Author Topic: Fidelity vs. Vanguard worth the switch?  (Read 12392 times)


  • Bristles
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Fidelity vs. Vanguard worth the switch?
« on: October 14, 2012, 08:10:20 AM »
Hey guys and gals,

I've got a fidelity acct with a Roth, Roth Rollover, and Taxable accounts in it.  I opened the taxable this year and made a couple of stock purchases but I'd like the bulk of my money invested in one or two mutual funds for cost and convenience reasons.  I'm wondering if it's worth it to switch to Vanguard at this point or just stay where I'm at.  I like the ownership structure of Vanguard but I'm not sure if the cost basis and Roth contribution info would follow along if the accounts get transferred. 

Fidelity seems to have some comparable indexing funds in terms of expenses although they aren't quite as low. 

It seems important to keep track of the principal contributions on the Roth in case I decide to withdraw the principal prior to turning 59.


  • Magnum Stache
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Re: Fidelity vs. Vanguard worth the switch?
« Reply #1 on: October 14, 2012, 09:43:10 AM »
Definitely keep track of the basis in your Roth's yourself, this should be easily done in a spreadsheet.

We have almost all of our investment accounts at Fidelity because that's where DH's 401-K is, it's nice to have just one place to log into to check everything.  My opinion is that the Spartan funds at Fidelity are comparable to Vanguard index funds, don't switch unless you have a better reason than you seem to.


  • Stubble
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Re: Fidelity vs. Vanguard worth the switch?
« Reply #2 on: October 14, 2012, 04:48:50 PM »
I have been thinking about this as well.  My IRA rollover from a previous job is with Fidelity, and I have often wondered if I should switch.  I just hadn't done the research yet to know if it was worthwhile.


  • Magnum Stache
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Re: Fidelity vs. Vanguard worth the switch?
« Reply #3 on: October 14, 2012, 08:50:23 PM »
This debate is frequent fodder on a number of discussion boards, and it seems to be a highly personal decision.

My impression is:
Vanguard:  World's lowest expenses.  You get the customer service that you pay for.  There are probably no scandalous parties involving prostitutes & midgets.
Fidelity:  You pay a little more for infrastructure and customer service.  This is especially critical if you're trying to use your accounts from overseas, although Vanguard may have lightened up on this a little.

It also depends on the type of trading you prefer to do.  I don't know if Vanguard even offers the ability to sell naked puts & covered call options, but Fidelity seems to support it quite well.

I've been with Fidelity for over 25 years.  My grandfather and father have also been with them for even longer, so I signed on with Fidelity mainly out of tradition/habit.  But now our daughter is also signed on with them, and by "consolidating" her accounts with ours she's eligible for a higher level of customer service.


  • Bristles
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Re: Fidelity vs. Vanguard worth the switch?
« Reply #4 on: October 15, 2012, 09:05:57 AM »
My work accounts are Fidelity and personal are Vanguard. I don't have any huge problems with either. I went with Vanguard with personal because I am pretty simple on my investments and the low fees are worth it. I've never had an issue with customer service with them.

As far as the Roth I am sure they would have to keep track of all that due to the legal requirements, etc. But just ask, should be a fairly common question.

In the end it just comes down to personal preference. For me I find service equal with both so Vanguard wins due to lower costs. But that is me. If you have special needs that are only going to be met by Fidelity then stick with them. Just look at the overall picture and see what is the best for you.