“No surprises here as Kiplinger’s names Fidelity as the top online broker thanks to its mix of services, investing products, and retirement-planning tools. If you don’t have an account with Fidelity then you’re missing the boat,” I wrote to you in September.
Choosing the right custodian could be one of the easiest, yet most important moves you make as an investor. Choose the right one. As Dick Young wrote in the February 2013 issue of Intelligence Report, it’s very important to choose the best custodian.
Choose the Right Custodian
If you have not switched custody of your assets to either Fidelity or Vanguard, you, unfortunately, are one step behind the curve. With either company, you can buy stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and exchange-traded funds without the high-pressure sales tactics and bloated commission rates of full-service brokers. If you still have an account open with a full-service broker, now is the time to consolidate.
I have done business with Vanguard since the company’s founding and with the excellent Boston-based Wellington Management since the early seventies. Wellington today manages Wellesley Income and the Wellington Fund for Vanguard. Wellington was Jack Bogle’s home base prior to his founding Vanguard.
As for Fidelity, I have done business with the Boston-based Fidelity Funds since the early seventies, when the iconoclastic J. Stewart Harvey was director of research. And I first did business with Fidelity back in 1971. I have studied the custody market for decades and not once have felt it useful to broaden my acceptable custodian list.
I do not make one move that does not involve either Fidelity or Vanguard. Today, Fidelity is our family investment company’s custodian, since Vanguard exited the custody business for investment management firms such as Richard C. Young & Co., Ltd. If you are already at Vanguard and are happy with your service, stay there. If you are unhappy at Vanguard or you are looking for more bells and whistles, such as international trading, give Fidelity a try.