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Acceptable Request for Broker


MVP444300
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On Friday, I called my broker (full service) to ask that they print off the 10K of the last 5 years and most recent 10Q for three companies I'm looking at making purcheses in.  The assistant relayed the message to my broker who called me back/left a message basically saying that they will not be complying with my request and that I should call these respective companies requesting for information.  He is willing however to provide me printed research information of what their research department says about the companies--which I don't think is worth the paper its printed on.  It almost sounded to me like he was telling me that my request was not an acceptable and that I should not be wasting their time.   His statement royally pissed me off to the point where I'm moving my money to a discount brokerage firm this coming week.   On my last two trades alone he charged me $700 and $821 to make puchase transcations.   Full service brokerages are full service until you actually request something from them that doesn't require they get paid.  

 

 

What is your opinion of this?  Am I asking for too much from my broker and what do you think is acceptable for me to ask from them?

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On Friday, I called my broker (full service) to ask that they print off the 10K of the last 5 years and most recent 10Q for three companies I'm looking at making purcheses in.  The assistant relayed the message to my broker who called me back/left a message basically saying that they will not be complying with my request and that I should call these respective companies requesting for information.  He is willing however to provide me printed research information of what their research department says about the companies--which I don't think is worth the paper its printed on.  It almost sounded to me like he was telling me that my request was not an acceptable and that I should not be wasting their time.   His statement royally pissed me off to the point where I'm moving my money to a discount brokerage firm this coming week.   On my last two trades alone he charged me $700 and $821 to make puchase transcations.   Full service brokerages are full service until you actually request something from them that doesn't require they get paid.  

 

What is your opinion of this?  Am I asking for too much from my broker and what do you think is acceptable for me to ask from them?

IMO, it is an unreasonable request. Don't the companies usually send this to you for free if you contact them?

 

I don't think most brokers would accept this request.  If you want to use a full service broker you have already decided you are going to pay large amounts of commissions. They either provide value for that or not.  Unless you have a $5million account which you let them churn regularly then I can't see them being keen to print hundreds of pages of documents and mail them to you.

 

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Regardless, I think it is a waste to pay that much in commission. You should move the bulk of your assets to a discount broker (you could leave a small percentage at the fullservice broker if you want to preserve access to them for advice or something)

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All the 10K and 10Q should now be available on the Internet. Seriously it'll take quicker to download the required documents on their websites than it did to compose that message to initiate this discussion. Sorry mate, no sympathy from me.

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Emotion aside, there are benefits of each - full service and discount.  I used to be with full service, switched some funds to discount, but still use full service.

 

Discount - cheap if doing vanilla trades, don't second-guess (good and bad to that, though!)

 

Full service - better for buy/sell debentures/notes/bonds, excellent research reports (discount "research" is a joke) sometimes with good ideas if look laterally, and good source for facts not for recommendations.

 

Can negotiate fee schedule with full service.

 

I also think the particular request for 10-Ks and 10-Qs was not best use of their time, in today's wired world.  Guess it depends on what you have been receiving in the past though.  If they used to provide that service to you, and suddenly withdrew it, would be upsetting.

 

The full service does provide good info though - eg I use Nesbitt Burns, and they do some great digging into various industries, gather and make available stuff that in theory I could get by reading lots of trade pubs, and spending many weeks learning considerations about but it is efficient to let their specialist do that.  And there are certain info sources that are very costly to subscribe to, and the full service analyst does that and, if good as many are, can share important highlights among the report reading clientele.

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A full service broker can be worth his weight in gold or he can be a totaly useless or anything in between. You should NOT have asked him to print of hundreds of pages of documents which are available for free on line. What you should have asked him was to read the 10K''s and give you his insight if any. If he was unwilling or unable to do that and you were contemplating a significant transaction then you should fire him. However you have to be willing of course to have read the 10k''s etc yourself. If you do not need a full service brokers advice then why pay them . Most individuals at discount brokers experience awful investment results however the readers of this site are in no way representative of the avg. investor. To the poster who says I keep a small amt with a full service broker and my large account with a discount broker I consider this cheating unless you have advised your full service broker of the fact. Execution is the least important service a broker offers except for the most active clients.

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Say that the 10-K's are 100 pages each and the 10-Q's are 50, that is 1250 pages or probably about 6 inches of paper.  I dunno I would hesitate to ask a broker for this, as it is basically an administrative / secretarial function.  The guy would be asking himself if this was the first of many such requests too and wonder if his client intends on using him as a secretary.

 

You could download the PDF's of the documents and e-mail them to a local Kinko's, have them printed, and pick them up in just a few minutes.  I guess it is the principle of the thing though.

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Do you think he knows how to get a 10k or 10q?

"call the company" is a horribly inefficient way to get a K or Q... I do it once in a while to see their glossies, if they do that... or for really old stuff. But it's a pain.

 

Just go to SEC.gov yourself, takes 5min per company...

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Most of the "full service" brokers provide "full" service to themselves and the institutions they work for at the expense of the customer. They are basically glorified used car salesmen and get paid to shaft their customers. Aren't these the same folks who sold auction rate securities to their customers as an alternative to cash? Fire the "full service" broker as soon as possible and save yourself a lot of money and useless advice.

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A lot of the time I just write to the company and ask them for their annual reports of the last 3 years and they do it without any charges. I prefer it to printing 10-K as it's time consuming. Of course I will consult EDGAR 95% of the time but when it comes to a stock I seriously consider I get the annual reports shipped, it's nicer paper too :)

 

I agree, who still uses a full service brooker? Why, why, why? If I spent 50 hours researching a company chances are that I know much more then the brooker.

 

BeerBaron

 

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A a minimum, he should have contacted the companies and requested the info be sent to you.  The only use I have had in the past few years for a "full service" broker is to check out their opinion if opposite of mine, i usually know I am on the right track.  If he (she) says, "that piece of c--p" I know I have a winner.

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I wouldn't discount the value of a full-service broker.  It's the individual who makes the difference, not the category.  We use full-service brokers for both of our funds.  They provide back-end office support when cutting checks, wiring funds, client contact and service provider contact.  We never ask them to print out 10-Q's or 10-K's for us...that is a complete waste of paper, their time, our time, and mailing costs.  You can easily find them on EDGAR for US filings, or SEDAR for Canadian filings.  If someone is too lazy to do that, then they should probably just invest in an ETF or something.

 

You are also paying alot for your full-service broker.  We don't pay nearly that amount, and in our U.S. fund, we pay a fraction of your cost for a trade.  The benefit of a full-service broker for us isn't in the advice...we don't require it.  The benefit for us is when it comes to working very specific trades of small-cap or micro-cap stocks.  In these circumstances, the bid/ask can move very quickly, especially over several days or months when you are working a trade over a long period of time.  The broker needs to pay attention to these moves so they can acquire us shares opportunistically.  Discount brokers cannot do this, and it is worth its weight in gold if you find the right broker.

 

I think your broker was correct in refusing to print out the materials, but I think you should fire him solely based on cost for trades.  If you don't invest in very small-cap, somewhat illiquid stocks, then you are probably best off with a discount broker.  Cheers!  

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Thanks for the reply and advice everyone.  I am in the process of switching to Schwab, I hated to do it because he has been dealing with me and my family for years.    However, I think the price is too high for the service he has been providing.

 

I have never asked my broker to print out any of the forms that I requested in my OP before so that was my first time doing so as I'm ggoing out of town for a week and wanted the information to read; I normally request the information from the companies be sent by snail mail but I didn't think they would get to me before I left.  I like the paper personally, I have a hard time reading 10K off my computer with my eyes.  I don't know how some of you can do that.  lol

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Hi Ubuy2wron...

 

My full service broker knows very well that I use other brokers.  He has about 25 pct of my stockholdings.  And we often discuss ideas; possibly some of my feedback on things he sends me, or mention of my best ideas, has been helpful perspective when advising his other clients.  The original deal was that I would buy thru him if he brought me the idea; we have drifted from that over the years, as ideas go back and forth, and I often buy something thru him that was not brought forward by him, but in practice I think we are about even on favours.  And he (his firm) gets a reasonable level of commission income from my account.  It is my belief than neither of us feels cheated.

 

ws

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Hi Ubuy2wron...

 

My full service broker knows very well that I use other brokers.  He has about 25 pct of my stockholdings.  And we often discuss ideas; possibly some of my feedback on things he sends me, or mention of my best ideas, has been helpful perspective when advising his other clients.  The original deal was that I would buy thru him if he brought me the idea; we have drifted from that over the years, as ideas go back and forth, and I often buy something thru him that was not brought forward by him, but in practice I think we are about even on favours.  And he (his firm) gets a reasonable level of commission income from my account.  It is my belief than neither of us feels cheated.

 

ws

  The single most valuable asset one has is reputation and yours sir is clearly untarnished.  Sorry for implying otherwise. The thing I like most about this board is that members are almost universaly decent. Perhaps it is one of the attributes of value investing .
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