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Mutual Funds/Brokerage account or stay with 3 statements


I am 68 and my IRAs are with Fidelity, T. Rowe Price, and Vanguard with most of my money concentrated with TRW and Vanguard. I have contemplated doing a transfer in kind of my funds into a brokerage account (I would like to get one statement of my mutual funds rather than continue to deal with three separate statements and I understand with a brokerage account Fidelity would calculate RMDs although my CPA could do this as well) with Fidelity since they have an office in Baltimore. Unlike TRP (also in Baltimore) and Vanguard, Fidelity does not charge for mutual fund redemptions important since in the near future I will need to begin to take RMDs. Here is the glitch - all of my Vanguard mutual funds are Admiral shares. Admiral shares can only be held in a Vanguard account. If I do a transfer in kind to an outside company of my shares they must be converted to regular shares. How do I figure out if the Admiral share to regular share loss is significant in the long run if I establish a brokerage account with Fidelity - if the Admiral shares are really such an advantage maybe it is better just to let sleeping dogs lie and put up with three separate statements.

Hi Glen. Thanks for the question and its a great one as it cuts through to a very important matter regarding mutual funds which is costs. The good news is that with all Vanguard funds, the internal costs or low compared to industry standards so whether you are using admiral shares or a different share class, you will still be investing in low cost funds by utilizing Vanguard. The easiest way to put this into perspective is to go to a mutual fund research website (such as or go to vanguards website and simply look at the internal expense ratio of the Admiral Class share vs the standard class. This internal cost difference is what you can generally expect to give up in performance. As an example, the Vanguard S&P 500 Admiral class has an internal expense ratio of .05% whereas the standard S&P 500 fund has an internal expense ratio of .17%. So, in this instance, you are technically giving up .12% in annual performance. I hope this helps!

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John D Smith, CFP


I can answer detailed questions regarding mutual fund investing, retirement planning, education planning and related comprehensive wealth management and investment concerns.


I have been providing fee only investment management and comprehensive wealth management services for the past 19 years.

I have a degree in Financial Planning & Counseling and I am also a Certified Financial Planner practitioner.

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