Vanguard "sunsetting" CFP consultations

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softwaregeek
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Re: Vanguard "sunsetting" CFP consultations

Post by softwaregeek »

I would imagine those CFP were pretty expensive. And every meeting requires preparation, so probably a couple of hours to prepare polus a one hour meeting. So three or four hours per customer. That's expensive.

Service is terrible everywhere now.

Thankfully, all of the large discount brokers have truly excellent systems and websites that make customer calls pretty rare. I
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nedsaid
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Re: Vanguard "sunsetting" CFP consultations

Post by nedsaid »

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.
I don't think Bogle would be against cost efficiencies but there gets to be a point where a company can lose its soul. I think of Bogle's book Enough where he diagnosed what ails modern capitalism. There is more to running a company than just saving money. Hard to say exactly where the line is drawn but there is a line.
A fool and his money are good for business.
marcopolo
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Re: Vanguard "sunsetting" CFP consultations

Post by marcopolo »

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?

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.
At Fidelity, they are free for Private Client Group customers. I have had a few of them over the years with my assigned CFP, have had the same one for about a dozen years.

A few interesting ideas, but mostly just double checking my analysis at specific milestones.
I told them upfront i was not interested in any additional paid relationships, they have never bothered me about them, or tried to sell me more expensive products.
Once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right.
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beyou
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Re: Vanguard "sunsetting" CFP consultations

Post by beyou »

galawdawg wrote: Mon Aug 03, 2020 8:41 pm 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!
I have accts at Etrade and Vanguard. While I agree Etrade has better customer service, Etrade calls me regularly to sell me their managed acct services. Same upsell as Vanguard. I also found a service that I had found useful removed at Etrade (M* xray). I like etrade but it’s not a hands down winner over Vanguard all around.
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shum
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Re: Vanguard "sunsetting" CFP consultation

Post by shum »

For many, many years I’ve struggled to get to seven figures, not really for any freebies, but finally I made it, just in time to see every freebie gone, zip. Fortunately seven figures with an independent fixed income floor three times needs, very low taxes and ERs, and Jack Bogle are all the freebies I needed. I read over 350 books and don’t feel the need for CFP, but free TurboTax would have been nice. Now, if I make it to eight figures . . . . ? Remember dummy, Happiness is our choice. 👍
-shum
nalor511
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Re: Vanguard "sunsetting" CFP consultations

Post by nalor511 »

galawdawg wrote: Tue Aug 04, 2020 5:41 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.
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.
Would you share the places you can buy VG MF with no fees currently? Thanks!
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Re: Vanguard "sunsetting" CFP consultations

Post by rossington »

nisiprius wrote: Tue Aug 04, 2020 9:18 am
But abrupt and unexplained discontinuation of long-existing things is different.
Why? The world has changed. If services cost too much to provide why not discontinue them?
Addressing the OP directly: Does one actually need to adhere to CFP advice from any investment firm anyway??
"Success is going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm." Winston Churchill.
rossington
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Re: Vanguard "sunsetting" CFP consultations

Post by rossington »

nedsaid wrote: Tue Aug 04, 2020 10:14 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.
I don't think Bogle would be against cost efficiencies but there gets to be a point where a company can lose its soul. I think of Bogle's book Enough where he diagnosed what ails modern capitalism. There is more to running a company than just saving money. Hard to say exactly where the line is drawn but there is a line.
The line is drawn as to how those moving up the ladder to top management have been taught and by whom which has formulated their current ideology. This revision of thought is certainly a factor in the movement away from what Bogle envisioned across the industry.
"Success is going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm." Winston Churchill.
nanameg
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Re: Vanguard "sunsetting" CFP consultation

Post by nanameg »

shum wrote: Tue Aug 04, 2020 11:20 pm For many, many years I’ve struggled to get to seven figures, not really for any freebies, but finally I made it, just in time to see every freebie gone, zip. Fortunately seven figures with an independent fixed income floor three times needs, very low taxes and ERs, and Jack Bogle are all the freebies I needed. I read over 350 books and don’t feel the need for CFP, but free TurboTax would have been nice. Now, if I make it to eight figures . . . . ? Remember dummy, Happiness is our choice. 👍
What is a “fixed income floor”?
Seasonal
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Re: Vanguard "sunsetting" CFP consultations

Post by Seasonal »

marcopolo wrote: Tue Aug 04, 2020 10:27 pm
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?

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.
At Fidelity, they are free for Private Client Group customers. I have had a few of them over the years with my assigned CFP, have had the same one for about a dozen years.

A few interesting ideas, but mostly just double checking my analysis at specific milestones.
I told them upfront i was not interested in any additional paid relationships, they have never bothered me about them, or tried to sell me more expensive products.
Fidelity does not appear to offer Private Client Group to new customers. I can't find it listed on their web site. It's been replaced by wealth management services that charge a fee based on AUM. viewtopic.php?p=5412640#p5412640

Are you charged a fee for Private Client Group?
Seasonal
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Re: Vanguard "sunsetting" CFP consultations

Post by Seasonal »

nisiprius wrote: Tue Aug 04, 2020 9:18 amWhat 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.
Their strategy is to focus on core activities and eliminate services that are only used by a small minority of clients, especially if those services are costly to provide, although they may provide the services for a fee.

That doesn't look like turbulence and turmoil to me.

What major firm is offering free CFPs? viewtopic.php?p=5412640#p5412640 suggests they are all charging for advice.
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Re: Vanguard "sunsetting" CFP consultations

Post by galawdawg »

nalor511 wrote: Wed Aug 05, 2020 12:48 am
galawdawg wrote: Tue Aug 04, 2020 5:41 am 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.
Would you share the places you can buy VG MF with no fees currently? Thanks!
E*TRADE is one, that is where I moved my portfolio. Here is a list I compiled of the NTF (no transaction fee/no commission) Vanguard mutual funds they offer: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1OpHwVx ... sp=sharing

I don't know how often their list of Vanguard NTF funds changes, so for the most current information , you can use their fund screener tool even if you don't have an account: https://www.etrade.wallst.com/Research/ ... ct&env=PRD. There you can use the advanced screener to narrow down the fund family and you can select only no load NTF funds as well. Or if you already know the symbol of the fund you are interested in, you can go here (https://www.etrade.wallst.com/v1/stocks ... lookup.asp) to directly enter that symbol in the snapshot search box.

Chase You Invest is another brokerage that offers many Vanguard mutual funds with NTF. Here is a list I created a few months ago of the NTF Vanguard mutual funds at Chase YouInvest: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1nfT9Pj ... sp=sharing.

I have heard that Merril lEdge is another but I don't know that for certain.
ruhigste
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Re: Vanguard "sunsetting" CFP consultations

Post by ruhigste »

Our last CFP consultation was free, but it entailed more work than my wife wanted to do on her own, so we overruled the CFP and settled on appropriate Vanguard LifeStrategy funds. We did not engage the services of a Vanguard CFP. So far, we're satisfied with our decision.
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Re: Vanguard "sunsetting" CFP consultations

Post by indexfundfan »

Seasonal wrote: Wed Aug 05, 2020 4:49 am Fidelity does not appear to offer Private Client Group to new customers.
I think they still upgrade clients to the PC group. I was recently upgraded when I transferred my assets from VBS to Fidelity. The upgrade was done without any prompting on my part.
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goingup
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Re: Vanguard "sunsetting" CFP consultations

Post by goingup »

Vanguard's business model is apparently changing (has changed). CFP consultations are no longer free. You have to be a PAS client. Assigned Flagship reps seem to be "sunsetting" too, though some Vanguard clients still have them.

It's disappointing for some clients, though I don't really get the indignation. Looks like cost-trimming. If I (a Vanguard client) needed/wanted more services I'd pay for PAS, or possibly move to a more "touchy" firm like Schwab.
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Re: Vanguard "sunsetting" CFP consultations

Post by midareff »

I guess I'm firmly in the don't care camp. Always considered free advice just that, and I'd rather do my own research and not be stuck with someone who has to espouse the company line formulated with the aid of attorney's for tens of thousands and trillions of dollars.
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Re: Vanguard "sunsetting" CFP consultations

Post by neurosphere »

nanameg wrote: Tue Aug 04, 2020 8:14 pm Your signature ..” if U have to ask if a TDF is right for me the answer is yes”... can u explain ? Because I’ve been doing exactly that for YEARS!
It simply means that if one is learning about investing and doesn't yet understand or know which portfolio or asset allocation is appropriate, then a TDF is the perfect starting point until it's figured out. However, after learning, research and education, an investor may determine that a TDF remains a great choice forever!
If you have to ask "Is a Target Date fund right for me?", the answer is "Yes".
nanameg
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Re: Vanguard "sunsetting" CFP consultations

Post by nanameg »

neurosphere wrote: Wed Aug 05, 2020 8:56 am
nanameg wrote: Tue Aug 04, 2020 8:14 pm Your signature ..” if U have to ask if a TDF is right for me the answer is yes”... can u explain ? Because I’ve been doing exactly that for YEARS!
It simply means that if one is learning about investing and doesn't yet understand or know which portfolio or asset allocation is appropriate, then a TDF is the perfect starting point until it's figured out. However, after learning, research and education, an investor may determine that a TDF remains a great choice forever!
Thank you
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Re: Vanguard "sunsetting" CFP consultations

Post by afan »

It is possible to opt out of the PAS marketing on the Vanguard site. I did it years ago and don't remember how. There are threads on this with instructions. Seeing these complaints reminds me that the ads are still there for some.

If you care, opt out.
We don't know how to beat the market on a risk-adjusted basis, and we don't know anyone that does know either | --Swedroe | We assume that markets are efficient, that prices are right | --Fama
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nedsaid
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Re: Vanguard "sunsetting" CFP consultations

Post by nedsaid »

rossington wrote: Wed Aug 05, 2020 3:54 am
nedsaid wrote: Tue Aug 04, 2020 10:14 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.
I don't think Bogle would be against cost efficiencies but there gets to be a point where a company can lose its soul. I think of Bogle's book Enough where he diagnosed what ails modern capitalism. There is more to running a company than just saving money. Hard to say exactly where the line is drawn but there is a line.
The line is drawn as to how those moving up the ladder to top management have been taught and by whom which has formulated their current ideology. This revision of thought is certainly a factor in the movement away from what Bogle envisioned across the industry.
One thing that has happened in the Financial industry is that they drive out the fifty-somethings. It was actually Valuethinker who brought this to my attention, he lives across the pond, in the UK I think. A friend with many years of experience in banking and insurance found this out. In one job interview, the hiring manager actually said to him, "You are over 50, aren't you?" There is an article floating out there that Vanguard was doing precisely the same thing. I wonder if Bogle's book Enough was a shot over the bow of the Vanguard management. We will never know, Mr. Bogle isn't around to tell us, but I just have that feeling.
A fool and his money are good for business.
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neurosphere
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Re: Vanguard "sunsetting" CFP consultations

Post by neurosphere »

afan wrote: Wed Aug 05, 2020 9:53 am It is possible to opt out of the PAS marketing on the Vanguard site. I did it years ago and don't remember how. There are threads on this with instructions. Seeing these complaints reminds me that the ads are still there for some.

If you care, opt out.
I just spent about 10 minutes on the Vanguard website and could not find how to opt out. :(

Time to search the threads with instructions. But I shouldn't have to search for instructions! I'm quite familiar with the VG interface. If it's a feature that's offered (turn off these notices) it certainly is well hidden.

Edit: It seems that marketing emails can be turned off. I don't get any of those. It's the pop-ups or banner-like ads that are annoying. I suspect there is not way to alter those.
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Re: Vanguard "sunsetting" CFP consultations

Post by nisiprius »

I don't get PAS marketing pitches. I wonder why not? I'm glad I don't, but I don't know what I did to avoid them.
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Re: Vanguard "sunsetting" CFP consultations

Post by Broken Man 1999 »

nisiprius wrote: Wed Aug 05, 2020 10:45 am I don't get PAS marketing pitches. I wonder why not? I'm glad I don't, but I don't know what I did to avoid them.
I have no Vanguard pop-ups.

Like you, I have no idea why I don't get pop-ups, but I'm not going to find out. I'll leave well enough alone.

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Re: Vanguard "sunsetting" CFP consultations

Post by afan »

Broken Man 1999 wrote: Wed Aug 05, 2020 12:24 pm
nisiprius wrote: Wed Aug 05, 2020 10:45 am I don't get PAS marketing pitches. I wonder why not? I'm glad I don't, but I don't know what I did to avoid them.
I have no Vanguard pop-ups.

Like you, I have no idea why I don't get pop-ups, but I'm not going to find out. I'll leave well enough alone.

Broken Man 1999
Unfortunately, I feel the same way.
I wonder whether long term customers get grandparented, with no possibility of those who came on board more recently having the option to opt out? Pure speculation on my part.
Disappointing to hear that pop-up blockers do not solve the problem.

If the phone reps ould not help, this might be worth sending a letter to the head of Vanguard. They would be routed to someone whose job is answering mail sent to the boss. But they are likely to know the answer.

If it is true that you cannot opt out, then a series of letters might convince them that they are turning off enough customers that it is not worth forcing them to fight through the ads.
We don't know how to beat the market on a risk-adjusted basis, and we don't know anyone that does know either | --Swedroe | We assume that markets are efficient, that prices are right | --Fama
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Re: Vanguard "sunsetting" CFP consultations

Post by marcopolo »

Seasonal wrote: Wed Aug 05, 2020 4:49 am
marcopolo wrote: Tue Aug 04, 2020 10:27 pm
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?

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.
At Fidelity, they are free for Private Client Group customers. I have had a few of them over the years with my assigned CFP, have had the same one for about a dozen years.

A few interesting ideas, but mostly just double checking my analysis at specific milestones.
I told them upfront i was not interested in any additional paid relationships, they have never bothered me about them, or tried to sell me more expensive products.
Fidelity does not appear to offer Private Client Group to new customers. I can't find it listed on their web site. It's been replaced by wealth management services that charge a fee based on AUM. viewtopic.php?p=5412640#p5412640

Are you charged a fee for Private Client Group?
I have never been charged for it.
Perhaps they grandfathered people that were already in it? Not sure how long that will last. But, i did just log in, and it still says Private Client Group in the corner of my screen, and lists my advisor. I last did a review with him just about a year ago.

I have also received free Turbo Tax Premier each year for a while now!
Once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right.
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Re: Vanguard "sunsetting" CFP consultations

Post by galawdawg »

afan wrote: Wed Aug 05, 2020 12:48 pm Unfortunately, I feel the same way.
I wonder whether long term customers get grandparented, with no possibility of those who came on board more recently having the option to opt out? Pure speculation on my part.
Disappointing to hear that pop-up blockers do not solve the problem.

If the phone reps ould not help, this might be worth sending a letter to the head of Vanguard. They would be routed to someone whose job is answering mail sent to the boss. But they are likely to know the answer.

If it is true that you cannot opt out, then a series of letters might convince them that they are turning off enough customers that it is not worth forcing them to fight through the ads.
We had been with Vanguard for nearly thirty years and my wife and I each got the PAS solicitation emails about once a week even though we were "opted out" of Vanguard marketing emails. After a few communications with our Flagship representative (before Vanguard discontinued our dedicated rep) expressing our displeasure, those emails finally stopped. They could not/would not however stop the PAS solicitation pop-up and PAS banner ad that appeared every single time we logged on. We called, sent secure messages and sent a communication to Mortimer Buckley's office. All Vanguard did was respond with an insincere "we apologize for the inconvenience during this transition." When we moved from Vanguard to E*TRADE, those PAS pop-ups and banner ads were still there.

I don't know if was our ages, our portfolio size or if we fit some other targeted criteria they had for marketing PAS. That experience of having to close the unwanted pop-up solicitation and scroll down below the unwanted banner ad solicitation every single time we went on their website for months and Vanguard's wholly unsatisfactory and uninterested reply to my complaint were among the final straws that caused me to overcome the "stay at Vanguard inertia" and look elsewhere.

As far as convincing Vanguard that the PAS ads are turning off customers, I wonder if they have moved to a model similar to credit card issuers, banks and others who measure the "profitability" of each customer and decide whether and how to deal with that customer based upon their profitability? A PAS client brings Vanguard at least double the profit that a non-PAS client does. So perhaps Vanguard is more than willing to cast-off those Bogleheads and other investors who are entirely DIY and hold only low-cost (and relatively low-profit) index funds in favor of those clients who choose Vanguard products and services with much higher profit margins? That is pure speculation on my part but it might explain some of what has happened at Vanguard over the past five years or so...
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Re: Vanguard "sunsetting" CFP consultations

Post by Broken Man 1999 »

galawdawg wrote: Wed Aug 05, 2020 2:11 pm
afan wrote: Wed Aug 05, 2020 12:48 pm Unfortunately, I feel the same way.
I wonder whether long term customers get grandparented, with no possibility of those who came on board more recently having the option to opt out? Pure speculation on my part.
Disappointing to hear that pop-up blockers do not solve the problem.

If the phone reps ould not help, this might be worth sending a letter to the head of Vanguard. They would be routed to someone whose job is answering mail sent to the boss. But they are likely to know the answer.

If it is true that you cannot opt out, then a series of letters might convince them that they are turning off enough customers that it is not worth forcing them to fight through the ads.
We had been with Vanguard for nearly thirty years and my wife and I each got the PAS solicitation emails about once a week even though we were "opted out" of Vanguard marketing emails. After a few communications with our Flagship representative (before Vanguard discontinued our dedicated rep) expressing our displeasure, those emails finally stopped. They could not/would not however stop the PAS solicitation pop-up and PAS banner ad that appeared every single time we logged on. We called, sent secure messages and sent a communication to Mortimer Buckley's office. All Vanguard did was respond with an insincere "we apologize for the inconvenience during this transition." When we moved from Vanguard to E*TRADE, those PAS pop-ups and banner ads were still there.

I don't know if was our ages, our portfolio size or if we fit some other targeted criteria they had for marketing PAS. That experience of having to close the unwanted pop-up solicitation and scroll down below the unwanted banner ad solicitation every single time we went on their website for months and Vanguard's wholly unsatisfactory and uninterested reply to my complaint were among the final straws that caused me to overcome the "stay at Vanguard inertia" and look elsewhere.

As far as convincing Vanguard that the PAS ads are turning off customers, I wonder if they have moved to a model similar to credit card issuers, banks and others who measure the "profitability" of each customer and decide whether and how to deal with that customer based upon their profitability? A PAS client brings Vanguard at least double the profit that a non-PAS client does. So perhaps Vanguard is more than willing to cast-off those Bogleheads and other investors who are entirely DIY and hold only low-cost (and relatively low-profit) index funds in favor of those clients who choose Vanguard products and services with much higher profit margins? That is pure speculation on my part but it might explain some of what has happened at Vanguard over the past five years or so...
Well, considering Vanguard's funds flows it seems not too many people are concerned about Vanguard's activities over the last five years or so. Seems like Vanguard is hoovering up an outsized portion of new money.

DW and I hold only index-based mutual funds and ETFs, with the exception of a few individual stocks I hold. So far I haven't had any issues. Rarely, and I do mean rarely do I contact Vanguard, and almost always I use email. My queries are answered rapidly, usually the same day. I detest using the phone to do anything with any entity that provides service to DW and me. Hate it! Probably because I spent so much time on the phone in my career.

I have only five Vanguard investments, two equity, and three bond funds. Vanguard treats us just fine.

While I don't need PAS, I'll certainly consider it, and my DD who will help us with our finances as we age will be instructed to implement the service when I assume room temperature.

Meanwhile this year I added two more accounts at Vanguard for a DD and a SIL. I have absolutely no reservations about keeping, and increasing our family's investments at Vanguard.

I am a DIY person, and I see Vanguard's activities over the years as welcomed, and I hope they continue their present path of offering investments the clients want. And, moving to fee-based services for those desired by some, but not all their clients seems fair to me. Services cost $$$, and should be paid by those who want them. Freebies are only free to those who get them, someone has to pay for them.

Vanguard did not get to their current size by treating their clients poorly.

But, my opinions are certainly different than some, and that is OK.

People have many choices today, and I would encourage those who are unhappy to vote with their feet.

Broken Man 1999
“If I cannot drink Bourbon and smoke cigars in Heaven then I shall not go. " -Mark Twain
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galawdawg
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Re: Vanguard "sunsetting" CFP consultations

Post by galawdawg »

We too had nothing but good experiences with Vanguard until a few years ago. We accepted the reduction in benefits and services over the past couple of years, thinking that Vanguard would cut costs and pass along the savings....no problem. But, they haven't lowered the expense ratios on VTSAX, VBTLX and a number of other index mutual funds since April 2017, well before many of the service cuts. So where is my share of the cost savings from eliminating these services and benefits?

Then when we were retiring near the end of 2018, we reached out to Vanguard for assistance with a few rollovers. My wife had substantial holdings at TIAA-CREF. TIAA-CREF was difficult to work with, they linked us to the wrong forms, kept calling to "discuss our retirement options" and so as many here suggest, we contacted Vanguard for help setting up the rollovers. One was a straight rollover, one would be a TPA rollover. Vanguard essentially said that they couldn't help with those, to contact TIAA. We finally got the issues resolved with TIAA after several phone calls and emails over the course of a few weeks.

Then with my 401k, our provider directed retirees to use a service called Rollover Central which heavily promoted other brokerages and was paid a commission for rollovers to their select brokerages. They didn't even have an option on their website to rollover to Vanguard. Once again, I contacted Vanguard for assistance. Their rollover "specialists" said they had no information about Rollover Central and that I should use that service or contact my 401k provider. I was ultimately able to set up the rollover directly with my provider and bypass Rollover Central, no thanks to Vanguard.

Then in late January/early February 2019, we decided to consolidate our finances at Vanguard so that my pension went directly into VMFXX and we could pay bills with our income and portfolio holdings using Vanguard Advantage and not deal with the hassle of moving money back and forth between a checking account and Vanguard. The end of Vanguard Advantage was announced within thirty days of our enrolling in that service and changing all of our direct deposits and automated bill payments over to Vanguard Advantage. So all the time I spent doing that was wasted and I had to re-do it all again back to our regular bank (thankfully I had not yet closed that account). I didn't even get a heads up from our Flagship representative when I spent time chatting with him about enrolling in Vanguard Advantage just a month before it was discontinued. Even just a "changes may be coming, hold off on that for now" would have been appropriate. If he kept me in the dark, shame on him. If Vanguard kept their Flagship reps in the dark, shame on them. And since they discontinued Vanguard Advantage, the withdrawals I was now starting to take from my portfolio in retirement for travel and other spending had to be done via transfer to my checking account, not merely kept in VMFXX and used from there. Twice in six months it took me multiple attempts over the course of probably 20-30 minutes to set up a simple transfer from VMFXX to my linked checking due to Vanguard website issues. Never mind the other times I couldn't even get online due to website problems.

Add to that the PAS solicitations, pop-ups and banner ads, and then the final insult, the improper freezing of our accounts that they said was "policy"...but not to worry, the freeze would be lifted with two weeks! :shock: To Vanguard's credit, they unfroze the funds and called me to apologize for their "mistake" within an hour or so of my putting my attorney hat on and pointing out the applicable FINRA rules by section and paragraph number.

Vanguard lost my loyalty and my confidence which they held for nearly thirty years. Even my complaints and concerns as a thirty year Flagship "client-owner" to the executive level were ignored or received a canned "sorry you are disappointed" response. Hopefully others won't experience problems or issues with Vanguard, unfortunately their "missteps" seem to be getting more and more frequent.
000
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Re: Vanguard "sunsetting" CFP consultations

Post by 000 »

I was able to get all promotionals from vanguard (e-mails, mail, PAS pop-up) to go away by sending a message in the secure message center requesting the same. I think maybe one PAS pop-up has "gotten through" since.
Scooter57
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Re: Vanguard "sunsetting" CFP consultations

Post by Scooter57 »

So for those of you who were long-term Vanguard customers from the Good Old Days but left, where did you go and are you happier?
marcopolo
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Re: Vanguard "sunsetting" CFP consultations

Post by marcopolo »

Scooter57 wrote: Wed Aug 05, 2020 7:06 pm So for those of you who were long-term Vanguard customers from the Good Old Days but left, where did you go and are you happier?
I am not sure when the "good old days" were.
I started investing in the mid-90s. Had both Vaguard and Fidelity accounts for quite some time. Eventually consolidated at Fidelity. I am extremely happy there with their products and services.

Vanguard has great products, but their service issues just got to be too much. The final straw was their seeming inability to properly maintain cost basis. This was before new rules requiring it for covered shares, so perhaps they have improved in this aspect.
Once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right.
reln
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Re: Vanguard "sunsetting" CFP consultations

Post by reln »

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!
Best part.
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indexfundfan
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Re: Vanguard "sunsetting" CFP consultations

Post by indexfundfan »

Vanguard client since 2000. Moved the last of my assets out a few months ago to Fidelity. I was originally stuck due to taxable gains in VWIUX, the intermediate term tax exempt fund (which was not transferable to Fido). But the sharp falls in March allowed me to swap out the mutual fund with no tax consequences.

I have observed the eroding of benefits through the years. Vanguard did a complimentary financial plan for me in 2013, which of course now is no longer offered. The TurboTax freebie was terminated a few years later. Then came the dropping of Vanguard Advantage account, the dropping of personal reps, and the deterioration of reps who responded to my secure messages. I also remember some parts of Vanguard's IT system does not seem to work during non-business hours -- e.g. I think you cannot change the dividend reinvestment settings during non-business hours (it might be fixed now, I don't know).

I moved the assets to Fidelity mostly for consolidation. I hold my HSA at Fidelity, and Vanguard does not offer HSA accounts, so when I have to close one account, it was Vanguard. I also transferred the 529 assets from Vanguard to Fidelity during this move. I believe the expense ratios in Fido's indexed funds in the 529 plan are slightly lower than Vanguard's.
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shum
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Re: Vanguard "sunsetting" CFP consultation

Post by shum »

nanameg wrote: Wed Aug 05, 2020 4:47 am
shum wrote: Tue Aug 04, 2020 11:20 pm For many, many years I’ve struggled to get to seven figures, not really for any freebies, but finally I made it, just in time to see every freebie gone, zip. Fortunately seven figures with an independent fixed income floor three times needs, very low taxes and ERs, and Jack Bogle are all the freebies I needed. I read over 350 books and don’t feel the need for CFP, but free TurboTax would have been nice. Now, if I make it to eight figures . . . . ? Remember dummy, Happiness is our choice. 👍
What is a “fixed income floor”?

The first thing you do is figure out your needs in retirement, not your wants. Then you find sources for that income for life. If all else fails, you know you have regular, need expenses covered from what we call your “floor.” Mine consists of a pension, social security, and a charitable gift annuity. I call it fixed income because it doesn’t even keep up with our low inflation, but fortunately it is 3 times what I need, I’m 79, so I should be OK. The seven figures portfolio is for surprises. I haven’t started withdrawing and I have no RMDs.
-shum
HummerMole
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Re: Vanguard "sunsetting" CFP consultations

Post by HummerMole »

No more check writing? I have checks and still use them occasionally. Hadn't heard that one.
Vanguard has helped force me [good thing] to be a more passive investor. I'm done being an adrenaline junkie at TDA with Think Or Swim. I also like the suite of ETF's which transact commission free and reasonable spreads.
HummerMole
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Re: Vanguard "sunsetting" CFP consultations

Post by HummerMole »

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?
Transfer in kind.
Trader Joe
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Re: Vanguard "sunsetting" CFP consultations

Post by Trader Joe »

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?
Given your own struggle, I highly recommend that you move your business to another company. As you stated, Fidelity or Ameritrade.
Jeff Albertson
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Re: Vanguard "sunsetting" CFP consultations

Post by Jeff Albertson »

HummerMole wrote: Wed Aug 05, 2020 8:22 pm No more check writing? I have checks and still use them occasionally. Hadn't heard that one.
Vanguard has helped force me [good thing] to be a more passive investor. I'm done being an adrenaline junkie at TDA with Think Or Swim. I also like the suite of ETF's which transact commission free and reasonable spreads.
Vanguard's checkwriting service
https://personal.vanguard.com/us/whatwe ... eckwriting
HummerMole
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Re: Vanguard "sunsetting" CFP consultations

Post by HummerMole »

Jeff Albertson wrote: Wed Aug 05, 2020 8:33 pm
HummerMole wrote: Wed Aug 05, 2020 8:22 pm No more check writing? I have checks and still use them occasionally. Hadn't heard that one.
Vanguard has helped force me [good thing] to be a more passive investor. I'm done being an adrenaline junkie at TDA with Think Or Swim. I also like the suite of ETF's which transact commission free and reasonable spreads.
Vanguard's checkwriting service
https://personal.vanguard.com/us/whatwe ... eckwriting
Yes, other than maybe the $250 min limit, that's normal check writing to me. Don't see it going away.
Rajsx
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Re: Vanguard "sunsetting" CFP consultations

Post by Rajsx »

I have had a similar reaction as expressed in these threads when my Flagship Select Rep persisted on me joining their cookie cutter PAS service & refused a CFP consultation to double check my portfolio.

I have been a DIY as many on this forum & have been with Vanguard for 3 decades, presently with my simple 5 fund portfolio. I firmly believe the combined wisdom on Bogleheads Forum is far better than any PAS which is being forced on many Vanguard investors.

I can be wrong but I think Vanguard is unable to manage the massive flood of incoming funds & their rapidly increasing customer base too well. It has become too big for its own good & is trying to drive away their DIY investors. This is the same company which I took pride in & vouched for to my children & friends who invest in it currently. I hope their business decisions do not back fire on them.

I am researching other Brokerages.
We do not stop laughing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop laughing !!
Broken Man 1999
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Re: Vanguard "sunsetting" CFP consultations

Post by Broken Man 1999 »

Rajsx wrote: Wed Aug 05, 2020 10:12 pm I have had a similar reaction as expressed in these threads when my Flagship Select Rep persisted on me joining their cookie cutter PAS service & refused a CFP consultation to double check my portfolio.

I have been a DIY as many on this forum & have been with Vanguard for 3 decades, presently with my simple 5 fund portfolio. I firmly believe the combined wisdom on Bogleheads Forum is far better than any PAS which is being forced on many Vanguard investors.

I can be wrong but I think Vanguard is unable to manage the massive flood of incoming funds & their rapidly increasing customer base too well. It has become too big for its own good & is trying to drive away their DIY investors. This is the same company which I took pride in & vouched for to my children & friends who invest in it currently. I hope their business decisions do not back fire on them.

I am researching other Brokerages.
Do you know of anyone who has had PAS forced on them? That seems as that might be illegal. If you find someone who has been forced into PAS, I would strongly encourage you to report Vanguard to the proper authorities.

Broken Man 1999
“If I cannot drink Bourbon and smoke cigars in Heaven then I shall not go. " -Mark Twain
Seasonal
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Re: Vanguard "sunsetting" CFP consultations

Post by Seasonal »

Rajsx wrote: Wed Aug 05, 2020 10:12 pm I have had a similar reaction as expressed in these threads when my Flagship Select Rep persisted on me joining their cookie cutter PAS service & refused a CFP consultation to double check my portfolio.
It seems that this very much depends on the rep. Mine has never pushed me towards PAS. I've gotten one or two emails from him, but they were clearly mass mailings. I was never refused a CFP consultation, at least not while they had the free program. After that program ended, I got a call from the rep to discuss a wide range of financial planning and related topics. Maybe I just got lucky with this rep.

Random googling: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kelli-fay/ This person "Acted as a change advocate among peers to enable key business developments, as evidenced by PAS adoption. 64 organic PAS enrollees, with total AUM $97 million."
RudyS
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Re: Vanguard "sunsetting" CFP consultations

Post by RudyS »

neurosphere wrote: Wed Aug 05, 2020 10:29 am
afan wrote: Wed Aug 05, 2020 9:53 am It is possible to opt out of the PAS marketing on the Vanguard site. I did it years ago and don't remember how. There are threads on this with instructions. Seeing these complaints reminds me that the ads are still there for some.

If you care, opt out.
I just spent about 10 minutes on the Vanguard website and could not find how to opt out. :(

Time to search the threads with instructions. But I shouldn't have to search for instructions! I'm quite familiar with the VG interface. If it's a feature that's offered (turn off these notices) it certainly is well hidden.

Edit: It seems that marketing emails can be turned off. I don't get any of those. It's the pop-ups or banner-like ads that are annoying. I suspect there is not way to alter those.
I sent them a "secure message" with the request to stop those popups. They did stop.
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neurosphere
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Re: Vanguard "sunsetting" CFP consultations

Post by neurosphere »

RudyS wrote: Thu Aug 06, 2020 3:32 pm I sent them a "secure message" with the request to stop those popups. They did stop.
Thanks, I'll consider that.
If you have to ask "Is a Target Date fund right for me?", the answer is "Yes".
Rajsx
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Re: Vanguard "sunsetting" CFP consultations

Post by Rajsx »

Seasonal wrote: Thu Aug 06, 2020 10:05 am
Rajsx wrote: Wed Aug 05, 2020 10:12 pm I have had a similar reaction as expressed in these threads when my Flagship Select Rep persisted on me joining their cookie cutter PAS service & refused a CFP consultation to double check my portfolio.
It seems that this very much depends on the rep. Mine has never pushed me towards PAS. I've gotten one or two emails from him, but they were clearly mass mailings. I was never refused a CFP consultation, at least not while they had the free program. After that program ended, I got a call from the rep to discuss a wide range of financial planning and related topics. Maybe I just got lucky with this rep.

Random googling: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kelli-fay/ This person "Acted as a change advocate among peers to enable key business developments, as evidenced by PAS adoption. 64 organic PAS enrollees, with total AUM $97 million."
It is a roll of Dice as far as the Flagship Reps being allotted to the investors, my Flagship Rep was very helpful, efficient & friendly, I had him for many years while the Account Balances built up to the Flagship Select level & then the new present aggressive Rep. was allotted.

I have not yet asked for a change but from what I gather from this Forum, the Rep change requests have been denied.

I guess it is alright by me, maybe my Rep is trying to do his job the best he could in getting as many enrolled in PAS as he could & score points/promotion from his Boss.
But I hardly would have expected this from Vanguard Management till just a few years back. Seems like the whole culture at the firm has changed. In the years past also they had competition but this change in the ways they do business is completely new.

In response to a Post above - Well, the Rep did not force PAS on me, but he kept at his spiel aggressively even after I continuously kept saying half a dozen times no I do not need the PAS service. Clearly his tone changed when he heard my refusal,
We do not stop laughing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop laughing !!
Seasonal
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Re: Vanguard "sunsetting" CFP consultations

Post by Seasonal »

Rajsx wrote: Thu Aug 06, 2020 7:26 pmIt is a roll of Dice as far as the Flagship Reps being allotted to the investors, my Flagship Rep was very helpful, efficient & friendly, I had him for many years while the Account Balances built up to the Flagship Select level & then the new present aggressive Rep. was allotted.
Having had many reps while Flagship and Flagship Select, and having talked to even more when I get the phone pool, it is certainly a roll of the dice.

Years ago I asked to change to a specific rep and the request was granted. Some recent posts told of being denied. Can't hurt to try.
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grobertj
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Re: Vanguard "sunsetting" CFP consultations

Post by grobertj »

I started to enroll in the Personal Advisors Services. The person assigned to me, developed a complete financial plan. After we discussed the plan, I decided not to pursue because I still prefer a hands on approach. Now I'm depending on Bogleheads for advice. Vanguard is still good if you have a website question or something simple. The Flagship reps have basically disappeared. They are now refereed as your Relationship Manager and mine is very difficult to schedule. I just call in and talk to whoever listens. Sometimes they're pretty good...other times not so much.
The only constant is CHANGE!!
MBB_Boy
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Re: Vanguard "sunsetting" CFP consultations

Post by MBB_Boy »

OP,

FWIW, Sofi offers free CFP consulations. I used one to double check my math and understanding of the larger IRS limits when planning how to maximize wife's mega-backdoor (I have had one for years, but the max contribution % prevents me from getting to limit. She does not have this problem).

All I have with them is a checking account. Not sure how helpful an investing convo would go if you don't use them (you can DIY free, and they offer a paid service as well like everyone else). Might be worth getting a checking account and trying it out - presumably you'll have to spend some time communicating your investments and whatnot
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Elsebet
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Re: Vanguard "sunsetting" CFP consultations

Post by Elsebet »

nedsaid wrote: Tue Aug 04, 2020 10:14 pm I don't think Bogle would be against cost efficiencies but there gets to be a point where a company can lose its soul. I think of Bogle's book Enough where he diagnosed what ails modern capitalism. There is more to running a company than just saving money. Hard to say exactly where the line is drawn but there is a line.
Well said, I agree with this. I always try to remember "TNSTAAFL" - there's no such thing as a free lunch. Cutting costs to the bone might affect the quality of your product/service and drive customers to a competitor. I find many businesses very short sighted lately, focused only on the current/next quarter and not thinking long-term or having safety nets.
"...the man who adapts himself to his slender means and makes himself wealthy on a little sum, is the truly rich man..." ~Seneca
Whakamole
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Re: Vanguard "sunsetting" CFP consultations

Post by Whakamole »

midareff wrote: Wed Aug 05, 2020 8:26 am I guess I'm firmly in the don't care camp. Always considered free advice just that, and I'd rather do my own research and not be stuck with someone who has to espouse the company line formulated with the aid of attorney's for tens of thousands and trillions of dollars.
This is a valid point of view; however, do not be surprised or upset when a Vanguard service or product you like is removed, and your complaints here are replied to with "I'm in the don't care camp."
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