Are you thinking about moving your accounts to a different broker?

We’ve been hearing from many investors who are thinking about making a change now that their Scottrade accounts have been moved to TD Ameritrade.

TD Ameritrade’s transaction fees are higher than many other brokers, and it’s also the only broker we’re aware of that requires investors to hold no-transaction-fee funds for 180 days to avoid a redemption fee. (Most other brokers have a 60 or 90 day holding periods). So it’s no wonder former Scottrade investors are shopping around.

If you’re a fund investor who is thinking about changing your broker, here are a few things to keep in mind:

1. Open your new brokerage accounts FIRST

Once you’ve chosen a new broker and established your new accounts, your new broker will reach out to your previous broker and transfer your assets.

2. Assets should be moved in-kind (so there won’t be tax consequences)

Your fund shares should be moved in-kind so you don’t have to sell them at one broker and then buy them again at another broker. Beside saving transaction costs, this method avoids triggering taxes.

Occasionally, though not often, you may find a particular fund or share class of a fund that is not accepted by your new broker. In that case you’ll have no choice but to sell the fund prior to transfer. Contact your new broker to ask if each of your funds is carried on their platform.

3. If the broker has a local office, consider opening accounts in person

Continue reading “Ready to Change Brokers? Four Things to Keep in Mind” »

{ 0 comments }

Which broker do you use to trade funds? That’s the question we asked FundX members, and more than 500 fund investors responded.

The majority of FundX investors use Fidelity and Charles Schwab. A smaller percentage use TD Ameritrade, Etrade and Vanguard. Most FundX members have been using their particular brokerage firm to trade funds for many years and would recommend it.  

Other brokers mentioned included Firstrade, Merrill Edge and Wells Fargo. A handful of respondents use two or more brokers (usually either Schwab or Fidelity).  

Most of you (67%) are very satisfied with your broker overall. When we looked at the specific results for each broker, however, we discovered that you were very satisfied with Schwab (80%) and Fidelity (73%) and far less satisfied with TD Ameritrade (30%).

6 factors to consider when choosing a broker

Investors also told us what they liked (and didn’t like) about their brokers, which may be particularly useful if you are considering changing your broker.

1. Website: How is the online or mobile experience?

Most investors trade funds online these days, so they really appreciate a broker that has an easy-to-use website (58%).

It’s hard to judge a broker’s website until you’ve got an account there, so it may help to know that one FundX reader found that “TD Ameritrade’s online trading platform is not as user-friendly as Schwab’s.”

Another investor reported that “Schwab’s website design is not as user-friendly as Fidelity; however, the information is better.”

One respondent liked that Schwab makes it “easy to get annual fund data for Turbo Tax”, while a Fidelity investor noted that the broker has a “great mobile app.”

2. Fees: What are the trading costs?

All brokers charge some trading fees, including transaction fees and redemption fees, and most respondents (55%) were OK with these costs.

Vanguard and Etrade investors were particularly happy with their broker’s low fees. 

TD Ameritrade users, however, were unhappy with their broker’s 180-day redemption fee.

Investors also disliked that they typically had to pay transaction fees to buy Fidelity or Vanguard. In fact, a handful of investors told us that they’ve opened accounts at three or four firms and they “use whichever one is free.”

3. Fund selection: Are most funds available, and how many are no transaction fee (NTF)?

Continue reading “2018 Broker Survey Results” »

{ 0 comments }

How to Get More Fully Invested

March 22, 2018

Do you have cash in your account that really should be invested? When we talk with investors, we’ve found that many of them have more cash in their accounts than they needed. Some were in cash because they’re waiting to buy into stocks at lower levels or because they’re worried about a potential market decline. […]

Click here for More

FundX President Janet Brown’s Take on 5 Funds & ETFs

March 9, 2018

After a strong run, markets around the world fell in February. What asset classes are doing well now and which ones should you avoid? FundX President Janet Brown answered these questions and more on Chuck Jaffe’s MoneyLife Show on March 8, 2018. “Foreign generally fell back a little more than U.S. stocks; large-cap U.S. growth […]

Click here for More

How Bond Markets Could Change

March 2, 2018

What will you do if bond markets change? Changing interest rates are at the top of investors’ minds, and the markets may respond to rising rates in different ways. How can you prepare? First, consider some of the possible ways that markets could change, and then think through how to best respond to these changes. […]

Click here for More

How to Control Your Emotions in Volatile Markets

February 25, 2018

Volatility has returned to the stock market this year. Sharp jolts like these can be nerve-wracking, even when you know that pullbacks are a normal part of long-term investing. It’s also normal to feel anxious during sell-offs or uncomfortable as we wait and see if markets fall further. We can’t change how we feel during […]

Click here for More

4 Certainties in Uncertain Times

February 5, 2018

In uncertain times, we tend to focus on what we don’t know: will the market rally continue or are we due for a sell-off? Is a down market a routine correction or the start of a serious bear market? It helps to remind ourselves what we do know. Here are four certainties to keep in […]

Click here for More

Markets Keep Going Up. Should You Worry?

January 12, 2018

Is the market too high? Markets have continued to rally in 2018, and while some investors are euphoric, others are concerned that a correction’s around the corner. On Marketwatch, FundX Chief Investment Officer Jason Browne reminded investors that market conditions will change eventually. “This environment pushes people to buy dips,” Jason said. “Will that last […]

Click here for More

Set Yourself up for Success in 2018

December 29, 2017

What do you want to learn in 2018? You might be looking for new investment opportunities. Maybe you’ve been invested in the U.S. and you want to learn more about how to invest globally. Or perhaps you want to read more about what you can do about higher interest rates so you’ll feel more confident […]

Click here for More

4 Ways to Weather Changing Markets

November 30, 2017

Markets and most investors have had terrific returns this year so far, but what should we do now? FundX CIO Jason Browne gave his take on the markets on CNBC’s Closing Bell. “When valuations get as high as they are, and everyone feels this good, two things tend to happen,” Jason explained. “One is volatility […]

Click here for More