Author Topic: Fidelity vs Vanguard--is it worth switching?  (Read 4904 times)

Jazzpolice

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Fidelity vs Vanguard--is it worth switching?
« on: April 19, 2014, 10:29:13 PM »
Hi!  I'm a little late to the investing/savings game and have a question for you guys who are more experienced.  My prior jobs (as well as my current one) is thru Fidelity and even though I have over 200 options to choose from currently, I'm still wondering if I would have been better off with Vanguard.  I'm wanting to simplify things and go with index funds but even the one I found to be decent with Fidelity-- FSEVX with expense ration of .07% but similar composition with Vanguard is .05%.  Does that .02% make much of a difference in the long run?  Also, has anyone seen if similar funds in different companies perform similarly?  My goal is to max out the 403B then invest extra $$ into a separate Vanguard account but even then I'm questioning if it's better to keep the money in one place or if it makes a difference if they're in separate areas?  I'm 41 yrs old and finally getting close to reaching the $100,000 mark (about 10K short now) in the 403B.  I'm feeling very behind but trying not to panic.  Thanks for any insight anyone may have!  I'm learning so much from these forums.

Frankies Girl

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Re: Fidelity vs Vanguard--is it worth switching?
« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2014, 11:25:26 PM »
Just my opinion, but not really worth switching.

If it's a workplace-sponsored type of account, you wouldn't be able to anyway until after you left that job (roll to an IRA).

Vanguard is the flagship for index fund investing, and one of the selling points about them is the fact that they are not a shareholder-owned (i.e. "for profit") company. So they keep the costs for everything low, and pass the savings on to the investors. They are a great company, and you wouldn't be wrong to go with them.

That being said, as long as you're not using "professionally managed" funds, paying for extra services, or going into the funds that have high expense ratios, Fidelity is highly competitive and in some cases, better than Vanguard. They have index funds (Spartan series) that are the same or within .02% expense of Vanguard's similar funds (just like the one you've already found, and basically, to me that .02% difference on a few funds is worth it for the other perks). They have superior customer service. They have a website interface that is much more comprehensive and allows you to do much, much more than Vanguard. I did my research last year, and ended up moving all my accounts to Fid (and have my 401k there) and I am very happy with them.

Check out this bogleheads link regarding using Fid funds:
http://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Fidelity
« Last Edit: April 19, 2014, 11:33:24 PM by Frankies Girl »

Another Reader

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Re: Fidelity vs Vanguard--is it worth switching?
« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2014, 06:50:53 AM »
+1 for Fidelity.  Much better service and likely there's a bricks and mortar office in your city.  I like being able to go in, look someone in the eye while I explain what needs to be done, have it done, and get a business card if follow-up is required.  I have some money at Vanguard, but Fidelity has the bulk of the paper stuff. 

kyleaaa

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Re: Fidelity vs Vanguard--is it worth switching?
« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2014, 10:04:23 AM »
Not really worth switching unless you want index access to some of the slightly more esoteric asset classes.

Jazzpolice

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Re: Fidelity vs Vanguard--is it worth switching?
« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2014, 02:56:20 PM »
Thanks!!  I kind of prefer having a place to go for depositing roll over IRA checks, instead of Vanguard where I don't think has offices.  Although brick and mortar places just add up to the overhead but still...

soccerluvof4

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Re: Fidelity vs Vanguard--is it worth switching?
« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2014, 07:30:32 AM »
I am in Vanguard and love it BUT every book i have read seemingly Vanguard and Fidelity are mentioned. I don't see where you can go wrong staying with them.

MayDay

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Re: Fidelity vs Vanguard--is it worth switching?
« Reply #6 on: April 21, 2014, 09:33:52 AM »
We have both (401k, HSA, and ESPP stuff from an employer is with Fidelity, Roths and IRA's with vanguard).  As others have said, very similar fees, both work fine. 

I had no idea that Fidelity had in person branches.  They definitely don't in my town!  That doesn't sway me either way. 

ZiziPB

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Re: Fidelity vs Vanguard--is it worth switching?
« Reply #7 on: April 21, 2014, 01:03:36 PM »
+1 to what Frankies Girl and Another Reader said.  Most of my accounts are with Fidelity and I have been very pleased with the service and ease of use.  I also use the Fidelity AmEx that gives me 2% back on all purchases.

MinimalistMoustache

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Re: Fidelity vs Vanguard--is it worth switching?
« Reply #8 on: April 22, 2014, 07:04:46 PM »
Thanks Frankie's Girl! Your posts about Fidelity speak to what's important to me - like Customer service and praise for their Spartan Fund . Also like the idea of keeping accounts in one place; my 401 is with them.