Anyone else have VG phone reps push toward PAS?

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blackcat allie
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Anyone else have VG phone reps push toward PAS?

Post by blackcat allie » Wed Jul 10, 2019 10:01 am

Recently I phoned VG to try to stop an automatic investment going forward - on the same day. The representative encouraged me to make a Personal Advisor Service (PAS) appointment and I succumbed.

Does anyone else take this to be an insult, based on non-ideal allocation?
It is true that I'm not perfect 3 or 4 fund, and overly slow to DCA. I am working toward a better allocation.

By way of explanation for why I tried to phone - platform (app) interface didn't simply say 'unable to cancel due to submission in progress' it said that option was unavailable for now and to phone representatives.

When I phoned, first rep put me on hold for several minutes for answer (though when I asked he said my request wasn't unusual, otherwise I would have conceded and stopped there). Then he said he couldn't answer, put me on phone with another rep, but wanted to speak with me at end of phone call to ask me question. The second rep put me on hold for shorter period and said answer no.

And then, as predicted, first rep encouraged PAS program. (In truth I had been in program two years ago when started account; I appreciated basic allocation for AUM but didn't find it helped my overall behavioral shortcomings). When I asked him if there were flags of idiocy/incompetence that led him to point me to PAS, he said that while he was personally not an advisor, there was some overlap redundancy.

Shall I take this as an indictment of my less-than-perfect not-quite 3 or 4 fund allocation? Perhaps VG being helpful while I'm too slowly moving toward better allocation. Seeing investor weakness based on my attempt to cancel auto transmission same day?

Or is there some strong element of motivation for VG reps selling their PAS service?

Thanks in advance
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Tamarind
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Re: Anyone else have VG phone reps push toward PAS?

Post by Tamarind » Wed Jul 10, 2019 10:09 am

My guess is their script suggests they mention PAS to anyone who asks for help. It's likely not personal.

You do sound like you have some mild behavioral hurdles to financial peace and success. Why did you not find PAS helpful in overcoming it before?

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blackcat allie
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Re: Anyone else have VG phone reps push toward PAS?

Post by blackcat allie » Wed Jul 10, 2019 10:24 am

Tamarind wrote:
Wed Jul 10, 2019 10:09 am
My guess is their script suggests they mention PAS to anyone who asks for help. It's likely not personal.

You do sound like you have some mild behavioral hurdles to financial peace and success. Why did you not find PAS helpful in overcoming it before?
I needed help with DCA. Initial plan was to do this quarterly, however advisors changed (low value account) and there was not enough nudging to proceed with plan. As I remembered it, it was even my initiative to make quarterly calls once enrolled. The inital PAS adviser created trust and working relationship; afterward it just phone & get appointment with random PAS (who didn't hold me strongly to initial plan.)

Yes definitely I admit to behavioral hurdles, but I needed stronger push over those. Otherwise the non-invested money stayed out of the "Managed Account" which I couldn't access. Now I'm doing things (too) slowly but like to think I'm getting there with help from the good folks of BH.
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dbr
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Re: Anyone else have VG phone reps push toward PAS?

Post by dbr » Wed Jul 10, 2019 10:29 am

I don't think for a second this rep is analyzing your personal situation and trying to give you advice. Companies direct their reps to make pitches for certain products all the time. You should not be insulted, but on the other hand you should be annoyed at being subjected to a sales pitch when what you really wanted and needed was a simple answer to a simple question, which they were unable to supply efficiently.

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Re: Anyone else have VG phone reps push toward PAS?

Post by grandmacassie » Wed Jul 10, 2019 10:59 am

I was solicited by Vanguard to talk to a PAS rep a couple of weeks ago. My phone interview was yesterday.

I was rather surprised by the moderately hard sell. Even after I demonstrated to him that I had a very good handle on my financial picture, he asserted that I was too low on international, that I should have international bonds (they've returned over 6% this year!!) that under PAS they would give me more diversification, and that I should be rebalancing quarterly. Really? I have a modified 3 fund portfolio (I have some tax-exempt bonds added in) and rebalance with additional investments, once a year.

The rep finally got the message that I wasn't interested. He never acknowledged that I had done pretty well managing our investments over the last 40 years without any advisor.

Don't know what's up with VG management pushing this so hard. It was only a half hour out of my life, but they didn't offer anything I didn't already know. If you are busy and comfortable with the knowledge you have, I'd skip it. Much better advice on this forum.

livesoft
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Re: Anyone else have VG phone reps push toward PAS?

Post by livesoft » Wed Jul 10, 2019 11:03 am

A few months ago my spouse called to get something done and was told about PAS. Our Vanguard assets would look terrible by themselves, but combined with the rest of our portfolio I think they look great. The Vanguard reps have no idea about our non-Vanguard assets.
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latak215
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Re: Anyone else have VG phone reps push toward PAS?

Post by latak215 » Wed Jul 10, 2019 10:52 pm

I was advised about pa program as I made only 4% ytd for which I was happy in my blissful ignorance. They were nice about it and gave me the number to call if I wanted pas.

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nedsaid
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Re: Anyone else have VG phone reps push toward PAS?

Post by nedsaid » Wed Jul 10, 2019 10:56 pm

This is what is called the upsell. When you go through the drive through at a fast food joint, you get asked if you want fries with your order. When you are finishing up at a nice restaurant, the waitress will bring the dessert tray by. Good old fashioned American capitalism at work here.

Vanguard wants to expand their Personal Advisory Service, just a natural part of wanting to grow a line of business. The company might also be seeing people do some pretty wacky things with their portfolios and have determined that many of their clients would benefit from an advisory service. My further guess is that clients were asking for help. Not necessarily a sinister development, a company identifying a need and trying to fill it.
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Re: Anyone else have VG phone reps push toward PAS?

Post by beyou » Wed Jul 10, 2019 11:03 pm

livesoft wrote:
Wed Jul 10, 2019 11:03 am
A few months ago my spouse called to get something done and was told about PAS. Our Vanguard assets would look terrible by themselves, but combined with the rest of our portfolio I think they look great. The Vanguard reps have no idea about our non-Vanguard assets.
The main purpose of Portfolio Watch is so you (and they) can see the entire picture. Nobody asked me about PAS and I keep Portfolio watch up-to-date.

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friar1610
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Re: Anyone else have VG phone reps push toward PAS?

Post by friar1610 » Thu Jul 11, 2019 10:16 am

livesoft wrote:
Wed Jul 10, 2019 11:03 am
A few months ago my spouse called to get something done and was told about PAS. Our Vanguard assets would look terrible by themselves, but combined with the rest of our portfolio I think they look great. The Vanguard reps have no idea about our non-Vanguard assets.
This is why I have never seriously considered PAS - they're looking only at your VG assets in isolation. They say they "consider" your outside assets but in several attempts to get them to recommend a VG portfolio which accounts for my I-Bonds and CDs they have failed to do so. On one occasion they said that when my CDs mature they can just redirect the money to VG bond funds. NO!!! That's NOT what I want!! I want to keep a CD ladder external to VG but have VG acknowledge that I have that chunk of fixed income when they make their recommendation on allocation of VG funds.
The main purpose of Portfolio Watch is so you (and they) can see the entire picture. Nobody asked me about PAS and I keep Portfolio watch up-to-date.
I don't think Portfolio Watch is for their purposes; I think it's just so you can have a comprehensive look at your assets. Based on my experience noted above, I don't think they're really into comprehensive. And, I'd be really annoyed if I ever got a pitch to move, for example, my I-Bond assets into one of their TIPS mutual funds. I don't use PW watch to give them a marketing tool. (Not that they've ever done this.)
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Sandtrap
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Re: Anyone else have VG phone reps push toward PAS?

Post by Sandtrap » Thu Jul 11, 2019 10:18 am

dbr wrote:
Wed Jul 10, 2019 10:29 am
I don't think for a second this rep is analyzing your personal situation and trying to give you advice. Companies direct their reps to make pitches for certain products all the time. You should not be insulted, but on the other hand you should be annoyed at being subjected to a sales pitch when what you really wanted and needed was a simple answer to a simple question, which they were unable to supply efficiently.
+1
It's just their "routine". Everyone get's it. Like a Que Card.
j
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Re: Anyone else have VG phone reps push toward PAS?

Post by peterwantstosave » Thu Jul 11, 2019 10:24 am

I've been calling them about once a week lately, and I've been pitched twice. It's annoying. I just tell them No and then I move on. I feel bad for them, to be honest, because it's their script. They don't care about me or my investments, they're just trying to grow the bottom line. I do think Vanguard is the best investing spot, but that doesn't mean they are perfect or even close.

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Re: Anyone else have VG phone reps push toward PAS?

Post by GmanJeff » Thu Jul 11, 2019 11:58 am

friar1610 wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 10:16 am

This is why I have never seriously considered PAS - they're looking only at your VG assets in isolation. They say they "consider" your outside assets but in several attempts to get them to recommend a VG portfolio which accounts for my I-Bonds and CDs they have failed to do so. On one occasion they said that when my CDs mature they can just redirect the money to VG bond funds. NO!!! That's NOT what I want!! I want to keep a CD ladder external to VG but have VG acknowledge that I have that chunk of fixed income when they make their recommendation on allocation of VG funds.
This is not true in my experience, but you do have to input your non-VG assets into your profile if you want PAS to consider them as part of a holistic analysis and in their asset allocation design.

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bengal22
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Re: Anyone else have VG phone reps push toward PAS?

Post by bengal22 » Thu Jul 11, 2019 12:58 pm

I just tell the VG reps that I am actually a part owner of Vanguard and then they tend to back off on upselling me.
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3-20Characters
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Re: Anyone else have VG phone reps push toward PAS?

Post by 3-20Characters » Thu Jul 11, 2019 1:03 pm

I never call but I’ve noticed some more emails and website landing pages saying vague stuff like “take control of your retirement.” I assume they wou,d offer paid services and that it is coming up now because of reaching a certain age and $$ in holdings. No biggie. I ignore and can easily say no if asked on phone.

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Re: Anyone else have VG phone reps push toward PAS?

Post by Chris K Jones » Thu Jul 11, 2019 1:09 pm

I don't think it is personal. I think they are trying to be helpful. I rolledover an IRA from my long term emplyer and the representative said he would have Personal advisor Services contact me. I told him that I was a Boglehead and took care of it myself. He dropped it. He was just trying to help.

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Re: Anyone else have VG phone reps push toward PAS?

Post by friar1610 » Thu Jul 11, 2019 1:22 pm

GmanJeff wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 11:58 am
friar1610 wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 10:16 am

This is why I have never seriously considered PAS - they're looking only at your VG assets in isolation. They say they "consider" your outside assets but in several attempts to get them to recommend a VG portfolio which accounts for my I-Bonds and CDs they have failed to do so. On one occasion they said that when my CDs mature they can just redirect the money to VG bond funds. NO!!! That's NOT what I want!! I want to keep a CD ladder external to VG but have VG acknowledge that I have that chunk of fixed income when they make their recommendation on allocation of VG funds.
This is not true in my experience, but you do have to input your non-VG assets into your profile if you want PAS to consider them as part of a holistic analysis and in their asset allocation design.
I've maintained all my non-VG assets in my VG profile for years because I like to be able to get a holistic view. IIRC, that's the profile they use when you fill out their PAS form and you either select or deselect specific assets for inclusion in the analysis.

Just so I understand, let's say you had 25% of your assets in fixed income external to VG. Did they adjust your VG-only allocation upward on the equity side so the resulting overall AA (including your non-VG fixed income) would equal your target AA? That was my expectation but was not what they did.
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Re: Anyone else have VG phone reps push toward PAS?

Post by Doom&Gloom » Thu Jul 11, 2019 1:44 pm

Sandtrap wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 10:18 am
dbr wrote:
Wed Jul 10, 2019 10:29 am
I don't think for a second this rep is analyzing your personal situation and trying to give you advice. Companies direct their reps to make pitches for certain products all the time. You should not be insulted, but on the other hand you should be annoyed at being subjected to a sales pitch when what you really wanted and needed was a simple answer to a simple question, which they were unable to supply efficiently.
+1
It's just their "routine". Everyone get's it. Like a Que Card.
j
+2

I haven't had this experience since I have only phoned Vanguard once in the past five years--and that was a couple of years ago. But I have noticed recently that I am getting emails from them with PAS in the subject line. I delete them without opening them along with all my other junk email.

MittensMoney
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Re: Anyone else have VG phone reps push toward PAS?

Post by MittensMoney » Thu Jul 11, 2019 1:47 pm

Vanguard is still a Broker-Dealer, why are you surprised that they at least attempted to upsell you on a product?

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Re: Anyone else have VG phone reps push toward PAS?

Post by GerryL » Thu Jul 11, 2019 2:00 pm

I've only ever experienced a mild upsell effort when I talk to someone on the phone. But then, I'm pretty assertive and let them know that I'm content with my portfolio, which is very much in line with their recommendations, and they can see that I don't make changes beyond rebalancing. I have also added that if I get to the point where I no longer feel willing or able to continue managing my portfolio, I will seriously look at PAS.

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Re: Anyone else have VG phone reps push toward PAS?

Post by beyou » Thu Jul 11, 2019 2:22 pm

friar1610 wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 10:16 am
livesoft wrote:
Wed Jul 10, 2019 11:03 am
A few months ago my spouse called to get something done and was told about PAS. Our Vanguard assets would look terrible by themselves, but combined with the rest of our portfolio I think they look great. The Vanguard reps have no idea about our non-Vanguard assets.
The main purpose of Portfolio Watch is so you (and they) can see the entire picture. Nobody asked me about PAS and I keep Portfolio watch up-to-date.
I don't think Portfolio Watch is for their purposes; I think it's just so you can have a comprehensive look at your assets. Based on my experience noted above, I don't think they're really into comprehensive. And, I'd be really annoyed if I ever got a pitch to move, for example, my I-Bond assets into one of their TIPS mutual funds. I don't use PW watch to give them a marketing tool. (Not that they've ever done this.)
Any online business that asks you to input your data is planning to use it at some point.
Yes they have to give you some incentive to input your data, some benefit to you, but everything they do is also for their benefit.
I don't think Vanguard aggressively uses (or at all) this data, but they could if they wanted to.
Despite this, I use PW anyway since I have the bulk of my assets at Vanguard and adding a bit more gives ME the complete picture.
I told my DW if I was not around, she could login and see all our investment accounts in one place, and possibly use PAS if she's not comfortable
managing on her own. If they refuse to look at PW, that would be a reason NOT to use PAS.

Other brokers and banks are more aggressive about calling you to sell you something and you know their employees have access to your data
without your permission. I once complained to a major bank that they should not be sharing my data with other divisions of the same company.
Don't tell your mortgage sales guys my checking balance so they can call me ! Don't call me about more expensive FA services because you noticed I made a deposit today.... Annoying and invasive. Vanguard is better about that, but to the opposite extreme if they wont use PW to help with PAS.

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Re: Anyone else have VG phone reps push toward PAS?

Post by Wiggums » Thu Jul 11, 2019 2:54 pm

I closed my account at a brick and mortar bank because the interest rate is almost zero. I was asked what the bank was doing wrong. It’s a fair question if the clerk is empowered to resolve the issue. Of course, they do not have this authority. So I closed my account and walked across the parking lot to another brick and motor bank that pays competitive interest rates. It’s your money, your decision. No need to give it another thought. I’ve been called by vanguard once in 30 years.

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Re: Anyone else have VG phone reps push toward PAS?

Post by friar1610 » Thu Jul 11, 2019 3:55 pm

beyou wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 2:22 pm

Any online business that asks you to input your data is planning to use it at some point.
Yes they have to give you some incentive to input your data, some benefit to you, but everything they do is also for their benefit.
I don't think Vanguard aggressively uses (or at all) this data, but they could if they wanted to.
Despite this, I use PW anyway since I have the bulk of my assets at Vanguard and adding a bit more gives ME the complete picture.
I told my DW if I was not around, she could login and see all our investment accounts in one place, and possibly use PAS if she's not comfortable
managing on her own. If they refuse to look at PW, that would be a reason NOT to use PAS.

Other brokers and banks are more aggressive about calling you to sell you something and you know their employees have access to your data
without your permission. I once complained to a major bank that they should not be sharing my data with other divisions of the same company.
Don't tell your mortgage sales guys my checking balance so they can call me ! Don't call me about more expensive FA services because you noticed I made a deposit today.... Annoying and invasive. Vanguard is better about that, but to the opposite extreme if they wont use PW to help with PAS.
Yeah, you're probably right. Maybe I was just being naive. Like you, I'll still use it because it's a convenience to me. Just finished doing the end of quarter update of my CDs and I-Bonds and I really do like having everything in one place (although I don't particularly want to use the automatic updates).
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Re: Anyone else have VG phone reps push toward PAS?

Post by GmanJeff » Thu Jul 11, 2019 7:04 pm

friar1610 wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 1:22 pm

Just so I understand, let's say you had 25% of your assets in fixed income external to VG. Did they adjust your VG-only allocation upward on the equity side so the resulting overall AA (including your non-VG fixed income) would equal your target AA? That was my expectation but was not what they did.
It appears so, at least using the Portfolio Watch feature's "My Account View", which I believe includes non-PAS-managed investments held at VG or visible to VG through my profile. A statement appears on that page that "Your current asset allocation closely matches your long-term target".

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Re: Anyone else have VG phone reps push toward PAS?

Post by Silence Dogood » Thu Jul 11, 2019 7:29 pm

Vanguard is definitely trying to push their PAS.

I now see a pop-up ad when I log on, along with a large banner on the "my accounts" page.

I'm 100% invested in a Target Retirement fund. Why would I want to pay 0.3% more?

I've read that the Vanguard employee compensation bonus is partially based off of lower expense ratio, how does Vanguard PAS factor in this?

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Re: Anyone else have VG phone reps push toward PAS?

Post by yousha » Thu Jul 11, 2019 7:38 pm

I have never has a problem with my Flagship Rep or my Representative "suggesting" I seek out PAS if I had a question.

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Re: Anyone else have VG phone reps push toward PAS?

Post by sport » Thu Jul 11, 2019 7:49 pm

I have received emails pushing the PAS. I once told a Vanguard rep that it was not completely honest to describe that service without mentioning that there are fees involved. They were not impressed with my opinion. I continue to get these email solicitations from time to time.

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fishandgolf
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Re: Anyone else have VG phone reps push toward PAS?

Post by fishandgolf » Thu Jul 11, 2019 8:29 pm

A few months ago I contacted my VG Flagship rep about my wife's impending retirement and our portfolio. He put me in contact with great PAS advisor. After several weeks of discussions with him (in which he suggested slight modification to our plan) he politely asked me if I wanted to use the PAS service......I politely declined.

In my 10+ years of investing with Vanguard.........never.....never...never......have I ever had a bad or even slightly uncomfortable experience with anyone from Vanguard.

Prior to being with Vanguard, my investments where with Wells Fargo......enough said..... :sharebeer

Have a great weekend!

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