Vanguard Please Stop Nickel and Diming Me

I just got this notice from Vanguard in my latest statement:


Beginning in the first quarter of 2011, participants in all University of Virginia retirement plans will be charged an administrative fee of $12 per year. The fee will be deducted from each account on a quarterly basis. The first quarterly deduction of $3.00 will be withheld from your account balance and reflected in your first quarter statement. Please note that if you participate in more than one University of Virginia retirement plan, an annual fee will be charged for each plan.

The administrative fee covers the costs associated with record keeping, account statements, participant education, postage, and other services for the retirement plan and its participants. The administrative fee will be deducted from each of the funds in your account on a pro rata basis. For example, if a fund makes up 50% of your account balance, 50% of the fee will be deducted from that fund.

Also Vanguard who claims to have very low expense ratios also has more low balance fees than Fidelity and T Rowe Price (more details to follow in an update tomorrow). I have both a Roth IRA and all my UVA Retirement plans with Vanguard. I’m thinking of moving my UVA retirement to Fidelity and the Roth to T Rowe Price if Vanguard doesn’t do away with this new fee. Our options at UVA are Vanguard, Fidelity and TIAA CREF and Vanguard is the only one charging these new fees. Also my retirement plan is setup as three accounts and I’m sure that I’ll be charged $12 three times.

Robbing Peter to Pay Paul – The Wachovia-Citi Deal cont’d

Continuing my previous post on the citi-wachovia deal and some comments from me and others on that post at seekingalpha, here is what is known so far.

At the end of the year we will get proxy statements and will be able to vote on the deal. I sure as hell am not voting for it unless something significant changes about the deal. As it stands, Citi paid just over $14 billion for Wachovia’s assets that it plans to takeover. 12 to the Feds and the rest to Wachovia and the Feds brokered this deal. Citi also agreed to cover puto $42 billion in losses on Wachovia’s mortgage portfolio. Anything above that the Fed will cover. But the Citi CEO also stated that the losses will not go beyond $42 billion. What the hell is the Fed being paid $12 billion for then? Why is that not being paid to Wachovia? This is like robbing us Wachovia shareholders and paying the Feds for absolutely no plausible reason.

Another reason why this is seriously robbing us blind is that the deal was done with Citibank, which has not reported profits for a long time. It has problems of it’s own. Wachovia is an great bank with stellar customer service and I’m afraid Citibank will ruin all that. The golden west portfolio is what is the problem with Wachovia and if the Feds really want to solve this problem and want $12 billion in return I would radther have Wachovia pay them $12 billion to take over the entire Golden West portfolio than this strange deal. Also that monstrosity called Citibank will just become a bigger one. If you would have asked anyone before this deal – which bank do you think is in bigger danger of collapsing Citibank or Wachovia, IMHO most people would have answered Citibank.

In fact a lot of people were betting on Wachovia surviving, one prime example being Fidelity, who bought 70 million shares of Wachovia. Wachovia insiders have continuously bought stock so even they didn’t expect this to happen.