Streamlined banking

Archived From: Finance
  • Page :
  • 1
  • Text Only
Voting History
rated:
Curious as to how people structure banking. In particular how to distribute funds (X accounts, Y institutions) without excess clutter. For discussion sake, let's ignore FDIC limits which can trigger account splitting to maximize protection. Over time, I think I've gotten too spread out. I'm not sure if there's any value to straggler accounts as in theory one can open them again. I assume accounts can be found if one runs into any legal issues. So the only values seem to be access to features (e.g., free debits, free electronic payments (e.g., Chase QuickPay)  better mortgage rates, more VISA/MC for promos, etc.). It's usually recommended to reevaluate car insurance every year or two, but I'm guessing many never reevaluate their banking. There's less potential downside to closing accounts than with credit cards.

Example account types:

  • Investment accounts (minimum one taxable + one retirement excluding mandatory employer plans)
  • Retail banking

    • Checking (minimum one personal + PayPal if used)
    • Savings (optional)
    • MMA (optional)
    • Business checking (minimum one if run business or even if sole proprietor)

  • Other

Member Summary
Staff Summary
Thanks for visiting FatWallet.com. Join for free to remove this ad.

I would use another word other than "structure" regarding bank accounts.

Yep, the first rule of banking is to not "structure"

If FDIC limits are not an issue, then I don't see a point in "distributing funds" across accounts. I open and keep accounts for the benefits. There's no reason to have more than one savings/MMA account. Multiple checking accounts are useful for paypal, billpay (different systems have different payees available for the faster electronic payments), mobile apps, banking rewards (like ThankYou points or Discover ca$h back), free checks (for the dinosaurs), free ATMs.

Investment account is wherever the transaction and maintenance fees are the lowest for my investments. Also don't see the need to have more than one account of the same type other than to save on closure-related fees.

Isn't the issue with structuring about transactions, not accounts? Anyway, you got the idea.

KISS rules again.

Sounds like you need to close some accounts. When structuring where your money rests, be sure to favor ethical banks and ideally close accounts from unethical banks. Disregard interest rates, as they're currently negligible. Some data to get started:

* Political manipulating banks
* CISPA banks
* Chase evils (part 1)
* Chase evils (part 2)
* Banks with highest complaint rates

Well, we used to all chase the interest rates, but that's less of an issue now, although some are still doing it. I have some straggling accounts that I opened for either a bonus or a high interest rate back in the day. As long as there's not a fee to keep them, I leave them open. I also always maintain a fully functional back-up checking account in case I need to make a hasty switch to it. The back-up account also comes in Handy when traveling so I have access to a different ATM-capable account in case a debit card gets shut down or something like that.

Because mine and wife's employer retirement accounts were at Fidelity, I keep my IRAs and brokerage there for easy of moving things around. I had previously kept primary checking at Ally, but over time, eventually switched everything over to Fidelity's MyCash account, which I like, and makes moving cash around even easier and faster now, and they have all the same benefits (Free ATMs, checks, no fees, billpay, etc).

At some point, I realized that a savings account, or similar vehicle didn't really make any sense for us. I still keep like $1000 in a savings account linked to the Ally checking, in case we need some emergency cash or some other unforeseen scenario. But, for everything else, I just use the brokerage account. Paychecks come into the checking account, everything moves out to pay bills, or retirement accounts, or to the brokerage.

If FDIC coverage *is* an issue, first, you should probably just invest it. What are you doing with that much in a cash account? Second, Fidelity's MyCash account uses outside banks to sweep into to extend the coverage. At a minimum, there are always 5 banks available, for 1.25M in FDIC coverage. You can check what banks are available, and mine usually lists 6 to 8 banks, so even more coverage. FWIW, my average account balance is probably like $500, so doesn't matter to me. Other investment banks probably have similar products.

In an archived thread, bonghead said:   stanolshefski said:   People who only use cards for 5% categories are only "bad" customers.How so?

The rebate is passed on to the merchant. Even if a customer only does 5%-rebated transactions, the bank still collects data to sell and further benefit from. They still get the benefit of show advertisements to customers, and in some cases telemarketing them (under the business relationship rule of the TCPA). The bank is more clever than you give them credit for.
No ads online - Adblocker. No ads in the mail or telemarketing -- all the big banks allow you to add your phone number and address to their do-not-call and do-not-market lists. I always do this in addition to exercising all my privacy choices (no sharing of my info with affiliates and non-affiliates for any purposes) shortly after opening an account and I've never received a telemarketing call from any bank. Sometimes I get ads disguised as or attached to account updates in the mail, but it's rare.

I agree with you in principle on ethics, but I'm fairly certain that I take more from them than they make from me .

Advertisers love how everyone thinks ads only affect other people.
scripta said:   No ads online - Adblocker.
Most people use adblockers, which only block some ads. You probably have not disabled images in your browser. And we know from your other posts you're quite happy to execute any javascript that comes your way.
scripta said:   
No ads in the mail or telemarketing -- all the big banks allow you to add your phone number and address to their do-not-call and do-not-market lists.

 

You say "the big banks allow..", but in fact it's a legal obligation for all businesses. They would be breaking the law if they used telemarketing without a DNC list.

But anyway, having the option is quite far from leveraging the option. There are 9 credit cards and 2.5 bank accounts per American (avg). Consumers generally (incorrectly) believe that being on the national DNC list is all they need. But their ~11+ banks can all ignore the NDNC list due to the business relationship clause. This same vast majority is unaware that they need to make a specific request to each bank to be placed on their in-house DNC list. And the few who are aware will wait for the first call to occur before taking the opportunity. Of those, very few of them will diligently make a log of the incident, and use it in a legal proceeding. And telemarketers bank on that.

I'm quite defensive and diligent, yet I still get telemarketed all the time. It's not them calling me, but whenever I call them to get service, they take the opportunity to try to sell me something.
scripta said:   
I always do this in addition to exercising all my privacy choices (no sharing of my info with affiliates and non-affiliates for any purposes) shortly after opening an account

 

If you use the web portal messenger, they respond saying "please call us at 1-800...". A lot of privacy policies require opt-out requests to come in writing, and the address differs from the their other addresses. It's actually easier to close an account over the phone. In the context of the post you responded to, we were talking about the 5% rebate customers. The majority of them are probably not writing letters to change privacy preferences.
scripta said:   
I'm fairly certain that I take more from them than they make from me .

  
Everyone thinks that, and banks are making bank from this. You have no idea how marketing reaches you, how your consumption behavior is recorded and fed back into the advertising machine, and you have no idea how much they get for selling the data they collect.  Without going into too much detail, just to give an idea of how insidious and sneaky advertisers are, read about "silverpush", and how Android apps actually turn on the microphone to detect audible but not humanly noticeable tracking signals coming from TV ads which then feed a database that tracks the TV ads you're exposed to, which is then linked to your IMEI or the identity of your phone accounts.  And that doesn't even begin to scratch the surface of what's going on.  Advertisers have become masters of hacking the brain in ways you cannot imagine.  Even things as seemingly meaningless as the colors that appear in ads are designed to tărget certain parts of the brain.

bonghead said:   Most people use adblockers, which only block some ads. You probably have not disabled images in your browser. And we know from your other posts you're quite happy to execute any javascript that comes your way.Not any -- I've also got NoScript and RequestPolicy, so scripts and images only load from the servers which I explicitly allowed.
bonghead said:   But anyway, having the option is quite far from leveraging the option.Right, but the option is there, and it is possible. Like I said, I don't get telemarketing calls or unsolicited mail.
bonghead said:   If you use the web portal messenger, they respond saying "please call us at 1-800...". A lot of privacy policies require opt-out requests to come in writingI always do it either on the web if they have a form or by phone. I have never had to mail the privacy choices, so I think you are wrong about this. The only things I've had to mail were arbitration opt-outs (not the same thing).
bonghead said:   You have no idea how marketing reaches youI do, in fact -- targeted marketing does not reach me. The only way for any marketing to reach me is if I seek it out myself, such as looking at some blogging site for the best credit card or bank bonus, but in that case it isn't targeted and doesn't use/have my information. I should probably also mention that I don't have TV service. And I opted out of my ISP's CPNI. And my phone number is NOT even on the National Do Not Call Registry, because it has never leaked out to marketers.
bonghead said:   ...how your consumption behavior is recorded and fed back into the advertising machine, and you have no idea how much they get for selling the data they collect.They can't sell my info -- I've specifically opted out of them sharing my information with affiliates and non-affiliates for marketing purposes. And the fact that I don't receive any marketing is enough of a proof for me.
bonghead said:   Without going into too much detail, just to give an idea of how insidious and sneaky advertisers are, read about SilverPush, and how Android apps actually turn on the microphone to detect audible but not humanly noticeable tracking signals coming from TV ads which then feed a database that tracks the TV ads you're exposed to, which is then linked to your IMEI or the identity of your phone accounts.  And that doesn't even begin to scratch the surface of what's going on.  Advertisers have become masters of hacking the brain in ways you cannot imagine.  Even things as seemingly meaningless as the colors that appear in ads are designed to tărget certain parts of the brain.Right... I don't install questionable apps on my phone and I set access and auto-start permissions for every app I install, which is a good privacy and security practice.

It's good to be aware of these things and I know what you are saying about the average Joe, but I think you're overestimating the banks' ability to profit and underestimating the options available to limit or stop such profit.

scripta said:   I've also got NoScript and RequestPolicy, so scripts and images only load from the servers which I explicitly allowed.
You are therefore allowing ads from the site you're visiting.
scripta said:   
bonghead said:   You have no idea how marketing reaches youI do, in fact -- targeted marketing does not reach me. The only way for any marketing to reach me is if I seek it out myself,

This is why advertising works so well. People people think they know where the marketing is, and they think they're avoiding it. Even when they look at an ad, they often don't even know what product is actually being marketed.
scripta said:   
bonghead said:   ...how your consumption behavior is recorded and fed back into the advertising machine, and you have no idea how much they get for selling the data they collect.They can't sell my info -- I've specifically opted out of them sharing my information with affiliates and non-affiliates for marketing purposes.

You can't. BofA for example:
+---------------------------------------------------+---------------------------------+------------------------------+
| Reasons we can share your personal information    |   Does Bank of America share?   |  Can you limit this sharing? |
|                                                   |                                 |                              |
|For  our  everyday  business purposes a such as to |               yes               |              no              |
|process  your  transactions,  maintain  your   ac- |                                 |                              |
|count(s), respond to court orders and legal inves- |                                 |                              |
|tigations, or report to credit bureaus             |                                 |                              |
+---------------------------------------------------+---------------------------------+------------------------------+
|For  our  marketing  purposes   a   with   service |               yes               |              no              |
|providers  we  use  to offer our products and ser- |                                 |                              |
|vices to you (please see below to limit  the  ways |                                 |                              |
|we contact you)                                    |                                 |                              |
+---------------------------------------------------+---------------------------------+------------------------------+
|For joint marketing with other financial companies |               yes               |              no              |
+---------------------------------------------------+---------------------------------+------------------------------+
|For  our  affiliates  everyday business purposes a |               yes               |              no              |
|Information about your  transactions  and  experi- |                                 |                              |
|ences                                              |                                 |                              |
+---------------------------------------------------+---------------------------------+------------------------------+

You cannot stop them from sharing with credit bureaus, service providers, other financial companies, and affiliates. Privacy is like virginity, once you lose it, you can't have it back. After the data is shared with anyone else, it's out of your control and out of BofA's control.
scripta said:   
bonghead said:   Without going into too much detail, just to give an idea of how insidious and sneaky advertisers are, read about SilverPush, and how Android apps actually turn on the microphone to detect audible but not humanly noticeable tracking signals coming from TV ads which then feed a database that tracks the TV ads you're exposed to, which is then linked to your IMEI or the identity of your phone accounts.  And that doesn't even begin to scratch the surface of what's going on.  Advertisers have become masters of hacking the brain in ways you cannot imagine.  Even things as seemingly meaningless as the colors that appear in ads are designed to tărget certain parts of the brain.Right... I don't install questionable apps on my phone and I set access and auto-start permissions for every app I install, which is a good privacy and security practice.

You've missed the point. I was describing how sneaky advertisers are. There are thousands of shenanigans and I simply picked one that you happened to control for using a recent Android. Most consumers are oblivious to this, and most are conditioned to ignore permissions because most apps overstep the permissions they need, not just "questionable" ones (e.g. I don't need my banking app from a reputable bank to know my location and phones IMEI).
scripta said:   
It's good to be aware of these things and I know what you are saying about the average Joe, but I think you're overestimating the banks' ability to profit
  
Banks are just selling the data. That's easy. It's a no-brainer, as it's an asset with resale value that they acquire for free. If they didn't sell it, they would be accused of not maximizing profit for their shareholders. The extra clever intrusiveness lies with the clients buying data from the data brokers, not generally the banks.
scripta said:   
and underestimating the options available to limit or stop such profit.

So tell me how to flip some of the "no" boxes above to "yes" boxes.

bonghead said:   You are therefore allowing ads from the site you're visiting.I'm allowing it, but most ads are served from external ad networks these days. I haven't seen any locally hosted ads in a really long time.
bonghead said:   This is why advertising works so well. People people think they know where the marketing is, and they think they're avoiding it. Even when they look at an ad, they often don't even know what product is actually being marketed.Other people maybe. I read about those sneaky tactics.
bonghead said:   ...you happened to control for using a recent Android...Actually I'm on a rooted 4.4.x with AppOps (and DroidWall). I didn't miss your point -- I know these things exist and advertisers are sneaky, but it's possible to stay ahead of them with some awareness.
bonghead said:   So tell me how to flip some of the "no" boxes above to "yes" boxes.Those boxes aren't the only choices you have as a consumer. I get the same results by asking the bank rep to add me to their do-not-call, do-not-mail, do-not-market/solicit and any other lists they may have. They usually don't volunteer these choices until you ask. Also CA has stricter privacy laws than the rest, so perhaps I'm benefiting from them in a way that residents of other states can't.

I suppose they are sharing/selling my information (can't stop idine from giving me miles), but I don't believe it could be for marketing, simply because I don't get any. I only get ads in the mailbox from nearby businesses to "local postal customer" (haven't found a way to stop these).

I may tidy things up in 2016 (Santander, I will remember the good times), but I am sure at some point I will sprawl them all out again chasing bonuses or perks. With Mint its really not that big a deal to track them.

The circle of life. . . 

Fidelity Investments is my current clearing house for multiple bank accounts acquired via various reward sign up programs. I can pull or push funds without a fee for the transfer.
Fidelity Investments Electronics Funds Transfer Form

Look at Santander Bank which will move money at no service charge in either direction.
Currently Santander has a $150 sign up bonus is you do not have an account with them. Initial deposit can be up to $500 for a checking and additional $500.00 on Savings account on CC. Total possible initial deposit $1000.000 on CC.
At least one DD required. At least one activity per month to avoid fee.

Some banks have gone to POP MONEY info

Not sure if I am missing something in your wants, needs or desires.

JW10 said:   Fidelity Investments is my current clearing house for multiple bank accounts ...
FYI. I was using my Ameritrade account similarly as an ACH hub at one time. Then suddenly they suspended my ACH ability, and would only re-enable it after I sign a letter stating that I would only use ACH to support my trading activity in the account.



Disclaimer: By providing links to other sites, FatWallet.com does not guarantee, approve or endorse the information or products available at these sites, nor does a link indicate any association with or endorsement by the linked site to FatWallet.com.

Thanks for visiting FatWallet.com. Join for free to remove this ad.

While FatWallet makes every effort to post correct information, offers are subject to change without notice.
Some exclusions may apply based upon merchant policies.
© 1999-2017