Vanguard "sunsetting" CFP consultations

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seasmokefarms
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Vanguard "sunsetting" CFP consultations

Post by seasmokefarms »

I've had complimentary consultations with live CFPs, though operating by algorithms, for nearly 15 years: though they have been wrong as often as right, that's not a bad percentage. All Flagship clients have had these consultations available to them.

When I asked to review my portfolio with a CFP, my algorithmic rep wrote:

"In May 2020, Vanguard made the decision to sunset the complimentary advice
offer. Our CFPs are now dedicated to sharing their time and expertise with
clients in an ongoing relationship based model. As a result, we are not
able to schedule time with them for clients outside of that relationship."

I am struggling to see the advantage of keeping significant dollars at Vanguard, except for the ease of having online accounts at (mostly) one place. No more Advantage accounts, little advocacy from representatives, continued urging to sign up for paid services. My experience with Fidelity and Ameritrade is much better: they are friendlier, interested and collaborative. I have never felt that at Vanguard: any way to engender it?
livesoft
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Re: Vanguard "sunsetting" CFP consultations

Post by livesoft »

You can pay Vanguard 0.3% of AUM to engender it. But your Flagship rep told you that already.

What do you pay TDAmeritrade or Fidelity for the the CFP consultation?

BTW, I have had accounts at all three places for decades, but I have not paid for any advice nor really sought any advice from any of them.
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WhyNotUs
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Re: Vanguard "sunsetting" CFP consultations

Post by WhyNotUs »

Documenting the decline of VG is an ongoing source of disappointment. As George said, All Things Must Pass...
I own the next hot stock- VTSAX
Explorer
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Re: Vanguard "sunsetting" CFP consultations

Post by Explorer »

VG still makes certain Institutional mutual funds available at very low cost, and they have some famous funds such as Wellington/Wellesley.

For me, that is reason enough to keep VG.
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Rager1
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Re: Vanguard "sunsetting" CFP consultations

Post by Rager1 »

Yes, this is another example of Vanguard leaving me. So sad, but it's been a good run until now.

Ed
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galawdawg
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Re: Vanguard "sunsetting" CFP consultations

Post by galawdawg »

seasmokefarms wrote: Mon Aug 03, 2020 7:33 pm I've had complimentary consultations with live CFPs, though operating by algorithms, for nearly 15 years: though they have been wrong as often as right, that's not a bad percentage. All Flagship clients have had these consultations available to them.

When I asked to review my portfolio with a CFP, my algorithmic rep wrote:

"In May 2020, Vanguard made the decision to sunset the complimentary advice
offer. Our CFPs are now dedicated to sharing their time and expertise with
clients in an ongoing relationship based model. As a result, we are not
able to schedule time with them for clients outside of that relationship."

I am struggling to see the advantage of keeping significant dollars at Vanguard, except for the ease of having online accounts at (mostly) one place. No more Advantage accounts, little advocacy from representatives, continued urging to sign up for paid services. My experience with Fidelity and Ameritrade is much better: they are friendlier, interested and collaborative. I have never felt that at Vanguard: any way to engender it?
So you don't want to pay $3,000+ a year for a service that they formerly provided at no cost? And who says Vanguard doesn't upsell...

One of the many reasons I left Vanguard last year for E*TRADE. Same great funds, same low cost, much better service!
000
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Re: Vanguard "sunsetting" CFP consultations

Post by 000 »

I am glad I am no longer subsidizing CFPs for others. Keep at it, Vanguard!
TravelGeek
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Re: Vanguard "sunsetting" CFP consultations

Post by TravelGeek »

Welcome to Bogleheads!
seasmokefarms wrote: Mon Aug 03, 2020 7:33 pm I've had complimentary consultations with live CFPs, though operating by algorithms, for nearly 15 years: though they have been wrong as often as right, that's not a bad percentage. All Flagship clients have had these consultations available to them.
I personally have never used that benefit.

I wonder if you wouldn’t get equally useful advice/feedback from posting your portfolio here and asking for feedback. See this for details on how to best structure your post.
Scooter57
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Re: Vanguard "sunsetting" CFP consultations

Post by Scooter57 »

The advice I got from their CFP was very bad, so its no loss to see it go. What really stinks is the loss of a dedicated service rep to handle complex transactions like settling an estate or doing major gifting.

Their money market rate kept me there the last few years, but that's gone too. Now what holds me there is the fear they will screw up the transfer to another institution leaving my funds in limbo at a time when my near-term survival is under severe threat. My kids are at Vanguard making estate settlement a bit less complex.

I started investing with them in 1988.
RocketShipTech
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Re: Vanguard "sunsetting" CFP consultations

Post by RocketShipTech »

Reasons to leave Vanguard:

1. Terrible IT
2. Terrible customer service
3. No more check writing
4. Outsourcing jobs
5. Mirage of common “ownership”

And now

6. No more CFPs!
000
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Re: Vanguard "sunsetting" CFP consultations

Post by 000 »

RocketShipTech wrote: Mon Aug 03, 2020 9:20 pm Reasons to leave Vanguard:

1. Terrible IT
2. Terrible customer service
3. No more check writing
4. Outsourcing jobs
5. Mirage of common “ownership”

And now

6. No more CFPs!
1. They seem on par with similar institutions.
2. Again, seems to be average.
3. Not true.
4. Again, seems to be on par with similar institutions.
5. Still more of a mutual than its competitors.
6. What is wrong with people paying for the services they use? Why should it be subsidized by other Vanguard customers?
RocketShipTech
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Re: Vanguard "sunsetting" CFP consultations

Post by RocketShipTech »

RocketShipTech wrote: Mon Aug 03, 2020 9:20 pm Reasons to leave Vanguard:

1. Terrible IT
2. Terrible customer service
3. No more check writing
4. Outsourcing jobs
5. Mirage of common “ownership”

And now

6. No more CFPs!
I forgot the worst part

7. No leveraged ETFs!
UpperNwGuy
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Re: Vanguard "sunsetting" CFP consultations

Post by UpperNwGuy »

I've never asked for financial advice from any of my three brokers (Vanguard, Schwab, Fidelity), and I doubt I ever will. If I wanted financial advice, I would come here to the bogleheads, or I would pay a fee-only financial advisor who was not associated with a broker.
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Fat-Tailed Contagion
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Re: Vanguard "sunsetting" CFP consultations

Post by Fat-Tailed Contagion »

How would one move to Fidelity if they have been holding Vanguard Mutual Funds for many years with large unrealized capital gains?
“The intelligent investor is a realist who sells to optimists and buys from pessimists.” | ― Benjamin Graham, The Intelligent Investor
000
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Re: Vanguard "sunsetting" CFP consultations

Post by 000 »

Fat-Tailed Contagion wrote: Mon Aug 03, 2020 9:46 pm How would one move to Fidelity if they have been holding Vanguard Mutual Funds for many years with large unrealized capital gains?
If you can handle ETFs, the easiest way is to convert to ETFs (call Vanguard) as ETFs are easier to transfer.

Otherwise you will need to call Vanguard and Fidelity and see what is eligible to transfer in-kind. Anything else would need to be liquidated in order to transfer.
ChrisBenn
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Re: Vanguard "sunsetting" CFP consultations

Post by ChrisBenn »

RocketShipTech wrote: Mon Aug 03, 2020 9:27 pm
RocketShipTech wrote: Mon Aug 03, 2020 9:20 pm Reasons to leave Vanguard:

1. Terrible IT
2. Terrible customer service
3. No more check writing
4. Outsourcing jobs
5. Mirage of common “ownership”

And now

6. No more CFPs!
I forgot the worst part

7. No leveraged ETFs!
You can purchase SWAN and NTSX at Vanguard. Empirically it seems to be daily reset leveraged ETF's that are banned.
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GerryL
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Re: Vanguard "sunsetting" CFP consultations

Post by GerryL »

So, no more Flagship level? I have noticed that the descriptions of their different levels have become rather wishy-washy.
My Flagship rep disappeared "temporarily" almost 2 years ago.
In the past I have had a VG CFP run my plan to see how it held up at a specified spend level. So, is this service no longer offered to Flagship clients? I was planning on having it done every 5 years or so. Hmmm.
Spirit Rider
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Re: Vanguard "sunsetting" CFP consultations

Post by Spirit Rider »

000 wrote: Mon Aug 03, 2020 8:41 pm I am glad I am no longer subsidizing CFPs for others. Keep at it, Vanguard!
That would be great and wonderful if you derived a benefit from it.
  • Lower expense ratios that the competition, nope that ship has sailed.
  • Better customer service, nope well maybe better than the DMV.
  • Better IT Infrastructure, nope well maybe better than the Post Office.
  • Etc... ad infinitum
000
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Re: Vanguard "sunsetting" CFP consultations

Post by 000 »

Spirit Rider wrote: Tue Aug 04, 2020 1:08 am
000 wrote: Mon Aug 03, 2020 8:41 pm I am glad I am no longer subsidizing CFPs for others. Keep at it, Vanguard!
That would be great and wonderful if you derived a benefit from it.
  • Lower expense ratios that the competition, nope that ship has sailed.
  • Better customer service, nope well maybe better than the DMV.
  • Better IT Infrastructure, nope well maybe better than the Post Office.
  • Etc... ad infinitum
The broad market Vanguard ETFs I use have 0.03 ER (US), 0.05 ER (Developed), and 0.10 ER (Emerging). Who is beating that? Note: non-transferable gimmick mutual funds with a proprietary index don't count.

Customer service and website have been adequate.
RocketShipTech
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Re: Vanguard "sunsetting" CFP consultations

Post by RocketShipTech »

000 wrote: Tue Aug 04, 2020 1:11 am
Spirit Rider wrote: Tue Aug 04, 2020 1:08 am
000 wrote: Mon Aug 03, 2020 8:41 pm I am glad I am no longer subsidizing CFPs for others. Keep at it, Vanguard!
That would be great and wonderful if you derived a benefit from it.
  • Lower expense ratios that the competition, nope that ship has sailed.
  • Better customer service, nope well maybe better than the DMV.
  • Better IT Infrastructure, nope well maybe better than the Post Office.
  • Etc... ad infinitum
The broad market Vanguard ETFs I use have 0.03 ER (US), 0.05 ER (Developed), and 0.10 ER (Emerging). Who is beating that? Note: non-transferable gimmick mutual funds with a proprietary index don't count.

Customer service and website have been adequate.
BBUS (US): 0.02
SPDW & BKIE (Developed): 0.04
000
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Re: Vanguard "sunsetting" CFP consultations

Post by 000 »

RocketShipTech wrote: Tue Aug 04, 2020 1:18 am
000 wrote: Tue Aug 04, 2020 1:11 am
Spirit Rider wrote: Tue Aug 04, 2020 1:08 am
000 wrote: Mon Aug 03, 2020 8:41 pm I am glad I am no longer subsidizing CFPs for others. Keep at it, Vanguard!
That would be great and wonderful if you derived a benefit from it.
  • Lower expense ratios that the competition, nope that ship has sailed.
  • Better customer service, nope well maybe better than the DMV.
  • Better IT Infrastructure, nope well maybe better than the Post Office.
  • Etc... ad infinitum
The broad market Vanguard ETFs I use have 0.03 ER (US), 0.05 ER (Developed), and 0.10 ER (Emerging). Who is beating that? Note: non-transferable gimmick mutual funds with a proprietary index don't count.

Customer service and website have been adequate.
BBUS (US): 0.02
SPDW & BKIE (Developed): 0.04
No, those don't have mid and small caps. I'm also guessing the bid-ask spread is quite bad.
RocketShipTech
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Re: Vanguard "sunsetting" CFP consultations

Post by RocketShipTech »

000 wrote: Tue Aug 04, 2020 1:28 am
RocketShipTech wrote: Tue Aug 04, 2020 1:18 am
000 wrote: Tue Aug 04, 2020 1:11 am
Spirit Rider wrote: Tue Aug 04, 2020 1:08 am
000 wrote: Mon Aug 03, 2020 8:41 pm I am glad I am no longer subsidizing CFPs for others. Keep at it, Vanguard!
That would be great and wonderful if you derived a benefit from it.
  • Lower expense ratios that the competition, nope that ship has sailed.
  • Better customer service, nope well maybe better than the DMV.
  • Better IT Infrastructure, nope well maybe better than the Post Office.
  • Etc... ad infinitum
The broad market Vanguard ETFs I use have 0.03 ER (US), 0.05 ER (Developed), and 0.10 ER (Emerging). Who is beating that? Note: non-transferable gimmick mutual funds with a proprietary index don't count.

Customer service and website have been adequate.
BBUS (US): 0.02
SPDW & BKIE (Developed): 0.04
No, those don't have mid and small caps. I'm also guessing the bid-ask spread is quite bad.
You can get mid and small caps separately, just like how you conveniently ignored VXUS (0.08) in favor of VEA and VWO.

And bid-ask spread is not a thing for broad market ETFs
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galawdawg
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Re: Vanguard "sunsetting" CFP consultations

Post by galawdawg »

000 wrote: Tue Aug 04, 2020 1:11 am
Spirit Rider wrote: Tue Aug 04, 2020 1:08 am
000 wrote: Mon Aug 03, 2020 8:41 pm I am glad I am no longer subsidizing CFPs for others. Keep at it, Vanguard!
That would be great and wonderful if you derived a benefit from it.
  • Lower expense ratios that the competition, nope that ship has sailed.
  • Better customer service, nope well maybe better than the DMV.
  • Better IT Infrastructure, nope well maybe better than the Post Office.
  • Etc... ad infinitum
The broad market Vanguard ETFs I use have 0.03 ER (US), 0.05 ER (Developed), and 0.10 ER (Emerging). Who is beating that? Note: non-transferable gimmick mutual funds with a proprietary index don't count.

Customer service and website have been adequate.
Now that's a ringing endorsement! Adequate! :beer

If folks like Vanguard funds (as I do) but aren't happy with Vanguard brokerage, they have a number of competing brokerages to choose from. One can hold the same Vanguard ETF funds that you prefer with no transaction fees or commissions at another brokerage that provides a much more reliable and robust website and app experience, superior and more responsive customer service that isn't limited to bankers' hours, and a wider array of other services and products (some are complimentary, some are at additional cost). If you want to hold Vanguard mutual funds vs. ETFs, there are several excellent brokerages that also offer most of their mutual funds with no transaction fees or commissions.

Vanguard....great funds....mediocre brokerage.
ChrisBenn
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Re: Vanguard "sunsetting" CFP consultations

Post by ChrisBenn »

Vanguard does also offer best in class money market funds. Which doesn't matter with interest rates so low, but may be relevant in the future.

I migrated assets from Vanguard to Fidelity due to the additional features already mentioned here.

BUT if I were leaving a bequest, providing a recommendation, etc to a friend or family member - specifically one who wasn't interested in getting involved in understanding investing - I do think Vanguard would be my choice. Mostly as I think it's one of the brokers they may be less likely to be upsold on advisory services. If they are upsold, the haircut on PAS is much less than others, and they will likely not be shoved in some high cost weird alt funds.

In some ways it's more I would view them (for that use case) as the least worst, as opposed to the best -- but I think that is absolutely fine. I think that is a perfectly reasonable niche to fill.
rkhusky
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Re: Vanguard "sunsetting" CFP consultations

Post by rkhusky »

Vanguard gets similar or higher rankings in customer surveys as other brokerages. Bogleheads are not average investors (multimillionaires that complain about not getting free tax software anymore).
HereandNow
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Re: Vanguard "sunsetting" CFP consultations

Post by HereandNow »

I asked for a brief consultation with a CFP several months ago. They assumed I was interested in the VPAS program and set up my account for this. I got the consultation. The CFP did a soft sell for VPAS, nothing aggressive. I said no. The VPAS stuff then disappeared from my account after this, no charge at all.

Showing some interest in VPAS but making it clear that you are not committed to it is a way to get a consultation. It was worth it for me. The CFP was a fiduciary and recommended that I keep the same investments I had and not change anything. We discussed my asset allocation and reasons for it.
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Re: Vanguard "sunsetting" CFP consultations

Post by galawdawg »

HereandNow wrote: Tue Aug 04, 2020 7:28 am The CFP was a fiduciary and recommended that I keep the same investments I had and not change anything. We discussed my asset allocation and reasons for it.
If the Vanguard CFP was a fiduciary, do you mind me asking what non-Vanguard funds and investments they recommended? What potential conflicts of interest, if any, did they disclose?
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Re: Vanguard "sunsetting" CFP consultations

Post by Jack FFR1846 »

I receive periodic offers to evaluate my portfolio and make recommendations from Fidelity, TDAmeritrade and Schwab. I have zero interest in getting a free assessment. But I know that I can get free advice anywhere I have money.
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HereandNow
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Re: Vanguard "sunsetting" CFP consultations

Post by HereandNow »

galawdawg wrote: Tue Aug 04, 2020 7:41 am
HereandNow wrote: Tue Aug 04, 2020 7:28 am The CFP was a fiduciary and recommended that I keep the same investments I had and not change anything. We discussed my asset allocation and reasons for it.
If the Vanguard CFP was a fiduciary, do you mind me asking what non-Vanguard funds and investments they recommended? What potential conflicts of interest, if any, did they disclose?
We did not talk long enough to get into the CFP’s conflicts of interest. I had no interest in signing up for VPAS and I knew that Vanguard CFPs recommend mainly Vanguard funds. They disclose that very clearly in their marketing materials now, by the way.

I had previously worked with a CFP at Edward Jones. Yes, a few CFPs work at that shady firm. He only recommended high-expense American funds and Franklin Templeton funds. The hard sell there and avoidance of talk about conflicts were dramatically different than the soft sell at Vanguard.
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Re: Vanguard "sunsetting" CFP consultations

Post by burritoLover »

The nice thing about Vanguard is that I don't get emails, pop-ups, text messages, and app notifications trying to sell me something. All transactions have been flawless including buying/selling individual stocks/ETFs (via limit orders or otherwise), mutual funds and all bank transfers. They also have the right level of paranoia about security which I like. I've never had the need to contact customer service because I've never had a problem. The app and the site's interface isn't the greatest but it isn't buggy that I've found and while some things may be un-intuitive, they are not hard to figure out if you are computer literate.
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galawdawg
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Re: Vanguard "sunsetting" CFP consultations

Post by galawdawg »

burritoLover wrote: Tue Aug 04, 2020 8:57 am The nice thing about Vanguard is that I don't get emails, pop-ups, text messages, and app notifications trying to sell me something.
Lucky you! I wonder how you managed to avoid the endless PAS solicitation emails we received, despite repeated assurances from our Flagship rep that we were opted-out of all marketing? And if you didn't get the PAS pop-up AND banner ad that appeared everytime we logged in for months, you missed out...

Image

Pop-up and ad blockers didn't block those. We had to close out the pop-up and then scroll down below the large banner ad to the bottom of the page just to see our accounts or do anything on the website. :oops:
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Re: Vanguard "sunsetting" CFP consultations

Post by burritoLover »

galawdawg wrote: Tue Aug 04, 2020 9:05 am Lucky you! I wonder how you managed to avoid the endless PAS solicitation emails we received, despite repeated assurances from our Flagship rep that we were opted-out of all marketing? And if you didn't get the PAS pop-up AND banner ad that appeared everytime we logged in for months, you missed out...

Pop-up and ad blockers didn't block those. We had to close out the pop-up and then scroll down below the large banner ad to the bottom of the page just to see our accounts or do anything on the website. :oops:
Oh - forgot about that one. I did see that - it is a more recent development. Simply closed it out but it is annoying - haven't seen any others. I can only imagine what you would get from other companies that have a motive to push you into their most profitable offerings.
"Your money is like a bar of soap. The more you handle it, the less you’ll have." - Gene Fama
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Re: Vanguard "sunsetting" CFP consultations

Post by nisiprius »

galawdawg wrote: Tue Aug 04, 2020 5:41 am...Now that's a ringing endorsement! Adequate! :beer
...Vanguard....great funds....mediocre brokerage...
It's been that way for as long as I've had an account at Vanguard (1998 or so), i.e. including the days when Vanguard Brokerage Services was what might be called a private-labelled service provided by Pershing. I have had... let's say... the same level of complaints as I've had with TIAA-CREF, Schwab, and Fidelity all of which have given me brief and ultimately-unimportant conniption fits. So far I was and am perfectly happy with Vanguard's service, but I'm not very demanding. I don't think Vanguard Brokerage Services has ever been the connoisseur's choice, or a brokerage you would use if you were not holding Vanguard funds and ETFs.

"Mediocre" might be a bit strong. I'd draw an analogy to going to a nearby Walmart Supercenter for groceries. It's perfectly OK as a supermarket but I wouldn't go there if groceries were the only thing I were buying. Not when there's a Wegman's at almost the same distance...

That said, I have an uneasy feeling about Vanguard these days, nothing definite and nothing that affects me, but discontinuing no-cost CFP services is sort of like a company no longer providing free coffee to employees. You wonder what's behind it. There have been a number of abrupt changes, none troubling in itself--why should I care that they will be using an outsourced mailing house in Texas instead of an outsource mailing house in Wisconsin? Dropping the ability to buy SPIAs through Vanguard, Vanguard Annuity Access bothers me (because that's how I bought the SPIA I bought in 2007, i.e. it's a service I actually used). So is "Transition[ing] Administration of Variable Annuity Offering to Transamerica." I think I would also add the discontinuation of the actual monthly distributions, the literal "managed payouts," from the Managed Payout fund.

What bothersome about all of these is that they seem 1) abrupt, and 2) unexplained. It's hard to escape an impression of turbulence and turmoil.

I'm not bothered much by the addition of non-Bogleheadish offerings, like the actively managed core bond fund or the commodities fund, there's always been a constant background of that. But abrupt and unexplained discontinuation of long-existing things is different.
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Re: Vanguard "sunsetting" CFP consultations

Post by dbr »

For me this is easy. I have never had an account at Vanguard and would not ever imagine doing so.

But a different question is why would one want a free consultation with a CFP at a stock broker? That does not compute for me. I have never looked at that at Fidelity, Schwab, Tom/Dick/Harry, or anyone else.

I do agree that VPAS could be helpful for some investors. Why would you not expect to pay something for a service and VPAS seems to be in a price/service niche that makes some sense.
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nedsaid
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Re: Vanguard "sunsetting" CFP consultations

Post by nedsaid »

nisiprius wrote: Tue Aug 04, 2020 9:18 am
galawdawg wrote: Tue Aug 04, 2020 5:41 am...Now that's a ringing endorsement! Adequate! :beer
...Vanguard....great funds....mediocre brokerage...
It's been that way for as long as I've had an account at Vanguard (1998 or so), i.e. including the days when Vanguard Brokerage Services was what might be called a private-labelled service provided by Pershing. I have had... let's say... the same level of complaints as I've had with TIAA-CREF, Schwab, and Fidelity all of which have given me brief and ultimately-unimportant conniption fits. So far I was and am perfectly happy with Vanguard's service, but I'm not very demanding. I don't think Vanguard Brokerage Services has ever been the connoisseur's choice, or a brokerage you would use if you were not holding Vanguard funds and ETFs.

"Mediocre" might be a bit strong. I'd draw an analogy to going to a nearby Walmart Supercenter for groceries. It's perfectly OK as a supermarket but I wouldn't go there if groceries were the only thing I were buying. Not when there's a Wegman's at almost the same distance...

That said, I have an uneasy feeling about Vanguard these days, nothing definite and nothing that affects me, but discontinuing no-cost CFP services is sort of like a company no longer providing free coffee to employees. You wonder what's behind it. There have been a number of abrupt changes, none troubling in itself--why should I care that they will be using an outsourced mailing house in Texas instead of an outsource mailing house in Wisconsin? Dropping the ability to buy SPIAs through Vanguard, Vanguard Annuity Access bothers me (because that's how I bought the SPIA I bought in 2007, i.e. it's a service I actually used). So is "Transition[ing] Administration of Variable Annuity Offering to Transamerica." I think I would also add the discontinuation of the actual monthly distributions, the literal "managed payouts," from the Managed Payout fund.

What bothersome about all of these is that they seem 1) abrupt, and 2) unexplained. It's hard to escape an impression of turbulence and turmoil.

I'm not bothered much by the addition of non-Bogleheadish offerings, like the actively managed core bond fund or the commodities fund, there's always been a constant background of that. But abrupt and unexplained discontinuation of long-existing things is different.
There is sort of a natural entropy in organizations. Employees are pretty much inventory now a days, the days of loyalty and rewarding that loyalty are long gone. I worked for a couple of organizations that were once very employee oriented and now are much less so. The consultants and the trade magazines and the business schools all say it is cheaper to be mean to your employees rather than to be nice to them. It is all about maximizing shareholder value and rewarding the management at the top. What really happens is that the people at the top get hugely rewarded financially and the organization hollows out. You get reduced to call centers where people read off of scripts, hard to find people who have the knowledge and the authority to actually fix a problem.

I hope this doesn't happen to Vanguard but alas it sounds like it is following that same path.

I often wondered why Vanguard is pushing their customers to the brokerage platform. Pretty much it is outsourcing a lot of the record keeping to the brokerage and the sending out of statements. Also the ETF structure is easier for investment firms to deal with instead of in house mutual funds. The authorized participants create and redeem shares and not the investment firm.

Vanguard is no longer the House of Bogle.
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neurosphere
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Re: Vanguard "sunsetting" CFP consultations

Post by neurosphere »

seasmokefarms wrote: Mon Aug 03, 2020 7:33 pm I am struggling to see the advantage of keeping significant dollars at Vanguard, except for the ease of having online accounts at (mostly) one place. No more Advantage accounts, little advocacy from representatives, continued urging to sign up for paid services. My experience with Fidelity and Ameritrade is much better: they are friendlier, interested and collaborative. I have never felt that at Vanguard: any way to engender it?
Due to 401ks, trusts I am the trustee of, etc. have close "relationships" with Fidelity and Schwab, as well as Vanguard. I also get annoyed with the daily pitches for Vanguards PAS services. But I also get annoyed by the annual call from a Fidelity financial advisor wishing to engage me in conversation and see if he "can be helpful".

Personally, I stick with vanguard because 1) I prefer mutual funds to ETFs and 2) access to their low-cost MMFs and municipal bond funds and especially my state-specific fund.

Given the low rates right now, it really doesn't make a difference. But over the years I've much preferred to hold cash in a Vanguard municipal MMF as opposed to shopping around online savings accounts, and Vanguard's MMF always pay more than other equivalent funds due to the lower fee.

And I just can't seem to find intermediate or long-term municipal bonds funds that I like as much as Vanguard. The PIMCO NY Municipal Income fund (PNF) has an ER near 2% ( :shock: ). Fidelity's fund (FTFMX) has an ER of 0.46% and lower credit quality. There is an ishares ETF which has a 0.25% fee which is "ok". Vanguard's fund has an ER of only 0.09%.

At least for now, there are certain products Vanguard offers that cannot be easily obtained elsewhere in ETF form or otherwise (unless one pays an extra fee).

But granted, there are dozens of things/criteria that one wants/needs/evaluates in a brokerage: investment options, customer service, web interface, CFP/advice, etc. It's perfectly acceptable for people to weight those as they wish. And the main point of this thread is not lost on me, that essentially a feature that was previously available as been removed, and thus for some any value from a Vanguard relationship is now worth less.
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Re: Vanguard "sunsetting" CFP consultations

Post by Broken Man 1999 »

"Freebies" are only free for those who receive them. The costs are costs of doing business which is spread out over all the customers.

I'm not sure why people don't understand the reasons for discontinuing certain lines of business, or accounts.

It was clearly shared by Vanguard that the reason the CMA accounts were discontinued was because of the very low take rate. Good business decision.

It was clearly shared by Vanguard the reason the annuities were discontinued was because they wanted to concentrate on their core business. I have a Vanguard VA, I'd rather Vanguard stayed selling/supporting annuities, but, again, it was a good business decision.

I'm not sure why the angst about Vanguard choosing a DIFFERENT third-party vendor located in El Paso, TX. Vanguard was already using a third-party vendor who was located in Wisconsin.

And the uproar about outsourcing some jobs, well, it was kinda funny because other investment companies (often mentioned as their "new" place by exiting Vanguard clients) have been doing the same for years. Though, technically Vanguard hasn't sent those jobs to India, though the third-party vendor may do so. Again, a good business decision.

Personally, I think user fees are great. The person wanting certain services can pay for them. That way those who don't want the services do not have to pay (assuming the fees actually capture the costs of providing the service).

The reality is Vanguard has brought about the lowering of investment expenses that can be enjoyed at many investment companies. No shortages of places where one can enjoy low-cost investments. All companies, including Vanguard, have warts.

However, even considering Vanguard's warts, it seems apparent many people are still happy to send their dollars to Vanguard. The funds flow reports show just that.

Broken Man 1999

ETA: I forgot about Vanguard discontinuing DW's 20-year term insurance policy. We bought it when she was 55, term is up in about 8 more years. Another good business decision.

Businesses need to periodically trim their product offerings, or they end up supporting lines of business that sap their attention, and sometimes offer little to no return, once all the expenses are allocated.
Last edited by Broken Man 1999 on Tue Aug 04, 2020 11:21 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Vanguard "sunsetting" CFP consultations

Post by Rowan Oak »

livesoft wrote: Mon Aug 03, 2020 7:39 pm You can pay Vanguard 0.3% of AUM to engender it. But your Flagship rep told you that already.

What do you pay TDAmeritrade or Fidelity for the the CFP consultation?
Vanguard Personal Advisor Services:
0.30% Up to $5 million
0.20% Above $5 million to $10 million
0.10% Above $10 million to $25 million
0.05% $25 million and above

https://investor.vanguard.com/financial ... ial-advice

Fidelity:

Option 1:

Wealth Management
Gross advisory fee: 0.50%–1.50% (3)
Your Fidelity advisor will provide access to planning and ongoing investment management based on your financial picture.
Minimum investment:
$250,000 managed through Fidelity® Wealth Services (2)

Option 2:

Private Wealth Management
Gross advisory fee: 0.20%–1.05% (3, 5)
You'll have your own wealth management team, led by your Fidelity advisor, and comprehensive financial planning and investment management.
Minimum investment:
$2 million managed through Fidelity® Wealth Services or Fidelity® Strategic Disciplines and $10 million or more in total investable assets4


2. Fidelity® Wealth Services is an investment advisory service that provides nondiscretionary financial planning and discretionary investment management through one or more Portfolio Advisory Services accounts for a fee. Minimum investment is $50,000 for access to a team of advisors and $250,000 for access to a dedicated advisor.

3. The advisory fee does not cover charges resulting from trades effected with or through broker-dealers other than Fidelity Investment affiliates, mark-ups or mark-downs by broker-dealers, transfer taxes, exchange fees, regulatory fees, odd-lot differentials, handling charges, electronic fund and wire transfer fees, or any other charges imposed by law or otherwise applicable to your account. You will also incur underlying expenses associated with the investment vehicles selected.

5. Gross advisory fee applicable to accounts managed through Fidelity® Strategic Disciplines ranges from 0.20% to 0.49% and gross advisory fee applicable to accounts managed through Fidelity® Wealth Services ranges from 0.50%–1.05%, in each case based on a minimum investment.


https://www.fidelity.com/wealth-management/overview


TD Ameritrade offers what they call "Investment Management Services"
The way you invest has changed, that's why we offer a suite of managed portfolios to help you pursue your financial goals. From automated investing to portfolio management with a more personal touch, the professionals at TD Ameritrade Investment Management, LLC will recommend a portfolio based on your financial goals.
Essential Portfolios
Advisory fees:
0.30%
Minimum investment: $500 (when you set up automatic recurring deposits)*
Automated, low-cost, low-minimum investment solution offering five goal-oriented ETF portfolios.
Ongoing portfolio monitoring and automatic rebalancing. The online dashboard let you view account performance and see how you're tracking toward your goal.

Selective Portfolios
Advisory fees:
0.75%-0.90% for the first $100,000 (varies by portfolio and investment amount)
Minimum investment: $25,000
A broader range of goal-oriented portfolios made up of mutual funds and ETFs, based on varying investment objectives and risk with ongoing rebalancing and monitoring.
Dedicated support team that provides regular reporting on how you're tracking toward your goal. Or you can access the online dashboard any time to view account performance and goal tracking.

Personalized Portfolios
Advisory fees:
0.60%-0.90% (varies by portfolio and investment amount)
Minimum investment: $250,000
The highest level of service, featuring tailored advice and portfolio construction that takes your overall financial picture into account.
One-on-one relationship with a Senior Financial Consultant and a Portfolio Consultant. A comprehensive digital dashboard provides a one-stop view of all investments, including account aggregation, integrated goal-tracking, and performance for both TD Ameritrade and non-TD Ameritrade accounts.

https://www.tdameritrade.com/investment ... vices.page


Note: I could not find the words Certified Financial Planner (CFP) on the Fidelity or TD Ameritrade pages.
Last edited by Rowan Oak on Tue Aug 04, 2020 10:32 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Vanguard "sunsetting" CFP consultations

Post by KyleAAA »

It seems like Vanguard clearly wants most investors to hold their ETFs elsewhere to minimize costs. Fine by me.
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Re: Vanguard "sunsetting" CFP consultations

Post by Broken Man 1999 »

KyleAAA wrote: Tue Aug 04, 2020 10:30 am It seems like Vanguard clearly wants most investors to hold their ETFs elsewhere to minimize costs. Fine by me.
Actually all Vanguard ETF holders should move their ETFs to another brokerage to reduce expenses at Vanguard!

Perhaps I'll suggest to Vanguard to start a campaign to encourage ETF holders to go elswhere:

"If you really love Vanguard, please pack up your ETFs and go!"

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Re: Vanguard "sunsetting" CFP consultations

Post by TravelGeek »

nisiprius wrote: Tue Aug 04, 2020 9:18 am
What bothersome about all of these is that they seem 1) abrupt, and 2) unexplained. It's hard to escape an impression of turbulence and turmoil.
Does changing an outsourced supplier of mailing services really require an explanation or even notice to customers? I had no idea who they are using and rarely get mail from Vanguard.

And though I never used the Advantage account feature, I thought there was sufficient notice given to those who used it. The following article was from early March 2019 and the service ended 7/31. As for an explanation,

https://www.bizjournals.com/philadelphi ... r-big.html
Following a recent review, which included feedback from a broad spectrum of clients who use the service, we have determined that VanguardAdvantage is no longer meeting the range of needs articulated by our clients,” Vanguard wrote to clients using the service in a letter. “We realize that discontinuing VanguardAdvantage will require you to establish similar services, such as bill pay, with your bank. We sincerely regret this inconvenience. This notification is intended to provide you with as much lead time as possible to make the necessary changes.”

Vanguard spokeswoman Emily Farrell said in a statement said the service had very low usage and client interest, as less than 2 percent of eligible clients signed up for the service — and less than half of those were actively using the service.

“Every decision at Vanguard is made through a client-focused, and we continuously evaluate our full suite of services to ensure they meet client needs,” Farrell said. “After a careful review, we have decided to discontinue the VanguardAdvantage account and are working with clients to establish alternative arrangements.
Seems reasonable to me.

Annuities... here’s the FAQ:

https://investor.vanguard.com/annuityfaq
Why we're making this change

Annuity administration isn't central to Vanguard's long-term product and service plans. We're deepening our focus on our core priorities: delivering industry-leading funds and ETFs, enhancing the client experience, and expanding our advice capabilities.
That would have been my guess for an explanation. Many/most businesses seem to be in this continuous cycle of expanding in new “areas of opportunity“ only to then a few years later refocus on “areas of core competencies”. Often via mergers/acquisitions followed by spinoff or some other divestiture.

Personally we have Vanguard and Fidelity accounts. I am managing them generally without any human interaction at either firm. As we are getting older, I am working on simplifying our various accounts and holdings, and should I die before my wife, I hope that Vanguard’s 0.3% advisory service will be around to hold her hand.
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Re: Vanguard "sunsetting" CFP consultations

Post by obafgkm »

seasmokefarms wrote: Mon Aug 03, 2020 7:33 pm I've had complimentary consultations with live CFPs, though operating by algorithms, for nearly 15 years: though they have been wrong as often as right, that's not a bad percentage.
Assuming your memory of their performance is correct, why not just flip a coin? :confused :)
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Re: Vanguard "sunsetting" CFP consultations

Post by cashboy »

the financial services industry continues to become increasingly competitive. right or wrong (and i mean that in a nice way), this is another example of it; they are looking at boosting the bottom line, and capabilities, by cutting.

customers have more choices than ever before. for example, if someone wants to buy an S&P500 index fund they will be concerned about things like ER costs.

If the ER for such a fund at company 'a' is .10

and the ER for such a fund at company 'b' is .20 for the exact same product

some customers may buy the product at company 'a' based on the ER.

so, a way for company 'b' to get that ER down might be to cut costs in other areas of the business (like freebies). i am not saying it is right, just that it is not totally surprising.
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Re: Vanguard "sunsetting" CFP consultations

Post by Kompass »

Another Vanguard service level change most will not be aware of even though several folks here have mentioned it for planning is the Trust Company. The employees that service the trusts are the same people who are in Flagship and general admin. The level of service and expertise available at the trust company is the same as the brokerage, which is to say "changing" over the last several years. I mention this because I have seen folks talk about leaving assets to family members and spouses in this way so that it will be hands off for the heir. This is not the case, it requires the same amount of oversight and problem solving as the brokerage side. It is up to the heir to be knowledgable enough to spot problems as they arise, and they do, it is not set and forget.
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Re: Vanguard "sunsetting" CFP consultations

Post by tibbitts »

nedsaid wrote: Tue Aug 04, 2020 9:51 am I often wondered why Vanguard is pushing their customers to the brokerage platform. Pretty much it is outsourcing a lot of the record keeping to the brokerage and the sending out of statements. Also the ETF structure is easier for investment firms to deal with instead of in house mutual funds. The authorized participants create and redeem shares and not the investment firm.

Vanguard is no longer the House of Bogle.
I don't understand why everyone believes Bogle wouldn't approve of even the most drastic cost-cutting moves, or of outsourcing functions where that can save money.
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Re: Vanguard "sunsetting" CFP consultations

Post by RocketShipTech »

tibbitts wrote: Tue Aug 04, 2020 5:59 pm
nedsaid wrote: Tue Aug 04, 2020 9:51 am I often wondered why Vanguard is pushing their customers to the brokerage platform. Pretty much it is outsourcing a lot of the record keeping to the brokerage and the sending out of statements. Also the ETF structure is easier for investment firms to deal with instead of in house mutual funds. The authorized participants create and redeem shares and not the investment firm.

Vanguard is no longer the House of Bogle.
I don't understand why everyone believes Bogle wouldn't approve of even the most drastic cost-cutting moves, or of outsourcing functions where that can save money.
The very last thing Bogle was worried about before his death was the inordinate power of index funds

https://www.wsj.com/articles/bogle-soun ... 1543504551

I believe it's likely that if he had lived another 10 years he might have become the biggest antagonist to the index fund industrial complex that he himself created.
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Re: Vanguard "sunsetting" CFP consultations

Post by tibbitts »

RocketShipTech wrote: Tue Aug 04, 2020 6:04 pm
tibbitts wrote: Tue Aug 04, 2020 5:59 pm
nedsaid wrote: Tue Aug 04, 2020 9:51 am I often wondered why Vanguard is pushing their customers to the brokerage platform. Pretty much it is outsourcing a lot of the record keeping to the brokerage and the sending out of statements. Also the ETF structure is easier for investment firms to deal with instead of in house mutual funds. The authorized participants create and redeem shares and not the investment firm.

Vanguard is no longer the House of Bogle.
I don't understand why everyone believes Bogle wouldn't approve of even the most drastic cost-cutting moves, or of outsourcing functions where that can save money.
The very last thing Bogle was worried about before his death was the inordinate power of index funds

https://www.wsj.com/articles/bogle-soun ... 1543504551

I believe it's likely that if he had lived another 10 years he might have become the biggest antagonist to the index fund industrial complex that he himself created.
I don''t feel like trying to work around the paywall, so does this address what mechanisms he would or wouldn't approve of to effect cost reductions?
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Re: Vanguard "sunsetting" CFP consultations

Post by RocketShipTech »

tibbitts wrote: Tue Aug 04, 2020 6:19 pm
RocketShipTech wrote: Tue Aug 04, 2020 6:04 pm
tibbitts wrote: Tue Aug 04, 2020 5:59 pm
nedsaid wrote: Tue Aug 04, 2020 9:51 am I often wondered why Vanguard is pushing their customers to the brokerage platform. Pretty much it is outsourcing a lot of the record keeping to the brokerage and the sending out of statements. Also the ETF structure is easier for investment firms to deal with instead of in house mutual funds. The authorized participants create and redeem shares and not the investment firm.

Vanguard is no longer the House of Bogle.
I don't understand why everyone believes Bogle wouldn't approve of even the most drastic cost-cutting moves, or of outsourcing functions where that can save money.
The very last thing Bogle was worried about before his death was the inordinate power of index funds

https://www.wsj.com/articles/bogle-soun ... 1543504551

I believe it's likely that if he had lived another 10 years he might have become the biggest antagonist to the index fund industrial complex that he himself created.
I don''t feel like trying to work around the paywall, so does this address what mechanisms he would or wouldn't approve of to effect cost reductions?
Bogle was willing to impose restrictions on the index fund providers so that they “serve the national interest” so it’s not inconceivable that he would have been opposed to things like outsourcing.
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Re: Vanguard "sunsetting" CFP consultations

Post by afan »

I have been with Vanguard for decades. Happy with the service. The service is low cost index funds.

On a few occasions, I have used the free CFP consultation. It was useless. They knew less than I did about the question, every time. They knew far less than the people posting here.

I kept at it more for curiosity about whether there was something for which they would be useful. If so, I never found it.

I get free consultations with people from the vendors in my retirement plan
They plug numbers into what seems to be a simplistic program and spit out some numbers of little value.
None, including the V CFPs, would discuss Roth conversions, planning for changing tax rates in retirement, asset protection, need for life or disability insurance...

I don't need anyone to manage a three fund portfolio for me and none of the companies are useful for financial advice, I could not imagine paying for PAS or the offerings from Fidelity, Schwab or the others.

Since I value the CFP consultation at zero, I am glad I am not paying for it.
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Re: Vanguard "sunsetting" CFP consultations

Post by nanameg »

neurosphere wrote: Tue Aug 04, 2020 10:23 am
seasmokefarms wrote: Mon Aug 03, 2020 7:33 pm I am struggling to see the advantage of keeping significant dollars at Vanguard, except for the ease of having online accounts at (mostly) one place. No more Advantage accounts, little advocacy from representatives, continued urging to sign up for paid services. My experience with Fidelity and Ameritrade is much better: they are friendlier, interested and collaborative. I have never felt that at Vanguard: any way to engender it?
Due to 401ks, trusts I am the trustee of, etc. have close "relationships" with Fidelity and Schwab, as well as Vanguard. I also get annoyed with the daily pitches for Vanguards PAS services. But I also get annoyed by the annual call from a Fidelity financial advisor wishing to engage me in conversation and see if he "can be helpful".

Personally, I stick with vanguard because 1) I prefer mutual funds to ETFs and 2) access to their low-cost MMFs and municipal bond funds and especially my state-specific fund.

Given the low rates right now, it really doesn't make a difference. But over the years I've much preferred to hold cash in a Vanguard municipal MMF as opposed to shopping around online savings accounts, and Vanguard's MMF always pay more than other equivalent funds due to the lower fee.

And I just can't seem to find intermediate or long-term municipal bonds funds that I like as much as Vanguard. The PIMCO NY Municipal Income fund (PNF) has an ER near 2% ( :shock: ). Fidelity's fund (FTFMX) has an ER of 0.46% and lower credit quality. There is an ishares ETF which has a 0.25% fee which is "ok". Vanguard's fund has an ER of only 0.09%.

At least for now, there are certain products Vanguard offers that cannot be easily obtained elsewhere in ETF form or otherwise (unless one pays an extra fee).

But granted, there are dozens of things/criteria that one wants/needs/evaluates in a brokerage: investment options, customer service, web interface, CFP/advice, etc. It's perfectly acceptable for people to weight those as they wish. And the main point of this thread is not lost on me, that essentially a feature that was previously available as been removed, and thus for some any value from a Vanguard relationship is now worth less.
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