Vanguard Personal Advisors Services

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Heidic
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Joined: Sun Mar 01, 2020 2:29 pm

Vanguard Personal Advisors Services

Post by Heidic » Sat Jun 20, 2020 2:45 pm

For a variety of reasons, my husband and I were considering changing the management of our financial portfolio.  We were appreciative of the performance of a few Vanguard funds we owned and began to learn more about the successful history of Vanguard under its founder Jack Bogle. 

Please understand we are sharing our recent experience with Vanguard Financial Advisor Services, not Vanguard Funds.  As noted, we have been happy with many of their funds and thought it may make best sense to transfer our accounts directly to Vanguard.  We read that professional management would be available from one of their Senior Financial Advisors for 0.3%. 

If you too are considering their Financial Advisor Services, we suggest that you proceed cautiously and determine if you believe you will be well-served by their personnel and their policies. 

During our interactions we were unsettled by the slow return of phone calls and emails and overall poor and discourteous communications.  

For the 0.3% fee, we came to understand it does not include active management.  The index-based portfolio lacks daily management, is non-tactical, and can only be rebalanced once a quarter.  Further, we do not believe it is forward-thinking based on the current economic conditions.    If you transfer other non-Vanguard accounts you can retain them, but you are not permitted to add to your positions (in those accounts) once sent to Vanguard.  

The overall experience was equivalent to flying business class and then mid-flight sitting in the back of the plane next to the lavatory.  Once realized, we immediately decided to keep our seats back in business class, receive timely communications, receive less cost options, and enjoy more perks. 

Silk McCue
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Re: Vanguard Personal Advisors Services

Post by Silk McCue » Sat Jun 20, 2020 2:51 pm

Sorry to hear of the poor service and communications. I'm not overly surprised.

What does it mean to keep your seats in business class? I certainly hope that doesn't mean you are pay a 1+% AUM fee with some other provider. That's a great way to destroy your future wealth. Better to get your own education , get advice here, or pay by the hour for reliable non-biased advice when your rarely need it.

Cheers

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FiveK
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Re: Vanguard Personal Advisors Services

Post by FiveK » Sat Jun 20, 2020 2:51 pm

Heidic wrote:
Sat Jun 20, 2020 2:45 pm
For the 0.3% fee, we came to understand it does not include active management.  The index-based portfolio lacks daily management, is non-tactical, and can only be rebalanced once a quarter.  Further, we do not believe it is forward-thinking based on the current economic conditions.
Whether those are features, or bugs, is a valid question - the answer to which will be known only in hindsight.

retired@50
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Re: Vanguard Personal Advisors Services

Post by retired@50 » Sat Jun 20, 2020 3:11 pm

Heidic wrote:
Sat Jun 20, 2020 2:45 pm

For the 0.3% fee, we came to understand it does not include active management.  The index-based portfolio lacks daily management, is non-tactical, and can only be rebalanced once a quarter.  Further, we do not believe it is forward-thinking based on the current economic conditions.    If you transfer other non-Vanguard accounts you can retain them, but you are not permitted to add to your positions (in those accounts) once sent to Vanguard.  
Roger C. Gibson wrote a book called "Asset Allocation". In that book he refers to the quadrant worldview. He's referring to a 2 x 2 matrix that enumerates the possible yes/no answers to these two questions.

1. Is successful market timing possible?
2. Is superior security selection possible?

If you answer No to both questions, that puts you in quadrant 4 which indicates an index fund approach that doesn't involve frequent trading. This is what Vanguard believes in and uses.

If you answer Yes to both questions then you're in quadrant 1 and are advised to find an adviser that shares your worldview and act accordingly.

From the book related to quadrant 1 investors.
"Many ... investors hold this worldview and bring it to their investment advisory relationship. They expect their investment advisor to know which asset class will deliver the best returns and to choose the best-performing securities within that asset class. If the investment advisor shares that worldview, he is accountable to it, and his performance should be evaluated accordingly. Managing client expectations will not be the problem; delivering results that are consistent with that worldview is the challenge. The first time an advisor places a client's money in an under-performing asset class, he has failed. Or if the advisor chooses a portfolio of securities that under-performs the asset class, again he has failed. This worldview is easy to sell but very hard, if not impossible, to deliver. In my judgement, any investor or advisor who holds this worldview is setting himself up for failure."

Regards,
Last edited by retired@50 on Sat Jun 20, 2020 5:08 pm, edited 2 times in total.
This is one person's opinion. Nothing more.

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Marmot
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Re: Vanguard Personal Advisors Services

Post by Marmot » Sat Jun 20, 2020 3:16 pm

Heidic wrote:
Sat Jun 20, 2020 2:45 pm
For a variety of reasons, my husband and I were considering changing the management of our financial portfolio.  We were appreciative of the performance of a few Vanguard funds we owned and began to learn more about the successful history of Vanguard under its founder Jack Bogle. 

Please understand we are sharing our recent experience with Vanguard Financial Advisor Services, not Vanguard Funds.  As noted, we have been happy with many of their funds and thought it may make best sense to transfer our accounts directly to Vanguard.  We read that professional management would be available from one of their Senior Financial Advisors for 0.3%. 

If you too are considering their Financial Advisor Services, we suggest that you proceed cautiously and determine if you believe you will be well-served by their personnel and their policies. 

During our interactions we were unsettled by the slow return of phone calls and emails and overall poor and discourteous communications.  

For the 0.3% fee, we came to understand it does not include active management.  The index-based portfolio lacks daily management, is non-tactical, and can only be rebalanced once a quarter.  Further, we do not believe it is forward-thinking based on the current economic conditions.    If you transfer other non-Vanguard accounts you can retain them, but you are not permitted to add to your positions (in those accounts) once sent to Vanguard.  

The overall experience was equivalent to flying business class and then mid-flight sitting in the back of the plane next to the lavatory.  Once realized, we immediately decided to keep our seats back in business class, receive timely communications, receive less cost options, and enjoy more perks. 
Just my 2 cents. We have been in the Advisor Services program for about a decade. Never had a problem with communication. Our advisor is extremely responsive.

dbr
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Re: Vanguard Personal Advisors Services

Post by dbr » Sat Jun 20, 2020 3:33 pm

Heidic wrote:
Sat Jun 20, 2020 2:45 pm
. . .   We were appreciative of the performance of a few Vanguard funds we owned and began to learn more about the successful history of Vanguard under its founder Jack Bogle. 


For the 0.3% fee, we came to understand it does not include active management.  The index-based portfolio lacks daily management, is non-tactical, and can only be rebalanced once a quarter.  Further, we do not believe it is forward-thinking based on the current economic conditions.    If you transfer other non-Vanguard accounts you can retain them, but you are not permitted to add to your positions (in those accounts) once sent to Vanguard.  

The successful history of Vanguard funds and the philosophy of Jack Bogle is just exactly to not do daily management of investor portfolios and to avoid tactical asset management and other active management practice. So I would say you have a misunderstanding and would probably prefer finding an advisor more in line with your thinking.

As far as service and response, your report should be helpful to others. It is possible Vanguard is not going to be able to deliver the level of service people need, at least not at that cost. It is a generalization that financial advisors cannot provide an acceptable level of service at a price investors can afford. It is true, among other things, that apparently they are rigid about the investment selection they are willing to manage.

pennywise
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Re: Vanguard Personal Advisors Services

Post by pennywise » Sat Jun 20, 2020 3:56 pm

FiveK wrote:
Sat Jun 20, 2020 2:51 pm
Heidic wrote:
Sat Jun 20, 2020 2:45 pm
For the 0.3% fee, we came to understand it does not include active management.  The index-based portfolio lacks daily management, is non-tactical, and can only be rebalanced once a quarter.  Further, we do not believe it is forward-thinking based on the current economic conditions.
Whether those are features, or bugs, is a valid question - the answer to which will be known only in hindsight.
We use PAS and I think OPs statement about rebalancing being limited to once quarterly is incorrect. Our advisor rebalanced for us when the market got squirrelly as the COVID panic set in. We started using PAS in January and he absolutely did not wait to respond till a quarter in.

As for tactical I’m not sure what specifically that means and again we feel the PAS advisor has done a great job with being tactical in terms of using a holistic model to coordinate a group of quite disparate accounts into a plan to meet our specific goals.

Also we always get prompt responses to questions or requests for phone meetings. In fact I was pleasantly surprised to get an invitation last week from our advisor suggesting an appointment next week to discuss current status and any possible questions we may have.

Although it is unfortunate the PAS experience didn’t meet your expectations OP since many people read these reviews, I’m sharing ours to say it’s is not a universal experience.

Trader Joe
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Re: Vanguard Personal Advisors Services

Post by Trader Joe » Sat Jun 20, 2020 6:50 pm

Heidic wrote:
Sat Jun 20, 2020 2:45 pm
For a variety of reasons, my husband and I were considering changing the management of our financial portfolio.  We were appreciative of the performance of a few Vanguard funds we owned and began to learn more about the successful history of Vanguard under its founder Jack Bogle. 

Please understand we are sharing our recent experience with Vanguard Financial Advisor Services, not Vanguard Funds.  As noted, we have been happy with many of their funds and thought it may make best sense to transfer our accounts directly to Vanguard.  We read that professional management would be available from one of their Senior Financial Advisors for 0.3%. 

If you too are considering their Financial Advisor Services, we suggest that you proceed cautiously and determine if you believe you will be well-served by their personnel and their policies. 

During our interactions we were unsettled by the slow return of phone calls and emails and overall poor and discourteous communications.  

For the 0.3% fee, we came to understand it does not include active management.  The index-based portfolio lacks daily management, is non-tactical, and can only be rebalanced once a quarter.  Further, we do not believe it is forward-thinking based on the current economic conditions.    If you transfer other non-Vanguard accounts you can retain them, but you are not permitted to add to your positions (in those accounts) once sent to Vanguard.  

The overall experience was equivalent to flying business class and then mid-flight sitting in the back of the plane next to the lavatory.  Once realized, we immediately decided to keep our seats back in business class, receive timely communications, receive less cost options, and enjoy more perks. 
For myself, I am a long-term Vanguard customer and I would never, ever use Vanguard PAS.

tj
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Re: Vanguard Personal Advisors Services

Post by tj » Sat Jun 20, 2020 7:03 pm

Heidic wrote:
Sat Jun 20, 2020 2:45 pm
For a variety of reasons, my husband and I were considering changing the management of our financial portfolio.  We were appreciative of the performance of a few Vanguard funds we owned and began to learn more about the successful history of Vanguard under its founder Jack Bogle. 

Please understand we are sharing our recent experience with Vanguard Financial Advisor Services, not Vanguard Funds.  As noted, we have been happy with many of their funds and thought it may make best sense to transfer our accounts directly to Vanguard.  We read that professional management would be available from one of their Senior Financial Advisors for 0.3%. 

If you too are considering their Financial Advisor Services, we suggest that you proceed cautiously and determine if you believe you will be well-served by their personnel and their policies. 

During our interactions we were unsettled by the slow return of phone calls and emails and overall poor and discourteous communications.  

For the 0.3% fee, we came to understand it does not include active management.  The index-based portfolio lacks daily management, is non-tactical, and can only be rebalanced once a quarter.  Further, we do not believe it is forward-thinking based on the current economic conditions.    If you transfer other non-Vanguard accounts you can retain them, but you are not permitted to add to your positions (in those accounts) once sent to Vanguard.  

The overall experience was equivalent to flying business class and then mid-flight sitting in the back of the plane next to the lavatory.  Once realized, we immediately decided to keep our seats back in business class, receive timely communications, receive less cost options, and enjoy more perks. 
Perhaps Fidelity's tax managed sma are more up your alley.

nanameg
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Re: Vanguard Personal Advisors Services

Post by nanameg » Sat Jun 20, 2020 7:20 pm

Marmot wrote:
Sat Jun 20, 2020 3:16 pm
Heidic wrote:
Sat Jun 20, 2020 2:45 pm
For a variety of reasons, my husband and I were considering changing the management of our financial portfolio.  We were appreciative of the performance of a few Vanguard funds we owned and began to learn more about the successful history of Vanguard under its founder Jack Bogle. 

Please understand we are sharing our recent experience with Vanguard Financial Advisor Services, not Vanguard Funds.  As noted, we have been happy with many of their funds and thought it may make best sense to transfer our accounts directly to Vanguard.  We read that professional management would be available from one of their Senior Financial Advisors for 0.3%. 

If you too are considering their Financial Advisor Services, we suggest that you proceed cautiously and determine if you believe you will be well-served by their personnel and their policies. 

During our interactions we were unsettled by the slow return of phone calls and emails and overall poor and discourteous communications.  

For the 0.3% fee, we came to understand it does not include active management.  The index-based portfolio lacks daily management, is non-tactical, and can only be rebalanced once a quarter.  Further, we do not believe it is forward-thinking based on the current economic conditions.    If you transfer other non-Vanguard accounts you can retain them, but you are not permitted to add to your positions (in those accounts) once sent to Vanguard.  

The overall experience was equivalent to flying business class and then mid-flight sitting in the back of the plane next to the lavatory.  Once realized, we immediately decided to keep our seats back in business class, receive timely communications, receive less cost options, and enjoy more perks. 
Just my 2 cents. We have been in the Advisor Services program for about a decade. Never had a problem with communication. Our advisor is extremely responsive.
Ditto. I just started this April and the advisor couldn’t be more responsive or courteous. He responds to emails within a few hrs. I’ve spoken with him 4 times since April and will be speaking with him again this week.

He dots all the I’s and crosses every t.

reln
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Re: Vanguard Personal Advisors Services

Post by reln » Sat Jun 20, 2020 7:32 pm

retired@50 wrote:
Sat Jun 20, 2020 3:11 pm
Heidic wrote:
Sat Jun 20, 2020 2:45 pm

For the 0.3% fee, we came to understand it does not include active management.  The index-based portfolio lacks daily management, is non-tactical, and can only be rebalanced once a quarter.  Further, we do not believe it is forward-thinking based on the current economic conditions.    If you transfer other non-Vanguard accounts you can retain them, but you are not permitted to add to your positions (in those accounts) once sent to Vanguard.  
Roger C. Gibson wrote a book called "Asset Allocation". In that book he refers to the quadrant worldview. He's referring to a 2 x 2 matrix that enumerates the possible yes/no answers to these two questions.

1. Is successful market timing possible?
2. Is superior security selection possible?

If you answer No to both questions, that puts you in quadrant 4 which indicates an index fund approach that doesn't involve frequent trading. This is what Vanguard believes in and uses.

If you answer Yes to both questions then you're in quadrant 1 and are advised to find an adviser that shares your worldview and act accordingly.

From the book related to quadrant 1 investors.
"Many ... investors hold this worldview and bring it to their investment advisory relationship. They expect their investment advisor to know which asset class will deliver the best returns and to choose the best-performing securities within that asset class. If the investment advisor shares that worldview, he is accountable to it, and his performance should be evaluated accordingly. Managing client expectations will not be the problem; delivering results that are consistent with that worldview is the challenge. The first time an advisor places a client's money in an under-performing asset class, he has failed. Or if the advisor chooses a portfolio of securities that under-performs the asset class, again he has failed. This worldview is easy to sell but very hard, if not impossible, to deliver. In my judgement, any investor or advisor who holds this worldview is setting himself up for failure."

Regards,
+1

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tetractys
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Re: Vanguard Personal Advisors Services

Post by tetractys » Sat Jun 20, 2020 8:17 pm

All this is why I’ve been thinking about the best ways to put my portfolio, withdrawals, beneficiaries, everything possible in full automatic when I turn 70 or so. Hopefully it won’t have to involve an investment advisor, and maybe not even a relative or fiduciary service. We’ll see, it’s down the road a ways.

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Re: Vanguard Personal Advisors Services

Post by pkcrafter » Sat Jun 20, 2020 9:12 pm

Heidic wrote:
Sat Jun 20, 2020 2:45 pm
For a variety of reasons, my husband and I were considering changing the management of our financial portfolio.  We were appreciative of the performance of a few Vanguard funds we owned and began to learn more about the successful history of Vanguard under its founder Jack Bogle. 

Please understand we are sharing our recent experience with Vanguard Financial Advisor Services, not Vanguard Funds.  As noted, we have been happy with many of their funds and thought it may make best sense to transfer our accounts directly to Vanguard.  We read that professional management would be available from one of their Senior Financial Advisors for 0.3%. 

If you too are considering their Financial Advisor Services, we suggest that you proceed cautiously and determine if you believe you will be well-served by their personnel and their policies. 

During our interactions we were unsettled by the slow return of phone calls and emails and overall poor and discourteous communications.  

Yes, I'm afraid this is typical of Vanguard service.

For the 0.3% fee, we came to understand it does not include active management.

No, it does not--it uses index funds/ETFs. That is the Boglehead way.

The index-based portfolio lacks daily management, is non-tactical, and can only be rebalanced once a quarter.

Daily management costs more. Rebalancing more that every three months isn't helpful. If you have an advisor that does that, he's simply racking up fees and should be fired.


Daily management (fiddling) is not recommended or wanted by Bogleheads.

Further, we do not believe it is forward-thinking based on the current economic conditions. 

No, it's not, and for good reason.

The overall experience was equivalent to flying business class and then mid-flight sitting in the back of the plane next to the lavatory.  Once realized, we immediately decided to keep our seats back in business class, receive timely communications, receive less cost options, and enjoy more perks. 

With all due respect, you do not fully understand the Bogleheads' philosophy. You want to pay more for glitz, go ahead, but it is a waste of money and not our approach.


“The grim irony of investing, then, is that we investors as a group not only don't get what we pay for, we get precisely what we don't pay for. So if we pay for nothing, we get everything.” John Bogle.

Paul
When times are good, investors tend to forget about risk and focus on opportunity. When times are bad, investors tend to forget about opportunity and focus on risk.

Dandy
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Re: Vanguard Personal Advisors Services

Post by Dandy » Sun Jun 21, 2020 8:01 am

From what I've read many use the service for a year or two and then realize they could almost get the same performance by using a VG Life Strategy Fund. The get the initial guidance and then skip the extra fee.

Small Law Survivor
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Re: Vanguard Personal Advisors Services

Post by Small Law Survivor » Sun Jun 21, 2020 8:30 am

tetractys wrote:
Sat Jun 20, 2020 8:17 pm
All this is why I’ve been thinking about the best ways to put my portfolio, withdrawals, beneficiaries, everything possible in full automatic when I turn 70 or so. Hopefully it won’t have to involve an investment advisor, and maybe not even a relative or fiduciary service. We’ll see, it’s down the road a ways.
I'm there next year. I've told my wife and daughter that if I were unable to manage our investments they should use PAS. I hope I'm not making a mistake. Some of these reports re PAS are unsettling.
69 yrs, semi-retired lawyer, 50/40/10 s/b/c, 70/30 dom/int'l. Plan: 4% WR until age 70, 3% after social security kicks in. Boglehead since day 1 (and M* Diehard before that) under various other names

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David Jay
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Re: Vanguard Personal Advisors Services

Post by David Jay » Sun Jun 21, 2020 8:40 am

Small Law Survivor wrote:
Sun Jun 21, 2020 8:30 am
tetractys wrote:
Sat Jun 20, 2020 8:17 pm
All this is why I’ve been thinking about the best ways to put my portfolio, withdrawals, beneficiaries, everything possible in full automatic when I turn 70 or so. Hopefully it won’t have to involve an investment advisor, and maybe not even a relative or fiduciary service. We’ll see, it’s down the road a ways.
I'm there next year. I've told my wife and daughter that if I were unable to manage our investments they should use PAS. I hope I'm not making a mistake. Some of these reports re PAS are unsettling.
Some PAS reviews may be unsettling, but this one should not. The “issues” that the OP stated are exactly things BH should not want to do. Retired@50’s response is dead on.
Prediction is very difficult, especially about the future - Niels Bohr | To get the "risk premium", you really do have to take the risk - nisiprius

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Re: Vanguard Personal Advisors Services

Post by oldcomputerguy » Sun Jun 21, 2020 9:00 am

I removed an off-topic post. As a reminder, see: General Etiquette
We expect this forum to be a place where people can feel comfortable asking questions and where debates and discussions are conducted in civil tones.
Our experienced members should read: Please Do Not Bite the Newcomers
"I’ve come around to this: If you’re dumb, surround yourself with smart people; and if you’re smart, surround yourself with smart people who disagree with you." (Aaron Sorkin)

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fishandgolf
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Re: Vanguard Personal Advisors Services

Post by fishandgolf » Sun Jun 21, 2020 9:27 am

pkcrafter wrote:
Sat Jun 20, 2020 9:12 pm
Heidic wrote:
Sat Jun 20, 2020 2:45 pm
For a variety of reasons, my husband and I were considering changing the management of our financial portfolio.  We were appreciative of the performance of a few Vanguard funds we owned and began to learn more about the successful history of Vanguard under its founder Jack Bogle. 

Please understand we are sharing our recent experience with Vanguard Financial Advisor Services, not Vanguard Funds.  As noted, we have been happy with many of their funds and thought it may make best sense to transfer our accounts directly to Vanguard.  We read that professional management would be available from one of their Senior Financial Advisors for 0.3%. 

If you too are considering their Financial Advisor Services, we suggest that you proceed cautiously and determine if you believe you will be well-served by their personnel and their policies. 

During our interactions we were unsettled by the slow return of phone calls and emails and overall poor and discourteous communications.  

Yes, I'm afraid this is typical of Vanguard service.

For the 0.3% fee, we came to understand it does not include active management.

No, it does not--it uses index funds/ETFs. That is the Boglehead way.

The index-based portfolio lacks daily management, is non-tactical, and can only be rebalanced once a quarter.

Daily management costs more. Rebalancing more that every three months isn't helpful. If you have an advisor that does that, he's simply racking up fees and should be fired.


Daily management (fiddling) is not recommended or wanted by Bogleheads.

Further, we do not believe it is forward-thinking based on the current economic conditions. 

No, it's not, and for good reason.

The overall experience was equivalent to flying business class and then mid-flight sitting in the back of the plane next to the lavatory.  Once realized, we immediately decided to keep our seats back in business class, receive timely communications, receive less cost options, and enjoy more perks. 

With all due respect, you do not fully understand the Bogleheads' philosophy. You want to pay more for glitz, go ahead, but it is a waste of money and not our approach.


“The grim irony of investing, then, is that we investors as a group not only don't get what we pay for, we get precisely what we don't pay for. So if we pay for nothing, we get everything.” John Bogle.

Paul
+1000

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galawdawg
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Re: Vanguard Personal Advisors Services

Post by galawdawg » Sun Jun 21, 2020 9:37 am

here are a few things to understand about Vanguard PAS that can help you and others decide if using that service is right for them.

First, know that Vanguard PAS takes a low-cost "cookie cutter" approach to investment planning. PAS will put you in their standard recommended portfolio of four funds, Total Stock Market, Total Bond Market, Total International Bond and Total International Stock. They will tweak the portfolio somewhat depending on the asset allocation they recommend for you (often, but not always, 60/40). But you'll still be invested in their standard recommended portfolio of those four funds.

Second, Vanguard PAS are not true financial advisors or planners. They will use a questionnaire you complete to tweak their recommended portfolio. They will not provide you with advice on taxes, insurance needs, estate planning, and other matters that fee only financial planners can often assist with.

Third, unless you have at least $500,000 in Vanguard PAS managed assets, you will not have a dedicated PAS advisor, rather your account will be handled by a pool of Vanguard PAS advisors. That may explain the different experiences shared by Bogleheads about the responsiveness and competence of the PAS advisors.

Fourth, the primary value added by Vanguard PAS, according to Vanguard, is coaching for clients. Put another way, they will encourage you to "stay the course" if you call during market downturns or volatility seeking to sell positions. If you are able to stomach market downturns and stay the course, this may not be of value to you.

I'm not surprised that some report that their PAS advisor regularly contacts them to "check-in" and is very easy to contact. Vanguard PAS is a significant profit center for Vanguard and their PAS advisors receive a share of the profits every year. Vanguard reported that as of December 2019, they had $161 billion dollars in assets in Vanguard PAS. When you consider the AUM fee of 0.3%, Vanguard rakes in $483 million per year in Vanguard PAS fees. And at last report, they have approximately 700 Vanguard PAS advisors. You can do the math!

Each investor should carefully consider the benefits and costs of Vanguard PAS as they would any other investment advisor or product.

nanameg
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Re: Vanguard Personal Advisors Services

Post by nanameg » Sun Jun 21, 2020 9:59 am

galawdawg wrote:
Sun Jun 21, 2020 9:37 am
here are a few things to understand about Vanguard PAS that can help you and others decide if using that service is right for them.

First, know that Vanguard PAS takes a low-cost "cookie cutter" approach to investment planning. PAS will put you in their standard recommended portfolio of four funds, Total Stock Market, Total Bond Market, Total International Bond and Total International Stock. They will tweak the portfolio somewhat depending on the asset allocation they recommend for you (often, but not always, 60/40). But you'll still be invested in their standard recommended portfolio of those four funds.

Second, Vanguard PAS are not true financial advisors or planners. They will use a questionnaire you complete to tweak their recommended portfolio. They will not provide you with advice on taxes, insurance needs, estate planning, and other matters that fee only financial planners can often assist with.

Third, unless you have at least $500,000 in Vanguard PAS managed assets, you will not have a dedicated PAS advisor, rather your account will be handled by a pool of Vanguard PAS advisors. That may explain the different experiences shared by Bogleheads about the responsiveness and competence of the PAS advisors.

Fourth, the primary value added by Vanguard PAS, according to Vanguard, is coaching for clients. Put another way, they will encourage you to "stay the course" if you call during market downturns or volatility seeking to sell positions. If you are able to stomach market downturns and stay the course, this may not be of value to you.

I'm not surprised that some report that their PAS advisor regularly contacts them to "check-in" and is very easy to contact. Vanguard PAS is a significant profit center for Vanguard and their PAS advisors receive a share of the profits every year. Vanguard reported that as of December 2019, they had $161 billion dollars in assets in Vanguard PAS. When you consider the AUM fee of 0.3%, Vanguard rakes in $483 million per year in Vanguard PAS fees. And at last report, they have approximately 700 Vanguard PAS advisors. You can do the math!

Each investor should carefully consider the benefits and costs of Vanguard PAS as they would any other investment advisor or product.
This is what I was referring to in my posts questioning whether what is good for me is always good for the advisor. It’s clear the service is a money maker for Vanguard...why else the constant advertising on their web site?

nanameg
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Re: Vanguard Personal Advisors Services

Post by nanameg » Sun Jun 21, 2020 10:00 am

My advisor told me he has 200 clients. And as u said there are 700 advisors and growing.

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Toons
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Re: Vanguard Personal Advisors Services

Post by Toons » Sun Jun 21, 2020 10:10 am

Dandy wrote:
Sun Jun 21, 2020 8:01 am
From what I've read many use the service for a year or two and then realize they could almost get the same performance by using a VG Life Strategy Fund. The get the initial guidance and then skip the extra fee.

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Re: Vanguard Personal Advisors Services

Post by Misenplace » Sun Jun 21, 2020 12:11 pm

Small Law Survivor wrote:
Sun Jun 21, 2020 8:30 am
tetractys wrote:
Sat Jun 20, 2020 8:17 pm
All this is why I’ve been thinking about the best ways to put my portfolio, withdrawals, beneficiaries, everything possible in full automatic when I turn 70 or so. Hopefully it won’t have to involve an investment advisor, and maybe not even a relative or fiduciary service. We’ll see, it’s down the road a ways.
I'm there next year. I've told my wife and daughter that if I were unable to manage our investments they should use PAS. I hope I'm not making a mistake. Some of these reports re PAS are unsettling.
Reading very closely the OP, it does not appear that they ever even signed up for PAS. I see "my husband and I were considering changing the management of our financial portfolio" and "we were unsettled" and "we came to understand it does not include active management" and finally "we immediately decided to keep our seats back in business class".

But perhaps Heidic will chime in.
I don't have PAS, but my inquiries with VG are always handled immediately. Just my experience.

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Re: Vanguard Personal Advisors Services

Post by JD » Sun Jun 21, 2020 6:14 pm

Silk McCue wrote:
Sat Jun 20, 2020 2:51 pm
Sorry to hear of the poor service and communications. I'm not overly surprised.

What does it mean to keep your seats in business class? I certainly hope that doesn't mean you are pay a 1+% AUM fee with some other provider. That's a great way to destroy your future wealth. Better to get your own education , get advice here, or pay by the hour for reliable non-biased advice when your rarely need it.

Cheers
+1

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Re: Vanguard Personal Advisors Services

Post by JD » Sun Jun 21, 2020 6:23 pm

Marmot wrote:
Sat Jun 20, 2020 3:16 pm
Heidic wrote:
Sat Jun 20, 2020 2:45 pm
For a variety of reasons, my husband and I were considering changing the management of our financial portfolio.  We were appreciative of the performance of a few Vanguard funds we owned and began to learn more about the successful history of Vanguard under its founder Jack Bogle. 

Please understand we are sharing our recent experience with Vanguard Financial Advisor Services, not Vanguard Funds.  As noted, we have been happy with many of their funds and thought it may make best sense to transfer our accounts directly to Vanguard.  We read that professional management would be available from one of their Senior Financial Advisors for 0.3%. 

If you too are considering their Financial Advisor Services, we suggest that you proceed cautiously and determine if you believe you will be well-served by their personnel and their policies. 

During our interactions we were unsettled by the slow return of phone calls and emails and overall poor and discourteous communications.  

For the 0.3% fee, we came to understand it does not include active management.  The index-based portfolio lacks daily management, is non-tactical, and can only be rebalanced once a quarter.  Further, we do not believe it is forward-thinking based on the current economic conditions.    If you transfer other non-Vanguard accounts you can retain them, but you are not permitted to add to your positions (in those accounts) once sent to Vanguard.  

The overall experience was equivalent to flying business class and then mid-flight sitting in the back of the plane next to the lavatory.  Once realized, we immediately decided to keep our seats back in business class, receive timely communications, receive less cost options, and enjoy more perks. 
Just my 2 cents. We have been in the Advisor Services program for about a decade. Never had a problem with communication. Our advisor is extremely responsive.
Glad to hear you had no problem with communication. I had some issue communicating with Vanguard "Business" Department. I gave up communicating to that department and just sent email to the personal dept. or division (where we held our personal assets) and that solved the issue. Even when I wanted to close 401k, I reached out to Vanguard (Investor Unit) and was connected to the business dept. with no issue. But calling or emailing the business unit (was) a challenge.

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Re: Vanguard Personal Advisors Services

Post by 1210sda » Mon Jun 22, 2020 1:07 pm

Dandy wrote:
Sun Jun 21, 2020 8:01 am
From what I've read many use the service for a year or two and then realize they could almost get the same performance by using a VG Life Strategy Fund. The get the initial guidance and then skip the extra fee.
Does anyone know how they handle a client with both taxable and tax advantaged accounts?

For example, You have a $1,000,000 portfolio that is $500,000 in taxable and $500,000 in tax advantaged. Your asset allocation target is 60% equities and 40% fixed income.

How would PAS allocate this account?

If they put everything into Lifestrategy moderate growth, then there is no advantage to using PAS. (Except perhaps the handholding)

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Re: Vanguard Personal Advisors Services

Post by AUH2O » Mon Jun 22, 2020 1:14 pm

Depending on embedded capital gains in the taxable account, PAS will use asset placement preference of bonds in tax-deferred and equities in taxable. In this example, $400K bonds + $100K equities in tax deferred and $500K equities in taxable.

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Re: Vanguard Personal Advisors Services

Post by FelixTheCat » Mon Jun 22, 2020 1:39 pm

oldcomputerguy wrote:
Sun Jun 21, 2020 9:00 am
Our experienced members should read: Please Do Not Bite the Newcomers
Thanks for the laugh. Love Thy Boglehead Neighbor.
Felix is a wonderful, wonderful cat.

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Re: Vanguard Personal Advisors Services

Post by RadAudit » Mon Jun 22, 2020 4:03 pm

fishandgolf wrote:
Sun Jun 21, 2020 9:27 am
The overall experience was equivalent to flying business class and then mid-flight sitting in the back of the plane next to the lavatory.  Once realized, we immediately decided to keep our seats back in business class, receive timely communications, receive less cost options, and enjoy more perks.
I never heard it described that way - but your description is definitely colorful. Wouldn't know about business class - but sitting next to the lavatory definitely has it drawbacks.
FI is the best revenge. LBYM. Invest the rest. Stay the course. - PS: The cavalry isn't coming, kids. You are on your own.

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Re: Vanguard Personal Advisors Services

Post by nanameg » Mon Jun 22, 2020 4:31 pm

FelixTheCat wrote:
Mon Jun 22, 2020 1:39 pm
oldcomputerguy wrote:
Sun Jun 21, 2020 9:00 am
Our experienced members should read: Please Do Not Bite the Newcomers
Thanks for the laugh. Love Thy Boglehead Neighbor.
I’m extremely grateful to the moderators for removing what I assume are snarky remarks.

It’s a stressful time in general and finances are often stressful for many of us. I’ve found this forum to be incredibly helpful and informative and I’d would have missed a lot if I had been mocked or shamed off. Thanks for the patience of many and thanks to the moderators for deleting comments that aren’t helpful from the few.

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Re: Vanguard Personal Advisors Services

Post by mtwhmemn » Mon Jun 22, 2020 4:36 pm

I was contacted by my "RELATIONSHIP MANAGER" at Vanguard via my account to set up an appointment "to discuss a few account related items", so I did. As I suspected it was a sales call basically for the paid service, plus he wanted to know if my needs were being satisfied. He was fairly new to being assigned to my account within the last year or so as I noticed the face changed on my home screen at some point last year. Anyway, the guy couldn't have been nicer and easier to speak with. He listened and it was anything but a hard sell. The sell was so soft I figure he had taken the time to look at my account and see it was so vanilla Boglehead that I wasn't going to bite.

He did say one thing that piqued my curiosity. He said the percentage could be based on ONE of my accounts, say just my rollover IRA, and not the entire portfolio which includes ROTHs, an inherited IRA of wife's and a few others. So, I asked him how it'd make sense to "manage" one account of many if you aren't taking into consideration the whole picture! He responded that he would take the whole portfolio into consideration. So, if I understood him correctly you wouldn't necessarily be paying the percentage on the whole portfolio and for some people this service may make a lot of sense, especially if the fees are based on an account with a much lower balance compared to the whole. Doesn't make sense from Vanguard's POV but if you are working with a portfolio like mine that consists of Total Stk Mkt Index, Total Bond Mkt Index, Total International Stk Mkt Index and a bit of cash than how easy could it be! If I was much older and my mind was going I'd give them their percentage to have professional management. Thoughts anyone? Can this be true?

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Re: Vanguard Personal Advisors Services

Post by tj » Mon Jun 22, 2020 4:41 pm

mtwhmemn wrote:
Mon Jun 22, 2020 4:36 pm
I was contacted by my "RELATIONSHIP MANAGER" at Vanguard via my account to set up an appointment "to discuss a few account related items", so I did. As I suspected it was a sales call basically for the paid service, plus he wanted to know if my needs were being satisfied. He was fairly new to being assigned to my account within the last year or so as I noticed the face changed on my home screen at some point last year. Anyway, the guy couldn't have been nicer and easier to speak with. He listened and it was anything but a hard sell. The sell was so soft I figure he had taken the time to look at my account and see it was so vanilla Boglehead that I wasn't going to bite.

He did say one thing that piqued my curiosity. He said the percentage could be based on ONE of my accounts, say just my rollover IRA, and not the entire portfolio which includes ROTHs, an inherited IRA of wife's and a few others. So, I asked him how it'd make sense to "manage" one account of many if you aren't taking into consideration the whole picture! He responded that he would take the whole portfolio into consideration. So, if I understood him correctly you wouldn't necessarily be paying the percentage on the whole portfolio and for some people this service may make a lot of sense, especially if the fees are based on an account with a much lower balance compared to the whole. Doesn't make sense from Vanguard's POV but if you are working with a portfolio like mine that consists of Total Stk Mkt Index, Total Bond Mkt Index, Total International Stk Mkt Index and a bit of cash than how easy could it be! If I was much older and my mind was going I'd give them their percentage to have professional management. Thoughts anyone? Can this be true?
There are other bogleheads who have mentioned they have enrolled only 1 IRA at the $50k level. Presumably the service is less personalized than when you are over the hump for an assigned advisor. But it would be the cost efficient way to have a Vanguard planner on call, not sure how many free financial plan consults / attempts to sell the service they give people.

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Re: Vanguard Personal Advisors Services

Post by mtwhmemn » Mon Jun 22, 2020 4:43 pm

tj wrote:
Mon Jun 22, 2020 4:41 pm
mtwhmemn wrote:
Mon Jun 22, 2020 4:36 pm
I was contacted by my "RELATIONSHIP MANAGER" at Vanguard via my account to set up an appointment "to discuss a few account related items", so I did. As I suspected it was a sales call basically for the paid service, plus he wanted to know if my needs were being satisfied. He was fairly new to being assigned to my account within the last year or so as I noticed the face changed on my home screen at some point last year. Anyway, the guy couldn't have been nicer and easier to speak with. He listened and it was anything but a hard sell. The sell was so soft I figure he had taken the time to look at my account and see it was so vanilla Boglehead that I wasn't going to bite.

He did say one thing that piqued my curiosity. He said the percentage could be based on ONE of my accounts, say just my rollover IRA, and not the entire portfolio which includes ROTHs, an inherited IRA of wife's and a few others. So, I asked him how it'd make sense to "manage" one account of many if you aren't taking into consideration the whole picture! He responded that he would take the whole portfolio into consideration. So, if I understood him correctly you wouldn't necessarily be paying the percentage on the whole portfolio and for some people this service may make a lot of sense, especially if the fees are based on an account with a much lower balance compared to the whole. Doesn't make sense from Vanguard's POV but if you are working with a portfolio like mine that consists of Total Stk Mkt Index, Total Bond Mkt Index, Total International Stk Mkt Index and a bit of cash than how easy could it be! If I was much older and my mind was going I'd give them their percentage to have professional management. Thoughts anyone? Can this be true?
There are other bogleheads who have mentioned they have enrolled only 1 IRA at the $50k level. Presumably the service is less personalized than when you are over the hump for an assigned advisor. But it would be the cost efficient way to have a Vanguard planner on call, not sure how many free financial plan consults / attempts to sell the service they give people.
So, $50K is the "hump"?

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Re: Vanguard Personal Advisors Services

Post by nanameg » Mon Jun 22, 2020 6:32 pm

mtwhmemn wrote:
Mon Jun 22, 2020 4:36 pm
I was contacted by my "RELATIONSHIP MANAGER" at Vanguard via my account to set up an appointment "to discuss a few account related items", so I did. As I suspected it was a sales call basically for the paid service, plus he wanted to know if my needs were being satisfied. He was fairly new to being assigned to my account within the last year or so as I noticed the face changed on my home screen at some point last year. Anyway, the guy couldn't have been nicer and easier to speak with. He listened and it was anything but a hard sell. The sell was so soft I figure he had taken the time to look at my account and see it was so vanilla Boglehead that I wasn't going to bite.

He did say one thing that piqued my curiosity. He said the percentage could be based on ONE of my accounts, say just my rollover IRA, and not the entire portfolio which includes ROTHs, an inherited IRA of wife's and a few others. So, I asked him how it'd make sense to "manage" one account of many if you aren't taking into consideration the whole picture! He responded that he would take the whole portfolio into consideration. So, if I understood him correctly you wouldn't necessarily be paying the percentage on the whole portfolio and for some people this service may make a lot of sense, especially if the fees are based on an account with a much lower balance compared to the whole. Doesn't make sense from Vanguard's POV but if you are working with a portfolio like mine that consists of Total Stk Mkt Index, Total Bond Mkt Index, Total International Stk Mkt Index and a bit of cash than how easy could it be! If I was much older and my mind was going I'd give them their percentage to have professional management. Thoughts anyone? Can this be true?
I don’t know about the cash limit but we have an employer sponsored 401k that Vanguard holds but can’t manage. PAS is managing my husbands SEP and a rollover IRA of mine that are worth over the hump you mention.

I don’t like the split in management and don’t find it helpful. I don’t think I’ll be doing it for long. We started in April of this year because I had cashed out in a panic.

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Re: Vanguard Personal Advisors Services

Post by nanameg » Mon Jun 22, 2020 6:39 pm

The advisor is most definitely “ on call” and very responsive. I have to talk to him again to be sure exactly of the fee but in our case I think it’s around 3k for the year paid quarterly and you can end the “ relationship “ at anytime.

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Re: Vanguard Personal Advisors Services

Post by tj » Mon Jun 22, 2020 7:36 pm

mtwhmemn wrote:
Mon Jun 22, 2020 4:43 pm
tj wrote:
Mon Jun 22, 2020 4:41 pm
mtwhmemn wrote:
Mon Jun 22, 2020 4:36 pm
I was contacted by my "RELATIONSHIP MANAGER" at Vanguard via my account to set up an appointment "to discuss a few account related items", so I did. As I suspected it was a sales call basically for the paid service, plus he wanted to know if my needs were being satisfied. He was fairly new to being assigned to my account within the last year or so as I noticed the face changed on my home screen at some point last year. Anyway, the guy couldn't have been nicer and easier to speak with. He listened and it was anything but a hard sell. The sell was so soft I figure he had taken the time to look at my account and see it was so vanilla Boglehead that I wasn't going to bite.

He did say one thing that piqued my curiosity. He said the percentage could be based on ONE of my accounts, say just my rollover IRA, and not the entire portfolio which includes ROTHs, an inherited IRA of wife's and a few others. So, I asked him how it'd make sense to "manage" one account of many if you aren't taking into consideration the whole picture! He responded that he would take the whole portfolio into consideration. So, if I understood him correctly you wouldn't necessarily be paying the percentage on the whole portfolio and for some people this service may make a lot of sense, especially if the fees are based on an account with a much lower balance compared to the whole. Doesn't make sense from Vanguard's POV but if you are working with a portfolio like mine that consists of Total Stk Mkt Index, Total Bond Mkt Index, Total International Stk Mkt Index and a bit of cash than how easy could it be! If I was much older and my mind was going I'd give them their percentage to have professional management. Thoughts anyone? Can this be true?
There are other bogleheads who have mentioned they have enrolled only 1 IRA at the $50k level. Presumably the service is less personalized than when you are over the hump for an assigned advisor. But it would be the cost efficient way to have a Vanguard planner on call, not sure how many free financial plan consults / attempts to sell the service they give people.
So, $50K is the "hump"?
No. The hump is much higher. $50k is to get into the PAS program where you have a rotating cast of characters. I want to say $500k gets you a dedicated advisor.

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Re: Vanguard Personal Advisors Services

Post by dcb » Mon Jun 22, 2020 8:04 pm

mtwhmemn wrote:
Mon Jun 22, 2020 4:36 pm
I was contacted by my "RELATIONSHIP MANAGER" at Vanguard via my account to set up an appointment "to discuss a few account related items", so I did. As I suspected it was a sales call basically for the paid service, plus he wanted to know if my needs were being satisfied. He was fairly new to being assigned to my account within the last year or so as I noticed the face changed on my home screen at some point last year. Anyway, the guy couldn't have been nicer and easier to speak with. He listened and it was anything but a hard sell. The sell was so soft I figure he had taken the time to look at my account and see it was so vanilla Boglehead that I wasn't going to bite.

He did say one thing that piqued my curiosity. He said the percentage could be based on ONE of my accounts, say just my rollover IRA, and not the entire portfolio which includes ROTHs, an inherited IRA of wife's and a few others. So, I asked him how it'd make sense to "manage" one account of many if you aren't taking into consideration the whole picture! He responded that he would take the whole portfolio into consideration. So, if I understood him correctly you wouldn't necessarily be paying the percentage on the whole portfolio and for some people this service may make a lot of sense, especially if the fees are based on an account with a much lower balance compared to the whole. Doesn't make sense from Vanguard's POV but if you are working with a portfolio like mine that consists of Total Stk Mkt Index, Total Bond Mkt Index, Total International Stk Mkt Index and a bit of cash than how easy could it be! If I was much older and my mind was going I'd give them their percentage to have professional management. Thoughts anyone? Can this be true?
IRA

That is exactly what we did when I turned 77. I felt my spouse and married children would need someone to turn to if I started losing my marbles or became incapacitated in some way. About 2/3's of our assets with Vanguard are in a Roth IRA. We consider these assets as legacy money and are invested in Life Strategy Funds and in my opinion require little present or future management. The remaining 1/3rd assets are in Traditional IRA's and joint accounts. These are the accounts we use for retirement living expenses, one time purchases, QCD's, etc. I have placed only the latter assets under PAS management. I was told the same thing. When my advisor set up my managed accounts he considered my Roth allocations and my plans for the Roth accounts and obviously has an awareness of them if my wife or children find the need to contact him in the future. So far I have been very pleased with the service, advice, and communications with my advisor and I am only paying an actual fee of 0.1% ( 1/3 of 0.3%)for the PAS service.
dcb

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Re: Vanguard Personal Advisors Services

Post by tj » Mon Jun 22, 2020 8:09 pm

and obviously has an awareness of them if my wife or children find the need to contact him in the future.
i would make sure they are all authorized to discuss the account with him then. Other bogleheads have mentioned it's been a mess when one spouse passes away with PAS, they assign a new advisor for the widow.

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Re: Vanguard Personal Advisors Services

Post by dcb » Mon Jun 22, 2020 8:17 pm

tj wrote:
Mon Jun 22, 2020 8:09 pm
and obviously has an awareness of them if my wife or children find the need to contact him in the future.
i would make sure they are all authorized to discuss the account with him then. Other bogleheads have mentioned it's been a mess when one spouse passes away with PAS, they assign a new advisor for the widow.
Good point. My wife has authorization for all accounts but must find out about my kids. Also, it seems strange they would assign a new advisor on my passing. What rationale could there possibly be for that practice?

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Re: Vanguard Personal Advisors Services

Post by nanameg » Mon Jun 22, 2020 8:24 pm

tj wrote:
Mon Jun 22, 2020 8:09 pm
and obviously has an awareness of them if my wife or children find the need to contact him in the future.
i would make sure they are all authorized to discuss the account with him then. Other bogleheads have mentioned it's been a mess when one spouse passes away with PAS, they assign a new advisor for the widow.
Yes the advisor has made that point and insuring we have agent authorization forms notarized and sent

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Re: Vanguard Personal Advisors Services

Post by 1789 » Mon Jun 22, 2020 8:26 pm

Dandy wrote:
Sun Jun 21, 2020 8:01 am
From what I've read many use the service for a year or two and then realize they could almost get the same performance by using a VG Life Strategy Fund. The get the initial guidance and then skip the extra fee.
That makes sense as they both are 4 fund portfolios
"My conscience wants vegetarianism to win over the world. And my subconscious is yearning for a piece of juicy meat. But what do i want?" (Andrei Tarkovsky)

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Re: Vanguard Personal Advisors Services

Post by abuss368 » Mon Jun 22, 2020 8:45 pm

nanameg wrote:
Sun Jun 21, 2020 10:00 am
My advisor told me he has 200 clients. And as u said there are 700 advisors and growing.
Wow! Amazing how that service has grown in such a short timeframe.
John C. Bogle: Two Fund Portfolio - Total Stock & Total Bond - “Simplicity is the master key to financial success."

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Re: Vanguard Personal Advisors Services

Post by 1789 » Mon Jun 22, 2020 9:48 pm

Honestly i always think i can only trust Vanguard and its PAS for my heirs. I am writing this here as a person who has invested 100% with Fidelity. I think Vanguard PAS would worth for the people who has no deep interest in financials, like my spouse
"My conscience wants vegetarianism to win over the world. And my subconscious is yearning for a piece of juicy meat. But what do i want?" (Andrei Tarkovsky)

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Re: Vanguard Personal Advisors Services

Post by Chip Munk » Mon Jun 22, 2020 9:51 pm

dcb wrote:
Mon Jun 22, 2020 8:17 pm
tj wrote:
Mon Jun 22, 2020 8:09 pm
and obviously has an awareness of them if my wife or children find the need to contact him in the future.
i would make sure they are all authorized to discuss the account with him then. Other bogleheads have mentioned it's been a mess when one spouse passes away with PAS, they assign a new advisor for the widow.
Good point. My wife has authorization for all accounts but must find out about my kids. Also, it seems strange they would assign a new advisor on my passing. What rationale could there possibly be for that practice?
I use VPAS and asked my advisor about this after reading a thread where this was mentioned. I don't have my meeting notes in front of me but from what I remember, my advisor said there is some sort of transition of the service to the surviving spouse that occurs, but the account is supposed to stay with the same advisor.

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Re: Vanguard Personal Advisors Services

Post by Miriam2 » Mon Jun 22, 2020 11:33 pm

dcb wrote:
Mon Jun 22, 2020 8:17 pm
tj wrote:
Mon Jun 22, 2020 8:09 pm
and obviously has an awareness of them if my wife or children find the need to contact him in the future.
i would make sure they are all authorized to discuss the account with him then. Other bogleheads have mentioned it's been a mess when one spouse passes away with PAS, they assign a new advisor for the widow.
Good point. My wife has authorization for all accounts but must find out about my kids. Also, it seems strange they would assign a new advisor on my passing. What rationale could there possibly be for that practice?
Chip Munk wrote:I use VPAS and asked my advisor about this after reading a thread where this was mentioned. I don't have my meeting notes in front of me but from what I remember, my advisor said there is some sort of transition of the service to the surviving spouse that occurs, but the account is supposed to stay with the same advisor.
When a PAS client dies, the PAS account is supposed to be "transferred" to Vanguard's estate planning department who will make sure that the decedent's directions for the passing of the accounts are followed accurately. Whether this is called an account transfer, or a new account or a new advisor, or whether the estates department simply works with the regular PAS advisor, I'm not sure. But the regular PAS advisor does escalate the account to the more expert help from Vanguard's estate department.

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Re: Vanguard Personal Advisors Services

Post by Miriam2 » Tue Jun 23, 2020 12:12 am

Under the Vanguard Service Agreement for Vanguard Personal Advisor Services (3/30/20, pg. 9), the transfer or disposition of a decedent's assets "will be handled in accordance with Vanguard's procedures and appropriate authorized party instructions" from the client.

"Termination due to death.
Upon receipt of notice of the death of an individual client, the Service will be terminated with respect to any assets in the Portfolio formerly belonging to or benefiting the decedent. The transfer or disposition of the decedent's assets will be handled in accordance with Vanguard's procedures and appropriate authorized party instruction. Assets in the Portfolio belonging to or benefiting any remaining client(s) will be handled in accordance with our procedures and instructions from the client(s). The Service won't be terminated with respect to assets in the Portfolio belonging to or benefiting any remaining client(s) unless the parties invoke the termination procedures set forth in this section of the Agreement."
The Agreement then further describes what happens to assets and what happens upon disability or incompetence of a client.

It seems to me it would be good to know what these procedures are or what clients should do ahead of time to ensure an easy transition of assets from decedent to spouse and/or children - as well as specific Qs as to whether the PAS advisor remains with the portfolio or the portfolio is overseen by another advisor for a while.

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Re: Vanguard Personal Advisors Services

Post by MikeG62 » Tue Jun 23, 2020 8:11 am

mtwhmemn wrote:
Mon Jun 22, 2020 4:36 pm

...He did say one thing that piqued my curiosity. He said the percentage could be based on ONE of my accounts, say just my rollover IRA, and not the entire portfolio which includes ROTHs, an inherited IRA of wife's and a few others. So, I asked him how it'd make sense to "manage" one account of many if you aren't taking into consideration the whole picture! He responded that he would take the whole portfolio into consideration. So, if I understood him correctly you wouldn't necessarily be paying the percentage on the whole portfolio and for some people this service may make a lot of sense, especially if the fees are based on an account with a much lower balance compared to the whole. Doesn't make sense from Vanguard's POV but if you are working with a portfolio like mine that consists of Total Stk Mkt Index, Total Bond Mkt Index, Total International Stk Mkt Index and a bit of cash than how easy could it be! If I was much older and my mind was going I'd give them their percentage to have professional management. Thoughts anyone? Can this be true?
I am kind of surprised that the advisor would offer this up as an option. My sister-in-law is in the process of moving assets to Vanguard (divorce settlement) and I was thinking of advising her to do the same thing (given them a portion and then manage the rest in a similar allocation to how they are managing the part she puts into PAS). However, I was worried that VG might be unhappy if they saw she was doing this (assuming the rest of her portfolio is also with VG, but just not moved into PAS). From what you were told, it seems they won't care at all. Again, surprised...but happy to hear this. Hopefully for my SIL this is not only the view of the advisor you happened to connect with.
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dbr
Posts: 32854
Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2007 9:50 am

Re: Vanguard Personal Advisors Services

Post by dbr » Tue Jun 23, 2020 8:20 am

MikeG62 wrote:
Tue Jun 23, 2020 8:11 am
mtwhmemn wrote:
Mon Jun 22, 2020 4:36 pm

...He did say one thing that piqued my curiosity. He said the percentage could be based on ONE of my accounts, say just my rollover IRA, and not the entire portfolio which includes ROTHs, an inherited IRA of wife's and a few others. So, I asked him how it'd make sense to "manage" one account of many if you aren't taking into consideration the whole picture! He responded that he would take the whole portfolio into consideration. So, if I understood him correctly you wouldn't necessarily be paying the percentage on the whole portfolio and for some people this service may make a lot of sense, especially if the fees are based on an account with a much lower balance compared to the whole. Doesn't make sense from Vanguard's POV but if you are working with a portfolio like mine that consists of Total Stk Mkt Index, Total Bond Mkt Index, Total International Stk Mkt Index and a bit of cash than how easy could it be! If I was much older and my mind was going I'd give them their percentage to have professional management. Thoughts anyone? Can this be true?
I am kind of surprised that the advisor would offer this up as an option. My sister-in-law is in the process of moving assets to Vanguard (divorce settlement) and I was thinking of advising her to do the same thing (given them a portion and then manage the rest in a similar allocation to how they are managing the part she puts into PAS). However, I was worried that VG might be unhappy if they saw she was doing this (assuming the rest of her portfolio is also with VG, but just not moved into PAS). From what you were told, it seems they won't care at all. Again, surprised...but happy to hear this. Hopefully for my SIL this is not only the view of the advisor you happened to connect with.
I would be careful to distinguish manage from plan. Plan means the advisor ascertains your needs, ability, and willingness to tale risk and from that determines an asset allocation. He then, presumably having asked you what you are holding in all your other accounts, invests the money in "his" account to meet the plan, if that is possible. In most cases unless you make some changes in your other accounts it won't be possible.

All of that done, management would presumably mean rebalancing, handling contributions and withdrawals, etc. Of course to do this he would have to be constantly aware of what is in your other accounts as you make your own changes there.

I guess you need to ask some questions about how this is actually done.

MikeG62
Posts: 2739
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Location: New Jersey

Re: Vanguard Personal Advisors Services

Post by MikeG62 » Tue Jun 23, 2020 8:24 am

dbr wrote:
Tue Jun 23, 2020 8:20 am
MikeG62 wrote:
Tue Jun 23, 2020 8:11 am
mtwhmemn wrote:
Mon Jun 22, 2020 4:36 pm

...He did say one thing that piqued my curiosity. He said the percentage could be based on ONE of my accounts, say just my rollover IRA, and not the entire portfolio which includes ROTHs, an inherited IRA of wife's and a few others. So, I asked him how it'd make sense to "manage" one account of many if you aren't taking into consideration the whole picture! He responded that he would take the whole portfolio into consideration. So, if I understood him correctly you wouldn't necessarily be paying the percentage on the whole portfolio and for some people this service may make a lot of sense, especially if the fees are based on an account with a much lower balance compared to the whole. Doesn't make sense from Vanguard's POV but if you are working with a portfolio like mine that consists of Total Stk Mkt Index, Total Bond Mkt Index, Total International Stk Mkt Index and a bit of cash than how easy could it be! If I was much older and my mind was going I'd give them their percentage to have professional management. Thoughts anyone? Can this be true?
I am kind of surprised that the advisor would offer this up as an option. My sister-in-law is in the process of moving assets to Vanguard (divorce settlement) and I was thinking of advising her to do the same thing (given them a portion and then manage the rest in a similar allocation to how they are managing the part she puts into PAS). However, I was worried that VG might be unhappy if they saw she was doing this (assuming the rest of her portfolio is also with VG, but just not moved into PAS). From what you were told, it seems they won't care at all. Again, surprised...but happy to hear this. Hopefully for my SIL this is not only the view of the advisor you happened to connect with.
I would be careful to distinguish manage from plan. Plan means the advisor ascertains your needs, ability, and willingness to tale risk and from that determines an asset allocation. He then, presumably having asked you what you are holding in all your other accounts, invests the money in "his" account to meet the plan, if that is possible. In most cases unless you make some changes in your other accounts it won't be possible.

All of that done, management would presumably mean rebalancing, handling contributions and withdrawals, etc. Of course to do this he would have to be constantly aware of what is in your other accounts as you make your own changes there.

I guess you need to ask some questions about how this is actually done.
I plan to have her do that (I may be on the call with her and PAS to help make sure she asks the right questions and understands what they are saying). Prior to reading this thread, I was unsure how to deal with her other financial assets in the context of hiring PAS to manage her rollover IRA. Was kind of assuming she "might" need to have PAS manage both buckets of assets to get the most out of the relationship. However, after reading this I guess it is something that can be openly discussed with PAS.
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User avatar
Chip Munk
Posts: 156
Joined: Fri Feb 22, 2019 4:01 pm

Re: Vanguard Personal Advisors Services

Post by Chip Munk » Tue Jun 23, 2020 10:06 am

dbr wrote:
Tue Jun 23, 2020 8:20 am
MikeG62 wrote:
Tue Jun 23, 2020 8:11 am
I am kind of surprised that the advisor would offer this up as an option. My sister-in-law is in the process of moving assets to Vanguard (divorce settlement) and I was thinking of advising her to do the same thing (given them a portion and then manage the rest in a similar allocation to how they are managing the part she puts into PAS). However, I was worried that VG might be unhappy if they saw she was doing this (assuming the rest of her portfolio is also with VG, but just not moved into PAS). From what you were told, it seems they won't care at all. Again, surprised...but happy to hear this. Hopefully for my SIL this is not only the view of the advisor you happened to connect with.
I would be careful to distinguish manage from plan. Plan means the advisor ascertains your needs, ability, and willingness to tale risk and from that determines an asset allocation. He then, presumably having asked you what you are holding in all your other accounts, invests the money in "his" account to meet the plan, if that is possible. In most cases unless you make some changes in your other accounts it won't be possible.

All of that done, management would presumably mean rebalancing, handling contributions and withdrawals, etc. Of course to do this he would have to be constantly aware of what is in your other accounts as you make your own changes there.

I guess you need to ask some questions about how this is actually done.
Perhaps different advisors do things differently but here is my experience. Our PAS advisor manages everything we have at Vanguard. Recently we were contemplating adding about 15% more money to our Vanguard account, but wanted to invest it outside of PAS. Our advisor explained that we can do that, no problem, however the way the new money would be invested (bond funds only) would not change the way the PAS-managed assets are invested -- those would be kept at our current allocation. It's possible that my plans to move this money out of Vanguard in a year or two was a factor in that decision.

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