Anyone still favor Vanguard?

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manlymatt83
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Anyone still favor Vanguard?

Post by manlymatt83 »

I've been perusing discussions on this forum for some time now and it seems the overall sentiment towards Vanguard has grown sour. There are numerous complaints regarding their user interface, the shift to their PAS service (despite a relatively low .30% management fee), persistent software glitches, and poor customer support, among other things. I'm interested to hear if any newcomers would still consider Vanguard as their primary brokerage in the present circumstances, or whether its current user base is largely due to inertia. I'm aware that many of you invest in Vanguard's ETFs through other platforms, so my question pertains specifically to the Vanguard brokerage itself.
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LittleGreenSoldiers
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Re: Anyone still favor Vanguard?

Post by LittleGreenSoldiers »

Yes. I do.
SevenBridgesRoad
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Re: Anyone still favor Vanguard?

Post by SevenBridgesRoad »

manlymatt83 wrote: Sun Jul 02, 2023 11:36 pm ....or whether its current user base is largely due to inertia....
You titled this thread: " Anyone still favor Vanguard?" Of course not. We're in a post-Vanguard apocalyptic wasteland where the only remaining customers are skittering cockroaches. I'm certain I'm the only remaining Vanguard customer, well me and Mad Max.

Really tho...I qualify as "current Vanguard user base", but certainly not because of inertia. I was with Fidelity for many many years before switching to Vanguard about six years ago. I have a substantial investment with VG in a taxable joint brokerage account and two IRAs. They offer integrity and they meet my needs.
MathWizard
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Re: Anyone still favor Vanguard?

Post by MathWizard »

25% of our portfolio is with Vanguard directly.

Another 40% via my employer plan.

I am looking into Fidelity and Charles Schwab, but no plans to move as yet.
gavinsiu
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Re: Anyone still favor Vanguard?

Post by gavinsiu »

I have been with Vanguard since the 90's and have most of my money there. I have not encountered many customer service issue reported by the other posters, but then I rarely ever call any firms. I do feel that their action recently of increasing fee is going on the wrong direction and their site could stand some improvements. One disadvantage is that they don't have a local office like Fidelity or Schwab.

I still like Vanguard funds. Others have put pressure on Vanguard though by undercutting them by using index as a loss leader. Just to be on the safe side though, I have taken a taxable position in Fidelity even thould I plan to purchase some Vanguard ETF, but I haven't reduce or transfer any Vanguard over to Fidelity.
nhs76
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Re: Anyone still favor Vanguard?

Post by nhs76 »

I will never understand the willingness of some of my fellow Bogleheads to put all their life savings in just one basket, i.e. brokerage firm. It seems like a sucker bet. So, yes, I still favor Vanguard as well as Fidelity, Schwab, and TreasuryDirect, as well as a couple of banks and and a couple of credit unions for cash deposits.
Yuen
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Re: Anyone still favor Vanguard?

Post by Yuen »

I have used Vanguard since 2015 for my Roth IRA. I first knew nothing about finance or retirement accounts and someone suggested I should set up an IRA to begin saving. They said Vanguard was "the" place to do it and admittedly I did not do any research and signed up with Vanguard on the recommendation. When I began to do taxable investments in 2020 I also used Vanguard because I was already there.

I have since started Fidelity and Schwab as well to try learning more about them after reading the forums here but I have not felt a need to transfer my Vanguard holdings to either. I have never needed to contact customer service for any of the three. Vanguard's changing website design did not really bother me because I have been able to always do whatever I needed to do. Maybe I am not using the advanced features like some power users do, I really only use the buy interface and look at the charts and statements.

If I had a bad experience I would try to be honest in telling about my frustrations but I do not understand why some go out of their way to continue to post negative comments in these forums.
Mr. Buzzkill
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Re: Anyone still favor Vanguard?

Post by Mr. Buzzkill »

I had some accounts at Vanguard but decided to consolidate at Schwab where I have my employer 401k, for which I have no choice.

I use vanguard ETFs in my discretionary accounts so I feel like I have the best customer service that I’ve experienced plus the best ETFs for my needs, and one statement and app to view it all. The 401k has a separate web app for making changes but I rarely change anything.

My only complaint on Schwab is not being able to rollover my maturing treasury bonds on the the settlement date into new issues. I have to wait until the next auction date after settlement date.
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Northern Flicker
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Re: Anyone still favor Vanguard?

Post by Northern Flicker »

manlymatt83 wrote: I've been perusing discussions on this forum for some time now and it seems the overall sentiment towards Vanguard has grown sour.
Overall? Doubtful. Be careful not to equate the size of a bullhorn with the size of a crowd.
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Cheez-It Guy
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Re: Anyone still favor Vanguard?

Post by Cheez-It Guy »

I assume surprising no one familiar with my post history, I still favor Vanguard. About to get my first taste of Schwab via HSA brokerage window migration from TDA. Vanguard works for my needs and has low costs in its DNA. I auto-invest in mutual funds in a taxable account via the brokerage platform on a weekly basis.
cacophony
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Re: Anyone still favor Vanguard?

Post by cacophony »

I can't speak about the Vanguard brokerage platform, but I find the user interface of the Vanguard mutual fund platform significantly more intuitive and well thought out than any of the other financial institutions I've tried including Schwab, Fidelity, and especially E-Trade.
secondopinion
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Re: Anyone still favor Vanguard?

Post by secondopinion »

nhs76 wrote: Mon Jul 03, 2023 12:26 am I will never understand the willingness of some of my fellow Bogleheads to put all their life savings in just one basket, i.e. brokerage firm. It seems like a sucker bet. So, yes, I still favor Vanguard as well as Fidelity, Schwab, and TreasuryDirect, as well as a couple of banks and and a couple of credit unions for cash deposits.
I have a hard time trusting a brokerage/bank/etc. with all my money as well. However, I am not at a point where the amount is running into insurance issues; I do all of the accounts to ensure availability of funds and get best offerings of each.
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rocketman2
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Re: Anyone still favor Vanguard?

Post by rocketman2 »

I started at Vanguard in 2018 because that was what was recommended to me (and later for the commission-free Vanguard ETF trades). Now that I've used more platforms (Fidelity, Schwab, and E*TRADE), I like the Fidelity experience the best, but certainly not enough to go through the hassle of transferring all my accounts there.

When a family member asks for financial advice, I usually recommend using the same provider as their preexisting accounts (e.g., Fidelity if they already have a 401(k) there, Schwab if they want to get the American Express Platinum Card).
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tadamsmar
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Re: Anyone still favor Vanguard?

Post by tadamsmar »

I am with Vanguard Brokerage. I switched from the Mutual Fund account a while back.

I guess you could call it inertia.

One concern I have is that I have use "per stirpes" on my IRA beneficiary designations to cover the families of some step kids. I got mixed messages from Vanguard about whether that was OK. For now I am assuming it is OK, but I might bail on them over the lack of certainty. I may try to get stronger assurances from them before I would bail.

Also, somehow I lost full-agent autorization on my wife's accounts during the switch to Mutual Funds. That is annoying but fixable with a notarized form that we have not gotten around to submitting, partly due to not wanting to do it during the covid epidemic. Oddly, full-authoization was not lost in the opposite direction, my wife still has it on my accounts.

They are just not very good for special situations like inheritance to step kids.
aquinas
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Re: Anyone still favor Vanguard?

Post by aquinas »

We’ve been with Vanguard, Fidelity, and TIAA for decades and have no major complaints about any of them. Each company has unique strengths that outweigh whatever minor glitches and quirks they exhibit. We’ve never experienced the many failings of Vanguard that some on this forum endlessly report, We value the company’s unique ownership structure, its steadiness, and its integrity, and we don’t resent the fact that it’s had to introduce non-Bogalian innovations in order to stay competitive,

We’re currently in the process of consolidating our Roth IRAs and taxable investments at Vanguard because we like their fund options (especially the unique tax-managed VTMFX, VTCLX, and VTMSX we use for our taxable investments). And Wellington has served us extremely well as the core holding in our Roth’s for more than 25 years. When we’re done consolidating, we‘ll have our Roths and taxable accounts at Vanguard and our 403(b)s at Fidelity and TIAA. We like not having everything in one place.

John Bogle’s books taught me how to invest, so I feel a certain loyalty to the
company he founded. And all things considered, I think Vanguard has managed to stay true his original vision while making the inevitable changes it’s had to make to stay competitive.
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Wiggums
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Re: Anyone still favor Vanguard?

Post by Wiggums »

Been with Vanguard for a long time. I automated my fund purchases and sell whenever I need money. I never had trouble logging in and I think I call customer service once when I retired. I like the VG funds and split our portfolio between VG and Fidelity.

I recently emailed Fidelity on how to remove an old home number from 2FA. They had no clue and sent back a generic no trouble found just to close the ticket.

T Rowe Price was difficult to working with when settling my MILs estate until we finally spoke with someone knowledgeable who could communicate the TRPs steps required. We moved our fund from T Rowe Price to reduce the number of accounts.

I’d say no customer service is perfect, but if you are unsatisfied, transfer your assets. The financial industry continues to consolidate and change. This trend is likely to continue.
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Target2019
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Re: Anyone still favor Vanguard?

Post by Target2019 »

We favor Vanguard 35%.

65% of our favor goes with Schwab.

Remainder is held by bank, Discover, Treasury Direct, and Fidelity.
Old Goat
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Re: Anyone still favor Vanguard?

Post by Old Goat »

Absolutely I do. Improvements to the mobile platform and website along with seamless roll in/outs have been good.

Calls to customer service regarding custodial IRAs were answered promptly. Additionally I find transferring money between Vanguard and my CU along with purchasing CDs and treasuries easy. I would like to see an option to buy treasuries and CDs via the mobile app.
Cannoli
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Re: Anyone still favor Vanguard?

Post by Cannoli »

Most of my money is at Vanguard and plan to stay as I like their TDF
I will say though a lot of my money is from my last 401K rollover before retirement and ended up at Schwab because I couldn't reach anyone for help at Vanguard
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Re: Anyone still favor Vanguard?

Post by LadyGeek »

This thread is now in the Investing - Theory, News & General forum (general discussion).
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linuxizer
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Re: Anyone still favor Vanguard?

Post by linuxizer »

Every time I am tempted by the latest thread about Fidelity or Schwab I think back to the Schwab Yield+ fiasco or to the various ways in which for-profit firms stiff their customers out of yield (profits from lending shares, bond convexity, etc.). Then I stick with Vanguard.

Incentives matter.
rkhusky
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Re: Anyone still favor Vanguard?

Post by rkhusky »

Here is a recent survey on diy investing:
https://www.jdpower.com/business/press- ... tion-study
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burritoLover
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Re: Anyone still favor Vanguard?

Post by burritoLover »

Fidelity makes Vanguard look like a trading platform from the early 2000's. The only advantage of Vanguard is some lower cost mutual funds but the majority of the time you can invest in these elsewhere via ETFs. So that leaves maybe their low cost MM fund as the only reason (and maybe some of their low-cost actively managed funds if you are into that).
backpacker61
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Re: Anyone still favor Vanguard?

Post by backpacker61 »

I have had an account at Vanguard since 1989, and have about 60% of my assets there (the remainder are at Fidelity, where my employer's 401(K) and HSA plans are).

I consolidated down to these two from many individual mutual fund accounts I used to have at Franklin/Templeton/Mutual, Neuberger Berman, American Century, and some others, from the time when buying directly-held no-load mutual funds by mail was the primary way individuals invested without being subject to commissions (which were significant). This was the way many people invested in the 1970's through the 1990's.

When the last of my parents passed away, about 75% of their securities were held at Vanguard, and I consolidated all of their remaining assets into their Vanguard trust accounts prior to splitting the assets among the beneficiaries. I had many personal interactions via telephone with the Vanguard concierge and trust departments, and found them to be helpful and competent. A death in the family is a point at which you can suddenly require a lot of interaction with your financial services providers (divorce is probably similar).

I am trying to keep things simple for my beneficiaries by retaining just two securities accounts; Fidelity and Vanguard. Vanguard is my main one, although my employer accounts at Fidelity are significant, too.
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Van
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Re: Anyone still favor Vanguard?

Post by Van »

I have had all of my money in Vanguard for 50 plus years. I sleep well at night.
ROIGuy
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Re: Anyone still favor Vanguard?

Post by ROIGuy »

I've had good and bad service with Vanguard and other companies. I think the bottom line is the employee you're talking too is what really matters. Of course, if no one's picking up the phone, that's a whole different matter.
prd1982
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Re: Anyone still favor Vanguard?

Post by prd1982 »

I’m fine with the VG brokerage platform. I have VG mutual funds. From what I read, most people switching to another brokerage convert their VG mutual funds to ETFs. I prefer to stick with mutual funds.
UpperNwGuy
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Re: Anyone still favor Vanguard?

Post by UpperNwGuy »

I started out with all of my investments at Vanguard. I later added Schwab and Fidelity. I have been evaluating all three brokerages for the last five years, and I like Fidelity the best, then Schwab. All new money from 2021 forward has gone into Fidelity. When I start consolidating to make things easier for my children, Vanguard will be the first account I'll close. I can't ask my kids to deal with the Vanguard's customer service problems.
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Re: Anyone still favor Vanguard?

Post by TomatoTomahto »

We will return some percentage of assets to Vanguard when my wife’s employer changes; Vanguard is not on their short list of approved brokers.

I actually prefer the Vanguard web site to Fidelity or Schwab, where our assets are now mostly.
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Re: Anyone still favor Vanguard?

Post by dcabler »

The vast majority of my holdings are at Fidelity. I once had a small Vanguard taxable account, but closed it years ago as it was nothing more than clutter. I had no issues with Vanguard at the time - just wanted to unclutter.

Today, I have a 401K at Vanguard with my former employer. The only thing I like about it is that it has a brokerage option where I can hold exactly what I want, which are the same ETFs I hold in my IRA at Fidelity. It requires that I have no more than 99% of my holdings in the brokerage option.

Contemplating a partial rollover in-kind to my Fido IRA, but was just told by former colleagues that my former employer is about to change horses to Fidelity in August. So, waiting on details before I start a rollover to answer questions such as: Will they have brokeragelink and how will it be set up? What happens to my holdings in the brokerage option if I do nothing? What's the minimum required to keep the 401K open? An important question because I will be receiving a final true-up in 2024.

The rollover will still happen, but my previous experience shows that a Fido 401K to Fido IRA is easy-peasy, but I do need the details regarding the changeover before I start anything.

Cheers.
Dick D
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Re: Anyone still favor Vanguard?

Post by Dick D »

Yes, I still prefer Vanguard, 40 plus years without an issue.
pennywise
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Re: Anyone still favor Vanguard?

Post by pennywise »

I moved most of our investment money, including both our 403b accounts and the proceeds of a home sale into Vanguard a few years ago when we both retired.

The only exceptions are our TIAA traditional accounts and a couple of bank accounts that are still kicking around in savings and CDs.

I also signed up for PAS at that time and have kept it.I wanted a set it and forget it situation, which is what I have with Vanguard.

I’ve had the same advisor since we started who is always responsive and worked with us to answer the questions we had to get a comprehensive plan set up. He schedules a quarterly phone conversation at which I give him my list of questions and he always either has the answer or follows up to get it for me.

My experience has been that customer service is always good. Though not a husband, I am the “financially literate spouse “and Vanguard gave me exactly what I was looking for: a place to put various reasonably large sums of money in investing accounts that were matched to our long-term goals; advice on effective tax strategy; guidance on integrating various income streams including investments, pensions, and Social Security benefits; general suggestions on inheritance planning; suggestions on where and how to withdraw money for occasional large expenditures that we knew were coming up.

I’m very comfortable knowing that if I am the first to go my spouse has everything set up and will be able to move forward with a minimum of aggravation and confusion as far as financial issues go.
Last edited by pennywise on Mon Jul 03, 2023 3:42 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Florida Orange
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Re: Anyone still favor Vanguard?

Post by Florida Orange »

Sometimes you get what you pay for. The primary advantage of Vanguard is low costs. You're not going to get a lot of extras for that. I keep an eye on my investments but I don't have to do much, so for me Vanguard works fine.
cmr86
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Re: Anyone still favor Vanguard?

Post by cmr86 »

I personally don't understand why everyone hates Vanguard so much. I prefer the UI to Fidelity. My two complaints is that I can't buy T-bills or other bond instruments on their app or access my 403b panel on it either.
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Blues
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Re: Anyone still favor Vanguard?

Post by Blues »

I see no reason for us to switch.
tibbitts
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Re: Anyone still favor Vanguard?

Post by tibbitts »

nhs76 wrote: Mon Jul 03, 2023 12:26 am I will never understand the willingness of some of my fellow Bogleheads to put all their life savings in just one basket, i.e. brokerage firm. It seems like a sucker bet. So, yes, I still favor Vanguard as well as Fidelity, Schwab, and TreasuryDirect, as well as a couple of banks and and a couple of credit unions for cash deposits.
I have multiple providers but there's overhead to doing it the "right" way; just as one example, you have all those unique power of attorney documents to create and maintain. And it will be that much more to deal with after your death. You have to be very diligent about documenting everything so none of your accounts will end up on one of those "unclaimed asset" websites some day.
backpacker61
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Re: Anyone still favor Vanguard?

Post by backpacker61 »

nhs76 wrote: Mon Jul 03, 2023 12:26 am I will never understand the willingness of some of my fellow Bogleheads to put all their life savings in just one basket, i.e. brokerage firm. It seems like a sucker bet. So, yes, I still favor Vanguard as well as Fidelity, Schwab, and TreasuryDirect, as well as a couple of banks and and a couple of credit unions for cash deposits.
Do your estate beneficiaries know about the securities and cash management firms you use? How will they find out about them? Will you remember them as you increase in age? How do you aggregate the tax forms you receive? Would you notice if one was missing?

My estate beneficiary lives outside the United States, so I'm trying to maintain only a limited number of securities accounts that they can easily remember, and will require only a limited number of signature guarantees and transfers when I pass away.

I've heard horror stories of people that passed away and had undisclosed Certificates of Deposit or savings accounts at banks all over their town (or neighboring towns in their region) that the estate beneficiaries had no idea about, from when the primary owner was "chasing rates" on CD's and keeping the amount in each bank account under the $250K FDIC limit.
Last edited by backpacker61 on Mon Jul 03, 2023 8:32 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Glockenspiel
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Re: Anyone still favor Vanguard?

Post by Glockenspiel »

I do. We have 7 figures worth of money with Vanguard and I don’t have the time to go through the process of moving it all to another brokerage. I’ve never really needed customer service so no comments on that.
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Re: Anyone still favor Vanguard?

Post by minesweep »

Northern Flicker wrote: Mon Jul 03, 2023 12:43 am
manlymatt83 wrote: I've been perusing discussions on this forum for some time now and it seems the overall sentiment towards Vanguard has grown sour.
Overall? Doubtful. Be careful not to equate the size of a bullhorn with the size of a crowd.
+1

Vanguard, my one and only brokerage service. Until now, I was just one of a silent majority.
Last edited by minesweep on Mon Jul 03, 2023 9:10 am, edited 1 time in total.
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exigent
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Re: Anyone still favor Vanguard?

Post by exigent »

We’d consolidated our holdings at Fidelity, largely due to the fact that my employer plans are there and can’t be moved elsewhere, but personal holdings can be moved to Fidelity. Our personal holdings were previously at Vanguard. We weren’t unhappy there, it’s just simpler to have everything in one place. Who knows, when I retire, we might move it all back — I’m pretty platform-agnostic.

That being said, we do prefer Vanguard in terms of actual funds, wherever possible, even if we’re not holding them through Vanguard.

Which begs the question… Given that the expense ratio is the same no matter where you hold the fund, does Vanguard even care that we’re not using their platform? If anything, it seems that it would reduce their cost while bringing them the same amount of revenue.
Last edited by exigent on Mon Jul 03, 2023 8:47 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Doom&Gloom
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Re: Anyone still favor Vanguard?

Post by Doom&Gloom »

I'm approximately 70/20/10 Vanguard, Fidelity, Schwab.

That is about the same as I have been when I posted in many similar threads here over the years. So far, I've had no real reason to transfer among the three; if/when I do, I will.
Tdubs
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Re: Anyone still favor Vanguard?

Post by Tdubs »

The only reason I'm thinking of leaving Vanguard is their refusal to take HSA accounts. For my spouse's sake, I want all of our accounts in one place. Vanguard won't do that, Fidelity will.
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Flobes
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Re: Anyone still favor Vanguard?

Post by Flobes »

Schwab done me wrong; Fidelity done my parents wrong. (Cue the country music.)

Vanguard has been just fine.
Tamalak
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Re: Anyone still favor Vanguard?

Post by Tamalak »

I have had no issues with Vanguard. That said, I haven't tested their customer support at all.

I plan to stay with Vanguard because their ownership structure incentivizes fair treatment of their clients better than other companies.
Last edited by Tamalak on Mon Jul 03, 2023 8:56 am, edited 1 time in total.
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goingup
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Re: Anyone still favor Vanguard?

Post by goingup »

You asked about newcomers choosing Vanguard. I'm an old hand and longtime Vanguard client. :D

I like Wellington fund. The bond lineup can't be beat. The MM funds have great yield. I like our rep. The website changes have been disappointing but I kinda doubt I'd find something better.

I haven't recommended Vanguard to anyone in years. I guess that kinda belies what I think newcomers should do.
bikechuck
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Re: Anyone still favor Vanguard?

Post by bikechuck »

Flobes wrote: Mon Jul 03, 2023 8:53 am Schwab done me wrong; Fidelity done my parents wrong. (Cue the country music.)

Vanguard has been just fine.
It would be helpful to know what happened at Schwab and Fidelity. Without that information your post is not very helpful, at least to me.
gotoparks
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Re: Anyone still favor Vanguard?

Post by gotoparks »

Yes, for me and my mom.
Mike Scott
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Re: Anyone still favor Vanguard?

Post by Mike Scott »

Yes, I prefer Vanguard. I do have small accounts with Fidelity and Schwab but the vast majority of funds are with Vanguard.
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mhc
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Re: Anyone still favor Vanguard?

Post by mhc »

I still favor Vanguard. I like their website. Everything is so easy to use with Vanguard. I have always received very good customer service with Vanguard. I have 11 accounts with Vanguard:

1 joint taxable
my IRA, DW IRA
my Roth, DW Roth
3 529s
3 ESAs
52% TSM, 23% TISM, 24.5% TBM, 0.5% cash
leaf_barn
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Re: Anyone still favor Vanguard?

Post by leaf_barn »

I no longer favor vanguard. [Off-topic comment removed by moderator ClaycordJCA.].

While I still use vanguard; I've been openly looking to competitors/alternative investing platforms.
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