Saturday, October 28, 2006

Fidelity saga continues

I am continuing to transition to using my Fidelity brokerage account as my main "bank" checking account.

I actually used one of the checks this week.

I received the debit card and used it as a credit card to pay for dinner last night. I don't intend to do that regularly since I prefer to use the "float" of my credit card, but it's nice to know that I have this option.

I may use the debit card for a cash withdrawal at an ATM, but that will incur a couple of bucks in fees. Once again, I simply want to know that I have the option. Actually, I can't do it today since I don't have a PIN yet.

I paid a utility bill electronically using the routing and account number from the checks. I hadn't been sure that would work, but it does.

I switched my ShareBuilder account to use my Fidelity checking as my "bank". I initiated a small transfer from ShareBuilder to Fidelity as a test. I'll know by Tuesday if that works. Also, "core" cash in Fidelity is currently earning a little more than in ShareBuilder's cash fund (tax-free equivalent of 4.49% versus 4.44%). I'm not sure if this transfer will work since it is money flowing into the checking account number from outside rather than from Fidelity as is usually done.

I did switch my Google AdSense advertising account to use my Fidelity checking as my "bank", but so far the test transfer to Fidelity has not shown up. There is a good chance that this will work, but there is also a fair chance that it won't. I personally don't know anybody who transfers money this particular way (electronically into a brokerage checking account). My ShareBuilder transfer is essentially the same test.

On Tuesday I'll adjust my company payroll direct deposit to direct most of my income into the Fidelity brokerage account, with a fraction continuing to go to my real bank account until I get all of my electronic payments switched.

Another remaining item is TreasuryDirect for managing T-bill investments. I should be able to use the routing and account numbers for my Fidelity checking fine, but I need to get a form signed by a bank officer before money can be disbursed to my checking account. I don't know how to do this yet since I don't deal with the real bank that Fidelity uses for checking (UMB in Missouri). Also, I may be able to do T-bill investments directly through Fidelity.

More to come as the saga continues.

-- Jack Krupansky

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