Did Vanguard Eliminate Access to Financial Engines?

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iceport
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Did Vanguard Eliminate Access to Financial Engines?

Post by iceport »

I just looked for access to Financial Engines through my Vanguard account for the first time in over a year and could not find it. Did Vanguard eliminate access to this service? If so, when did that happen?

Thanks!
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Ron
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Re: Did Vanguard Eliminate Access to Financial Engines?

Post by Ron »

My Accounts -> Account Maintenance -> Services -> Financial Engines

- Ron
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iceport
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Re: Did Vanguard Eliminate Access to Financial Engines?

Post by iceport »

Ron wrote: Sat Dec 21, 2019 12:08 pm My Accounts -> Account Maintenance -> Services -> Financial Engines

- Ron
Thanks for the info! The service does not appear there for my account. I wonder if they cut access for all but Flagship customers. (I don't have all assets at Vanguard, so I am not a Flagship customer.)

Are you a Flagship customer?
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Re: Did Vanguard Eliminate Access to Financial Engines?

Post by Ron »

Nope; I'm in a submarine :mrgreen: ... (I also have my retirement accounts at multiple firms)...

It says "Vanguard Voyager Select" on my statements.

- Ron
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Re: Did Vanguard Eliminate Access to Financial Engines?

Post by iceport »

Ron wrote: Sat Dec 21, 2019 12:27 pm Nope; I'm in a submarine :mrgreen: ...

It says "Vanguard Voyager Select" on my statements.

- Ron
Huh... that's odd, same here. Maybe I'm being punished for not "upgrading" my taxable account to the brokerage variety. :-?

I used to check out the analysis weekly, but eventually stopped after retiring. I went looking for it this morning just out of curiosity and was disappointed not to find it.

Thanks for replying Ron.
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Re: Did Vanguard Eliminate Access to Financial Engines?

Post by Ron »

iceport wrote: Sat Dec 21, 2019 12:33 pmHuh... that's odd, same here. Maybe I'm being punished for not "upgrading" my taxable account to the brokerage variety. :-?

I used to check out the analysis weekly, but eventually stopped after retiring. I went looking for it this morning just out of curiosity and was disappointed not to find it.

Thanks for replying Ron.
I didn't upgrade either, so that's probably not a factor.

Give their helpless desk a call the next time the're in.

- Ron
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Re: Did Vanguard Eliminate Access to Financial Engines?

Post by sycamore »

When I log on to Vanguard, I don't see Financial Engines as an option under Account Maintenance > Services. I only see Required minimum distributions and Watch list.

If I search using vanguard.com's search box for "Financial Engines", one of the hits is
2. Financial Engines for personal investors
If you invest in nonretirement accounts or retirement accounts like an IRA, log on to Financial Engines from our Personal investors site.
and has a link to https://personal.vanguard.com/us/XHTML/ ... file.xhtml, which is just a link to the Account Maintenance page. So, yeah, looks like they got rid of it. Or maybe just yet another quirk of the vanguard web site :)
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Re: Did Vanguard Eliminate Access to Financial Engines?

Post by sycamore »

FWIW, this web article https://www.thinkadvisor.com/2019/09/24 ... l-engines/ talks about competition Vanguard's Digital Advisor and Edelman Financial Engines (which bought/merged with Financial Engines not long ago).

It's interesting how these various firms compete and sometimes cooperate. One might speculate that now is a time of greater competition and Vanguard removed the Financial Engines integration on purpose.

I'm a DIYer and don't use either service myself, but it's a bummer for those who did use it.
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Re: Did Vanguard Eliminate Access to Financial Engines?

Post by bertilak »

iceport wrote: Sat Dec 21, 2019 12:23 pm
Ron wrote: Sat Dec 21, 2019 12:08 pm My Accounts -> Account Maintenance -> Services -> Financial Engines

- Ron
Thanks for the info! The service does not appear there for my account. I wonder if they cut access for all but Flagship customers. (I don't have all assets at Vanguard, so I am not a Flagship customer.)

Are you a Flagship customer?
I am a Flagship customer and the Financial Engines link does not show for me either.
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Re: Did Vanguard Eliminate Access to Financial Engines?

Post by Cheez-It Guy »

I don't have it, and to my knowledge never have. Could this be related to people that have an employer-sponsored plan with Vanguard?

My work 401(k) is through T. Rowe Price, and my employer just recently started something with a Financial Engines. They've been spamming me nonstop since. I recently unsubscribed to their unwanted mailings. I don't see anything coming from them except fees for making basic recommendations. I also don't like their recommendations.
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Re: Did Vanguard Eliminate Access to Financial Engines?

Post by dwickenh »

I have it as a Voyager select. under account maintenance. Just used it last night.
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Re: Did Vanguard Eliminate Access to Financial Engines?

Post by iceport »

Cheez-It Guy wrote: Sat Dec 21, 2019 3:05 pm I don't have it, and to my knowledge never have. Could this be related to people that have an employer-sponsored plan with Vanguard?
I think many employee-sponsored plans do — or did — use Financial Engines also, but I've had it for a long time as an individual investor at Vanguard. There doesn't seem to be a pattern emerging yet for which accounts have access and which ones lost access.

Interesting to see sycamore's bit of news about the merger with Ric Edelman. Wonder what Bill Sharpe's involvement is at this point. Apparently, from examples above, Vanguard hasn't cut ties (completely) with them.
Cheez-It Guy wrote: Sat Dec 21, 2019 3:05 pm My work 401(k) is through T. Rowe Price, and my employer just recently started something with a Financial Engines. They've been spamming me nonstop since. I recently unsubscribed to their unwanted mailings. I don't see anything coming from them except fees for making basic recommendations. I also don't like their recommendations.
I agree, their recommendations for re-allocations never seemed practical, but I found it interesting to look at their stab at optimization.

I never used to get spammed, but did seem to get one email per quarter as a reminder to check in.
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Re: Did Vanguard Eliminate Access to Financial Engines?

Post by Cheez-It Guy »

Interesting. So we still haven't found the common thread. I don't recall ever having seen a link to Financial Engines in account maintenance on my account, and based on my initial impression from work, I'm not missing too much.
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Re: Did Vanguard Eliminate Access to Financial Engines?

Post by UpperNwGuy »

What's a financial engine? My primary brokerage account is with Vanguard, and I've never heard of this feature. Could this be something unique to the old mutual fund accounts?
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Re: Did Vanguard Eliminate Access to Financial Engines?

Post by Cheez-It Guy »

^That's already been ruled out.

https://financialengines.com/workplace
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Re: Did Vanguard Eliminate Access to Financial Engines?

Post by beyou »

I have access as per menus location mentioned above.

I used it a few times but find the documentation to understand results are not clear. I think the site’s primary purpose is to confuse you into hiring them (fin engines) to manage your portfolio. Don’t bother.
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Re: Did Vanguard Eliminate Access to Financial Engines?

Post by Dale_G »

It works for me, but they only consider the IRAs, not the taxable accounts. They think I am a little bond heavy :D

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Re: Did Vanguard Eliminate Access to Financial Engines?

Post by beyou »

It included my taxable accounts and any accounts you add (if you give them the data). But the explanations of how they count social security towards retirement income was confusing. At first the tool gave me some comfort I was on track, but the more I read their comments the less i understood how to interpret.

Their recommendations for trades not too Boglehead (not simple).
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Re: Did Vanguard Eliminate Access to Financial Engines?

Post by jhfenton »

We used to have access, but neither my wife nor I seem to any longer. I hadn't looked in a long time, so I don't know when it went away.

We are Voyager Select, although that does not seem to matter.
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Re: Did Vanguard Eliminate Access to Financial Engines?

Post by dbr »

If I understand correctly Financial Engines is basically an asset allocation tool based on mean variance optimization. I gather the feedback about the recommendations you get are constantly varying and sometimes extreme or bizarre shifts among different size, value, and fixed income selections. That might be unfair, but my 401k once gave access to the tool and it always seemed to me the suggestions were really extreme and not practical.

At the time I saw it the outcome of the plan was an amount that could be used to purchase an SPIA that would supply the target income. In that respect FE was kind of the mainstream academic idea that an SPIA would be the default funding tool for retirement, like a pension.
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Re: Did Vanguard Eliminate Access to Financial Engines?

Post by Broken Man 1999 »

Just looked, I have the link, and it seems to work.

Brokerage + Flagship, FWIW.

Our info was updating so seems to be working.

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Re: Did Vanguard Eliminate Access to Financial Engines?

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Re: Did Vanguard Eliminate Access to Financial Engines?

Post by mpnret »

I used Financial Engines for many years to manage my 401K which was held at my employers account. I was able to add all my outside accounts so they were considered when FE made recomendations. I was very pleased with FE. Once I consolidated everything over to VG I lost FE. I questioned VG about this and was told some users at VG have FE when VG holds the employer account and the employer funds it. This seems to coincide with the above link which appears to be for Farmers Insurance accounts held by VG.
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Re: Did Vanguard Eliminate Access to Financial Engines?

Post by fposte »

bertilak wrote: Sun Dec 22, 2019 12:45 pm I found this Vanguard web page: https://retirementplans.vanguard.com/ek ... gines.html
I can understand why some of us therefore didn't have access, but OP, did you change jobs, or did your job change retirement account custodians?
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Re: Did Vanguard Eliminate Access to Financial Engines?

Post by iceport »

bertilak wrote: Sun Dec 22, 2019 12:45 pm I found this Vanguard web page: https://retirementplans.vanguard.com/ek ... gines.html
Interesting find, relating to an employer-based retirement plan. A Google search of the Vanguard site turned up this brochure, dated just last month:

Vanguard Personal Advisor Services Brochure
• Interactive Advice Tools: Personal Online Advisor (“POA”) is a nondiscretionary advisory service previously offered to retail clients. Financial Engines Advisors, LLC (“FE”), an independent investment advisory unaffiliated with VAI, subadvises POA;
The POA is described elsewhere as being "powered by Financial Engines." Note, however, the word, "previously," in reference to retail clients. I have only ever been a retail Vanguard client, with no current or past affiliation with Vanguard through an employer retirement plan.

Are there any of you folks that still have access to Financial Engines who do NOT have any connection whatsoever to a Vanguard-administered employer-sponsored retirement plan, past or present?
fposte wrote: Sun Dec 22, 2019 1:18 pm
bertilak wrote: Sun Dec 22, 2019 12:45 pm I found this Vanguard web page: https://retirementplans.vanguard.com/ek ... gines.html
I can understand why some of us therefore didn't have access, but OP, did you change jobs, or did your job change retirement account custodians?
Nope, no changes since FE was last available to me.
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Re: Did Vanguard Eliminate Access to Financial Engines?

Post by Broken Man 1999 »

iceport wrote: Sun Dec 22, 2019 1:33 pm
bertilak wrote: Sun Dec 22, 2019 12:45 pm I found this Vanguard web page: https://retirementplans.vanguard.com/ek ... gines.html
Interesting find, relating to an employer-based retirement plan. A Google search of the Vanguard site turned up this brochure, dated just last month:

Vanguard Personal Advisor Services Brochure
• Interactive Advice Tools: Personal Online Advisor (“POA”) is a nondiscretionary advisory service previously offered to retail clients. Financial Engines Advisors, LLC (“FE”), an independent investment advisory unaffiliated with VAI, subadvises POA;
The POA is described elsewhere as being "powered by Financial Engines." Note, however, the word, "previously," in reference to retail clients. I have only ever been a retail Vanguard client, with no current or past affiliation with Vanguard through an employer retirement plan.

Are there any of you folks that still have access to Financial Engines who do NOT have any connection whatsoever to a Vanguard-administered employer-sponsored retirement plan, past or present?
fposte wrote: Sun Dec 22, 2019 1:18 pm
bertilak wrote: Sun Dec 22, 2019 12:45 pm I found this Vanguard web page: https://retirementplans.vanguard.com/ek ... gines.html
I can understand why some of us therefore didn't have access, but OP, did you change jobs, or did your job change retirement account custodians?
Nope, no changes since FE was last available to me.
iceport wrote: "Are there any of you folks that still have access to Financial Engines who do NOT have any connection whatsoever to a Vanguard-administered employer-sponsored retirement plan, past or present?"

I have never had any connection to any Vanguard-administered employer-sponsored retirement plan, past or present.

Our Vanguard experience began when I moved our 401k plans from Fidelity to Vanguard rollover IRAs.

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Re: Did Vanguard Eliminate Access to Financial Engines?

Post by iceport »

^^^Thanks for the info.

Still no pattern emerging... :?
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Re: Did Vanguard Eliminate Access to Financial Engines?

Post by tibbitts »

I never used it in recent years because my number of accounts far exceeds the capacity of the "lite" version Vanguard apparently licenses.
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Re: Did Vanguard Eliminate Access to Financial Engines?

Post by iceport »

FWIW, I sent a secure message to Vanguard and received this reply, in part:
Thank you for taking the time to contact us.

The Financial Engines service is no longer being offered.

If you are interested in retirement planning assistance, please check out
our Personal Advisor Services. To learn more about this service, click on
"Partner with an advisor" under the "Advice and Guidance" menu on our
website.
This doesn't explain why some folks still have access to it, but it does confirm that I no longer do. :(

I guess it wasn't considered a wise business decision to offer portfolio management advice for free while hoping people will pay for it. ;-)
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Re: Did Vanguard Eliminate Access to Financial Engines?

Post by sidneyinplanning »

just checked today, no access to Financial Engines.
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Re: Did Vanguard Eliminate Access to Financial Engines?

Post by sidneyinplanning »

They try to sell the personal advising service at 0.3% fee of asset under management.
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Re: Did Vanguard Eliminate Access to Financial Engines?

Post by PatrickA5 »

I've only had $5.10 at VG since March, but still have Financial Engines. Go figure.
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Re: Did Vanguard Eliminate Access to Financial Engines?

Post by Nahtanoj »

Still there for me, too, by clicking on “Account Maintenance” and then “Services”.
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Re: Did Vanguard Eliminate Access to Financial Engines?

Post by mslmd »

I last accessed Financial Engines 5/30/2020 with Flagship Services but today can no longer access. Did Vanguard notify a plan to eliminate this free service?

I stand corrected. I previously found by searching on the site but no longer. I did find by:
“Account Maintenance” and then “Services”.
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Re: Did Vanguard Eliminate Access to Financial Engines?

Post by Broken Man 1999 »

Still available to me, as of today.

Accounts updated correctly.

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Re: Did Vanguard Eliminate Access to Financial Engines?

Post by roydornoch »

I thought it was missing, too, since the Account Maintenance area disappeared from the "My Accounts" tab. It turns out that you'll find Financial Engines under "My Accounts," then "Profile & Account Settings" under "Services."
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Re: Did Vanguard Eliminate Access to Financial Engines?

Post by Tommy »

Not exists for me
Services
Required minimum distributions (RMD)
Watch list
That's it. Not sure if it big loss though - found them pretty useless in the past
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Re: Did Vanguard Eliminate Access to Financial Engines?

Post by pascalwager »

roydornoch wrote: Mon Aug 10, 2020 9:09 am I thought it was missing, too, since the Account Maintenance area disappeared from the "My Accounts" tab. It turns out that you'll find Financial Engines under "My Accounts," then "Profile & Account Settings" under "Services."
Doesn't appear under Services for me. I recently updated to the brokerage accounts.
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Re: Did Vanguard Eliminate Access to Financial Engines?

Post by guywhogetsit »

I was on phone with Vanguard today and they confirmed they no longer offer this service/benefit to personal investors. It appeared it might be available through workplace retirement plans (not self-employed plans).

I did complain that this was unfortunate as I'd valued the tool and felt like a push towards fee-based advisory services - which is fine but they are supposed to be supporting customers even if they don't want advisory services.

I also noted that they have made it much harder to find a phone number to call - flagship service number used to appear on my account pages.
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Re: Did Vanguard Eliminate Access to Financial Engines?

Post by guywhogetsit »

roydornoch wrote: Mon Aug 10, 2020 9:09 am I thought it was missing, too, since the Account Maintenance area disappeared from the "My Accounts" tab. It turns out that you'll find Financial Engines under "My Accounts," then "Profile & Account Settings" under "Services."
Ok, well despite what I was told today. I found it per above and it still works. It clearly is pulling from previous sessions so maybe only if you used before.
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Re: Did Vanguard Eliminate Access to Financial Engines?

Post by Broken Man 1999 »

guywhogetsit wrote: Wed Aug 19, 2020 1:32 pm I was on phone with Vanguard today and they confirmed they no longer offer this service/benefit to personal investors. It appeared it might be available through workplace retirement plans (not self-employed plans).

I did complain that this was unfortunate as I'd valued the tool and felt like a push towards fee-based advisory services - which is fine but they are supposed to be supporting customers even if they don't want advisory services.

I also noted that they have made it much harder to find a phone number to call - flagship service number used to appear on my account pages.
I think many, if not most, companies have made it much harder for someone to CALL them, unless you are purchasing something over the phone. Normally I am fine with that, as I detest talking on the phone.

However, I do occasionally need to make a call, so what I have been doing is putting the vetted telephone number from the website in my LastPass vault. There is a nice area in the password record where this type info can be added.

That way I am never tempted to be lazy and use a number I have received in an email.

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Re: Did Vanguard Eliminate Access to Financial Engines?

Post by Rager1 »

According to this source, Ric Edleman purchased Financial Engines in 2018. If true, that probably explains why it's missing from Vanguard.

https://www.thinkadvisor.com/2018/07/23 ... te-merger/

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Re: Did Vanguard Eliminate Access to Financial Engines?

Post by RetiredArtist »

Ron wrote: Sat Dec 21, 2019 12:08 pm My Accounts -> Account Maintenance -> Services -> Financial Engines

- Ron
I am a personal investor. When I log on to my brokerage account/my accounts, I see the following:

Account overview
Balances & holdings
Cost basis
Dividends & capital gains
Buy & sell

Order status
Transaction history
Statements
Personal performance
Investment prices & returns
Portfolio Watch

Tax center
Retirement contributions, distributions & RMDs
Messages
Service options checklist
Profile & account settings
(this includes "account maintenance" activities)

I was curious to see what a "financial engine" was, oh well.
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Re: Did Vanguard Eliminate Access to Financial Engines?

Post by Broken Man 1999 »

Strange. Still available today:

My Accounts > Account Maintenance > Services > Financial Engines

I thought perhaps the site just had kept our account numbers, but I noticed that a couple of recently opened accounts for family members were also listed.

I think I'll shoot Vanguard an email tomorrow; if the service is not supposed to be available, I certainly don't want any account numbers floating around.

I'll report back on this deepening mystery.

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Re: Did Vanguard Eliminate Access to Financial Engines?

Post by prudent »

I had used it a couple years ago but it no longer appears in my account under Services.
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Re: Did Vanguard Eliminate Access to Financial Engines?

Post by Ron »

pascalwager wrote: Mon Aug 10, 2020 11:18 pmDoesn't appear under Services for me. I recently updated to the brokerage accounts.
I updated to the brokerage account last week; still there for me.

FWIW,

- Ron
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Re: Did Vanguard Eliminate Access to Financial Engines?

Post by Broken Man 1999 »

Broken Man 1999 wrote: Wed Aug 19, 2020 5:28 pm Strange. Still available today:

My Accounts > Account Maintenance > Services > Financial Engines

I thought perhaps the site just had kept our account numbers, but I noticed that a couple of recently opened accounts for family members were also listed.

I think I'll shoot Vanguard an email tomorrow; if the service is not supposed to be available, I certainly don't want any account numbers floating around.

I'll report back on this deepening mystery.

Broken Man 1999
OK, here is the answer supplied by Vanguard:

Previously, Financial Engines was available as a complimentary service to
our Voyager, Voyager Select, and Flagship clients. As of 09/13/2019, we
changed the service. Only the following clients are eligible:

1. Clients who have an employer-sponsored retirement plan administered by
our Participant Services.
2. Existing retail clients who had enrolled in Financial Engines prior to
03/29/2019 AND had used the service within the last 2.5 years (as of
09/13/2019).


Apparently I enrolled, though I didn't actually use the service.

Vanguard's explanation does seem to make sense of why some still have access, and others do not.

Broken Man 1999
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Re: Did Vanguard Eliminate Access to Financial Engines?

Post by Nightowl99 »

I found Financial Engines by going to My Accounts-->Profile & Account Settings-->then scrolling down to Financial Engines. Its advice to me is to be more aggressive than I'd like to be, though. It advises me to sell the European Stock Index it recommended a couple of years ago. Luckily I didn't buy as much as recommended since I'd have a capital loss if I were to sell it today. Also, it suggests that I sell short-term TIPS and buy a lot more Total Stock Market and the 500 Index fund, along with some of the long-term treasury fund. All of that could end up being good advice in the long run, but I'm reluctant to make any of these changes right now.

Meanwhile, am I imagining it or did Vanguard recently come out with a robo-advisor service that it charges fees for? (Could that explain why the free Financial Engines service has become more difficult to find?)
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Re: Did Vanguard Eliminate Access to Financial Engines?

Post by pascalwager »

Ron wrote: Thu Aug 20, 2020 7:34 am
pascalwager wrote: Mon Aug 10, 2020 11:18 pmDoesn't appear under Services for me. I recently updated to the brokerage accounts.
I updated to the brokerage account last week; still there for me.

FWIW,

- Ron
Probably because I'm retired and you're probably a young investor, still working, with the possible need to make efficient retirement account fund selections outside of the Vanguard platform.
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Re: Did Vanguard Eliminate Access to Financial Engines?

Post by Ron »

pascalwager wrote: Mon Aug 24, 2020 10:38 pm
Ron wrote: Thu Aug 20, 2020 7:34 am
pascalwager wrote: Mon Aug 10, 2020 11:18 pmDoesn't appear under Services for me. I recently updated to the brokerage accounts.
I updated to the brokerage account last week; still there for me.

FWIW,

- Ron
Probably because I'm retired and you're probably a young investor, still working, with the possible need to make efficient retirement account fund selections outside of the Vanguard platform.
Uh, no...

In my 70's and have been retired for more than a bakers dozen years :mrgreen: ...

- Ron
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