Vanguard in the WSJ today

Discuss all general (i.e. non-personal) investing questions and issues, investing news, and theory.
BigMoneyNoWhammies
Posts: 95
Joined: Tue Jul 11, 2017 11:58 am

Vanguard in the WSJ today

Post by BigMoneyNoWhammies » Thu Mar 29, 2018 9:32 am

Just an fyi for those who do not get the Wall Street Journal, they did an article regarding Vanguard's recent problems with customer service and technical glitches, and also specifically mention this forum. The link below should allow those without a subscription to read the article:

http://archive.is/PAdES

User avatar
bengal22
Posts: 1409
Joined: Sat Dec 03, 2011 6:20 pm
Location: Ohio

Re: Vanguard in the WSJ today

Post by bengal22 » Thu Mar 29, 2018 9:56 am

Error 503 Service Unavailable

I couldn't read it. Often we blame Vanguard's issues on growing too fast. Well it really does not take long to reach a human being when you call them. They are just woefully undertrained and are widely inconsistent on skill level. Even when I remind them of their ownership structure and that I am considered an owner they still seem not so helpful. But that is OK. 99% of the stuff I can do on my own and I do like their fund selection. So I just bear with their service issues and hope that eventually they train their people.
"Earn All You Can; Give All You Can; Save All You Can." .... John Wesley

UpperNwGuy
Posts: 714
Joined: Sun Oct 08, 2017 7:16 pm
Location: Washington DC

Re: Vanguard in the WSJ today

Post by UpperNwGuy » Thu Mar 29, 2018 10:16 am

For those of us who can't open the link, can you give us a quick summary of the article's main points? Did the author contact Vanguard for a response, and if so, what did Vanguard say?

drk
Posts: 697
Joined: Mon Jul 24, 2017 10:33 pm
Location: Seattle

Re: Vanguard in the WSJ today

Post by drk » Thu Mar 29, 2018 10:19 am

BigMoneyNoWhammies wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 9:32 am
Just an fyi for those who do not get the Wall Street Journal, they did an article regarding Vanguard's recent problems with customer service and technical glitches, and also specifically mention this forum. The link below should allow those without a subscription to read the article:

http://archive.is/PAdES
Here's the actual WSJ article.

drk
Posts: 697
Joined: Mon Jul 24, 2017 10:33 pm
Location: Seattle

Re: Vanguard in the WSJ today

Post by drk » Thu Mar 29, 2018 10:23 am

UpperNwGuy wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 10:16 am
For those of us who can't open the link, can you give us a quick summary of the article's main points? Did the author contact Vanguard for a response, and if so, what did Vanguard say?
WSJ wrote: A company spokesman said “these are periodic systems issues unrelated to our growth.” He added that “Vanguard is increasingly focused on investing in the people and technology to serve our clients more effectively and efficiently, protect investor assets, and enhance fund performance.”

DesertDiva
Posts: 145
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2018 12:49 pm

Re: Vanguard in the WSJ today

Post by DesertDiva » Thu Mar 29, 2018 11:06 am

Thanks for sharing. I was considering moving my ira from Vanguard to Fidelity. Now I have to wonder if they will mangle the transaction... :shock:

psteinx
Posts: 2844
Joined: Tue Mar 13, 2007 2:24 pm

Re: Vanguard in the WSJ today

Post by psteinx » Thu Mar 29, 2018 11:14 am

Was this the Thursday WSJ? What section and page? I scoured the paper for the article but couldn't find it. I wonder if I get a truncated version of the WSJ or if it ran Wednesday here or something. I'm in St. Louis (County), and it is a 4 star edition...
Last edited by psteinx on Thu Mar 29, 2018 11:40 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
triceratop
Moderator
Posts: 5469
Joined: Tue Aug 04, 2015 8:20 pm
Location: la la land

Re: Vanguard in the WSJ today

Post by triceratop » Thu Mar 29, 2018 11:17 am

All news is good news? :twisted:

Thanks for the link. Yet another account of why I hold my Vanguard ETFs far away from Vanguard’s brokerage.
"To play the stock market is to play musical chairs under the chord progression of a bid-ask spread."

User avatar
Taylor Larimore
Advisory Board
Posts: 27211
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 8:09 pm
Location: Miami FL

Re: Vanguard in the WSJ today

Post by Taylor Larimore » Thu Mar 29, 2018 11:25 am

psteinx wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 11:14 am
Was this the Thursday WSJ? What section and page? I scoured the paper for the article but couldn't find it. I wonder if I get a truncated version of the WSJ or if it ran Wednesday here or something. I'm in St. Louis, and it is a 4 star edition...

[Edited...]
I am also unable to find the story in my Miami WSJ dated Thursday, March 29.

I tried the links provided but they did not work.

What page?

Thank you and best wishes.
Taylor
"Simplicity is the master key to financial success." -- Jack Bogle

delamer
Posts: 5485
Joined: Tue Feb 08, 2011 6:13 pm

Re: Vanguard in the WSJ today

Post by delamer » Thu Mar 29, 2018 11:29 am

The link in the initial post worked for me (using Safari).

SlowMovingInvestor
Posts: 751
Joined: Sun Sep 11, 2016 11:27 am

Re: Vanguard in the WSJ today

Post by SlowMovingInvestor » Thu Mar 29, 2018 11:30 am

The article also mentions complaints on this forum :)

wolf359
Posts: 1307
Joined: Sun Mar 15, 2015 8:47 am

Re: Vanguard in the WSJ today

Post by wolf359 » Thu Mar 29, 2018 11:39 am

SlowMovingInvestor wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 11:30 am
The article also mentions complaints on this forum :)
TIL: The Wall Street Journal reads Bogleheads!

rjbraun
Posts: 1216
Joined: Sun Sep 09, 2012 8:22 pm

Re: Vanguard in the WSJ today

Post by rjbraun » Thu Mar 29, 2018 11:53 am

Taylor Larimore wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 11:25 am
psteinx wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 11:14 am
Was this the Thursday WSJ? What section and page? I scoured the paper for the article but couldn't find it. I wonder if I get a truncated version of the WSJ or if it ran Wednesday here or something. I'm in St. Louis, and it is a 4 star edition...

[Edited...]
I am also unable to find the story in my Miami WSJ dated Thursday, March 29.

I tried the links provided but they did not work.

What page?

Thank you and best wishes.
Taylor
Taylor,

I see the article online with a time stamp of 3/29, 8:00 a.m. ET. Not sure, but on the face of things that would suggest that perhaps the article only was released this morning and therefore won't make the print edition until tomorrow, I don't know. Online the article appears in the Markets section, so presumably that is where it should appear in the print edition (or under "Business & Finance"). I also used some online function to try to search for articles in today's US print edition but was unable to locate the Vanguard article in question.

Perhaps someone else will have better luck finding it (or maybe it won't hit the print edition until tomorrow?)

Hope you are having a nice day there in Miami 8-)

mortfree
Posts: 1129
Joined: Mon Sep 12, 2016 7:06 pm

Re: Vanguard in the WSJ today

Post by mortfree » Thu Mar 29, 2018 12:01 pm

conspiracy to drag down vanguard and shift business away from them???

I didn’t read the article since the links didn’t seem to work for certain people.

Also poking fun at the Amazon comment from the other day.
Last edited by mortfree on Fri Mar 30, 2018 3:52 am, edited 1 time in total.

rjbraun
Posts: 1216
Joined: Sun Sep 09, 2012 8:22 pm

Re: Vanguard in the WSJ today

Post by rjbraun » Thu Mar 29, 2018 12:02 pm

overst33r:

I don't think that's today's article, which is entitled "Is Vanguard’s Success a Problem? Some Customers Think So". The article you show is different and seems to have been published earlier this year, on January 28.

I would think for copyright reasons I am not supposed to "cut and paste" today's article on the forum -- ?

Berkeley
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat Dec 07, 2013 4:40 pm

Re: Vanguard in the WSJ today

Post by Berkeley » Thu Mar 29, 2018 12:40 pm

The problem with these types of articles is that there is no data (e.g. frequency) to determine how widespread the problems are. I don't put much weight in articles based on social media information? Satisfied customers don't post how happy they are but unsatisfied customers do post when something goes wrong so the data is likely skewed to the negative.

There are probably issues due to lack of training and/or system malfunctions but they likely occur with Schwab, Fidelity, as well. I have recently had active accounts with all three and for a total of about 25 years and have found Vanguard's customer service comparable to the others.

Zoomer
Posts: 23
Joined: Thu Jul 21, 2011 8:00 pm

Re: Vanguard in the WSJ today

Post by Zoomer » Thu Mar 29, 2018 12:45 pm

There is data based on a "Average sentiment score". It shows Vanguard lower in 4Q '17 onwards, and Schwad/Fidelity higher from that point.
Issues flagged by Vanguard customers include incorrect cost basis information—what investors paid for shares in a fund—shown on their accounts, and problems with required minimum distributions for retirees, incorrect account balances displayed online, long customer service wait times and login troubles. Some of the problems identified by customers have the potential to trigger tax consequences for investors.
Earlier this week, a new technical problem surfaced at Vanguard that had not occurred before: some customers who made new investments received e-mails erroneously informing them that there were insufficient funds in their relevant settlement accounts.
These are some of the examples given. Agreed - not much data. However, I wouldn't discount it just because of that.

User avatar
saltycaper
Posts: 2650
Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2014 8:47 pm
Location: The Tower

Re: Vanguard in the WSJ today

Post by saltycaper » Thu Mar 29, 2018 1:00 pm

I do not have a WSJ subscription, but I was still able to read the article on wsj.com:

Is Vanguard’s Success a Problem? Some Customers Think So
Quod vitae sectabor iter?

User avatar
triceratop
Moderator
Posts: 5469
Joined: Tue Aug 04, 2015 8:20 pm
Location: la la land

Re: Vanguard in the WSJ today

Post by triceratop » Thu Mar 29, 2018 1:10 pm

Zoomer wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 12:45 pm
There is data based on a "Average sentiment score". It shows Vanguard lower in 4Q '17 onwards, and Schwad/Fidelity higher from that point.
Issues flagged by Vanguard customers include incorrect cost basis information—what investors paid for shares in a fund—shown on their accounts, and problems with required minimum distributions for retirees, incorrect account balances displayed online, long customer service wait times and login troubles. Some of the problems identified by customers have the potential to trigger tax consequences for investors.
Earlier this week, a new technical problem surfaced at Vanguard that had not occurred before: some customers who made new investments received e-mails erroneously informing them that there were insufficient funds in their relevant settlement accounts.
These are some of the examples given. Agreed - not much data. However, I wouldn't discount it just because of that.
Much data in the form of anecdotal frustrations can be found on bogleheads.org as well.
"To play the stock market is to play musical chairs under the chord progression of a bid-ask spread."

User avatar
Munir
Posts: 2436
Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 4:39 pm
Location: Oregon

Re: Vanguard in the WSJ today

Post by Munir » Thu Mar 29, 2018 2:01 pm

Many,if not most, of the comments at the end of the article praise Vanguard and consider the number of complaints relative to the total number of Vanguard clients and the total amount of $ Vanguard holds all to be minimal. Tempest in a teacup.
The article has been on the front page of today's WSJ digital edition.

johan851
Posts: 109
Joined: Sun Apr 17, 2011 12:59 pm

Re: Vanguard in the WSJ today

Post by johan851 » Thu Mar 29, 2018 2:08 pm

A few short quotes to summarize for those who can't access the article.
Over the past year some of these customers have complained via Twitter , investment discussion forums and interviews with The Wall Street Journal of technical problems, administrative foibles and service across Vanguard’s brokerage and retirement businesses...Some of these complaints were aired on bogleheads.org...
Over the past year, sentiment expressed about Vanguard on Twitter has been less favorable than opinions about rival brokerage firms... according to Social Market Analytics, Inc.
Issues flagged by Vanguard customers include incorrect cost basis information—what investors paid for shares in a fund—shown on their accounts, and problems with required minimum distributions for retirees, incorrect account balances displayed online, long customer service wait times and login troubles. Some of the problems identified by customers have the potential to trigger tax consequences for investors.
A company spokesman said “these are periodic systems issues unrelated to our growth.”
New Chief Executive Mortimer J. “Tim” Buckley, who took on the top job earlier this year, said in an interview at the time that Vanguard has invested to improve its customer service. His predecessor F. William McNabb III said in November that Vanguard had added 1,200 customer-service employees to a 5,000-person team. The firm’s processing backlog and wait times had improved, Mr. McNabb said at the time.
Most of the rest of the content is filler and a couple of anecdotes from specific customers.

johan851
Posts: 109
Joined: Sun Apr 17, 2011 12:59 pm

Re: Vanguard in the WSJ today

Post by johan851 » Thu Mar 29, 2018 2:11 pm

I'm glad this is getting a bit of attention, because I've found my cost basis issue to be pretty annoying. I can't transact on my holdings in my taxable account because the cause basis is wrong. I can't make my scheduled investments, I can't tax loss harvest, I can't donate appreciated shares. I'm going to be locked out for a whole month. That's a pretty big deal.

That said, I do think Vanguard has terrific funds and they've been fine for me in the past. I just put $120K into VG's municipal money market yesterday, it's not like I'm going to stop doing business with them. But I am going to move my ETFs in taxable over to Fidelity.

I don't like the spokesperson saying that these are "periodic issues", as if this is standard operating procedure. Trust me, I know software is hard, but a brokerage really has to get this stuff right. Hopefully these really are related to growth and they'll have them ironed out soon.

drg02b
Posts: 103
Joined: Fri Dec 18, 2015 2:08 pm

Re: Vanguard in the WSJ today

Post by drg02b » Thu Mar 29, 2018 3:30 pm

johan851 wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 2:11 pm
I don't like the spokesperson saying that these are "periodic issues", as if this is standard operating procedure.
Maybe, they should have gone with "irregular, non periodic issues"...

User avatar
iceport
Posts: 3889
Joined: Sat Apr 07, 2007 4:29 pm

Re: Vanguard in the WSJ today

Post by iceport » Thu Mar 29, 2018 4:05 pm

mortfree wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 12:01 pm
conspiracy to drag down vanguard and shift business away from them???
That's a strange reaction. From my perspective, the article was fair and balanced, and the WSJ is performing precisely the role it should to inform the public. To me, this is a newsworthy event. Not only should investors be able to make informed decisions, but day-lighting the issues should, hopefully, force Vanguard's hand to address their shortcomings.
johan851 wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 2:08 pm
Most of the rest of the content is filler and a couple of anecdotes from specific customers.
Yes, but some of those anecdotes describe egregious errors. The consequences of these errors seem harsh enough that even a small percentage of them should be considered unacceptable.

Full disclosure: I hold most of my investments at Vanguard. I have not personally experienced any problems in just about exactly 13 years now. But in the hope of keeping it that way, I'm rooting for Vanguard to improve.
"Discipline matters more than allocation.” ─William Bernstein

johan851
Posts: 109
Joined: Sun Apr 17, 2011 12:59 pm

Re: Vanguard in the WSJ today

Post by johan851 » Thu Mar 29, 2018 4:26 pm

johan851 wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 2:08 pm
Most of the rest of the content is filler and a couple of anecdotes from specific customers.
Yes, but some of those anecdotes describe egregious errors. The consequences of these errors seem harsh enough that even a small percentage of them should be considered unacceptable.

Full disclosure: I hold most of my investments at Vanguard. I have not personally experienced any problems in just about exactly 13 years now. But in the hope of keeping it that way, I'm rooting for Vanguard to improve.
Agree, I'm not saying they're insubstantial. Filler AND anecdotes. :happy I just couldn't include them without pasting the entire article.
Last edited by johan851 on Thu Mar 29, 2018 4:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
willthrill81
Posts: 5026
Joined: Thu Jan 26, 2017 3:17 pm
Location: USA

Re: Vanguard in the WSJ today

Post by willthrill81 » Thu Mar 29, 2018 4:30 pm

DesertDiva wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 11:06 am
Thanks for sharing. I was considering moving my ira from Vanguard to Fidelity. Now I have to wonder if they will mangle the transaction... :shock:
I just did a rollover of a 401k with TIAA to an IRA with Vanguard, and the process was easy and fast.
“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.” J.R.R. Tolkien,The Lord of the Rings

User avatar
iceport
Posts: 3889
Joined: Sat Apr 07, 2007 4:29 pm

Re: Vanguard in the WSJ today

Post by iceport » Thu Mar 29, 2018 4:47 pm

willthrill81 wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 4:30 pm
DesertDiva wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 11:06 am
Thanks for sharing. I was considering moving my ira from Vanguard to Fidelity. Now I have to wonder if they will mangle the transaction... :shock:
I just did a rollover of a 401k with TIAA to an IRA with Vanguard, and the process was easy and fast.
Same here, with a rollover from a 457b to a tIRA at Vanguard. It was easy and timely, with no apparent accounting errors.
"Discipline matters more than allocation.” ─William Bernstein

freetz
Posts: 15
Joined: Thu Apr 06, 2017 4:42 am

WSJ Article on Vanguard's Customer Service and Technical Issues

Post by freetz » Thu Mar 29, 2018 8:26 pm

[merged into existing thread - moderator prudent]

Hi All,

I haven't seen this article posted by anybody else and thought this would be of an interest to some of us.
Bogleheads is mentioned in this piece.

This was published earlier today.


https://www.wsj.com/articles/is-vanguar ... ding_now_3

User avatar
cfs
Posts: 4154
Joined: Fri Feb 23, 2007 1:22 am
Location: ~ Mi Propio Camino ~

Re: Vanguard in the WSJ today

Post by cfs » Thu Mar 29, 2018 8:54 pm

I have no problems with Vanguard, I do all my business online, when the system is down I just go back to do my business and come back to the website later . . . life is good. Muchas gracias por leer
~ Member of the Active Retired Force since 2014 ~

User avatar
dwickenh
Posts: 1257
Joined: Sun Jan 04, 2015 9:45 pm
Location: Illinois

Re: Vanguard in the WSJ today

Post by dwickenh » Thu Mar 29, 2018 9:21 pm

cfs wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 8:54 pm
I have no problems with Vanguard, I do all my business online, when the system is down I just go back to do my business and come back to the website later . . . life is good. Muchas gracias por leer
+1 I have never had a problem with Vanguard service online or by phone. I am lucky I guess when I read about all of the problems other people
on the forum have. If I had that much trouble, I would likely try someone else's service to see if I could become satisfied.
The market is the most efficient mechanism anywhere in the world for transferring wealth from impatient people to patient people.” | — Warren Buffett

denovo
Posts: 4253
Joined: Sun Oct 13, 2013 1:04 pm

Re: Vanguard in the WSJ today

Post by denovo » Fri Mar 30, 2018 1:46 am

mortfree wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 12:01 pm
conspiracy to drag down vanguard and shift business away from them???
Gripes about Vanguard's interface and customer service are well-known on this forum.
"Don't trust everything you read on the Internet"- Abraham Lincoln

denovo
Posts: 4253
Joined: Sun Oct 13, 2013 1:04 pm

Re: Vanguard in the WSJ today

Post by denovo » Fri Mar 30, 2018 1:50 am

BigMoneyNoWhammies wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 9:32 am
Just an fyi for those who do not get the Wall Street Journal, they did an article regarding Vanguard's recent problems with customer service and technical glitches, and also specifically mention this forum. The link below should allow those without a subscription to read the article:

http://archive.is/PAdES

Here is some dumb math from me. Per the link Vanguard has 5 trillion under management. Suppose Vanguard raises their expense ratios by .01 percent they would accrue 500 million annually extra. That's not a typo.

I suspect that would be sufficient sum of money to fix their technical glitches and hire a large sum of competent employees.
"Don't trust everything you read on the Internet"- Abraham Lincoln

User avatar
triceratop
Moderator
Posts: 5469
Joined: Tue Aug 04, 2015 8:20 pm
Location: la la land

Re: Vanguard in the WSJ today

Post by triceratop » Fri Mar 30, 2018 3:19 am

denovo wrote:
Fri Mar 30, 2018 1:50 am
BigMoneyNoWhammies wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 9:32 am
Just an fyi for those who do not get the Wall Street Journal, they did an article regarding Vanguard's recent problems with customer service and technical glitches, and also specifically mention this forum. The link below should allow those without a subscription to read the article:

http://archive.is/PAdES

Here is some dumb math from me. Per the link Vanguard has 5 trillion under management. Suppose Vanguard raises their expense ratios by .01 percent they would accrue 500 million annually extra. That's not a typo.

I suspect that would be sufficient sum of money to fix their technical glitches and hire a large sum of competent employees.
I hold my Vanguard ETFs at Merrill Edge. Can you explain how it is in my interests as a Vanguard fund shareholder for my expense ratio to increase by 0.01% so that customers at other brokerages can receive better service.

I don't mean this confrontationally, I mean to draw attention to the fact that it's not as simple as saying just raise expense ratios -- the funds' expenses are not the same as the brokerage's.
"To play the stock market is to play musical chairs under the chord progression of a bid-ask spread."

denovo
Posts: 4253
Joined: Sun Oct 13, 2013 1:04 pm

Re: Vanguard in the WSJ today

Post by denovo » Fri Mar 30, 2018 3:39 am

triceratop wrote:
Fri Mar 30, 2018 3:19 am
denovo wrote:
Fri Mar 30, 2018 1:50 am
BigMoneyNoWhammies wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 9:32 am
Just an fyi for those who do not get the Wall Street Journal, they did an article regarding Vanguard's recent problems with customer service and technical glitches, and also specifically mention this forum. The link below should allow those without a subscription to read the article:

http://archive.is/PAdES

Here is some dumb math from me. Per the link Vanguard has 5 trillion under management. Suppose Vanguard raises their expense ratios by .01 percent they would accrue 500 million annually extra. That's not a typo.

I suspect that would be sufficient sum of money to fix their technical glitches and hire a large sum of competent employees.
I hold my Vanguard ETFs at Merrill Edge. Can you explain how it is in my interests as a Vanguard fund shareholder for my expense ratio to increase by 0.01% so that customers at other brokerages can receive better service.

You're right. It's not. However, I suspect most won't notice the .01 difference.
"Don't trust everything you read on the Internet"- Abraham Lincoln

denovo
Posts: 4253
Joined: Sun Oct 13, 2013 1:04 pm

Re: Vanguard in the WSJ today

Post by denovo » Fri Mar 30, 2018 3:41 am

triceratop wrote:
Fri Mar 30, 2018 3:19 am


I don't mean this confrontationally, I mean to draw attention to the fact that it's not as simple as saying just raise expense ratios -- the funds' expenses are not the same as the brokerage's.
This is purely theoretical to me; since I don't hold anything with Vanguard either; but since Vanguard's brokerage charges very little fees, how are they funding that operation. I suspect there has to be seem cross-subsidies between the funds and the brokerage.
"Don't trust everything you read on the Internet"- Abraham Lincoln

singledigit
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Mar 30, 2018 6:06 am

Re: Vanguard in the WSJ today

Post by singledigit » Fri Mar 30, 2018 6:11 am

Interesting article--some pretty serious glitches. I had an advisor give me completely wrong advice on a pretty basic wash sale question. I doubted him but stupidly relied on the advice. I complained because it did cost me quite a bit. They are still "investigating."

SlowMovingInvestor
Posts: 751
Joined: Sun Sep 11, 2016 11:27 am

Re: Vanguard in the WSJ today

Post by SlowMovingInvestor » Fri Mar 30, 2018 6:22 am

I've been satisfied with Vanguard's service in general, but certainly the service of other brokerages is better (and I do hold VG funds and ETFs elsewhere and at VG).

I will say that if you hold Vanguard ETFs or funds with other brokers, you may not be dependent directly on Vanguard's customer service, but you still rely on them for a great deal -- tracking the index, generating distributions properly, managing tax efficiency and trading in lots of markets worldwide , preventing others (hedge funds and the like) from gaming the system, interfacing with your broker's systems (transactions, tax reporting to your broker etc.). [ Although cost basis would be managed by the other broker]

So if you're really concerned about Vanguard, there's a lot to be concerned about even if your account is elsewhere !

Engineer
Posts: 62
Joined: Thu Feb 14, 2008 5:21 pm
Location: Woodbridge Va

Re: Vanguard in the WSJ today

Post by Engineer » Fri Mar 30, 2018 6:47 am

Article in front page of today's Section B, above the fold.

User avatar
goingup
Posts: 3147
Joined: Tue Jan 26, 2010 1:02 pm

Re: Vanguard in the WSJ today

Post by goingup » Fri Mar 30, 2018 8:45 am

drg02b wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 3:30 pm
johan851 wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 2:11 pm
I don't like the spokesperson saying that these are "periodic issues", as if this is standard operating procedure.
Maybe, they should have gone with "irregular, non periodic issues"...
Good one! :wink:
I'm a Vanguard fan for many years. Have never had one problem. However, it's obvious they've got some serious back-of-the-house issues to get a handle on.

likegarden
Posts: 2634
Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 5:33 pm

Re: Vanguard in the WSJ today

Post by likegarden » Fri Mar 30, 2018 8:59 am

I have all of our investments since 2005 at Vanguard, trade only between Vanguard funds, and have had never any problems. My experience in 2005 was wonderful. My IRA RMD and tax documents always are accurate and on time.

delamer
Posts: 5485
Joined: Tue Feb 08, 2011 6:13 pm

Re: Vanguard in the WSJ today

Post by delamer » Fri Mar 30, 2018 9:50 am

denovo wrote:
Fri Mar 30, 2018 1:50 am
BigMoneyNoWhammies wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 9:32 am
Just an fyi for those who do not get the Wall Street Journal, they did an article regarding Vanguard's recent problems with customer service and technical glitches, and also specifically mention this forum. The link below should allow those without a subscription to read the article:

http://archive.is/PAdES

Here is some dumb math from me. Per the link Vanguard has 5 trillion under management. Suppose Vanguard raises their expense ratios by .01 percent they would accrue 500 million annually extra. That's not a typo.

I suspect that would be sufficient sum of money to fix their technical glitches and hire a large sum of competent employees.

Even with unlimited money, computer systems can’t be uograded overnight. Nor can competent staff be brought in and trained overnight.

Improvements take money, but money is not a magic wand that changes things immediately.

UpperNwGuy
Posts: 714
Joined: Sun Oct 08, 2017 7:16 pm
Location: Washington DC

Re: Vanguard in the WSJ today

Post by UpperNwGuy » Fri Mar 30, 2018 10:28 am

And now there are reports in another thread that Vanguard has just sent out emails this morning inviting some users to upgrade their accounts to new software.

drg02b
Posts: 103
Joined: Fri Dec 18, 2015 2:08 pm

Re: Vanguard in the WSJ today

Post by drg02b » Fri Mar 30, 2018 10:39 am

goingup wrote:
Fri Mar 30, 2018 8:45 am
drg02b wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 3:30 pm
johan851 wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 2:11 pm
I don't like the spokesperson saying that these are "periodic issues", as if this is standard operating procedure.
Maybe, they should have gone with "irregular, non periodic issues"...
Good one! :wink:
I'm a Vanguard fan for many years. Have never had one problem. However, it's obvious they've got some serious back-of-the-house issues to get a handle on.
Yeah, we used to have to use language like that on tax credit forms at my last job.

I've had issues with their charitable giving side of things -- once they incorrectly classified a donation as a sell transaction, and another time, their system broke down and never mailed the donation check, though two reps blindly told me the check was in the mail. So yeah, VG has some major kinks to work out. Not happy about it, but I diligently watch my accounts, and its not to the level that it's worth transferring to another firm.

Polenta
Posts: 15
Joined: Sat Feb 24, 2018 11:55 pm

Re: Vanguard in the WSJ today

Post by Polenta » Fri Mar 30, 2018 11:28 am

Vanguard needs to get its act together or these problems will be used to sway investors away from them and damage their brand. No-one is likely to sway you away from Vanguard solely on the basis of their expense ratios but customer service is a big deal and this current weakness is going to drive investors who need competent assistance into the laps of higher fee entities . I have had some problems with them making mistakes on the handling of transfers. I also know for fact that their 403b outsourcing to Newport has been a disaster with many many mistakes being made so the article is accurate in that regard as well. Personally I am going to be checking my statements much more closely going forward. If this kind of stuff continues I may move my 100% index fund portfolio to Fidelity who incidentally has slightly lower expense ratios on their index funds and good if not excellent customer service. Suddenly being the most popular kid on the block is not always a good thing for the rest of us.

SGM
Posts: 2680
Joined: Wed Mar 23, 2011 4:46 am

Re: Vanguard in the WSJ today

Post by SGM » Fri Mar 30, 2018 11:56 am

We have had no serious problems with Vanguard. They handled a TOD very easily and professionally. Our rollovers and later conversions all went smoothly. We had 3 generations invested at Vanguard and also added a siblings family several years ago. So far the cost basis seems to not be a problem. We get good personal attention when it is needed which is infrequent.

I did find the article in today's issue at the library.

david99
Posts: 625
Joined: Sat Mar 03, 2007 11:56 am

Re: Vanguard in the WSJ today

Post by david99 » Fri Mar 30, 2018 12:07 pm

willthrill81 wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 4:30 pm
DesertDiva wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 11:06 am
Thanks for sharing. I was considering moving my ira from Vanguard to Fidelity. Now I have to wonder if they will mangle the transaction... :shock:
I just did a rollover of a 401k with TIAA to an IRA with Vanguard, and the process was easy and fast.
I also did a rollover last year and it went very well. People post when thing don't go well. I don't see any posts that say, "I rolled over my 401k today and everything went very well -- Vanguard did a great job."

bondsr4me
Posts: 888
Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2013 7:08 am

Re: Vanguard in the WSJ today

Post by bondsr4me » Fri Mar 30, 2018 12:12 pm

For Vanguard's sake and the sake of all it's customers, I sincerely do hope Jack is monitoring this forum and others such as Twitter.

Who better to ring the bell in VG's leadership ears than the Founder himself.

I am sure he is very disappointed in reading articles like the recent one in the WSJ.

I like VG and want to see them improve.

Have a Happy Easter and great weekend,

Don

User avatar
SeeMoe
Posts: 985
Joined: Sat Jul 18, 2015 11:30 am
Location: Near Philly..

Re: Vanguard in the WSJ today

Post by SeeMoe » Fri Mar 30, 2018 12:21 pm

We only have had a minor glitch or two that isn’t worth mentioning. Vanguard Group has expanded exponentially in recent years and sometimes “ stuff’ happens...
35+ Year satisfied customers..

SeeMoe.. :greedy
"By gnawing through a dike, even a Rat can destroy a nation ." {Edmund Burke}

User avatar
Munir
Posts: 2436
Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 4:39 pm
Location: Oregon

Re: Vanguard in the WSJ today

Post by Munir » Fri Mar 30, 2018 1:15 pm

denovo wrote:
Fri Mar 30, 2018 1:46 am
mortfree wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 12:01 pm
conspiracy to drag down vanguard and shift business away from them???
Gripes about Vanguard's interface and customer service are well-known on this forum.
Could it be that those who post are mostly the individuals who have had a bad experience? It does not tell us anything about the statistics for ALL the Vanguard clients' experiences because as has been already mentioned, satisfied clients rarely post in the same ratio as those who are unhappy. The WSJ article relied on some social discussion venues on drawing up its conclusions which then were generalized for the whole population of Vanguard clients. Let's see some hard numbers and facts before judging a whole organization on such measly statistics and personal anecdotes. It is a poorly written tabloid-type article!!

ji.isaacs
Posts: 101
Joined: Sat May 24, 2014 3:19 pm

Re: Vanguard in the WSJ today

Post by ji.isaacs » Fri Mar 30, 2018 1:58 pm

Some of the issues reported on this board cover a broad time period, i.e., FIFO vs Spec-id when selling shares. I don't understand how something so rudimentary to a brokerage could have gotten out the starting gate broken. How was something like this not tested? Then not permanently fixed?

If a program WORKS, it WORKS. It doesn't matter if 1,000 records or 1 million records go through it. Vanguard's growth shouldn't affect a program that's correctly coded and WORKS. It seems obvious, to me anyway, that the caliber of Vanguard's IT department is low.

Also, they don't seem to have an effective and consistent training policy in place for new telephone representatives, based on the alarmingly different responses to similar or like questions as presented here in many posts.

To me, the most disturbing factor is that Vanguard management hasn't taken the bull by the horns and made noticeable forward strides in correcting either their IT issues or representative support. They do seem to use a lot of bandaids.

Post Reply