Vanguard Personal Advisor Services

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NYC1
Posts: 13
Joined: Thu Jun 28, 2018 3:25 pm

Vanguard Personal Advisor Services

Post by NYC1 »

Hello,

I am considering using Vanguard Personal Advisor Services (PAS) and I am trying to get some Pros and Con's in making a decision?

Pros:
1. Cannot say enough good things about how Vanguard treats its customers and its focus on keeping costs low!
2. Have a good amount of trust in this company.
3. Rebalancing your portfolio needs to be done even when the market is up and you have to sell, PAS doing this without emotional attachment?
4. The Personal Advisor probably sees and knows more than I do as this is their job, They have access to first class economists.

Cons:
1. As your portfolio grows the cost gets high? Not sure how PAS compares to competitors?
2. Is it worth the cost year after year?
3. Is this a huge drag on overall performance?

Misc:
1. I have been listening to a Boglehead podcast by Rick Ferri, but this topic is not discussed? Is there any other podcast that is available that discusses the pros and cons of this?

Thank you in advance for your replies!
dbr
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Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2007 9:50 am

Re: Vanguard Personal Advisor Services

Post by dbr »

There is lots and lots of reading about VPAS on the forum: https://www.google.com/search?sitesearc ... .org&q=pas
yougotitdude
Posts: 92
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Re: Vanguard Personal Advisor Services

Post by yougotitdude »

Pros

3) Yes, that's what they're supposed to do so anyway
4) They probably know more about the emotional side. I doubt they know much more about the future of the economy in any meaningful sense.

cons
1) The cost as a percentage stays the same (until you get to the $5 million+ I believe). It's significantly lower cost than most other places. It's comparable to roboadvisors but you are working with a person.
2) That's up to the person. If someone doesn't know what they're doing or is emotional about investments, it may be worth it.
3) It's a drag over the long term but much less of a drag than other advisors.
retiredjg
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Re: Vanguard Personal Advisor Services

Post by retiredjg »

I think you are missing the one thing that makes VPAS the only human advisor to consider (in my opinion) - Their income does not depend on what they sell you. They have no incentive to sell you anything but a simple broad low cost portfolio.

Other advisors make their money in a couple of ways - either by selling you something that gives them a sales commission or by charging a fee to manage your money. Either of those things could be an incentive to suggest something other than the very best thing for you.

Very few advisors charge anything as low as the .3% that PAS charges. Those that do will usually be putting you into funds that have higher costs then Vanguard's low cost.

1. As your portfolio grows the cost gets high? Not sure how PAS compares to competitors?
High cost is relative. Human advisors typically charge 1% to 1.3%, some much higher and a few a little lower if you have a large enough portfolio. From what I've seen, the ones who charge the lower fees tend to sell higher cost funds.

2. Is it worth the cost year after year?
If you actually need an advisor, it is worth the cost. However, Vanguard's typical portfolio is so simple, many people can just take it over as is after a year or two and manage it themselves. In other words, Vanguard's PAS can act like "training wheels". This investing stuff is not hard to understand if that is why a person needs an advisor. For a person who needs an advisor because they have poor impulse control or some other emotional impediment to investing, it's better to just stay with them.

3. Is this a huge drag on overall performance?
It is a drag. It is a smaller drag than many. It's not a drag at all if they keep you from doing stupid stuff.


Please do not think I'm saying that every advisor who is not at Vanguard is bad. That can't possibly be true. There are good ones out there, but if you know enough to find one you probably don't need one.

What I am saying is that the business model for other advisors always seems to have a place or time where they can put their own interests in front of yours (even if the advisor is not aware of doing it).
dbr
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Re: Vanguard Personal Advisor Services

Post by dbr »

NYC1 wrote: Mon Mar 04, 2019 8:58 am Hello,

I am considering using Vanguard Personal Advisor Services (PAS) and I am trying to get some Pros and Con's in making a decision?

I will venture some comments:


Pros:
1. Cannot say enough good things about how Vanguard treats its customers and its focus on keeping costs low!

Yes, regarding the John Bogle revolution in innovating low cost mutual funds. VPAS will put you in such funds and charge you 0.3% that you don't need to pay to own the same funds. There seem to be a lot of complaints on this forum about Vanguard customer service but it is hard to know what perspective to take on that. I don't have accounts at Vanguard and I am happy with the customer service where I am.

2. Have a good amount of trust in this company.

I would be confident of that.

3. Rebalancing your portfolio needs to be done even when the market is up and you have to sell, PAS doing this without emotional attachment?

Rebalancing is much misunderstood and over-rated. Anyway there shouldn't be anything here a person can't manage.


4. The Personal Advisor probably sees and knows more than I do as this is their job, They have access to first class economists.

Pure baloney.

Cons:
1. As your portfolio grows the cost gets high? Not sure how PAS compares to competitors?

Compared to the outright theft generally practiced in the business this is certainly true. There are cheap or cheaper competitors. The most effective competitor is to do it yourself.

2. Is it worth the cost year after year?

In my opinion, no, but this is a personal judgement call.


3. Is this a huge drag on overall performance?

It is a significant drag on performance but hardly huge.


Misc:
1. I have been listening to a Boglehead podcast by Rick Ferri, but this topic is not discussed? Is there any other podcast that is available that discusses the pros and cons of this?

I don't know. I don't listen to podcasts.

Thank you in advance for your replies!

Probably the best reason for using VPAS mentioned by many people is for hand-holding and helping survivors after the demise of an account holder whose family and heirs would be lost trying to manage the investments.
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nedsaid
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Re: Vanguard Personal Advisor Services

Post by nedsaid »

NYC1 wrote: Mon Mar 04, 2019 8:58 am Hello,

I am considering using Vanguard Personal Advisor Services (PAS) and I am trying to get some Pros and Con's in making a decision?

Nedsaid: I think the best service that a Financial Advisor can do for you is to look at your financial situation as a whole. One fact can change what someone would advise completely. For example, if you have family #1 and family #2 with identical financial situations but family #2 has a special needs child and family #1 does not, the advice given to family #2 would be different than the advice given to family #1.

An advisor with experience has seen probably hundreds of people's situations, pretty much this means that through your advisor you can benefit from other people's mistakes without having to make them yourselves. It is the experience that you want.

There are a lot of good books and articles about personal finance and investments out there. You can learn this stuff, I would start with the authors and books recommended here. Four authors I would recommend are John Bogle, Dr. Bill Bernstein, Larry Swedroe, and Rick Ferri. There are others. I would start with either Bogle or Bernstein. If you know some things going in, it can help you make more efficient use of an advisor's time.



Pros:
1. Cannot say enough good things about how Vanguard treats its customers and its focus on keeping costs low!
2. Have a good amount of trust in this company.
3. Rebalancing your portfolio needs to be done even when the market is up and you have to sell, PAS doing this without emotional attachment?
4. The Personal Advisor probably sees and knows more than I do as this is their job, They have access to first class economists.

Nedsaid: Vanguard certainly has very good people, you can read their whitepapers which are quite good. But don't invest based on economic forecasts.

Cons:
1. As your portfolio grows the cost gets high? Not sure how PAS compares to competitors?
2. Is it worth the cost year after year?
3. Is this a huge drag on overall performance?

Nedsaid: Vanguard Personal Advisory Services is cheap, it is a hybrid human/robot advisor service. Fidelity Go is very competitive but it is a Robo Service. Schwab has an Intelligent Investor service that is good though its portfolios are more complex. If you want a human being to talk to, Vanguard is probably the cheapest.

Once your plan gets set up, portfolio management is fairly simple. From what I have seen VPAS will put you in a 4-6 fund portfolio. Most of what happens afterwards is rebalancing. It is really up to you if the 0.3% advisory fee is worth it to you. If you are clueless about investments, it might be worth it. As RetiredJG said, VPAS can be like training wheels until you learn enough to manage it yourself.


Misc:
1. I have been listening to a Boglehead podcast by Rick Ferri, but this topic is not discussed? Is there any other podcast that is available that discusses the pros and cons of this?

Thank you in advance for your replies!
A fool and his money are good for business.
GmanJeff
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Re: Vanguard Personal Advisor Services

Post by GmanJeff »

As others have said, check out prior threads on this topic.

The value of PAS depends on the extent to which an investor takes advantage of all that it offers. If you only want an initial asset allocation and then plan to largely walk away from your investments forever, it's less useful. If you're not as smart as you think you are as an investor, and PAS provides guidance which keeps you from inadvertently making what would have been an investment error, the cost may turn out to have been well worth it.
miket29
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Re: Vanguard Personal Advisor Services

Post by miket29 »

NYC1 wrote: Mon Mar 04, 2019 8:58 am Hello,

I am considering using Vanguard Personal Advisor Services (PAS) and I am trying to get some Pros and Con's in making a decision?

Pros:
1. Cannot say enough good things about how Vanguard treats its customers and its focus on keeping costs low!
2. Have a good amount of trust in this company.
3. Rebalancing your portfolio needs to be done even when the market is up and you have to sell, PAS doing this without emotional attachment?
4. The Personal Advisor probably sees and knows more than I do as this is their job, They have access to first class economists.
To me the biggest Pro to you using their service is item 4. It is the exact opposite of what they do. That you think advisors try to time the market is a misconception and makes you vulnerable to advisors that will try to tout their expertise on steering their clients thru markets good and bad.

In fact PAS will set up an asset allocation and hold it, rebalancing periodically. If you have sufficient assets to be a Flagship client (and perhaps Voyager Select, you'd need to check with them) you are entitled to a free annual plan. It's the same plan they'd use if you hired them. So it's up to you to decide if having them put the plan into effect and the ability to call them whenever you feel the need is worth .3% of your assets each year.
delamer
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Re: Vanguard Personal Advisor Services

Post by delamer »

One comparison to make is how the costs and benefits of PAS compare to the costs and benefits of buying-and-holding an all-in-one fund such as as Vanguard’s Target Date or LifeStrategy fund.

Remember the all-in-one funds automatically rebalance. You don’t need an advisor to do that for you.
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GerryL
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Re: Vanguard Personal Advisor Services

Post by GerryL »

I'm a DIYer and have no need to pay for VPAS services at this time. My portfolio is very simple and I don't need emotional support when the market gets volatile. There may come a day, however, when I decide to sign up for VPAS because I feel less capable of managing my own financial affairs. This will be part of a larger plan that will include assorted legal documents, my nephew and perhaps other entities. One of these days I will set up time to talk with Vanguard about what they can and cannot do for me in this situation.
TomL365
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Re: Vanguard Personal Advisor Services

Post by TomL365 »

As part of getting older and my wife possibly having to take over our investments some day, I went ahead and collapsed all of my retirement accounts into Vanguard. In return, they provide a comprehensive management service, along with a Certified Financial Planner, at a low cost (.3%).

Advantages:
1. My investments are now on autopilot. If I die or become incapacitated tomorrow, my wife activates my power of attorney, and makes one call to my CFP. * This is huge * She's already spoken with him and gone through a telephone session as an introduction. My wife is not extremely well versed in investing, and as she gets older that's going to be even more of a problem.
2. For all the obvious reasons, nearly all of my investments were with Vanguard anyway.
3. As someone else pointed out, the Vanguard advisors are not incentivized to trade my investments in order to get commission income.
4. The .3% is far lower than I could have found locally.
5. If I had waited, and then my wife had to find someone locally out of necessity, she would have gone to a financial planner recommended by a friend. There can be some huge downsides there. I've set up a program for my wife with someone I trust.

Disadvantages:
1. I've done quite well with a diverse group of investments. Moving now into a pre-planned, formula based investment spread is not exciting me. I realize I'm possibly having to give up something here. (But maybe not, we'll see how it pans out over the next few years.)
2. Even though the .3% is low, it is still a drag on my portfolio earnings.
3. The advisor is not local, and neither I nor my wife will ever meet him. Hasn't been a problem so far, but it's a slight negative.
4. I really don't need a CFP at this point (but this is overcome by #1 above).

Anyway, just my thoughts. I wouldn't have considered this route 10 or 15 years ago. Now, however, it seems like a very good choice.
Catalina34
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Re: Vanguard Personal Advisor Services

Post by Catalina34 »

As my investments have grown more complex and I am close to retirement I went ahead and hired VPA. One big thing they helped me with is building an awareness of tax implications, roth conversions and they helped me set up all of my beneficiaries. They have been a big help to me and I am willing to pay the money as I don't have time to research the in's and out's of this stuff.
dcb
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Re: Vanguard Personal Advisor Services

Post by dcb »

miket29 wrote: Mon Mar 04, 2019 2:18 pm

In fact PAS will set up an asset allocation and hold it, rebalancing periodically. If you have sufficient assets to be a Flagship client (and perhaps Voyager Select, you'd need to check with them) you are entitled to a free annual plan. It's the same plan they'd use if you hired them. So it's up to you to decide if having them put the plan into effect and the ability to call them whenever you feel the need is worth .3% of your assets each year.
[/quote]

What has been your experience in asking for a free annual plan and then being pressured to hire them for PAS services?
dcb
retire2022
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Re: Vanguard Personal Advisor Services

Post by retire2022 »

Op have you read Lazy Portfolio?

https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Lazy_portfolios

Go this route then you don't really need VPAS.
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Wiggums
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Re: Vanguard Personal Advisor Services

Post by Wiggums »

Pros:

VG doesn’t propose complex solutions. For example, 3-4 funds.

You are free to cancel at anytime and continue with the vanguard funds as you become comfortable doing it yourself.
miket29
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Re: Vanguard Personal Advisor Services

Post by miket29 »

dcb wrote: Tue Apr 09, 2019 7:21 pm What has been your experience in asking for a free annual plan and then being pressured to hire them for PAS services?
dcb
I wouldn't even call it pressure. The planner mentioned it was available once or twice, I said I'd consider it as I got closer to retirement, that was it.
BigBevo
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Re: Vanguard Personal Advisor Services

Post by BigBevo »

I use VPAS and it’s been quite helpful. As someone mentioned they are good training wheels. The tax loss harvesting that was done by my original advisor more than paid for the service for the next ten plus years. I don’t have all my Vanguard accounts with VPAS as I’m slowly taking the training wheels off and managing @ 50% on my own in similar funds.

They are also very good and reviewing my self-managed account and giving me their opinion on rebalancing, tax loss harvesting, etc...

I think within two years I’ll take it all to self managed.
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bertilak
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Re: Vanguard Personal Advisor Services

Post by bertilak »

TomL365 wrote: Tue Apr 09, 2019 1:24 pm As part of getting older and my wife possibly having to take over our investments some day, I went ahead and collapsed all of my retirement accounts into Vanguard. In return, they provide a comprehensive management service, along with a Certified Financial Planner, at a low cost (.3%).
I also depend on my wife being able to use Vanguard's PAS but did not sign up for it preemptively. I wrote an investment plan for my wife that says to enroll in PAS if she doesn't want to deal with investing personally, as spelled out in the plan. I believe I can count on her to do that much without having to pay for PAS before it is needed.

I know others deal with this issue by signing up for PAS ahead of time and am not 100% sure if my way is better, but I'm going with that for now.
May neither drought nor rain nor blizzard disturb the joy juice in your gizzard. -- Squire Omar Barker (aka S.O.B.), the Cowboy Poet
PatrickA5
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Re: Vanguard Personal Advisor Services

Post by PatrickA5 »

bertilak wrote: Wed Apr 10, 2019 6:15 am
TomL365 wrote: Tue Apr 09, 2019 1:24 pm As part of getting older and my wife possibly having to take over our investments some day, I went ahead and collapsed all of my retirement accounts into Vanguard. In return, they provide a comprehensive management service, along with a Certified Financial Planner, at a low cost (.3%).
I also depend on my wife being able to use Vanguard's PAS but did not sign up for it preemptively. I wrote an investment plan for my wife that says to enroll in PAS if she doesn't want to deal with investing personally, as spelled out in the plan. I believe I can count on her to do that much without having to pay for PAS before it is needed.

I know others deal with this issue by signing up for PAS ahead of time and am not 100% sure if my way is better, but I'm going with that for now.
Pretty much the same way I'm handling things. In my "When I'm Dead" book, I go into detail about our investment (3 fund), but explain to my DW (and other heirs) that VPAS is available and they might want to sign up for it.

I look for the cost of VPAS to go down over the next decade.
PatrickA5
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Re: Vanguard Personal Advisor Services

Post by PatrickA5 »

dcb wrote: Tue Apr 09, 2019 7:21 pm
miket29 wrote: Mon Mar 04, 2019 2:18 pm

In fact PAS will set up an asset allocation and hold it, rebalancing periodically. If you have sufficient assets to be a Flagship client (and perhaps Voyager Select, you'd need to check with them) you are entitled to a free annual plan. It's the same plan they'd use if you hired them. So it's up to you to decide if having them put the plan into effect and the ability to call them whenever you feel the need is worth .3% of your assets each year.
What has been your experience in asking for a free annual plan and then being pressured to hire them for PAS services?
dcb
[/quote]

I thought the free annual plan went away?
KBREAMK
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Re: Vanguard Personal Advisor Services

Post by KBREAMK »

NYC1 wrote: Mon Mar 04, 2019 8:58 am Hello,

I am considering using Vanguard Personal Advisor Services (PAS) and I am trying to get some Pros and Con's in making a decision?

Pros:
1. Cannot say enough good things about how Vanguard treats its customers and its focus on keeping costs low!
2. Have a good amount of trust in this company.
3. Rebalancing your portfolio needs to be done even when the market is up and you have to sell, PAS doing this without emotional attachment?
4. The Personal Advisor probably sees and knows more than I do as this is their job, They have access to first class economists.

Cons:
1. As your portfolio grows the cost gets high? Not sure how PAS compares to competitors?
2. Is it worth the cost year after year?
3. Is this a huge drag on overall performance?

Misc:
1. I have been listening to a Boglehead podcast by Rick Ferri, but this topic is not discussed? Is there any other podcast that is available that discusses the pros and cons of this?

Thank you in advance for your replies!
I recently moved from Merrill Lynch to VAS and have been quite pleased so far. My plan is to eventually go solo but, for now, I am quite happy to pay VAS for a little hand holding... especially since I had a TON of investments, including many individual stocks, to deal with. VAS has helped me to smoothly move into a 4 fund portfolio. For what it's worth my total costs look like they will be around 0.40% when all costs are included. The advisory piece is 0.30%.

So far, all of my conversations with my Vanguard advisor have been great. He seems to have a teachers heart and is very patient and answers all my questions. Of course I can only speak for my personal situation.

On the negative side... it was a little bit of pain to move all of my 529s over to Vanguard and I now have to manage these on my own. It involved me going back and forth with my old ML guy (awkward!) and Vanguard's 529 team. I did finally get it done.
GmanJeff
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Re: Vanguard Personal Advisor Services

Post by GmanJeff »

PatrickA5 wrote: Wed Apr 10, 2019 10:16 am
bertilak wrote: Wed Apr 10, 2019 6:15 am
TomL365 wrote: Tue Apr 09, 2019 1:24 pm As part of getting older and my wife possibly having to take over our investments some day, I went ahead and collapsed all of my retirement accounts into Vanguard. In return, they provide a comprehensive management service, along with a Certified Financial Planner, at a low cost (.3%).
I also depend on my wife being able to use Vanguard's PAS but did not sign up for it preemptively. I wrote an investment plan for my wife that says to enroll in PAS if she doesn't want to deal with investing personally, as spelled out in the plan. I believe I can count on her to do that much without having to pay for PAS before it is needed.

I know others deal with this issue by signing up for PAS ahead of time and am not 100% sure if my way is better, but I'm going with that for now.
Pretty much the same way I'm handling things. In my "When I'm Dead" book, I go into detail about our investment (3 fund), but explain to my DW (and other heirs) that VPAS is available and they might want to sign up for it.

I look for the cost of VPAS to go down over the next decade.
The advantage of not waiting until you're completely out of the picture is the opportunity for both of you to become accustomed to using the web site and understanding and gaining experience with the plan PAS prepares, tweaking it collaboratively as needed if your situation changes. It may be a bigger adjustment than you anticipate for a previously unengaged spouse to understand and become comfortable with the range of services PAS offers.

Additionally, not to put too fine a point on it, you may not just drop dead one day after a continuous period of full capacity during which you manage your investments competently on your own. Many people experience a gradual decline in their faculties and are not fully or even somewhat aware that they are no longer managing their portfolio optimally. In such situations, PAS can serve as an objective 3rd party which may be able, through their quarterly investment reviews or otherwise, to identify for you or your spouse any potentially improvident investment actions you might take, or desirable actions you may fail to take, before your portfolio is negatively affected.
renegade06
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Re: Vanguard Personal Advisor Services

Post by renegade06 »

I've been using a Vanguard advisor for a little less than a year now. My experience has been good so far. If you are keeping with the Boglehead strategy, they will likely put you into Total Market, Total International, and a bond fun (or two of three (At least that's what I am in as a 43 year old). It's not rocket science and I'm sure I can do it myself, but it's nice to have another set of "eyes" and experience looking at my portfolio. I also have another portfolio with my original financial advisor. My plan is to reevaluate both portfolios at the end of the year and see how they compare in performance and fees.

One thing I can tell you for sure is that Vanguard's fees are very low. As an example, I paid like $1400 to my financial advisor for a quarterly fee while only paying about $230 to Vanguard. She showed me a chart which showed that I would pay (outside of Vanguard) about $90k in fees for every $250k invested over a 20 year period (that is OUTSIDE of Vanguard). That is a hell of a lot of money! And that does not include mutual funds with high fees that outside advisors may put you in.

One slight annoyance is that I feel rushed when I am on the phone with Vanguard and it's a little more of a pain to contact her. (You have to schedule a meeting in Vanguard) and can't just pick up the phone and call. During my semi-annual phone meeting yesterday, she assured me that I can call her up about any financial matters, so I plan to do this if I need to.

Overall, my experience has been positive
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GerryL
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Re: Vanguard Personal Advisor Services

Post by GerryL »

miket29 wrote: Wed Apr 10, 2019 12:08 am
dcb wrote: Tue Apr 09, 2019 7:21 pm What has been your experience in asking for a free annual plan and then being pressured to hire them for PAS services?
dcb
I wouldn't even call it pressure. The planner mentioned it was available once or twice, I said I'd consider it as I got closer to retirement, that was it.
I've gotten the financial plan done twice as my financial situation changed. The first was just before retirement and the second was as I was entering year five of retirement. I figure I'll get it done again five years down the line.
The rep addresses PAS, but no pressure. I did mention that I might sign up for PAS if/when I feel that I can no longer wrap my head around my simple plan. PAS could be part of my overall solo aging program that I aim to pull together in the near future.
Trader Joe
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Re: Vanguard Personal Advisor Services

Post by Trader Joe »

NYC1 wrote: Mon Mar 04, 2019 8:58 am Hello,

I am considering using Vanguard Personal Advisor Services (PAS) and I am trying to get some Pros and Con's in making a decision?

Pros:
1. Cannot say enough good things about how Vanguard treats its customers and its focus on keeping costs low!
2. Have a good amount of trust in this company.
3. Rebalancing your portfolio needs to be done even when the market is up and you have to sell, PAS doing this without emotional attachment?
4. The Personal Advisor probably sees and knows more than I do as this is their job, They have access to first class economists.

Cons:
1. As your portfolio grows the cost gets high? Not sure how PAS compares to competitors?
2. Is it worth the cost year after year?
3. Is this a huge drag on overall performance?

Misc:
1. I have been listening to a Boglehead podcast by Rick Ferri, but this topic is not discussed? Is there any other podcast that is available that discusses the pros and cons of this?

Thank you in advance for your replies!
Welcome to the forum. I use Vanguard, but I would never pay for Vanguard PAS for myself. I have communicated to my heirs that Vanguard PAS is an option for them if they do not want to DIY. They laughed at the associated cost and said no way. They will stay my course.
tibbitts
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Re: Vanguard Personal Advisor Services

Post by tibbitts »

My understanding, just from reading accounts here, is that the free financial plan is being phased out. It seems to have been replaced by "consultation with a CFP" for specific questions. Your experience may vary, and it may vary when you reach Flagship Select and whatever the upcoming next level will be called.
Dandy
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Re: Vanguard Personal Advisor Services

Post by Dandy »

There is often great fear in self managing your investments especially when they start to be larger than you have ever managed on your own. My understanding of PAS is that VG is pretty strict on what funds they will include in the program. I believe the basic 4 or so funds they usually include in their TD or Life Strategy Funds.

If so, you might want to get their advice and even use PAS for a short period of time and then assess if the 30 bp fee is worth it or whether you could do the rebalancing yourself or whether they offer a fund with a similar allocation that has a lower fee.

That being said I might need to use PAS or put assets in a TD/Life Strategy fund as I age further and have non investment savvy wife/heirs.
GmanJeff
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Re: Vanguard Personal Advisor Services

Post by GmanJeff »

Dandy wrote: Sat Apr 20, 2019 6:53 am There is often great fear in self managing your investments especially when they start to be larger than you have ever managed on your own. My understanding of PAS is that VG is pretty strict on what funds they will include in the program. I believe the basic 4 or so funds they usually include in their TD or Life Strategy Funds.

If so, you might want to get their advice and even use PAS for a short period of time and then assess if the 30 bp fee is worth it or whether you could do the rebalancing yourself or whether they offer a fund with a similar allocation that has a lower fee.

That being said I might need to use PAS or put assets in a TD/Life Strategy fund as I age further and have non investment savvy wife/heirs.
If all you want is an asset allocation, a pure robo can do that. While people here on the forums who don't actually use PAS frequently mischaracterize it as merely an asset allocation service, its main point of differentiation from pure robos is the advisory component. That feature is intended to not only adjust portfolios to adapt to changing client circumstances, but to support better informed client decision-making with respect to investment-related decisions which have implications for taxes, returns, risk, and impact on portfolio growth or longevity.
Dandy
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Re: Vanguard Personal Advisor Services

Post by Dandy »

That feature is intended to not only adjust portfolios to adapt to changing client circumstances, but to support better informed client decision-making with respect to investment-related decisions which have implications for taxes, returns, risk, and impact on portfolio growth or longevity.
excellent point I omitted - you can get some of that on this forum but talking to a qualified person is often hard to beat especially if they aren't on commission.
st4rbux
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Re: Vanguard Personal Advisor Services

Post by st4rbux »

Between my wife and I, we have five accounts at Vanguard (2x IRA, 2x Roth, plus Non-retirement).
Does anyone know if VPAS will manage allocation across accounts, or will it implement the same "4 fund portfolio" in each of the accounts?

Also, right now I have a 9-fund portfolio (I know, I know; it's not simple enough...) and was also wondering if VPAS would manage an allocation like that, or if they really would push to a 3 or 4-fund approach.

Any info appreciated.
Veritas Simplex
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Re: Vanguard Personal Advisor Services

Post by Veritas Simplex »

st4rbux wrote: Tue Apr 30, 2019 8:01 pm Between my wife and I, we have five accounts at Vanguard (2x IRA, 2x Roth, plus Non-retirement).
Does anyone know if VPAS will manage allocation across accounts, or will it implement the same "4 fund portfolio" in each of the accounts?
Yes, Vanguard PAS will manage across accounts as one portfolio, optimizing asset placement.
smectym
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Re: Vanguard Personal Advisor Services

Post by smectym »

We tried VPAS, largely based on the “when the one who mainly manages the money disappears, the less involved spouse will have a backstop” rationale often cited here.

Perhaps this won’t be a problem for most, but the way Vanguard works—and in our experience— you’re not cultivating a long-term relationship with a specific advisor. I got the impression the rotation might be like once every 2 or 3 years.
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unclescrooge
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Re: Vanguard Personal Advisor Services

Post by unclescrooge »

renegade06 wrote: Wed Apr 10, 2019 1:53 pm I've been using a Vanguard advisor for a little less than a year now. My experience has been good so far. If you are keeping with the Boglehead strategy, they will likely put you into Total Market, Total International, and a bond fun (or two of three (At least that's what I am in as a 43 year old). It's not rocket science and I'm sure I can do it myself, but it's nice to have another set of "eyes" and experience looking at my portfolio. I also have another portfolio with my original financial advisor. My plan is to reevaluate both portfolios at the end of the year and see how they compare in performance and fees.

One thing I can tell you for sure is that Vanguard's fees are very low. As an example, I paid like $1400 to my financial advisor for a quarterly fee while only paying about $230 to Vanguard. She showed me a chart which showed that I would pay (outside of Vanguard) about $90k in fees for every $250k invested over a 20 year period (that is OUTSIDE of Vanguard). That is a hell of a lot of money! And that does not include mutual funds with high fees that outside advisors may put you in.

One slight annoyance is that I feel rushed when I am on the phone with Vanguard and it's a little more of a pain to contact her. (You have to schedule a meeting in Vanguard) and can't just pick up the phone and call. During my semi-annual phone meeting yesterday, she assured me that I can call her up about any financial matters, so I plan to do this if I need to.

Overall, my experience has been positive
Sounds like you were paying 1.8% with your previous advisor, which is very steep.

VPAS is definitely a much more economical option.

If you feel rushed in the phone when taking to your vanguard adviser, it's because she has 1,100 clients.

Talk about taking the personal out of personal finance! :mrgreen:

But that's probably the only way they can bring the costs down.
dave1054
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Re: Vanguard Personal Advisor Services

Post by dave1054 »

If Vanguard PAS rep has “1100” clients and is rushing you through a phone call and you will probably have a new rep every 2-3 years, what is the point of PAS?
dbr
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Re: Vanguard Personal Advisor Services

Post by dbr »

dave1054 wrote: Wed May 01, 2019 6:10 am If Vanguard PAS rep has “1100” clients and is rushing you through a phone call and you will probably have a new rep every 2-3 years, what is the point of PAS?
They give you a decent plan and take care of managing the account. A person who wants long conferences with an old friend that explain and debate every option would probably be very frustrated with such an advisor. For that kind of attention you have to pay -- a lot.
GmanJeff
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Re: Vanguard Personal Advisor Services

Post by GmanJeff »

dave1054 wrote: Wed May 01, 2019 6:10 am If Vanguard PAS rep has “1100” clients and is rushing you through a phone call and you will probably have a new rep every 2-3 years, what is the point of PAS?
Do you have a reliable data source to support your assertions? In my experience, admittedly a sample size of 1, my advisor has never changed, and is never rushed.
Corgitodd
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Re: Vanguard Personal Advisor Services

Post by Corgitodd »

Is the PAS advisor more available when you call than an assigned Flagship Rep? Do you get a voicemail with a PAS rep or have to schedule online to talk? Does the PAS make the assigned Flagship Rep superfluous?
GmanJeff
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Re: Vanguard Personal Advisor Services

Post by GmanJeff »

st4rbux wrote: Tue Apr 30, 2019 8:01 pm Between my wife and I, we have five accounts at Vanguard (2x IRA, 2x Roth, plus Non-retirement).
Does anyone know if VPAS will manage allocation across accounts, or will it implement the same "4 fund portfolio" in each of the accounts?

Also, right now I have a 9-fund portfolio (I know, I know; it's not simple enough...) and was also wondering if VPAS would manage an allocation like that, or if they really would push to a 3 or 4-fund approach.

Any info appreciated.
PAS attempts to provide you with a somewhat customized asset allocation; the number and types of funds vary, depending on your individual risk tolerance, time horizon, income requirements, and other factors. It is not always going to be 2, 3, 4, 5, or six funds, because one size does not appropriately fit all investors, despite the popularity on this site of the notion of a 3-fund portfolio being best for everyone. While 3 specific funds may be optimal for some investors, others would benefit from a different combination of three funds, or from fewer, or more, funds. While PAS operates within limits - it would be relatively unusual for them to recommend more than 6-8 funds, they do try to take advantage of their proprietary analyses to devise an optimized asset allocation for each investor, as do all robos, each using their own alogrithm and achieving different results.
GmanJeff
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Re: Vanguard Personal Advisor Services

Post by GmanJeff »

Corgitodd wrote: Wed May 01, 2019 12:04 pm Is the PAS advisor more available when you call than an assigned Flagship Rep? Do you get a voicemail with a PAS rep or have to schedule online to talk? Does the PAS make the assigned Flagship Rep superfluous?
I never call directly, because I prefer a scheduled call for both of us. By scheduling a call in advance, I can let my advisor or Flagship rep know what I want to discuss, and s/he can be better prepared for the discussion. If I send a question by email instead of scheduling a call, my advisor usually calls me within a few hours or within the same timeframe replies by email if the question was something very simple. If my advisor is out of the office, one of his colleagues who is monitoring his mail calls instead.
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fandango
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Re: Vanguard Personal Advisor Services

Post by fandango »

I have had a PAS at Vanguard for 4 years.

The biggest issue I have is the constant turnover of our PAS.

We have had 3 in the last 4 years. Each time we have to start over and re-educate the advisor on our total assets, plans, and needs. I did not know that my advisor had changed the last time, until I saw her picture on our Vanguard home page!

Over the years, technical knowledge, experience, and relationships have gotten poorer. So for me, the value added is going down rapidly.

I have complained to Vanguard about all of this but never received a reply. Apparently they have no or little supervision and you have to go through your Flagship representative to get any input (questionable if anyone ever sees it) into the system.

I will probably be leaving soon.
BalancedJCB19
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Re: Vanguard Personal Advisor Services

Post by BalancedJCB19 »

I keep getting letters from Vanguard about calling them about this. Not sure how they can help me. I hold the Balanced Index Fund and plan to hold it for life. In my case, even the small amount they charge would not be worth it.
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