Mom has 170k in a taxable account at Wells Fargo and the WF advisor invested it in 3 mutual funds that have high ER >1%. About 100k was deployed in 11/2018 (now 3-8% returns) and the rest 70k in 2/2020 (now 3-5% losses). I just started learning about investing this year, and wonder if I should help her transfer it all to Vanguard to buy VTSAX & VBTLX. 🐠 what are the pros and cons of transferring versus leaving it alone with the high fees? What are the tax implications I need to consider?

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My candid thoughts: 1. It is worth it to move for lower fees. 2. If you move, make sure the money moves ASAP. Ask how soon can you sell and buy (not sure if you're changing brokerage or staying within the same brokerage etc). With the markets swinging, you want to stay invested so you don't sell low and buy high. 3. If you think it is high now, you can sell it all, hold cash, and buy in every week with a fixed amount. Maybe 10k per week, over 17 weeks? My thoughts is it is towards the lower end now.

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You mentioned this is a taxable account (not an IRA or 401). To my knowledge, for Charles Schwab roboadvisor, you get free tax loss harvesting if you have an amount above $50k... this is useful to get tax benefits if you lost money in the market. It will also rebalance for you, might as well let a robot do it for you. Might make sense to do as your 3rd paragraph says... but I'm unsure how to do tax loss harvesting on my own. Ask an accountant?

Is it important for her to have the Portfolio or whatever their top tier checking/savings package is called? I don't think there are huge benefits to it but some people value status. If you move it all to vanguard she may no longer qualify for the fee waiver. That being said, 1% is a lot when many funds including vanguard are practically 0.

I don’t think she cares or knows about any package. She only invested with WF because she had no investment knowledge (and neither did I at the time) and thought WF was well known and therefore trustworthy. Now that I know better I realize the thousands she is paying in fees. This is a good chunk of her retirement money so I want to do as much as I can to protect and grow it

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