Wells Fargo Advisors Account Opening

Updated Sunday, July 26, 2009

Registration Grade: D

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The Wells Fargo Advisors registration process needs improvement. Multiple forms need to be signed and physically mailed/faxed to Wells Fargo Advisors in order to set up an account. This process is now paperless at most online brokers. To log in to my account for the first time, I was required to call technical support. This is an unnecessary hassle that I did not experience with any other broker.


Minimum initial account deposit: $1000

I opened a general brokerage account.

The Wells Fargo Advisors welcome screen (click on images for larger views):

Before I have even entered any information, I was prompted to apply for a student loan. This was an ominous sign:

I navigated through roughly a dozen pages entering standard account opening questions. In the end, I was greeted with a message informing me that in a few days I would receive a mailing with the rest of the account opening information. Sure enough, a few days later I received a package from Wells Fargo. The package consisted of a privacy policy, online account assistance guide, commissions and fees form, account agreement and a signature page. The signature page needs to be physically mailed or faxed before the account can be opened.

A few days after faxing in the signature page, I decided to log in to my account to see if it had been activated. My previously created user name and password, however, would not work. I was prompted to call the Wells Fargo Advisors help line for further details. I spoke to an account representative who informed me that she first had to link my user name to my account before I could log in. The rep was helpful and friendly but this step should not be necessary.

Once I was in, I was able to find the electronic funds transfers authorization form which, along with a voided check, is required to be mailed or faxed before a checking account can be linked to a Wells Fargo Advisors account. A few days after I faxed Wells Fargo Advisors this form, micro deposits were credited to my checking account, which need to be verified to complete the process. The verification process was fast and I was able to transfer funds into my Wells Fargo Advisors account quickly.

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