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I am a new Fool. Started with Stock Adviser in January an opened an online brokerage account. I have been listening and learning a lot from the Motley Fool Live!


Good. Now figure out that you shouldn't waste any time or energy listening to "Stock Adviser" or TMF live! (whatever that is).

Very passive with them and leaned on my "financial advisor" to help with re-balancing and recommended index funds. He would give little advice and mostly just had me adjust my allocations to hit some magical target percentage for the different indexes he felt appropriate for my age.

Obviously nobody ever told you the True Secret of beginning & passive investors. To wit: "Put it all in an S&P500 Index Fund."

am strongly considering dumping the full service broker all together and moving over both of our Roth IRAs to a discount broker

What do you mean by "full service broker"?
You are behind the times. (News travels slow. My brother thought that there was still an odd-lot fee 20 years after that fee disappeared.)
Unless you are walking around with a sign on your neck saying "I am an easy mark, come take my money", there are no "Full Service Brokers" anymore. They are all discount brokers. Many of them _also_ offer paid advice, if you should so happen to want to pay somebody to tell you what to do. Otherwise, see the True Secret above.

Merrill Lynch is about as blue-shoe broker as any, and they have $0 commission. Used to be that you have to have $100,000 or $10,000 with them to get free trades. Now it's free commissions no matter how small your account is.


I have been looking heavily at Fidelity and Charles Schwab. Any recommendation on which to choose?

I have accounts at Fidelity, and do not like their trading platform. The only reason I keep the account is to get the 2% cashback on the FIDO credit card. No recent experience with Schwab. Etrade is good. Very good. Easy trading platform and plenty of (free!) research info available.
BTW, I also have accounts at Merrill. I much prefer Etrade. Main reason I keep the ML account is to get the Preferred Rewards. It used to be much better ($0 commissions); now the main bonus to me is the 75% bump-up on the BAC credit card cashback.

2) If I move all three accounts would you recommend just doing the 401K to IRA roll over first and make sure I like the platform before moving three accounts to it.

And, y'know, picking a broker is not like getting married. If you don't like them, it's easy-peasy to transfer your account to a different broker.

Most brokers you can poke around and try the site. Most brokers you can open an account and take your own sweet time to fund it. That gives you the chance to try it and see if you do or do not like it.

Be sure to check the account opening bonus! Most large brokers have a cash bonus, depending on how much money you transfer in. ML is up to $600, for $200,000+ transfer. Etrade is similar. Sometimes you have to hunt around to find the bonus. Google is your friend here.

3) When I move the funds over should I allocate a certain percentage to the 20+ stocks I have the most conviction in right now or put some in an S&P index fund and slowly move money over to individual stocks? I am 36...

To be blunt, you do not have enough experience to have "conviction" on any stock. See the True Secret above for 90+% of your money. Take the 10% (or less) and go wild with it, buying whatever "Stock Adviser" or "Motley Fool Live!" or authoritative-sounding people on the radio/internet suggest. After you've done that for a couple of years, reflect---and (probably) realize that you'd have been better off financially (but not in terms of excitement!) to put it all in a S&P500 index fund.
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