25 account limit - Vanguard

Have a question about your personal investments? No matter how simple or complex, you can ask it here.
Post Reply
stlutz
Posts: 4024
Joined: Fri Jan 02, 2009 1:08 am

25 account limit - Vanguard

Post by stlutz » Wed Oct 13, 2010 12:26 am

Was converting my funds to admiral shares tonight and ran into a roadblock that I've now seen a few other complaints about on the internet--apparently Vanguard prohibts you from holding more than 25 funds across all of your accounts with them. This includes current and previous holdings. With a Roth, a Trad. IRA, and a taxable account, that doesn't leave you much room to do Admiral conversions if you're a slice-n-dicer.

If I've read the comments I've correctly, they have to create a completely new account for you (new login etc.). Before I called in the morning I thought I'd see if anyone has actually gotten a sensible resolution to this? The few postings I've seen indicate that the resolution they've provided hasn't been acceptable.
Last edited by stlutz on Wed Oct 13, 2010 1:13 am, edited 1 time in total.

GammaPoint
Posts: 2559
Joined: Sun Aug 02, 2009 10:25 am
Location: California

Post by GammaPoint » Wed Oct 13, 2010 12:52 am

Interesting. Never heard of this problem. Seems like a pretty silly rule, considering they already have minimums for the mutual funds.

User avatar
simba
Posts: 540
Joined: Mon Feb 19, 2007 7:47 pm

Post by simba » Wed Oct 13, 2010 1:37 am

Wow. More than 25 funds.
How do you keep up with the re-balancing? Are they mostly static with no additional contributions going in?

Is the limitation only if you convert them yourself? I believe VG would do the automatic conversion on 10/24. Is the issue pertinent only if you are trying to convert prior to 10/24?

stlutz
Posts: 4024
Joined: Fri Jan 02, 2009 1:08 am

Post by stlutz » Wed Oct 13, 2010 2:07 am

I don't actually hold anywhere close to 25 funds. It's if you've held a combined total of 25 funds across all of your accounts now or in the past. So, if you hold 4 funds that you convert to Admiral, that's 8 funds. If you have Total Market Index in an individual account, a rollover IRA, and a Roth IRA and you convert all 3 to admiral, that's 6 funds even though you are just talking about your large cap core allocation. With overlapping holdings, a rather simple allocation plan adds up to a lot of holdings in Vanguard's view.

Thanks for the heads up that they are doing automatic conversions on the 24th. Maybe I'll just wait a couple of weeks and see what they do with my 1 remaining holding.

User avatar
Kevin M
Posts: 8879
Joined: Mon Jun 29, 2009 3:24 pm
Contact:

Post by Kevin M » Wed Oct 13, 2010 2:10 am

Had this problem. They created a second account and moved funds with zero balances into it, then I was able to complete admiral conversions. Same login and account numbers, just another account name.

User avatar
bettykayWAAZ
Posts: 128
Joined: Fri Jan 16, 2009 12:26 pm

Post by bettykayWAAZ » Wed Oct 13, 2010 2:12 am

I had two funds in my Roth IRA to convert to Admiral shares. I could not do it online because of the fund limit. I already had a Roth IRA-1 and Roth IRA-2 from when I hit the limit last year. When I called to have them converted, they didn't do it immediately, but it was done that day. They created Roth IRA-3 and Roth IRA-4 for my two Admiral funds. Same login, just more accounts listed. The next day I called and asked if these could be consolidated into my Roth IRA-2 account. They said it would take a few days. However the next day, the admiral funds were in my Roth IRA-1. Total number of funds 13 (7 with zero balance). The single fund that was in my Roth IRA-2 is still there. The Roth IRA-3 and Roth IRA-4 are now gone.

So they can make it easy for you, you just have to ask. I'm going to call again tomorrow and ask if the Roth IRA-2 can be moved to Roth IRA-1. It has less than 25 funds. Seems like I was told the fund limit was 15 a year ago.

Note: most funds have 0 balance, so when I don't display them my screen isn't too complicated. It took me a while to become a Boglehead, so I tried a lot of different fund before I settled into the 15 I have now. Still too many, I know, but a lot fewer than I had when I discovered this site. Thanks.

User avatar
celia
Posts: 7161
Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2008 6:32 am
Location: SoCal

Post by celia » Wed Oct 13, 2010 3:06 am

simba wrote:I believe VG would do the automatic conversion on 10/24. Is the issue pertinent only if you are trying to convert prior to 10/24?

This is scary, with their history of "losing" accounts and such. I better go print out my balances for the 25 accounts our family has. :D

edge
Posts: 3253
Joined: Mon Feb 19, 2007 7:44 pm
Location: Great Falls VA

Post by edge » Wed Oct 13, 2010 5:21 am

This sounds like a ridiculous technical limitation from 1991.

User avatar
SpringMan
Posts: 5310
Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2007 11:32 am
Location: Michigan

Post by SpringMan » Wed Oct 13, 2010 6:27 am

I believe the limit of 25 funds applies to a given account, not all your Vanguard accounts combined, for example, a tIRA. Someone asked how do you rebalance 25 funds? You may have all your current money in one fund but if you owned a fund in the past it counts toward the 25. The work around is to call Vanguard and they will create a new account and copy the current funds. ETFs and funds held at VBS do not count in the 25 maximum. To see how many funds you currently have associated, they are displayed when you select Create a Preferred Account View under Accounts and Activities. These are also the available preset list when exchanging funds, without needing to use the New Fund option. As mentioned, Admiral shares count again when you have had Investor shares.
Best Wishes, SpringMan

User avatar
kcyahoo
Posts: 430
Joined: Mon Feb 19, 2007 9:59 pm
Location: Venice, FL

Post by kcyahoo » Wed Oct 13, 2010 10:10 am

Kevin M wrote:Had this problem. They created a second account and moved funds with zero balances into it, then I was able to complete admiral conversions. Same login and account numbers, just another account name.


This is the solution. Give them a call.
Retired @ 57, now 75 | was 50/45/5, then 42/54/04, now 35/60/5 | KC

User avatar
bettykayWAAZ
Posts: 128
Joined: Fri Jan 16, 2009 12:26 pm

Post by bettykayWAAZ » Wed Oct 13, 2010 12:08 pm

I called Vanguard this morning about my accounts. I don't know why I had both a Roth IRA-1 and Roth IRA-2 account, even after the rep explained it. The rep also explained something about back-end accounts that I didn't understand. He apologized that he couldn't get all my funds appear in Roth IRA-1, but he could move all of them into Roth IRA-2. That is fine with me. I want all my roth funds in one account, I don't care what it is called or how Vanguard sees it from the back-end.

So I don't know how the silliness with the multiple accounts happened or why, but Vanguard has now agreed to change them. I'm happy.

Solution was to call Vanguard and ask.

Default User BR
Posts: 7501
Joined: Mon Dec 17, 2007 7:32 pm

Post by Default User BR » Wed Oct 13, 2010 12:40 pm

simba wrote:Wow. More than 25 funds.
How do you keep up with the re-balancing? Are they mostly static with no additional contributions going in?

That is quite a few. I have 15-17 stock funds/ETFs (depending on whether you count one held in different accounts as one or two) and three fixed income funds. A lot of that has to do with the 401(k) having unique selections. Tracking and rebalancing is no trouble, the spreadsheet takes care of that. I just need to update its data sheets and it totals everything and does a 5/25 analysis, with the deltas for each asset class and subclass.



Brian

RobG
Posts: 1216
Joined: Wed Feb 28, 2007 12:59 am
Location: Bozeman, MT

Post by RobG » Wed Oct 13, 2010 1:28 pm

I wonder if you opened a brokerage account and bought ETFs if you'd still be limited to 25.

User avatar
SpringMan
Posts: 5310
Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2007 11:32 am
Location: Michigan

Post by SpringMan » Wed Oct 13, 2010 1:41 pm

RobG wrote:I wonder if you opened a brokerage account and bought ETFs if you'd still be limited to 25.

No, it does not apply to VBS.
Best Wishes, SpringMan

User avatar
Kevin M
Posts: 8879
Joined: Mon Jun 29, 2009 3:24 pm
Contact:

Post by Kevin M » Wed Oct 13, 2010 3:25 pm

SpringMan wrote:I believe the limit of 25 funds applies to a given account, not all your Vanguard accounts combined, for example, a tIRA.


This is correct (as is everything else in SpringMan's post). I was able to convert a few funds to admiral until I hit the 25 limit (including old funds with 0 balances and newly created admiral funds with 0 balances) in my trust account. I have quite a few other funds in a couple of IRA accounts (again, including funds with 0 balance), and that didn't prevent the conversions in my trust account until I hit the 25 limit in the trust account.

Kevin M

User avatar
Kevin M
Posts: 8879
Joined: Mon Jun 29, 2009 3:24 pm
Contact:

Post by Kevin M » Wed Oct 13, 2010 3:34 pm

celia wrote:
simba wrote:I believe VG would do the automatic conversion on 10/24. Is the issue pertinent only if you are trying to convert prior to 10/24?

This is scary, with their history of "losing" accounts and such. I better go print out my balances for the 25 accounts our family has. :D


After VG created the new "account" and moved the 0 balance funds into it, I couldn't see it (temporarily "lost"). Didn't care about balances (since all 0), but did care about transaction history visibility. Called VG and they fixed it, so I now see "... Trust 1" and "... Trust 2". As mentioned previously, fund/account numbers don't change, so for example, if you download balances and transactions, it looks exactly the same.

Kevin M

User avatar
Taylor Larimore
Advisory Board
Posts: 26222
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 8:09 pm
Location: Miami FL

25-plus funds ?

Post by Taylor Larimore » Wed Oct 13, 2010 4:07 pm

Apparently Vanguard prohibts you from holding more than 25 funds across all of your accounts with them
.

Any individual or couple with 25 funds should consolidate to fewer funds:

"If over the past 10 or 20 years, you had simply held a portfolio consisting of one quarter each of indexes of large U.S. stocks; small U.S. stocks; foreign stocks; and high quality U.S. bonds, you would have beaten over 90% of all professional money managers and with considerably less risk." -- Wm. Bernstein


"It does not take much to outperform the average investor. All you have to do is put half your money in the Vanguard Total Stock Market and the other half in an intermediate-term bond index fund."

"The overarching rule for achieving financial security: Keep it simple."


"If you have more than eight funds you should slap yourself." -- John Markese, CEO of American Association of Individual Investors


"How may funds should you have? Four to six should do." -- John Rekenthaler, Morningstar Research Director
"Simplicity is the master key to financial success." -- Jack Bogle

User avatar
dratkinson
Posts: 4003
Joined: Thu Jul 26, 2007 6:23 pm
Location: Centennial CO

Post by dratkinson » Wed Oct 13, 2010 4:37 pm

Had same problem---more than 25 funds under one account---resulting in Vanguard establishing another account (taxable) for me.

All accounts (2 taxable, 1 Roth) were visible under the same login. Was an annoyance printing the extra account to get my holding. Was an annoyance receiving the extra mailing to receive my statements.

A year (?) later, after I'd simplified my holding, CRS said they could clean up everything by deleting zero-balance funds and moving active funds into original account, deleting new account.

Phew! Simplicity. Finally.

Agree this is (another) Vanguard-induced client problem.

User avatar
Scott S
Posts: 1388
Joined: Mon Nov 24, 2008 3:28 am
Location: SW CR IA US NA PE

Post by Scott S » Wed Oct 13, 2010 6:29 pm

I've changed my mind on a couple of funds since opening my VG account -- this is good to know.

- Scott
My Plan: * Age-10 in bonds until I reach age 60, 50/50 thereafter. * Equity split: 50/50 US/Int'l, Bond split: 50/50 TBM/TIPS. * Everything over 2 months' expenses gets invested.

User avatar
Kevin M
Posts: 8879
Joined: Mon Jun 29, 2009 3:24 pm
Contact:

Re: 25-plus funds ?

Post by Kevin M » Wed Oct 13, 2010 7:06 pm

Taylor Larimore wrote:
Any individual or couple with 25 funds should consolidate to fewer funds:

"If over the past 10 or 20 years, you had simply held a portfolio consisting of one quarter each of indexes of large U.S. stocks; small U.S. stocks; foreign stocks; and high quality U.S. bonds, you would have beaten over 90% of all professional money managers and with considerably less risk." -- Wm. Bernstein



"Can this portfolio be improved upon? Probably, but not without more investor effort, and not without some risk of actually making things worse. Still, many investors, including myself, believe that this is worth the work. --Wm. Bernstein, The Investor's Manifesto, p.89"


Bernstein later goes on to show a sample portfolio (for In-Between Ida) that includes no less than 13 funds!

Throw in some tax-loss harvesting, conversion to admiral shares, improving the portfolio as you learn more, and you end up with 25 funds (remembering that funds you held previously and that now have $0 in them are still counted toward the 25 limit).

User avatar
rustymutt
Posts: 3657
Joined: Sat Mar 07, 2009 12:03 pm
Location: Oklahoma

Re: 25 account limit - Vanguard

Post by rustymutt » Wed Oct 13, 2010 7:20 pm

stlutz wrote:Was converting my funds to admiral shares tonight and ran into a roadblock that I've now seen a few other complaints about on the internet--apparently Vanguard prohibts you from holding more than 25 funds across all of your accounts with them. This includes current and previous holdings. With a Roth, a Trad. IRA, and a taxable account, that doesn't leave you much room to do Admiral conversions if you're a slice-n-dicer.

If I've read the comments I've correctly, they have to create a completely new account for you (new login etc.). Before I called in the morning I thought I'd see if anyone has actually gotten a sensible resolution to this? The few postings I've seen indicate that the resolution they've provided hasn't been acceptable.


Are you sure that's it's not more than 15 funds (not ETF's or VBS) per account. I know of this issue. They set up a second account for me and put my newly purchased funds into it. I was upset with this because I had to set up a separate account in Quicken to track track it. This was 3 years ago and they never did fix as I know, but I complained enough that they got me squared away to where I'm at least happy with it.
Knowledge is knowing that the Tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is knowing better than to put the tomato in a fruit salad.

User avatar
Kevin M
Posts: 8879
Joined: Mon Jun 29, 2009 3:24 pm
Contact:

Post by Kevin M » Wed Oct 13, 2010 7:28 pm

There seems to be some time limit after which VG drops the funds with $0 balance. I have funds still showing up (and counting toward the 25 limit) that have been at $0 for over a year, but some that I emptied in 2007 no longer show up.

User avatar
Kevin M
Posts: 8879
Joined: Mon Jun 29, 2009 3:24 pm
Contact:

Re: 25 account limit - Vanguard

Post by Kevin M » Wed Oct 13, 2010 7:31 pm

rustymutt wrote:Are you sure that's it's not more than 15 funds (not ETF's or VBS) per account.


Maybe it was 15 in the past, but it definitely was 25 for me a few days ago; mutual funds only, not including VBS holdings, which I do have.

digit8
Posts: 582
Joined: Mon Jul 14, 2008 5:26 pm

Post by digit8 » Wed Oct 13, 2010 8:10 pm

I suppose I'll have to see about getting my zero balances removed(23 out of 25, due to pre-Bogleheadism)....I've heard they tend to self-delete after a year or two, but might as well go all-Admiral sooner than later.

User avatar
Abciximab
Posts: 76
Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2007 7:53 pm
Location: Phoenix

Post by Abciximab » Wed Oct 13, 2010 9:04 pm

I had the same issue with being over the 25 fund limit. I tried live chat on the website, but was told I needed to call. So I spoke with a rep for less than five minutes, and it's all done. He did say it would be split into IRA1 and IRA2 on the website, but confirmed everything was still the same as far exchanges between funds for rebalancing.
An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest - Benjamin Franklin

EyeDee
Posts: 1229
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 12:15 am

Clean up

Post by EyeDee » Wed Oct 13, 2010 11:02 pm

Kevin M wrote:There seems to be some time limit after which VG drops the funds with $0 balance. I have funds still showing up (and counting toward the 25 limit) that have been at $0 for over a year, but some that I emptied in 2007 no longer show up.
.
I was told that the funds that have been at $0 for over a year are purged every November. So if Vanguard does not change things, the funds at $0 for over a year should go away this November. The ones people are emptying now by converting to Admiral shares this October should go away next November.

Although, with all the Admiral conversion happening now, they might be thinking about doing the ones created by Admiral conversions this November considering the timing of the Admiral changes.
Randy

User avatar
aainvestor
Posts: 512
Joined: Fri Mar 02, 2007 2:12 pm
Location: Northern Virginia

Re: 25-plus funds ?

Post by aainvestor » Wed Oct 13, 2010 11:37 pm

Taylor Larimore wrote:
"If you have more than eight funds you should slap yourself." -- John Markese, CEO of American Association of Individual Investors


*Slap* "Ouch". Well when I first did my rollover, I have no Idea how I picked the initial funds on the list, but I ended up with almost all domestic growth funds and no bonds. Once the rollover was into a more balanced set of funds but I am sure I will hit the limit when I try to convert.

stlutz
Posts: 4024
Joined: Fri Jan 02, 2009 1:08 am

Post by stlutz » Thu Oct 14, 2010 10:21 pm

Interestingly, after waiting a couple of days, I went back online tonight and was able to convert the fund it was blocking me from doing the other night. No call required. :)

VennData
Posts: 570
Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 5:52 pm

Post by VennData » Fri Oct 15, 2010 10:15 pm

Just another reason to buy ETFs

Nowizard
Posts: 1212
Joined: Tue Oct 23, 2007 5:33 pm

Wow!

Post by Nowizard » Sat Oct 16, 2010 10:19 pm

If that means 25 over the lifetime of investing with Vanguard, that is pretty silly. It would be time to move everything to another fund company for me, being someone who dislikes arbitrary authority imposed. It's not like Vanguard is the only company out there with solid funds.

Tim

blevine
Posts: 1703
Joined: Sat Feb 27, 2010 3:57 pm
Location: Paradise

9 year transaction history available online

Post by blevine » Sat Oct 16, 2010 10:25 pm

So how can they provide that unless they keep zero balance accts
for 9 years ?

I can see an acct online that was converted to Admiral 6 years ago,
and still see all transactions on that acct.

I think they eventually go away, but probably not until after 9 years.

digit8
Posts: 582
Joined: Mon Jul 14, 2008 5:26 pm

Re: Clean up

Post by digit8 » Sat Oct 16, 2010 11:21 pm

EyeDee wrote:
Kevin M wrote:There seems to be some time limit after which VG drops the funds with $0 balance. I have funds still showing up (and counting toward the 25 limit) that have been at $0 for over a year, but some that I emptied in 2007 no longer show up.
.
I was told that the funds that have been at $0 for over a year are purged every November. So if Vanguard does not change things, the funds at $0 for over a year should go away this November. The ones people are emptying now by converting to Admiral shares this October should go away next November....


Still a few bugs in the system, though......I've some that have been at zero since early 2008 still on.

dim tempsey
Posts: 7
Joined: Sun Jul 01, 2007 2:23 pm

Jack's new book -- citation for Taylor

Post by dim tempsey » Sun Oct 17, 2010 1:24 am

Hello there Taylor: Hi! Howdie & shalom.

On page 561 of Jack Bogle's new book, "Don't Count on It" -- Jack singles you out for special praise & admiration in a tribute to the Original Boglehead, our dear friend Taylor.

Quite rightly.

All the best,

-- ol' dim, VanGuard STAR old boy
Lake Titicaca, Pa.

User avatar
Taylor Larimore
Advisory Board
Posts: 26222
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 8:09 pm
Location: Miami FL

Page 561

Post by Taylor Larimore » Sun Oct 17, 2010 7:10 am

Hi dim:

Thank you for your third post. That's very special.

Jack sent me a copy of his new book with a message to read page 561. It is indeed, a great honor to be mentioned by Jack in this wonderful book, Don't Count On It.

I hope you are well and happy. I will never forget sitting next to you in the auditorium listening to Jack give the Keynote Speech at the financial convention in Miami in March 2000 at the peak of the bull market.

I'm glad we listened to Jack's warning. The S&P (excluding dividends) is still below that date.

Love to you and your family.
"Simplicity is the master key to financial success." -- Jack Bogle

Post Reply