Service is King, even today when many financial firms treat it like the Joker. Try getting a copy of your 1099, or figuring out a K-1. What you’re faced with is, perhaps, hours in a phone queue maze with no satisfactory answer. Some of these firms, not Fidelity, are too big and end up failing simple tasks. Other’s are left offering funds that are too big (like some of Vanguard’s) and then fail to meet the needs of investors (such as ESG funds from BlackRock and others) while trying to save the world. All you want is what you asked for, is that so hard? For some, in a word, yes. Action Line: … [Read more...]
Why Fidelity is Number One
You don’t build a company such as Fidelity Investments, with more than $2 trillion in assets, overnight. It takes constant focus and improvement, day by day, or kaizen—a Japanese philosophy of daily improvement espoused by former chairman Edward C. “Ned” Johnson III.
When I worked at Fidelity, back in the mid-90s, Mr. Johnson encouraged us, through his memos, to apply the philosophy of kaizen to all aspects of our lives.
Mr. Johnson paid particular attention to kaizen as it related to the firm’s investment in technology. He wanted to make sure Fidelity was second to none.
Read more about why Fidelity is number one below:
The financial services business is booming. The keyword being “services.” Because as millions of existing and new retirees look for help, the demand for service is stretching some firms’ capacity to help them. Not Fidelity’s, because, as you know, Fidelity is #1. With all the talk about robo-advisers, one fact remains with automated services; nothing can replace a live conversation with a financial adviser. I know my customers. I know when their emotions are high, and that’s something I don’t see a robot catching. Service is a huge part of getting your finances right. I know you don’t … [Read more...]
UPDATE, 3.29.21: One of the best ways FidSafe can help your family is with useful estate planning document management tools. You can start out on FidSafe with their estate planning checklist, that helps you organize all your most important files the right way. There are many documents you'll need to be fully prepared, including a last will and testament, durable power of attorney, trust documents, marriage licenses, vehicle titles, charitable wishes, deeds, and more. FidSafe helps you remember it all, keep it safe, and have it ready when needed. Originally posted on September 24, 2020. A … [Read more...]
You probably have dozens of apps on your smartphone. Chances are they are collecting your personal information en masse, and either selling it to third parties or keeping it for themselves. Most likely both. You have read here about the widening surveillance state I'm calling the virtual panopticon. The efforts by the government to surveil Americans are expanding quickly as technologies make it easy to watch every part of your life. But how much surveillance are you inviting right into your home? Apps on your phone are collecting massive amounts of information about you every day. Some … [Read more...]
Yours truly can attest to Fidelity’s banner year, as business is booming in my neck of the woods. Never before have I opened more accounts for existing and new customers. Who would have thought this would EVER happen in a pandemic year? I certainly did NOT. But as I’ve written to you before, when it comes to investing, you don’t want to be in the PREDICTION business. It never hurts to have a front-row seat, though. “Fidelity’s Retail Investor Accounts Rise 17% to 26 million” reports the WSJ here: Fidelity Investments capped 2020 with record annual operating profit, lifted by strong … [Read more...]
As you know, Robinhood offers online traders an easy way to invest in stocks like GameStop. But did you know it makes it’s money from PFOP or payment for order flow? What PFOP means is that Robinhood sells its own customer trading data to outsiders—those more than willing to pay for it. Why you might ask? Follow the money. A hedge fund might want to know what the order flow looks like on a specific stock and bet for or against it. It’s like sitting at the poker table and they see everyone’s hand. It’s basically a legal way (I guess) to show them the money. Don’t let that be you. It’s … [Read more...]
When you think about low cost index funds, do you think of Fidelity Investments? You should. Located blocks from Fidelity’s headquarters is Fidelity run Geode where “a team of quants toil in relative anonymity,” writes Justin Baer for the WSJ. “They’re also a key weapon in the investment firm’s fight to take on all rivals, from Vanguard Group to Robinhood Markets Inc.” “It’s one of the best-kept secrets in asset management,” said Ben Johnson, director of global exchange-traded fund research at Morningstar.” Baer continues: Index investors like Geode are charged with keeping pace with … [Read more...]
Happy Friday, it’s almost five o’clock. Hang in there. This week we have a lot to talk about, but first, I have to say time flies. With my daughter in college and a son almost there, I feel a little older. A client friend told me about a conversation he had on a milestone birthday. “Dad, I can’t believe I’m 65,” he said. “How do you think I feel?” His dad responded, “I have a son on social security.” Aren’t we always in our mid-thirties mentally? Time flies. (If you want it to slow down, try not drinking for a month, go on a diet, or go jogging.) When I was fresh out of Babson … [Read more...]
As I explained to you yesterday in Money 101: There’s a Reason Family Always Comes 1st, when something is free, you’re probably the product being sold. Sold to whom? Well, in the case of GameStop, for example, Robinhood sold high-speed traders customer order flow as reported in the WSJ back in December: Robinhood Financial LLC has agreed to pay $65 million to settle regulatory claims that it didn’t sufficiently disclose its business deals with high-speed trading firms, the Securities and Exchange Commission said Thursday. The fine is a setback for the fast-growing company, which has helped … [Read more...]
Retirement planning is a lot like catching an airplane. You rush to get there then sit around and wait. When it comes to retirement planning there’s a rush to get there, to retirement. Your finances are all you think about. Do I have enough to retire? Should I work another couple of years? But then something funny happens. You find yourself retired. You do what you want to do and there’s not a whole lot of thinking about planning. Here’s a reminder to always stay focused on your savings. Action Line: Open an account with Fidelity and check that box for your financial security. Fidelity: … [Read more...]