Questions about Vanguard Advisor & Large Index Fund Purchase

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Questions about Vanguard Advisor & Large Index Fund Purchase

Postby Shilo777 » Sun May 19, 2013 12:46 am

Greetings…..

First I apologize for the length of this post. Two months ago I posted on this forum about my husband and me moving our accounts from Ameriprise to Vanguard. Currently about 52% of our portfolio has been moved. REITs, an annuity and a CD had to be left behind for now. Our goal during this next year is to gain the knowledge and confidence to manage our own investments. For the first year, however, during this transition period we opted to pay for a Vanguard financial advisor. Expensive hand-holding I know...but certainly cheaper than where we came from.

The service we received from Vanguard when we first started making inquiries was great. The concierge service persons were excellent. If I sent an email, we received an immediate response. If I left a phone message we received an immediate call back. Then we were assigned a financial advisor. During the first few phone meetings with our advisor there was a slight feeling of disappointment on our part as it seemed he was not prepared. We shook that off and decided to make the best of it. A week or so later I sent an email to our advisor asking several questions. Two days later, when there had been no response, I call him and left a message. Several hours later he called back. I asked if he had received my email. He said he had, but didn’t realize I wanted answers. I was a bit frustrated and tried to explain to him that this was very stressful time for us and we really needed to know that he is there for us, to help us with our questions and concerns.

The next phone meeting we had went ok. It was to go over the Initial Vanguard Planning he had worked up for us. The document showed the asset allocation he recommended. Due to the length of the document we didn’t go over every page. Later that evening as I was looking at it, I discovered that the likelihood of us meeting our financial goals was only 61%!! Yikes!! After reviewing the document I found that he left out $115,000 cash and future Social Security payments for both my husband and I. I called him the next day and he said “oops, I’ll have to fix that”. Ok… This past Thursday evening I sent an email to our advisor asking questions about the Vanguard purchases he will be making next week. (Possible on Monday.) So far I have not received a response.

Question #1
Ok....We’re starting to feel a bit uneasy about this relationship. Are we expecting too much? We realize he has other clients, but is this good service? Should we ask for a different advisor or give this guy more time?

Question #2
Last week, on 5/16, our advisor sold the many mutual funds and few stocks we had. The settlement date on most of them is 5/20. The timing seemed great as the price of everything was up the day they sold. That got me to wondering if our advisor was going to immediately purchase the various Vanguard funds we discussed in one large purchase or if he would be purchasing funds over a period of time. (Dollar cost averaging???) My thought was that since the market is up so much right now, would it be better to purchase the new Vanguard funds over a period of time? I know the Boglehead approach is not to try and time the market, but I was wondering what the common thought would be on this. (We’re talking around $700,000 between 3 & 4 index funds.) Would you Bogleheads purchase the Vanguard funds all at once or over a period of time? (This is the question I asked our advisor that I have still not gotten an answer to.)

Thanks for your patience…if you actually got to the end of this post .

Shilo
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Re: Questions about Vanguard Advisor & Large Index Fund Purc

Postby tfb » Sun May 19, 2013 1:29 am

Shilo777 wrote:We’re starting to feel a bit uneasy about this relationship. Are we expecting too much? We realize he has other clients, but is this good service? Should we ask for a different advisor or give this guy more time?

Perhaps you didn't understand the advisor's role and his scope of service. I would separate out two roles: advisor and account service rep. The advisor is there to give you advice and opinion i.e. tell you what to do. Customer service reps by phone and the Vanguard website are there to help you execute and answer fact-based questions. They have different training and they are equipped for different tasks. You want to use one advisor for continuity but for execution and fact-based questions -- How often does fund X pay dividend? Please set me up for dividend reinvestment. -- tap the customer service team.

Shilo777 wrote:I know the Boglehead approach is not to try and time the market, but I was wondering what the common thought would be on this.

The Boglehead approach and the common thought are the same; otherwise it wouldn't be the Boglehead approach, right?
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Re: Questions about Vanguard Advisor & Large Index Fund Purc

Postby umfundi » Sun May 19, 2013 2:21 am

Shilo,

I would call Vanguard and ask for a different advisor.

You should also ask if you should have a different person to handle the mechanics of your accounts: Transfers and other transactions. That is something they provide at no cost.

We recently had a similar situation, transferring large accounts from Schwab to Vanguard. The first concierge advisor did not go well, and we asked for a replacement. After that, things went smoothly.

Keith
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