you using?

Post by Kbg » Thu Sep 12, 2019 11:52 am

I've been with Interactive Brokers for years. For the most part it has been a very good experience. It is more of a high end know what you are doing kind of brokerage but if you are more advanced it is an excellent choice. Doing backdoor ROTH conversions this year was my one very negative experience with them. However, it was fixed and doing so again next year will be extremely easy (as was my first year).

I have a very small account with M1 and nudged my kids and mom to go that route as it is the opposite of IB once everything is set up with them. Very good for buy/hold/rebalance infrequently types. No commissions, rebalance with a single button, auto allocation of reinvestments/dividends to the assets most needing a top off. The account I have with them is taxable with auto deposit/investment and the only thing I'll be paying taxes on is the dividends being thrown off. The one big caveat is they do stocks and ETFs only. See bolded text.
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Re: How many brokerage firms are you using?

Post by mathjak107 » Thu Sep 12, 2019 12:32 pm

dualstow wrote:
Thu Sep 12, 2019 9:12 am
Two.

I only meant to have Vanguard, but they weren’t doing solo 401k’s when I set mine up, so I used Fidelity for that. I had a rough beginning with Fidelity, but then it smoothed out. Friendly service at their physical branches. There was one guy one year who took my annual contribution out of my hand, processed it and tossed the receipt to me without a word, but that was one guy.

Vanguard certainly has growing pains. I had good service over the phone and online for the most part.
+ I had some directly held shares of this and that from when I was a kid, and Vanguard made it easy to transfer those over.
+ I got out of a smaller brokerage that I should have never been in. That was also from when I was young and didn’t have control over my investments. Vanguard got that done with no problems.

- I was disappointed in the beneficiary thing detailed by mathjak above. My dad and I had a joint account from my childhood, and for me it had never mattered that his name was attached. One day, I noticed that my wife’s name was no longer mentioned as my beneficiary. Or, I may have learned it when mathjak mentioned it in the past.

Vanguard had never told me about it. I had to ask them. And, almost my entire savings was in this joint account. We had to jump through some hoops to get the account in my name only so i could restore my wife as the named beneficiary. Not the end of the world, but...they should have told me.
- A few other headaches. No one’s perfect.

I do like that Vanguard is like a co-op where every shareholder is kind of a co-owner. I think about that when I buy shares of a corporate bond fund with a purchase fee. Fidelity, as good as they are, are not like that. I remember asking them how much money I had to have in my account to get free trades like I do at Vanguard (US$2 if I run out of free trades each year). The answer: they don’t have different levels. Everyone has to pay for trading.

I like both firms and would not want to diversify any further. Even one firm would be enough for me, plus a checking account elsewhere.
it irks me that vanguard never sent out notification and just terminated beneficiaries . something so important ...then they tell us we would be better served via a trust. which it so happens they can administer... that is just a self serving move ....like all the other stuff they get in to and then give you studies that contradict what they led you to believe
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Re: How many brokerage firms are you using?

Post by Tyler » Thu Sep 12, 2019 1:40 pm

I started with Fidelity back when they were the 401k provider for my original employer and eventually opened a brokerage account with them. I have always been very happy with their fund options and service, and have never really felt the need to open an investing account elsewhere.

To address any short-term risk of unforeseen account issues, I have a separate checking account with USAA (who also manages my insurance) where I pay all of the bills and keep a sizable cash buffer. I could live off that for a while if necessary.
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Re: How many brokerage firms are you using?

Post by ochotona » Thu Sep 12, 2019 3:04 pm

Schwab and Fidelity. If Schwab had an HSA, then I'd only use Schwab. I don't worry about that kind of diversification. I download my account statements every month, I can prove what my positions were if it all were to go poof in a cyber-attack.
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Re: How many brokerage firms are you using?

Post by vnatale » Thu Sep 12, 2019 7:49 pm

Thanks for the excellent response.

I have no problem with staying the course as I've been with the same allocation plan I established with Vanguard in January 2003, not making a single change to it. It has served me well but I don't need to experience another Summer 2008 to Winter 2009 with it. EVERY single one of my funds in the current allocation plan will be liquidated and converted to the Permanent Portfolio.

While I do not have a problem with staying the course, I do have the curse of perfectionism (hence the initial desire to immediately go Level 4) which then causes some paralysis and inertia to actually do something.

Thanks for reassuring my solution to overcome that perfectionism / inertia.

Vinny
Tortoise wrote:
Wed Sep 11, 2019 3:14 pm
vnatale wrote:
Tue Sep 10, 2019 9:25 pm
To just get started, I am thinking of fulfilling as much of the Permanent Portfolio investing through my present Vanguard accounts. Then later I may transfer some of the investments to Fidelity. But to just immediately become a full fledged Level 4 Permanent Portfolio investor seems too consuming.
Seems that I can fully transition to it over time.
Absolutely. That’s the way to do it.

Within the PP investing strategy, I think simplicity and safety sometimes have to be balanced. Sometimes you can get both (e.g., by investing in a broadly diversified index fund), but sometimes extra/advanced safety comes at the cost of simplicity (e.g., dividing assets between accounts at multiple brokerages).

I tend to err on the side of simplicity since I think that will be most likely to help me stay the course long-term. And staying the course is probably the most important element of long-term financial safety.

So mostly I invest through Vanguard, with smaller amounts at a couple of other brokerages where my employer 401(k)s are. Ideally it would all be at Vanguard for simplicity.
Above provided by: Vinny, who always says: "I only regret that I have but one lap to give to my cats."
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Re: How many brokerage firms are you using?

Post by vnatale » Thu Sep 12, 2019 7:54 pm

Thanks for your full response.

In regards to the last sentence you wrote, it is clear that you do not believe that you do need to be in more than one brokerage for diversification purposes.

Craig Rowland's book definitely emphasized using more than one.

Vinny
dualstow wrote:
Thu Sep 12, 2019 9:12 am
Two.

I only meant to have Vanguard, but they weren’t doing solo 401k’s when I set mine up, so I used Fidelity for that. I had a rough beginning with Fidelity, but then it smoothed out. Friendly service at their physical branches. There was one guy one year who took my annual contribution out of my hand, processed it and tossed the receipt to me without a word, but that was one guy.

Vanguard certainly has growing pains. I had good service over the phone and online for the most part.
+ I had some directly held shares of this and that from when I was a kid, and Vanguard made it easy to transfer those over.
+ I got out of a smaller brokerage that I should have never been in. That was also from when I was young and didn’t have control over my investments. Vanguard got that done with no problems.

- I was disappointed in the beneficiary thing detailed by mathjak above. My dad and I had a joint account from my childhood, and for me it had never mattered that his name was attached. One day, I noticed that my wife’s name was no longer mentioned as my beneficiary. Or, I may have learned it when mathjak mentioned it in the past.

Vanguard had never told me about it. I had to ask them. And, almost my entire savings was in this joint account. We had to jump through some hoops to get the account in my name only so i could restore my wife as the named beneficiary. Not the end of the world, but...they should have told me.
- A few other headaches. No one’s perfect.

I do like that Vanguard is like a co-op where every shareholder is kind of a co-owner. I think about that when I buy shares of a corporate bond fund with a purchase fee. Fidelity, as good as they are, are not like that. I remember asking them how much money I had to have in my account to get free trades like I do at Vanguard (US$2 if I run out of free trades each year). The answer: they don’t have different levels. Everyone has to pay for trading.

I like both firms and would not want to diversify any further. Even one firm would be enough for me, plus a checking account elsewhere.
Above provided by: Vinny, who always says: "I only regret that I have but one lap to give to my cats."
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Re: How many brokerage firms are you using?

Post by dualstow » Thu Sep 12, 2019 8:03 pm

vnatale wrote:
Thu Sep 12, 2019 7:54 pm
Thanks for your full response.

In regards to the last sentence you wrote, it is clear that you do not believe that you do need to be in more than one brokerage for diversification purposes.

Craig Rowland's book definitely emphasized using more than one.
It’s a fine book, but I’ll take my chances.
RIP Dusty Hill and be well, Bob Odenkirk
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Re: How many brokerage firms are you using?

Post by mathjak107 » Fri Sep 13, 2019 5:56 am

2 years ago we had our fidelity account locked tight when their team of hackers found my wifes account info on the dark web ..

they scan for fidelity related stuff and even though she never logs in at all they got her info .

so fidelity locked the account and it took about two weeks to re-establish the accounts , get new cards and checks and move the money .

luckily we keep a local bank account where we have money to keep things going since fidelity is our cma account for paying all bills
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Re: How many brokerage firms are you using?

Post by sophie » Fri Sep 13, 2019 7:52 am

Good, instructive story, mathjak.

I use both Vanguard and Fidelity, along with a conventional brick and mortar bank (Chase). I originally was all in Fidelity, but ended up opening an individual brokerage at Vanguard to go along with my employer retirement accounts there, and to take advantage of some Vanguard funds that are far superior to their counterparts at Fidelity (treasury money market and small cap value). If either of them were to be locked up, I'd be able to manage with funds in the other brokerage plus the Chase account.

Fidelity and Vanguard complement each other nicely, I find. Fidelity wins on customer service, the HSA, the powerful cash management and multiple-account setup, and investing in individual Treasuries. Vanguard wins on fees.
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Re: How many brokerage firms are you using?

Post by shekels » Fri Sep 13, 2019 9:38 am

Fidelity has a Money transfer lockdown that is available to
Lock your accounts instantly:
Block electronic money movement out of your accounts, protecting your balances from unauthorized transfers.
EDITing to make a little more sense from post
https://www.fidelity.com/security/overview
Attachments
i will take both. Pat
i will take both. Pat
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Last edited by shekels on Fri Sep 13, 2019 4:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: How many brokerage firms are you using?

Post by Kriegsspiel » Fri Sep 13, 2019 11:09 am

shekels wrote:
Fri Sep 13, 2019 9:38 am
Fidelity has a Money transfer lockdown
Lock your accounts instantly:
Block electronic money movement out of your accounts, protecting your balances from unauthorized transfers.
Vanguardvs.Fidelity-5c61b9cfc9e77c0001d321d4.png
?
"You haven't, I suppose, ever mixed with politicians at close quarters. They're awful. I think some of these must have been the dregs anyhow, but I've discovered, what previously I didn't believe possible, that politicians behave in private life and say exactly the same things as they do in public. Their stupidity is inhuman.
- John Maynard Keynes
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Re: How many brokerage firms are you using?

Post by shekels » Fri Sep 13, 2019 2:38 pm

Kriegsspiel wrote:
Fri Sep 13, 2019 11:09 am
shekels wrote:
Fri Sep 13, 2019 9:38 am
Fidelity has a Money transfer lockdown
Lock your accounts instantly:
Block electronic money movement out of your accounts, protecting your balances from unauthorized transfers.
?
Not sure if it is a great thing or not. The blocking feature can be turned on or off.
https://www.fidelity.com/security/overview
¯\_(ツ)_/¯
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Re: How many brokerage firms are you using?

Post by Kriegsspiel » Fri Sep 13, 2019 3:11 pm

Oh I see. I thought you were letting everyone know there was some kind of security situation...
"You haven't, I suppose, ever mixed with politicians at close quarters. They're awful. I think some of these must have been the dregs anyhow, but I've discovered, what previously I didn't believe possible, that politicians behave in private life and say exactly the same things as they do in public. Their stupidity is inhuman.
- John Maynard Keynes
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Re: How many brokerage firms are you using?

Post by shekels » Fri Sep 13, 2019 4:05 pm

Kriegsspiel wrote:
Fri Sep 13, 2019 3:11 pm
Oh I see. I thought you were letting everyone know there was some kind of security situation...
Looking back over the post. I see your point. Sorry for that.
¯\_(ツ)_/¯
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Re: How many brokerage firms are you using?

Post by Xan » Fri Sep 13, 2019 4:09 pm

I sometimes wonder about that. Police cars have plastered on their side "Call 911!" We have alert thingies on the highway that give a license plate of a child abductor or missing old person or something that will say "Missing elderly, blue Honda, license XYZ. Call 911!"

I'm always tempted to call 911 and say, "Yes? What can I do for you?" Never have though.
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Re: How many brokerage firms are you using?

Post by Kriegsspiel » Fri Sep 13, 2019 8:08 pm

How many of you dialed 1-800-5-FRANCE

Age test.
"You haven't, I suppose, ever mixed with politicians at close quarters. They're awful. I think some of these must have been the dregs anyhow, but I've discovered, what previously I didn't believe possible, that politicians behave in private life and say exactly the same things as they do in public. Their stupidity is inhuman.
- John Maynard Keynes
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Re: How many brokerage firms are you using?

Post by mathjak107 » Sat Sep 14, 2019 2:36 am

sophie wrote:
Fri Sep 13, 2019 7:52 am
Good, instructive story, mathjak.

I use both Vanguard and Fidelity, along with a conventional brick and mortar bank (Chase). I originally was all in Fidelity, but ended up opening an individual brokerage at Vanguard to go along with my employer retirement accounts there, and to take advantage of some Vanguard funds that are far superior to their counterparts at Fidelity (treasury money market and small cap value). If either of them were to be locked up, I'd be able to manage with funds in the other brokerage plus the Chase account.

Fidelity and Vanguard complement each other nicely, I find. Fidelity wins on customer service, the HSA, the powerful cash management and multiple-account setup, and investing in individual Treasuries. Vanguard wins on fees.
actually i have fidelity index funds that are zero fees .. that beats vanguards low fee.

jack bogle and vanguard have said a lot of things and then contradicted themselves ... first the grand pappy of do it yourself investing sold us on how anyone can invest like the pro's and get better results ...then vanguard gets in to money mgmt and releases a study that shows the typical investor can earn as 3% more by letting a money manager handle their money keeping them away from it .
then they deleted all our beneficiaries from joint accounts and told us we would be better served by trusts ... yep vanguard was promoting its trust dept they now had .
but wait , now vanguard is telling us how their managed funds out perform ---yep you guessed it , now they are promoting actively managed funds ...
https://investor.vanguard.com/mutual-fu ... ly-managed

and this is why i cut them out .
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Re: How many brokerage firms are you using?

Post by shekels » Sat Sep 14, 2019 9:52 am

Kriegsspiel wrote:
Fri Sep 13, 2019 8:08 pm
How many of you dialed 1-800-5-FRANCE

Age test.
"1-800-5-FRANCE" Did not dial that one.

Come to think of it.
Do you have Prince Albert in a Can? ^-^

Also Fidelity sure does have a lot of Commission FREE ETF.
https://etfdb.com/type/commission-free/fidelity/

Better than 40 Dollar Trades
¯\_(ツ)_/¯
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