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Which company is best?

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  • Which company is best?

    I'm a 4th year medical student about to enter residency this July. My wife and I have contributed to our ROTH accounts for 2 years now. Mine is at Vanguard with a 0.15% roboadvisor fee and it picks the investments for me (which I don't like and would rather manage it myself). My wife's is at TD Ameritrade because she googled it and it didn't charge us a fee to manage and I can choose the asset allocation myself (I've just done VTI and VXUS for us both so far).

    My plan: I plan to mainly use index funds like VTI and VXUS and bonds later (the standard WCI stuff). I also want to have the flexibility to do a backdoor ROTH and move money through accounts freely when the time comes in the future (like mega backdoor Roth) and any other pro moves if that's best for our situation. I also use MINT for finances and would like things to sync well (TD Ameritrade is been a pain in the rear to sync on MINT).

    My question: Which company is best?
    I know there are limitations with each company (like I heard vanguard doesn't let you do some type of rollover or individual 401K?) I want to be able to do everything like all the pro moves, but I also don't want to get charged random fees that I don't need (like the robo advisor).

    If we were to move our 2 Roth accounts to one company for simplicity sake (and then we plan to start ALL of our future accounts in that same company) which company would you go with? If you were starting all over, which company would you start out with?

    Thank you for your help.

  • #2
    Don't you have to pay a fee to TD Ameritrade each time you buy a vanguard fund? If you're at Vanguard, you don't pay to buy.

    You know you can just stop doing the roboadvisor at vanguard, right? You must have opted to do that at some point. I'm sure you can cancel anytime and then that .15 fee goes away.

    Most people here use either Vanguard or Schwab or Fidelity. Any of those would be fine. You can do an individual 401k at Vanguard.


    • #3
      Assuming it's not killed in the future, you can do a backdoor Roth easily enough at any of the major brokerages. Megabackdoor Roth (again, assuming it's not killed) isn't something you can do unless your company's 401k/403b allows it, so which brokerage you have your individual accounts with doesn't really matter for that. Yo don't have to use the roboadvisor service at Vanguard. I use Vanguard for my Roth IRA and my taxable account and have always managed my investments myself.

      Between paying off your student loans and maxing out your Roth IRAs and whatever other retirement plans (401k/403b) you may have available to you as residents, you won't have much if any money left to invest in a taxable account. If TD Ameritrade is charging you a fee to buy Vanguard mutual funds or ETFs, I'd move your wife's Roth IRA account over to Vanguard; otherwise I'd leave it where it is. Then I'd wait to make a final choice on where to put your Roth IRA accounts and future taxable brokerage accounts until after you become attendings and you know what company your employer(s) is using for their retirement system; if it's a decent company (Vanguard, Fidelity, Charles Schwab, to name three) you might want to roll your Roth IRAs and open your taxable accounts at the same institution.