Author Topic: Fidelity versus Vanguard... or other?  (Read 3118 times)

TravelJunkyQC

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Fidelity versus Vanguard... or other?
« on: June 28, 2016, 10:00:41 AM »
The subject sort of says it all.

According to what I'm finding, I'm seeing that they're both relatively equivalent provided you invest in Fidelity-named funds through Fidelity (no fees apart from low MER). Provided I have approximately 26k USD per year to invest in taxable accounts, what do you suggest O Great Mustachians?

Perhaps another option is better than either of them?

mskyle

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Re: Fidelity versus Vanguard... or other?
« Reply #1 on: June 28, 2016, 10:19:56 AM »
I have accounts with both (my work retirement plan is with Fidelity and I have an IRA and taxable brokerage account with Vanguard) and it's six of one, half a dozen of the other in terms of investments. VTSAX has a very slightly lower expense ratio than FSTVX, but I think there are other funds where Fidelity beats Vanguard by a similar margin.

I prefer the Vanguard online interface to the Fidelity interface. I haven't had to deal much with customer service at either brokerage.

TravelJunkyQC

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Re: Fidelity versus Vanguard... or other?
« Reply #2 on: June 28, 2016, 11:17:10 AM »
Thanks for the reply!

I'll admit that I already have an existing Fidelity account for my IRA, so it's a + 1 in that category for simplicity's sake, but everyone on here talks to much about Vanguard that I'm wondering if it's worth opening something new with them for these new investments. I'm getting the feeling that both are viable and equivalent options.

tonysemail

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Re: Fidelity versus Vanguard... or other?
« Reply #3 on: June 28, 2016, 12:05:15 PM »
FWIW - they have account opening incentives that you may want to consider.
I know this will pale in comparison if higher fees were involved.
But if everything else is equal, it's a nice perk to get a few extra dollars for your business.

I will also mention that Schwab has a very nice perk - their debit card reimburses ATM transactions overseas.
Again, I would not decide based on this, but since there are no-fee funds and ETFs that meet my needs, then I will take advantage of this perk.

Choices

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Re: Fidelity versus Vanguard... or other?
« Reply #4 on: June 28, 2016, 01:17:44 PM »
They're both great. We use Fidelity because it was the option with my first 401K and it's nice to have everything at one place. They also have a local office with excellent (FREE!) customer service for questions, help with rollover paperwork, etc. When we closed accounts at other firms to roll them to Fidelity, the other firms charged us about $50 per account to close it, and Fidelity reimbursed those fees.

Catbert

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Re: Fidelity versus Vanguard... or other?
« Reply #5 on: June 28, 2016, 01:21:31 PM »
I have Fidelity and like it.  Picked it semi-randomly 25+ years ago and have stuck with them.

As others have mentioned you may want to look at side benefits.  For example, Fidelity has a physical customer service office in my city.  That's been nice when I've wanted to get or deposit certified checks or otherwise look someone in the eye.  I have a lot invested with them and have an assigned representative in their local office.  They have an ATM card with reimbursed ATM fees and no foreign transaction fees that has been a good backup when traveling overseas.  Fidelity also has a 2% cash back Amex Card with no annual fee.  I'm not sure if Vanguard offers similar things or others that might entice you. 

catccc

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Re: Fidelity versus Vanguard... or other?
« Reply #6 on: June 28, 2016, 01:44:54 PM »
I have Fidelity through work and Vanguard for my outside of work investments.  I prefer vanguard, personally.  They are both decent, though.

James

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Re: Fidelity versus Vanguard... or other?
« Reply #7 on: June 28, 2016, 02:03:18 PM »
As two others have said, I have Fidelity through work and Vanguard for everything else. Wish I could have everything at Vanguard, but Fidelity isn't bad.

Frankies Girl

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Re: Fidelity versus Vanguard... or other?
« Reply #8 on: June 28, 2016, 02:11:19 PM »
There is absolutely nothing wrong with Fidelity as long as you stick with their low cost index funds, and avoid paying for management (they have professional management that for a ~0.50-1% fee, will do all the scutwork on your portfolio - but it's unnecessary if you do a little basic research).

They have comparable funds to pretty much all Vanguard funds, have excellent (free) customer service, a better website (in my and many others' opinion) and lots more perks than Vanguard since they are a for-profit company.

https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Fidelity
Fido has been changing the Spartan series of index funds over to be just "Fidelity" so check tickers to match up if there is any question about getting the correct fund.

Think of using Fido (if you are an index investor) as being the type of person that has a great rewards card and never carries a balance so the card company don't earn the high interest (management) fees off you, just the little transaction (expense ratio) fees. We're not their target audience really since index investing doesn't net them as big a profit, but they'll still treat us well since we're customers all the same. They offer index funds as a loss leader, hoping that you'll start dabbling in some of their management funds, but no one is going to pressure you to do so.

 

SoccerLounge

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Re: Fidelity versus Vanguard... or other?
« Reply #9 on: June 28, 2016, 08:57:14 PM »
I have Fidelity at work for my 401(k). It's in the S&P 500 because that was the lowest-fee index-type option they had. They definitely 'want' you to sign up for the managed funds, but it's pretty easy not to and I haven't got any complaints. The most important thing, no matter who you like better, is to avoid funds with high fees, and to keep throwing that money in! ;)

seattlecyclone

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Re: Fidelity versus Vanguard... or other?
« Reply #10 on: June 29, 2016, 08:27:30 AM »
They're both basically just as good as long as you stick to the index funds at Fidelity. I prefer and recommend Vanguard because index funds are their main focus, but if you already have an account at Fidelity you may as well stick with them. There's no compelling reason in my mind to go through the hassle of switching when the products each place offers are basically the same.

Sibley

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Re: Fidelity versus Vanguard... or other?
« Reply #11 on: June 29, 2016, 02:16:58 PM »
I prefer Vanguard due to their ownership structure. Have had accounts at both, get hopelessly confused by both websites, and have an easier time finding a phone number for Vanguard to get help (ie, tell me how to use their website).

Jessamine

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Re: Fidelity versus Vanguard... or other?
« Reply #12 on: June 29, 2016, 02:24:43 PM »
I have Fidelity due to a UTMA account my parents set up for me when I was little, and then my employer's 401k.  It was just easier to stick with one bank for all my investing needs.  As for customer service, they've been nothing but helpful both on the phone and in-person at a local branch when I needed some help figuring out some rollovers.  The web interface is a little awkward starting off, but I can't compare to any other institutions, and it works just fine once you figure out where everything is.

ClaycordJCA

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Re: Fidelity versus Vanguard... or other?
« Reply #13 on: June 30, 2016, 12:34:22 AM »
The FIDO credit card is transitioning from Amex to Visa.  My 401k is with Schwab and an old IRA and taxable account are at FIDO. FIDO continues to lower the fees on their index funds, so they are about equal to Vanguard. I find the Schwab website easier to use to purchase ETFs, but FIDO's is really easy to use for selling mutual funds. I like FIDO since it has the 2% cash back credit card.

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Fidelity versus Vanguard... or other?
« Reply #14 on: June 30, 2016, 05:36:42 AM »
Fidelity, Schwab, and Vanguard all seem fairly equal if you use their funds.