Terrible on-boarding experience with Vanguard-- keep going?

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95zr1
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Terrible on-boarding experience with Vanguard-- keep going?

Post by 95zr1 »

Hi, first time poster here. I'm helping my dad with his retirement account. He's about ten years into retirement, and he wanted me to take a look at his investments. I'm not very knowledgeable about finance, but I do understand statistics and compound interest, and I was fairly shocked by how much of his returns were going to fees in his Edward Jones account. Long story short, I ended up reading the Bogleheads guide to investment and wanted to switch him over to VPAS. (I work in law and want him to have a fiduciary in charge of his account.) I talked him through what Vanguard offers and he was very enthusiastic about switching after I explained to him how Edward Jones makes money and why lower fees and fiduciary management were a better option for him.

The problem is that my experience with Vanguard trying to get him switched over has been pretty awful, and if it weren't for the fact that I read through the Bogleheads book, I would have already abandoned trying to sign up for it.

Here's my gripes after trying to sign up since last Thursday:
1.) I made a minor mistake when signing up for his transfer account and then couldn't fix it or restart the process online.
2.) When I called to speak to someone at Vanguard, they offered to call me back in 10-15 minutes. When I received the call back after waiting, the phone system didn't recognize any keypad presses and then hung up on me without an option to speak to an operator.
3.) When I called back and waited manually, the people I spoke to on the phone were very helpful. Unfortunately when I sent an email with requested information to my assigned Vanguard advisor, it bounced. (I confirmed the email address with him verbally).
4.) To get around the bounced email, I helped my dad send information over his secure message account. Now when logging into my dad's account, it wants me to create an account and choose a user name and password. He uses a user name and password to get to this screen! His account seems to have been completely reset, including about an hour and a half filling out the investor questionnaire for the first meeting. I can't access any other information on the account anymore. When I tried to fill the information out, it reset and erased all the information I had added so far.

I guess I'm trying to figure out if the average Vanguard investor is just not sensitive to an internet experience that would have been unacceptable in 2005 or if I'm having a "unique" experience. Honestly, this is the worst onboarding experience I've ever had and it's destroyed a lot of Vanguard's credibility with my dad. This is something I'd expect trying to order electronics from a fly-by night online retailer, not one of the four largest financial firms in the U.S. I'm trying to bring a customer to Vanguard and now I find it's my job to make excuses for their inadequate user experience. Is Vanguard's time past? Should I look for another fiduciary to execute the Boglehead advice or grit my teeth and get through it?
rich126
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Re: Terrible on-boarding experience with Vanguard-- keep going?

Post by rich126 »

95zr1 wrote: Wed Sep 30, 2020 12:48 pm Hi, first time poster here. I'm helping my dad with his retirement account. He's about ten years into retirement, and he wanted me to take a look at his investments. I'm not very knowledgeable about finance, but I do understand statistics and compound interest, and I was fairly shocked by how much of his returns were going to fees in his Edward Jones account. Long story short, I ended up reading the Bogleheads guide to investment and wanted to switch him over to VPAS. (I work in law and want him to have a fiduciary in charge of his account.) I talked him through what Vanguard offers and he was very enthusiastic about switching after I explained to him how Edward Jones makes money and why lower fees and fiduciary management were a better option for him.

The problem is that my experience with Vanguard trying to get him switched over has been pretty awful, and if it weren't for the fact that I read through the Bogleheads book, I would have already abandoned trying to sign up for it.

Here's my gripes after trying to sign up since last Thursday:
1.) I made a minor mistake when signing up for his transfer account and then couldn't fix it or restart the process online.
2.) When I called to speak to someone at Vanguard, they offered to call me back in 10-15 minutes. When I received the call back after waiting, the phone system didn't recognize any keypad presses and then hung up on me without an option to speak to an operator.
3.) When I called back and waited manually, the people I spoke to on the phone were very helpful. Unfortunately when I sent an email with requested information to my assigned Vanguard advisor, it bounced. (I confirmed the email address with him verbally).
4.) To get around the bounced email, I helped my dad send information over his secure message account. Now when logging into my dad's account, it wants me to create an account and choose a user name and password. He uses a user name and password to get to this screen! His account seems to have been completely reset, including about an hour and a half filling out the investor questionnaire for the first meeting. I can't access any other information on the account anymore. When I tried to fill the information out, it reset and erased all the information I had added so far.

I guess I'm trying to figure out if the average Vanguard investor is just not sensitive to an internet experience that would have been unacceptable in 2005 or if I'm having a "unique" experience. Honestly, this is the worst onboarding experience I've ever had and it's destroyed a lot of Vanguard's credibility with my dad. This is something I'd expect trying to order electronics from a fly-by night online retailer, not one of the four largest financial firms in the U.S. I'm trying to bring a customer to Vanguard and now I find it's my job to make excuses for their inadequate user experience. Is Vanguard's time past? Should I look for another fiduciary to execute the Boglehead advice or grit my teeth and get through it?
Is there a particular reason you want to use Vanguard?

Personally I'd go with Fidelity or Schwab. I have most of my money with TD Ameritrade but they will eventually be absorbed by Schwab.

Depending on the amount of money and the timing, some brokerages will give you a sign up bonus based on the amount transferred.

There is nothing Boglehead related that requires the use of Vanguard as your broker. You can easily implement it using low cost ETFs (which I prefer over mutual funds) at most any brokerage.

Good luck.
dbr
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Re: Terrible on-boarding experience with Vanguard-- keep going?

Post by dbr »

Can you expand on why you think it is important to have a fiduciary "in charge of" his account? I have never had a brokerage account or a bank account that someone other than me was in charge of, though I was involved with a trust once that had a trustee. Is the issue protecting yourself from advising your father? That would seem over finicky.

The reason for asking is that if you and he are having problems with the logistics at Vanguard you might do better at Fidelity or Schwab or someone else, but I would avoid letting someone from one of those companies charge you a fee to manage anything.

Vanguard VPAS is possibly a useful service for some clients but probably not for the sake per se of having a fiduciary in charge, whatever that actually means.
Target2019
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Re: Terrible on-boarding experience with Vanguard-- keep going?

Post by Target2019 »

95zr1 wrote: Wed Sep 30, 2020 12:48 pm I guess I'm trying to figure out if the average Vanguard investor is just not sensitive to an internet experience that would have been unacceptable in 2005 or if I'm having a "unique" experience. Honestly, this is the worst onboarding experience I've ever had and it's destroyed a lot of Vanguard's credibility with my dad. This is something I'd expect trying to order electronics from a fly-by night online retailer, not one of the four largest financial firms in the U.S. I'm trying to bring a customer to Vanguard and now I find it's my job to make excuses for their inadequate user experience. Is Vanguard's time past? Should I look for another fiduciary to execute the Boglehead advice or grit my teeth and get through it?
We have Schwab and Vanguard. Used to have Fidelity and USAA.

Experience tells me you'd have a better experience with Schwab or Fidelity. If there is a local office for either you may want to look into that option.
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nedsaid
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Re: Terrible on-boarding experience with Vanguard-- keep going?

Post by nedsaid »

If it were me, I would give Vanguard another chance. Things do get goofed up and I am sure that every company has its horror stories like this one. I have read enough positive comments about Vanguard Personal Advisory services that I think you should make a little extra effort. It is clear that Vanguard has its customer service glitches, lots of threads about this, but I wouldn't give up on them just yet.

I have heard lots of good things about Charles Schwab, they do have access to Advisors, don't know all the details. They will do a great job with transferring accounts and customer service in general.

Fidelity would be a good choice but their advisory services will be more expensive than Vanguard unless you go with the robots.
A fool and his money are good for business.
fourwheelcycle
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Re: Terrible on-boarding experience with Vanguard-- keep going?

Post by fourwheelcycle »

I have always had very good experiences at Vanguard, including setting up an account for my elderly father, with him giving me full transaction authority for his account and me setting up my own separate log-in for his account. Once the account was set up I was able to transfer all of his funds at other brokers to Vanguard, some in kind and some in cash after liquidation.

For all of these tasks I relied on guidance from my Vanguard advisor. Once my father's account was established my advisor also became the advisor for his account, although he has never called Vanguard or even signed-in to his own account.

Vanguard advises that you should never send financial info to your advisor over regular email. You should use their secure messaging instead. The most I ever do over email is to ask my advisor to call me, or email them thanks for helping me with something.
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celia
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Re: Terrible on-boarding experience with Vanguard-- keep going?

Post by celia »

1. Your mistake.
2, 4. Are you an authorized agent on all your dad’s accounts? If so, you need to have your own logon as you are different entities. If you don’t have at least a small account there, too, that might also be a problem.
3. They don’t accept emails, only secure message sent through their platform while you are logged in.
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95zr1
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Re: Terrible on-boarding experience with Vanguard-- keep going?

Post by 95zr1 »

celia wrote: Wed Sep 30, 2020 3:13 pm 1. Your mistake.
2, 4. Are you an authorized agent on all your dad’s accounts? If so, you need to have your own logon as you are different entities. If you don’t have at least a small account there, too, that might also be a problem.
3. They don’t accept emails, only secure message sent through their platform while you are logged in.
1. Sure, my mistake. Not being able to fix a mistake in a webform, even if you're willing to restart from scratch, after recognizing it? Unacceptably bad customer service.
2/4. No, I'm sitting at the computer with him helping him log onto and manage his account.
3. This is incorrect. They asked me to send an email with v. sensitive information, not the other way around. I was surprised myself.
mega317
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Re: Terrible on-boarding experience with Vanguard-- keep going?

Post by mega317 »

The limitations of Vanguard's website and customer service are well documented on this forum. I have to say you seem about as upset as anyone. You used the word unacceptable more than once. And you created an account just to post this. So basically you need to ask yourself are you the kind of person who is unable to get past this, or are you the kind of person who is likely to find something else to be upset about at another brokerage?
https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=6212
KyleAAA
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Re: Terrible on-boarding experience with Vanguard-- keep going?

Post by KyleAAA »

I would avoid Vanguard in your case. Having an office to go into would probably be beneficial to our dad. Fidelity has been great for me. I hear good things about Schwab.
penumbra
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Re: Terrible on-boarding experience with Vanguard-- keep going?

Post by penumbra »

I understand your dissatisfaction. Ran into similar issues setting up accounts there. While I maintain an account, I keep it simple and limited. I have had exquisite service from Fidelity and would never consider switching. Their customer service, as you will find if you search this forum, is nearly uniformly excellent. It is an advantage to have a local office. Your experiences with Vanguard or not unique, and they are not the last difficulties you will encounter. I would surely move on if I were you. Your father will continue to have problems and you will continually be asked to fix them. Good luck with your decisions!!!
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95zr1
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Re: Terrible on-boarding experience with Vanguard-- keep going?

Post by 95zr1 »

dbr wrote: Wed Sep 30, 2020 2:51 pm Can you expand on why you think it is important to have a fiduciary "in charge of" his account? I have never had a brokerage account or a bank account that someone other than me was in charge of, though I was involved with a trust once that had a trustee. Is the issue protecting yourself from advising your father? That would seem over finicky.

The reason for asking is that if you and he are having problems with the logistics at Vanguard you might do better at Fidelity or Schwab or someone else, but I would avoid letting someone from one of those companies charge you a fee to manage anything.

Vanguard VPAS is possibly a useful service for some clients but probably not for the sake per se of having a fiduciary in charge, whatever that actually means.
I see a lot of skepticism about fiduciary duties that I think is unwarranted. Fiduciaries must advise in the best interest of their client; advisors who are not have a far lesser standard. If my dad's past advisor had a fiduciary duty and made as many self-serving trades as he did over the past two decades, my dad would likely be driving the new BMW his advisor probably bought with the profits. As is, it's just the price of accepting poor advice. As someone with professional responsibilities to clients, it's really incredible to me that there are financial advisors without fiduciary duties and I more or less assume that any financial advisor without fiduciary duty is probably operating a socially acceptable scam.

Because of some poor choices made by his previous financial advisor, I strongly suspect my dad needs some advice on more than just moving directly to a three-fund holding, mostly involving whether he should move from a TIRA to a Roth IRA to avoid required annual withdrawals, and further whether tax loss harvesting of a particularly bad mutual fund he holds now would offset some of those costs. Figuring out the nuts and bolts of what could be several 10s of thousands in tax consequences is more responsibility than I'd like to take on at the moment.

I'm also the sole heir apparent so there's definitely a conflict of interest w/ me being his only advisor, and I have professional responsibilities that make some of the legal advice around investing a gray area that I'd rather avoid.

I discussed dropping VPAS after the first year or so if my dad was satisfied and he thought that was a good plan.
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95zr1
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Re: Terrible on-boarding experience with Vanguard-- keep going?

Post by 95zr1 »

penumbra wrote: Wed Sep 30, 2020 3:37 pm I understand your dissatisfaction. Ran into similar issues setting up accounts there. While I maintain an account, I keep it simple and limited. I have had exquisite service from Fidelity and would never consider switching. Their customer service, as you will find if you search this forum, is nearly uniformly excellent. It is an advantage to have a local office. Your experiences with Vanguard or not unique, and they are not the last difficulties you will encounter. I would surely move on if I were you. Your father will continue to have problems and you will continually be asked to fix them. Good luck with your decisions!!!
Thanks!
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95zr1
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Re: Terrible on-boarding experience with Vanguard-- keep going?

Post by 95zr1 »

KyleAAA wrote: Wed Sep 30, 2020 3:34 pm I would avoid Vanguard in your case. Having an office to go into would probably be beneficial to our dad. Fidelity has been great for me. I hear good things about Schwab.
Unfortunately only Edward Jones has a reasonably local office.
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95zr1
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Re: Terrible on-boarding experience with Vanguard-- keep going?

Post by 95zr1 »

nedsaid wrote: Wed Sep 30, 2020 3:02 pm If it were me, I would give Vanguard another chance. Things do get goofed up and I am sure that every company has its horror stories like this one. I have read enough positive comments about Vanguard Personal Advisory services that I think you should make a little extra effort. It is clear that Vanguard has its customer service glitches, lots of threads about this, but I wouldn't give up on them just yet.

I have heard lots of good things about Charles Schwab, they do have access to Advisors, don't know all the details. They will do a great job with transferring accounts and customer service in general.

Fidelity would be a good choice but their advisory services will be more expensive than Vanguard unless you go with the robots.
Thanks for your perspective!
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95zr1
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Re: Terrible on-boarding experience with Vanguard-- keep going?

Post by 95zr1 »

fourwheelcycle wrote: Wed Sep 30, 2020 3:07 pm I have always had very good experiences at Vanguard, including setting up an account for my elderly father, with him giving me full transaction authority for his account and me setting up my own separate log-in for his account. Once the account was set up I was able to transfer all of his funds at other brokers to Vanguard, some in kind and some in cash after liquidation.

For all of these tasks I relied on guidance from my Vanguard advisor. Once my father's account was established my advisor also became the advisor for his account, although he has never called Vanguard or even signed-in to his own account.

Vanguard advises that you should never send financial info to your advisor over regular email. You should use their secure messaging instead. The most I ever do over email is to ask my advisor to call me, or email them thanks for helping me with something.
Thanks for responding, I'm trying to get to where you are, basically. Useful perspective.

I sent the email at their request. They didn't mention anything about secure messaging. Didn't seem like a great practice to me, either.
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bertilak
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Re: Terrible on-boarding experience with Vanguard-- keep going?

Post by bertilak »

I have found that, with Vanguard, you need to be careful and deliberate and it is not always clear what is the right thing to do!

Example:

I wanted to gift some shares to a relative. I have done this before successfully. This tine I couldn't figure out how to do it! I figured it out but still can't find how to do it by starting from the main menu and clicking on links -- there is no obvious place to start! Even non-obvious places don't get you there.

I found out how by using the search box to look for "gift shares." The result is a long list of clickable links. Turns out the first two don't work but the third one does!

Calling VG for help might have worked but I figured it out on my own while waiting to be connected.

There has got to be a easier way.
May neither drought nor rain nor blizzard disturb the joy juice in your gizzard. -- Squire Omar Barker (aka S.O.B.), the Cowboy Poet
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95zr1
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Re: Terrible on-boarding experience with Vanguard-- keep going?

Post by 95zr1 »

mega317 wrote: Wed Sep 30, 2020 3:31 pm The limitations of Vanguard's website and customer service are well documented on this forum. I have to say you seem about as upset as anyone. You used the word unacceptable more than once. And you created an account just to post this. So basically you need to ask yourself are you the kind of person who is unable to get past this, or are you the kind of person who is likely to find something else to be upset about at another brokerage?
Yeah, I can't move forward because of the issues we ran into, and I can't try again without my dad who went about his day after the issues arose, so I was basically sitting at the computer frustrated for the afternoon waiting to get back to it with him. I can easily get past this, but I'm not telling him to pay .3% for this level of ongoing service, either. Hence, trying to figure out if Vanguard is normally this bad.
mega317
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Re: Terrible on-boarding experience with Vanguard-- keep going?

Post by mega317 »

95zr1 wrote: Wed Sep 30, 2020 3:40 pm Fiduciaries must advise in the best interest of their client
Sure but that doesn't say anything about how much such advice should cost.

I may be wrong don't believe VPAS will advise on things like IRA conversions and tax consequences. Or at least they aren't the best option for that.
https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=6212
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95zr1
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Re: Terrible on-boarding experience with Vanguard-- keep going?

Post by 95zr1 »

rich126 wrote: Wed Sep 30, 2020 2:40 pm Is there a particular reason you want to use Vanguard?

Personally I'd go with Fidelity or Schwab. I have most of my money with TD Ameritrade but they will eventually be absorbed by Schwab.

Depending on the amount of money and the timing, some brokerages will give you a sign up bonus based on the amount transferred.

There is nothing Boglehead related that requires the use of Vanguard as your broker. You can easily implement it using low cost ETFs (which I prefer over mutual funds) at most any brokerage.

Good luck.
I wanted a low cost advisory service w/ fiduciary duty and I google site-searched this forum for information about VPAS after learning about it and thought it was a good option based on the posts I read.
Last edited by 95zr1 on Wed Sep 30, 2020 4:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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bertilak
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Re: Terrible on-boarding experience with Vanguard-- keep going?

Post by bertilak »

mega317 wrote: Wed Sep 30, 2020 3:52 pm
95zr1 wrote: Wed Sep 30, 2020 3:40 pm Fiduciaries must advise in the best interest of their client
Sure but that doesn't say anything about how much such advice should cost.

I may be wrong don't believe VPAS will advise on things like IRA conversions and tax consequences. Or at least they aren't the best option for that.
I think that is the distinction between "investment advisor" and "financial advisor."
May neither drought nor rain nor blizzard disturb the joy juice in your gizzard. -- Squire Omar Barker (aka S.O.B.), the Cowboy Poet
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95zr1
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Re: Terrible on-boarding experience with Vanguard-- keep going?

Post by 95zr1 »

mega317 wrote: Wed Sep 30, 2020 3:52 pm
95zr1 wrote: Wed Sep 30, 2020 3:40 pm Fiduciaries must advise in the best interest of their client
Sure but that doesn't say anything about how much such advice should cost.

I may be wrong don't believe VPAS will advise on things like IRA conversions and tax consequences. Or at least they aren't the best option for that.
My impression from user reports here is that they won't suggest TLH and account conversions but will give advice on it if asked.

EDIT: not sure what you're implying w/ cost remark. Getting advice from a fiduciary doesn't mean you're getting *good* advice, but it does mean several categories of obviously *bad* advice expose the advisor to significant liability.
Last edited by 95zr1 on Wed Sep 30, 2020 4:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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celia
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Re: Terrible on-boarding experience with Vanguard-- keep going?

Post by celia »

OP, your postings sound like you do certain things FOR your dad, but then expect Vanguard to respond to you (jointly) as if there is only 1 customer they are helping. There is a chance this may look like fraud to Vanguard as they don’t officially recognize you. I suggest you act like an authorized agent and have your father fill out their Agent Authorization form (which authorizes you to do certain things on his behalf).

This will also make it easier for you if your dad becomes incapacitated. But I think the form ends when dad dies. So you (jointly) should ask Vanguard if they also have a Durable Power of Attorney form. They are persnickety on using forms generated outside Vg since they have to go through their legal department. Simpler to just use their forms.

Look at the big picture. Wouldn’t you want your dad’s accounts to be protected if someone else called up and asked questions as you are?
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Re: Terrible on-boarding experience with Vanguard-- keep going?

Post by dbr »

95zr1 wrote: Wed Sep 30, 2020 3:40 pm
Because of some poor choices made by his previous financial advisor, I strongly suspect my dad needs some advice on more than just moving directly to a three-fund holding, mostly involving whether he should move from a TIRA to a Roth IRA to avoid required annual withdrawals, and further whether tax loss harvesting of a particularly bad mutual fund he holds now would offset some of those costs. Figuring out the nuts and bolts of what could be several 10s of thousands in tax consequences is more responsibility than I'd like to take on at the moment.

I'm also the sole heir apparent so there's definitely a conflict of interest w/ me being his only advisor, and I have professional responsibilities that make some of the legal advice around investing a gray area that I'd rather avoid.

I discussed dropping VPAS after the first year or so if my dad was satisfied and he thought that was a good plan.
I don't think he needs a fiduciary account manager "in charge of" his investments but he does need advice on legitimate specific issues which are mostly tax planning issues. I don't know if VPAS is the best source of advice on those specific technical issues. Maybe someone who is with VPAS can comment. Likely the greatest value of VPAS is coming up with a financial analysis of retirement investment plan, asset allocation, and fund selection. You are correct you can drop the service after it is in place.

You might find that a good source of advice on those kinds of questions is actually right here on this forum, but the forum is not a fiduciary. In that case it could be better for him to post here directly.

It may be that a one time fee for service consultation with an independent financial planner would be helpful or one may even find a CPA tax specialist who can help, though the tax planning of investments is not necessarily easy to find among the standard accountants. The CPA firm my parents always used had a guy for tax preparation but he referred me to an investment tax planning specialist in the office who was very helpful regarding some incentive stock option issues I was trying to understand. At least they had no interest in selling investments or insurance to anyone. I have a family member (MST, CPA) who does tax advising and planning, but his clientele is mainly real estate partnerships and not individuals.
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95zr1
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Re: Terrible on-boarding experience with Vanguard-- keep going?

Post by 95zr1 »

celia wrote: Wed Sep 30, 2020 3:59 pm OP, your postings sound like you do certain things FOR your dad, but then expect Vanguard to respond to you (jointly) as if there is only 1 customer they are helping. There is a chance this may look like fraud to Vanguard as they don’t officially recognize you. I suggest you act like an authorized agent and have your father fill out their Agent Authorization form (which authorizes you to do certain things on his behalf).

This will also make it easier for you if your dad becomes incapacitated. But I think the form ends when dad dies. So you (jointly) should ask Vanguard if they also have a Durable Power of Attorney form. They are persnickety on using forms generated outside Vg since they have to go through their legal department. Simpler to just use their forms.

Look at the big picture. Wouldn’t you want your dad’s accounts to be protected if someone else called up and asked questions as you are?
I specifically asked to fill out an Agent Authorization form on the phone almost as soon as the call started (we were both on the phone) and they instructed me to wait until his account was set up and funds transferred. Unless they can tell who is making the mouse/keyboard strokes while we both sit at the kitchen table, I'm not sure how they'd be able to detect this as fraud and I've worked in cybersecurity. I've never represented myself as my dad, and we've both been on the phone when we spoke to them. I don't even know his password.
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dogagility
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Re: Terrible on-boarding experience with Vanguard-- keep going?

Post by dogagility »

95zr1 wrote: Wed Sep 30, 2020 3:40 pm Because of some poor choices made by his previous financial advisor, I strongly suspect my dad needs some advice on more than just moving directly to a three-fund holding, mostly involving whether he should move from a TIRA to a Roth IRA to avoid required annual withdrawals, and further whether tax loss harvesting of a particularly bad mutual fund he holds now would offset some of those costs. Figuring out the nuts and bolts of what could be several 10s of thousands in tax consequences is more responsibility than I'd like to take on at the moment.

I discussed dropping VPAS after the first year or so if my dad was satisfied and he thought that was a good plan.
Another option would be to post your Dad's portfolio and questions to the forum in another thread using this format: viewtopic.php?t=6212

You or your Dad would need to perform the work to implement the plan, however.
All children spill milk. Learn to smile and wipe it up. -- A Farmer's Wife
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95zr1
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Re: Terrible on-boarding experience with Vanguard-- keep going?

Post by 95zr1 »

dogagility wrote: Wed Sep 30, 2020 4:15 pm
95zr1 wrote: Wed Sep 30, 2020 3:40 pm Because of some poor choices made by his previous financial advisor, I strongly suspect my dad needs some advice on more than just moving directly to a three-fund holding, mostly involving whether he should move from a TIRA to a Roth IRA to avoid required annual withdrawals, and further whether tax loss harvesting of a particularly bad mutual fund he holds now would offset some of those costs. Figuring out the nuts and bolts of what could be several 10s of thousands in tax consequences is more responsibility than I'd like to take on at the moment.

I discussed dropping VPAS after the first year or so if my dad was satisfied and he thought that was a good plan.
Another option would be to post your Dad's portfolio and questions to the forum in another thread using this format: viewtopic.php?t=6212

You or your Dad would need to perform the work to implement the plan, however.
Thanks, I've definitely considered this option as well and appreciate the wealth of resources I've seen on this forum.
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Re: Terrible on-boarding experience with Vanguard-- keep going?

Post by L82GAME »

celia wrote: Wed Sep 30, 2020 3:59 pm OP, your postings sound like you do certain things FOR your dad, but then expect Vanguard to respond to you (jointly) as if there is only 1 customer they are helping. There is a chance this may look like fraud to Vanguard as they don’t officially recognize you. I suggest you act like an authorized agent and have your father fill out their Agent Authorization form (which authorizes you to do certain things on his behalf).

This will also make it easier for you if your dad becomes incapacitated. But I think the form ends when dad dies. So you (jointly) should ask Vanguard if they also have a Durable Power of Attorney form. They are persnickety on using forms generated outside Vg since they have to go through their legal department. Simpler to just use their forms.

Look at the big picture. Wouldn’t you want your dad’s accounts to be protected if someone else called up and asked questions as you are?
+1. I had an excellent experience guiding my wife through the process of transitioning her parents’ holdings from Morgan Stanley to VG. She is an Authorized Agent on their behalf which makes guiding her parents investments MUCH easier. My two cents:
  • I’ve had experience helping friends and family at different brokerages including VG, Schwab and Fidelity. If you want the worst advice for your father to receive, should something happen to you, to be a Boglehead three or four fund, low cost, passive portfolio with a .3% AUM, VG is the best choice. Schwab, Fidelity and others are more likely to create more complex and costly portfolios with the old-school default MMF cash reserves.
  • Before investing my in-laws’ money, we had Rick Ferri review the portfolio as an independent fiduciary and then we merely executed the plan on their behalf
Many here will disagree, but I’ve helped others disentangle crummy Schwab and Fido portfolios.
Last edited by L82GAME on Wed Sep 30, 2020 4:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Terrible on-boarding experience with Vanguard-- keep going?

Post by Seasonal »

95zr1 wrote: Wed Sep 30, 2020 4:07 pm I specifically asked to fill out an Agent Authorization form on the phone almost as soon as the call started (we were both on the phone) and they instructed me to wait until his account was set up and funds transferred. Unless they can tell who is making the mouse/keyboard strokes while we both sit at the kitchen table, I'm not sure how they'd be able to detect this as fraud and I've worked in cybersecurity. I've never represented myself as my dad, and we've both been on the phone when we spoke to them. I don't even know his password.
Vanguard basically has two levels of authorization - full and limited. Full requires filing out a paper form with witnesses and notarization. They might accept a well drafted POA instead. Limited requires filling out an online form. Limited gives you access to information and allows you to do just about anything other than link a new external account (this limit prevents you from linking, and then transferring funds, to your own account). As I understand it, both would require you and your father to have existing accounts, although they don't have to be funded. There's also information authority, which lets them tell you things.

You might consider if any of these would be helpful and, if so, set up the one that makes the most sense. I'd go for limited, as it can be done quickly and easily, so long as you both have accounts.

All of the foregoing has been my experience. You might want to confirm.

Vanguard does well in the JD Powers study: https://www.jdpower.com/business/press- ... tion-study That may be more important than one-off reports.
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95zr1
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Re: Terrible on-boarding experience with Vanguard-- keep going?

Post by 95zr1 »

L82GAME wrote: Wed Sep 30, 2020 4:25 pm
celia wrote: Wed Sep 30, 2020 3:59 pm OP, your postings sound like you do certain things FOR your dad, but then expect Vanguard to respond to you (jointly) as if there is only 1 customer they are helping. There is a chance this may look like fraud to Vanguard as they don’t officially recognize you. I suggest you act like an authorized agent and have your father fill out their Agent Authorization form (which authorizes you to do certain things on his behalf).

This will also make it easier for you if your dad becomes incapacitated. But I think the form ends when dad dies. So you (jointly) should ask Vanguard if they also have a Durable Power of Attorney form. They are persnickety on using forms generated outside Vg since they have to go through their legal department. Simpler to just use their forms.

Look at the big picture. Wouldn’t you want your dad’s accounts to be protected if someone else called up and asked questions as you are?
+1. I had an excellent experience guiding my wife through the process of transitioning her parents’ holdings from Morgan Stanley to VG. She is an Authorized Agent on their behalf which makes guiding her parents investments MUCH easier. My two cents:
  • I’ve had experience helping friends and family at different brokerages including VG, Schwab and Fidelity. If you want the worst advice for your father to receive, should something happen to you, to be a Boglehead three or four fund, low cost, passive portfolio with a .3% AUM, VG is the best choice. Schwab, Fidelity and others are more likely to create more complex and costly portfolios with the old-school default MMF cash reserves.
  • Before investing my in-laws’ money, we had Rick Ferri review the portfolio as an independent fiduciary and then we merely executed the plan on their behalf
Many here will disagree, but I’ve helped others disentangle crummy Schwab and Fido portfolios.
Thanks!
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95zr1
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Re: Terrible on-boarding experience with Vanguard-- keep going?

Post by 95zr1 »

Seasonal wrote: Wed Sep 30, 2020 4:27 pm
95zr1 wrote: Wed Sep 30, 2020 4:07 pm I specifically asked to fill out an Agent Authorization form on the phone almost as soon as the call started (we were both on the phone) and they instructed me to wait until his account was set up and funds transferred. Unless they can tell who is making the mouse/keyboard strokes while we both sit at the kitchen table, I'm not sure how they'd be able to detect this as fraud and I've worked in cybersecurity. I've never represented myself as my dad, and we've both been on the phone when we spoke to them. I don't even know his password.
Vanguard basically has two levels of authorization - full and limited. Full requires filing out a paper form with witnesses and notarization. They might accept a well drafted POA instead. Limited requires filling out an online form. Limited gives you access to information and allows you to do just about anything other than link a new external account (this limit prevents you from linking, and then transferring funds, to your own account). As I understand it, both would require you and your father to have existing accounts, although they don't have to be funded. There's also information authority, which lets them tell you things.

You might consider if any of these would be helpful and, if so, set up the one that makes the most sense. I'd go for limited, as it can be done quickly and easily, so long as you both have accounts.

All of the foregoing has been my experience. You might want to confirm.

Vanguard does well in the JD Powers study: https://www.jdpower.com/business/press- ... tion-study That may be more important than one-off reports.
Good to know. I don't have an account with Vanguard yet (just graduated, pandemic has delayed start of career) which might present some difficulties.
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Re: Terrible on-boarding experience with Vanguard-- keep going?

Post by galawdawg »

95zr1 wrote: Wed Sep 30, 2020 12:48 pm
Here's my gripes after trying to sign up since last Thursday:
1.) I made a minor mistake when signing up for his transfer account and then couldn't fix it or restart the process online.
2.) When I called to speak to someone at Vanguard, they offered to call me back in 10-15 minutes. When I received the call back after waiting, the phone system didn't recognize any keypad presses and then hung up on me without an option to speak to an operator.
3.) When I called back and waited manually, the people I spoke to on the phone were very helpful. Unfortunately when I sent an email with requested information to my assigned Vanguard advisor, it bounced. (I confirmed the email address with him verbally).
4.) To get around the bounced email, I helped my dad send information over his secure message account. Now when logging into my dad's account, it wants me to create an account and choose a user name and password. He uses a user name and password to get to this screen! His account seems to have been completely reset, including about an hour and a half filling out the investor questionnaire for the first meeting. I can't access any other information on the account anymore. When I tried to fill the information out, it reset and erased all the information I had added so far.
Welcome to Bogleheads.

I was a Vanguard "client-owner" for thirty or so years before I moved my entire portfolio of Vanguard mutual funds to E*TRADE after experience a significant decline in service and benefits.

That being said, I'm not sure that I view this as a "terrible" Vanguard experience that would warrant a decision to forgo Vanguard PAS (if that is truly in the best interests of your Dad). No offense, but I suspect that all of the issues you have experienced are related, directly or indirectly, to the "minor mistake" in creating the account. So some/much/part of this is on you. (Is your Dad going to create an account here and post "My son messed up my investment accounts, should i tell him to leave my accounts alone?" :wink: )

I'm sure you recognize since you "work in law" that you need to act in the best interests of your Dad and not make decisions due to your personal dissatisfaction with your experience at Vanguard.

So while I am no fan of what Vanguard has become, is making a "Vanguard or not" decision based solely upon this interaction, which was only necessary due to your error(s), the wisest approach?

Hope that you are able to get this situation resolved, whatever you and your Dad decide. Good luck!
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Re: Terrible on-boarding experience with Vanguard-- keep going?

Post by 95zr1 »

Thanks for the advice and welcome! Re: ambiguous "work in law" terminology I'm not quite a lawyer yet because I'm done with law school classes and the bar (and have accepted an offer to be an associate) but I haven't been sworn in because of some uncommon circumstances. It's complicated but basically: covid + major parental illness = a joint degree held up by a delayed dissertation.

Definitely a good perspective, I don't want my personal dissatisfaction to color my advice, leading directly to this thread, but the minor mistake was mistyping his birthday by a year. Gracefully handling reasonable user error is the core of good user experience.
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Re: Terrible on-boarding experience with Vanguard-- keep going?

Post by 7eight9 »

I was with Vanguard from 2002-2019. I had no issues with Vanguard until I wanted to know the answer to what I considered a simple question --- could I access my accounts in Thailand (here is the thread I started on it --- viewtopic.php?f=1&t=286702&sid=30a82b6d ... 8da3791cce). Now I'm with Charles Schwab. Good luck with your decision.
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Re: Terrible on-boarding experience with Vanguard-- keep going?

Post by galawdawg »

95zr1 wrote: Wed Sep 30, 2020 5:16 pm Thanks for the advice and welcome! Re: ambiguous "work in law" terminology I'm not quite a lawyer yet because I'm done with law school classes and the bar (and have accepted an offer to be an associate) but I haven't been sworn in because of some uncommon circumstances. It's complicated but basically: covid + major parental illness = a joint degree held up by a delayed dissertation.

Definitely a good perspective, I don't want my personal dissatisfaction to color my advice, leading directly to this thread, but the minor mistake was mistyping his birthday by a year. Gracefully handling reasonable user error is the core of good user experience.
Congrats on finishing law school and passing the bar, welcome to the club! :sharebeer

Mistyping the birthday or other identity information (SSN, etc) often creates a myriad of problems which are sometimes cumbersome to resolve due to the identity verification requirements of certain federal statutes and regulations. It is certainly an understandable and easy mistake to make and it happens, but it isn't always easy to resolve nonetheless.

Probably a good learning lesson for a new lawyer...double and triple check the details before finalizing or clicking next/submit! :happy
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Re: Terrible on-boarding experience with Vanguard-- keep going?

Post by Broken Man 1999 »

If the person looking to be an limited agent has a Vanguard account, it is not necessary to fill out any paperwork. The account owner can ask the person that will be the limited agent to accept being their agent online.

I am limited agent for several family members, and it was easy to do without any paperwork.

I am not sure that would work for a full agent authorization, but I can do everything I need to do with limited agent status. I don't even have full agent status for DW's account.

Limited agency prevents me from doing something squirrely, like draining accounts and running off with their money.

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Re: Terrible on-boarding experience with Vanguard-- keep going?

Post by drzzzzz »

95zr1 wrote: Wed Sep 30, 2020 3:40 pm
dbr wrote: Wed Sep 30, 2020 2:51 pm Can you expand on why you think it is important to have a fiduciary "in charge of" his account? I have never had a brokerage account or a bank account that someone other than me was in charge of, though I was involved with a trust once that had a trustee. Is the issue protecting yourself from advising your father? That would seem over finicky.

The reason for asking is that if you and he are having problems with the logistics at Vanguard you might do better at Fidelity or Schwab or someone else, but I would avoid letting someone from one of those companies charge you a fee to manage anything.

Vanguard VPAS is possibly a useful service for some clients but probably not for the sake per se of having a fiduciary in charge, whatever that actually means.
I see a lot of skepticism about fiduciary duties that I think is unwarranted. Fiduciaries must advise in the best interest of their client; advisors who are not have a far lesser standard. If my dad's past advisor had a fiduciary duty and made as many self-serving trades as he did over the past two decades, my dad would likely be driving the new BMW his advisor probably bought with the profits. As is, it's just the price of accepting poor advice. As someone with professional responsibilities to clients, it's really incredible to me that there are financial advisors without fiduciary duties and I more or less assume that any financial advisor without fiduciary duty is probably operating a socially acceptable scam.

Because of some poor choices made by his previous financial advisor, I strongly suspect my dad needs some advice on more than just moving directly to a three-fund holding, mostly involving whether he should move from a TIRA to a Roth IRA to avoid required annual withdrawals, and further whether tax loss harvesting of a particularly bad mutual fund he holds now would offset some of those costs. Figuring out the nuts and bolts of what could be several 10s of thousands in tax consequences is more responsibility than I'd like to take on at the moment.

I'm also the sole heir apparent so there's definitely a conflict of interest w/ me being his only advisor, and I have professional responsibilities that make some of the legal advice around investing a gray area that I'd rather avoid.

I discussed dropping VPAS after the first year or so if my dad was satisfied and he thought that was a good plan.
You should clarify with Vanguard whether they will make recommendations about moving a TIRA to a Roth IRA (this is a tax rate question and taxes is not something that Vanguard usually comments upon). They also in the past did what I would call limited tax loss harvesting. When I was setting up accounts for my elderly parents I decided using Fidelity was the easiest since a brick and mortar branch to go to to get things signed, notarized, and to talk to someone in person would be of help to them (none of that in person is available right now at Fidelity, but it will be again at some point) and might be of value. We have had multiple issues with Vanguard similar to what you describe since their IT is lacking compared to competitors and the lack of direct access phone numbers to a "specialist" on a particular topic is frustrating for me - for example, when I have a more complicated transfer request or bond question I can usually talk to an expert in that area at Fidelity, but at Vanguard you have to go through their Flagship rep going back and forth. Using PAS should avoid that for you if you take that approach. We have a lot of built in mutual fund gains since we have been with Vanguard for many years, but we are slowly disentangling from them since I find both IT and customer service lacking compared to the other firms (and since everyone has ETFs or low fee mutual funds Vanguard has lost its edge in those areas).
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Re: Terrible on-boarding experience with Vanguard-- keep going?

Post by pennywise »

galawdawg wrote: Wed Sep 30, 2020 5:32 pm
Mistyping the birthday or other identity information (SSN, etc) often creates a myriad of problems which are sometimes cumbersome to resolve due to the identity verification requirements of certain federal statutes and regulations. It is certainly an understandable and easy mistake to make and it happens, but it isn't always easy to resolve nonetheless.
+1

Because Vanguard is primarily a distance-based firm, the online interface is extremely important and although of course you have had a frustrating experience, most of your irritants reflect safeguards for preventing fraud and identity theft.

Here is some feedback from the perspective of a very satisfied Vanguard PAS customer. Are they perfect? Of course not. Can they be a great resource for managing money? Absolutely!

I set up PAS when I needed to move several accounts to Vanguard including a pair of 403b funds into IRAs as well as an investment account. Although it did take quite a bit of phone work, online form filling and a couple of frustrating moments, the service overall from Vanguard was and has been excellent. We have a designated advisor and although we don't speak often when and as either side has needed to communicate it has been very simple and easy to connect via the secure online account.

As for tax consequences, the advisory service definitely includes tax considerations and other nuances of managing investment accounts. Our advisor set up our desired mix (50/50) to facilitate the best taxation consequences, and he also incorporated our income and a couple of non-Vanguard accounts into the planning for our overall strategy.

In fact that is one of the major reasons we are using PAS; having someone with expertise helping with the sometimes arcane details is extremely useful. Especially someone who has no fiscal incentive to do anything other than what is best for us.
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Re: Terrible on-boarding experience with Vanguard-- keep going?

Post by topper1296 »

Is it just me or has there generally been an increase in frequency of threads over the last several months or so about poor experience/issues at Vanguard? Personally, I do have an account there that I've had for many years, but I haven't added anything to it in years or had to contact them for anything either in several years so I have no personal anecdotal evidence.
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Re: Terrible on-boarding experience with Vanguard-- keep going?

Post by MikeG62 »

Here's my recent experience with VG onboarding - in the process of helping my SIL get into Vanguard PAS.

She transferred her IRA from Chase to VG based upon my advice. We had a call with a VG advisor on Sept 2. Follow up call scheduled for Sept 15. On Sept 15, we waited and waited for the call that never came. After a day or so, I advised my SIL to send a message to the advisor asking what was up. No response. A day or so later I called VG myself and was able to determine that the advisor we spoke with was no longer with VG. OK, not their fault. However, no proactive communication to reach out to those who had calls scheduled with this former advisor to reschedule those calls and/or re-assign those clients to a new advisor.

Needless to say it was a bit embarrassing for me (with my SIL) as she looked to me for advice and I was the one who recommended VG as the place where she should move her IRA and have it managed.

Having said this, we had a call with a new advisor on Sept 29. This call went fine and we have a follow up call scheduled for next week. I am hoping the remainder of the process goes well.
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Re: Terrible on-boarding experience with Vanguard-- keep going?

Post by retiringwhen »

We have 99% of our money at Vanguard and 1% at Fidelity. We opened accounts so long ago at Vanguard, that there was no "on-boarding" process. It was mostly paper forms in the snail mail, but I have helped each of three son's open accounts at Vanguard with only mild difficulty.

To access some specific services at Fidelity (DAF), my wife and I opened accounts and basically items #1 happened but worse. Basically the website crapped out about 8 times in the same place in the account creation process. I gave up and came back two days later and it worked.

My point is, these websites are not as bullet proof as good-old Ma' Bell was in 1984. You sometimes have to be patient and work out how to get it to do what you need. And the grass is surely not greener on the other side of the hill.

As the messaging and account needs. Those requirements are in place for you and especially your parent's security and protection. Don't try to work around them, work with them. You should run into both of those types of blocks in any competent brokerage.

Finally, a piece of advice, take the entire process and break it down into much smaller steps (think doing only one thing at a time that will take less than 10 minutes). Creation of an initial brokerage account with a small amount of cash will help you get all the infrastructure setup. You can then create the userid's setup Trusted Relationships for reading and viewing the accounts, etc.

Then later request a transfer specialist (by phone) and work them them to move the money from Ed Jones. The transfer process especially with multiple IRAs, etc. can be daunting. We have had very good experience in complicated situations with the transfer specialists.
Last edited by retiringwhen on Thu Oct 01, 2020 11:20 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Terrible on-boarding experience with Vanguard-- keep going?

Post by Raryn »

It is known that Vanguards customer service and customer facing IT often leaves much to be desired. They focus quite a bit on cost-savings, and it shows. Once you get everything set up though, you don't have to interact with them very often.

Fidelity and Schwab are significantly better if you're someone who calls in more frequently.
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Re: Terrible on-boarding experience with Vanguard-- keep going?

Post by ruralavalon »

95zr1 wrote: Wed Sep 30, 2020 5:16 pm Thanks for the advice and welcome! Re: ambiguous "work in law" terminology I'm not quite a lawyer yet because I'm done with law school classes and the bar (and have accepted an offer to be an associate) but I haven't been sworn in because of some uncommon circumstances. It's complicated but basically: covid + major parental illness = a joint degree held up by a delayed dissertation.

Definitely a good perspective, I don't want my personal dissatisfaction to color my advice, leading directly to this thread, but the minor mistake was mistyping his birthday by a year. Gracefully handling reasonable user error is the core of good user experience.
Congratulations on finishing law school passing the bar :D . Welcome to the profession.

Give Vanguard another chance. We have had all of our accounts with Vanguard for many years, and the customer service has always been very good in my opinion. Vanguard is set up for buy and hold investors. Once everything is set up, there is little need for customer service. I contact them once a year at most, some years not at all.
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Re: Terrible on-boarding experience with Vanguard-- keep going?

Post by bertilak »

ruralavalon wrote: Thu Oct 01, 2020 11:18 am I contact them once a year at most, some years not at all.
Things I have contacted support for:
  • AA advice and review (early on)
  • Dealing with wills and trusts and the deaths of beneficiaries thereof.
  • Transfers from other institutions, including unpriced securities.
  • Setting up accounts for family members, including agent authorizations.
  • Gifting shares to family members.
That’s all I can think of now, but I know I’ve relied on them for more than that over the years.

If I were doing it all over again I could handle some of that stuff with a bit less help, but there are things that MUST be done right and it is safer to hava Vanguard on the line as you do them, especially when they are not everyday occurrences.
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Re: Terrible on-boarding experience with Vanguard-- keep going?

Post by inbox788 »

95zr1 wrote: Wed Sep 30, 2020 12:48 pmThe problem is that my experience with Vanguard trying to get him switched over has been pretty awful, and if it weren't for the fact that I read through the Bogleheads book, I would have already abandoned trying to sign up for it.

Here's my gripes after trying to sign up since last Thursday:
1.) I made a minor mistake when signing up for his transfer account and then couldn't fix it or restart the process online.
2.) When I called to speak to someone at Vanguard, they offered to call me back in 10-15 minutes. When I received the call back after waiting, the phone system didn't recognize any keypad presses and then hung up on me without an option to speak to an operator.
3.) When I called back and waited manually, the people I spoke to on the phone were very helpful. Unfortunately when I sent an email with requested information to my assigned Vanguard advisor, it bounced. (I confirmed the email address with him verbally).
4.) To get around the bounced email, I helped my dad send information over his secure message account. Now when logging into my dad's account, it wants me to create an account and choose a user name and password. He uses a user name and password to get to this screen! His account seems to have been completely reset, including about an hour and a half filling out the investor questionnaire for the first meeting. I can't access any other information on the account anymore. When I tried to fill the information out, it reset and erased all the information I had added so far.

I guess I'm trying to figure out if the average Vanguard investor is just not sensitive to an internet experience that would have been unacceptable in 2005 or if I'm having a "unique" experience. Honestly, this is the worst onboarding experience I've ever had and it's destroyed a lot of Vanguard's credibility with my dad. This is something I'd expect trying to order electronics from a fly-by night online retailer, not one of the four largest financial firms in the U.S. I'm trying to bring a customer to Vanguard and now I find it's my job to make excuses for their inadequate user experience. Is Vanguard's time past? Should I look for another fiduciary to execute the Boglehead advice or grit my teeth and get through it?
Not a good experience.

1) You got off on the wrong foot. What was the nature of the "minor mistake" and what damage did it do? Computers and automated processes are great when they work, millions of transactions per second, but when an error is made, that's millions of mistakes that need to be corrected. Manual processes take time. How many hours or days elapsed since you started? We expect instant results now, and sometimes that's achieved, but when you open an account, some things don't really begin until midnight, and trying to reset things before they start only adds to the sequence of things that need to be corrected. It might take some days to wipe out all traces of what was started to start anew again.
2) Level 1 support everywhere is poor. Some AI chats are now exceeding Level 1 capabilities. The rule is Level 3 and above before you get to someone with authority, but these days, even Level 3 is questionable.
3) Secured messaging is well, more secure than email, so go with that if you can. Also, it's probably more tracked, like ticket systems, where there's some level of performance measurement. Unfortunately, the measurement isn't always aligned with the customer goals. Keep opening up tickets as needed to get things done. It's a record of what's been done that can be helpful.
4) Sounds like you talked to 3-4 people about various problems, with no one owning the problem and forwarding parts to someone else. And no one is working on anything.

Vanguard (and many other companies) are lacking in the technology department, but you should be able to reach an individual that can walk you through the problems. And even hold your hand along the way. That's the least I would expect Vanguard to do at this stage in your troubles, and they should be apologizing profusely. Spend some time, reach a milestone or goal (i.e. working username password account that you can log into) before tackling other more difficult tasks. Be patient, some things do take time. (opening up accounts, transferring holdings, etc.)

You may have better luck at Schwab or Fidelity, but the process isn't all that different. Supposedly Fidelity is better on the service end, but I don't like their website. They have too many menus and submenus, and their product choices are greater in a bad way, more bad funds. The whole Fidelity Freedom vs Fidelity Freedom Index business seems purposefully confusing and there's a whole lot more to sort through. It's bad enough at Vanguard constantly hounding me to turn my mutual fund into a brokerage account; I'm holding out as long as I can.

FPIFX - Fidelity Freedom Index 2020 Fund
FFFDX - Fidelity Freedom 2020 Fund
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Re: Terrible on-boarding experience with Vanguard-- keep going?

Post by backpacker61 »

I'll just chime in that I've been a Vanguard client since 1989 and have been very happy with them.
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