Vanguard website error [Personal performance]

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gabe1955
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Vanguard website error [Personal performance]

Post by gabe1955 » Tue Dec 11, 2012 7:14 am

Have others here noticed that Vanguard's "personal performance" tab often gives incorrect data for market appreciation/depreciation and therefore for overall returns? The problem seems to arise because of the settlement period after one purchases stocks. To give one one example, I bought $40,000 worth of stock last Friday. The market went up slightly yesterday, so Vanguard is now reporting that my portfolio DECREASED by around $39,500 dollars. In fact, my portfolio increased by $500, but Vanguard appears to be counting the unsettled $40k purchase as a loss. I pointed this problem out to a Vanguard rep when I first noticed it more than a year ago. He said they would address it when they did their web redesign. The web redesign is here, but the problem persists. It's nothing more than a minor annoyance--but it doesn't speak well for Vanguard that they present their customers with incorrect data regarding performance.

livesoft
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Re: Vanguard website error

Post by livesoft » Tue Dec 11, 2012 7:33 am

That seems like a minor complaint when there are more major problems with Vanguard and VBS.
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gabe1955
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Re: Vanguard website error

Post by gabe1955 » Tue Dec 11, 2012 7:53 am

livesoft wrote:That seems like a minor complaint when there are more major problems with Vanguard and VBS.
For example?

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nisiprius
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Re: Vanguard website error

Post by nisiprius » Tue Dec 11, 2012 8:59 am

I'm glad you mentioned this; I don't pay much attention to the Personal Performance tab but it's still useful to have it in the back of my mind that it might be flaky.

I think it is wiser, not to consider this a problem specifically with Vanguard, but to consider it as a generic and widespread problem with all the handy-dandy personal investing analysis tools offered by websites. For example, a poster wondered why the portfolio analysis tool provided by Fidelity in his 401(k) plan was saying that his Fidelity Freedom K target retirement fund was 10% invested in cash. It turned out that the fund was 10% invested in a commodities fund, and that Fidelity's own tools were misclassifying it as cash.

That's not to excuse or whitewash Vanguard--I've had several run-ins with their fairly sucky portfolio analysis tool--I'm not judging how Vanguard stacks up against others--but I invest with Vanguard because of their mutual funds. All the ancillary things, customer service website, brokerage, etc. are, oh, I don't know, somewhere from "perfectly adequate" to "pretty good," but it's not the attraction.
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Re: Vanguard website error

Post by Sidney » Tue Dec 11, 2012 9:20 am

nisiprius wrote:I'm glad you mentioned this; I don't pay much attention to the Personal Performance tab but it's still useful to have it in the back of my mind that it might be flaky.
Same here. In order of importance, I focus on making sure that confirmations are correct and statements (shares). I don't usually focus on valuations because they are only good for the day.
I always wanted to be a procrastinator.

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Re: Vanguard website error

Post by dbr » Tue Dec 11, 2012 9:52 am

One characteristic of running one's own numbers in a spreadsheet is that it forces one to look at exactly what the data is and exactly what is the calculation being done.

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Re: Vanguard website error

Post by KyleAAA » Tue Dec 11, 2012 11:32 am

All this complaining about all these different companies having sucky portfolio tools and performance calculators seems like an excellent business opportunity. Imagine if you could provide some sort of self-hosted solution that Vanguard, Fidelity, etc can just plug into their sites without the user being able to tell the difference...

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rustymutt
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Re: Vanguard website error

Post by rustymutt » Tue Dec 11, 2012 11:49 am

I've not seen this happen with my log-in there. Their figures closely match my book performances. In fairness, I do use all but one, ETF accounts.
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rustymutt
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Re: Vanguard website error

Post by rustymutt » Tue Dec 11, 2012 11:51 am

dbr wrote:One characteristic of running one's own numbers in a spreadsheet is that it forces one to look at exactly what the data is and exactly what is the calculation being done.
It would quite easy for a Vanguard analyst to put in the wrong logarithm. We're all human, and make mistakes. I hope they check into this right away.
I'm amazed at the wealth of Knowledge others gather, and share over a lifetime of learning. The mind is truly unique. It's nice when we use it!

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Re: Vanguard website error

Post by samoleon » Wed May 15, 2019 9:55 am

This problem still exists and can result in alarming errors. According to my own calculations my account showed a gain of $16,660.94 in January of 2019 whereas my personal performance page claims a loss of $806,147.99. I spoke to a Vanguard representative and he reported that no changes would be made.

I would like to gather some support for correcting a problem that severely erodes confidence in Vanguard bookkeeping. Could you please check your personal performance page and see if it makes sense?

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Re: Vanguard website error [Personal performance]

Post by LadyGeek » Wed May 15, 2019 8:40 pm

This thread is now in the Investing - Theory, News & General forum (general discussion). I also clarified the thread title.
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