Vanguard Flagship Services Personal Representative

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Grrrammm
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Vanguard Flagship Services Personal Representative

Post by Grrrammm »

According to this page: https://investor.vanguard.com/investing ... s/flagship
Investors with over $1 million should "get personalized services reserved for our high-net-worth investors". My elderly father is complaining that he used to have a representative he could speak with every time he called Vanguard, but he has since lost touch with this person. What services can a Flagship investor expect without paying for Vanguard Advisor Services?
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anon_investor
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Re: Vanguard Flagship Services Personal Representative

Post by anon_investor »

Grrrammm wrote: Tue Nov 23, 2021 8:41 pm According to this page: https://investor.vanguard.com/investing ... s/flagship
Investors with over $1 million should "get personalized services reserved for our high-net-worth investors". My elderly father is complaining that he used to have a representative he could speak with every time he called Vanguard, but he has since lost touch with this person. What services can a Flagship investor expect without paying for Vanguard Advisor Services?
Access to secure messaging, which may take Vanguard a couple of weeks to respond to and 25 free trades a year of mutual funds that normally have a commission. Aside from that, Flagship status offers no other special benefits that someone with less $ at Vanguard would get.
000
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Re: Vanguard Flagship Services Personal Representative

Post by 000 »

Sounds like it's time for Fidelity or Charles Schwab.

Vanguard has already shown your father how they feel about his business.
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xenial
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Re: Vanguard Flagship Services Personal Representative

Post by xenial »

Grrrammm wrote: Tue Nov 23, 2021 8:41 pm According to this page: https://investor.vanguard.com/investing ... s/flagship
Investors with over $1 million should "get personalized services reserved for our high-net-worth investors". My elderly father is complaining that he used to have a representative he could speak with every time he called Vanguard, but he has since lost touch with this person. What services can a Flagship investor expect without paying for Vanguard Advisor Services?
Grrrammm, welcome to the Bogleheads forum!

There are currently few perks associated with Flagship status. Free wire transfers is one. Another is 25 free trades of options or transaction-fee mutual funds. (Stock and ETF trades are free for everyone.) There used to be more Flagship benefits, but they were either taken away or made available to all investors.

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WhyNotUs
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Re: Vanguard Flagship Services Personal Representative

Post by WhyNotUs »

He can still talk with someone but it will not be the same person without paying for Advisor Services.
What used to be offered at the $1M level now requires assets at VG of $5M.
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Re: Vanguard Flagship Services Personal Representative

Post by jeffyscott »

000 wrote: Tue Nov 23, 2021 9:20 pm Sounds like it's time for Fidelity or Charles Schwab.
I know with Schwab you get a specific person as your "Financial Consultant" at no cost, with $250,000 or more, does Fidelity also offer something like that? (Just curious as I only see that mentioned for fee based services on Fidelity's site)
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prd1982
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Re: Vanguard Flagship Services Personal Representative

Post by prd1982 »

I never understood how you could have a personal representative who actually knew your history. How many clients would this rep have to service? I have to believe it was so many that the rep really could not remember your situation. If you called so often that the rep really did know you, then perhaps you are in need of a PAS alike service. It will be interesting to see how Fidelity and other handle a large influx of DIY indexers. I cannot believe these investors are profitable if they have a lot of human interaction.
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Cheez-It Guy
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Re: Vanguard Flagship Services Personal Representative

Post by Cheez-It Guy »

prd1982 wrote: Wed Nov 24, 2021 8:52 am I never understood how you could have a personal representative who actually knew your history. How many clients would this rep have to service? I have to believe it was so many that the rep really could not remember your situation. If you called so often that the rep really did know you, then perhaps you are in need of a PAS alike service. It will be interesting to see how Fidelity and other handle a large influx of DIY indexers. I cannot believe these investors are profitable if they have a lot of human interaction.
I asked a Flagship rep in the past. He said he handled about 600 accounts, if I am recalling correctly.
Lastrun
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Re: Vanguard Flagship Services Personal Representative

Post by Lastrun »

jeffyscott wrote: Wed Nov 24, 2021 8:29 am
000 wrote: Tue Nov 23, 2021 9:20 pm Sounds like it's time for Fidelity or Charles Schwab.
I know with Schwab you get a specific person as your "Financial Consultant" at no cost, with $250,000 or more, does Fidelity also offer something like that? (Just curious as I only see that mentioned for fee based services on Fidelity's site)
From the website
Fidelity DIY
Planning and investing using our tools

Use our comprehensive suite of calculators, tools, and research to help you make informed decisions based on where you are and where you want to go. All customers have access to representative support. Clients with $250K or more at Fidelity may be eligible for access to a dedicated financial professional.
https://www.fidelity.com/what-we-offer/overview

Note that I am not at Fidelity, but looked at this exact issue a while back.
PersonalFinanceJam
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Re: Vanguard Flagship Services Personal Representative

Post by PersonalFinanceJam »

Lastrun wrote: Wed Nov 24, 2021 9:10 am
jeffyscott wrote: Wed Nov 24, 2021 8:29 am
000 wrote: Tue Nov 23, 2021 9:20 pm Sounds like it's time for Fidelity or Charles Schwab.
I know with Schwab you get a specific person as your "Financial Consultant" at no cost, with $250,000 or more, does Fidelity also offer something like that? (Just curious as I only see that mentioned for fee based services on Fidelity's site)
From the website
Fidelity DIY
Planning and investing using our tools

Use our comprehensive suite of calculators, tools, and research to help you make informed decisions based on where you are and where you want to go. All customers have access to representative support. Clients with $250K or more at Fidelity may be eligible for access to a dedicated financial professional.
https://www.fidelity.com/what-we-offer/overview

Note that I am not at Fidelity, but looked at this exact issue a while back.
If you have a local branch they may reach out also. Once we had completed our transfer from Vanguard to Fidelity, I received a call from a very polite branch administrator. She said she worked for one of the advisors (also said he was my advisor at Fidelity) and was reaching out to see if she could set up a time for him to discuss the services Fidelity offered for DIY investors. I politely declined and she just offered that they were here if and when we needed. Note when doing the transfer I did everything online and never spoke to anyone at either Fidelity or Vanguard during the process.

I have no idea what that meeting would have been like had I accepted.
stan1
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Re: Vanguard Flagship Services Personal Representative

Post by stan1 »

Grrrammm wrote: Tue Nov 23, 2021 8:41 pm According to this page: https://investor.vanguard.com/investing ... s/flagship
Investors with over $1 million should "get personalized services reserved for our high-net-worth investors". My elderly father is complaining that he used to have a representative he could speak with every time he called Vanguard, but he has since lost touch with this person. What services can a Flagship investor expect without paying for Vanguard Advisor Services?
It's not exactly your question, but if he wants a replacement for a Flagship rep rather than doing transactions online you are probably the best option. Go through the official process to get access to his account. Try to do as much as you can online rather than calling Vanguard.
delamer
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Re: Vanguard Flagship Services Personal Representative

Post by delamer »

There is now a team of advisors for Flagship customers. So instead of one dedicated rep for your account who you deal with, you talk to someone in the team when you call the Flagship line.

That may what your father has run into.
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Re: Vanguard Flagship Services Personal Representative

Post by bsteiner »

Which place has the least risk that they'll try to upsell you?
dbr
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Re: Vanguard Flagship Services Personal Representative

Post by dbr »

bsteiner wrote: Wed Nov 24, 2021 11:28 am Which place has the least risk that they'll try to upsell you?
One would have said that a rep at Vanguard would be at less risk for that than a rep at Fidelity, but I don't know what to make of some of the news for new investment options that might be at VPAS.
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Re: Vanguard Flagship Services Personal Representative

Post by Gnirk »

Secure Messaging: We receive an answer from our Flagship rep within 24 hours.
On-line phone appointments: We use this when we don’t have an urgent issue but want to speak with our rep.
Phone call: When we have a question or issue that needs to be resolved quickly. I must admit that long wait times can try my patience.

However, we like Vanguard, have very little need for assistance, and secure messaging usually takes care of our needs.
Elysium
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Re: Vanguard Flagship Services Personal Representative

Post by Elysium »

Why do people call Vanguard? I don't understand this. I've been a customer over 20 years, don't have any real needs to call them almost anytime, even though I may have called more than 20 times in these 20 plus years, many of those weren't really needed, but were always answered, and the ones I really needed can be counted on my fingers. Are there situations that are far more complex than sending some electronic transfer in, get it invested, move money around, do some Roth conversions, rollover an IRA in, establish an solo 40(k) then fund it regularly, etc? because I've done all this and much more without needing a rep.
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Re: Vanguard Flagship Services Personal Representative

Post by Whakamole »

dbr wrote: Wed Nov 24, 2021 11:43 am
bsteiner wrote: Wed Nov 24, 2021 11:28 am Which place has the least risk that they'll try to upsell you?
One would have said that a rep at Vanguard would be at less risk for that than a rep at Fidelity, but I don't know what to make of some of the news for new investment options that might be at VPAS.
Vanguard will try to upsell you to VPAS if you aren't enrolled already.
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Re: Vanguard Flagship Services Personal Representative

Post by Chuck »

stan1 wrote: Wed Nov 24, 2021 10:54 am It's not exactly your question, but if he wants a replacement for a Flagship rep rather than doing transactions online you are probably the best option. Go through the official process to get access to his account. Try to do as much as you can online rather than calling Vanguard.
I think this is the winning answer. I have agent authorization and do all my mom's transactions. She gets an automated transfer to her checking account every month, she asks me if she needs extra for an expense, I check the asset allocation twice a year. I used to manage RMDs when that was relevant. It's very low-effort on my part, and I'm confident everything is being handled correctly.
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pokebowl
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Re: Vanguard Flagship Services Personal Representative

Post by pokebowl »

Elysium wrote: Wed Nov 24, 2021 1:28 pm Why do people call Vanguard? I don't understand this.
Want to convert mutual funds to ETFs, you need to call Vanguard. Want to trade a stock or ETF on Vanguard's naughty list? You'll need to call Vanguard. Experience an issue with your online rollover or account creation process? You'll need to call Vanguard. Errors found on your tax forms? You'll need to call Vanguard.

Unfortunately Vanguard has removed many of the alternative means to contact them these days other than their limited phone service. And as one former employee wrote on another community, they funnel their newest employees into CS to cut costs.
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Re: Vanguard Flagship Services Personal Representative

Post by Marmot »

Grrrammm wrote: Tue Nov 23, 2021 8:41 pm According to this page: https://investor.vanguard.com/investing ... s/flagship
Investors with over $1 million should "get personalized services reserved for our high-net-worth investors". My elderly father is complaining that he used to have a representative he could speak with every time he called Vanguard, but he has since lost touch with this person. What services can a Flagship investor expect without paying for Vanguard Advisor Services?
I didn't read the entire string, I get tired of the endless Vanguard bashing posts:

https://investor.vanguard.com/investing ... s/flagship
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BabaWawa
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Re: Vanguard Flagship Services Personal Representative

Post by BabaWawa »

Marmot wrote: Wed Nov 24, 2021 2:23 pm
Grrrammm wrote: Tue Nov 23, 2021 8:41 pm According to this page: https://investor.vanguard.com/investing ... s/flagship
Investors with over $1 million should "get personalized services reserved for our high-net-worth investors". My elderly father is complaining that he used to have a representative he could speak with every time he called Vanguard, but he has since lost touch with this person. What services can a Flagship investor expect without paying for Vanguard Advisor Services?
I didn't read the entire string, I get tired of the endless Vanguard bashing posts:

https://investor.vanguard.com/investing ... s/flagship
We all get tired of them, just wish Vanguard would take notice and make changes. I just switched accounts from Merrill to Vanguard, for reasons that seem unwarranted now, and its been a disaster. During the transfer just trying to get someone to take my calls was a challenge, hours on end of hold times. If that's how they treat new clients, the rest don't stand a chance.
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beyou
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Re: Vanguard Flagship Services Personal Representative

Post by beyou »

I used to have a dedicated Vanguard rep, but I used this service so infrequently that some of the reps who moved on later, I NEVER spoke to even once. I recall having reps change ever 1-2 years and only speaking to one of them ever. It was nice to be able to schedule a call online the one time I did so, but it was once in many years so clearly not a critical need, for me.

Note I also have etrade and they used to have local reps call me “to see if I need any help”. I told them no and please no unsolicited calls. Etrade was helpful when I called their CS.

I really prefer to speak to the back office specialist for my need, not some generic CS person who will pass my issue on to someone else anyway.
Second Round
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Re: Vanguard Flagship Services Personal Representative

Post by Second Round »

Elysium wrote: Wed Nov 24, 2021 1:28 pm Why do people call Vanguard? I don't understand this. I've been a customer over 20 years, don't have any real needs to call them almost anytime, even though I may have called more than 20 times in these 20 plus years, many of those weren't really needed, but were always answered, and the ones I really needed can be counted on my fingers. Are there situations that are far more complex than sending some electronic transfer in, get it invested, move money around, do some Roth conversions, rollover an IRA in, establish an solo 40(k) then fund it regularly, etc? because I've done all this and much more without needing a rep.
I suspect for many people, they're trying to accomplish something and they don't know how to do it. There may be forms on the Vanguard site, but the person may not know what the forms are called, or what keywords to use for the search. "Agent authorization" would be one example of a term that might not occur to someone. Keep in mind most of these folks are trying to accomplish a given task for the first time, and it's natural to call the company to get pointed in the right direction. IME the help wizard / search function on their site isn't so good that calling Vanguard is rarely necessary when you are trying to accomplish something other than a routine transaction.

That you don't need it - good for you. Not everyone is you.
- Customer for > 30 years
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Re: Vanguard Flagship Services Personal Representative

Post by delamer »

beyou wrote: Thu Nov 25, 2021 7:42 am I used to have a dedicated Vanguard rep, but I used this service so infrequently that some of the reps who moved on later, I NEVER spoke to even once. I recall having reps change ever 1-2 years and only speaking to one of them ever. It was nice to be able to schedule a call online the one time I did so, but it was once in many years so clearly not a critical need, for me.

Note I also have etrade and they used to have local reps call me “to see if I need any help”. I told them no and please no unsolicited calls. Etrade was helpful when I called their CS.

I really prefer to speak to the back office specialist for my need, not some generic CS person who will pass my issue on to someone else anyway.
Yep.

You got to keep the same rep as long as that rep kept working for Vanguard, or stayed in the same job at Vanguard.

And that’s going to be true at any large firm, where there is a fair amount of turnover at what I assume is an entry-level job.
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Re: Vanguard Flagship Services Personal Representative

Post by edgeagg »

I've a simple 3 fund portfolio and I've called VG Flagship perhaps 2 times in over 15 years. I'm lazy and don't see much value in shifting to another brokerage.

So: if the top 1% of net worth in the US is $10.5 M and the top 2% is $2.4M - then a rational brokerage may only decide to offer premium services to the top 1% of it's customers - in fact at VG the distribution may even be skewed further to the right.

Therefore, I believe that non-premium service is just a reflection of the disconnect between what people think wealthy (top 1%) is and what the hard statistics say.
==
https://dqydj.com/average-median-top-ne ... rcentiles/
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anon_investor
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Re: Vanguard Flagship Services Personal Representative

Post by anon_investor »

edgeagg wrote: Thu Nov 25, 2021 11:43 am I've a simple 3 fund portfolio and I've called VG Flagship perhaps 2 times in over 15 years. I'm lazy and don't see much value in shifting to another brokerage.

So: if the top 1% of net worth in the US is $10.5 M and the top 2% is $2.4M - then a rational brokerage may only decide to offer premium services to the top 1% of it's customers - in fact at VG the distribution may even be skewed further to the right.

Therefore, I believe that non-premium service is just a reflection of the disconnect between what people think wealthy (top 1%) is and what the hard statistics say.
==
https://dqydj.com/average-median-top-ne ... rcentiles/
I think the take away is that at Fidelity and Schwab they offer an assigned rep for $250k and you need $5M at Vanguard...
stan1
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Re: Vanguard Flagship Services Personal Representative

Post by stan1 »

anon_investor wrote: Thu Nov 25, 2021 12:41 pm
edgeagg wrote: Thu Nov 25, 2021 11:43 am I've a simple 3 fund portfolio and I've called VG Flagship perhaps 2 times in over 15 years. I'm lazy and don't see much value in shifting to another brokerage.

So: if the top 1% of net worth in the US is $10.5 M and the top 2% is $2.4M - then a rational brokerage may only decide to offer premium services to the top 1% of it's customers - in fact at VG the distribution may even be skewed further to the right.

Therefore, I believe that non-premium service is just a reflection of the disconnect between what people think wealthy (top 1%) is and what the hard statistics say.
==
https://dqydj.com/average-median-top-ne ... rcentiles/
I think the take away is that at Fidelity and Schwab they offer an assigned rep for $250k and you need $5M at Vanguard...
Probably also depends on what the issue is.
"I'm worried about inflation, should I hold bonds" (investment advice)
"Can you help set up my RMD and QCD?" (assistance with a complex transaction)
"I can't find the prospectus on the website, can you help me find it?" (assistance in lieu of using search engine)
"The cost basis in my account is wrong, can you fix it?" (fixing an error)

These are all different types of questions that the named reps at each brokerage might handle differently.
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Re: Vanguard Flagship Services Personal Representative

Post by Lastrun »

anon_investor wrote: Thu Nov 25, 2021 12:41 pm I think the take away is that at Fidelity and Schwab they offer an assigned rep for $250k and you need $5M at Vanguard...
This^^^^^^

Agreed that Vanguard is moving the needle here and the mass affluent and HNW individuals will be steered to PAS. Must be VHNW to have a dedicated advisor where Schwab and Fidelity are at $250k.

But many BHs here have struck me as a funny lot—they want white glove service for a DIY investor, and even with earnings on cash, deal flow, securities lending, blah blah, I don't see how it is a sustainable business model.
stan1
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Re: Vanguard Flagship Services Personal Representative

Post by stan1 »

Lastrun wrote: Thu Nov 25, 2021 2:26 pm But many BHs here have struck me as a funny lot—they want white glove service for a DIY investor, and even with earnings on cash, deal flow, securities lending, blah blah, I don't see how it is a sustainable business model.
As long as someone else is willing and able to cover the expenses it is great being a freeloader. iI is still possible to do so at Fidelity which has high expense ratio mutual funds, mutual fund storefronts, 401K administration fees, marketing arrangements, and billionaire owners who protect the family business. But free rides usually come to an end as we are seeing at Vanguard where the fund managers no longer seem to be inclined to carry the costs of a full service brokerage and want to move to a freemium model where self-service support is provided at no cost but responsive personalized support is a revenue center.
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Re: Vanguard Flagship Services Personal Representative

Post by shess »

prd1982 wrote: Wed Nov 24, 2021 8:52 am I never understood how you could have a personal representative who actually knew your history. How many clients would this rep have to service? I have to believe it was so many that the rep really could not remember your situation. If you called so often that the rep really did know you, then perhaps you are in need of a PAS alike service. It will be interesting to see how Fidelity and other handle a large influx of DIY indexers. I cannot believe these investors are profitable if they have a lot of human interaction.
So, I'll be honest, I miss my rep. I don't miss him like I actually talked to him and he had keen insights into our situation, etc. I miss him like there was a point person I spoke with when I had problems to resolve with my accounts, and even though all of his familiarity with our situation was surely by way of a screen of text he had just skimmed before talking to me, it still leveraged social assumptions.

In very objective functional terms, it's possible it doesn't make much difference. But in terms of making customers feel more comfortable dealing with problems, it almost certainly has positive impact. Some people won't care, but they won't care either way, for other people (like the OP's father) it makes a positive difference in satisfaction with service.

Also, while in theory a pool of people could be just as good as an assigned person, in practice when everybody is responsible for something then frequently nobody takes responsibility for anything. I think it's almost certain that a set of assigned reps will see complaints registered about a poor rep earlier than a call-center pool, because of the feeling of ownership. In the worst case, the pool model becomes a convenient dodge for management underinvestment in service standards.
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Re: Vanguard Flagship Services Personal Representative

Post by dbr »

shess wrote: Thu Nov 25, 2021 3:12 pm
prd1982 wrote: Wed Nov 24, 2021 8:52 am I never understood how you could have a personal representative who actually knew your history. How many clients would this rep have to service? I have to believe it was so many that the rep really could not remember your situation. If you called so often that the rep really did know you, then perhaps you are in need of a PAS alike service. It will be interesting to see how Fidelity and other handle a large influx of DIY indexers. I cannot believe these investors are profitable if they have a lot of human interaction.
So, I'll be honest, I miss my rep. I don't miss him like I actually talked to him and he had keen insights into our situation, etc. I miss him like there was a point person I spoke with when I had problems to resolve with my accounts, and even though all of his familiarity with our situation was surely by way of a screen of text he had just skimmed before talking to me, it still leveraged social assumptions.

In very objective functional terms, it's possible it doesn't make much difference. But in terms of making customers feel more comfortable dealing with problems, it almost certainly has positive impact. Some people won't care, but they won't care either way, for other people (like the OP's father) it makes a positive difference in satisfaction with service.

Also, while in theory a pool of people could be just as good as an assigned person, in practice when everybody is responsible for something then frequently nobody takes responsibility for anything. I think it's almost certain that a set of assigned reps will see complaints registered about a poor rep earlier than a call-center pool, because of the feeling of ownership. In the worst case, the pool model becomes a convenient dodge for management underinvestment in service standards.
I agree that a personal rep should feel a sense of personal responsibility that would make a difference. Of course a good customer service organization should not need that and a personal rep could be a dud or a figurehead, but the idea makes sense.
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Re: Vanguard Flagship Services Personal Representative

Post by Gill »

Why is it that I seem to have a dedicated Flagship rep whose name, picture and contact information is listed on my account? I’ve seen these postings for several years saying the dedicated rep no longer exists.
Gill
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Re: Vanguard Flagship Services Personal Representative

Post by tibbitts »

Gill wrote: Thu Nov 25, 2021 3:31 pm Why is it that I seem to have a dedicated Flagship rep whose name, picture and contact information is listed on my account? I’ve seen these postings for several years saying the dedicated rep no longer exists.
Gill
Assuming you have less than the $5M minimum Vanguard assets, probably some combination of circumstances has resulted in your adviser not being deleted from your account yet.
stan1
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Re: Vanguard Flagship Services Personal Representative

Post by stan1 »

Gill wrote: Thu Nov 25, 2021 3:31 pm Why is it that I seem to have a dedicated Flagship rep whose name, picture and contact information is listed on my account? I’ve seen these postings for several years saying the dedicated rep no longer exists.
Gill
Consider yourself fortunate as you get better service than the rest of us who never had or lost a named rep. Can you give us a guess as to why based on your circumstances? Maybe age, assets outside Vanguard they know about and think you might transfer in, use of more expensive actively managed funds, frequency of contact with rep, type of interaction you have with the rep? It might just be luck, too.
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Re: Vanguard Flagship Services Personal Representative

Post by Stubbie »

bsteiner wrote: Wed Nov 24, 2021 11:28 am Which place has the least risk that they'll try to upsell you?
This is a good question. I have dealt with a local Schwab rep for years and he has never tried to upsell me. Now, when I die and my wife walks into his office will that be the case? I can only hope not.
My brother-in-law knows about as much about investing as my four year old grandkid. He sees a Fidelity rep near his home. He and his wife LOVE this lady because she patiently answers all of their investing 101 questions. She is performing a real service for these two. I don't know what they are invested in. He has no clue how she is making money off them. Is it a good relationship? All I can say is that they would only have their retirement money in a bank IRA and his crappy old work 401k if it was not for this Fidelity rep. Did she upsell, I don't know. Their other choice was to go see a "guy from church" that "did investments". I found out he worked for Edward Jones and steered them clear of that nice church-going gentleman.
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Re: Vanguard Flagship Services Personal Representative

Post by nalor511 »

Lastrun wrote: Thu Nov 25, 2021 2:26 pm
anon_investor wrote: Thu Nov 25, 2021 12:41 pm I think the take away is that at Fidelity and Schwab they offer an assigned rep for $250k and you need $5M at Vanguard...
This^^^^^^

Agreed that Vanguard is moving the needle here and the mass affluent and HNW individuals will be steered to PAS. Must be VHNW to have a dedicated advisor where Schwab and Fidelity are at $250k.

But many BHs here have struck me as a funny lot—they want white glove service for a DIY investor, and even with earnings on cash, deal flow, securities lending, blah blah, I don't see how it is a sustainable business model.
Fidelity and Schwab want you as a client, Vanguard wants you to hold their funds through another broker so they don't have to deal with you (or me). Lots of places they can make money that don't harm me in any way.
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Re: Vanguard Flagship Services Personal Representative

Post by Gill »

stan1 wrote: Thu Nov 25, 2021 3:46 pm
Gill wrote: Thu Nov 25, 2021 3:31 pm Why is it that I seem to have a dedicated Flagship rep whose name, picture and contact information is listed on my account? I’ve seen these postings for several years saying the dedicated rep no longer exists.
Gill
Consider yourself fortunate as you get better service than the rest of us who never had or lost a named rep. Can you give us a guess as to why based on your circumstances? Maybe age, assets outside Vanguard they know about and think you might transfer in, use of more expensive actively managed funds, frequency of contact with rep, type of interaction you have with the rep? It might just be luck, too.
I have none of those. I've rarely contacted the rep since becoming a Flagship client about 35 years ago. All of my assets are with Vanguard except for Treasurydirect and my account rarely needs any attention. I obviously don't benefit by having the assigned rep but I've always wondered why I still do when others note they've lost theirs.
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Re: Vanguard Flagship Services Personal Representative

Post by Rajsx »

We had a very helpful & prompt Flagship Rep at Vanguard for many many years which made doing business with Vanguard a pleasure, then when we became Flagship Select Clients things changed for the worse & were given a pushy Flagship Select Rep hawking PAS & generally not helpful.

We are in the process of gradually moving our accounts to Fidelity & Schwab & have found their Reps generally more helpful than our Vanguard Flagship Select Rep. By moving the accounts out & getting the Total Balance at Vanguard down, maybe(hope) we will be able to shake off the Flagship Select Rep.

They have made a mess of a wonderful company like Vanguard, keep saying investor owned.... my ...... Been with them for 30 years, referred family & friends to them, opened our kids accounts (& grand kids 529s) feels sad leaving them due to sad state of affairs.
We still invest in Vanguard Mutual Funds & ETFs but at other companies.
Vanguard has become very big around 8 trillion in clients assets, equals the combined assets at Fidelity & Schwab together. Managing a high number of clients with ever increasing assets is not proving easy for Vanguard
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Re: Vanguard Flagship Services Personal Representative

Post by bertilak »

shess wrote: Thu Nov 25, 2021 3:12 pm So, I'll be honest, I miss my rep. I don't miss him like I actually talked to him and he had keen insights into our situation, etc. I miss him like there was a point person I spoke with when I had problems to resolve with my accounts, and even though all of his familiarity with our situation was surely by way of a screen of text he had just skimmed before talking to me, it still leveraged social assumptions.
The reason I miss having an assigned rep is it gave me confidence that
  1. Any issue would be carried to resolution by the same person so I would not have to start from the begoinning with every phone call.
  2. Similarly, someone would feel responsibility for resolving an issue.
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Re: Vanguard Flagship Services Personal Representative

Post by edgeagg »

anon_investor wrote: Thu Nov 25, 2021 12:41 pm
edgeagg wrote: Thu Nov 25, 2021 11:43 am I've a simple 3 fund portfolio and I've called VG Flagship perhaps 2 times in over 15 years. I'm lazy and don't see much value in shifting to another brokerage.

So: if the top 1% of net worth in the US is $10.5 M and the top 2% is $2.4M - then a rational brokerage may only decide to offer premium services to the top 1% of it's customers - in fact at VG the distribution may even be skewed further to the right.

Therefore, I believe that non-premium service is just a reflection of the disconnect between what people think wealthy (top 1%) is and what the hard statistics say.
==
https://dqydj.com/average-median-top-ne ... rcentiles/
I think the take away is that at Fidelity and Schwab they offer an assigned rep for $250k and you need $5M at Vanguard...
So if VG needs $5M and others need $250K, what magic do fido and schwab have that vg doesn't? Clearly, it must be working for them somehow. Financial institutions aren't looking out for you but for themselves - as we all know. So it must pay to provide personal services to people at $250K level. The question to me is: "Why are the sharks being so kind?"
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Re: Vanguard Flagship Services Personal Representative

Post by anon_investor »

edgeagg wrote: Thu Nov 25, 2021 9:33 pm
anon_investor wrote: Thu Nov 25, 2021 12:41 pm
edgeagg wrote: Thu Nov 25, 2021 11:43 am I've a simple 3 fund portfolio and I've called VG Flagship perhaps 2 times in over 15 years. I'm lazy and don't see much value in shifting to another brokerage.

So: if the top 1% of net worth in the US is $10.5 M and the top 2% is $2.4M - then a rational brokerage may only decide to offer premium services to the top 1% of it's customers - in fact at VG the distribution may even be skewed further to the right.

Therefore, I believe that non-premium service is just a reflection of the disconnect between what people think wealthy (top 1%) is and what the hard statistics say.
==
https://dqydj.com/average-median-top-ne ... rcentiles/
I think the take away is that at Fidelity and Schwab they offer an assigned rep for $250k and you need $5M at Vanguard...
So if VG needs $5M and others need $250K, what magic do fido and schwab have that vg doesn't? Clearly, it must be working for them somehow. Financial institutions aren't looking out for you but for themselves - as we all know. So it must pay to provide personal services to people at $250K level. The question to me is: "Why are the sharks being so kind?"
I am sure they offered paid services which are optional as well as expensive actively managed funds. I also think they hope to bring in people who have not made a ton yet, instead of having to pay put brokerage transfer bonuses.
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Re: Vanguard Flagship Services Personal Representative

Post by Rajsx »

Lately, why are there so many more threads & posts about Customer Service of Vanguard than ever before ?
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Re: Vanguard Flagship Services Personal Representative

Post by anon_investor »

Rajsx wrote: Thu Nov 25, 2021 10:19 pm Lately, why are there so many more threads & posts about Customer Service of Vanguard than ever before ?
Because it has gotten a lot worse lately...
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Re: Vanguard Flagship Services Personal Representative

Post by 000 »

Rajsx wrote: Thu Nov 25, 2021 10:19 pm Lately, why are there so many more threads & posts about Customer Service of Vanguard than ever before ?
Some speculate that Vanguard wants people to leave and hold their ETFs elsewhere to reduce Vanguard's costs.
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Re: Vanguard Flagship Services Personal Representative

Post by edgeagg »

anon_investor wrote: Thu Nov 25, 2021 9:39 pm
I am sure they offered paid services which are optional as well as expensive actively managed funds. I also think they hope to bring in people who have not made a ton yet, instead of having to pay put brokerage transfer bonuses.
Very likely. They probably have enough data to indicate that human contact can convert naive investors to paying ones. Cheapskates like me or others on this list, who DIY won't buy too many actively managed funds. Presumably VG has done it's own studies on conversion to paying services - it is just that we bogleheads expect bespoke services befitting our former conception of what wealthy is :P .

And as someone else said, VG may not want more small(ish) investors since that increase the scale on creaky IT systems. VG likely never has been a web-scale company
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Re: Vanguard Flagship Services Personal Representative

Post by stan1 »

000 wrote: Thu Nov 25, 2021 10:26 pm
Rajsx wrote: Thu Nov 25, 2021 10:19 pm Lately, why are there so many more threads & posts about Customer Service of Vanguard than ever before ?
Some speculate that Vanguard wants people to leave and hold their ETFs elsewhere to reduce Vanguard's costs.
Vanguard now has a "freemium" model for their brokerage services with free and paid for premium services. You get self service at no cost with access to a call center if you need it, although using it is intentionally painful to encourage people to go the self-service route as much as possible.

Sort of like an airline. You can do most transactions online regarding your trip and would seldom need to call an airline except for a few special cases. Over time you've been able to do more and more on the airline's website including rescheduling a cancelled trip to the point where there are very few reasons to call an airline any more.

If you want more personalized service under the premium part of the "freemium" model you can use PAS which is much less than a typical advisor would charge at 1%-2% AUM.

Vanguard is clearly passing the message that they aren't going to give most people premium service for free, with the peculiar exception of what appear to be some long-lived Flagship clients who still get named reps.
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Re: Vanguard Flagship Services Personal Representative

Post by afan »

PRESS RELEASE
Online Brokerage Firms Strain under Weight of New Investor Surge, J.D. Power Finds
Reported Problem Incidence Doubles as Website Issues and Processing Problems Proliferate

27 April 2021

...According to the J.D. Power 2021 U.S. Self-Directed Investor Satisfaction Study,SM released today, the number of problems cited by customers doubled during the past year, with website issues, processing and trade execution failures and account statement errors leading the way.

...
“The significant influx of new investors—and increased trading volumes and overall engagement from clients—clearly put a strain on the system ... “

...
Frequent glitches sap customer satisfaction: Problem incidence has doubled in the past year, affecting 11% of all do-it-yourself investors and 12% of those in the seeking guidance segment of self-directed investors..

...



With more than 10 million new brokerage accounts opened in 2020 as mainstream investor interest skyrocketed during the pandemic, retail brokerage firms struggled to deliver a seamless customer experience.
...the number of problems cited by customers doubled during the past year,


...
The U.S. Self-Directed Investor Satisfaction Study, now in its 19th year, evaluates key satisfaction drivers and firm performance among both investors seeking guidance (those who don’t have a dedicated financial advisor but do have access to interact with a registered investment professional) and true do-it-yourself investors (those who do not interact with professional advisors).

Study Rankings

Vanguard (736) ranks highest in self-directed investor satisfaction among investors seeking guidance.

T. Rowe Price (705) ranks second and Charles Schwab (702) ranks third.

Vanguard (736) ranks highest in self-directed investor satisfaction among do-it-yourself investors
. Charles Schwab (727) ranks second and T. Rowe Price (721) ranks third.
Last edited by afan on Fri Nov 26, 2021 11:02 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Vanguard Flagship Services Personal Representative

Post by blaugranamd »

We have called Vanguard a few times recently for help with inherited IRA paperwork. Call, hit the wait for a callback button, go about life, get a call back 20-39 mins later. Easy, helpful.
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Re: Vanguard Flagship Services Personal Representative

Post by Cheez-It Guy »

nalor511 wrote: Thu Nov 25, 2021 3:55 pm Fidelity and Schwab want you as a client, Vanguard wants you to hold their funds through another broker so they don't have to deal with you (or me). Lots of places they can make money that don't harm me in any way.
You have posted some variant of this many times. What gives you so much confidence that this is the case, and why would they bother with any marketing efforts whatsoever in such a scenario? Wouldn't there be an easier way to unload clients without partially destroying your company's reputation?
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Re: Vanguard Flagship Services Personal Representative

Post by edgeagg »

Cheez-It Guy wrote: Fri Nov 26, 2021 11:03 am
nalor511 wrote: Thu Nov 25, 2021 3:55 pm Fidelity and Schwab want you as a client, Vanguard wants you to hold their funds through another broker so they don't have to deal with you (or me). Lots of places they can make money that don't harm me in any way.
You have posted some variant of this many times. What gives you so much confidence that this is the case, and why would they bother with any marketing efforts whatsoever in such a scenario? Wouldn't there be an easier way to unload clients without partially destroying your company's reputation?
Well, others have responded - first of all, it is unclear that people rank VG CS the worst. How exactly does one unload clients anyway? Freemium is the way that many sites and institutions operate.

Personally, I suspect that VG IT systems are not built for massive scale and building and transitioning to scale out systems from legacy tech is vastly costly and can affect operational reliability. So the next best thing is to focus on "paying" customers and not cheapskates like you or me.
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