Is this Vanguard "transition" e-mail legit?

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windaar
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Is this Vanguard "transition" e-mail legit?

Post by windaar »

My wife got the following e-mail:

"Vanguard is working toward retiring its old investment platform, which is what you're using today. Please log on to vanguard.com and complete a 3-step transition to our new investment platform. It only takes a few minutes. We're working toward the retirement of our old investment platform, which supports accounts that only hold Vanguard mutual funds. We'll continue to support clients on this old platform until it's retired from use in 2022 or earlier. But know that some of the features you've used in the past may not be available as we make updates and changes in the future."

Does anyone know anything about this?
Nobody knows nothing.
OnTrack2020
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Re: Is this Vanguard "transition" e-mail legit?

Post by OnTrack2020 »

Yes, it's legit. She may also receive a letter in the mail.
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Nate79
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Re: Is this Vanguard "transition" e-mail legit?

Post by Nate79 »

There are a ton of threads on the transition from mutual fund to brokerage account. Yes it is legit.
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David Jay
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Re: Is this Vanguard "transition" e-mail legit?

Post by David Jay »

The brokerage platform has a few, small differences but the big change is the ability to purchase ETFs and Stocks.

A brokerage platform is the same thing one will find at other major companies such as Fidelity, TDAmeritrade, Merrill, Schwab, etc.

[edit] here is an early thread on the subject from 2017: viewtopic.php?t=228687
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Re: Is this Vanguard "transition" e-mail legit?

Post by Cheez-It Guy »

How can users of this site be so comically unaware after literally years of this?
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Re: Is this Vanguard "transition" e-mail legit?

Post by retired@50 »

I made the switch to brokerage accounts in all three of my Vanguard accounts. Roth, Rollover IRA and taxable. I've been happy with the switch and didn't have any issues.

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Re: Is this Vanguard "transition" e-mail legit?

Post by 1210sda »

How different are the statements for the brokerage accounts than for the mutual fund accounts.

I didn't like the use of a settlement fund (Federal Money Market fund). I guess that it doesn't matter as much anymore since I exchanged my Prime MMF to the Federal MMF.
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Re: Is this Vanguard "transition" e-mail legit?

Post by tibbitts »

windaar wrote: Fri Nov 20, 2020 7:47 am My wife got the following e-mail:

"Vanguard is working toward retiring its old investment platform, which is what you're using today. Please log on to vanguard.com and complete a 3-step transition to our new investment platform. It only takes a few minutes. We're working toward the retirement of our old investment platform, which supports accounts that only hold Vanguard mutual funds. We'll continue to support clients on this old platform until it's retired from use in 2022 or earlier. But know that some of the features you've used in the past may not be available as we make updates and changes in the future."

Does anyone know anything about this?
You should have been receiving these communications regarding retiring the old platform for many years now, so the concern would be why you haven't received any until now.
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Re: Is this Vanguard "transition" e-mail legit?

Post by arcticpineapplecorp. »

you might get a call too. i did a couple years ago. shared with them why I'm fine keeping the old platform. they were cordial. now I get emails like the one you referenced.
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Re: Is this Vanguard "transition" e-mail legit?

Post by Eagle33 »

tibbitts wrote: Fri Nov 20, 2020 10:10 pm
windaar wrote: Fri Nov 20, 2020 7:47 am My wife got the following e-mail:

"Vanguard is working toward retiring its old investment platform, which is what you're using today. Please log on to vanguard.com and complete a 3-step transition to our new investment platform. It only takes a few minutes. We're working toward the retirement of our old investment platform, which supports accounts that only hold Vanguard mutual funds. We'll continue to support clients on this old platform until it's retired from use in 2022 or earlier. But know that some of the features you've used in the past may not be available as we make updates and changes in the future."

Does anyone know anything about this?
You should have been receiving these communications regarding retiring the old platform for many years now, so the concern would be why you haven't received any until now.
Sounds like a case of inconsistent Vanguard communication with its clients. I have not received such an email. I have seen a couple of banners about transitioning to brokerage-style accounts. VG has only put an account transition link on 1 of my 2 MF-style accounts. May consider switching once they add an account transition link to the other account - doing Roth conversions and don't want mix of account types.
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Re: Is this Vanguard "transition" e-mail legit?

Post by LuckyGuy »

I am a long time Vanguard client. I still have the mutual fund account and have not been contacted about changing. Hmmm.
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Re: Is this Vanguard "transition" e-mail legit?

Post by tadamsmar »

tibbitts wrote: Fri Nov 20, 2020 10:10 pm
windaar wrote: Fri Nov 20, 2020 7:47 am My wife got the following e-mail:

"Vanguard is working toward retiring its old investment platform, which is what you're using today. Please log on to vanguard.com and complete a 3-step transition to our new investment platform. It only takes a few minutes. We're working toward the retirement of our old investment platform, which supports accounts that only hold Vanguard mutual funds. We'll continue to support clients on this old platform until it's retired from use in 2022 or earlier. But know that some of the features you've used in the past may not be available as we make updates and changes in the future."

Does anyone know anything about this?
You should have been receiving these communications regarding retiring the old platform for many years now, so the concern would be why you haven't received any until now.
I don't think they are encouraging everyone to transition. They are certainly not constantly trying to nudge everyone to transition in the same manner.

When I log in a see a transition button at the top of the accounts overview page. But there is nothing about transitioning on my wife's accounts overview page.

I decided to go ahead and transition today.

I am planning to have my wife transition so we will both have the same environment. But it is not even obvious how to do this. She has to use the search box and search for "transition". But she can do it using the first link in the search.

One thing that I noticed. After I transitioned, my wife had to go through a dialog to re-establish agent authorization for my accounts. This is announced in a message in her account with a button for her to go though the short process. On my account the transition process did not mention this step but I had a FYI message on my account.
Last edited by tadamsmar on Sat Nov 21, 2020 9:13 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Is this Vanguard "transition" e-mail legit?

Post by sycamore »

Eagle33 wrote: Sat Nov 21, 2020 2:14 am
tibbitts wrote: Fri Nov 20, 2020 10:10 pm ...
You should have been receiving these communications regarding retiring the old platform for many years now, so the concern would be why you haven't received any until now.
Sounds like a case of inconsistent Vanguard communication with its clients. I have not received such an email. I have seen a couple of banners about transitioning to brokerage-style accounts. VG has only put an account transition link on 1 of my 2 MF-style accounts. May consider switching once they add an account transition link to the other account - doing Roth conversions and don't want mix of account types.
I converted my accounts 4 years ago. My wife’s accounts remain on the old platform. Vanguard has been notifying her to transition when we log on, but we only just a week ago got a letter in the mail about it.

OP, I’ve had a good experience with a brokerage style account. You do have to get used to a settlement fund, and you lose a couple of minor features (e.g. redirect dividends from one fund into another Vanguard fund) but overall it’s not a big deal to convert.
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Re: Is this Vanguard "transition" e-mail legit?

Post by tadamsmar »

Eagle33 wrote: Sat Nov 21, 2020 2:14 am VG has only put an account transition link on 1 of my 2 MF-style accounts. May consider switching once they add an account transition link to the other account - doing Roth conversions and don't want mix of account types.
If you go to the accounts overview page and you search for "transition" in the search box there then the first item will allow you to transition. At least, that is what happens on my wife's account.

They are being inconsistent, not sure why.
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Re: Is this Vanguard "transition" e-mail legit?

Post by 2cents2 »

I am wondering if they are getting more serious about this? I monitor a couple of vanguard accounts in addition to my own. I have one more account that has not transitioned to the new platform, but recently received a letter. I wonder if the transition process will knock off my POA access to the transitioned account? With Covid (and a couple of other logistical problems), it makes it more difficult to get notarization (and witnesses) if new POA has to be done for the new account, so I am not too keen to making changes right now.

For mine, I received the email to transition about a year ago and I did the transition. I am not too keen on the brokerage style account for the retirement account--I only have VTSAX and the settlement account adds another (unwanted) layer of complexity IMHO. But, other than that--no problems.

For DHs, we decided to roll his IRA account over to Fidelity. (That wasn't the only reason, but it did make the decision a little easier.)
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Re: Is this Vanguard "transition" e-mail legit?

Post by Soul.in.Progress »

One way to tell it’s legit is that it doesn’t tell you to “click the button or link below”, or “claim your million dollar prize by calling this <unrecognized> number”, use a fear tactic like, “ your PayPal account has been hacked“, nor indicates that you have “to respond within 24 hours.” It tells you to simply log onto vanguard.com and follow the instructions once you’re inside; it also calmly tells you why they’re doing this change and doesn’t make it urgent.
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Re: Is this Vanguard "transition" e-mail legit?

Post by lostdog »

retired@50 wrote: Fri Nov 20, 2020 9:45 pm I made the switch to brokerage accounts in all three of my Vanguard accounts. Roth, Rollover IRA and taxable. I've been happy with the switch and didn't have any issues.

Regards,
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Re: Is this Vanguard "transition" e-mail legit?

Post by nisiprius »

I don't remember if I got one, but I'm 99.9% sure it is, for reasons mentioned by others. All it asks you to do is to log into your Vanguard account. That ought to be safe. If seriously concerned, clear all cookies from your web browser, close web browser, do a virus scan, then log in. If very seriously concerned, create a brand new user account, switch to it, and log in from that account. If very very seriously concerned, do it from a different computer.
2cents2 wrote: Sat Nov 21, 2020 9:23 amI am wondering if they are getting more serious about this?
Yeah, I think so. I didn't try to disentangle it all but at least one of my household's accounts was transitioned automatically without our doing anything about it, as far as I know. I wouldn't care to swear in a court of law whether or not we were informed or given an option to opt out. [Added: Sycamore, below, thinks this is unlikely, so I'll just strike it out.]

My personal feeling is that it is inevitable that trying to stall the transition too long will, at some point, result in a really annoying nuisance. Once I decided they were serious about it, I shrugged and figured that it was better to have it happen at a time of my choosing when my financial life seems relatively calm. So far, I've experienced two nuisances: 1) they decided to change the day of the month of my automatic RMDs;* 2) they have canceled existing checkbook access to bond mutual fund accounts. I haven't used that checkbook in a very long time and I am dithering about whether to re-establish checkbook access in their new way.

One the one hand, I find it irritating that they did not make the new platform feature-equivalent with the old one before pushing hard on the transition.

On the other hand, all they are doing is making Vanguard work the same way as Fidelity and Schwab have "always" worked. Ten years ago people were regularly complaining in the forum about nuisances created by the mutual fund/brokerage separation. The specific complaint was that because, at that time, you could not hold a Vanguard mutual fund within your Vanguard brokerage account, you could not do a same-day sell-to-buy if you were selling a non-Vanguard fund in order to buy a Vanguard fund. The two accounts were linked, far from seamlessly, only at the settlement account. If you held, let's say, Pax World Balanced in your Vanguard brokerage, and decided to heck with ESG, let's swap it for Balanced Index, you couldn't just sell-to-buy PAXWX for VBINX. You had to sell PAXWX, wait few days for settlement for the proceeds to show up in the settlement account, then use the proceeds to buy VBINX. People complained, legitimately, that for this specific situation, Vanguard made it harder to buy Vanguard funds than other brokerages!

*Yes, I know we don't need to make them in 2020
Last edited by nisiprius on Sat Nov 21, 2020 12:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Is this Vanguard "transition" e-mail legit?

Post by sycamore »

nisiprius wrote: Sat Nov 21, 2020 10:01 am ... I didn't try to disentangle it all but at least one of my household's accounts was transitioned automatically without our doing anything about it, as far as I know. I wouldn't care to swear in a court of law whether or not we were informed or given an option to opt out.
...
It seems very, very unlikely that Vanguard transitioned an account without you doing anything about it. A brokerage account is not the same as a mutual fund account and there are various legal and practical differences that Vanguard is obligated to tell you about and for you to accept.

Not trying to nitpick here, but just want to point out that no one’s old-style mutual fund account should get automatically transitioned to a brokerage account. Vanguard should certainly have kept a record of day/time of when you accepted the agreement.
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Re: Is this Vanguard "transition" e-mail legit?

Post by abuss368 »

Cheez-It Guy wrote: Fri Nov 20, 2020 9:41 pm How can users of this site be so comically unaware after literally years of this?
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Re: Is this Vanguard "transition" e-mail legit?

Post by abuss368 »

windaar wrote: Fri Nov 20, 2020 7:47 am My wife got the following e-mail:

"Vanguard is working toward retiring its old investment platform, which is what you're using today. Please log on to vanguard.com and complete a 3-step transition to our new investment platform. It only takes a few minutes. We're working toward the retirement of our old investment platform, which supports accounts that only hold Vanguard mutual funds. We'll continue to support clients on this old platform until it's retired from use in 2022 or earlier. But know that some of the features you've used in the past may not be available as we make updates and changes in the future."

Does anyone know anything about this?
It is legit. After a long time of considering myself, we transitioned to: 1) brokerage platform, and then 2) moved to ETFs from mutual funds.

What pushed me over the top to make the decision was realizing “voting with my feet” would get me to the same place. Fidelity, Schwab, iShares, are all brokerage accounts. That and I am not leaving Vanguard.

We are happy with both decisions and have no regrets.

Best.
Tony
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Re: Is this Vanguard "transition" e-mail legit?

Post by abuss368 »

I also have family who have transitioned to Vanguard PAS service and honestly could not be happier.

Vanguard PAS requires both a brokerage account and ETFs.

I am now positioned if someday, when retired, I hire Vanguard PAS and be done with it.
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Re: Is this Vanguard "transition" e-mail legit?

Post by nisiprius »

sycamore wrote: Sat Nov 21, 2020 12:01 pm...It seems very, very unlikely that Vanguard transitioned an account without you doing anything about it. A brokerage account is not the same as a mutual fund account and there are various legal and practical differences that Vanguard is obligated to tell you about and for you to accept...
You're probably right, too much work to research or disentangle, so I struck out that part of my post. I have a vague recollection that this was an existing mutual fund account + brokerage account pair, so it wasn't necessary for them to create any new account.
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Re: Is this Vanguard "transition" e-mail legit?

Post by DavidC »

LuckyGuy wrote: Sat Nov 21, 2020 7:37 am I am a long time Vanguard client. I still have the mutual fund account and have not been contacted about changing. Hmmm.
I'm in a similar situation with a twist: I received a few emails years ago to transition and then they suddenly stopped. I'm not sure why either unless its because I use the Direct Deposit service to buy VTSAX (my understanding is the brokerage accounts accept direct deposits only to the settlement account).
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Re: Is this Vanguard "transition" e-mail legit?

Post by Scooter57 »

The difference is that the other sites have real brokerage interfaces. Vanguard's is pathetic. Like something designed for the web of 1997. You almost expect to see rainbow colored bars stretching across a beige full-width screen and a note in the corner that "This site looks better in Netscape."
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Re: Is this Vanguard "transition" e-mail legit?

Post by FactualFran »

nisiprius wrote: Sat Nov 21, 2020 1:02 pm You're probably right, too much work to research or disentangle, so I struck out that part of my post. I have a vague recollection that this was an existing mutual fund account + brokerage account pair, so it wasn't necessary for them to create any new account.
If the Vanguard Brokerage account was an "old style" one, then it would have been automatically converted to a "new style" one. If I remember correctly, the "new style" Vanguard Brokerage account was introduced in 2016. A Vanguard Brokerage account established before then would have been an "old style" one.
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Re: Is this Vanguard "transition" e-mail legit?

Post by dru808 »

LuckyGuy wrote: Sat Nov 21, 2020 7:37 am I am a long time Vanguard client. I still have the mutual fund account and have not been contacted about changing. Hmmm.
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Re: Is this Vanguard "transition" e-mail legit?

Post by dru808 »

Vanguard should start charging $100 for paper statements and only allow paper statements for mutual fund accounts.
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Re: Is this Vanguard "transition" e-mail legit?

Post by downshiftme »

Please log on to vanguard.com and complete a 3-step transition to our new investment platform. It only takes a few minutes.
I've gotten a lot of these communications over the years and finally decided a few months ago to make the transition. I don't know about the "only takes a few minutes" claim since my conversion took over 8 days. I was able to initiate the start of the process online in a few minutes, but there were numerous problems with having a "regular" mutual fund account and IRA accounts. The process would not finish as expected and my accounts were left in a locked but indeterminate state until I called a rep to assist. Doing everything the rep suggested it still took four phone calls on four separate days and an additional eight days elapsed time for the conversion to complete.

I guess I'm glad I got it done during a quiet time when I didn't need urgent access to my account. It would have been really frustrating to have my accounts locked or invisible during mid-transition if I had actually needed to access the money during this time. Now that the conversion is complete, everything operates about the same as it did before. I still don't understand why it's such a big deal to "convert" but I assume it must be a legal requirement more than a technical issue.
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Re: Is this Vanguard "transition" e-mail legit?

Post by abuss368 »

2cents2 wrote: Sat Nov 21, 2020 9:23 am I am wondering if they are getting more serious about this? I monitor a couple of vanguard accounts in addition to my own. I have one more account that has not transitioned to the new platform, but recently received a letter. I wonder if the transition process will knock off my POA access to the transitioned account? With Covid (and a couple of other logistical problems), it makes it more difficult to get notarization (and witnesses) if new POA has to be done for the new account, so I am not too keen to making changes right now.

For mine, I received the email to transition about a year ago and I did the transition. I am not too keen on the brokerage style account for the retirement account--I only have VTSAX and the settlement account adds another (unwanted) layer of complexity IMHO. But, other than that--no problems.

For DHs, we decided to roll his IRA account over to Fidelity. (That wasn't the only reason, but it did make the decision a little easier.)
I had to redo the agent authorization and my calls with Vanguard were unfortunately classic.

The good part was a medallion signature was no longer required but a notary instead.
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