I wouldn't say he views recent changes at Vanguard with alarm, let's say "unease." He says
He says "Is Vanguard failing investors? Far from it."Jack hadn’t been involved in running Vanguard’s day-to-day operations for two decades. Yet his presence continued to loom over the place. I always felt Jack acted as a check on management’s behavior. With his death, that check is no longer there.
He praises the recent ER reduction in ETFs: "Jack probably wouldn’t have been happy—he preferred open-end mutual funds, because he felt ETFs were traded too much. But it’s hard to argue that lowering expenses is a bad thing."
But "it seems the firm is coming up short in two other areas..." One is "product commitment:"
- "shutting down its Advantage cash management service"
- "handing over administration of its low-cost variable annuity to Transamerica"
- "the sorry history of its onetime precious metals fund..." In 2004, Vanguard broadened the fund’s mandate to include a wider array of mining companies. In 2018, it revamped the fund yet again, renaming it the Global Capital Cycles Fund."
I haven’t experienced any problems myself, but I’ve heard from plenty of others who have. On Glassdoor.com, current and former employees rate the firm 3.1 out of five, versus 3.7 for Charles Schwab and 3.9 for Fidelity Investments. This is unfortunate: Happy employees are more likely to work hard to make their customers happy.