Vanguard Advisor Services

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fancyrick63
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Vanguard Advisor Services

Post by fancyrick63 » Tue Jun 12, 2018 5:14 pm

I have been using Vanguard's Advisor Services which charges approx. 0.30 % fee for their service for the last five years. During that period of time Vanguard has made little or no changes to my overall portfolio and I have recently begun to question the value of this service and thought I would like to pose a question to the forum as to ask whether people are using this service and if so why and if not why not. Our current asset mix is 30% stock fund, and 70% bond funds with some CD's. I receive a call every three months or so to ask if things have changed and that's about it...

Little bit of background on my our circumstance; my wife and I are both retired and have enough monthly income from a pension and social security that more than meets our monthly expenses. Own our home, no big expenses on the horizon. I will be 70 in November and I am currently taking social security and will need to start withdrawing from my 401k when I reach 70.5. My wife will be 65 in November and is not taking social security but will be filing on mine as a "restricted application" when she reaches 66 and collect on hers fully when she reaches the age of 70. Overall I would say we are in good financial shape.

Would I be better off saving the .30% fee by investing in Vanguard's Total Bond Market Index, Total Stock Market Index and the Total Stock Market Index in the same proportion as I have now? Thank you for your thoughts and consideration.

dbr
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Re: Vanguard Advisor Services

Post by dbr » Tue Jun 12, 2018 5:17 pm

Probably you do not need to pay for VPAS.

PFInterest
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Re: Vanguard Advisor Services

Post by PFInterest » Tue Jun 12, 2018 5:20 pm

why did you sign up in the first place? are those reasons still valid?

livesoft
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Re: Vanguard Advisor Services

Post by livesoft » Tue Jun 12, 2018 5:21 pm

I do not use the service. From my reading of bogleheads.org and my understanding of human psychology the main reason people use the service is Peace of Mind and the ability to avoid responsibility for their own portfolios. Once the lights go on, people tend to stop using the service.

I think it is better paying 0.3% for this than paying more than 0.3% from any other outfit for management that is hazardous to one's portfolio. So at least Vanguard has done something good if they have kept one from going elsewhere until they realize that they've been spoofed.

Another plus is that perhaps the Vanguard service is the easiest to end and get out of paying for without all the consequences that a bunch of bad investments at another financial institution would entail.
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Nate79
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Re: Vanguard Advisor Services

Post by Nate79 » Tue Jun 12, 2018 5:27 pm

It's mostly a ripoff. You only need to have half a brain and can figure it out for yourself after seeing what they have (and haven't done) over the last few years. Just do the same. Or buy Vanguard all in one funds (Lifestrategy or Target date funds).

student
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Re: Vanguard Advisor Services

Post by student » Tue Jun 12, 2018 5:35 pm

Nate79 wrote:
Tue Jun 12, 2018 5:27 pm
It's mostly a ripoff. You only need to have half a brain and can figure it out for yourself after seeing what they have (and haven't done) over the last few years. Just do the same. Or buy Vanguard all in one funds (Lifestrategy or Target date funds).
+1

FOGU
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Re: Vanguard Advisor Services

Post by FOGU » Tue Jun 12, 2018 6:07 pm

You obviously don't need it.

End it.
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Veritas Simplex
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Re: Vanguard Advisor Services

Post by Veritas Simplex » Tue Jun 12, 2018 8:41 pm

One observation I'd share is that in five years, you note that no changes have been necessary in your portfolio. Advisors (not just PAS) love to tout the benefits of rebalancing. Why? Because it's one of the few things they can control. In practice, rebalancing is only necessary if the stock market moves sharply higher or lower, or if you have large withdrawals from or contributions to the portfolio. Even then, if you can do arithmetic, you can rebalance. With a 70% bond allocation, you're insulated from a lot of stock market volatility by design.

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Re: Vanguard Advisor Services

Post by pkcrafter » Tue Jun 12, 2018 8:57 pm

Fancyrick, do you have taxable accounts or tax-deferred at Vanguard?


Paul
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MrPotatoHead
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Re: Vanguard Advisor Services

Post by MrPotatoHead » Tue Jun 12, 2018 9:47 pm

fancyrick63 wrote:
Tue Jun 12, 2018 5:14 pm
and if not why not
Point one, I believe in personal responsibility and a IPS.

Point two, I cannot fathom what value add Vanguard could ever bring beyond the great service they did to all by being dominant in the market place and forcing other companies to offer low cost indexes. IMO, they simply are not set up or organized to perform value added services. Watching them tinker with their Target Date funds and their managed payout funds lead me to conclude they are simply not a company to look to for value added services or service in general.

Point three, as noted in this forum, they can be rather high handed in their approach.

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dwickenh
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Re: Vanguard Advisor Services

Post by dwickenh » Tue Jun 12, 2018 10:02 pm

Nate79 wrote:
Tue Jun 12, 2018 5:27 pm
It's mostly a ripoff. You only need to have half a brain and can figure it out for yourself after seeing what they have (and haven't done) over the last few years. Just do the same. Or buy Vanguard all in one funds (Lifestrategy or Target date funds).
Some people get comfort from the minor hand holding of PAS, I would hardly call that a rip-off.
The market is the most efficient mechanism anywhere in the world for transferring wealth from impatient people to patient people.” | — Warren Buffett

KT785
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Re: Vanguard Advisor Services

Post by KT785 » Tue Jun 12, 2018 10:10 pm

dwickenh wrote:
Tue Jun 12, 2018 10:02 pm
Nate79 wrote:
Tue Jun 12, 2018 5:27 pm
It's mostly a ripoff. You only need to have half a brain and can figure it out for yourself after seeing what they have (and haven't done) over the last few years. Just do the same. Or buy Vanguard all in one funds (Lifestrategy or Target date funds).
Some people get comfort from the minor hand holding of PAS, I would hardly call that a rip-off.
Agreed. This is a forum for DIYers so of course VPAS seems like an unnecessary expense. But for those coming from another advisor, it’s a much better solution and provides the same “handholding” that many like.

I got my parents out of Edward Jones by way of VPAS; now they get the benefit of lower costs and rationale management but still have a human point of contact (and aren’t worried about me feeling responsible for doing everything for them).

It’s not a rip-off, particularly if it gets people away from EJ and others like them.

smectym
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Re: Vanguard Advisor Services

Post by smectym » Tue Jun 12, 2018 11:10 pm

We tried VPAS with a chunk of our assets—a minority of what’s at Vanguard— partly because we just made a decision to “try several different roboadvisors.” But yes, agree with the general sentiment here. Same experience as OP, the original allocation was plain vanilla—which is fine, but anyone can do it—and then remained static. Every quarter we received a rather childish update assuring us that we’re “On Course!” The nature of the communications suggests—how to put it—that Vanguard itself assumes that anyone who would sign up for this service isn’t interested in or capable of processing much complexity.

Hung on for a few years, but recently pulled the plug.

Smectym

Nate79
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Re: Vanguard Advisor Services

Post by Nate79 » Tue Jun 12, 2018 11:35 pm

KT785 wrote:
Tue Jun 12, 2018 10:10 pm
dwickenh wrote:
Tue Jun 12, 2018 10:02 pm
Nate79 wrote:
Tue Jun 12, 2018 5:27 pm
It's mostly a ripoff. You only need to have half a brain and can figure it out for yourself after seeing what they have (and haven't done) over the last few years. Just do the same. Or buy Vanguard all in one funds (Lifestrategy or Target date funds).
Some people get comfort from the minor hand holding of PAS, I would hardly call that a rip-off.
Agreed. This is a forum for DIYers so of course VPAS seems like an unnecessary expense. But for those coming from another advisor, it’s a much better solution and provides the same “handholding” that many like.

I got my parents out of Edward Jones by way of VPAS; now they get the benefit of lower costs and rationale management but still have a human point of contact (and aren’t worried about me feeling responsible for doing everything for them).

It’s not a rip-off, particularly if it gets people away from EJ and others like them.
I call it a ripoff because it should be free (or much less than current). The actual service is basically robo investing (with very little robo activity) for Vanguard funds for which there are already Vanguard funds that do this for much less cost. There are also free robos. It's not worth 0.3% when you can get 99% of the same thing for most people using their all in one funds (target date or Lifestrategy type fund).

KT785
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Re: Vanguard Advisor Services

Post by KT785 » Wed Jun 13, 2018 12:20 am

Nate79 wrote:
Tue Jun 12, 2018 11:35 pm
KT785 wrote:
Tue Jun 12, 2018 10:10 pm
dwickenh wrote:
Tue Jun 12, 2018 10:02 pm
Nate79 wrote:
Tue Jun 12, 2018 5:27 pm
It's mostly a ripoff. You only need to have half a brain and can figure it out for yourself after seeing what they have (and haven't done) over the last few years. Just do the same. Or buy Vanguard all in one funds (Lifestrategy or Target date funds).
Some people get comfort from the minor hand holding of PAS, I would hardly call that a rip-off.
Agreed. This is a forum for DIYers so of course VPAS seems like an unnecessary expense. But for those coming from another advisor, it’s a much better solution and provides the same “handholding” that many like.

I got my parents out of Edward Jones by way of VPAS; now they get the benefit of lower costs and rationale management but still have a human point of contact (and aren’t worried about me feeling responsible for doing everything for them).

It’s not a rip-off, particularly if it gets people away from EJ and others like them.
I call it a ripoff because it should be free (or much less than current). The actual service is basically robo investing (with very little robo activity) for Vanguard funds for which there are already Vanguard funds that do this for much less cost. There are also free robos. It's not worth 0.3% when you can get 99% of the same thing for most people using their all in one funds (target date or Lifestrategy type fund).
I don't disagree that it's basically a robo-platform and that, presuming the funds are all in tax-advantaged accounts, leveraging an all-in-one fund would accomplish the same goal. However, the type of investor the product (VPAS) is marketed toward is likely someone with a complete aversion to these matters--they (my parents are of this mindset) want to be completely hands off and have someone else manage it all (allocation, rebalancing, distributions, etc.) and likewise be able to trust in that person's ability.

Inevitably, there is a part of the market that wants a dedicated contact person who "manages" their account(s), regardless of how little that might actually entail.

Given that VPAS involves dedicated (at least above a certain asset size) staff and the infrastructure to support it, it's not realistic to think such a service would be free; the price limits the customer base to those who really want to use it but also presumably covers the costs of those advisors since they can only work with a limited number of customers.

I'd argue that the bigger ripoff is the lack of Admiral shares for target-date and Lifestrategy funds--though I understand the the reasoning for such an omission.

Ultimately, if you want to truly minimize fees, you really need to manage it all yourself: 3 or 4 fund portfolio of Admiral shares wherein you conduct all transactions . . . that's too complicated or scary for many people, even though it's not for us.

JoinToday
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Re: Vanguard Advisor Services

Post by JoinToday » Wed Jun 13, 2018 12:40 am

The notion that Vanguard PAS is a ripoff is not correct in my opinion.

0.3% fee is a bargain if it prevents you from making just one boneheaded mistake. Picture the guy who could "do it himself" in 2008 .... until he capitulated near the bottom of the stock market and sold his equity. He then sat on the sidelines in cash, missing much of the stock market gains, waiting until the "right time to get back in". 0.3% fee would have been and absolute bargain.

Plus it is managed pretty well (no high fee funds, churning, etc). Most in society don't have the disposition & desire to learn what it takes to manage a portfolio.

I told my wife to have Vanguard PAS manage our assets after I am gone if she feels like she can't handle the investing.

There are worse mistakes a person can make.
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bklyn96
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Re: Vanguard Advisor Services

Post by bklyn96 » Wed Jun 13, 2018 4:01 am

JoinToday wrote:
Wed Jun 13, 2018 12:40 am
The notion that Vanguard PAS is a ripoff is not correct in my opinion....it is managed pretty well (no high fee funds, churning, etc)…I told my wife to have Vanguard PAS manage our assets after I am gone....

+1 Vanguard PAS is our backup option if I'm no longer involved.

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Steelersfan
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Re: Vanguard Advisor Services

Post by Steelersfan » Wed Jun 13, 2018 5:34 am

Would your opinion of the value of PAS be different if the last five years had been different, with lots of market up and downs making portfolio adjustments worthwhile?

What's your expectation for the market for the next five years?

I think most Bogleheads are savvy enough to do without PAS. Are you one of them? It sounds like it. That could change in the future and you could go back to PAS then.

Bronco Billy
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Re: Vanguard Advisor Services

Post by Bronco Billy » Wed Jun 13, 2018 6:35 am

Steelersfan wrote:
Wed Jun 13, 2018 5:34 am
I think most Bogleheads are savvy enough to do without PAS.
Now if most of us could get our spouse to become a Bogleheads we would not need it either.

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Steelersfan
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Re: Vanguard Advisor Services

Post by Steelersfan » Wed Jun 13, 2018 6:56 am

Bronco Billy wrote:
Wed Jun 13, 2018 6:35 am
Steelersfan wrote:
Wed Jun 13, 2018 5:34 am
I think most Bogleheads are savvy enough to do without PAS.
Now if most of us could get our spouse to become a Bogleheads we would not need it either.
I think many Bogleheads agree with JoinToday, and having Vanguard's PAS service available as a low cost option is a good thing.

"I told my wife to have Vanguard PAS manage our assets after I am gone if she feels like she can't handle the investing."

FOGU
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Re: Vanguard Advisor Services

Post by FOGU » Wed Jun 13, 2018 8:05 am

It appears the OP has learned enough simply by observing the PAS method (and surely from other sources) that he no longer needs to pay for the service. Consider it tuition. You have graduated so you no longer need to pay the tuition.

Agree that it is of value, and worth .3% for some. If you need/want it, it's there and you can pay for it. If you don't, then don't.
I told my wife to have Vanguard PAS manage our assets after I am gone if she feels like she can't handle the investing.
Now that is a good idea.
~ Don't just do something. Sit there. ~

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nedsaid
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Re: Vanguard Advisor Services

Post by nedsaid » Wed Jun 13, 2018 8:24 am

FOGU wrote:
Wed Jun 13, 2018 8:05 am
It appears the OP has learned enough simply by observing the PAS method (and surely from other sources) that he no longer needs to pay for the service. Consider it tuition. You have graduated so you no longer need to pay the tuition.

Agree that it is of value, and worth .3% for some. If you need/want it, it's there and you can pay for it. If you don't, then don't.
I told my wife to have Vanguard PAS manage our assets after I am gone if she feels like she can't handle the investing.
Now that is a good idea.
A suggestion for the Original Poster would be to find the LifeStrategy Fund that is closest to your current allocation. Cancel the Vanguard Personal Advisory Service and transfer all monies to that LifeStrategy Fund. You still get the professional management and rebalancing for less fees.
A fool and his money are good for business.

lostdog
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Re: Vanguard Advisor Services

Post by lostdog » Wed Jun 13, 2018 8:31 am

If you don't have a taxable account, based on your current allocation you could go with Vanguard Target Retirement Income fund. Yes, it's that simple.

It's the same thing. You just won't be paying .30% for the phone calls from Vanguard.

https://investor.vanguard.com/mutual-fu ... file/VTINX
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fancyrick63
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Re: Vanguard Advisor Services

Post by fancyrick63 » Wed Jun 13, 2018 9:57 am

The forum has given me a lot to think about and I thank all who spent their time in addressing my issue. In part to all I need to rethink my ongoing commitment to Vanguards PA services. Over the years I did managed my own investments but when I retired I decided to move all of our investments under one organization which was Vanguard to make it easier for my wife if in fact something happened to me. At that time I started using the VPAS. But as stated in an earlier message I am somewhat bothered by paying the .30% fee since there has been no movement of the portfolio and the quarterly advice I receive is cursory at best.

My takeaway is to look closer at the Vanguard Target Retirement Income Fund to see if it fully addresses my needs, although I am somewhat concerned about the tax implications of selling my taxable accounts and how that will impact us.

In any case I might be back with additional questions.

dbr
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Re: Vanguard Advisor Services

Post by dbr » Wed Jun 13, 2018 10:07 am

fancyrick63 wrote:
Wed Jun 13, 2018 9:57 am
The forum has given me a lot to think about and I thank all who spent their time in addressing my issue. In part to all I need to rethink my ongoing commitment to Vanguards PA services. Over the years I did managed my own investments but when I retired I decided to move all of our investments under one organization which was Vanguard to make it easier for my wife if in fact something happened to me. At that time I started using the VPAS. But as stated in an earlier message I am somewhat bothered by paying the .30% fee since there has been no movement of the portfolio and the quarterly advice I receive is cursory at best.

My takeaway is to look closer at the Vanguard Target Retirement Income Fund to see if it fully addresses my needs, although I am somewhat concerned about the tax implications of selling my taxable accounts and how that will impact us.

In any case I might be back with additional questions.
If the motivation is to provide your wife with a resource in case of your demise, that motivation still applies. Why do you think there should be some movement in your portfolio? The only thing that would happen in a typical Vanguard PAS portfolio is rebalancing. You can easily check or ask if the allocation should have been rebalanced. VPAS does not attempt market timing or other responses to economic or political conditions, if that is what you mean. Is there some other service you expected them to perform that they have not done?

indexonlyplease
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Re: Vanguard Advisor Services

Post by indexonlyplease » Wed Jun 13, 2018 10:10 am

I would look at what your original reason for using Vanguard PAS. Also, if you cancel will it really make any big difference in your lifestyle and returns. Like you said you are getting older and worry about wife if you are gone. One day when older I believe I will think the same way. I am retired in my 50s.

I would state just move it to the Target Dated Fund but since in taxable that could be a tax problem. Maybe just worry about your RMD's and where you will put the money. You can manage that money yourself and just put in a target or lifestyle fund.

The older I get I just keep looking for a more simple investing way.

livesoft
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Re: Vanguard Advisor Services

Post by livesoft » Wed Jun 13, 2018 10:51 am

fancyrick63 wrote:
Wed Jun 13, 2018 9:57 am
My takeaway is to look closer at the Vanguard Target Retirement Income Fund to see if it fully addresses my needs, although I am somewhat concerned about the tax implications of selling my taxable accounts and how that will impact us.
I think if you moved your tax-advantaged accounts to a Target Retirement that you could leave your taxable accounts alone and unmanaged. There is really nothing that needs to happen with them -- as you seem to have learned over the past few years.

One thing I would advise if you have children who may inherit anything in the future: Talk to them and let them know that they may inherit investments. Let them know about "step-up basis" and that they should not attach any sentimental value to anything that they inherit, so they can sell anything and invest the proceeds according to their own investing policy statement and asset allocation plan -- or spend the money.
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rgs92
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Re: Vanguard Advisor Services

Post by rgs92 » Wed Jun 13, 2018 11:17 am

Has anyone here ever been given some useful advice on anything they hadn't thought of from Vanguard PAS?
Maybe on taxes/estate-planning/trusts/insurance/social-security/fixed-annuities? Just curious.

It seems that on investing, listening to any Jack Bogle interview on youtube would tell you everything you need to know for free.

Jack FFR1846
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Re: Vanguard Advisor Services

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Wed Jun 13, 2018 1:51 pm

I've only observed posters' descriptions here as PAS has evolved. My take is that at first, they would figure out what target date/life strategy fund meets your needs and put you in that. As time went by, and chances are that lots of investors saw this and decided that they didn't need to pay an ongoing 0.3% for nothing so PAS evolved to separate out the funds into a 4 fund portfolio that still would match the underlying funds in a target date/life strategy. In essence, hiding the fact that they're cookie cutter matching you. Lately, they appear to be breaking this up further. Instead of just total US stock, they've got the stock broken by size, but still when you add the whole thing up, it's still really a target date/life strategy fund.

It seems to me that Vanguard is doing exactly the same thing that FA's are known for. Needlessly choosing a lot of funds to give the air that mere mortals can't possibly manage this. I'll give them credit in that they're not using high ER funds or front loading them or back 12b-1'ing them either. So still way better than an EJ managed portfolio.

Just figure out what target date/life strategy fund they've put you into and buy that.
Bogle: Smart Beta is stupid

livesoft
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Re: Vanguard Advisor Services

Post by livesoft » Wed Jun 13, 2018 2:03 pm

Maybe if Vanguard put folks in Target Retirement funds, then they could reduce the PAS fee on those things by the difference between say equivalent separate Admiral funds and the TR fund. Example: 0.05% for individual funds and 0.13% for TR fund, so rebate 0.08% of PAS fee for those assets.
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GmanJeff
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Re: Vanguard Advisor Services

Post by GmanJeff » Wed Jun 13, 2018 2:24 pm

OP, you might want to review prior threads discussing PAS. In them, as here, you'll find those who assert they can provide the same services for themselves at no cost and do it equally well indefinitely into the future, those who feel the service is something to be invoked by their spouses only after their demise, and those who feel the relatively modest expense offers sufficient advantages to make the service a viable choice.

One reason for older investors to consider PAS is the common phenomenon of investors losing interest and focus on portfolio management as they age. This typically happens gradually and may not be noticed in a timely manner. Poor or absent decision-making can obviously affect overall portfolio performance and can have adverse tax impacts. PAS can mitigate this phenomenon to some or even to a great extent.

Critics also often wrongly tend to discuss PAS as if it were effectively a pure robo system that only does infrequent portfolio re-balancing and nothing further when it is instead a hybrid which offers other services. If an investor takes advantage of the quarterly portfolio reviews to engage in relevant conversation with their advisor, that can ensure not only that any needed asset allocation adjustments do occur but that any changes in personal circumstances or risk tolerance are translated effectively and appropriately into corresponding portfolio adjustments. Do-it-yourselfers may or may not not always have the discipline to engage in such reviews and the knowledge to correctly take any needed action.

Using PAS ensures a portfolio is constructed and maintained according to Vanguard's proprietary asset allocation model, which may be superior to the model any individual investor might devise on their own for their individual risk tolerance. All-in-one funds or 2 or 3-fund portfolio alternatives are often proposed as lower cost options but are not necessarily going to be quite as aligned with any specific investor's personal risk tolerance and investment objectives. If a somewhat more personalized PAS portfolio even slightly outperforms a off-the-shelf alternative in terms of preferred levels of volatility and return, the PAS cost will likely more than pay for itself.

PAS is not for everyone, but neither is going it alone for everyone even with the assistance of Internet forums like this one.

smectym
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Re: Vanguard Advisor Services

Post by smectym » Wed Jun 13, 2018 4:16 pm

We are the sort of household where I am obsessed with the markets, asset management and so on and my spouse couldn't care less about the nuts and bolts of it. That was one of several reasons we signed up with PAS--if "something happened" to me, spouse would have a contact person to turn to. And we were happy with our advisor. My spouse began to feel comfortable with that advisor. However, as is consistent with Vanguard's corporate culture, pretty soon that advisor told us he was moving on to another part of the operation. A new advisor was assigned. My spouse had difficulty establishing a new rapport. That kind of thing is important if "you'll have someone to turn to when I'm gone" is part of the rationale. I know I'm on at least my fifth or sixth "Flagship Representative" and they seem to rotate out even more frequently these days. Not a criticism of Vanguard per se--but as to the "human element" part of their model, I think PAS clients generally might prefer that their PAS human advisor was not seen as just another interchangeable widget.

In any event, the advisor rotation issue was one of the several factors that led to our decision to terminate the service.

Smectym

dbr
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Re: Vanguard Advisor Services

Post by dbr » Wed Jun 13, 2018 4:45 pm

smectym wrote:
Wed Jun 13, 2018 4:16 pm
We are the sort of household where I am obsessed with the markets, asset management and so on and my spouse couldn't care less about the nuts and bolts of it. That was one of several reasons we signed up with PAS--if "something happened" to me, spouse would have a contact person to turn to. And we were happy with our advisor. My spouse began to feel comfortable with that advisor. However, as is consistent with Vanguard's corporate culture, pretty soon that advisor told us he was moving on to another part of the operation. A new advisor was assigned. My spouse had difficulty establishing a new rapport. That kind of thing is important if "you'll have someone to turn to when I'm gone" is part of the rationale. I know I'm on at least my fifth or sixth "Flagship Representative" and they seem to rotate out even more frequently these days. Not a criticism of Vanguard per se--but as to the "human element" part of their model, I think PAS clients generally might prefer that their PAS human advisor was not seen as just another interchangeable widget.

In any event, the advisor rotation issue was one of the several factors that led to our decision to terminate the service.

Smectym
That is a good point. Provision of a long term personal relationship is not one of the services available from VPAS.

mpnret
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Re: Vanguard Advisor Services

Post by mpnret » Wed Jun 13, 2018 6:14 pm

Vanguard PAS needs to put a reasonable cap on what they charge. Schwab Advisory charges .28% but also puts a $900. per quarter cap on what you pay. That way larger acccount balances, which require the same resources as smaller ones, don't pay a ridiculous fee. I would really like to try Vanguard PAS but it would cost me over $10,000. per year which would grow every year as my account balance grows.

carruthers209
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Re: Vanguard Advisor Services

Post by carruthers209 » Wed Jun 13, 2018 7:14 pm

Interesting posts. Now that I've reached the 70 year old milestone, I realize that my own cognitive decline could very well happen in the next decade or two-hopefully I will see the longer term horizon but I can already tell that my memory is no longer as good as I wish it were-can't seem to get those facts to stick; it's taking me longer to process information; and scientifically our brains have been measured and they are shrinking as we age. I watched the cognitive decline (before their passing) occur in our families and realize no one is immune. I think having a Vanguard Advisor Service may be one of the smartest things I can do to help preserve the portfolios that we have worked so hard to accumulate. I am also thinking longer term about having my grandchildren inherit our Roth IRAs and set them up as standalone trusts as irrevocable and forcing the "stretch" over their lifetimes-with the Vanguard Advisor Services overseeing those Roth IRAs. I am also toying with the possibility of making our own portfolios irrevocable with the Vanguard Advisor Services overlooking the trust aspects of this action. (I also watched an unscrupulous caregiver almost cheat my dad out of his wealth-early stage dementia?) Obviously there is much to research here but right now we have the gift of time and good health.

InMyDreams
Posts: 253
Joined: Tue Feb 28, 2017 11:35 am

Re: Vanguard Advisor Services

Post by InMyDreams » Wed Jun 13, 2018 9:28 pm

Nate79 wrote:
Tue Jun 12, 2018 5:27 pm
You only need to have half a brain
I'd argue that it takes a bit more than half a brain. My father turned his account management over to VG after my mother died and his own brain was becoming cloudy. He's still managing his checking and credit card, and transfers from VG to them - but - all transfers that have to do with his VG account go thru the advisor, who has my father's permission to involve my brother if there are any questions.

Well worth the peace of mind.

sco
Posts: 735
Joined: Thu Sep 24, 2015 2:28 pm

Re: Vanguard Advisor Services

Post by sco » Thu Jun 14, 2018 8:29 am

I don't use it, but wouldn't hesitate to have my wife use it if I fell over dead. They can be of help transfering accounts, getting things setup, etc. After a while and once you have hit a fixed asset allocation, there just isn't much to do.

lostdog
Posts: 935
Joined: Thu Feb 04, 2016 2:15 pm

Re: Vanguard Advisor Services

Post by lostdog » Thu Jun 14, 2018 9:22 am

sco wrote:
Thu Jun 14, 2018 8:29 am
I don't use it, but wouldn't hesitate to have my wife use it if I fell over dead. They can be of help transfering accounts, getting things setup, etc. After a while and once you have hit a fixed asset allocation, there just isn't much to do.
+1

When I pass, my wife is instructed to contact Vanguard PAS to take over the portfolio for her and guide her. This is in our IPS.
100% Vanguard Total World Equity Index. Simplicity 100%.

KT785
Posts: 200
Joined: Fri Jul 11, 2014 2:21 pm

Re: Vanguard Advisor Services

Post by KT785 » Thu Jun 14, 2018 9:53 am

lostdog wrote:
Thu Jun 14, 2018 9:22 am
sco wrote:
Thu Jun 14, 2018 8:29 am
I don't use it, but wouldn't hesitate to have my wife use it if I fell over dead. They can be of help transfering accounts, getting things setup, etc. After a while and once you have hit a fixed asset allocation, there just isn't much to do.
+1

When I pass, my wife is instructed to contact Vanguard PAS to take over the portfolio for her and guide her. This is in our IPS.
I've instructed my wife to do the same (even though we're 30/29) as she'd have to deal with benefits from my term life and group life policies in addition to our current investments. I have confidence that VPAS would take care of her in such a situation . . . knowing that the (low) additional cost is worth it to know things are managed in a manner akin to my own approach.

lostdog
Posts: 935
Joined: Thu Feb 04, 2016 2:15 pm

Re: Vanguard Advisor Services

Post by lostdog » Thu Jun 14, 2018 9:55 am

KT785 wrote:
Thu Jun 14, 2018 9:53 am
lostdog wrote:
Thu Jun 14, 2018 9:22 am
sco wrote:
Thu Jun 14, 2018 8:29 am
I don't use it, but wouldn't hesitate to have my wife use it if I fell over dead. They can be of help transfering accounts, getting things setup, etc. After a while and once you have hit a fixed asset allocation, there just isn't much to do.
+1

When I pass, my wife is instructed to contact Vanguard PAS to take over the portfolio for her and guide her. This is in our IPS.
I've instructed my wife to do the same (even though we're 30/29) as she'd have to deal with benefits from my term life and group life policies in addition to our current investments. I have confidence that VPAS would take care of her in such a situation . . . knowing that the (low) additional cost is worth it to know things are managed in a manner akin to my own approach.
I am 42 and she is 40. It's a good peace of mind knowing that they'll take care of her on the investment side.
100% Vanguard Total World Equity Index. Simplicity 100%.

dbr
Posts: 27056
Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2007 9:50 am

Re: Vanguard Advisor Services

Post by dbr » Thu Jun 14, 2018 10:02 am

lostdog wrote:
Thu Jun 14, 2018 9:55 am

I am 42 and she is 40. It's a good peace of mind knowing that they'll take care of her on the investment side.
I would sit down and list the various aspects of finance with your wife as a survivor and check what VPAS does and doesn't do. The idea that they will "take care of her (on the investment side)" may be naive.

Nate79
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Location: Portland, OR

Re: Vanguard Advisor Services

Post by Nate79 » Thu Jun 14, 2018 10:11 am

InMyDreams wrote:
Wed Jun 13, 2018 9:28 pm
Nate79 wrote:
Tue Jun 12, 2018 5:27 pm
You only need to have half a brain
I'd argue that it takes a bit more than half a brain. My father turned his account management over to VG after my mother died and his own brain was becoming cloudy. He's still managing his checking and credit card, and transfers from VG to them - but - all transfers that have to do with his VG account go thru the advisor, who has my father's permission to involve my brother if there are any questions.

Well worth the peace of mind.
Why not just use a single target date fund? It's all VPAS is doing anyways.

KT785
Posts: 200
Joined: Fri Jul 11, 2014 2:21 pm

Re: Vanguard Advisor Services

Post by KT785 » Thu Jun 14, 2018 10:32 am

Nate79 wrote:
Thu Jun 14, 2018 10:11 am
InMyDreams wrote:
Wed Jun 13, 2018 9:28 pm
Nate79 wrote:
Tue Jun 12, 2018 5:27 pm
You only need to have half a brain
I'd argue that it takes a bit more than half a brain. My father turned his account management over to VG after my mother died and his own brain was becoming cloudy. He's still managing his checking and credit card, and transfers from VG to them - but - all transfers that have to do with his VG account go thru the advisor, who has my father's permission to involve my brother if there are any questions.

Well worth the peace of mind.
Why not just use a single target date fund? It's all VPAS is doing anyways.
Having helped my parents from from EJ to VPAS last year, and continuing to monitor their account and interactions with Vanguard since then, I can tell you it's a bit disingenuous to say that all they're doing is replicating a target date fund.

It's true that their portfolio follows the four-fund index approach, with two additional bond funds (a short term and intermediate term fund). However, their advisor also worked with them to determine an appropriate asset allocation (which differs from the TDF path as it takes into account SS, pension, additional income, etc.) and continues to have calls with them on a quarterly basis to determine changes in income needs/wants and how such changes would impact their portfolio's long-term success.

Again, many members here could/would/should do that for themselves, but for many (most?) of the general investing public, VPAS provides a service that's wanted.

Admittedly, I've only seen their interactions with folks already in retirement, so income needs and asset preservation are a focus of the services . . . I'm unsure of the scope of services provided to pre-retirement individuals who are still in the asset accumulation phase.

Nate79
Posts: 2573
Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2016 6:24 pm
Location: Portland, OR

Re: Vanguard Advisor Services

Post by Nate79 » Thu Jun 14, 2018 11:00 am

KT785 wrote:
Thu Jun 14, 2018 10:32 am
Nate79 wrote:
Thu Jun 14, 2018 10:11 am
InMyDreams wrote:
Wed Jun 13, 2018 9:28 pm
Nate79 wrote:
Tue Jun 12, 2018 5:27 pm
You only need to have half a brain
I'd argue that it takes a bit more than half a brain. My father turned his account management over to VG after my mother died and his own brain was becoming cloudy. He's still managing his checking and credit card, and transfers from VG to them - but - all transfers that have to do with his VG account go thru the advisor, who has my father's permission to involve my brother if there are any questions.

Well worth the peace of mind.
Why not just use a single target date fund? It's all VPAS is doing anyways.
Having helped my parents from from EJ to VPAS last year, and continuing to monitor their account and interactions with Vanguard since then, I can tell you it's a bit disingenuous to say that all they're doing is replicating a target date fund.

It's true that their portfolio follows the four-fund index approach, with two additional bond funds (a short term and intermediate term fund). However, their advisor also worked with them to determine an appropriate asset allocation (which differs from the TDF path as it takes into account SS, pension, additional income, etc.) and continues to have calls with them on a quarterly basis to determine changes in income needs/wants and how such changes would impact their portfolio's long-term success.

Again, many members here could/would/should do that for themselves, but for many (most?) of the general investing public, VPAS provides a service that's wanted.

Admittedly, I've only seen their interactions with folks already in retirement, so income needs and asset preservation are a focus of the services . . . I'm unsure of the scope of services provided to pre-retirement individuals who are still in the asset accumulation phase.
- There are many options to not have to pay the uncapped 0.3% AUM where you pay less or at least get your money's worth.
- hire a paid per hour advisor to do a one time full financial review who can actually make sure you are on track, have all your ducks in a row and then recommend an asset allocation with index funds. Can do a review every year or two if the need arises.
- Does VPAS actually do an in depth review and make a specific asset allocation across accounts and look at all financial details. For example do they do tax efficient asset allocation, which account you should withdraw from, etc? I doubt they are doing more than a simple questionnaire for stock/bond asset allocation that is easily available in many places.
- you don't need a quarterly review - that's ridiculous. Do you really want to be changing your asset allocation quarterly if things are changing any more than a target date fund is already doing?
- target date fund is adjusting as you get older. Don't need a quarterly call to review this. Or can use Lifestrategy fund set it and forget it.
- you could have VPAS setup the account and cancel it some months later after you see how they setup the 4 funds
- If you are really panicking during a severe downturn do you really think VPAS is going to stop you from selling?

There is no way I would be paying thousands and thousands of dollars every year for little more than a target date fund and a phone call ever quarter so they can ask how you are doing. The services are not worth 0.3%.

KT785
Posts: 200
Joined: Fri Jul 11, 2014 2:21 pm

Re: Vanguard Advisor Services

Post by KT785 » Thu Jun 14, 2018 2:26 pm

Nate79 wrote:
Thu Jun 14, 2018 11:00 am
The services are not worth 0.3%.
. . . to you (and me, and most people on this board).

And while I agree that TDFs are a great product for many people, particularly those who want a "hands off" approach, I'd argue that they're better situated for those in the accumulation phase than those who are actively making withdrawals. Moreover, as has been discussed many times on this forum, TDFs should be chosen based on their asset allocation (as opposed to age/retirement date) and their allocation is a moving target; I'd suspect that the primary audience for VPAS is not likely inclined to (or comfortable with) making asset allocation determinations. TDFs are likewise not appropriate for taxable accounts.

As hard as it is for many of us on BHs to imagine, there are many among us (most people I'd suspect) that will pay more than we'd consider necessary for money management . . . and they'll consider the costs of VPAS cheap compared with any of the alternatives they'd willingly consider.

KT785

smectym
Posts: 113
Joined: Thu May 26, 2011 5:07 pm

Re: Vanguard Advisor Services

Post by smectym » Thu Jun 14, 2018 7:32 pm

>- ... do a one time full financial review who can actually make sure you are on track, have all your ducks in a row and then >recommend an asset allocation with index funds. Can do a review every year or two if the need arises.

Yet another of the cumulative list of reasons we quit VPAS: as Flagship, we're entitled to a free CFP consultation EVERY YEAR. And the one time I did one of those, several years before we signed up for PAS, was more valuable and insightful than any interaction we had with PAS (only wish I had followed more of their recommendations, ha ha). Thinking of cueing one of those up for early next year

Smectym

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