Fidelity, Vanguard Seen as Popular Rollover Destinations

June 11, 2009 ( - A new survey finds that high net-worth (HNW) investors are ready to roll over assets from former employer-sponsored retirement accounts to providers who offer superior retirement planning and income services.

A news report from Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Cogent Research said one in three (32%) affluent and HNW investors have assets in former employer plans.  Among those investors, 39% say they are likely to roll their assets into an IRA within the next 12 months. 

“Play” Grounds?

This equates to 12% of the affluent population who have, and are willing to roll over accounts.  Cogent said with an average account balance of nearly $200,000, this puts about $450 billion dollars of retirement assets potentially in play over the next 12 months.   

Cogent found that four of the top five rollover IRA destinations are firms that are traditionally known as online or discount brokers, many of which also have substantial 401(k) plan franchises.

“Online brokers have spent a lot of time and money encouraging investors to use their rollover services, and it’s working,” said Christy White, Principal of Cogent Research.    “Not only are they the most likely to be successful at migrating client assets from the institutional-side to the retail-side of the house, online brokerages are also the most likely to bring in new dollars at the expense of full-service providers.”

“Final” Destinations  

According to the Cogent survey, the top destinations for rollover IRA assets include:

  • Fidelity Investments
  • The Vanguard Group
  • Charles Schwab
  • Merrill Lynch
  • USAA

However, many full-service firms found themselves in the bottom tier in terms of being a destination for rollovers assets, including well-known firms such as T. Rowe Price, Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Edward Jones, and Smith Barney, Cogent said. 

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