Build A Portfolio Of Index Funds With Fidelity, T. Rowe Price, Schwab or TIAA-Cref


If you want a portfolio of index funds, Vanguard isn’t the only play in town.

Here’s how to build portfolios of index funds using T. Rowe Price, Fidelity, TIAA-Cref and Schwab.

(For American residents only)

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Andrew Hallam

I’m a financial columnist for Canada’s national paper, The Globe and Mail, as well as for AssetBuilder, a financial service firm based in Texas. I’m also the author of Millionaire Teacher: The Nine Rules of Wealth You Should Have Learned in School and Millionaire Expat: How To Build Wealth Living Overseas. My mission is to educate, motivate and inspire people on basic retirement planning and best practices for investing, using evidence-based strategies. I'm happy to comment on your questions.

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7 Responses

  1. Mich says:

    Hi, an update of your previous article on portfolio of world index funds for Singapore would be great 😀

  2. Israel says:

    Finally made it to the site, and I’m looking forward to learning more about this corner of the world. Good points on sticking to your guns when using a for-profit firm. I’m with Fidelity through my work, so I’d definitely be interested in seeing if Fidelity further drops their rates while competing with Vanguard. To drag out your analogy, I’m just at that store to buy bananas, I benefit from their supermarket tactics regardless of what their other, more hostile, tactics may be.

  3. Alex says:

    Hello !

    Andrew, I really appreciate your work and the information you share here.

    I was wondering if I’m a non-resident for tax purposes and I still can use canadian brokers (with lower fees) – why would I open an account with TD international ?

    I mean I could wire money to my canadian bank\broker and that’s it ..

    What am I missing here ?

    Thank you.

    • Hi Alex,

      If you are using an offshore brokerage, in a capital gains free jurisdiction (like TD Direct International) you have 0% chance of paying capital gains on the growth and, in the eyes of revenue Canada, you look far less like a Canadian resident. It’s just an additional security measure.


  4. Kathy says:

    Hi Andrew,

    I have an account with TIAA-Cref. Do you recommend purchasing vanguard products (VTSMX,VGTSX,VBMFX) with my TIAA account? Or should I be purchasing the similar versions from TIAA? Thank you!

    • Mark Zoril says:

      Hi Kathy. I am familiar with the TIAA-CREF brokerage platform. I suppose it depends upon how frequently you will be buying Vanguard funds on the TIAA platform. Each time you purchase their funds on TIAA’s platform, there is a $50 charge. Ouch!! If you are doing it relatively infrequently and don’t have to rebalance much at all, then the Vanguard funds are definitely less expensive. However, if you will be making many purchases it could end up costing you more. Another option to consider is to just use a Vanguard Target Fund or Lifestrategy Fund. This way, you will significantly reduce your purchasing costs on TIAA’s platform. Good luck!

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