Vanguard platform

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Mr.BB
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Vanguard platform

Post by Mr.BB » Sun Jun 03, 2018 3:13 pm

I do not have a brokerage account with Vanguard, and I use their old platform; although simple in it's layout, works great for me.
We have my SEP our ROTHS and basic mutual funds (2) with them.
I got an email saying they are retiring the old platform and are transitioning to the new one (which I believe is their brokerage one).
They say "We'd make the transition for you, but we can't unfortunately (regulatory reasons).
Do you think if I do nothing, they won't/ can't make me switch?
"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit."

livesoft
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Re: Vanguard platform

Post by livesoft » Sun Jun 03, 2018 3:16 pm

Who knows? Maybe they will offer holdouts $100 to switch? :)

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Re: Vanguard platform

Post by jebmke » Sun Jun 03, 2018 3:17 pm

there are dozens of threads on this already. I switched one account but our joint account is still the old mutual fund. Other than how the statements work, I haven't noticed a huge difference. Some people don't like the brokerage format. I think it depends on how you use the account.
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Re: Vanguard platform

Post by cfs » Sun Jun 03, 2018 3:22 pm

Why stay with 19th century stuff, jump to the 21st century and join the FUN. Your money, your portfolio, your decision. Gracias por leer / cfs
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Mr.BB
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Re: Vanguard platform

Post by Mr.BB » Sun Jun 03, 2018 4:08 pm

livesoft wrote:
Sun Jun 03, 2018 3:16 pm
Who knows? Maybe they will offer holdouts $100 to switch? :)

Ever been on a plane when they ask for volunteers who will get voucher to be bumped?
+1
"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit."

Dandy
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Re: Vanguard platform

Post by Dandy » Sun Jun 03, 2018 6:03 pm

my TIRA and joint account switched. One difference was in the joint account under the old platform you could have Federal and state taxes withheld on distributions (to avoid or limit estimated taxes for example). When they switched in mid year that option is not available for brokerage accounts and they never let me know.

RickBoglehead
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Re: Vanguard platform

Post by RickBoglehead » Sun Jun 03, 2018 6:11 pm

Joint accounts can not be TOD on the new platform. Didn't tell us that.

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badbreath
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Re: Vanguard platform

Post by badbreath » Sun Jun 03, 2018 6:43 pm

If you switch Vanguard saves money which means you save money
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rob
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Re: Vanguard platform

Post by rob » Sun Jun 03, 2018 6:59 pm

cfs wrote:
Sun Jun 03, 2018 3:22 pm
Why stay with 19th century stuff, jump to the 21st century and join the FUN. Your money, your portfolio, your decision. Gracias por leer / cfs
I agree... which is why I an NOT moving until they make me.... I have one acct in the new and wish I'd never done that - they convinced me my issues would be solved and they are not with the added benefit of more issues.
| Rob | Its a dangerous business going out your front door. - J.R.R.Tolkien

2015
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Re: Vanguard platform

Post by 2015 » Mon Jun 04, 2018 2:29 pm

rob wrote:
Sun Jun 03, 2018 6:59 pm
cfs wrote:
Sun Jun 03, 2018 3:22 pm
Why stay with 19th century stuff, jump to the 21st century and join the FUN. Your money, your portfolio, your decision. Gracias por leer / cfs
I agree... which is why I an NOT moving until they make me.... I have one acct in the new and wish I'd never done that - they convinced me my issues would be solved and they are not with the added benefit of more issues.
Me either. I have no accounts with the new platform and the last thing I'm looking for is "fun" when managing my financial accounts (yes, I know you were being facetious in using that term, cfs :wink: ). The more simplicity I can get (and keep) in my life the better it gets.

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ruralavalon
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Re: Vanguard platform

Post by ruralavalon » Mon Jun 04, 2018 2:49 pm

cfs wrote:
Sun Jun 03, 2018 3:22 pm
Why stay with 19th century stuff, jump to the 21st century and join the FUN. Your money, your portfolio, your decision. Gracias por leer / cfs
Because the old way works well for me. I use only Vanguard mutual funds, don't want to use anything else, and so have no need for a brokerage feature.
RickBoglehead wrote:
Sun Jun 03, 2018 6:11 pm
Joint accounts can not be TOD on the new platform. Didn't tell us that.
Unavailability of Transfer on Death for a joint account is not an improvement.
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Mr.BB
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Re: Vanguard platform

Post by Mr.BB » Mon Jun 04, 2018 5:53 pm

2015 wrote:
Mon Jun 04, 2018 2:29 pm
rob wrote:
Sun Jun 03, 2018 6:59 pm
cfs wrote:
Sun Jun 03, 2018 3:22 pm
Why stay with 19th century stuff, jump to the 21st century and join the FUN. Your money, your portfolio, your decision. Gracias por leer / cfs
I agree... which is why I an NOT moving until they make me.... I have one acct in the new and wish I'd never done that - they convinced me my issues would be solved and they are not with the added benefit of more issues.
Me either. I have no accounts with the new platform and the last thing I'm looking for is "fun" when managing my financial accounts (yes, I know you were being facetious in using that term, cfs :wink: ). The more simplicity I can get (and keep) in my life the better it gets.
+1
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Re: Vanguard platform

Post by BigJohn » Mon Jun 04, 2018 8:40 pm

livesoft wrote:
Sun Jun 03, 2018 3:16 pm
Who knows? Maybe they will offer holdouts $100 to switch? :)

Ever been on a plane when they ask for volunteers who will get voucher to be bumped?
While possible, my bet would be that they start charging an annual fee for the old platform at some point.

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ruralavalon
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Re: Vanguard platform

Post by ruralavalon » Mon Jun 04, 2018 8:49 pm

BigJohn wrote:
Mon Jun 04, 2018 8:40 pm
livesoft wrote:
Sun Jun 03, 2018 3:16 pm
Who knows? Maybe they will offer holdouts $100 to switch? :)

fee for less service? been on a plane when they ask for volunteers who will get voucher to be bumped?
While possible, my bet would be that they start charging an annual fee for the old platform at some point.
You may be right.

But a higher fee for less service on the old platform?
"Everything should be as simple as it is, but not simpler." - Albert Einstein | Wiki article link:Getting Started

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Re: Vanguard platform

Post by BigJohn » Tue Jun 05, 2018 6:53 am

ruralavalon wrote:
Mon Jun 04, 2018 8:49 pm
You may be right.

But a higher fee for less service on the old platform?
Well, it would fit with VG's philosophy of customers paying for what they use. At some point the old platform will have a few people clinging to it for some benefit (eg faster 1009's). The cost per person will grow. Why shouldn't those people pay for that system and the benefit they see? It's not like you can go to another broker and get the same service as the old platform since it's unique to VG.

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ruralavalon
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Re: Vanguard platform

Post by ruralavalon » Tue Jun 05, 2018 9:54 am

BigJohn wrote:
Tue Jun 05, 2018 6:53 am
ruralavalon wrote:
Mon Jun 04, 2018 8:49 pm
You may be right.

But a higher fee for less service on the old platform?
Well, it would fit with VG's philosophy of customers paying for what they use. At some point the old platform will have a few people clinging to it for some benefit (eg faster 1009's). The cost per person will grow. Why shouldn't those people pay for that system and the benefit they see? It's not like you can go to another broker and get the same service as the old platform since it's unique to VG.
That's why I said "you may be right".
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livesoft
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Re: Vanguard platform

Post by livesoft » Tue Jun 05, 2018 9:57 am

So advice to Vanguard: Delay the old platform 1099s until after the brokerage 1099s are sent out and received.
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ruralavalon
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Re: Vanguard platform

Post by ruralavalon » Tue Jun 05, 2018 11:29 am

livesoft wrote:
Tue Jun 05, 2018 9:57 am
So advice to Vanguard: Delay the old platform 1099s until after the brokerage 1099s are sent out and received.
And allow Transfer on Death for jointt accounts on the new platform.
"Everything should be as simple as it is, but not simpler." - Albert Einstein | Wiki article link:Getting Started

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Re: Vanguard platform

Post by friar1610 » Tue Jun 05, 2018 11:43 am

ruralavalon wrote:
Tue Jun 05, 2018 11:29 am
livesoft wrote:
Tue Jun 05, 2018 9:57 am
So advice to Vanguard: Delay the old platform 1099s until after the brokerage 1099s are sent out and received.
And allow Transfer on Death for jointt accounts on the new platform.
Maybe I've been blissfully ignorant. What does this mean for my surviving spouse with whom I hold my VG taxable brokerage account jointly? When I die can she still access the account? Absent TOD what hoops does she have to jump through to become the sole owner of the account? What do I need to do now to make it easier for her?
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Re: Vanguard platform

Post by jhfenton » Tue Jun 05, 2018 11:53 am

ruralavalon wrote:
Tue Jun 05, 2018 11:29 am
livesoft wrote:
Tue Jun 05, 2018 9:57 am
So advice to Vanguard: Delay the old platform 1099s until after the brokerage 1099s are sent out and received.
And allow Transfer on Death for jointt accounts on the new platform.
+1 To me, this is the most inexplicable shortcoming of the new brokerage platform. At some point, when the kids are grown, we're a bit older, and our taxable account is larger, I will have to decide how to address the problem--if Vanguard hasn't fixed it by then.

Obvious solutions:

1. Move the bulk of the taxable assets somewhere with more flexibility.
2. Split the taxable account into his and hers accounts with TOD to each other and contingent TOD to the kids.

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Re: Vanguard platform

Post by jhfenton » Tue Jun 05, 2018 11:56 am

friar1610 wrote:
Tue Jun 05, 2018 11:43 am
Maybe I've been blissfully ignorant. What does this mean for my surviving spouse with whom I hold my VG taxable brokerage account jointly? When I die can she still access the account? Absent TOD what hoops does she have to jump through to become the sole owner of the account? What do I need to do now to make it easier for her?
The surviving joint owner is fine when the first owner dies. A certificate of death would be enough to become sole owner. The survivor can then add TODs for the kids or other desired heirs.

The problem arises in the case of simultaneous deaths. At that point, with no TOD, it would fall into your estates and be governed by your wills or your state law of intestate succession.

RickBoglehead
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Re: Vanguard platform

Post by RickBoglehead » Tue Jun 05, 2018 11:58 am

friar1610 wrote:
Tue Jun 05, 2018 11:43 am
ruralavalon wrote:
Tue Jun 05, 2018 11:29 am
livesoft wrote:
Tue Jun 05, 2018 9:57 am
So advice to Vanguard: Delay the old platform 1099s until after the brokerage 1099s are sent out and received.
And allow Transfer on Death for jointt accounts on the new platform.
Maybe I've been blissfully ignorant. What does this mean for my surviving spouse with whom I hold my VG taxable brokerage account jointly? When I die can she still access the account? Absent TOD what hoops does she have to jump through to become the sole owner of the account? What do I need to do now to make it easier for her?
It means NOTHING in your example. You die, she gets all the assets as the joint owner, with each having 1/2 of the basis adjusted to your time of death.

Here's where it does mean something. You and your wife go out for a night on the town, and on your way home are tragically killed in a car accident. Due to the simultaneous death, neither of you died first (and usually it's 24 hours that's considered simultaneous anyway). Since Vanguard doesn't allow TOD on joint accounts, there are no listed beneficiaries for this account, so it goes to probate. Not only does that potentially delay disbursement to your heirs, and go to the heirs of your will vs. beneficiaries you might have designated on the account (if different), your estate has to pay the probate court for the value of the assets. That could be many hundred, or many thousands of dollars.

If you had TOD on the account, or an individual account (which it becomes when you die before your wife), and beneficiaries are designated, the assets simply go to the beneficiaries, outside of probate and with no fees.

Two ways around this (besides not dying simultaneously). First, split the assets in half into two individual accounts and name each other as primary beneficiary, and heirs as secondary. Second, setup a Revocable Trust and put the assets in it.

Since the man usually passes away first, you could put the funds with the greatest gains in his account, because then when he passes away the cost gets increased to date of death, and then the wife can sell with no gains.

Edit - Vanguard claims it's a Pennsylvania law issue.
Last edited by RickBoglehead on Tue Jun 05, 2018 3:46 pm, edited 2 times in total.

livesoft
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Re: Vanguard platform

Post by livesoft » Tue Jun 05, 2018 12:17 pm

RickBoglehead wrote:
Tue Jun 05, 2018 11:58 am
It means NOTHING in your example. You die, she gets all the assets as the joint owner, with each having 1/2 of the basis adjusted to your time of death.
Or full step-up in some states and not just 1/2.
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Re: Vanguard platform

Post by friar1610 » Tue Jun 05, 2018 3:39 pm

livesoft wrote:
Tue Jun 05, 2018 12:17 pm
RickBoglehead wrote:
Tue Jun 05, 2018 11:58 am
It means NOTHING in your example. You die, she gets all the assets as the joint owner, with each having 1/2 of the basis adjusted to your time of death.
Or full step-up in some states and not just 1/2.
Someone addressed this in another thread and I asked a follow up question. As I understood the answer, if a married couple is in a community property estate, total of the jointly held assets step up. If not a community property state (as with us in MA), half step up.
Friar1610

cycler
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Re: Vanguard platform

Post by cycler » Thu Sep 13, 2018 2:54 pm

Hi,
I just today registered with Bogleheads to comment on this subject. My husband keeps getting emails and reminders on his account page to switch to the new platform. There was something he could click on to see and do the "Three Easy Steps to Convert". When he clicks on that, there is absolutely nothing there showing the steps. So I called Vanguard today and first asked about my accounts; I thought I had already converted. I asked the representative if my accounts had been converted, and he said no they haven't. I and my husband only have IRAS and mutual funds; we are never going to buy ETFs, for example. I asked if my husband's accounts needed to be converted; he said no. I have been reading this site for awhile and it seems that Vanguard is looking to change over to the new platform for all, and that we all eventually have to do it. The representative at Vanguard said we don't need to. What's anyone's take on this? I'm glad we don't have to convert, but why is the pressure there to do it?

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Re: Vanguard platform

Post by RudyS » Thu Sep 13, 2018 9:30 pm

RickBoglehead wrote:
Tue Jun 05, 2018 11:58 am
friar1610 wrote:
Tue Jun 05, 2018 11:43 am
ruralavalon wrote:
Tue Jun 05, 2018 11:29 am
livesoft wrote:
Tue Jun 05, 2018 9:57 am
So advice to Vanguard: Delay the old platform 1099s until after the brokerage 1099s are sent out and received.
And allow Transfer on Death for jointt accounts on the new platform.
Maybe I've been blissfully ignorant. What does this mean for my surviving spouse with whom I hold my VG taxable brokerage account jointly? When I die can she still access the account? Absent TOD what hoops does she have to jump through to become the sole owner of the account? What do I need to do now to make it easier for her?
It means NOTHING in your example. You die, she gets all the assets as the joint owner, with each having 1/2 of the basis adjusted to your time of death.

Here's where it does mean something. You and your wife go out for a night on the town, and on your way home are tragically killed in a car accident. Due to the simultaneous death, neither of you died first (and usually it's 24 hours that's considered simultaneous anyway). Since Vanguard doesn't allow TOD on joint accounts, there are no listed beneficiaries for this account, so it goes to probate. Not only does that potentially delay disbursement to your heirs, and go to the heirs of your will vs. beneficiaries you might have designated on the account (if different), your estate has to pay the probate court for the value of the assets. That could be many hundred, or many thousands of dollars.

If you had TOD on the account, or an individual account (which it becomes when you die before your wife), and beneficiaries are designated, the assets simply go to the beneficiaries, outside of probate and with no fees.

Two ways around this (besides not dying simultaneously). First, split the assets in half into two individual accounts and name each other as primary beneficiary, and heirs as secondary. Second, setup a Revocable Trust and put the assets in it.

Since the man usually passes away first, you could put the funds with the greatest gains in his account, because then when he passes away the cost gets increased to date of death, and then the wife can sell with no gains.

Edit - Vanguard claims it's a Pennsylvania law issue.
My underlines. When I opened our accounts decades ago, we were allowed to add TOD (beneficiaries) to our joint account. Decades later, they changed the rules, but allowed grandfathering of existing accounts like ours. At that time they didn't mention Pennsylvania law at all. Simply said they had problems with people not understanding exactly what would happen. Our account is still a joint account, and it stillo shows the secondary beneficiaries (who get the money when the second one of us dies).

2015
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Re: Vanguard platform

Post by 2015 » Fri Sep 14, 2018 8:32 am

cycler wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 2:54 pm
Hi,
I just today registered with Bogleheads to comment on this subject. My husband keeps getting emails and reminders on his account page to switch to the new platform. There was something he could click on to see and do the "Three Easy Steps to Convert". When he clicks on that, there is absolutely nothing there showing the steps. So I called Vanguard today and first asked about my accounts; I thought I had already converted. I asked the representative if my accounts had been converted, and he said no they haven't. I and my husband only have IRAS and mutual funds; we are never going to buy ETFs, for example. I asked if my husband's accounts needed to be converted; he said no. I have been reading this site for awhile and it seems that Vanguard is looking to change over to the new platform for all, and that we all eventually have to do it. The representative at Vanguard said we don't need to. What's anyone's take on this? I'm glad we don't have to convert, but why is the pressure there to do it?
Welcome to the forum!

I have only mutual funds with VG so there's not need to convert. I've never felt any "pressure" to convert, and I don't intend to convert, either. There's no shortage of beefing on VG here (as opposed to taking responsibility and simply moving funds elsewhere if unhappy). I pay no attention to it as I've never had an issue with VG and have seen or received nothing from VG convincing me of any "eventual" change to the brokerage platform. I have been and remain perfectly content with VG and its level of service. My leaning towards simplicity in all things (including VG transactions) has greatly supported this level of contentment.

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ruralavalon
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Re: Vanguard platform

Post by ruralavalon » Fri Sep 14, 2018 8:42 am

Welcome to the forum :) .

cycler wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 2:54 pm
Hi,
I just today registered with Bogleheads to comment on this subject. My husband keeps getting emails and reminders on his account page to switch to the new platform. There was something he could click on to see and do the "Three Easy Steps to Convert". When he clicks on that, there is absolutely nothing there showing the steps. So I called Vanguard today and first asked about my accounts; I thought I had already converted. I asked the representative if my accounts had been converted, and he said no they haven't. I and my husband only have IRAS and mutual funds; we are never going to buy ETFs, for example. I asked if my husband's accounts needed to be converted; he said no. I have been reading this site for awhile and it seems that Vanguard is looking to change over to the new platform for all, and that we all eventually have to do it. The representative at Vanguard said we don't need to. What's anyone's take on this? I'm glad we don't have to convert, but why is the pressure there to do it?
We have not converted either, we use only traditional mutual funds and not ETFs, so do not intend to switch.
"Everything should be as simple as it is, but not simpler." - Albert Einstein | Wiki article link:Getting Started

UpperNwGuy
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Re: Vanguard platform

Post by UpperNwGuy » Fri Sep 14, 2018 8:47 am

This is such a minor issue in the grand scheme of things. If you hold VTSAX, it really doesn't matter whether you use the old platform or the new one. You'll get the same total return on your investment either way. (And, no, I don't work for Vanguard.)

aristotelian
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Re: Vanguard platform

Post by aristotelian » Fri Sep 14, 2018 9:30 am

Lol, I am surprised there are still holdouts.

OP, are you the type that still uses a landline? I was able to wait until 2009 to get a cell phone but eventually I caved in.

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ruralavalon
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Re: Vanguard platform

Post by ruralavalon » Fri Sep 14, 2018 10:06 am

aristotelian wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 9:30 am
Lol, I am surprised there are still holdouts.

OP, are you the type that still uses a landline? I was able to wait until 2009 to get a cell phone but eventually I caved in.
Since we prefer to use traditional mutual funds, not ETFs, there is no point that I can see to switching to the new platform.

Now that the initial bugs have been ironed out of the new platform, it probably makes no difference.

I first got a cell phone in 2011.
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Re: Vanguard platform

Post by pascalwager » Fri Sep 14, 2018 11:55 am

aristotelian wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 9:30 am
Lol, I am surprised there are still holdouts.

OP, are you the type that still uses a landline? I was able to wait until 2009 to get a cell phone but eventually I caved in.
Yes, I still use a cordless phone with message recording. Larger, easy-to-use buttons. But I'm not really phone-oriented, anyway. I also have a cell phone, but have just used it once since 2016.

You seem to be implying that the new platforms are somehow an advance or modernization. If that's the case, Vanguard should provide some screens or videos describing the new brokerage platform for us to study and reflect upon.

How did VG customers purchase ETFs and bonds in the past? Was there always a brokerage platform?

Even the word "brokerage" is upsetting. My basic investing training included developing a distrust of brokers and not pursuing or even allowing any contact with them.

If you convert to brokerage accounts do your beneficiaries remain in the new accounts? Naming beneficiaries is simple and easy now. By comparison, naming a beneficiary at Schwab is complicated and time-consuming.

The existing platform works very well for me, so why should I make a blind, unstudied change?

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Re: Vanguard platform

Post by aristotelian » Fri Sep 14, 2018 12:28 pm

pascalwager wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 11:55 am

Yes, I still use a cordless phone with message recording. Larger, easy-to-use buttons. But I'm not really phone-oriented, anyway. I also have a cell phone, but have just used it once since 2016.

You seem to be implying that the new platforms are somehow an advance or modernization. If that's the case, Vanguard should provide some screens or videos describing the new brokerage platform for us to study and reflect upon.

How did VG customers purchase ETFs and bonds in the past? Was there always a brokerage platform?

Even the word "brokerage" is upsetting. My basic investing training included developing a distrust of brokers and not pursuing or even allowing any contact with them.

If you convert to brokerage accounts do your beneficiaries remain in the new accounts? Naming beneficiaries is simple and easy now. By comparison, naming a beneficiary at Schwab is complicated and time-consuming.

The existing platform works very well for me, so why should I make a blind, unstudied change?
To each his own. I did not mean to imply anything. I just went along with it figuring that it was something VG wanted me to do, and I will play along since they have made me a lot of money over the years, and due to their business model I trust that they do not have some nefarious agenda.

I had no problem naming beneficiaries, but I didn't at Schwab either. If memory serves, there have been some reports of minor hassles involving dividend payouts and checkwriting privileges transitioning over. viewtopic.php?f=10&t=222234

I applaud you holding out on the cell phone as long as you did. Mine has not made my life any better.

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Re: Vanguard platform

Post by blevine » Fri Sep 14, 2018 2:34 pm

aristotelian wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 9:30 am
Lol, I am surprised there are still holdouts.

OP, are you the type that still uses a landline? I was able to wait until 2009 to get a cell phone but eventually I caved in.
Some people have restrictions by employers, as to where they can hold a brokerage account.
Vanguard is not on my list, I have told them if they switch me, I am FORCED to close my account.
They are not switching me....and promised they will not be trying to force me.
My employer doesn't mind old fashioned mutual fund only accounts, you can hold those anywhere,
but once I have the flexibility to trade securities that they want to monitor, they want you to select one of the brokers
that cooperates (electronically share trade data). My employer is not unique, they would lose many accounts if they forced the switch.

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Re: Vanguard platform

Post by KyleAAA » Fri Sep 14, 2018 2:45 pm

blevine wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 2:34 pm
aristotelian wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 9:30 am
Lol, I am surprised there are still holdouts.

OP, are you the type that still uses a landline? I was able to wait until 2009 to get a cell phone but eventually I caved in.
Some people have restrictions by employers, as to where they can hold a brokerage account.
Vanguard is not on my list, I have told them if they switch me, I am FORCED to close my account.
They are not switching me....and promised they will not be trying to force me.
My employer doesn't mind old fashioned mutual fund only accounts, you can hold those anywhere,
but once I have the flexibility to trade securities that they want to monitor, they want you to select one of the brokers
that cooperates (electronically share trade data). My employer is not unique, they would lose many accounts if they forced the switch.
Financially, I would bet heavily that would be a net financial gain for Vanguard. The costs of maintaining two platforms in parallel are enormous. It's not like they wouldn't recapture a large portion if those assets via Vanguard ETFs, only this time without the administrative overhead of maintaining a mutual fund account. The fair thing for Vanguard to do is to start charging users of the old platform for access if they allow it to stick around.

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Posts: 1934
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Re: Vanguard platform

Post by blevine » Fri Sep 14, 2018 3:04 pm

KyleAAA wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 2:45 pm
blevine wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 2:34 pm
aristotelian wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 9:30 am
Lol, I am surprised there are still holdouts.

OP, are you the type that still uses a landline? I was able to wait until 2009 to get a cell phone but eventually I caved in.
Some people have restrictions by employers, as to where they can hold a brokerage account.
Vanguard is not on my list, I have told them if they switch me, I am FORCED to close my account.
They are not switching me....and promised they will not be trying to force me.
My employer doesn't mind old fashioned mutual fund only accounts, you can hold those anywhere,
but once I have the flexibility to trade securities that they want to monitor, they want you to select one of the brokers
that cooperates (electronically share trade data). My employer is not unique, they would lose many accounts if they forced the switch.
Financially, I would bet heavily that would be a net financial gain for Vanguard. The costs of maintaining two platforms in parallel are enormous. It's not like they wouldn't recapture a large portion if those assets via Vanguard ETFs, only this time without the administrative overhead of maintaining a mutual fund account. The fair thing for Vanguard to do is to start charging users of the old platform for access if they allow it to stick around.
Many of us that have such restrictions also have Flagship accounts.
You really think they want to get rid of such clients ?
For tax reasons, if I was converted against my will, yes I might be compelled to convert my VTSAX to VTI, to avoid cap gains.
But next I would be forced to transfer those VTI shares to another broker, where I would be free to buy any ETFs I want.
Schwab, Ishares, Fidelity all have compelling, competitive index fund (ETF and traditional open end) offerings.

As a IT person who has worked in the fund industry, I don't think this is likely such a huge cost to maintain.
There are two parts to such a system :

1) Website itself, and the differences are minor, not a major cost to have multiple web UIs.
2) Backend fund shareholder tracking. This would never go away. As long as vanguard sells funds through many channels,
ultimately they need to track who owns what shares of each fund. So if your Etrade brokerage account buys shares of a Vanguard fund,
even if in street name, Vanguard must record that Etrade owns X shares of the fund. Vanguard brokerage would have to be treated same as if you held the fund at Fidelity, Etrade, Schwab etc. Funds need central shareholder records to record all shareholders.

If anything, the brokerage front end is the redundant technology that is a costly extra, that only is used by a growing subset of Vanguard customers. The fund shareholder servicing system services ALL Vanguard customers ultimately. You have this backwards. They wasted resources trying to become Etrade/Schwab etc. They should have just let you buy your ETF at those discount brokers and not bothered with this. They are not handling the load of customer service calls, something others can do better, and would not have had to build the brokerage front end either.

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Re: Vanguard platform

Post by KyleAAA » Fri Sep 14, 2018 3:10 pm

blevine wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 3:04 pm
KyleAAA wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 2:45 pm
blevine wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 2:34 pm
aristotelian wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 9:30 am
Lol, I am surprised there are still holdouts.

OP, are you the type that still uses a landline? I was able to wait until 2009 to get a cell phone but eventually I caved in.
Some people have restrictions by employers, as to where they can hold a brokerage account.
Vanguard is not on my list, I have told them if they switch me, I am FORCED to close my account.
They are not switching me....and promised they will not be trying to force me.
My employer doesn't mind old fashioned mutual fund only accounts, you can hold those anywhere,
but once I have the flexibility to trade securities that they want to monitor, they want you to select one of the brokers
that cooperates (electronically share trade data). My employer is not unique, they would lose many accounts if they forced the switch.
Financially, I would bet heavily that would be a net financial gain for Vanguard. The costs of maintaining two platforms in parallel are enormous. It's not like they wouldn't recapture a large portion if those assets via Vanguard ETFs, only this time without the administrative overhead of maintaining a mutual fund account. The fair thing for Vanguard to do is to start charging users of the old platform for access if they allow it to stick around.
Many of us that have such restrictions also have Flagship accounts.
You really think they want to get rid of such clients ?
For tax reasons, if I was converted against my will, yes I might be compelled to convert my VTSAX to VTI, to avoid cap gains.
But next I would be forced to transfer those VTI shares to another broker, where I would be free to buy any ETFs I want.
Schwab, Ishares, Fidelity all have compelling, competitive index fund (ETF and traditional open end) offerings.

As a IT person who has worked in the fund industry, I don't think this is likely such a huge cost to maintain.
There are two parts to such a system :

1) Website itself, and the differences are minor, not a major cost to have multiple web UIs.
2) Backend fund shareholder tracking. This would never go away. As long as vanguard sells funds through many channels,
ultimately they need to track who owns what shares of each fund. So if your Etrade brokerage account buys shares of a Vanguard fund,
even if in street name, Vanguard must record that Etrade owns X shares of the fund. Vanguard brokerage would have to be treated same as if you held the fund at Fidelity, Etrade, Schwab etc. Funds need central shareholder records to record all shareholders.

If anything, the brokerage front end is the redundant technology that is a costly extra, that only is used by a growing subset of Vanguard customers. The fund shareholder servicing system services ALL Vanguard customers ultimately. You have this backwards. They wasted resources trying to become Etrade/Schwab etc. They should have just let you buy your ETF at those discount brokers and not bothered with this. They are not handling the load of customer service calls, something others can do better, and would not have had to build the brokerage front end either.
I've implemented quite a few platform migrations. The enormous cost comes from loss of focus and missed opportunities much more than direct costs of running the infrastructure. Eventually, having to maintain two very different things restricts what is possible and grinds progress to a halt. Think of this particular form of tech debt as a high-interest credit card, not a fixed rate mortgage. It is something to be paid down as quickly as possible. The infra is relatively cheap in either case, it's the engineering impact you have to worry about.

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Re: Vanguard platform

Post by blevine » Fri Sep 14, 2018 3:14 pm

KyleAAA
I have done quite a few as well, and specifically IN THE FUND BUSINESS, at multiple fund managers.

1) Not as big a deal as you think, at least not the website complexity. I have built such a website with disparate functions
for different groups of users, was quite easy to build and maintain.

2) The debate is irrelevant, VANGUARD CAN NEVER GET RID OF THE SERVER SIDE, the actual fund shareholder tracking system
behind the old platform is NEVER GOING AWAY , NEVER, even if the web front end to it goes away. That is most of the cost of
ongoing maintenance and it's NEVER GOING AWAY....

Broken Man 1999
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Re: Vanguard platform

Post by Broken Man 1999 » Fri Sep 14, 2018 4:40 pm

For those of us who have investments OTHER than mutual funds (CDs, individual stocks, ETFs, individual bonds etc.) going to a brokerage account allows us to have all assets in all forms in a single account, i.e. like one TIRA, and/or one Roth IRA.

Wife and I had two Roth accounts, and two TIRAs. And, we had four settlement accounts, one for each Roth, and one for each TIRA.

Now we are down to one Roth, and one TIRA each. And, instead of four settlement accounts each we have just two each, now.

Totally worth the conversion, IMHO. Those who have only mutual funds, not so much.

I like the flexibility of my brokerage accounts, as my Roth and TIRA (and same for wife) can hold anything Vanguard offers. Wife didn't have enough $$$ in some of her holdings to qualify for Admiral shares but she did get the ER reductions by investing in a corresponding ETFs.

I'm happy on the brokerage platform. Fewer accounts to watch is better than more accounts to watch.

Broken Man 1999
“If I cannot drink Bourbon and smoke cigars in Heaven than I shall not go. " -Mark Twain

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Re: Vanguard platform

Post by KyleAAA » Fri Sep 14, 2018 11:24 pm

blevine wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 3:14 pm
KyleAAA
I have done quite a few as well, and specifically IN THE FUND BUSINESS, at multiple fund managers.

1) Not as big a deal as you think, at least not the website complexity. I have built such a website with disparate functions
for different groups of users, was quite easy to build and maintain.

2) The debate is irrelevant, VANGUARD CAN NEVER GET RID OF THE SERVER SIDE, the actual fund shareholder tracking system
behind the old platform is NEVER GOING AWAY , NEVER, even if the web front end to it goes away. That is most of the cost of
ongoing maintenance and it's NEVER GOING AWAY....
I don't think we're talking about the same thing. I'm not saying maintaining 2 separate systems costs a lot of cash, I'm saying it has a very high and increasing opportunity cost over time, which impacts the business negatively in very unpredictable ways. The actual server side code going away or not is not relevant.

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Posts: 1934
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Location: New York

Re: Vanguard platform

Post by blevine » Sat Sep 15, 2018 9:03 am

KyleAAA wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 11:24 pm
blevine wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 3:14 pm
KyleAAA
I have done quite a few as well, and specifically IN THE FUND BUSINESS, at multiple fund managers.

1) Not as big a deal as you think, at least not the website complexity. I have built such a website with disparate functions
for different groups of users, was quite easy to build and maintain.

2) The debate is irrelevant, VANGUARD CAN NEVER GET RID OF THE SERVER SIDE, the actual fund shareholder tracking system
behind the old platform is NEVER GOING AWAY , NEVER, even if the web front end to it goes away. That is most of the cost of
ongoing maintenance and it's NEVER GOING AWAY....
I don't think we're talking about the same thing. I'm not saying maintaining 2 separate systems costs a lot of cash, I'm saying it has a very high and increasing opportunity cost over time, which impacts the business negatively in very unpredictable ways. The actual server side code going away or not is not relevant.
Vanguard almost never enhances their front end, never did before the brokerage platform. Not a priority of theirs. And IMO most of the complexity that leads to opportunity cost is in the backend, not a web form that allows you to move money from one fund to another. Most invesment firms have multiple front end and back end sites/accounting engines. Vanguard runs 401k admin for employers, which requires yet another backend and front end app. Should they drop out of the 401k bus? Maybe so. Business decision. But separate IT platform. I understand your point, but part of understanding that opp cost and complexity is knowing the actual application, which I do. This is why people are often compensated well to stay in a vertical industy, to avoid generic IT rules/beliefs with ignorance of what is actually involved in the specific business applications.

To me Vanguard abandoning the fund only clients is like Ford and others recently announcing they are getting out of the car business and only making trucks. Short term may be profitable, but will drive car buyers to competitors, and they will not come back when Ford changes their mind. Bus decision.

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Re: Vanguard platform

Post by Lafder » Sat Sep 15, 2018 9:38 am

For those of you who have not made the change, you are worrying over something that was not a big deal at all.

The main difference for me was that the brokerage accounts previously, that held stocks, were a different account number. When we changed to the brokerage platform, I really could not tell the difference except that it was easier to see ALL of our holdings in one view on the website and it was under one account number.

I tried to use a POD/TOD for our joint holdings BEFORE changing to the brokerage platform, and we were told it could not be done for a joint account. Those of you with TOD on a joint account, that must be a LONG held account as it was not allowed for me in the past 19 plus years or so.

I thought about changing our joint accounts to solo accounts so we could add TOD of the spouse as primary, and then kids as secondary to avoid probate. But, it did not seem worth the extra steps. The majority of our holdings are retirement accounts and all of those have TOD. Our taxable accounts will have to go through probate in the unlikely case my spouse and I pass at the same time (or within 24 hours as mentioned). If just one of us passes, we can add the TOD designations once retitled as a solo account.

I think those of you apprehensive about changing to "brokerage accounts" will realize what a not big deal it is once you make the change...............for me it did make the website and looking at all accounts easier.

lafder

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Re: Vanguard platform

Post by KyleAAA » Sat Sep 15, 2018 11:14 pm

blevine wrote:
Sat Sep 15, 2018 9:03 am
KyleAAA wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 11:24 pm
blevine wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 3:14 pm
KyleAAA
I have done quite a few as well, and specifically IN THE FUND BUSINESS, at multiple fund managers.

1) Not as big a deal as you think, at least not the website complexity. I have built such a website with disparate functions
for different groups of users, was quite easy to build and maintain.

2) The debate is irrelevant, VANGUARD CAN NEVER GET RID OF THE SERVER SIDE, the actual fund shareholder tracking system
behind the old platform is NEVER GOING AWAY , NEVER, even if the web front end to it goes away. That is most of the cost of
ongoing maintenance and it's NEVER GOING AWAY....
I don't think we're talking about the same thing. I'm not saying maintaining 2 separate systems costs a lot of cash, I'm saying it has a very high and increasing opportunity cost over time, which impacts the business negatively in very unpredictable ways. The actual server side code going away or not is not relevant.
Vanguard almost never enhances their front end, never did before the brokerage platform. Not a priority of theirs. And IMO most of the complexity that leads to opportunity cost is in the backend, not a web form that allows you to move money from one fund to another. Most invesment firms have multiple front end and back end sites/accounting engines. Vanguard runs 401k admin for employers, which requires yet another backend and front end app. Should they drop out of the 401k bus? Maybe so. Business decision. But separate IT platform. I understand your point, but part of understanding that opp cost and complexity is knowing the actual application, which I do. This is why people are often compensated well to stay in a vertical industy, to avoid generic IT rules/beliefs with ignorance of what is actually involved in the specific business applications.

To me Vanguard abandoning the fund only clients is like Ford and others recently announcing they are getting out of the car business and only making trucks. Short term may be profitable, but will drive car buyers to competitors, and they will not come back when Ford changes their mind. Bus decision.
I'm not talking about any front-end website so I don't know why you keep bringing it up.
And If it didn't make business sense, the entire industry wouldn't be moving in that direction. It's not just Vanguard. And Vanguard isn't abandoning anybody. I own only mutual funds in the brokerage platform and it works just as well as it did before. All this grandstanding is silly.
Last edited by KyleAAA on Sat Sep 15, 2018 11:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Vanguard platform

Post by AlphaLess » Sat Sep 15, 2018 11:16 pm

livesoft wrote:
Sun Jun 03, 2018 3:16 pm
Who knows? Maybe they will offer holdouts $100 to switch? :)

Ever been on a plane when they ask for volunteers who will get voucher to be bumped?
I heard they are offering $10K for volunteers to get off the plane these days.

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Re: Vanguard platform

Post by rob » Sun Sep 16, 2018 1:13 am

Lafder wrote:
Sat Sep 15, 2018 9:38 am
For those of you who have not made the change, you are worrying over something that was not a big deal at all.
Have you not read any of the replies about employers requiring copies of "brokerage" transactions as part of compliance. This is an employment requirement and failure to comply will leave you without that job.

In my case I have large capital gains in funds that do not have ETF share classes - so I would be left in an untenable position of finding another job or paying all cap gains in 1 or 2 tax years (depending on timing).

I also currently have a TOD on a join taxable acct, and while a nonsense argument from Vanguard at least that can be solved with trusts.
| Rob | Its a dangerous business going out your front door. - J.R.R.Tolkien

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Re: Vanguard platform

Post by LadyGeek » Sun Sep 16, 2018 7:35 pm

The points regarding Vanguard's platform implementation have been made, let's move on.

Please help cycler, who has bumped the thread from June.
cycler wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 2:54 pm
Hi,
I just today registered with Bogleheads to comment on this subject. My husband keeps getting emails and reminders on his account page to switch to the new platform. There was something he could click on to see and do the "Three Easy Steps to Convert". When he clicks on that, there is absolutely nothing there showing the steps. So I called Vanguard today and first asked about my accounts; I thought I had already converted. I asked the representative if my accounts had been converted, and he said no they haven't. I and my husband only have IRAS and mutual funds; we are never going to buy ETFs, for example. I asked if my husband's accounts needed to be converted; he said no. I have been reading this site for awhile and it seems that Vanguard is looking to change over to the new platform for all, and that we all eventually have to do it. The representative at Vanguard said we don't need to. What's anyone's take on this? I'm glad we don't have to convert, but why is the pressure there to do it?
Wiki To some, the glass is half full. To others, the glass is half empty. To an engineer, it's twice the size it needs to be.

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Re: Vanguard platform

Post by blevine » Mon Sep 17, 2018 7:20 pm

The OP wants to know why they should switch. The answer is you do not have to and if you invest in mutual funds only, there is no reason to switch. In fact SOME functionality (that you may or may not care about) is removed if you switch. This has been discussed many times on this forum, the specific features are known to Vanguard and if they do not make such enhancements then many will not switch. I personally use such features that would be removed. Not that I couldn’t live with the brokerage interface, but it is less optimal for my needs, and I am bound by employer not to use their broker platform anyway, as other posters have also stated.

And the comments that this is the trend for the industry is ridiculous. MOST fund companies do not offer brokerage at all and only offer a fund-only website. BlackRock in fact offers a fund-only site (similar to the Vanguard site you now use).

https://www.blackrock.com/investing/res ... unt-access

in fact they have no online brokerage site at all.
If you google “blackrock online brokerage”. TDAmeritrade comes up, and others. BlackRock directs you to other brokers.
https://www.blackrock.com/investing/res ... -blackrock

On this board, people think Vanguard and Fidelity set the standard and fund only access is some legacy thing from the past, but it is not. It is a choice by 2 major firms to get into the brokerage space, just as schwab decided to get into etf/funds. But they are 2 separate businesses with 2 separate needs, for different clients. If one or the other meets your needs, don’t let Vanguard (or some board poster talking about platforms) tell you what to do. They cannot force you to switch to a brokerage acct. There is nothing wrong with either platform, and decide which one is useful to you.
Last edited by blevine on Mon Sep 17, 2018 9:54 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Vanguard platform

Post by abuss368 » Mon Sep 17, 2018 7:56 pm

I would expect at some point we will all be on one Vanguard platform which will be a brokerage account.

My only concern is the account statements. My understanding is there is a monthly "year to date statement" if that makes any sense. In other words, a running total for the year with only the monthly activity. As it stands presently, our mutual fund only accounts are true year to date statements. We print one statement at year end only (don't have any need for the quarterly year to date statements) and it details all transactions for the entire year.

When I mentioned this to a Vanguard representative a few weeks ago over the telephone, the response was that they have heard this quite a bit as a negative for the brokerage account platform and are working on it.
John C. Bogle: "You simply do not need to put your money into 8 different mutual funds!" | | Disclosure: Three Fund Portfolio + U.S. & International REITs

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Re: Vanguard platform

Post by al_harrington » Wed Sep 19, 2018 5:23 pm

RickBoglehead wrote:
Sun Jun 03, 2018 6:11 pm
Joint accounts can not be TOD on the new platform. Didn't tell us that.
This is the first I've heard of this and sure enough, my wife's brokerage account beneficiary designations are different than my traditional account beneficiary designations in that mine say TOD. What does that mean for brokerage account beneficiaries?

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Re: Vanguard platform

Post by KyleAAA » Wed Sep 19, 2018 6:42 pm

blevine wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 7:20 pm
The OP wants to know why they should switch. The answer is you do not have to and if you invest in mutual funds only, there is no reason to switch. In fact SOME functionality (that you may or may not care about) is removed if you switch. This has been discussed many times on this forum, the specific features are known to Vanguard and if they do not make such enhancements then many will not switch. I personally use such features that would be removed. Not that I couldn’t live with the brokerage interface, but it is less optimal for my needs, and I am bound by employer not to use their broker platform anyway, as other posters have also stated.

And the comments that this is the trend for the industry is ridiculous. MOST fund companies do not offer brokerage at all and only offer a fund-only website. BlackRock in fact offers a fund-only site (similar to the Vanguard site you now use).

https://www.blackrock.com/investing/res ... unt-access

in fact they have no online brokerage site at all.
If you google “blackrock online brokerage”. TDAmeritrade comes up, and others. BlackRock directs you to other brokers.
https://www.blackrock.com/investing/res ... -blackrock

On this board, people think Vanguard and Fidelity set the standard and fund only access is some legacy thing from the past, but it is not. It is a choice by 2 major firms to get into the brokerage space, just as schwab decided to get into etf/funds. But they are 2 separate businesses with 2 separate needs, for different clients. If one or the other meets your needs, don’t let Vanguard (or some board poster talking about platforms) tell you what to do. They cannot force you to switch to a brokerage acct. There is nothing wrong with either platform, and decide which one is useful to you.
When I say platform consolidation is the trend for the industry, I'm talking about technology departments across industries, not financial firms specifically. It is a broad secular trend. Individual companies make varying choices based on the particulars of their market position, but the prevailing wind is towards fewer platforms because there are such significant benefits to doing so.

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