Not Experiencing Any Problems With Vanguard

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Cheez-It Guy
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Not Experiencing Any Problems With Vanguard

Post by Cheez-It Guy »

Post here when you aren't experiencing any life-altering problems or minor inconveniences at Vanguard.

Perhaps this can serve as a counterbalance for those on the fence who interpret special-cause or isolated issues as a sign of some systemic ill at the investing behemoth and either shy away or move assets as a knee-jerk reaction to someone else's plight.

No significant issues in my 13+ years.
retiredjg
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Re: Not Experiencing Any Problems With Vanguard

Post by retiredjg »

Been at Vanguard nearly 10 years. I've never had a problem.

I did get "in the door" before their customer service went downhill and I've never used anything since other than online withdrawals and rebalancing. All of that has been spot on.

No complaints.
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JoMoney
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Re: Not Experiencing Any Problems With Vanguard

Post by JoMoney »

Everything is ok.

No major problems with Vanguard, Fidelity, T.Rowe Price, E-Trade, and I've heard Charles Schwab is alright too.
"To achieve satisfactory investment results is easier than most people realize; to achieve superior results is harder than it looks." - Benjamin Graham
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Cheez-It Guy
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Re: Not Experiencing Any Problems With Vanguard

Post by Cheez-It Guy »

^Haha! I hadn't seen that Simpsons clip. "It CAN'T be turned off. . . but it does break easily!"
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Re: Not Experiencing Any Problems With Vanguard

Post by Housedoc »

My only issues are trying to master the fewest steps in moving money around the site. I blame my finger to eyeballs link. Brain sometimes cannot process the error msg of my ways!
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Re: Not Experiencing Any Problems With Vanguard

Post by Doc »

Cheez-It Guy wrote: Sun Dec 15, 2019 10:03 am Post here when you aren't experiencing any life-altering problems or minor inconveniences at Vanguard.
So we respond to this post if we ARE NOT experiencing any difficulties. :D
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Re: Not Experiencing Any Problems With Vanguard

Post by whodidntante »

Since Vanguard won't pay me to transfer assets there, I wouldn't know. :twisted:
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Re: Not Experiencing Any Problems With Vanguard

Post by Cheez-It Guy »

^^Yes, that's correct!
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Re: Not Experiencing Any Problems With Vanguard

Post by HawkeyePierce »

I've never had any major problems. Nothing that would drive me to take my assets elsewhere. My two issues:

1) I received lots of contradictory information on how to roll a rollover IRA into my Vanguard 401k. Eventually escalated to someone higher-up who sorted it out.

2) My Vanguard 401k's brokerage window was moved to TD Ameritrade but I was never sent the login information for TDA. Granted, this might be my employer's fault.
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Re: Not Experiencing Any Problems With Vanguard

Post by MotoTrojan »

I had a lovely call with a retirement specialist a few years back who helped recharacterize my IRA contribution. Of course now I’m at Fidelity and get equally awesome service over online chat :).
bikesandbeers
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Re: Not Experiencing Any Problems With Vanguard

Post by bikesandbeers »

Never had any particular problems with Vanguard or Fidelity. I did go with the Fidelity DAF due to lower minimums.
I know i have heard folks say that Fidelity has a better online trading platform, but I find VG easier to get things done with less clicks.
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Re: Not Experiencing Any Problems With Vanguard

Post by PaulW »

We always appreciate the great service from Vanguard but I guess we have fairly simple needs. The few things we needed such as transferring an inherited IRA, were handled very smoothly. When we want to talk to our Flagship rep when he is not available, we leave a message and a time he can call. He has never failed to call at the requested time. As we have a long term view for our portfolio, we don’t require that something must be done this minute.

I don’t understand all the complaints about poor service. That has not been our experience. I attribute it to the fact that in most businesses 90% of your time is spent in dealing 10% of your clients and it is impossible to satisfy that 10%.

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Re: Not Experiencing Any Problems With Vanguard

Post by DB2 »

OP,

Do you work for Vanguard? I find it curious why someone would start a thread dismissing obvious issues about their site which have been noted in the media as well. Because you've never experience a problem, all is fine? Interesting.

I've had several issues with Vanguard's web site including incorrect balances. This is a very serious matter. I've contacted them about this and they we're looking into it, but I never heard anything back.
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HueyLD
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Re: Not Experiencing Any Problems With Vanguard

Post by HueyLD »

I have no issues with Vanguard because I don’t call them. Got it?
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beyou
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Re: Not Experiencing Any Problems With Vanguard

Post by beyou »

Not experiencing any difficulties at the moment.
Of course at the moment I am on BH site not Vanguard site ;-)

Kidding aside, I had found my former Flagship rep helpful the one time I needed administrative help (opened a new acct on old “platform”, easy peasy which was surprising).

I would prefer they stabilize the website. Last round of enhancements made for an inconsistent look and feel (esthetics not talking about old vs new platform). The only problem is the infrequent downtime or incorrect data, but in my experience these have been short lived issues and infrequent. I do some of my banking at Citi and they have more website outages and glitches than Vanguard. That said, the other online financial sites I use have had no issues (with less frequent usage so who knows).
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Cheez-It Guy
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Re: Not Experiencing Any Problems With Vanguard

Post by Cheez-It Guy »

DB2 wrote: Sun Dec 15, 2019 12:31 pm OP,

Do you work for Vanguard? I find it curious why someone would start a thread dismissing obvious issues about their site which have been noted in the media as well. Because you've never experience a problem, all is fine? Interesting.

I've had several issues with Vanguard's web site including incorrect balances. This is a very serious matter. I've contacted them about this and they we're looking into it, but I never heard anything back.
No, I do not. You are reading things into my initial post that are simply not there. I did not dismiss anyone's issues, obvious or otherwise. Vanguard has tons of clients, and there are bound to be numerous legitimate issues. It just struck me that I virtually only ever read about negative interactions with Vanguard of late, and that has not been consistent with my own experience.

So, while the initial post is a bit tongue-in-cheek with regard to the severity of some of the supposed problems, I also don't think it's fair that new forum readers are only presented with negativity on the subject. I've found it interesting how people will read about one other person's isolated negative experience and make threats to move assets. I would no more expect someone to move assets TO Vanguard based on a single positive experience.

I liken this to restaurant reviews on the internet. You can look up reviews for the best-reviewed restaurant with the best reputation in any city (4.5+ star average), and find TONS of 1-star reviews based on individual experiences. If you only read those as a filtered subset of the whole and accept them as reflective of a universal experience, you would never go anywhere to eat. Yes, there are occasional problems, but everything isn't a crisis. I'd rather see people with legitimate issues provide feedback and work to improve the situation for all, but each has to make their own decision, and it's nice to have the freedom of choice among several viable alternatives. Competition is good for the consumer.

That said, my experience with Vanguard has been positive, as has that of several others who have chimed in. No one tends to be as motivated to give offsetting positive reviews, especially on the internet.
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SSSS
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Re: Not Experiencing Any Problems With Vanguard

Post by SSSS »

I haven't logged into my account for about three months so I have no idea whether I'm experiencing a problem or not.

It's possible that there could be a problem that I'm yet unaware of.

I was having a great day but now I'm starting to feel nervous.
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Re: Not Experiencing Any Problems With Vanguard

Post by BigJohn »

Been with VG 15+ years without any issues. In addition to routine buying, selling, check writing, during this period I have created and reassigned UGMA accounts, upgraded VG accounts from MF to brokerage platform, transferred assets in from other brokerage firms, done on-line Roth conversions, created a testamentary trust and move assets into it.

There are a few things I’d like to see improved, most notably how they handle POAs and YE statements but I’m certain others would have their own list of things I’d like to see done differently.
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Re: Not Experiencing Any Problems With Vanguard

Post by UpperNwGuy »

whodidntante wrote: Sun Dec 15, 2019 11:06 am Since Vanguard won't pay me to transfer assets there, I wouldn't know. :twisted:
I'm glad they don't pay you. If they did pay you, it might increase their expenses.
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Re: Not Experiencing Any Problems With Vanguard

Post by yangtui »

A lot of problems are self inflicted. Often times the system isn't "broken", the user just has trouble figuring out how to get it to do what they want it to do or they filled out a form wrong. Having said this, some problems are legitimate. After helping numerous people though I have learned to take most complaints with a grain of salt. A user base that needs a lot of hand-holding raises costs for everybody.
Last edited by yangtui on Sun Dec 15, 2019 1:33 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Not Experiencing Any Problems With Vanguard

Post by FrugalInvestor »

My investments have been primarily with Vanguard since the 1980s. I've experienced one problem that I can recall. It was about 6 years ago when I was doing Roth conversions and then recharacterizing the excess the following year (which is not allowed any longer to the best of my knowledge). There was some confusion but the problem was eventually resolved. Part of the confusion was mine and part was Vanguard's.

As far as I'm concerned a single hiccup in 30+ years is an excellent record. I remain a loyal Vanguard customer albeit a fairly self-sufficient one.
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Re: Not Experiencing Any Problems With Vanguard

Post by bhsince87 »

In 32+ years, I've never had a problem (knocks on wood....)
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Re: Not Experiencing Any Problems With Vanguard

Post by Stinky »

I like Vanguard today. As I have for the past 20 years. No problems, no complaints. Both website and mobile app are just fine.

My only complaint is the high minimums on their DAF. Which is why mine is at Fidelity.
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Re: Not Experiencing Any Problems With Vanguard

Post by jef »

10 + years, zero issues.
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Re: Not Experiencing Any Problems With Vanguard

Post by Flyer24 »

Thread has run its course. Topic is locked.

[Update: See below --admin LadyGeek]
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Re: Not Experiencing Any Problems With Vanguard

Post by LadyGeek »

Upon further review, this thread is actionable in a sense that comments will benefit readers by providing a perspective on Vanguard service that is not discussed elsewhere in this forum.

This thread is now unlocked to continue the discussion.
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Re: Not Experiencing Any Problems With Vanguard

Post by Cheez-It Guy »

Cool!

To be clear, this thread isn't meant to bash other investment houses nor to contradict or belittle legitimate issues encountered by individual Vanguard users. Rather, it is to suggest that despite what may be a natural conclusion to make when seeing only negative threads, it is indeed possible to have a positive experience with Vanguard, and it actually isn't all that rare.
Last edited by Cheez-It Guy on Sun Dec 15, 2019 8:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Brianmcg321
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Re: Not Experiencing Any Problems With Vanguard

Post by Brianmcg321 »

No issues. Been an account holder with them for 20+ years. Have IRAs, brokerages and 401ks with them.
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Re: Not Experiencing Any Problems With Vanguard

Post by southerndoc »

No issues with my Individual 401(k), general investment, and Roth IRA accounts. Their customer service has been very responsive.
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Re: Not Experiencing Any Problems With Vanguard

Post by Bama12 »

No issues for me.

When we set up the 401k with Vanguard at work it was a nightmare.
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Re: Not Experiencing Any Problems With Vanguard

Post by stan1 »

My approach is to not poke the sleeping bear, but sometimes you have no choice. Or, if you prefer, I do as much as I can myself on the website and definitely think twice before calling to ask a person to do anything.
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Re: Not Experiencing Any Problems With Vanguard

Post by Cheez-It Guy »

stan1 wrote: Sun Dec 15, 2019 9:15 pm My approach is to not poke the sleeping bear, but sometimes you have no choice. Or, if you prefer, I do as much as I can myself on the website and definitely think twice before calling to ask a person to do anything.
Good policy. Seek help / confirmation on Bogleheads first. Are we the true frontline of customer service?
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Re: Not Experiencing Any Problems With Vanguard

Post by pdavi21 »

There is just nothing right with them any more. You can trade Vanguard ETFs anywhere else free. What advantage does their brokerage have anymore?

I still am 100% Vanguard (where I have a choice). Only problem was changing my wife's name. The brokerage problems were a bit scary, but didn't affect me at all.
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Re: Not Experiencing Any Problems With Vanguard

Post by nordsteve »

Customer of 20 years. No issues so far *knocks on wood*.
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Re: Not Experiencing Any Problems With Vanguard

Post by Ricchan »

pdavi21 wrote: Sun Dec 15, 2019 9:27 pm There is just nothing right with them any more. You can trade Vanguard ETFs anywhere else free. What advantage does their brokerage have anymore?
Certain mutual funds, including Admiral class shares and money market funds, may not be available at other brokerages or may come with a fee. If you solely use ETFs though, you're probably right that it doesn't make any difference.
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Re: Not Experiencing Any Problems With Vanguard

Post by stan1 »

pdavi21 wrote: Sun Dec 15, 2019 9:27 pm What advantage does their brokerage have anymore?
Money market funds and state-specific muni bond funds at Vanguard really aren't equivalent anywhere else. Agree brokerages are pretty much commoditized at this point with the exception of a few like Fidelity who still have hundreds of billions of dollars of investor money in mutual funds with 100 plus basis point expense ratio. Handwriting is on the wall I think but they may have decades to go (kind of like the decades long Sears draw down).
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Re: Not Experiencing Any Problems With Vanguard

Post by nalor511 »

Don't worry, it's the "everything is ok" alarm. No problem here.
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Re: Not Experiencing Any Problems With Vanguard

Post by Cheez-It Guy »

pdavi21 wrote: Sun Dec 15, 2019 9:27 pm There is just nothing right with them any more. You can trade Vanguard ETFs anywhere else free. What advantage does their brokerage have anymore?
Well, keep in mind that free trading of Vanguard ETFs at chief competitors has only been available for about two months. Also, Vanguard was one of the first brokerages to allow free trading of most competitor ETFs. We'll have to see what the next shot in the wars is. I'm not looking to switch brokers every few months. Vanguard has been an industry leader. Let's see if they can continue to be one. Do you really expect we'd have such low expense ratios and free commissions elsewhere without them? They made it the cost of doing business for their competitors.
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Re: Not Experiencing Any Problems With Vanguard

Post by EddyB »

LadyGeek wrote: Sun Dec 15, 2019 7:13 pm Upon further review, this thread is actionable in a sense that comments will benefit readers by providing a perspective on Vanguard service that is not discussed elsewhere in this forum.

This thread is now unlocked to continue the discussion.
All we actually know is that these posters haven’t identified any problems, even if we take their posts at face value. That doesn’t mean they didn’t happen.

There’s no shortage of pro-Vanguard posts on this board.

I’ve been a Vanguard customer for more than 15 years and have had three types of Vanguard error;

Reporting the wrong “name” from a joint account to the IRS, leading to unnecessary backup withholding after Vanguard failed to implement its own proposed solution to the problem. The name they reported for the account was “JTWROS.” Although obviously their error, they insisted on getting a W-9 to correct it. A year after they received that, they still hadn’t figured out how to correct their error, leading to their and IRS policies requiring that I submit a copy of a social security card issued within the prior six months. I got it and sent a copy, but because they hadn’t mailed the notice until more than thirty calendar days after they “dated” it, I became subject to backup
Withholding.

Their mistaken reporting of basis, multiple times. This resulted in 1099s reflecting a different basis election than what I’d actually made. Fortunately the first time I had screenshots from my transaction and was able to convince them to correct the 1099s. Now I always keep screenshots.

Misreporting as taxable the after-tax amounts in 401(k) rollovers and IRA conversions, multiple times. Left me to deal with it with the IRS.

There first and last of these problems was most disappointing in that Vanguard did such a poor job of addressing them once I brought them to its attention. The middle problem was one where I had to pay more attention than some investors will, in order to even spot the problem.
Last edited by EddyB on Sun Dec 15, 2019 10:37 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Cheez-It Guy
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Re: Not Experiencing Any Problems With Vanguard

Post by Cheez-It Guy »

nalor511 wrote: Sun Dec 15, 2019 9:46 pm Don't worry, it's the "everything is ok" alarm. No problem here.
That joke was made hours ago, but better since it included a link to the relevant YouTube clip.
JoMoney wrote: Sun Dec 15, 2019 10:16 am Everything is ok.
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Doom&Gloom
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Re: Not Experiencing Any Problems With Vanguard

Post by Doom&Gloom »

Two-thirds of my investments are with VG. No major issues; one minor one that was quickly resolved with a phone call.

No issues with Fidelity or Schwab either. If I do experience a major issue with any of the three, I will probably be down to two brokerages. Or a different three.

Disclosure: I'm a low-maintenance customer with no (or very few) complex needs. Any brokerage should be able to satisfy me with little effort.
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Re: Not Experiencing Any Problems With Vanguard

Post by Random Musings »

Never had a problem with Vanguard. I'm sure some people have. I had two family members who had a problem with Fidelity, both involving rolling dollars out of 401k plans to another firm (one Vanguard, one not).

Fro a Boglehead perspective, I have no problems with their offerings as basically everything is available for our portfolios. However, for the less informed out there, and there are lots of them, would they be better served using investment services provided by Vanguard or Fidelity. Vanguard will slap a 0.3 percent fee and more or less provide a pretty basic portfolio at low cost. Fidelity, on the other hand, and I've seen this a bunch of times, put clients in a lot of overlapping funds with some beefy ER's and toss in an annual fee to boot.

So what company provides more problems to the average investor?

RM
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Re: Not Experiencing Any Problems With Vanguard

Post by Dick D »

38 years and not one problem.
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Re: Not Experiencing Any Problems With Vanguard

Post by pdavi21 »

I agree with the disagreements to my post. If you desire Vanguard Funds other than ETFs, there is currently a benefit to remain at Vanguard. Also, they were early to do free ETF trades.
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Re: Not Experiencing Any Problems With Vanguard

Post by neilpilot »

pdavi21 wrote: Sun Dec 15, 2019 11:01 pm I agree with the disagreements to my post. If you desire Vanguard Funds other than ETFs, there is currently a benefit to remain at Vanguard. Also, they were early to do free ETF trades.
Not necessarily. I’m mostly ETFs now, but my new account bonus at TDA back when it was Scottrade covered decades of Vanguard Admiral class MF commissions.
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Re: Not Experiencing Any Problems With Vanguard

Post by jimkinny »

No significant issues in 25 years.
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Re: Not Experiencing Any Problems With Vanguard

Post by Cubicle »

Had some initial issues setting up my solo 401k but quickly resolved with 2 phone calls 2 years ago. Been with them since 2016, no issues otherwise.
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Re: Not Experiencing Any Problems With Vanguard

Post by columbia »

I’ve never had a problem and am pretty sure that I’ve never even called them. That’s also true of my various 403b accounts through TIAA.
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Re: Not Experiencing Any Problems With Vanguard

Post by Dick D »

38 years without a problem.
FRANK2009
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Re: Not Experiencing Any Problems With Vanguard

Post by FRANK2009 »

30 years with Vanguard. Just watching my account values grow. Other than missing their cash management (Vanguard Advantage) account go away, never had a problem.
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