Saturday, August 16, 2008

The Companies I Use

When I logged in to my USAA account today, I saw a message saying that you can now access your account information through text messaging. This got me thinking about how much I like my banks and other companies I use for financial services. So here are some quick thoughts on each of them.

  • USAA - I'm really happy with their customer service and range of services. They are always quick to answer my questions. I'm also really pleased with how well they keep up with technology. Things like banking through text messaging and depositing checks online via your scanner are big pluses for me. The only downside is the low interest rates on checking and savings accounts.
  • ING Direct - For long term savings, I use ING Direct. Back when I first made my account they were one of the highest interest rates. They still offer great rates but aren't the industry leader anymore. They also have a very user friendly website.
  • E*Trade - I wish the commissions here were lower, but they aren't terrible. They charge me to get money out if I don't want to wait two weeks for a check to be mailed to me. Anyway, I rarely use them anymore. If you need a broker, I'd research it a little. I have no problems that would prevent me from using them in the future though.
  • Wachovia - This is my brick and mortar bank. I hardly ever use them. For 5 out of my 6 years in the military there has not been a Wachovia nearby. USAA handles my needs much better and is more military friendly.
  • Vanguard - I moved my IRA from USAA to Vanguard back in January. I have been very pleased with the move. Vanguard boasts some of the lowest expense ratios around and has a great website to handle everything I need. I've also heard good things about TRowe Price if you don't have the minimum amount to open an account at Vanguard ($3000 when I opened).
If you are thinking of switching any of your financial institutions, I strongly recommend that you look at for some comparisons, and also google for some reviews online.

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