Vanguard Mutual Fund Platform EOL

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palanzo
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Re: Vanguard Mutual Fund Platform EOL

Post by palanzo »

stan1 wrote: Sat May 16, 2020 2:33 pm
TomatoTomahto wrote: Sat May 16, 2020 2:19 pm
stan1 wrote: Sat May 16, 2020 2:07 pm
TomatoTomahto wrote: Sat May 16, 2020 1:51 pm I am delaying because possibly by then DW’s employer will have worked out a method whereby a Brokerage account at Vanguard is acceptable to Compliance. I know it is not acceptable today.
Just curious, do employers with these compliance requirements usually offer a choice of multiple acceptable brokers? Are any of choices "no commission no fee" accounts such as a retail investor by ourselves could get a Fidelity or Schwab?
There are a number of choices (Fidelity among them). I imagine we could move most of our holdings. We have, in some MFs, decades of LTCG, eg in PRIMECAP. Fidelity manages our 401k also, so I’d be reluctant to have all of our eggs in that basket. It is not that I distrust Fidelity, but suppose they had a technical issue; I’d hate to be locked out for an extended time.
So at least you aren't being thrown to a Merrill Lynch advisor with $50 and up commissions per trade.

Vanguard knows full well what the consequences are. Either they will make their brokerage platform compliance friendly or they have decided customers with your requirements are too expensive and demanding to justify support. Vanguard has shown time and again they are willing to cut perks and special services that are used by a small percentage of their customers (including high net worth customers in the case of Advantage accounts and named Flagship reps).
Agreed. At some point if the high net worth customers leave Vanguard will not the impact their business? Or "our" business?
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TomatoTomahto
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Re: Vanguard Mutual Fund Platform EOL

Post by TomatoTomahto »

Agreed. At some point if the high net worth customers leave Vanguard will not the impact their business? Or "our" business?
I don’t know, but I have to imagine that the number of HNW customers with Compliance restrictions isn’t massive enough to bother Vanguard. I would expect that DW’s employer might, if enough employees make a fuss, add Vanguard to the approved list of brokers.
Okay, I get it; I won't be political or controversial. The Earth is flat.
anakinskywalker
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Re: Vanguard Mutual Fund Platform EOL

Post by anakinskywalker »

TravelGeek wrote: Sat May 16, 2020 12:18 pm
rkhusky wrote: Fri May 15, 2020 7:08 am Foolish decision. They already do it on the old platform, why not just port it over to the new and limit the ability to Vanguard mutual funds. Same with some of the other downgrades of moving to the brokerage platform.
Putting on my old hat as a software development manager.... if I had a dollar for every time I was told by customers or even my own product managers “why don’t you just do X...” I probably could have FiREd a day earlier. :)

What’s foolish is to make definitive statements with limited knowledge/information. I admit I do that, too, at times when I don’t wear my SDM hat.
palanzo wrote: Fri May 15, 2020 11:15 am
Since it is so minor and so convenient to so many, why not add it to the new platform? I wish Vanguard would answer that question. Instead they act as if they know best and will do what they want and not listen to the customer. Businesses who do that in other areas don't do so well.
How many is “so many” - do you have a number you can share? Vanguard presumably does know how commonly used a certain feature is, and hopefully also how many complaints/requests they get. I don’t have access to that information.

I also don’t know what other enhancements and bugs are on Vanguard’s “to do list”. I suspect like in most organizations it is really long and resources are limited. Again, when I was a SDM, the list was long and ever growing, and customers didn’t usually appreciate why we could “just” implement their urgently needed, surely widely popular, and definitely simple enhancement request.
palanzo wrote: Sat May 16, 2020 1:27 am
Feedback to Vanguard has been provided over many years and it has made no difference. Whistling in the wind.
There could be various reasons for that. Front line employees may not pass on or have the ability to pass on enhancement requests to the right group. Or maybe they do and you perceive it as whistling in the wind while there are legitimate other reasons for the decision made by Vanguard.

I wonder - has this been asked at the annual meetings with Vanguard executives and staffers during the BH conference? The one time I attended, I found the employees staffing the various tables to be very keen on listening to me, and there was a Q&A with executives.

Full disclaimer: I am still managing mutual fund accounts on the old platform (and zero on the new). Mostly because I have had no good reason to switch and because of prior threads that reported data issues as part of the transition, so my plan has always been to do this at some point when I have nothing more important to do and would have time to deal with issues. Right now is not that time.
I think the onus is on Vanguard to come clear on why exactly they want to retire the "old" platform that's working perfectly fine for so many millions of clients for so many decades.

Giving deceptive and BS excuses/reasons like "the brokerage platform will have SIPC insurance" as a reason to switch from the "old" platform (which doesn't even need SIPC insurance and is therefore actually better from this perspective) does not inspire confidence.

Millions of investors have entrusted Vanguard with managing their savings. This trust should not be taken for granted.

Since Vanguard is the one bugging users to switch (and endure the disruption and hassle, however small or large it may be), it's Vanguard's responsibility to make the experience as seamless and convenient as possible. Making up BS excuses about the "complexity" of generating PDF statements strains credulity and is actually downright insulting in my opinion.

If generating a PDF file is so "hard" for them, maybe they should stop trying to run a brokerage website, and find an easier business that matches their talents and abilities. And since the so-called "old" platform is already working, just leave it alone and let it be.

Anakin
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Nate79
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Re: Vanguard Mutual Fund Platform EOL

Post by Nate79 »

TomatoTomahto wrote: Sat May 16, 2020 2:19 pm
stan1 wrote: Sat May 16, 2020 2:07 pm
TomatoTomahto wrote: Sat May 16, 2020 1:51 pm I am delaying because possibly by then DW’s employer will have worked out a method whereby a Brokerage account at Vanguard is acceptable to Compliance. I know it is not acceptable today.
Just curious, do employers with these compliance requirements usually offer a choice of multiple acceptable brokers? Are any of choices "no commission no fee" accounts such as a retail investor by ourselves could get a Fidelity or Schwab?
There are a number of choices (Fidelity among them). I imagine we could move most of our holdings. We have, in some MFs, decades of LTCG, eg in PRIMECAP. Fidelity manages our 401k also, so I’d be reluctant to have all of our eggs in that basket. It is not that I distrust Fidelity, but suppose they had a technical issue; I’d hate to be locked out for an extended time.
I would assume that some of those MF can not transfer in kind to any other compliant brokerage?
palanzo
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Re: Vanguard Mutual Fund Platform EOL

Post by palanzo »

anakinskywalker wrote: Sat May 16, 2020 3:07 pm
TravelGeek wrote: Sat May 16, 2020 12:18 pm
rkhusky wrote: Fri May 15, 2020 7:08 am Foolish decision. They already do it on the old platform, why not just port it over to the new and limit the ability to Vanguard mutual funds. Same with some of the other downgrades of moving to the brokerage platform.
Putting on my old hat as a software development manager.... if I had a dollar for every time I was told by customers or even my own product managers “why don’t you just do X...” I probably could have FiREd a day earlier. :)

What’s foolish is to make definitive statements with limited knowledge/information. I admit I do that, too, at times when I don’t wear my SDM hat.
palanzo wrote: Fri May 15, 2020 11:15 am
Since it is so minor and so convenient to so many, why not add it to the new platform? I wish Vanguard would answer that question. Instead they act as if they know best and will do what they want and not listen to the customer. Businesses who do that in other areas don't do so well.
How many is “so many” - do you have a number you can share? Vanguard presumably does know how commonly used a certain feature is, and hopefully also how many complaints/requests they get. I don’t have access to that information.

I also don’t know what other enhancements and bugs are on Vanguard’s “to do list”. I suspect like in most organizations it is really long and resources are limited. Again, when I was a SDM, the list was long and ever growing, and customers didn’t usually appreciate why we could “just” implement their urgently needed, surely widely popular, and definitely simple enhancement request.
palanzo wrote: Sat May 16, 2020 1:27 am
Feedback to Vanguard has been provided over many years and it has made no difference. Whistling in the wind.
There could be various reasons for that. Front line employees may not pass on or have the ability to pass on enhancement requests to the right group. Or maybe they do and you perceive it as whistling in the wind while there are legitimate other reasons for the decision made by Vanguard.

I wonder - has this been asked at the annual meetings with Vanguard executives and staffers during the BH conference? The one time I attended, I found the employees staffing the various tables to be very keen on listening to me, and there was a Q&A with executives.

Full disclaimer: I am still managing mutual fund accounts on the old platform (and zero on the new). Mostly because I have had no good reason to switch and because of prior threads that reported data issues as part of the transition, so my plan has always been to do this at some point when I have nothing more important to do and would have time to deal with issues. Right now is not that time.
I think the onus is on Vanguard to come clear on why exactly they want to retire the "old" platform that's working perfectly fine for so many millions of clients for so many decades.

Giving deceptive and BS excuses/reasons like "the brokerage platform will have SIPC insurance" as a reason to switch from the "old" platform (which doesn't even need SIPC insurance and is therefore actually better from this perspective) does not inspire confidence.

Millions of investors have entrusted Vanguard with managing their savings. This trust should not be taken for granted.

Since Vanguard is the one bugging users to switch (and endure the disruption and hassle, however small or large it may be), it's Vanguard's responsibility to make the experience as seamless and convenient as possible. Making up BS excuses about the "complexity" of generating PDF statements strains credulity and is actually downright insulting in my opinion.

If generating a PDF file is so "hard" for them, maybe they should stop trying to run a brokerage website, and find an easier business that matches their talents and abilities. And since the so-called "old" platform is already working, just leave it alone and let it be.

Anakin
LOL :sharebeer You made my day. Thank you. Your point about SPIC insurance is one that many people do not seem to understand. Vanguard representatives trot out SPIC insurance as a "benefit". I agree there is a lot of BS going on and it's very disappointing to see from Vanguard.
KyleAAA
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Re: Vanguard Mutual Fund Platform EOL

Post by KyleAAA »

palanzo wrote: Sat May 16, 2020 1:00 pm
KyleAAA wrote: Sat May 16, 2020 10:23 am
palanzo wrote: Fri May 15, 2020 9:04 pm
KyleAAA wrote: Fri May 15, 2020 8:20 pm
palanzo wrote: Fri May 15, 2020 6:45 pm

I can also make some pretty educated guesses. I think there are a lot of customers who want to get end of year statements for example. It is not rocket science to create PDFs with the end of year statement. And actually Vanguard have been doing this for 20+ years on the "old" platform so how come it suddenly is super difficult and expensive to implement? I'm not buying this reasoning.
Why would something existing on one platform imply something would be easy to implement on a different platform? I can't imagine there are many people who actually care about annual vs quarterly statements. Almost nobody actually looks at statement of any kind unless they have to for some reason.
You don't get quarterly on the new platform. I guess you are not a computer scientist otherwise you would understand what it takes to generate PDFs.
I am, in fact, a computer scientist. And I have, in fact, generated PDFs programmatically. The difficulty of generating a PDF isn’t in question, of course. Are you claiming to know that the ONLY reason Vanguard doesn’t provide this feature is that they don’t want to generate a file in a specific format? That strains credibility.
Vanguard has the account transactions. You've said it is not hard to generate the PDFs. Then why does Vanguard refuse to provide something that people want on the new platform when it already does this on the old platform? Even Vanguard representatives that I have talked with want the end of year statements.
1.) Yes, Vanguard has transactions. And yes, generating PDFs in isolation is not difficult. That in no way means it is easy to put those transactions in a PDF. It may be. It may not be. Neither of us has any way of knowing. It could cost $1,000 or it could cost $50,000,000+. You don't have the information necessary to know the difference. The fact that it existed on a different platform gives you no information whatsoever.
2.) There's no evidence "people" want it or even care. Certainly a few people have expressed a preference. But you don't build a feature based on a few anecdotes. Presumably Vanguard has far better data than you or I on what their customers actually want. Even if they know their customers do want it, that doesn't mean it should or could be built in the near future. Companies must prioritize. The reality is that most useful features will never be built because there aren't enough resources to do so. Just being something a customer asks for is by itself not a reason to do something.
3.) The fact that something exists on one platform means nothing for whether it should, would, or could be done on a separate platform. It's simply irrelevant. Could it be done? Of course. Anything can be done given enough time and investment. But since time and investment dollars are scare, companies prioritize.
4.) Okay, so a Vanguard rep said they wanted end-of-year statements. And...? They are trained to empathize with customers.
Last edited by KyleAAA on Sat May 16, 2020 3:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
KyleAAA
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Re: Vanguard Mutual Fund Platform EOL

Post by KyleAAA »

anakinskywalker wrote: Sat May 16, 2020 3:07 pm
TravelGeek wrote: Sat May 16, 2020 12:18 pm
rkhusky wrote: Fri May 15, 2020 7:08 am Foolish decision. They already do it on the old platform, why not just port it over to the new and limit the ability to Vanguard mutual funds. Same with some of the other downgrades of moving to the brokerage platform.
Putting on my old hat as a software development manager.... if I had a dollar for every time I was told by customers or even my own product managers “why don’t you just do X...” I probably could have FiREd a day earlier. :)

What’s foolish is to make definitive statements with limited knowledge/information. I admit I do that, too, at times when I don’t wear my SDM hat.
palanzo wrote: Fri May 15, 2020 11:15 am
Since it is so minor and so convenient to so many, why not add it to the new platform? I wish Vanguard would answer that question. Instead they act as if they know best and will do what they want and not listen to the customer. Businesses who do that in other areas don't do so well.
How many is “so many” - do you have a number you can share? Vanguard presumably does know how commonly used a certain feature is, and hopefully also how many complaints/requests they get. I don’t have access to that information.

I also don’t know what other enhancements and bugs are on Vanguard’s “to do list”. I suspect like in most organizations it is really long and resources are limited. Again, when I was a SDM, the list was long and ever growing, and customers didn’t usually appreciate why we could “just” implement their urgently needed, surely widely popular, and definitely simple enhancement request.
palanzo wrote: Sat May 16, 2020 1:27 am
Feedback to Vanguard has been provided over many years and it has made no difference. Whistling in the wind.
There could be various reasons for that. Front line employees may not pass on or have the ability to pass on enhancement requests to the right group. Or maybe they do and you perceive it as whistling in the wind while there are legitimate other reasons for the decision made by Vanguard.

I wonder - has this been asked at the annual meetings with Vanguard executives and staffers during the BH conference? The one time I attended, I found the employees staffing the various tables to be very keen on listening to me, and there was a Q&A with executives.

Full disclaimer: I am still managing mutual fund accounts on the old platform (and zero on the new). Mostly because I have had no good reason to switch and because of prior threads that reported data issues as part of the transition, so my plan has always been to do this at some point when I have nothing more important to do and would have time to deal with issues. Right now is not that time.
I think the onus is on Vanguard to come clear on why exactly they want to retire the "old" platform that's working perfectly fine for so many millions of clients for so many decades.
They have done so. Repeatedly and transparently. There are enormous costs associated with maintaining parallel systems. In order to continue to provide a level of service customers expect, they must streamline. Vanguard has certainly never claimed generating PDFs is difficult or complex. Neither has anybody else. Maybe they fully intend to implement the feature you are asking for: in 2025, because it's the lowest priority on a long backlog.
KyleAAA
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Re: Vanguard Mutual Fund Platform EOL

Post by KyleAAA »

TomatoTomahto wrote: Sat May 16, 2020 2:49 pm
Agreed. At some point if the high net worth customers leave Vanguard will not the impact their business? Or "our" business?
I don’t know, but I have to imagine that the number of HNW customers with Compliance restrictions isn’t massive enough to bother Vanguard. I would expect that DW’s employer might, if enough employees make a fuss, add Vanguard to the approved list of brokers.
Vanguard has over $6 trillion in AUM. A couple of thousand HNW individuals with a few million $$ each leaving won't even amount to a rounding error.
anakinskywalker
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Re: Vanguard Mutual Fund Platform EOL

Post by anakinskywalker »

KyleAAA wrote: Sat May 16, 2020 3:21 pm
anakinskywalker wrote: Sat May 16, 2020 3:07 pm
TravelGeek wrote: Sat May 16, 2020 12:18 pm
rkhusky wrote: Fri May 15, 2020 7:08 am Foolish decision. They already do it on the old platform, why not just port it over to the new and limit the ability to Vanguard mutual funds. Same with some of the other downgrades of moving to the brokerage platform.
Putting on my old hat as a software development manager.... if I had a dollar for every time I was told by customers or even my own product managers “why don’t you just do X...” I probably could have FiREd a day earlier. :)

What’s foolish is to make definitive statements with limited knowledge/information. I admit I do that, too, at times when I don’t wear my SDM hat.
palanzo wrote: Fri May 15, 2020 11:15 am
Since it is so minor and so convenient to so many, why not add it to the new platform? I wish Vanguard would answer that question. Instead they act as if they know best and will do what they want and not listen to the customer. Businesses who do that in other areas don't do so well.
How many is “so many” - do you have a number you can share? Vanguard presumably does know how commonly used a certain feature is, and hopefully also how many complaints/requests they get. I don’t have access to that information.

I also don’t know what other enhancements and bugs are on Vanguard’s “to do list”. I suspect like in most organizations it is really long and resources are limited. Again, when I was a SDM, the list was long and ever growing, and customers didn’t usually appreciate why we could “just” implement their urgently needed, surely widely popular, and definitely simple enhancement request.
palanzo wrote: Sat May 16, 2020 1:27 am
Feedback to Vanguard has been provided over many years and it has made no difference. Whistling in the wind.
There could be various reasons for that. Front line employees may not pass on or have the ability to pass on enhancement requests to the right group. Or maybe they do and you perceive it as whistling in the wind while there are legitimate other reasons for the decision made by Vanguard.

I wonder - has this been asked at the annual meetings with Vanguard executives and staffers during the BH conference? The one time I attended, I found the employees staffing the various tables to be very keen on listening to me, and there was a Q&A with executives.

Full disclaimer: I am still managing mutual fund accounts on the old platform (and zero on the new). Mostly because I have had no good reason to switch and because of prior threads that reported data issues as part of the transition, so my plan has always been to do this at some point when I have nothing more important to do and would have time to deal with issues. Right now is not that time.
I think the onus is on Vanguard to come clear on why exactly they want to retire the "old" platform that's working perfectly fine for so many millions of clients for so many decades.
They have done so. Repeatedly and transparently. There are enormous costs associated with maintaining parallel systems. In order to continue to provide a level of service customers expect, they must streamline. Vanguard has certainly never claimed generating PDFs is difficult or complex. Neither has anybody else. Maybe they fully intend to implement the feature you are asking for: in 2025, because it's the lowest priority on a long backlog.

I knew someone would say that. I don't buy that. Leaving perfectly functional software running does not have "enormous costs". Anyway this platform will continue to be used for 401k plans administered by Vanguard. So the "enormous cost savings" will be exactly zero. If anything, creating this half-baked brokerage platform that nobody asked for is the "enormous cost" that could have been easily avoided, in my opinion.

Anakin
palanzo
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Re: Vanguard Mutual Fund Platform EOL

Post by palanzo »

KyleAAA wrote: Sat May 16, 2020 3:18 pm
palanzo wrote: Sat May 16, 2020 1:00 pm
KyleAAA wrote: Sat May 16, 2020 10:23 am
palanzo wrote: Fri May 15, 2020 9:04 pm
KyleAAA wrote: Fri May 15, 2020 8:20 pm

Why would something existing on one platform imply something would be easy to implement on a different platform? I can't imagine there are many people who actually care about annual vs quarterly statements. Almost nobody actually looks at statement of any kind unless they have to for some reason.
You don't get quarterly on the new platform. I guess you are not a computer scientist otherwise you would understand what it takes to generate PDFs.
I am, in fact, a computer scientist. And I have, in fact, generated PDFs programmatically. The difficulty of generating a PDF isn’t in question, of course. Are you claiming to know that the ONLY reason Vanguard doesn’t provide this feature is that they don’t want to generate a file in a specific format? That strains credibility.
Vanguard has the account transactions. You've said it is not hard to generate the PDFs. Then why does Vanguard refuse to provide something that people want on the new platform when it already does this on the old platform? Even Vanguard representatives that I have talked with want the end of year statements.
1.) Yes, Vanguard has transactions. And yes, generating PDFs in isolation is not difficult. That in no way means it is easy to put those transactions in a PDF. It may be. It may not be. Neither of us has any way of knowing. It could cost $1,000 or it could cost $50,000,000+. You don't have the information necessary to know the difference. The fact that it existed on a different platform gives you no information whatsoever.
2.) There's no evidence "people" want it or even care. Certainly a few people have expressed a preference. But you don't build a feature based on a few anecdotes. Presumably Vanguard has far better data than you or I on what their customers actually want. Even if they know their customers do want it, that doesn't mean it should or could be built in the near future. Companies must prioritize. The reality is that most useful features will never be built because there aren't enough resources to do so. Just being something a customer asks for is by itself not a reason to do something.
3.) The fact that something exists on one platform means nothing for whether it should, would, or could be done on a separate platform. It's simply irrelevant. Could it be done? Of course. Anything can be done given enough time and investment. But since time and investment dollars are scare, companies prioritize.
4.) Okay, so a Vanguard rep said they wanted end-of-year statements. And...? They are trained to empathize with customers.
Good bye. Have a nice day.
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TomatoTomahto
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Re: Vanguard Mutual Fund Platform EOL

Post by TomatoTomahto »

Nate79 wrote: Sat May 16, 2020 3:12 pm
TomatoTomahto wrote: Sat May 16, 2020 2:19 pm
stan1 wrote: Sat May 16, 2020 2:07 pm
TomatoTomahto wrote: Sat May 16, 2020 1:51 pm I am delaying because possibly by then DW’s employer will have worked out a method whereby a Brokerage account at Vanguard is acceptable to Compliance. I know it is not acceptable today.
Just curious, do employers with these compliance requirements usually offer a choice of multiple acceptable brokers? Are any of choices "no commission no fee" accounts such as a retail investor by ourselves could get a Fidelity or Schwab?
There are a number of choices (Fidelity among them). I imagine we could move most of our holdings. We have, in some MFs, decades of LTCG, eg in PRIMECAP. Fidelity manages our 401k also, so I’d be reluctant to have all of our eggs in that basket. It is not that I distrust Fidelity, but suppose they had a technical issue; I’d hate to be locked out for an extended time.
I would assume that some of those MF can not transfer in kind to any other compliant brokerage?
Tbh, I haven’t looked into it. But, for example, I don’t think we could transfer PRIMECAP in kind. We have (even today) some $400k in LTCG in PRIMECAP.
Okay, I get it; I won't be political or controversial. The Earth is flat.
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TomatoTomahto
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Re: Vanguard Mutual Fund Platform EOL

Post by TomatoTomahto »

KyleAAA wrote: Sat May 16, 2020 3:27 pm
TomatoTomahto wrote: Sat May 16, 2020 2:49 pm
Agreed. At some point if the high net worth customers leave Vanguard will not the impact their business? Or "our" business?
I don’t know, but I have to imagine that the number of HNW customers with Compliance restrictions isn’t massive enough to bother Vanguard. I would expect that DW’s employer might, if enough employees make a fuss, add Vanguard to the approved list of brokers.
Vanguard has over $6 trillion in AUM. A couple of thousand HNW individuals with a few million $$ each leaving won't even amount to a rounding error.
I know. That’s why I have more hope in DW’s employer changing the acceptable broker list to include Vanguard.

That said, I wonder if the number of affected individuals is as low as a couple of thousand.

ETA: we are low overhead clients. Mid 7 digit portfolio and I don’t call and squawk about a late NAV computation or any of the other PITA customer service issues. Low hanging fruit.
Okay, I get it; I won't be political or controversial. The Earth is flat.
anakinskywalker
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Re: Vanguard Mutual Fund Platform EOL

Post by anakinskywalker »

Nate79 wrote: Sat May 16, 2020 3:12 pm
TomatoTomahto wrote: Sat May 16, 2020 2:19 pm
stan1 wrote: Sat May 16, 2020 2:07 pm
TomatoTomahto wrote: Sat May 16, 2020 1:51 pm I am delaying because possibly by then DW’s employer will have worked out a method whereby a Brokerage account at Vanguard is acceptable to Compliance. I know it is not acceptable today.
Just curious, do employers with these compliance requirements usually offer a choice of multiple acceptable brokers? Are any of choices "no commission no fee" accounts such as a retail investor by ourselves could get a Fidelity or Schwab?
There are a number of choices (Fidelity among them). I imagine we could move most of our holdings. We have, in some MFs, decades of LTCG, eg in PRIMECAP. Fidelity manages our 401k also, so I’d be reluctant to have all of our eggs in that basket. It is not that I distrust Fidelity, but suppose they had a technical issue; I’d hate to be locked out for an extended time.
I would assume that some of those MF can not transfer in kind to any other compliant brokerage?
Your presumption is correct.

Also keep in mind, not every employer allows the same set of standard discount brokers (Fidelity, Schwab, etc). If you switch employers, you might have to move all your brokerage-held investments because your new employer may only allow one broker (often happens if the employer runs a brokerage business itself). It can easily be a major pain, as the last thing you want to do after starting at a new job is to move a bunch of mutual funds or ETFs and verify that the cost bases and amounts and transaction dates all got ported over correctly, and deal with errors if any. Not just taxable accounts, but your IRAs and HSAs too. And all accounts belonging to your spouse and any other person residing with you. If your kids have brokerage accounts too you could easily spend a lot of time on this thankless and unproductive task.

Anakin
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Re: Vanguard Mutual Fund Platform EOL

Post by sport »

KyleAAA wrote: Sat May 16, 2020 3:18 pm There's no evidence "people" want it or even care. Certainly a few people have expressed a preference. But you don't build a feature based on a few anecdotes. Presumably Vanguard has far better data than you or I on what their customers actually want. Even if they know their customers do want it, that doesn't mean it should or could be built in the near future. Companies must prioritize. The reality is that most useful features will never be built because there aren't enough resources to do so. Just being something a customer asks for is by itself not a reason to do something.
Vanguard has a history of not accommodating customer concerns. Another example of this "attitude" at Vanguard is state tax withholding. Vanguard has the systems in place for those states that require withholding. However, if a state allows withholding, but does not require it (my state), Vanguard apparently has no interest in accommodating clients who live in those states. Since the number of states that do not require withholding is approximately half of the states, it is more than " a few people expressing a preference". Since RMDs, Roth Conversions, and other TIRA withdrawals are taxable by most states, Vanguard's clients in those states must make other arrangements for tax payment such as quarterly estimated state tax, withholding from Social Security payments, etc. Every year, at tax time, I ask about this. I even contacted my state tax commissioner and he sent me information to forward to Vanguard about setting up withholding, all to no avail.
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Re: Vanguard Mutual Fund Platform EOL

Post by TravelGeek »

anakinskywalker wrote: Sat May 16, 2020 3:07 pm Since Vanguard is the one bugging users to switch (and endure the disruption and hassle, however small or large it may be), it's Vanguard's responsibility to make the experience as seamless and convenient as possible. Making up BS excuses about the "complexity" of generating PDF statements strains credulity and is actually downright insulting in my opinion.

If generating a PDF file is so "hard" for them, maybe they should stop trying to run a brokerage website, and find an easier business that matches their talents and abilities. And since the so-called "old" platform is already working, just leave it alone and let it be.

Anakin
I fully agree that it is Vanguard’s responsibility to make the transition as seamless as possible. That does not mean that the new system needs to be 100% feature identical with the old platform. The development of a new system to replace an old one is an opportunity to rethink previous design decisions. Feature creep over the years can be reversed, resulting in an easier to understand, more robust, and maintainable system. And, yes, sometimes, features also get scoped out or postponed for cost reasons.

Can you point me to where Vanguard has stated that generating a PDF is (too) hard for them?

In general, there are often valid reasons to retire old platforms and replace them with newer systems. “Just leave it alone and let it be” can be very bad advice, for a variety of reasons. Look at the COBOL based state unemployment systems as an example of what happens if you don’t invest in updated technology. I assume you are not posting here from your Windows 98 computer :twisted:
Last edited by TravelGeek on Sat May 16, 2020 4:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
palanzo
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Re: Vanguard Mutual Fund Platform EOL

Post by palanzo »

sport wrote: Sat May 16, 2020 3:54 pm
KyleAAA wrote: Sat May 16, 2020 3:18 pm There's no evidence "people" want it or even care. Certainly a few people have expressed a preference. But you don't build a feature based on a few anecdotes. Presumably Vanguard has far better data than you or I on what their customers actually want. Even if they know their customers do want it, that doesn't mean it should or could be built in the near future. Companies must prioritize. The reality is that most useful features will never be built because there aren't enough resources to do so. Just being something a customer asks for is by itself not a reason to do something.
Vanguard has a history of not accommodating customer concerns. Another example of this "attitude" at Vanguard is state tax withholding. Vanguard has the systems in place for those states that require withholding. However, if a state allows withholding, but does not require it (my state), Vanguard apparently has no interest in accommodating clients who live in those states. Since the number of states that do not require withholding is approximately half of the states, it is more than " a few people expressing a preference". Since RMDs, Roth Conversions, and other TIRA withdrawals are taxable by most states, Vanguard's clients in those states must make other arrangements for tax payment such as quarterly estimated state tax, withholding from Social Security payments, etc. Every year, at tax time, I ask about this. I even contacted my state tax commissioner and he sent me information to forward to Vanguard about setting up withholding, all to no avail.
Now this is interesting. I did not know this. I see that my state is also does not require withholding. This is going to be a real pain in the neck.

https://www.kiplinger.com/article/retir ... -rmds.html
palanzo
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Re: Vanguard Mutual Fund Platform EOL

Post by palanzo »

TravelGeek wrote: Sat May 16, 2020 4:08 pm
anakinskywalker wrote: Sat May 16, 2020 3:07 pm Since Vanguard is the one bugging users to switch (and endure the disruption and hassle, however small or large it may be), it's Vanguard's responsibility to make the experience as seamless and convenient as possible. Making up BS excuses about the "complexity" of generating PDF statements strains credulity and is actually downright insulting in my opinion.

If generating a PDF file is so "hard" for them, maybe they should stop trying to run a brokerage website, and find an easier business that matches their talents and abilities. And since the so-called "old" platform is already working, just leave it alone and let it be.

Anakin
I fully agree that it is Vanguard’s responsibility to make the transition as seamless as possible. That does not mean that the new system needs to be 100% feature identical with the old platform. The development of a new system to replace an old one is an opportunity to rethink previous design decisions. Feature creep over the years can be reversed, resulting in an easier to understand, more robust, and maintain system. And, yes, sometimes, features also get scoped out or postponed for cost reasons.

Can you point me to where Vanguard has stated that generating a PDF is (too) hard for them?

In general, there are often valid reasons to retire old platforms and replace them with newer systems. “Just leave it alone and let it be” can be very bad advice, for a variety of reasons. Look at the COBOL based state unemployment systems as an example of what happens if you don’t invest in updated technology. I assume you are not posting here from your Windows 98 computer :twisted:
KyleAAA wrote: Sat May 16, 2020 3:18 pm
1.) Yes, Vanguard has transactions. And yes, generating PDFs in isolation is not difficult. That in no way means it is easy to put those transactions in a PDF. It may be. It may not be. Neither of us has any way of knowing. It could cost $1,000 or it could cost $50,000,000+. You don't have the information necessary to know the difference. The fact that it existed on a different platform gives you no information whatsoever.
Some people think it could cost $50,000,000+ to provide PDFs.
resulting in an easier to understand system...
Have you looked at the brokerage system? I unfortunately had to create a Roth account there as Vanguard would not allow me to create the Roth on the old platform.

The UI for the Roth is terrible. Several pop up menus interspersed with the account information. The menu items are not explanatory. Trying to do anything between the MM and the funds is not easy. By comparison the old system was a paragon of simplicity. And this is not just me being familiar with the old system.

I dread the day I have not move all my accounts to the new platform.

Did you see the post by "sport" about withholdings. If this is the case I think I need to see if Fidelity or Schwab or someone else has a system to allow taxes to be withheld.
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Re: Vanguard Mutual Fund Platform EOL

Post by KyleAAA »

palanzo wrote: Sat May 16, 2020 4:14 pm
TravelGeek wrote: Sat May 16, 2020 4:08 pm
anakinskywalker wrote: Sat May 16, 2020 3:07 pm Since Vanguard is the one bugging users to switch (and endure the disruption and hassle, however small or large it may be), it's Vanguard's responsibility to make the experience as seamless and convenient as possible. Making up BS excuses about the "complexity" of generating PDF statements strains credulity and is actually downright insulting in my opinion.

If generating a PDF file is so "hard" for them, maybe they should stop trying to run a brokerage website, and find an easier business that matches their talents and abilities. And since the so-called "old" platform is already working, just leave it alone and let it be.

Anakin
I fully agree that it is Vanguard’s responsibility to make the transition as seamless as possible. That does not mean that the new system needs to be 100% feature identical with the old platform. The development of a new system to replace an old one is an opportunity to rethink previous design decisions. Feature creep over the years can be reversed, resulting in an easier to understand, more robust, and maintain system. And, yes, sometimes, features also get scoped out or postponed for cost reasons.

Can you point me to where Vanguard has stated that generating a PDF is (too) hard for them?

In general, there are often valid reasons to retire old platforms and replace them with newer systems. “Just leave it alone and let it be” can be very bad advice, for a variety of reasons. Look at the COBOL based state unemployment systems as an example of what happens if you don’t invest in updated technology. I assume you are not posting here from your Windows 98 computer :twisted:
KyleAAA wrote: Sat May 16, 2020 3:18 pm
1.) Yes, Vanguard has transactions. And yes, generating PDFs in isolation is not difficult. That in no way means it is easy to put those transactions in a PDF. It may be. It may not be. Neither of us has any way of knowing. It could cost $1,000 or it could cost $50,000,000+. You don't have the information necessary to know the difference. The fact that it existed on a different platform gives you no information whatsoever.
Some people think it could cost $50,000,000+ to provide PDFs.
resulting in an easier to understand system...
Have you looked at the brokerage system? I unfortunately had to create a Roth account there as Vanguard would not allow me to create the Roth on the old platform.

The UI for the Roth is terrible. Several pop up menus interspersed with the account information. The menu items are not explanatory. Trying to do anything between the MM and the funds is not easy. By comparison the old system was a paragon of simplicity. And this is not just me being familiar with the old system.

I dread the day I have not move all my accounts to the new platform.

Did you see the post by "sport" about withholdings. If this is the case I think I need to see if Fidelity or Schwab or someone else has a system to allow taxes to be withheld.
That’s clearly not at all what I said. All I’ll say is that if multiple people with decades of experience in the industry are all saying one thing and you find yourself, with no relevant experience, concluding another, you have to ask yourself how likely it is that you’re wrong.

Additionally, the “easier to understand” comment was likely from an engineering perspective, not a usability perspective.
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Re: Vanguard Mutual Fund Platform EOL

Post by KyleAAA »

sport wrote: Sat May 16, 2020 3:54 pm
KyleAAA wrote: Sat May 16, 2020 3:18 pm There's no evidence "people" want it or even care. Certainly a few people have expressed a preference. But you don't build a feature based on a few anecdotes. Presumably Vanguard has far better data than you or I on what their customers actually want. Even if they know their customers do want it, that doesn't mean it should or could be built in the near future. Companies must prioritize. The reality is that most useful features will never be built because there aren't enough resources to do so. Just being something a customer asks for is by itself not a reason to do something.
Vanguard has a history of not accommodating customer concerns. Another example of this "attitude" at Vanguard is state tax withholding. Vanguard has the systems in place for those states that require withholding. However, if a state allows withholding, but does not require it (my state), Vanguard apparently has no interest in accommodating clients who live in those states. Since the number of states that do not require withholding is approximately half of the states, it is more than " a few people expressing a preference". Since RMDs, Roth Conversions, and other TIRA withdrawals are taxable by most states, Vanguard's clients in those states must make other arrangements for tax payment such as quarterly estimated state tax, withholding from Social Security payments, etc. Every year, at tax time, I ask about this. I even contacted my state tax commissioner and he sent me information to forward to Vanguard about setting up withholding, all to no avail.
And again, none of that implies such a feature must be prioritized and built. Just because Vanguard doesn’t accommodate all customer requests doesn’t mean they don’t accommodate most customer concerns. I can’t name any company that always accommodates customer requests. Nor should they. That’s a fast track to bankruptcy. If you have found a better platform at a competitor, vote with your feet. Vanguard accommodates the most important customer concern better than anybody else, which is to manage funds that faithfully track their indices as cheaply as possible. If you want to own Vanguard ETFs at Fidelity, there’s nothing stopping you. Vanguard can’t be everything to everybody and they aren’t trying to be.

Your implicit assumption seems to be “Vanguard does X for Y state, therefore it would be simple to do it for Z state and the reason they don’t must be because they don’t care about customer concerns.”
stan1
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Re: Vanguard Mutual Fund Platform EOL

Post by stan1 »

palanzo wrote: Sat May 16, 2020 2:37 pm
Agreed. At some point if the high net worth customers leave Vanguard will not the impact their business? Or "our" business?
No, they have plenty of assets under management in ETFs at other brokerages, managed by advisors, and institutions. Those people don't call Vanguard on the phone to chat about cost basis or RMDs so they are much cheaper per dollar under management to operate.

Vanguard is seeking to operate at the lowest cost. If that's not in your interests then you need to go somewhere else. Schwab will try to pay you low interest on cash. Fidelity hopes you'll buy a more expensive fund. In a few years those strategies will change to something else and the grass may not be greener anywhere else.

Do you complain about customer service at a dollar store? Vanguard is now a dollar store not Trader Joe's or Nordstrom.
palanzo
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Re: Vanguard Mutual Fund Platform EOL

Post by palanzo »

stan1 wrote: Sat May 16, 2020 7:18 pm
palanzo wrote: Sat May 16, 2020 2:37 pm
Agreed. At some point if the high net worth customers leave Vanguard will not the impact their business? Or "our" business?
No, they have plenty of assets under management in ETFs at other brokerages, managed by advisors, and institutions. Those people don't call Vanguard on the phone to chat about cost basis or RMDs so they are much cheaper per dollar under management to operate.

Vanguard is seeking to operate at the lowest cost. If that's not in your interests then you need to go somewhere else. Schwab will try to pay you low interest on cash. Fidelity hopes you'll buy a more expensive fund. In a few years those strategies will change to something else and the grass may not be greener anywhere else.

Do you complain about customer service at a dollar store? Vanguard is now a dollar store not Trader Joe's or Nordstrom.
Vanguard used to be TJs and is now a dollar store. I agree with you. I did not expect that Vanguard would become a dollar store.
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Re: Vanguard Mutual Fund Platform EOL

Post by AlphaLess »

Silk McCue wrote: Wed May 13, 2020 4:04 pm Thanks for sharing. I’m glad they are finally putting a stake in the ground. Having to continue to support both platforms is too costly.

Some may not like it, but “oh well”.

Cheers
Considering that the old platform subsidized and paid for the building of the new platform, I don't see the point of this complaint.

I see having a mutual-fund only platform an essential part of an asset manager such as Vanguard.
"A Republic, if you can keep it". Benjamin Franklin. 1787. | Party affiliation: Vanguard. Religion: low-cost investing.
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Re: Vanguard Mutual Fund Platform EOL

Post by Cheez-It Guy »

Why is it essential? You can still buy mutual funds on the new platform. That's the vast majority of what I have.
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Vulcan
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Re: Vanguard Mutual Fund Platform EOL

Post by Vulcan »

bling wrote: Sat May 16, 2020 10:34 am
Vulcan wrote: Fri May 15, 2020 9:27 pm
bling wrote: Fri May 15, 2020 8:09 am
Vulcan wrote: Fri May 15, 2020 12:22 am
bling wrote: Thu May 14, 2020 6:04 pm
buy VT instead? it's 0.02% cheaper too.
viewtopic.php?t=148757#p2223489
wow, all of that is self-inflicted. divide your money by the current share price and enter that in. execute at market price (why are you buying illiquid ETFs for you to be concerned about spreads??). done.
Uhm... No. Market price is not a constant, so you can't ever hit a specific dollar amount. I personally don't care about shares. I care about dollars.

And premium/discount is not the same thing as spread.

Honestly, most people trading ETFs have no slightest idea what they are dealing with.

Bogle was right.
in the grand scheme of things, if you're a BH, then you're a buy and hold type of investor, and years later when you decide to sell your holding it is inconsequential whether you bought it intra-day or after close. meanwhile, you've been saving in ER all those years.

another downside is that mutual funds by design lock you into the brokerage. if you ever want to jump ship, a lot of times you actually need to liquidate the account. with ETFs, everything transfers in-kind.
1. Do you know what premium/discount is? Do you know how to determine it in real time? First you were conflating it with spread, and now with intraday volatility.

If you bought and sold VT at an inopportune time, you could permanently lose as much as 1% of your money.

https://www.etf.com/VT#tradability

It would take you a lifetime to recoup that with the lower ER of an ETF. Basically, lower ERs of ETFs are an illusion.

2. MF to ETF conversion at Vanguard is a non-taxable event. The opposite is not true.
If you torture the data long enough, it will confess to anything. ~Ronald Coase
anakinskywalker
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Re: Vanguard Mutual Fund Platform EOL

Post by anakinskywalker »

TravelGeek wrote: Sat May 16, 2020 4:08 pm
anakinskywalker wrote: Sat May 16, 2020 3:07 pm Since Vanguard is the one bugging users to switch (and endure the disruption and hassle, however small or large it may be), it's Vanguard's responsibility to make the experience as seamless and convenient as possible. Making up BS excuses about the "complexity" of generating PDF statements strains credulity and is actually downright insulting in my opinion.

If generating a PDF file is so "hard" for them, maybe they should stop trying to run a brokerage website, and find an easier business that matches their talents and abilities. And since the so-called "old" platform is already working, just leave it alone and let it be.

Anakin
I fully agree that it is Vanguard’s responsibility to make the transition as seamless as possible. That does not mean that the new system needs to be 100% feature identical with the old platform. The development of a new system to replace an old one is an opportunity to rethink previous design decisions. Feature creep over the years can be reversed, resulting in an easier to understand, more robust, and maintainable system. And, yes, sometimes, features also get scoped out or postponed for cost reasons.

Can you point me to where Vanguard has stated that generating a PDF is (too) hard for them?

In general, there are often valid reasons to retire old platforms and replace them with newer systems. “Just leave it alone and let it be” can be very bad advice, for a variety of reasons. Look at the COBOL based state unemployment systems as an example of what happens if you don’t invest in updated technology. I assume you are not posting here from your Windows 98 computer :twisted:
Your post contains so many instances of straw man arguments and other logical errors that I won't have time to list them all. Suffice to say: if you think a perfectly functional "old" platform that users love is like COBOL or Windows 98, and a half-baked "new" platform that people are refusing to "upgrade" to in spite of being dragged into it kicking and screaming is your idea of "updated technology", then I really have nothing to say to you.

Anakin
KyleAAA
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Re: Vanguard Mutual Fund Platform EOL

Post by KyleAAA »

anakinskywalker wrote: Sat May 16, 2020 3:34 pm
KyleAAA wrote: Sat May 16, 2020 3:21 pm
anakinskywalker wrote: Sat May 16, 2020 3:07 pm
TravelGeek wrote: Sat May 16, 2020 12:18 pm
rkhusky wrote: Fri May 15, 2020 7:08 am Foolish decision. They already do it on the old platform, why not just port it over to the new and limit the ability to Vanguard mutual funds. Same with some of the other downgrades of moving to the brokerage platform.
Putting on my old hat as a software development manager.... if I had a dollar for every time I was told by customers or even my own product managers “why don’t you just do X...” I probably could have FiREd a day earlier. :)

What’s foolish is to make definitive statements with limited knowledge/information. I admit I do that, too, at times when I don’t wear my SDM hat.
palanzo wrote: Fri May 15, 2020 11:15 am
Since it is so minor and so convenient to so many, why not add it to the new platform? I wish Vanguard would answer that question. Instead they act as if they know best and will do what they want and not listen to the customer. Businesses who do that in other areas don't do so well.
How many is “so many” - do you have a number you can share? Vanguard presumably does know how commonly used a certain feature is, and hopefully also how many complaints/requests they get. I don’t have access to that information.

I also don’t know what other enhancements and bugs are on Vanguard’s “to do list”. I suspect like in most organizations it is really long and resources are limited. Again, when I was a SDM, the list was long and ever growing, and customers didn’t usually appreciate why we could “just” implement their urgently needed, surely widely popular, and definitely simple enhancement request.
palanzo wrote: Sat May 16, 2020 1:27 am
Feedback to Vanguard has been provided over many years and it has made no difference. Whistling in the wind.
There could be various reasons for that. Front line employees may not pass on or have the ability to pass on enhancement requests to the right group. Or maybe they do and you perceive it as whistling in the wind while there are legitimate other reasons for the decision made by Vanguard.

I wonder - has this been asked at the annual meetings with Vanguard executives and staffers during the BH conference? The one time I attended, I found the employees staffing the various tables to be very keen on listening to me, and there was a Q&A with executives.

Full disclaimer: I am still managing mutual fund accounts on the old platform (and zero on the new). Mostly because I have had no good reason to switch and because of prior threads that reported data issues as part of the transition, so my plan has always been to do this at some point when I have nothing more important to do and would have time to deal with issues. Right now is not that time.
I think the onus is on Vanguard to come clear on why exactly they want to retire the "old" platform that's working perfectly fine for so many millions of clients for so many decades.
They have done so. Repeatedly and transparently. There are enormous costs associated with maintaining parallel systems. In order to continue to provide a level of service customers expect, they must streamline. Vanguard has certainly never claimed generating PDFs is difficult or complex. Neither has anybody else. Maybe they fully intend to implement the feature you are asking for: in 2025, because it's the lowest priority on a long backlog.

I knew someone would say that. I don't buy that. Leaving perfectly functional software running does not have "enormous costs". Anyway this platform will continue to be used for 401k plans administered by Vanguard. So the "enormous cost savings" will be exactly zero. If anything, creating this half-baked brokerage platform that nobody asked for is the "enormous cost" that could have been easily avoided, in my opinion.

Anakin
I can tell you've never had to maintain a legacy platform before. When people with decades of experience are all saying one thing, and people without any relevant experience whatsoever saying another, it's probably not the experienced people who are wrong.
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Re: Vanguard Mutual Fund Platform EOL

Post by KyleAAA »

anakinskywalker wrote: Sun May 17, 2020 12:49 am
TravelGeek wrote: Sat May 16, 2020 4:08 pm
anakinskywalker wrote: Sat May 16, 2020 3:07 pm Since Vanguard is the one bugging users to switch (and endure the disruption and hassle, however small or large it may be), it's Vanguard's responsibility to make the experience as seamless and convenient as possible. Making up BS excuses about the "complexity" of generating PDF statements strains credulity and is actually downright insulting in my opinion.

If generating a PDF file is so "hard" for them, maybe they should stop trying to run a brokerage website, and find an easier business that matches their talents and abilities. And since the so-called "old" platform is already working, just leave it alone and let it be.

Anakin
I fully agree that it is Vanguard’s responsibility to make the transition as seamless as possible. That does not mean that the new system needs to be 100% feature identical with the old platform. The development of a new system to replace an old one is an opportunity to rethink previous design decisions. Feature creep over the years can be reversed, resulting in an easier to understand, more robust, and maintainable system. And, yes, sometimes, features also get scoped out or postponed for cost reasons.

Can you point me to where Vanguard has stated that generating a PDF is (too) hard for them?

In general, there are often valid reasons to retire old platforms and replace them with newer systems. “Just leave it alone and let it be” can be very bad advice, for a variety of reasons. Look at the COBOL based state unemployment systems as an example of what happens if you don’t invest in updated technology. I assume you are not posting here from your Windows 98 computer :twisted:
Your post contains so many instances of straw man arguments and other logical errors that I won't have time to list them all. Suffice to say: if you think a perfectly functional "old" platform that users love is like COBOL or Windows 98, and a half-baked "new" platform that people are refusing to "upgrade" to in spite of being dragged into it kicking and screaming is your idea of "updated technology", then I really have nothing to say to you.

Anakin
I upgraded to the new platform and it's perfectly fine. What evidence do you have that users love the old platform or that people are refusing to move to the new platform en masse? I've never heard anybody say they loved the old platform. Come on, now.
Last edited by KyleAAA on Sun May 17, 2020 11:03 am, edited 1 time in total.
bondsr4me
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Re: Vanguard Mutual Fund Platform EOL

Post by bondsr4me »

palanzo wrote: Sat May 16, 2020 1:04 pm
bondsr4me wrote: Sat May 16, 2020 12:35 pm
TravelGeek wrote: Sat May 16, 2020 12:18 pm
rkhusky wrote: Fri May 15, 2020 7:08 am Foolish decision. They already do it on the old platform, why not just port it over to the new and limit the ability to Vanguard mutual funds. Same with some of the other downgrades of moving to the brokerage platform.
Putting on my old hat as a software development manager.... if I had a dollar for every time I was told by customers or even my own product managers “why don’t you just do X...” I probably could have FiREd a day earlier. :)

What’s foolish is to make definitive statements with limited knowledge/information. I admit I do that, too, at times when I don’t wear my SDM hat.
palanzo wrote: Fri May 15, 2020 11:15 am
Since it is so minor and so convenient to so many, why not add it to the new platform? I wish Vanguard would answer that question. Instead they act as if they know best and will do what they want and not listen to the customer. Businesses who do that in other areas don't do so well.
How many is “so many” - do you have a number you can share? Vanguard presumably does know how commonly used a certain feature is, and hopefully also how many complaints/requests they get. I don’t have access to that information.

I also don’t know what other enhancements and bugs are on Vanguard’s “to do list”. I suspect like in most organizations it is really long and resources are limited. Again, when I was a SDM, the list was long and ever growing, and customers didn’t usually appreciate why we could “just” implement their urgently needed, surely widely popular, and definitely simple enhancement request.
palanzo wrote: Sat May 16, 2020 1:27 am
Feedback to Vanguard has been provided over many years and it has made no difference. Whistling in the wind.
There could be various reasons for that. Front line employees may not pass on or have the ability to pass on enhancement requests to the right group. Or maybe they do and you perceive it as whistling in the wind while there are legitimate other reasons for the decision made by Vanguard. Just yesterday, as I was using Schwab's StreetSmartEdge, I sent in a comment, from the SSE screen, that I wished CS would have a Mac version of SSE instead of having to always login to my CS account and then running the cloud version from there; CS has a Windows version of SSE you can download, but not a Mac version. I thought this is the kind of real-time interaction that would be really good fo VG too.
ps...Fidelity's ActiveTraderPro can be downloaded to a Mac.


I wonder - has this been asked at the annual meetings with Vanguard executives and staffers during the BH conference? The one time I attended, I found the employees staffing the various tables to be very keen on listening to me, and there was a Q&A with executives.

Full disclaimer: I am still managing mutual fund accounts on the old platform (and zero on the new). Mostly because I have had no good reason to switch and because of prior threads that reported data issues as part of the transition, so my plan has always been to do this at some point when I have nothing more important to do and would have time to deal with issues. Right now is not that time.
+1
That kind of real time interaction would be great. But Vanguard IT is too busy removing features.
+1
bling
Posts: 554
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Re: Vanguard Mutual Fund Platform EOL

Post by bling »

Vulcan wrote: Sat May 16, 2020 11:23 pm
bling wrote: Sat May 16, 2020 10:34 am
Vulcan wrote: Fri May 15, 2020 9:27 pm
bling wrote: Fri May 15, 2020 8:09 am
Vulcan wrote: Fri May 15, 2020 12:22 am
viewtopic.php?t=148757#p2223489
wow, all of that is self-inflicted. divide your money by the current share price and enter that in. execute at market price (why are you buying illiquid ETFs for you to be concerned about spreads??). done.
Uhm... No. Market price is not a constant, so you can't ever hit a specific dollar amount. I personally don't care about shares. I care about dollars.

And premium/discount is not the same thing as spread.

Honestly, most people trading ETFs have no slightest idea what they are dealing with.

Bogle was right.
in the grand scheme of things, if you're a BH, then you're a buy and hold type of investor, and years later when you decide to sell your holding it is inconsequential whether you bought it intra-day or after close. meanwhile, you've been saving in ER all those years.

another downside is that mutual funds by design lock you into the brokerage. if you ever want to jump ship, a lot of times you actually need to liquidate the account. with ETFs, everything transfers in-kind.
1. Do you know what premium/discount is? Do you know how to determine it in real time? First you were conflating it with spread, and now with intraday volatility.

If you bought and sold VT at an inopportune time, you could permanently lose as much as 1% of your money.

https://www.etf.com/VT#tradability

It would take you a lifetime to recoup that with the lower ER of an ETF. Basically, lower ERs of ETFs are an illusion.

2. MF to ETF conversion at Vanguard is a non-taxable event. The opposite is not true.
1. i misread your post. it doesn't change my main point though, which is that it doesn't matter nor is it something you can action on. there have been numerous 4-5% days in either direction in the past 2-3 months. if you put in your buy order at 9:31am, you can flip a coin whether you were better off with an ETF or with a mutual fund.

here's a more relevant discussion on premium/discount: viewtopic.php?t=285246
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midareff
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Re: Vanguard Mutual Fund Platform EOL

Post by midareff »

UpperNwGuy wrote: Fri May 15, 2020 8:45 am Why is it so important to some long-time Vanguard customers to be able to automatically redirect the dividends of one fund into a different fund? Seems like a minor feature to me in the grand scheme of things.
If you are retired and want to draw monthly from a specific account you may want to have the other funds in that account all pay their dividends to the fund you auto-draw from. Likewise, you may want finds to pay dividends to your bank directly for spending in retirement. Forcing them to pay into a MM fund and then have to go in and sell the MM and direct the proceeds to your bank seems like a huge step backwards to me.
iljets10
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Re: Vanguard Mutual Fund Platform EOL

Post by iljets10 »

TomatoTomahto wrote: Sat May 16, 2020 2:49 pm
Agreed. At some point if the high net worth customers leave Vanguard will not the impact their business? Or "our" business?
I don’t know, but I have to imagine that the number of HNW customers with Compliance restrictions isn’t massive enough to bother Vanguard. I would expect that DW’s employer might, if enough employees make a fuss, add Vanguard to the approved list of brokers.
One thing to note is that I have not gotten this notice, nor has anyone else in my position as an employee of a financial institution. I refuse to believe that Vanguard would do this, especially since the number of brokers is severely limited (when I used to work as MS, MS was the only broker you could use, unless you had a Vanguard MF only account).

So far we have never received any messages asking us to convert, apart from one notice that was sent to my wife in error (Confirmed over the phone).
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TomatoTomahto
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Re: Vanguard Mutual Fund Platform EOL

Post by TomatoTomahto »

iljets10 wrote: Sun May 17, 2020 8:41 am
TomatoTomahto wrote: Sat May 16, 2020 2:49 pm
Agreed. At some point if the high net worth customers leave Vanguard will not the impact their business? Or "our" business?
I don’t know, but I have to imagine that the number of HNW customers with Compliance restrictions isn’t massive enough to bother Vanguard. I would expect that DW’s employer might, if enough employees make a fuss, add Vanguard to the approved list of brokers.
One thing to note is that I have not gotten this notice, nor has anyone else in my position as an employee of a financial institution. I refuse to believe that Vanguard would do this, especially since the number of brokers is severely limited (when I used to work as MS, MS was the only broker you could use, unless you had a Vanguard MF only account).

So far we have never received any messages asking us to convert, apart from one notice that was sent to my wife in error (Confirmed over the phone).
I have also not received this notice, but there appears to be a switch that diminishes the number and urgency of “upgrade notifications.” After we explained that forcing us to upgrade would mean having to move to another company, they no longer informed us as often.

My wife and I have been at firms where decisions were sometimes made to disenfranchise certain customers whose legacy needs were expensive to maintain (regression testing, hardware software at EOL, etc). Some of the speculation on this thread is interesting in that it doesn’t appear to be based on knowledge of how the sausage is actually made.
Okay, I get it; I won't be political or controversial. The Earth is flat.
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Re: Vanguard Mutual Fund Platform EOL

Post by cherijoh »

ronin wrote: Wed May 13, 2020 11:37 pm Forgive my ignorance on this topic, but if one has a taxable brokerage account and wants any dividends to not automatically be reinvested and instead accumulate in a cash or settlement account, is this possible?
That is the default if you don't have automatic reinvestment. I have a taxable brokerage account for VEU (which at the time didn't have an Admiral class and therefore a much higher ER). Dividends accumulate in the settlement acct which is the Treasury MM. Since I'm retired, the dividends periodically get transfered to my checking account to cover expenses. If you wanted to invest them in a different MF or ETF, you just make a purchase. But that means you have to stay on top of when the dividends are distributed.

All the rest of my accounts are on the regular platform. The reason I have kept them that way is that I like the ability to sell a MF and buy something else the same day without waiting for the funds to show up in the settlement account. According to VG, this process is a "transfer" on the old platform. This probably creates additional work for them, so I can see why they want to kill the old process - not to mention the inconvenience of maintaining two systems.

I don't rebalance that often, but I am doing Roth conversions. The old platform allows me to transfer x shares from VTSAX in my traditional IRA to my Roth IRA at the same close-of-day share price.

For brokerage accounts, the only options are buy and sell. So the only way I could think of to ensure that I was selling and buying at the same price would be to keep cash in the Roth. Then sell VTSAX in the tIRA while simultaneously buying it in the Roth. Then after settlement in the tIRA do a Roth conversion on the cash to replenish it in the Roth for the next conversion.
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Re: Vanguard Mutual Fund Platform EOL

Post by jeffyscott »

TomatoTomahto wrote: Sun May 17, 2020 9:23 amI have also not received this notice, but there appears to be a switch that diminishes the number and urgency of “upgrade notifications.” After we explained that forcing us to upgrade would mean having to move to another company, they no longer informed us as often.
We have also not gotten this latest notice, but have never contacted Vanguard regarding disinterest in switching. Still get pop-up messages when logging on, but they are maybe a little less aggressive than they were some years ago. In the past they have had messages implying that there was no choice, the change was required NOW, and misrepresenting what it was with language like "important update needed for your account". In contrast to that, the message the OP posted about not only says "We'll continue to support clients on this old platform until...", but apparently goes on to say: "If you choose to remain on the old platform, we'll notify you when we implement any service changes".
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Re: Vanguard Mutual Fund Platform EOL

Post by rob »

jeffyscott wrote: Sun May 17, 2020 10:12 am
TomatoTomahto wrote: Sun May 17, 2020 9:23 amI have also not received this notice, but there appears to be a switch that diminishes the number and urgency of “upgrade notifications.” After we explained that forcing us to upgrade would mean having to move to another company, they no longer informed us as often.
We have also not gotten this latest notice, but have never contacted Vanguard regarding disinterest in switching. Still get pop-up messages when logging on, but they are maybe a little less aggressive than they were some years ago. In the past they have had messages implying that there was no choice, the change was required NOW, and misrepresenting what it was with language like "important update needed for your account". In contrast to that, the message the OP posted about not only says "We'll continue to support clients on this old platform until...", but apparently goes on to say: "If you choose to remain on the old platform, we'll notify you when we implement any service changes".
No notice here either, but I have had this convo with Vanguard... Made it clear I wanted to be right behind the last person on the list :-)
| Rob | Its a dangerous business going out your front door. - J.R.R.Tolkien
ronin
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Re: Vanguard Mutual Fund Platform EOL

Post by ronin »

cherijoh wrote: Sun May 17, 2020 10:02 am
For accounts, the only options are buy and sell. So the only way I could think of to ensure that I was selling and buying at the same price would be to keep cash in the Roth. Then sell VTSAX in the tIRA while simultaneously buying it in the Roth. Then after settlement in the tIRA do a Roth conversion on the cash to replenish it in the Roth for the next conversion.
Thanks for your response to handling dividends. I am confused, however, by your comments above about only being able to Buy or Sell MFs on the brokerage platform. I’m on that platform but also have the options to Exchange Vanguard MFs that I’ve used recently and it seemed to act just like the legacy platform. Am I missing something here?
cherijoh
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Re: Vanguard Mutual Fund Platform EOL

Post by cherijoh »

ronin wrote: Sun May 17, 2020 10:59 am
cherijoh wrote: Sun May 17, 2020 10:02 am
For accounts, the only options are buy and sell. So the only way I could think of to ensure that I was selling and buying at the same price would be to keep cash in the Roth. Then sell VTSAX in the tIRA while simultaneously buying it in the Roth. Then after settlement in the tIRA do a Roth conversion on the cash to replenish it in the Roth for the next conversion.
Thanks for your response to handling dividends. I am confused, however, by your comments above about only being able to Buy or Sell MFs on the brokerage platform. I’m on that platform but also have the options to Exchange Vanguard MFs that I’ve used recently and it seemed to act just like the legacy platform. Am I missing something here?
Then I must be wrong. I only see Buy and sell, but as I mentioned the only thing I have in a brokerage account is an ETF which is a different animal.

I'm pretty sure the exchange option wasn't available when VG started the brokerage accounts years ago, but it makes sense to have added it to make the account more palatable to more people. Or I could simply be misremembering why I decided to avoid the brokerage account as long as possible. :oops:
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Re: Vanguard Mutual Fund Platform EOL

Post by Doc »

asset_chaos wrote: Thu May 14, 2020 2:30 am
That's my understanding for the brokerage platform too, ... With the brokerage only platform distributions from all funds can only be reinvested in the distributing fund, sent to a settlement account, or sent to a bank account.
Not quite, that "bank account" can be your account at Schwab or Fidelity. Problem solved. :D
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UpperNwGuy
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Re: Vanguard Mutual Fund Platform EOL

Post by UpperNwGuy »

cherijoh wrote: Sun May 17, 2020 11:09 am
ronin wrote: Sun May 17, 2020 10:59 am
cherijoh wrote: Sun May 17, 2020 10:02 am
For accounts, the only options are buy and sell. So the only way I could think of to ensure that I was selling and buying at the same price would be to keep cash in the Roth. Then sell VTSAX in the tIRA while simultaneously buying it in the Roth. Then after settlement in the tIRA do a Roth conversion on the cash to replenish it in the Roth for the next conversion.
Thanks for your response to handling dividends. I am confused, however, by your comments above about only being able to Buy or Sell MFs on the brokerage platform. I’m on that platform but also have the options to Exchange Vanguard MFs that I’ve used recently and it seemed to act just like the legacy platform. Am I missing something here?
Then I must be wrong. I only see Buy and sell, but as I mentioned the only thing I have in a brokerage account is an ETF which is a different animal.

I'm pretty sure the exchange option wasn't available when VG started the brokerage accounts years ago, but it makes sense to have added it to make the account more palatable to more people. Or I could simply be misremembering why I decided to avoid the brokerage account as long as possible. :oops:
If you have mutual funds in a Vanguard brokerage account, you can exchange them. It's one of the advantages that mutual funds have over ETFs.
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Re: Vanguard Mutual Fund Platform EOL

Post by TropikThunder »

midareff wrote: Sun May 17, 2020 8:21 am Forcing them to pay into a MM fund and then have to go in and sell the MM and direct the proceeds to your bank seems like a huge step backwards to me.
You already can have the distributions sent directly to your bank, just like in the old platform. The only thing you can’t do on the new platform is redirect them into another fund.
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Re: Vanguard Mutual Fund Platform EOL

Post by midareff »

TropikThunder wrote: Sun May 17, 2020 11:56 am
midareff wrote: Sun May 17, 2020 8:21 am Forcing them to pay into a MM fund and then have to go in and sell the MM and direct the proceeds to your bank seems like a huge step backwards to me.
You already can have the distributions sent directly to your bank, just like in the old platform. The only thing you can’t do on the new platform is redirect them into another fund.
Thanks.. I can live with that if I have to.
BigJohn
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Re: Vanguard Mutual Fund Platform EOL

Post by BigJohn »

BrandonBogle wrote: Thu May 14, 2020 8:50 am
rkhusky wrote: Thu May 14, 2020 8:44 am
BrandonBogle wrote: Thu May 14, 2020 8:35 am
sport wrote: Thu May 14, 2020 12:05 am My understanding for the brokerage account is that you can have dividends reinvested, sent to your settlement fund, or sent to your outside bank account. However, I don't have a brokerage account, so I may not be exactly correct.
Not that last option. My mother lost her automatic path of dividends going to her checking account. Now we have to log in and transfer them manually and often forget to do it on the day it is deposited.
I just checked my taxable account, which is on the old mutual fund platform, and there are 4 options for dividends: Reinvest, Transfer to a bank account, Transfer to a Vanguard fund, and Mail by Check.
Right. The brokerage platform is reinvest in the same fund, or send them to the settlement fund. Period, hard stop. You can then transfer them or get a check from the settlement fund.
This is not true. I have a taxable brokerage account and the dividends from all of my VG mutual funds are directed to my linked checking account without a problem. Where the new platform is different is for individual stocks. Those can only be reinvested or sent to settlement account. Yes, this isn’t the same functionality as the old style mutual fund account but.... unless your portfolio is largely individual stocks it’s not a huge deal.
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Re: Vanguard Mutual Fund Platform EOL

Post by Danw »

I have a beneficiary on my joint taxable account. I’m not “upgrading” unless I am certain that the beneficiary will transfer to the new platform. I am very skeptical that will be the case.
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Re: Vanguard Mutual Fund Platform EOL

Post by BigJohn »

Danw wrote: Sun May 17, 2020 12:45 pm I have a beneficiary on my joint taxable account. I’m not “upgrading” unless I am certain that the beneficiary will transfer to the new platform. I am very skeptical that will be the case.
What’s the worry? As soon as the transfer is done, check it and all your other account maintenance settings like reinvestment options. If it should get “lost”, just reenter the same information.
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jeffyscott
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Re: Vanguard Mutual Fund Platform EOL

Post by jeffyscott »

BigJohn wrote: Sun May 17, 2020 12:51 pm
Danw wrote: Sun May 17, 2020 12:45 pm I have a beneficiary on my joint taxable account. I’m not “upgrading” unless I am certain that the beneficiary will transfer to the new platform. I am very skeptical that will be the case.
What’s the worry? As soon as the transfer is done, check it and all your other account maintenance settings like reinvestment options. If it should get “lost”, just reenter the same information.
Vanguard doesn't allow beneficiaries on joint brokerage accounts. I'd assumed that they didn't allow it on any type of joint account.
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arcticpineapplecorp.
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Re: Vanguard Mutual Fund Platform EOL

Post by arcticpineapplecorp. »

jeffyscott wrote: Fri May 15, 2020 6:10 am Unless the OP had asked a question about the MF platform, it seems odd that no one else has posted that they received the same email.
I got the same email, on 5/15/2020.
We encourage you to transition to the new platform now because, going forward, all of our improvements and enhancements will be focused on the new platform only. So transitioning today will let you enjoy updates to the new brokerage platform, avoid any service disruptions on the old one, and give you access to some of our lowest-cost investments. If you choose to remain on the old platform, we'll notify you when we implement any service changes.
So as I see it...
The carrot (as someone previously mentioned) is the "improvements and enhancements" I will miss out on if I don't transition.
The stick is having to deal with "service disruptions on the old one".

So Vanguard (if you're reading this) regarding #1, if you tell me what the improvements and enhancements will be, then that might encourage me to make the switch. Why would I make a switch if I don't know what the improvements and enhancements might be? All I'm hearing now are negatives (the two largest being no end of year pdfs and no ability to direct dividends to the fund of your choice).

Vanguard, regarding #2, I'm not crazy about hearing "service disruptions on the old one". That seems to me like a thinly veiled threat. As in, "Gee, I'd hate for anything bad to happen if you don't make the switch I want you too". In addition, saying there will be service disruptions is like admitting failure. Why would there automatically be disruptions when there weren't before when everyone was using the MF platform? Is it merely because your new trainees aren't being trained to use the MF platform and your IT people aren't either, therefore it's like having to find retired cobol engineers to fix the legacy systems??

In response to another poster who asked why Vanguard's doing it...
Why are we asking you to do it?
Having all of our clients on a single, more flexible platform will allow us to save money and make service improvements faster. Ultimately, this will benefit you as we expect to improve your client experience.
It's "Stay" the course, not Stray the Course. Buy and Hold works. You should really try it sometime. Get a plan: www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Investment_policy_statement
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Re: Vanguard Mutual Fund Platform EOL

Post by BigJohn »

jeffyscott wrote: Sun May 17, 2020 12:56 pm
BigJohn wrote: Sun May 17, 2020 12:51 pm
Danw wrote: Sun May 17, 2020 12:45 pm I have a beneficiary on my joint taxable account. I’m not “upgrading” unless I am certain that the beneficiary will transfer to the new platform. I am very skeptical that will be the case.
What’s the worry? As soon as the transfer is done, check it and all your other account maintenance settings like reinvestment options. If it should get “lost”, just reenter the same information.
Vanguard doesn't allow beneficiaries on joint brokerage accounts. I'd assumed that they didn't allow it on any type of joint account.
Ok, that’s a difference of which I was unaware. If they won’t allow for legal/liability reasons I’m surprised that it’s OK on the old platform.
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Re: Vanguard Mutual Fund Platform EOL

Post by Danw »

I was grandfathered in. I set it up a long time ago before Vanguard disallowed it.
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Re: Vanguard Mutual Fund Platform EOL

Post by jeffyscott »

BigJohn wrote: Sun May 17, 2020 1:08 pm
jeffyscott wrote: Sun May 17, 2020 12:56 pm
BigJohn wrote: Sun May 17, 2020 12:51 pm
Danw wrote: Sun May 17, 2020 12:45 pm I have a beneficiary on my joint taxable account. I’m not “upgrading” unless I am certain that the beneficiary will transfer to the new platform. I am very skeptical that will be the case.
What’s the worry? As soon as the transfer is done, check it and all your other account maintenance settings like reinvestment options. If it should get “lost”, just reenter the same information.
Vanguard doesn't allow beneficiaries on joint brokerage accounts. I'd assumed that they didn't allow it on any type of joint account.
Ok, that’s a difference of which I was unaware. If they won’t allow for legal/liability reasons I’m surprised that it’s OK on the old platform.
I understand that other brokerages do allow it. So it seems that they could offer it, they just don't want to be bothered. Probably because it might cost an extra 27 cents or something.

Vanguard just says: "Joint accounts don't need beneficiaries. Joint accounts simply pass to the surviving owner."
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CABob
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Re: Vanguard Mutual Fund Platform EOL

Post by CABob »

Vanguard just says: "Joint accounts don't need beneficiaries. Joint accounts simply pass to the surviving owner."
That sounds like a reasonable explanation. Unless the unlikely event that all joint owners die at the same time is there a reason for beneficiary?
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