Bank of America Withdrawal and Investment Simplification

July 21, 2010 by  
Filed under Investing

Yesterday and today I continued the process of disengaging from our relationship with Bank of America.  

Several months ago we opened a new primary checking account at a community bank paying 3.85% interest on funds up to $25k. Last week we went to that same community bank for a mortgage refinance on our Tennessee home. Bank of America was not competitive so we will be paying off our existing BOA mortgage.

Yesterday I sent instructions to Bank of America to close our home equity line of credit (which we had never used). Our new bank will open one for us with no fees or costs involved. Today I stopped by the Bank of America branch and closed one of our two remaining accounts. This is the account for which BOA started charging account fees after years of providing the account for free.

We will keep the one remaining BOA account for now because it is linked to our brokerage account, where for the time being we get to trade without paying commissions. That will change soon and then we will move our IRAs and other assets in the BOA brokerage account to our Vanguard account. Vanguard is now allowing its brokerage customers to trade Vanguard ETFs commission-free which is an excellent feature.

I am still in the process of simplifying and re-balancing the investment classes in our retirement accounts.  This has involved a series of transactions in our 401(k) self-managed brokerage account. My job in managing risk will be much easier after everything is complete, such as by effectively using stop-loss orders.

What changes are you making in your financial life?


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Comments

7 Responses to “Bank of America Withdrawal and Investment Simplification”
  1. MasterPo says:

    This spring I pulled some money out of equity funds and put into short-term bonds. Not a lot but I’m playing it very risk adverse for the foreseeable future now.

    Might take some gains this year (what’s left of them at least) to get the lower cap gains rate.

  2. MasterPo says:

    ps- Also trying to increase my cash reserves as much as possible. I can always invest or spend it later.

  3. Jack Clark says:

    Personally no changes as of yet.

    I’ve been with Vanguard for several years now. I’m lucky enough that with where I live I can drive to their Corporate HQ in Wayne, PA and actually do my transactions with a human being for free regardless of what it is. (It’s an unwritten benefit they offer)

    As for BOA TML, I’m surprised you haven’t moved any money you have with them a while ago. Other than having lots of branches and ATM’s I can’t really see a reason to bank with BOA, PNC, Wachovia, or any of the big boys.

    Their rates are always less competitive, no one has the authority to want to work with you on anything and other than the “convenience” factor they truly offer nothing that a larger CU or community bank can’t offer.

  4. We disengaged from large banks years ago. My credit union, though several hundred miles away, has been excellent. I use electronic deposit of scanned checks which is a time saver.

    Vanguard is finally becoming competitive in the brokerage area which is nice. Their low cost structure is investor beneficial.

    Trailing stops on all your investments is a great way to help manage your risk. You can control your losses though you cannot control your gains.

  5. MasterPo says:

    ATM availablity is a big issue.

    So is a good online interface.

  6. I get money at a grocery store instead of an ATM. ATM has too many security issues – the newest one is a transparent keypad that overlays the ATM keypad copies your pin as you type it in and either captures it or sends it to a nearby computer.
    I’m not sure what the good online interface requirements are, but my CU works fine and is secure.

    • MasterPo says:

      Interface, like being able to:

      – Schedule furture payments and transfers.
      – Payment and transfer history.
      – A ‘PRINT’ button or link that doesn’t just dump the screen to the printer but creates a printer-friendly version.
      – Able to open new accounts (like CD’s) online w/o having to re-enter all your info because you’re already a bank customer.
      – Able to link your spouse’s account to yours and transfer back and forth.

      Things like that.

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