vanguard vs fidelity

Discussion of the Bond portion of the Permanent Portfolio

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pugchief
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vanguard vs fidelity

Post by pugchief » Fri Jun 01, 2018 8:40 am

So I have a taxable account at each, with ability to transfer money in/out via ACH from checking and savings. At Vg, I can buy shares in any fund, even money market, in my cash [no margin] account without having the money there as long as the purchase is funded via ACH simultaneously. The next day the shares are in my account, purchased at the close on the day I initiated the purchase.

I decided to try buying some treasuries at auction with autoroll from Fido for the first time. I have a margin account, and not only can I not buy directly like at Vg, but even after the cash has been transferred and 2 days has past, it says I will incur margin debt if I trade more than a small portion of the money. A rep said it takes 3-4 business days to 'clear' the funds before they can be used, although it appears I am at least earning interest on the money in my settlement account in the mean time. This seems ridiculous, and is making me think twice about transferring more money to Fido when Vg seems so much more reasonable, but Fido is so much less clunky than Vg on so many other levels.

Thoughts/comments?
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sophie
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Re: vanguard vs fidelity

Post by sophie » Fri Jun 01, 2018 4:06 pm

Fidelity is very easy to deal with in almost every respect, EXCEPT for their habit of holding onto inbound transfers for a full week (sometimes more) before they "settle". It's maddening and unnecessary. I called them about it once and they mumbled something about it being a legal requirement.

Interestingly, that doesn't apply to automated investments. Fund purchases happen the same day that the funds are deducted from my bank account. If you make frequent transfers, maybe you could get around the "settle" time by setting up an automated transfer into the core account. Set it for some small amount and then just edit it (and change the date) when you want to make a real transfer.
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Re: vanguard vs fidelity

Post by pugchief » Fri Jun 01, 2018 4:53 pm

sophie wrote:
Fri Jun 01, 2018 4:06 pm
Fidelity is very easy to deal with in almost every respect, EXCEPT for their habit of holding onto inbound transfers for a full week (sometimes more) before they "settle". It's maddening and unnecessary. I called them about it once and they mumbled something about it being a legal requirement.

Interestingly, that doesn't apply to automated investments. Fund purchases happen the same day that the funds are deducted from my bank account. If you make frequent transfers, maybe you could get around the "settle" time by setting up an automated transfer into the core account. Set it for some small amount and then just edit it (and change the date) when you want to make a real transfer.
Yowza! Now that is exactly the info I was looking for, and one could only get from the clever bunch on this forum. Thanks, Sophie!
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Re: vanguard vs fidelity

Post by dualstow » Fri Jun 01, 2018 5:52 pm

Funny, someone is complaining about slowness at Vanguard on the bogleheads forum, and others are noting that it does not apply to automated investments.
Vanguard prime mm compound yield is 2.01%
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Re: vanguard vs fidelity

Post by pugchief » Fri Jun 01, 2018 5:59 pm

dualstow wrote:
Fri Jun 01, 2018 5:52 pm
Funny, someone is complaining about slowness at Vanguard on the bogleheads forum, and others are noting that it does not apply to automated investments.
Maybe they have different rules in their brokerage accounts. My account is old school mutual funds only, and I can buy without the money even being in the account. I assume if the transfer fails, they would just undo the trade.
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Re: vanguard vs fidelity

Post by thisisallen » Sat Jun 02, 2018 9:33 pm

My experience at Fidelity is different than what is being discussed. A rep walked me thru a bond purchase (I was not charged anything for her service). Prior to speaking with her I had initiated a transfer and she was able to use it to purchase the bond. And on top of that she was able to initiate another transfer for a small amount to cover the extra that was required to complete the purchase. Perhaps it has something to do with the connection with the rep?

Edited 4 June to replace a word that the auto spell checker got wrong.
Last edited by thisisallen on Mon Jun 04, 2018 3:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: vanguard vs fidelity

Post by pugchief » Mon Jun 04, 2018 1:20 pm

For those of you [especially Mathjak] who think the customer service at Fidelity is so great, think again. 3 separate online chats about the OP, not one person could answer my questions properly. The third one told me to call. The rep who answered was nice, but could not help me either and had to transfer me to the bond desk. It turns out, there was never even an issue [other than their ridiculous policy to hold money for 5 business days, which is not a policy at Schwab, Vanguard or TDAmeritrade]. It turns out that the funds are available on Tuesday, and even though the auction is on Monday, a T-bill trade takes 3 business days to settle, so I don't need the funds available until Thursday anyway. NONE of the first 4 reps knew this in spite of being told exactly what I wanted to use the money for, and the online platform did not indicate this either on the trade screen; in fact, it would not let me make the trade at all if I tried to do it as cash instead of margin. The whole experience was very disappointing, but mostly the customer service.
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Re: vanguard vs fidelity

Post by dualstow » Mon Jun 04, 2018 1:28 pm

Sorry to hear that. I have little dealings with them these days. I used to put money into a solo 401(K) every year in person, but they annoyed me. (Ok, and my accountant talked me out of it. Don't ask, it's already in some other thread).

Vanguard is a bit clunky, and they have no physical branches, but it's where my money is for the most part.
Vanguard prime mm compound yield is 2.01%
On not looking: sometimes I think the sum total of my accounts has become my Precious. We likeses it too much, yes we do.
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Re: vanguard vs fidelity

Post by thisisallen » Mon Jun 04, 2018 3:04 pm

Interestingly enough, doesn’t it happen in so many fields of life that people have different experiences (success vs failure, results achieved more quickly vs more slowly, etc) trying to accomplish the same thing? This leads me to believe that there is a more subtle and more powerful influence at work. Call it karma, the fruit of one’s past actions, or whatever. It definitely helps me understand/appreciate anecdotal experiences.
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Re: vanguard vs fidelity

Post by pugchief » Mon Jun 04, 2018 4:01 pm

thisisallen wrote:
Mon Jun 04, 2018 3:04 pm
Interestingly enough, doesn’t it happen in so many fields of life that people have different experiences (success vs failure, results achieved more quickly vs more slowly, etc) trying to accomplish the same thing? This leads me to believe that there is a more subtle and more powerful influence at work. Call it karma, the fruit of one’s past actions, or whatever. It definitely helps me understand/appreciate anecdotal experiences.
Then I must be a bigger a$$hole than all of Fido's other customers, because this isn't my first poor customer service experience with them.
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Re: vanguard vs fidelity

Post by thisisallen » Mon Jun 04, 2018 9:37 pm

But that's the point - you're not a big a. So then why do these different outcomes happen to different people? Has to be something else going on...
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Re: vanguard vs fidelity

Post by sophie » Mon Jun 04, 2018 9:56 pm

Pugchief, sounds like you've been unlucky. I have gotten a lot of help over the phone from Fidelity - even walked me through a trick to contribute to my solo 401K using my bank's billpay. It's just that holding onto transfers for 5 day thing that's irritating, and I guess the reps didn't have answers for you because they really can't defend that policy.

Vanguard has better fund options though, no doubt about it.
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