any experience using Vanguard's portfolio mgmt service

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any experience using Vanguard's portfolio mgmt service

Postby schwarcz » Sun Dec 30, 2012 5:43 pm

Now that I getting closer to retirement I would like to use a low-cost passive portfolio manager so that should I become incapacitated or hit by the beer truck, my wife would not have to take on the task. In my discussion with Vanguard representatives I am having a heck of time getting them to disclose the nature of their performance reporting, get sample reports and other analytical data that I can get from most independent financial advisers. Does anybody have any good or bad experience dealing with them. Do you get to see stuff like IRR on each holding, assets classes compared with stanmdard benchmarks, etc?

The attraction of using Vanguard for me would have been no succession risk as with an individual advisor.
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Re: any experience using Vanguard's portfolio mgmt service

Postby livesoft » Sun Dec 30, 2012 5:57 pm

I don't see a reason to know any of these numbers even from places that are not Vanguard. How could they possibly promise to duplicate those results going forward? Can you post a picture of such "sample reports and other analytical data that I can get from most independent financial advisers." please?

My impression is that Vanguard will put you in Vanguard index funds which for all practical purpose ARE THE BENCHMARKS. That is, you will get benchmark returns, nothing more, nothing less.

And I have no experience with any firm's portfolio management services.
It's all about short-term opportunistic rebalancing due to a short-term change in one's asset allocation, uh, I mean opportunistic rebalancing, uh I mean rebalancing, uh I mean market timing.
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Re: any experience using Vanguard's portfolio mgmt service

Postby schwarcz » Sun Dec 30, 2012 6:24 pm

I'm not looking for promises of performance, just the numbers on measured performance. Vanguard is the only company that I have talked to that seems really reluctant to show me what monthly and quarterly reports looks like and I am frankly bewildered as to what is the root cause of this. I gather it is a compliance issue with the sales dept.
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Re: any experience using Vanguard's portfolio mgmt service

Postby livesoft » Sun Dec 30, 2012 7:52 pm

There have been more than one complaint about Vanguard statements on the forum. I don't even look at our Vanguard statements anymore, but prefer to create my own performance reports with a tool such as MSMoney.

As for asset classes compared with standard benchmarks, once again the Vanguard funds are the benchmarks since the fees are so low as not cause a difference with the benchmark.
It's all about short-term opportunistic rebalancing due to a short-term change in one's asset allocation, uh, I mean opportunistic rebalancing, uh I mean rebalancing, uh I mean market timing.
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Re: any experience using Vanguard's portfolio mgmt service

Postby Dale_G » Sun Dec 30, 2012 11:48 pm

schwarcz, I am not sure exactly what you are looking for. Vanguard Asset Management Services (VAMS) is not in the business of actively managing or trading a portfolio. The actual portfolio is selected by you with advice from VAMS - accounting for existing holdings, desired allocation, the purpose of the portfolio, etc. There are probably thousands of different portfolios with both additions and withdrawals, so I have no idea how Vanguard could provide a meaningful IRR. You do get quarterly reports however, and they probably look much like any of the Vanguard quartlerly reports - no IRR.

After a short conversation with VAMS several years ago, I got the impression that, aside from advice and a shoulder to lean on, their function was largely mechanical - making sure dividends go where you want them to, making sure RMDs are taken, rebalancing as required, and attempting to minimize taxes.

If my #2 son does not want to manage the family portfolio after my passing, VAMS is the fall back position. Along with the application form, my wife is instructed to send along a copy of our Investment Policy Statement.

Dale
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