Fidelity asked more questions, including driver's license and state. When I left that blank (didn't see why they'd need it) it gave me an error page that said I had to send it in manually (this after I had entered a whole bunch of info) and didn't let me use a back-arrow to try again. Luckily I was able to pull it out of my browser's history.
After supplying a D/L number, it pulled up my credit report and ran me through an identity verification thing where they asked me a bunch of questions about who was behind various past loans, monthly payment, etc. I didn't have a clue on some but luckily I passed anyway.
I thought it was all very overkill, if someone wants to impersonate me that badly to contribute money to my kids education, then have at it.
Also the automatic deposit option at the end of the application was confusing to the point where I picked the wrong one, and when I found out the right way I couldn't complete it online. So I have to send in a paper application for that.
I decided on a different asset allocation after signing up, and apparently I can't change that online either, I have to send a form. In contrast, Vanguard lets you do virtually everything online.
And finally you can't supply a username and password, you have to use an anachronistic PIN number.
But... the only real beef I had was not being able to specify individual funds. I suggested it (mentioning to them that Vanguard does) and got a nice response the next day from a real person acknowledging it, so maybe they'll do it in the future.
You're right that you can specify individual portfolios but it's very limited -- particularly since 8 of the 11 portfolios are simply different stages of age-based portfolios.
I had hoped to put it all in the well-regarded Fideilty Diversified International Fund and then get rid of the international component in my main Vanguard 529.
The three different state plans they provide are confusing too -- no real explanation of differences, even after calling them. Digging through the prospectuses I found that that age-based portfolios were somewhat different between plans, but the fixed portfolios seemed to be the same, as do the fees. Any other differences anyone knows about? I went with the UNIQUE plan.
[This message has been edited by supe (edited April 18, 2003).]