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Need stock broker to help us sell stocks for college fund

July 2003

My father-in-law has generously transferred stock to our children over the years for use for college expenses. It is now necessary to use some of the money and we need a stock broker to help us decide what to sell, what to do with stocks from companies that have gone bankrupt, and other such questions. I found recommendations for financial planners on the website, but nothing about brokers. Any suggestions for individuals or particular companies (especially in Berkeley) would be greatly appreciated. Stock Novice

I've had a great relationship with Paul Kommer at BancAmerica Investments. His office is in Walnut Creek, but he's met us at our local BofA branch. His number is 925 988 2111. Allen

Which online brokerage?

March 2003

After 6 unhappy years as an E*TRADE customer, I am finally so fed up that I'm willing to go through the hassle of moving our accounts. But to where? The first one that came to mind was Schwab, but unlike E*TRADE, they charge quarterly fees if your total assets with them are under $50K (an amount which, thanks to the last 3 years, we are solidly under). Checking the Motley Fool I see there is something called ''Harris Direct'' and there's Ameritrade, as well as many others, I'm sure. The things that are important to us are (in equal importance):

1. good/respectable customer service 
2. online access
3. a large variety of funds from which to choose for investing
(not just a few families), 
4. and low fees (of course)
Does anyone have a good recommendation? anon
Try Vanguard -- it's really easy to set up IRAs, etc., online and customer service seems really good. They have tons of no- load mutual funds, many of which are highly rated. Look at any finance guru's list of recommended funds and you'll see Vanguard on there. They're one of the biggest and one of the best. The Web site is Dana
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