Vanguard Flagship Services -- Another One Bites the Dust

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bhwabeck3533
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Vanguard Flagship Services -- Another One Bites the Dust

Post by bhwabeck3533 » Wed Sep 11, 2019 4:41 pm

We Flagship account holders at Vanguard were hit earlier this year with the demise of the Money Market service (disappeared in July). I may have "broke the news" on this forum before it happened, and unfortunately I may be breaking with more bad news now.

I had a meeting (via phone of course) with a Vanguard Financial Planner this morning. For the "self-directed" Vanguard investor this little perk offered me an opportunity to verify and discuss a few investing issues, as well as let the planner run their Monte Carlo simulation based on my personal financial scenario. Today's call started out with me stating that I was concerned with the vector Vanguard was taking with services and I wanted access to investing professionals now, if this were to disappear. And unexpectedly, he confirmed that "these phone calls will be going away". Yikes. I asked him to provide my genuine concern that Vanguard was going to pay a price in the marketplace for their cost-cutting decisions. Oh well, maybe he'll raise it the flagpole of the Flagship.

So, is this old news or not? Has anyone with a Vanguard Flagship been notified of elimination of access to their CFPs?

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Re: Vanguard Flagship Services -- Another One Bites the Dust

Post by TomatoTomahto » Wed Sep 11, 2019 4:44 pm

Never used the service in a decade or so of Flagship. Can't miss what I never used. I'm sorry that a service you enjoyed is going away.
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Re: Vanguard Flagship Services -- Another One Bites the Dust

Post by miamivice » Wed Sep 11, 2019 4:57 pm

A few years back, I had a portfolio review done as a Flagship member. I found it was terrible advice.

The Vanguard-paid advisor wanted me to sell all non-Vanguard assets and buy Vanguard assets instead. He didn't suggest low cost index funds in general nor did he recommend any non-Vanguard low cost index funds. Just Vanguard funds.

I did not find that to be unbiased and thus didn't trust it.

When this service went away, I had no complaints.

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Re: Vanguard Flagship Services -- Another One Bites the Dust

Post by livesoft » Wed Sep 11, 2019 5:02 pm

I believe the website has been changed already. However, they use tricky language that could be interpreted either way.
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Re: Vanguard Flagship Services -- Another One Bites the Dust

Post by Vanguard Fan 1367 » Wed Sep 11, 2019 5:07 pm

I had a couple of consults about my portfolio before I knew the magic of John Bogle's advice. I thought the Vanguard Consultant's advice to consider Vanguard's Total Stock Market Index fund to be not something I was interested in. Now a number of years later I am looking to mostly make that my main holding. So the advice I got was fantastic, I just wasn't ready to listen.

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Re: Vanguard Flagship Services -- Another One Bites the Dust

Post by Scooter57 » Wed Sep 11, 2019 5:32 pm

My experience with the free Flagship advisor was similar. He wanted me to sell just about everything in my taxable account and buy a bunch of Vanguard funds, ignoring the significant tax cost. I don't remember the exact details but I recall thinking the choice of Vanguard funds was not ideal for a taxable account either. He wouldn't discuss any of his choices. I assumed they were the one size fits all recommendation du jour.

Over the years Vanguard's fundsI have owned have changed strategy several times and I now stick to the Total Stock Market and some muni bond funds for the bulk of my stock investment because I've taken some tax hits when the funds changed strategy and didn't meet my goals anymore. The advisor's suggestions were not a 3 fund type portfolio.

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Re: Vanguard Flagship Services -- Another One Bites the Dust

Post by asset_chaos » Wed Sep 11, 2019 6:15 pm

Darn. Though I've only used the consultation once (on first becoming flagship), with retirement here I was planning to get another one, just to see what an independent set of eyes had to say about the retirement portfolio I'm shifting to. Guess I'd better do that soon. Thanks for the heads up.
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Re: Vanguard Flagship Services -- Another One Bites the Dust

Post by smectym » Wed Sep 11, 2019 6:40 pm

I did do the CFP consult once, a number of years back, in the aftermath of the GFC. Actually I wish I had followed more of their advice since they would have positioned the portfolio more bullishly than I preferred--and as it turned out, boy were they right!

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Re: Vanguard Flagship Services -- Another One Bites the Dust

Post by mhc » Thu Sep 12, 2019 8:56 am

Doesn't bother me. I have no idea why I would use them.

Seems like I can find everything I need on the internet, for example, this forum.

This seems to be the general trend. Companies are relying on outside sources to provide their customer support.

2 weeks ago I purchased a new car. The owner's manual sucks, so I am watching youtube videos to learn about the features of the car. I don't mind this at all.

If I need to figure out how to do something in Word, I just google it. There is no need to call Microsoft or read the help. There is so much information available on the internet.

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Re: Vanguard Flagship Services -- Another One Bites the Dust

Post by azanon » Thu Sep 12, 2019 9:03 am

I assume this phase-out of Flagship services is because they want Vanguard customers with 1M+ AUM to pay for this via their Personal Advisory Services instead. If you can speak to a CFA/CFP anytime you wanted to with Flagship and you even get assigned one specific person with Flagship, then why would you ever pay for VPAS? That, presumably, is the most valuable part of VPAS.

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Re: Vanguard Flagship Services -- Another One Bites the Dust

Post by livesoft » Thu Sep 12, 2019 9:12 am

The other side of all this is whether Vanguard can even hire competent people to act as Flagship reps. Many industries cannot hire people to do service work that people will actually pay good wages for. I'm thinking restaurant help, farm workers, meatpacking and poultry workers. Cheap financial services are in the same boat as these other industries. Would YOU want to be a Vanguard Flagship rep? I wouldn't.
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Re: Vanguard Flagship Services -- Another One Bites the Dust

Post by 12thKnight » Thu Sep 12, 2019 9:46 am

livesoft wrote:
Thu Sep 12, 2019 9:12 am
The other side of all this is whether Vanguard can even hire competent people to act as Flagship reps. Many industries cannot hire people to do service work that people will actually pay good wages for. I'm thinking restaurant help, farm workers, meatpacking and poultry workers. Cheap financial services are in the same boat as these other industries. Would YOU want to be a Vanguard Flagship rep? I wouldn't.
Yes - this is one of the many points where being a low-cost provider becomes counterproductive.

I fielded many internal calls in my day from Flagship reps who did not even know basic qualified account rules and regulations. These were often recent college grads who were promoted quickly from retail phone jobs. The primary job requirements for Flagship and PAS seemed to be "are they young" and "do they drink the Vanguard Kool-Aid", not "are they competent" and "can they reliably provide holistic guidance and/or advice".

It is quite problematic to have crew tasked with ministering to the wealthy and ultra-wealthy who have little or no experience or ability to guide and advise regarding insurance and taxation. Hence, the many stories of Flagship reps advising to sell all positions and move money to Vanguard-only mutual funds without having a full conversation on the tax implications of doing so.

It's not just Flagship. With service outages and recent valuation issues, Vanguard's IT is yet another area where getting bottom-dollar help has real costs. I hope that the company's leadership examines situations like these and corrects them before more harm is done.

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Re: Vanguard Flagship Services -- Another One Bites the Dust

Post by azanon » Thu Sep 12, 2019 10:03 am

12thKnight wrote:
Thu Sep 12, 2019 9:46 am
livesoft wrote:
Thu Sep 12, 2019 9:12 am
The other side of all this is whether Vanguard can even hire competent people to act as Flagship reps. Many industries cannot hire people to do service work that people will actually pay good wages for. I'm thinking restaurant help, farm workers, meatpacking and poultry workers. Cheap financial services are in the same boat as these other industries. Would YOU want to be a Vanguard Flagship rep? I wouldn't.
Yes - this is one of the many points where being a low-cost provider becomes counterproductive.

I fielded many internal calls in my day from Flagship reps who did not even know basic qualified account rules and regulations. These were often recent college grads who were promoted quickly from retail phone jobs. The primary job requirements for Flagship and PAS seemed to be "are they young" and "do they drink the Vanguard Kool-Aid", not "are they competent" and "can they reliably provide holistic guidance and/or advice".

It is quite problematic to have crew tasked with ministering to the wealthy and ultra-wealthy who have little or no experience or ability to guide and advise regarding insurance and taxation. Hence, the many stories of Flagship reps advising to sell all positions and move money to Vanguard-only mutual funds without having a full conversation on the tax implications of doing so.
I assume Vanguard Personal Advisory Services would produce enough revenue to address that right? Although at times I've wanted some personalized help myself, when I break out the calculator and see the figure that comes up for 0.3%/year of my portfolio, I cringe a little bit.

Sure, 0.3% is low relative to much of the competition, but 0.3% is still a LOT.... right? That money will just keep on coming in day-after-day, long after I hang up the phone.

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Re: Vanguard Flagship Services -- Another One Bites the Dust

Post by OldBallCoach » Thu Sep 12, 2019 10:12 am

I moved about 14M from Vanguard to Schwab for one basic reason...I cant wait 20-30 minutes on a phone to talk with someone...and I also turned boglehead and went with may fewer funds...and will be at 3 funds once the tax dust settles and all...service is king to me.

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Re: Vanguard Flagship Services -- Another One Bites the Dust

Post by stan1 » Thu Sep 12, 2019 10:28 am

Pretty soon service will only come at a cost. If you want service you pay for it, and if you don't want or need it you don't. If you want to check a bag or sit in an aisle seat you pay more but many of us remember a time when that wasn't so. Frequent flier status is now based on the price of the ticket you buy, so you earn more points if you are flying on high cost tickets than if you are flying on low cost tickets. People with high expense ratio funds might get more service than people with very low cost (or zero cost) funds. You get more personal service at Nordstrom than at Walmart, but Nordstrom is not known for being a low price leader. If you want the best perks you have to be prepared to be mobile and take your business where the best perks are. Perks are marketing strategies and can end at any time. Some will remember a time when a bank gave out a free toaster if you opened an account.

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Re: Vanguard Flagship Services -- Another One Bites the Dust

Post by azanon » Thu Sep 12, 2019 10:34 am

stan1 wrote:
Thu Sep 12, 2019 10:28 am
Pretty soon service will only come at a cost. If you want service you pay for it, and if you don't want or need it you don't. If you want to check a bag or sit in an aisle seat you pay more but many of us remember a time when that wasn't so. Frequent flier status is now based on the price of the ticket you buy, so you earn more points if you are flying on high cost tickets than if you are flying on low cost tickets. People with high expense ratio funds might get more service than people with very low cost (or zero cost) funds. You get more personal service at Nordstrom than at Walmart, but Nordstrom is not known for being a low price leader. If you want the best perks you have to be prepared to be mobile and take your business where the best perks are. Perks are marketing strategies and can end at any time. Some will remember a time when a bank gave out a free toaster if you opened an account.
This makes a lot of sense to me and I agree with it.

Even if you're rocking several million, is it really reasonable to expect Vanguard to snap to attention and put a CFA on the line to answer all of your questions, when you're paying 0.04%ER for VG total stock market index fund? I would tend to think not....

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Re: Vanguard Flagship Services -- Another One Bites the Dust

Post by 1789 » Thu Sep 12, 2019 11:35 am

OldBallCoach wrote:
Thu Sep 12, 2019 10:12 am
I moved about 14M from Vanguard to Schwab for one basic reason...I cant wait 20-30 minutes on a phone to talk with someone...and I also turned boglehead and went with may fewer funds...and will be at 3 funds once the tax dust settles and all...service is king to me.
This is probably the only think i don't like about Vanguard.Need to call them every time to get something done.

They need to implement live chat option. Don't know when/if they will do it

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Re: Vanguard Flagship Services -- Another One Bites the Dust

Post by livesoft » Thu Sep 12, 2019 11:41 am

azanon wrote:
Thu Sep 12, 2019 10:03 am
I assume Vanguard Personal Advisory Services would produce enough revenue to address that right?
I would not make that assumption myself.
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Re: Vanguard Flagship Services -- Another One Bites the Dust

Post by azanon » Thu Sep 12, 2019 12:09 pm

livesoft wrote:
Thu Sep 12, 2019 11:41 am
azanon wrote:
Thu Sep 12, 2019 10:03 am
I assume Vanguard Personal Advisory Services would produce enough revenue to address that right?
I would not make that assumption myself.
That's why I asked 12thKnight and used a ? :) Subjectively observing though, 0.3% of your portfolio's value annually is a lot of money, especially in a low return world we're supposedly in now.

If it's actually not enough, wouldn't that suggest VPAS is starting out at 0.3% with every intent of Vanguard raising the cost down the line, such as when/if they outcompete everyone else and put others of business?

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Re: Vanguard Flagship Services -- Another One Bites the Dust

Post by KyleAAA » Thu Sep 12, 2019 12:18 pm

Yeah, I don't think Vanguard actually wants you to have your accounts with them. They'd much rather you hold Vanguard funds at Schwab.

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Re: Vanguard Flagship Services -- Another One Bites the Dust

Post by tesuzuki2002 » Thu Sep 12, 2019 5:32 pm

I thought this concern was noted a couple of months back in another post with a similar experience that a CSR indicated a moves towards the service going away.., No?

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Re: Vanguard Flagship Services -- Another One Bites the Dust

Post by GreatOdinsRaven » Thu Sep 12, 2019 9:40 pm

OldBallCoach wrote:
Thu Sep 12, 2019 10:12 am
I moved about 14M from Vanguard to Schwab for one basic reason...I cant wait 20-30 minutes on a phone to talk with someone...and I also turned boglehead and went with may fewer funds...and will be at 3 funds once the tax dust settles and all...service is king to me.
It’s sad that the Flagship program is changing, but to me it’s not a huge deal.

I opened a Schwab account a while ago after experiencing problems with the Vanguard website and customer service reps. My Schwab experience has been extremely good. My company’s 401(k) moved to Schwab as well for an unrelated reason. Between their free Schwab investor checking, their PCRA self-directed brokerage window for the 401(k) and their taxable brokerage account options I’ve been thrilled. No waiting on hold when I call with questions. Quick answers. Quick transfers. Call centers that are open longer/later (than Vanguard) and reps who go the extra mile and call me back promptly. I’ve been very impressed.

I wanted to change the titling if a taxable account to tenants by entirety and I ran into a few issues that seemed to prevent me from doing so. The next day out of the blue (after I had given up) a Schwab Rep called me at work with the solution. I was impressed to say the least.

I still have several Vanguard accounts, because I’m irrational and can’t completely cut the cord and transfer the assets in-kind. I think most of this hesitance to move the assets is because I am Flagship with Vanguard and I get a kick of out feeling “special.” It’s meaningless and I know it deep down.

I had a difficult time moving away from Vanguard brokerage when I initially made the partial switch. But honestly, I can get my Vanguard, or iShares or Schwab index funds at a low (or lower) cost at Schwab. Index funds are a commodity.

While it’s sad to see Vanguard changing their Flagship program I’m not surprised and not very upset.
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Re: Vanguard Flagship Services -- Another One Bites the Dust

Post by SevenBridgesRoad » Thu Sep 12, 2019 10:25 pm

Who cares?
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Re: Vanguard Flagship Services -- Another One Bites the Dust

Post by tibbitts » Thu Sep 12, 2019 11:00 pm

bhwabeck3533 wrote:
Wed Sep 11, 2019 4:41 pm
We Flagship account holders at Vanguard were hit earlier this year with the demise of the Money Market service (disappeared in July). I may have "broke the news" on this forum before it happened, and unfortunately I may be breaking with more bad news now.

I had a meeting (via phone of course) with a Vanguard Financial Planner this morning. For the "self-directed" Vanguard investor this little perk offered me an opportunity to verify and discuss a few investing issues, as well as let the planner run their Monte Carlo simulation based on my personal financial scenario. Today's call started out with me stating that I was concerned with the vector Vanguard was taking with services and I wanted access to investing professionals now, if this were to disappear. And unexpectedly, he confirmed that "these phone calls will be going away". Yikes. I asked him to provide my genuine concern that Vanguard was going to pay a price in the marketplace for their cost-cutting decisions. Oh well, maybe he'll raise it the flagpole of the Flagship.

So, is this old news or not? Has anyone with a Vanguard Flagship been notified of elimination of access to their CFPs?
It sounds like the monte carlo access is what you're after. What if they make the same software available on the website?

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Re: Vanguard Flagship Services -- Another One Bites the Dust

Post by FoolStreet » Thu Sep 12, 2019 11:52 pm

tibbitts wrote:
Thu Sep 12, 2019 11:00 pm
bhwabeck3533 wrote:
Wed Sep 11, 2019 4:41 pm
We Flagship account holders at Vanguard were hit earlier this year with the demise of the Money Market service (disappeared in July). I may have "broke the news" on this forum before it happened, and unfortunately I may be breaking with more bad news now.

I had a meeting (via phone of course) with a Vanguard Financial Planner this morning. For the "self-directed" Vanguard investor this little perk offered me an opportunity to verify and discuss a few investing issues, as well as let the planner run their Monte Carlo simulation based on my personal financial scenario. Today's call started out with me stating that I was concerned with the vector Vanguard was taking with services and I wanted access to investing professionals now, if this were to disappear. And unexpectedly, he confirmed that "these phone calls will be going away". Yikes. I asked him to provide my genuine concern that Vanguard was going to pay a price in the marketplace for their cost-cutting decisions. Oh well, maybe he'll raise it the flagpole of the Flagship.

So, is this old news or not? Has anyone with a Vanguard Flagship been notified of elimination of access to their CFPs?
It sounds like the monte carlo access is what you're after. What if they make the same software available on the website?
Many corporate 401k providers give access to Financial Engines which offers the Monte Carlo.

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Re: Vanguard Flagship Services -- Another One Bites the Dust

Post by kramer » Fri Sep 13, 2019 3:26 am

TomatoTomahto wrote:
Wed Sep 11, 2019 4:44 pm
Never used the service in a decade or so of Flagship. Can't miss what I never used. I'm sorry that a service you enjoyed is going away.
Same here. I have no idea if I ever had a specific Flagship advisor or anything like that. I don't even think I have called Vanguard in the last decade. But I am quite happy with their services.

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Re: Vanguard Flagship Services -- Another One Bites the Dust

Post by Vanguard Fan 1367 » Fri Sep 13, 2019 7:55 am

OldBallCoach wrote:
Thu Sep 12, 2019 10:12 am
I moved about 14M from Vanguard to Schwab for one basic reason...I cant wait 20-30 minutes on a phone to talk with someone...and I also turned boglehead and went with may fewer funds...and will be at 3 funds once the tax dust settles and all...service is king to me.
I thought about arranging my affairs so that I could be Flagship Select. But with the changes it doesn't appear that there are any benefits these days to making that move that I want. You certainly weren't excited about your Select status.

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Re: Vanguard Flagship Services -- Another One Bites the Dust

Post by Silence Dogood » Fri Sep 13, 2019 7:58 am

livesoft wrote:
Thu Sep 12, 2019 11:41 am
azanon wrote:
Thu Sep 12, 2019 10:03 am
I assume Vanguard Personal Advisory Services would produce enough revenue to address that right?
I would not make that assumption myself.
My guess is that Vanguard is trying to implement the "Planet Fitness" model.

Price it really cheap and get a lot of people who will never use the service (or only use it once) to sign up.

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Re: Vanguard Flagship Services -- Another One Bites the Dust

Post by abuss368 » Fri Sep 13, 2019 8:02 am

mhc wrote:
Thu Sep 12, 2019 8:56 am
2 weeks ago I purchased a new car. The owner's manual sucks, so I am watching youtube videos to learn about the features of the car. I don't mind this at all.
Not to turn the thread but I agree. We purchased a new car a month ago and my response tot he salesman when he was taking us through the car books was "you still print these"? I have never read one for any car I owned.
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Re: Vanguard Flagship Services -- Another One Bites the Dust

Post by abuss368 » Fri Sep 13, 2019 8:08 am

In my opinion this is an unnecessary service for many do it yourself investors. Yes, there will always be investors who need and value the interaction of an investment professional. And there are many fee only investment professionals available to provide that valuable service.

I have to wonder how popular this service was for Vanguard to make the decision to stop offering it.
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Re: Vanguard Flagship Services -- Another One Bites the Dust

Post by Lexi » Fri Sep 13, 2019 8:25 am

I used the Flagship consult once mostly to see what it offered. I asked several questions, some of which were very bogleheads and some of which were not. The rep was unable to give a reasonable response to my questions. My impression was that he had a one-page cheat sheet in front of him and just picked an answer from that no matter what the question was. Even a question that gave him a chance to push a boglehead 3-fund approach led to a response of "Don't do anything about that because {insert irrelevant reason}". All of my investments were Vanguard funds but not 3-fund only. I do have credentials in the field far exceeding a CFP and concluded that these advisers were worse than useless. I only use Vanguard for funds that I do not expect to need any help with beyond Vanguard paperwork and go elsewhere if I want any real advice, especially about specific details and procedures.

Is there any reason to expect the PAS advisers to be any better?

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Re: Vanguard Flagship Services -- Another One Bites the Dust

Post by azanon » Fri Sep 13, 2019 8:30 am

Silence Dogood wrote:
Fri Sep 13, 2019 7:58 am
livesoft wrote:
Thu Sep 12, 2019 11:41 am
azanon wrote:
Thu Sep 12, 2019 10:03 am
I assume Vanguard Personal Advisory Services would produce enough revenue to address that right?
I would not make that assumption myself.
My guess is that Vanguard is trying to implement the "Planet Fitness" model.

Price it really cheap and get a lot of people who will never use the service (or only use it once) to sign up.
I've been tempted to "sign up" for VPAS to get that free ~ 1hr person-to-person analysis, with little to no intent of actually signing up. I feel guilty about that though, so I've held off so far. But maybe I shouldn't feel guilty though because if a Vanguard PAS rep were actually seeing this post, maybe she/he feels like they're such a good salesman, that they'd be willing to risk that potential loss for also that potential sale.

Though I'm fairly knowledgeable about finance, I'm certainly open to the possibility that my rep might point out a thing or two that I haven't considered that would be of value.

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Re: Vanguard Flagship Services -- Another One Bites the Dust

Post by Broken Man 1999 » Fri Sep 13, 2019 9:48 am

Not surprising.

Vanguard needs to jack up the Flagship category to maybe 5 million, as a million dollars isn't what it used to be.

BTW, DW and I would not be Flagship at a 5 million dollar requirement, yet. Though, it is very unlikely we will reach that level.

As another poster has mentioned, one cannot expect Nordstrom service AND Walmart prices. Pick one, as you aren't likely to have both with one company. I have chosen the Walmart model for our portfolio, and to me Vanguard is fine. I would rather have lower ERs than a collection of benefits I seldom use, if at all.

Only one benefit I have enjoyed having, that being the 25 free trades as a Flagship customer. I have used 10 thus far this year. If not Flagship, my trades would have been $70 instead of $0. Woo Wee! Seventy dollars... I'm rich! But, I'm pretty sure I could have afforded to pay full rate of $7/trade if I had to do so.

I would hope Vanguard constantly tweaks their offerings/benefits, and eliminates costs where they can, all the while understanding that some perks offered to me could be reduced. Looking at the list, the benefits just aren't all that impressive.

As some posters have noted, perhaps the best solution is Vanguard funds and ETFs held at other brokerages. Win/win.

Honestly I like the idea of needy investors leaving Vanguard. It is possible I will be needy one day, and decamp with my Vanguard investments to a new brokerage.

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Re: Vanguard Flagship Services -- Another One Bites the Dust

Post by abuss368 » Fri Sep 13, 2019 10:08 am

Lexi wrote:
Fri Sep 13, 2019 8:25 am
Is there any reason to expect the PAS advisers to be any better?
I think PAS can serve a very useful role in helping spouses and even investors who can not functionally mange a portfolio (or don't want to) because of age considerations. I would expect the investor would be placed into the four total market index funds and will stay the course: Total Stock, Total International Stock, Total Bond, and Total International Bond.
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Re: Vanguard Flagship Services -- Another One Bites the Dust

Post by abuss368 » Fri Sep 13, 2019 10:11 am

I would like for Vanguard to pull back from these services to save costs and perhaps expand to a true online bank platform - checking, savings, loans.
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Re: Vanguard Flagship Services -- Another One Bites the Dust

Post by Whakamole » Fri Sep 13, 2019 11:56 am

abuss368 wrote:
Fri Sep 13, 2019 8:08 am
In my opinion this is an unnecessary service for many do it yourself investors. Yes, there will always be investors who need and value the interaction of an investment professional. And there are many fee only investment professionals available to provide that valuable service.
Right, people can just go down to the local Edward Jones who will be sure to guide them into low-cost, no-load, well-diversified index funds.

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Re: Vanguard Flagship Services -- Another One Bites the Dust

Post by abuss368 » Fri Sep 13, 2019 12:21 pm

Whakamole wrote:
Fri Sep 13, 2019 11:56 am
abuss368 wrote:
Fri Sep 13, 2019 8:08 am
In my opinion this is an unnecessary service for many do it yourself investors. Yes, there will always be investors who need and value the interaction of an investment professional. And there are many fee only investment professionals available to provide that valuable service.
Right, people can just go down to the local Edward Jones who will be sure to guide them into low-cost, no-load, well-diversified index funds.
Ouch!
John C. Bogle: "You simply do not need to put your money into 8 different mutual funds!"

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Re: Vanguard Flagship Services -- Another One Bites the Dust

Post by tibbitts » Fri Sep 13, 2019 6:49 pm

FoolStreet wrote:
Thu Sep 12, 2019 11:52 pm
tibbitts wrote:
Thu Sep 12, 2019 11:00 pm
bhwabeck3533 wrote:
Wed Sep 11, 2019 4:41 pm
We Flagship account holders at Vanguard were hit earlier this year with the demise of the Money Market service (disappeared in July). I may have "broke the news" on this forum before it happened, and unfortunately I may be breaking with more bad news now.

I had a meeting (via phone of course) with a Vanguard Financial Planner this morning. For the "self-directed" Vanguard investor this little perk offered me an opportunity to verify and discuss a few investing issues, as well as let the planner run their Monte Carlo simulation based on my personal financial scenario. Today's call started out with me stating that I was concerned with the vector Vanguard was taking with services and I wanted access to investing professionals now, if this were to disappear. And unexpectedly, he confirmed that "these phone calls will be going away". Yikes. I asked him to provide my genuine concern that Vanguard was going to pay a price in the marketplace for their cost-cutting decisions. Oh well, maybe he'll raise it the flagpole of the Flagship.

So, is this old news or not? Has anyone with a Vanguard Flagship been notified of elimination of access to their CFPs?
It sounds like the monte carlo access is what you're after. What if they make the same software available on the website?
Many corporate 401k providers give access to Financial Engines which offers the Monte Carlo.
My employer doesn't, but Vanguard itself provides FE "lite" - and it's so lite than it can't even import my portfolio that I have in the apparently-now-discontinued Vanguard Yodlee service. It just doesn't take that many more compute cycles or whatever the cost is to include a few more accounts in the calculations so why FE has the limits on the Vanguard version that it does I have no idea. Maybe those 401k plans provide the same "lite" version.

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Re: Vanguard Flagship Services -- Another One Bites the Dust

Post by galawdawg » Fri Sep 13, 2019 8:03 pm

azanon wrote:
Thu Sep 12, 2019 9:03 am
I assume this phase-out of Flagship services is because they want Vanguard customers with 1M+ AUM to pay for this via their Personal Advisory Services instead....
That would certainly dovetail with my recent experiences with Vanguard's annoying push of PAS. First it started with regular emails to both my wife and I "touting" the benefits of PAS. Now when I log in I have to click "X" on a pop-up window pushing PAS, then have to scroll down below the bold colorful PAS banner ad on the account overview page to get to my actual account information (both despite having good pop-up and ad blocking set up on my browser). Also noticed that like most others, I no longer have a Flagship Rep (that just disappeared about a month ago). And when I attempted to send a secure message this evening asking them to remove the pop-up and banner ads for PAS, it took three tries to get the secure message to go through.

:annoyed

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Re: Vanguard Flagship Services -- Another One Bites the Dust

Post by abuss368 » Fri Sep 13, 2019 8:13 pm

I have received the pop up box for PAS when logging into Vanguard recently.
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Re: Vanguard Flagship Services -- Another One Bites the Dust

Post by Toons » Fri Sep 13, 2019 9:10 pm

A few index funds
Good Advice,
:mrgreen:
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Re: Vanguard Flagship Services -- Another One Bites the Dust

Post by JustinR » Fri Sep 13, 2019 10:15 pm

Explain why you need or want a "Vanguard Financial Planner"

This is a good thing because it means less expenses for all of us.

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Re: Vanguard Flagship Services -- Another One Bites the Dust

Post by abuss368 » Fri Sep 13, 2019 10:26 pm

I have instructions and a print out of the PAS service marked in yellow marker for my spouse to call if anything were to happen.
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Re: Vanguard Flagship Services -- Another One Bites the Dust

Post by abuss368 » Fri Sep 13, 2019 10:26 pm

Toons wrote:
Fri Sep 13, 2019 9:10 pm
A few index funds
Good Advice,
:mrgreen:
This is what Warren Buffett and Jack Bogle always recommended.

Great advice!
John C. Bogle: "You simply do not need to put your money into 8 different mutual funds!"

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Re: Vanguard Flagship Services -- Another One Bites the Dust

Post by GerryL » Fri Sep 13, 2019 10:37 pm

I have yet to receive any official notice that flagship service are being reduced or eliminated. Their website still lists individual consultation as a benefit, as in “Join us to get this benefit.” Do we know this is happening, or ...?

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Re: Vanguard Flagship Services -- Another One Bites the Dust

Post by Northern Flicker » Fri Sep 13, 2019 11:01 pm

OldBallCoach wrote:
Thu Sep 12, 2019 10:12 am
I moved about 14M from Vanguard to Schwab for one basic reason...I cant wait 20-30 minutes on a phone to talk with someone...and I also turned boglehead and went with may fewer funds...and will be at 3 funds once the tax dust settles and all...service is king to me.
Schwab customer service was terrible for me. It took 3 phone calls over the course of a week, 2 of which had holds for more than one person, to find out the most recent year’s percent of qualified dividends of a particular Schwab ETF. And no, it was not available on line, which the rep who fielded the second call was willing to admit, unlike the rep who fielded the first call, who insisted it was online, but never produced a link to it. It took another week and third call to get the answer. I had already decided that I probably should not invest in Schwab products by then.
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Re: Vanguard Flagship Services -- Another One Bites the Dust

Post by Whakamole » Sat Sep 14, 2019 9:43 am

galawdawg wrote:
Fri Sep 13, 2019 8:03 pm
azanon wrote:
Thu Sep 12, 2019 9:03 am
I assume this phase-out of Flagship services is because they want Vanguard customers with 1M+ AUM to pay for this via their Personal Advisory Services instead....
That would certainly dovetail with my recent experiences with Vanguard's annoying push of PAS. First it started with regular emails to both my wife and I "touting" the benefits of PAS. Now when I log in I have to click "X" on a pop-up window pushing PAS, then have to scroll down below the bold colorful PAS banner ad on the account overview page to get to my actual account information (both despite having good pop-up and ad blocking set up on my browser).
:annoyed
Come on, it's not that bad.

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Re: Vanguard Flagship Services -- Another One Bites the Dust

Post by Invest4lt » Sat Sep 14, 2019 11:14 am

Broken Man 1999 wrote:
Fri Sep 13, 2019 9:48 am
Not surprising.

As another poster has mentioned, one cannot expect Nordstrom service AND Walmart prices. Pick one, as you aren't likely to have both with one company. I have chosen the Walmart model for our portfolio, and to me Vanguard is fine. I would rather have lower ERs than a collection of benefits I seldom use, if at all......

I would hope Vanguard constantly tweaks their offerings/benefits, and eliminates costs where they can....

Honestly I like the idea of needy investors leaving Vanguard. It is possible I will be needy one day, and decamp with my Vanguard investments to a new brokerage.

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I fully support the move. There’s no free lunch.

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Re: Vanguard Flagship Services -- Another One Bites the Dust

Post by ThereAreNoGurus » Sat Sep 14, 2019 11:18 am

Whakamole wrote:
Sat Sep 14, 2019 9:43 am

Come on, it's not that bad.
Haha... good one! I thought I had logged in to Personal Capital or PC had acquired Vanguard. :wink:
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Re: Vanguard Flagship Services -- Another One Bites the Dust

Post by FrugalInvestor » Sat Sep 14, 2019 11:41 am

I was initially very pleased to have a personal advisor available at Vanguard. The lion's share of my investments have been there ever since I began investing in the early 1980's. When I retired in the early 2000's I used them for the first time and found the suggestions moderately useful. The advice was not bad but not great and I continued to struggle with my investments, especially the details like rebalancing, tax efficiency, account placement, etc.

During the '08-'09 downturn I was very fortunate to find Bogleheads. Through this site I learned the details of how to understand and effectively handle my investments. As importantly I learned the whys behind those hows. Since discovering Bogleheads and spending some time to learn I've had no need to use Vanguard except a couple of times for figuring out the mechanics of something within their system like a Roth conversion or re-characterization. Bogleheads is where I find the important information that has made a real difference in the performance of my investments and how much of them I keep.

Given the above I have no problem with not having a Vanguard advisor - I don't even know if I have one or not. I'll take Bogleheads any day over whatever Vanguard might offer in the way of advice or portfolio management. Just give me a good choice of very low-cost mutual funds and a reasonable platform to manage them on and I'm perfectly happy with Vanguard. I'm even happier with Bogleheads!
IGNORE the noise! | Our life is frittered away by detail... simplify, simplify. - Henry David Thoreau

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