ETF's, TDIF's, Charles, FIDO, Bid/Ask Spread Calculation Fun!

To start, I want to graciously thank Vivi, aka (Vivitron), for allowing me to be apart of the Office Hours Gang! #BudgetNerd #FINerds #YNABforlife I know the CyberDEI community will benefit 10x fold from the additional knowledge they will gain from the course and myself over the years!

I’m going to attempt to break this post into coherent question(s). Yup, incoming multiple questions, Jeremy! It was either make one post or multiple; I decided on one post for simplicity.

New Users are only able to post (2) links, so I was unable to add my additional four links


  • Active Duty - (AD)
  • The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act - (SCRA)
  • Membership Rewards - (MR)
  • Fidelity - (FIDO)
  • Charles Schwab - (Charles)
  • American Express - (AMEX)
  • Navy Federal Credit Union - (NFCU)
  • Pentagon Federal Credit Union - (PNFD)
  • Exchange-Traded Funds - (ETF’s)
  • Target Date Index Funds - (TDIF’s)
  • Automated Customer Account Transfer Service - (ACAT) aka Transfer of Securities
  • Net Asset Value - (NAV) - aka net value of an entity, calculated as the total value of the entity’s assets minus the total value of its liabilities.
  • Roth IRA - (rIRA)

Supporting Information:

  • Location: El Segundo, CA, USA
  • Age: 28
  • Budgeting Software - #YNAB for Life! Going on (7) years strong!
  • Annual Expense’s - $45,708.60
  • Income - Mid-Six Figures
  • Debt - Negative Ghost Rider
  • Banking + Broker - (Charles)
  • Main Credit Card - (AMEX)
  • Backup Credit Card - (NFCU)
  • Backup to Backup Credit Card - (PNFD)
  • I prefer a “one-stop-shop” approach to Banking/Investing
  • I work in security, specifically the Cyber Security sector, and like redundancy!


I previously received an ‘SCRA’ waiver for my AMEX credit cards: Charles Platinum & Gold, which has since been revoked as I’m no longer AD. I still have the sweet benefits of cash out my AMEX MR points at a 1.25% per 1 (MR) point into my Charles taxable brokerage account. This was one of my main reasons for choosing Charles as my bank + broker because I was not paying $800/year and profiting on my spending per month. Now that I’m paying the annual fees, I have been closely monitoring the ‘breakage,’ and I’m still technically ahead with all the current AMEX credits and benefits.

Annual Fees:
Charles Platinum - $550/year
Gold - $250/year
Blue Business Plus - $0/year
Total - $800/year

Charles Platinum - 5x MR = 6.25% Cashback on Flights
Gold - 4x MR = 5% Cashback on Restaurants and Groceries
Blue Business Plus - 2x MR = 2.5% Cashback on everything

  1. I see you recommend Charles, FIDO, and Vanguard but you specifically Bank + Invest with FIDO. Is there a particular reason you chose FIDO over Charles?

  2. My current strategy is 80/20 VTI/VXUS until I turn (45), then I will start pivoting towards 70/20/10 VTI/VXUS/BND. I specifically chose (ETF’s) such as ‘VTI’ because of the fund’s redundancy. If (Charles) ever gets fickle, I can move into another broker without having to worry about selling/being outside of the market during an ACAT transfer. But, I see you’re specifically recommending (TDIF’s), but unfortunately, they’re specific to that broker (without a fee) and would “lock” you into their house per se. Please ease my risk assessment mind about being “locked” into one broker’s funds.

  3. Utilizing the portfolio visualizer I see that SWTSX - Charles equivalent to VTSAX, which is the ‘total U.S. stock market fund’ underperforms by a marginal amount, roughly ~1.5k over a (5) and (10) year span. Would this be because of Vanguards Tax efficiencies they patented into their funds? If so, in 2023, when Vanguard’s patient expires, do you foresee Charles and FIDO utilizing this patient to create a more tax advantages fund for their specific houses?

  4. Your BONUS content in your course—(BTW, kudos as this course is/was phenomenal for all levels of financial maturity) shows that you’re Invested in (ETF’s) yourself. Disregarding the exact (EFT’s) as you aforementioned in the course, do you find it difficult to sell those funds because of the ‘share’ aspect rather than (NAV) value whole dollar?

  5. In your previous ‘Office Hours Live’ sessions, you spoke about purchasing (TDIF’s) instead of continuing the purchases of (ETF’s); why?

  6. You seem to be utilizing the FIDO "one-stop-shop’ referenced in the boglehead forums. How do you like the banking aspect of FIDO? Have you ever had any issues with accessing your funds? Are you aware of which bank your funds live inside? I understand your money is shuffled into different banking institutions specified as “program banks.”

  7. Charles has my financial house and in the words of JL Collins - “Put all your eggs in one basket and guard that one basket very, very, very closely.” But, I like to have a bit of diversity, as to why I’m Invested in VTI/VXUS instead of SWTSX/SWISX (disregarding the issues of the emerging market). I am thinking about moving my funds from Charles into FIDO simply because of FIDO’s “Fractional Share” opportunities. I love Charles’s customer service and website GUI, so I’m at an impasse and would like your advice (as I deem it remarkably valuable).

  8. How do you feel about leaving extra money, $150 every couple of months, in my rIRA/Taxable accounts? I ask because, unfortunately, Charles still hasn’t allowed (ETF’s) for fractional shares, and sometimes I cannot purchase a “whole share” of VTI. Can you possibly create an awesome “Jeremy Special” spreadsheet on uninvested money and the concurrent loss of early retirement when you cannot purchase a full share? As of current, the most someone would have is ~$200 uninvested while waiting for VTI to either drop or to fund their account.

  9. Bid/Ask spread, should someone be worried about this while buying high volume (ETF’s) —VTI/VXUS/BND, etc., Maybe another “Jeremy Special” on VTSAX vs. VTI and the realized cost of the Bid/Ask spread on investments. I have noticed the Bid/Ask spread usually once the market has leveled is .01 - .02% between 0900 - 1200hrs PST.

To expand on question number 8, I would specifically love to see someone’s net profit: Tiffany and Ashley :grinning: with one investing in VTSAX 100% and the other investing in VTI with $150-200 uninvested due to the ‘whole share’ issue.

I do apologize for (9) questions! Hopefully, you’re able to answer all of them for me!

Thanks, see you Wednesday!

Rick E.

OMG :open_mouth:. Interested to see if / how Jeremy tackles this one haha


Daaanggg , some one is getting their Office Hours money’s worth for sure


Um… wow. I’ve never had someone submit a question so long that it required a KEY before. Love the thoroughness!

We already have three other questions queued up tonight, so in the interest of time, I’ll answer your first three parts in tonight’s office hours (3/24/2021) with the recording available afterwards on the course site!

If you’re not signed up for office hours, you can sign up here.

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