Free trades and Flagship status

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beyou
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Free trades and Flagship status

Post by beyou »

I read that free stock trades are coming to Vanguard soon. Seems they are getting a taste of their own medicine, low fee pressure from outside.

Additionally, unless this turns out to be reserves by tiers of account such as Flagship, no more benefits remain to Flagship. Free trades, Turbo Tax, dedicated rep.....

Guess I can move 99% of my money out and get same service level now. What am I missing ?
jebmke
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Re: Free trades and Flagship status

Post by jebmke »

1%, it would seem.
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Geologist
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Re: Free trades and Flagship status

Post by Geologist »

The free trades weren't much of a deal for me. Vanguard ETF's and Treasuries (new issue at least) were already commission-free to all. I only used the Flagship free trades to sell a couple of stocks I inherited from my mother and haven't used any since and don't plan to.
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JoMoney
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Re: Free trades and Flagship status

Post by JoMoney »

I'm amazed at the great interest in "free trades" for Boglehead's and Vanguard customers.
Might as well be offering "free" poke in the eye with a sharp stick.
I would have thought trading antithetical to the whole ethos :confused thought wrong :?
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watchnerd
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Re: Free trades and Flagship status

Post by watchnerd »

JoMoney wrote: Thu Jan 02, 2020 10:37 am I'm amazed at the great interest in "free trades" for Boglehead's and Vanguard customers.
Might as well be offering "free" poke in the ribs with a sharp stick.
I would have thought trading antithetical to the whole ethos :confused thought wrong :?
Not everything I own is a Vanguard fund.

Why would I want to get charged, regardless of frequency?

Sure, it's teeny compared to the funds involved, but free is free.
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xenial
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Re: Free trades and Flagship status

Post by xenial »

beyou wrote: Thu Jan 02, 2020 8:19 am I read that free stock trades are coming to Vanguard soon. Seems they are getting a taste of their own medicine, low fee pressure from outside.

Additionally, unless this turns out to be reserves by tiers of account such as Flagship, no more benefits remain to Flagship. Free trades, Turbo Tax, dedicated rep.....

Guess I can move 99% of my money out and get same service level now. What am I missing ?
One remaining Flagship benefit I find useful is free outgoing wire transfers. It's $10 for most investors.
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watchnerd
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Re: Free trades and Flagship status

Post by watchnerd »

beyou wrote: Thu Jan 02, 2020 8:19 am I read that free stock trades are coming to Vanguard soon. Seems they are getting a taste of their own medicine, low fee pressure from outside.

Additionally, unless this turns out to be reserves by tiers of account such as Flagship, no more benefits remain to Flagship. Free trades, Turbo Tax, dedicated rep.....

Guess I can move 99% of my money out and get same service level now. What am I missing ?
Estate planning?
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beyou
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Re: Free trades and Flagship status

Post by beyou »

watchnerd wrote: Thu Jan 02, 2020 10:42 am
beyou wrote: Thu Jan 02, 2020 8:19 am I read that free stock trades are coming to Vanguard soon. Seems they are getting a taste of their own medicine, low fee pressure from outside.

Additionally, unless this turns out to be reserves by tiers of account such as Flagship, no more benefits remain to Flagship. Free trades, Turbo Tax, dedicated rep.....

Guess I can move 99% of my money out and get same service level now. What am I missing ?
Estate planning?
Really ? I assume not the type of help one would get from a lawyer or CPA, so what exactly ?
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beyou
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Re: Free trades and Flagship status

Post by beyou »

Have people called since their dedicated rep was removed ? Was service same or ?
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watchnerd
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Re: Free trades and Flagship status

Post by watchnerd »

beyou wrote: Thu Jan 02, 2020 1:28 pm
Really ? I assume not the type of help one would get from a lawyer or CPA, so what exactly ?
I've never used it, but it's on the list of stuff the website claims.
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watchnerd
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Re: Free trades and Flagship status

Post by watchnerd »

beyou wrote: Thu Jan 02, 2020 1:29 pm Have people called since their dedicated rep was removed ? Was service same or ?
I almost never call them. 2-3 times in my whole life. It's so much quicker to do stuff online.
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Re: Free trades and Flagship status

Post by Vanguard Fan 1367 »

beyou wrote: Thu Jan 02, 2020 1:29 pm Have people called since their dedicated rep was removed ? Was service same or ?
If you buy a house with Vanguard wired funds the procedure may be a little smoother with the dedicated rep. I miss them but still am a Vanguard Fan.
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am
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Re: Free trades and Flagship status

Post by am »

Few questions I have had I just send via their contact form. Much less hassle then calling and waiting, verifying yourself, talking to a clueless rep, getting the wrong or confusing answer, etc.

I always had one of my goals to become flagship. Now not so much. It’s essentially a worthless title or tier. I’ve liked Fidelity much more recently for too many reasons to list here.
ohai
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Re: Free trades and Flagship status

Post by ohai »

You get the rep back when you invest $5 million with them! Given how much stocks have appreciated in the past 20 years, maybe this is the new threshold.

Otherwise, I am sure Vanguard would be happy to provide more service in exchange for higher fees. Unfortunately, that's the opposite of what their customers seem to want.
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Re: Free trades and Flagship status

Post by Vanguard Fan 1367 »

ohai wrote: Thu Jan 02, 2020 2:39 pm You get the rep back when you invest $5 million with them! Given how much stocks have appreciated in the past 20 years, maybe this is the new threshold.

Otherwise, I am sure Vanguard would be happy to provide more service in exchange for higher fees. Unfortunately, that's the opposite of what their customers seem to want.
I didn’t see that listed as a Flagship Select benefit. Do I need to work on reading comprehension?
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drzzzzz
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Re: Free trades and Flagship status

Post by drzzzzz »

What I find so amusing about the free trades is that Vanguard is following the other brokerage houses rather than leading. Also, the concept of free trading of stocks smacks of timing which Vanguard actively discourages and prevents with their mutual fund rules about selling and re- into a fund prior to waiting 30 days - somewhat ironic.
aednichols
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Re: Free trades and Flagship status

Post by aednichols »

I feel like we may see a simplification of the Vanguard tiers at some point in the near future.

Most other places like Schwab and Fidelity have a regular tier and a 250k+ or 500k+ tier, which are much easier to explain.
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watchnerd
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Re: Free trades and Flagship status

Post by watchnerd »

drzzzzz wrote: Thu Jan 02, 2020 4:00 pm What I find so amusing about the free trades is that Vanguard is following the other brokerage houses rather than leading. Also, the concept of free trading of stocks smacks of timing which Vanguard actively discourages and prevents with their mutual fund rules about selling and re- into a fund prior to waiting 30 days - somewhat ironic.
That just points out how old-school mutual funds are relative to ETFs.

The big cohort of Millennial investors don't want to invest with those kind of constraints when they can just pick Robinhood, not to mention the minimum requirements needed to invest in the funds. Are any of them <$3k?
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gold99xx
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Re: Free trades and Flagship status

Post by gold99xx »

Do you get free tax software with flagship ??
micamica
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Re: Free trades and Flagship status

Post by micamica »

beyou wrote: Thu Jan 02, 2020 1:29 pm Have people called since their dedicated rep was removed ? Was service same or ?
I don't call much at all, but needed to do so several times in the last few days to iron out a few account-related items. So I just found out that the dedicated rep thing is now gone: I still see a name and a picture on my account overview page, but the only way to talk to that guy is to set up an appointment. (And he's much less helpful than his predecessor.) I learned today that there's no "Flagship team" any more, my call goes to the broader rep team, which means a redirect (and a wait) for anything out of the ordinary. Took me 20 min today to have a 2 min conversation.

So I'm disappointed with the changes, and particularly with the unannounced reduction of service levels.

I've also been concerned about the website problems (most recently on 12/31, unavailable for large parts of the day), indicating a less-than-stellar technology team & process.

So I'm taking a look at moving some of my assets to another broker. I'm guessing Vanguard doesn't care, it's not like they're making a lot of money from me, given the low fund fees and the new zero commission trades.
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beyou
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Re: Free trades and Flagship status

Post by beyou »

gold99xx wrote: Thu Jan 02, 2020 5:37 pm Do you get free tax software with flagship ??
not for a few years now.
stan1
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Re: Free trades and Flagship status

Post by stan1 »

Over the past 3 months we've called three times. One was 2020 RMD calculation on a newly inherited IRA and the RMD website told us we had to call. That call was very professional and the rep answered all questions including about QCDs without having to read from his script.

Another call was to transfer in about $500K of assets from an estate. Yes we could have done that online but with that asset amount we were assigned a personal rep (who we could call) who fully explained the process and made sure it went smoothly. Glad we did it over the phone and the transfer specialist we spoke to was very knowledgeable and also not reading from a script.

Third call was to Flagship phone number and was to ask a technical question that was not answered on the website. The rep recited information he was reading from an internal website that did not answer our questions. When I asked him to clarify he suggested we hang up and call back to get another rep. I asked the question here instead and then decided I had a workaround to the technical issue.

So my takeaway is that the specialists are better than the generalists. Not sure what to make of this but all 4 reps we talked to were men. I didn't use my assigned Flagship rep very often (twice in about 7 years) but those two times she was very knowledgeable, knew the answers without reading a script, could answer questions, and helped me solve the problems with as little effort as possible.

I am concerned that the loss of Flagship reps takes away accountability to solve a problem. That will be frustrating when it happens (probably just a matter of when not if given that we have complex investment accounts structure by necessity).
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