Vanguard Notice - Update to Brokerage Agreement, Commission and Fee Schedules

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Vanguard Notice - Update to Brokerage Agreement, Commission and Fee Schedules

Post by LadyGeek »

This thread is a restart of the locked thread: New Vanguard Fees? Use this thread only for your comments.

After receiving member feedback and further moderator review, use of generative AI to provide comments (i.e. "fact checking") will not be permitted. The prior discussion was derailed. Humans only for this thread.

Please keep the discussion civil and state your concerns in a factual manner.


Below is a complete copy of Vanguard's email - I received one as well. For privacy concerns, I have modified the links to remove the email tracking info.
==============================================

Notice of updated commission and fee schedules and account agreement for Vanguard Brokerage Services

Dear Vanguard Brokerage Client,

We want to make you aware that we have updated the Vanguard Brokerage Account Agreement and associated commission and fee schedules. These updates include changes to our Digital Interaction Expectations, new Class Action Service Terms, and Vanguard Brokerage's ability to close accounts, including low balance accounts with no activity.

Effective July 1, 2024, the following commission schedule changes will take effect:
  • Broker-assisted commission: A $25 broker-assisted commission will be charged for each Vanguard mutual fund1 and Vanguard ETF® (exchange-traded fund) trade placed over the phone and for closing transactions placed by Vanguard Brokerage Services® to cover a margin call or satisfy an outstanding debt owed in your brokerage account.* This broker-assisted commission is consistent with our existing policy on trading stocks and other products.
  • Certificate deposit fee: A $100 processing fee (per CUSIP) will be charged for the deposit of physical share certificates into your brokerage account.
  • Class action service fee: With the introduction of this new service in which Vanguard Brokerage will facilitate filing claims on behalf of clients in an attempt to recover class action settlement funds, a fee of 20% will be deducted from these recovered funds prior to their deposit into your brokerage account. See the Notice of Amendment to the Vanguard Brokerage Account Agreement ("Account Agreement Amendment") for details on the service.
  • Foreign securities and American Depositary Receipts (ADRs) dividends fee: A fee of 1% on the gross dividend amount will be charged when a dividend is paid on a foreign or ADR asset held in U.S. dollars.
  • Restricted security legend removal fee: A $250 processing fee may be charged for research and removal of a restriction on a security held in your brokerage account.
  • Account closure and transfer fee: A $100 processing fee may be charged for account closure or transfer of account assets to another firm.**
Effective June 1, 2024, the following commission schedule change will take effect:
  • The tax filing fee for master limited partnerships (MLPs) held in an IRA will change from $300 to $500 per account.
You can obtain an updated copy of the Vanguard Brokerage Services commission and fee schedules here and read more about these important account agreement updates in the Account Agreement Amendment.

Please note that the updates discussed in this communication apply to all your accounts maintained with Vanguard Brokerage Services.

Thank you for belonging to the Vanguard community of investors.

 -------------------------
* Broker-assisted commissions will not be charged for brokerage accounts enrolled in a Vanguard-affiliated advisory service or for clients with $1 million or more in qualifying Vanguard assets.

** The fee will not be assessed for clients who hold at least $5 million in qualifying Vanguard assets.

1 For Vanguard mutual fund exchanges, the commission will be charged on the "from" side of the transaction based on the total number of trades placed. For some mutual fund transactions, the commission will be deducted as a separate sweep from your settlement fund. It will not apply to some complex Vanguard mutual fund transactions, including those across registration types.
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metalworking
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Re: Vanguard Notice - Update to Brokerage Agreement, Commission and Fee Schedules

Post by metalworking »

Just received reply from vanguard about whether I would be charged $100 if I emptied my brokerage rollover ira from spending it down. I wasn’t sure if this would count as closing my account. Here is the reply from vanguard.

Thank you for taking the time to contact Vanguard regarding the new account closure and transfer fees.

If you liquidated and distributed all the assets in your brokerage accounts so that they were at a zero-balance, they would not be automatically closed. Brokerage accounts are not automatically closed when they reach a zero-balance. Because of this, the premise of your question was slightly off, and you would not be charged a $100.00 fee for spending all the assets in your accounts.

If you transferred your accounts to another institution with a full automated customer account transfer (ACAT), you may be charged the $100.00 fee with the new fee changes.
manlymatt83
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Re: Vanguard Notice - Update to Brokerage Agreement, Commission and Fee Schedules

Post by manlymatt83 »

I personally believe the ACATS language is standard language and won't be an issue. $100 transfer fee if you initiate a transfer via ACATS (Automated Clearing). I plan on calling Vanguard to ask if they will be charging fees for Roth IRA conversions.
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Re: Vanguard Notice - Update to Brokerage Agreement, Commission and Fee Schedules

Post by mariezzz »

Does the $100 account closure fee pertain only to the umbrella account being closed (including all subaccounts)? - or can it be assessed on a subaccount that is "closed"?

For example, an inherited Roth IRA has to be emptied within 10 years of Dec 31 of the year of death. Would this be considered an "account closure" subject to the fee if
(1) the person had other subaccounts with balances in their umbrella account?
(2) the person only had the inherited Roth IRA & no other subaccounts?

Part of the confusion is it's not clear what Vanguard considers to constitute an account or "account closure".

If Vanguard is concerned with people moving all their assets into and out of Vanguard multiple times, in relatively quick succession, it seems there are better ways to penalize or discourage this sort of thing.

===
I'm also interested in the question about whether a fee will be charged for Roth IRA conversions, when funds are currently in a Vanguard TIRA and will be moved to a Vanguard Roth IRA. Such fees could add up, because often, this is something people spread out over many years.
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Re: Vanguard Notice - Update to Brokerage Agreement, Commission and Fee Schedules

Post by Rocinante Rider »

mariezzz wrote: Fri May 03, 2024 4:27 pm Does the $100 account closure fee pertain only to the umbrella account being closed (including all subaccounts)? - or can it be assessed on a subaccount that is "closed"?

For example, an inherited Roth IRA has to be emptied within 10 years of Dec 31 of the year of death. Would this be considered an "account closure" subject to the fee if
(1) the person had other subaccounts with balances in their umbrella account?
(2) the person only had the inherited Roth IRA & no other subaccounts?

Part of the confusion is it's not clear what Vanguard considers to constitute an account or "account closure".

If Vanguard is concerned with people moving all their assets into and out of Vanguard multiple times, in relatively quick succession, it seems there are better ways to penalize or discourage this sort of thing.

===
I'm also interested in the question about whether a fee will be charged for Roth IRA conversions, when funds are currently in a Vanguard TIRA and will be moved to a Vanguard Roth IRA. Such fees could add up, because often, this is something people spread out over many years.
No fee for spending down an inherited Roth or any other account. See metalworking post above.
metalworking wrote: Fri May 03, 2024 3:34 pm you would not be charged a $100.00 fee for spending all the assets in your accounts.
No fee for Roth conversions between V tIRA and V Roth. These conversions are not ACATs to another institution.
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Re: Vanguard Notice - Update to Brokerage Agreement, Commission and Fee Schedules

Post by Cheez-It Guy »

Welcome back, everyone!
PRMECP
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Re: Vanguard Notice - Update to Brokerage Agreement, Commission and Fee Schedules

Post by PRMECP »

Strike 1. Removing the ability to purchase previously available products. This includes over-the-counter (OTC) stocks and certain crypto-futures ETFs. It a small part of my portfolio, but want the ability to hold if I desire. That was the status quo during my 18 plus years with Vanguard.

Strike 2. News of transferring my company’s SEP-IRA to Ascensus. I would like all my accounts at the same firm, thank you.

Strike 3. News of more and more additional fees without commensurate benefits for the clients.

Vanguard, you’re out!!!!!!!

Been with Vanguard 18 years. All these changes just in the past few months. I am not sticking around to see what changes Vanguard has planned to implement next.

I am not choosing to leave Vanguard, so much as Vanguard chose to leave me.
Last edited by PRMECP on Fri May 03, 2024 6:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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bogles the mind
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Re: Vanguard Notice - Update to Brokerage Agreement, Commission and Fee Schedules

Post by bogles the mind »

VG CS confirmed that there is no $100 closure fee for Cash Plus accounts.
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Re: Vanguard Notice - Update to Brokerage Agreement, Commission and Fee Schedules

Post by rob »

metalworking wrote: Fri May 03, 2024 3:34 pm If you transferred your accounts to another institution with a full automated customer account transfer (ACAT), you may be charged the $100.00 fee with the new fee changes.
Did you respond and ask the definition of "may". I'm not trying to derail but that response does not answer the question. Their answer on zero balance (for example a backdoor roth) is clear.
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Re: Vanguard Notice - Update to Brokerage Agreement, Commission and Fee Schedules

Post by plannerman »

What exactly are "qualifying Vanguard assets"?

plannerman
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Re: Vanguard Notice - Update to Brokerage Agreement, Commission and Fee Schedules

Post by marcopolo »

rob wrote: Fri May 03, 2024 6:46 pm
metalworking wrote: Fri May 03, 2024 3:34 pm If you transferred your accounts to another institution with a full automated customer account transfer (ACAT), you may be charged the $100.00 fee with the new fee changes.
Did you respond and ask the definition of "may". I'm not trying to derail but that response does not answer the question. Their answer on zero balance (for example a backdoor roth) is clear.
The "may" seems to be addressed by the asterisk note at the bottom. The fees does not apply if you have more than $5m with Vanguard.
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Re: Vanguard Notice - Update to Brokerage Agreement, Commission and Fee Schedules

Post by Rocinante Rider »

plannerman wrote: Fri May 03, 2024 6:48 pm What exactly are "qualifying Vanguard assets"?

plannerman
Any asset under management of VPA or in a Vanguard MF or Vanguard ETF held by you or others who share your residential address.
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Re: Vanguard Notice - Update to Brokerage Agreement, Commission and Fee Schedules

Post by Clarky »

Cheez-It Guy wrote: Fri May 03, 2024 5:06 pm Welcome back, everyone!
Lol
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Re: Vanguard Notice - Update to Brokerage Agreement, Commission and Fee Schedules

Post by rob »

marcopolo wrote: Fri May 03, 2024 6:53 pm
rob wrote: Fri May 03, 2024 6:46 pm
metalworking wrote: Fri May 03, 2024 3:34 pm If you transferred your accounts to another institution with a full automated customer account transfer (ACAT), you may be charged the $100.00 fee with the new fee changes.
Did you respond and ask the definition of "may". I'm not trying to derail but that response does not answer the question. Their answer on zero balance (for example a backdoor roth) is clear.
The "may" seems to be addressed by the asterisk note at the bottom. The fees does not apply if you have more than $5m with Vanguard.
That is my guess also... so why not just say "unless you have $5M or more" in that response to an individual. How can I assume that this is what it relates to as a general rule otherwise?
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pm5987
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Re: Vanguard Notice - Update to Brokerage Agreement, Commission and Fee Schedules

Post by pm5987 »

Honestly folks this is sounding "not too bad".

Seems like the $100 only applies to full ACAT transfers, not to:
* Partial ACAT
* Closure and ACH (cash) transfers

To be fully determined of course... but at first it sounded ambiguous on whether closure and ACATs both trigger the fees.
This isn't M1 Finance that charges $100 for ACAT plus $100 account closure for IRAs.

Vanguard pays over 5% for stale leftover cash sitting in your brokerage account. Schwab pays nothing (well, almost nothing).
Vanguard doesn't take PFOF. (payment for order flow)

Schwab makes most of their money from cash sitting in accounts. Fidelity, i dont know how they make money... seems like Fidelity is the most competitive and consumer friendly at this point... although many of their funds are high ER. I noticed a family member's Fidelity 401k has surprisingly HIGH ERs.

The $25 broker assisted trading fees are exempt if you have $1 million (not $5 million). No $25 fee for Options or CDs that are brokered assisted (that i can see). I used broker-assisted CD trades beforehand since I couldn't do it online .... so no change there!
Last edited by pm5987 on Fri May 03, 2024 7:19 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Vanguard Notice - Update to Brokerage Agreement, Commission and Fee Schedules

Post by Cheez-It Guy »

plannerman wrote: Fri May 03, 2024 6:48 pm What exactly are "qualifying Vanguard assets"?

plannerman
From Vanguard:

https://investor.vanguard.com/client-be ... t-a-glance
See what Vanguard assets qualify for these services

To determine eligibility, we first calculate your individual qualifying assets. If applicable, we determine final eligibility by combining the qualifying assets of clients who share your residential address.*

What is a qualifying asset?

Any assets under management of Vanguard Personal Advisor.
Vanguard mutual funds and Vanguard ETFs held in certain personal, corporate, and organizational accounts qualify. These account types include:
Individual non-retirement.
Education savings accounts.
IRAs.
Joint.
Trust.
Custodian/guardian.
UTMA/UGMA.
Estate.
Sole proprietorship.
Single-participant SEP IRA plans.
Corporate.
Partnership.
Exempt/Non-Exempt Unincorporated Organization.
Hospital.
School Distrist/Political.
Endowment.
Foundation/Family Foundation.
Note: Vanguard assets in the following accounts may be included in eligibility determination if you also have a personal account holding Vanguard mutual funds or Vanguard ETFs:

Vanguard 529 Plan.
Multi-participant SEP IRA plans.
SIMPLE IRA.
i401k.
403(b).
Employer-sponsored retirement plans for which Vanguard provides recordkeeping.
Assets held in other account types are not eligible to be included in service eligibility determination.

Review of qualifications

Your qualification criteria, such as asset level, is reviewed periodically and could change at any time. If you continually fail to meet the applicable qualification criteria, Vanguard reserves the right to discontinue your enrollment in any of these services or reassign you to the appropriate service level, without prior notification.

Vanguard also reserves the right to amend or cancel selected features and benefits at any time without prior notification.

In addition, ongoing access to individual services, discounts, and exemptions is subject to periodic review and may be restricted, based upon criteria established solely by Vanguard. While these services are complimentary, some underlying services may charge fees and expenses. Vanguard does not guarantee any level of service.

*Business and other non-residential addresses are not eligible for aggregation when determining service levels.
Last edited by Cheez-It Guy on Fri May 03, 2024 7:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Vanguard Notice - Update to Brokerage Agreement, Commission and Fee Schedules

Post by nalor511 »

pm5987 wrote: Fri May 03, 2024 7:14 pm Honestly folks this is sounding "not too bad".

Seems like the $100 only applies to full ACAT transfers, not to:
* Partial ACAT
* Closure and ACH (cash) transfers

Who says it doesn't apply to partial transfers?
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Re: Vanguard Notice - Update to Brokerage Agreement, Commission and Fee Schedules

Post by mmse »

[ quote of removed post removed by admin LadyGeek]

Not necessarily. For example, actionable questions this forum can try to find answers to:

If Vanguard (or other brokerages) liquidates the assets for any reason, without a prior notice and without giving an opportunity to transfer to another firm,

a) Is there a statutory or case law that prevents them from doing this?

b) If involuntary liquidation triggers a significant tax bill, is there a legal doctrine that will make them liable?

c) If involuntary liquidation of a tax-advantaged account triggers significant tax penalties and a tax bill, is there a legal doctrine that will make them liable?

d) Do they have any fiduciary duty not to trigger tax burden by involuntary liquidating an investment account?

I could not find find any case law related to any of this, so I hope that anyone with the knowledge or experience could comment or at least point to a possible answer.
Last edited by mmse on Fri May 03, 2024 7:24 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Vanguard Notice - Update to Brokerage Agreement, Commission and Fee Schedules

Post by Makefile »

pm5987 wrote: Fri May 03, 2024 7:14 pm Honestly folks this is sounding "not too bad".
I agree. But for many I think it is the context of adding these fees when Vanguard is so known for low fees. It's like Southwest Airlines adding a checked bag fee, Wendy's going to frozen beef, or Tesla switching to dealers. "It's the industry standard" just feels so unsatisfying.
pm5987 wrote: Fri May 03, 2024 7:14 pm Schwab makes most of their money from cash sitting in accounts. Fidelity, i dont know how they make money... seems like Fidelity is the most competitive and consumer friendly at this point... although many of their funds are high ER. I noticed a family member's Fidelity 401k has surprisingly HIGH ERs.
The Fidelity Freedom vs. Freedom Index funds issue is something to look out for there, for sure.
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Re: Vanguard Notice - Update to Brokerage Agreement, Commission and Fee Schedules

Post by pm5987 »

I heard from two sources now

1) One coworker called vanguard and heard: "the fee only applies to full ACAT transfers out which result in account closure — i.e. partial ACAT transfers won't have the fee."

2) and above quote implies this:
metalworking wrote: Fri May 03, 2024 3:34 pm If you transferred your accounts to another institution with a full automated customer account transfer (ACAT), you may be charged the $100.00 fee with the new fee changes.
That being said, i'd still want to see this in WRITING
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Re: Vanguard Notice - Update to Brokerage Agreement, Commission and Fee Schedules

Post by Time for Coffee »

The fee that concerns me the most is the new ADR fee.

Of course it's normal for the custodian bank of an ADR to collect a fee for its services. Buying and registering the shares, currency conversion, tracking ownership, managing dividends, and so on.

But are there any costs to Vanguard? Are their costs higher when a brokerage account holds shares of Nestle instead of Exxon? Or could the same logic being used to levy this fee also apply to brokerage accounts with any non-Vanguard assets?

It's hard for me to distinguish between a legitimate fee that's part of the cost of doing business, and a new nuisance fee designed to get rid of accounts that Vanguard is not really interested in servicing.
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Re: Vanguard Notice - Update to Brokerage Agreement, Commission and Fee Schedules

Post by Rocinante Rider »

rob wrote: Fri May 03, 2024 7:10 pm
marcopolo wrote: Fri May 03, 2024 6:53 pm
rob wrote: Fri May 03, 2024 6:46 pm
metalworking wrote: Fri May 03, 2024 3:34 pm If you transferred your accounts to another institution with a full automated customer account transfer (ACAT), you may be charged the $100.00 fee with the new fee changes.
Did you respond and ask the definition of "may". I'm not trying to derail but that response does not answer the question. Their answer on zero balance (for example a backdoor roth) is clear.
The "may" seems to be addressed by the asterisk note at the bottom. The fees does not apply if you have more than $5m with Vanguard.
That is my guess also... so why not just say "unless you have $5M or more" in that response to an individual. How can I assume that this is what it relates to as a general rule otherwise?
"May" is a commonly used, utilitarian English word that implies possibility or permission. In this context you should read it to mean that Vanguard will charge the $100, but Vanguard has the option to waive that fee at their discretion, in addition to their explicitly excluded circumstances. They expressly will not charge the fee "for clients who hold at least $5 million in qualifying Vanguard assets," but they're also leaving open the possibility that there "may" be other circumstances in which they'd also waive the fee. Seems better to me than just saying "unless."
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Re: Vanguard Notice - Update to Brokerage Agreement, Commission and Fee Schedules

Post by beyou »

Time for Coffee wrote: Fri May 03, 2024 7:24 pm The fee that concerns me the most is the new ADR fee.

Of course it's normal for the custodian bank of an ADR to collect a fee for its services. Buying and registering the shares, currency conversion, tracking ownership, managing dividends, and so on.

But are there any costs to Vanguard? Are their costs higher when a brokerage account holds shares of Nestle instead of Exxon? Or could the same logic being used to levy this fee also apply to brokerage accounts with any non-Vanguard assets?

It's hard for me to distinguish between a legitimate fee that's part of the cost of doing business, and a new nuisance fee designed to get rid of accounts that Vanguard is not really interested in servicing.
This was answered with details in prior locked thread. Yes brokerage firms have hard $ costs they pay on your behalf and they usually pass it on to clients. Until now you have been getting a free ride. Most other brokerage firms charge adr/foreign stock related fees. Use google.
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Re: Vanguard Notice - Update to Brokerage Agreement, Commission and Fee Schedules

Post by Time for Coffee »

beyou wrote: Fri May 03, 2024 7:33 pm
Time for Coffee wrote: Fri May 03, 2024 7:24 pm The fee that concerns me the most is the new ADR fee.

Of course it's normal for the custodian bank of an ADR to collect a fee for its services. Buying and registering the shares, currency conversion, tracking ownership, managing dividends, and so on.

But are there any costs to Vanguard? Are their costs higher when a brokerage account holds shares of Nestle instead of Exxon? Or could the same logic being used to levy this fee also apply to brokerage accounts with any non-Vanguard assets?

It's hard for me to distinguish between a legitimate fee that's part of the cost of doing business, and a new nuisance fee designed to get rid of accounts that Vanguard is not really interested in servicing.
This was answered with details in prior locked thread. Yes brokerage firms have hard $ costs they pay on your behalf and they usually pass it on to clients. Until now you have been getting a free ride. Most other brokerage firms charge adr/foreign stock related fees. Use google.
Vanguard already collects pass-through fees for ADRs, like everyone else. The new fee is in addition to that, and I'm not aware of any other brokerage that charges a fee for holding a security. My question, which Google does not have an answer to, but perhaps some industry insiders here might, is what services this new fee is covering?
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Re: Vanguard Notice - Update to Brokerage Agreement, Commission and Fee Schedules

Post by Clarky »

Time for Coffee wrote: Fri May 03, 2024 7:24 pm The fee that concerns me the most is the new ADR fee.

Of course it's normal for the custodian bank of an ADR to collect a fee for its services. Buying and registering the shares, currency conversion, tracking ownership, managing dividends, and so on.

But are there any costs to Vanguard? Are their costs higher when a brokerage account holds shares of Nestle instead of Exxon? Or could the same logic being used to levy this fee also apply to brokerage accounts with any non-Vanguard assets?

It's hard for me to distinguish between a legitimate fee that's part of the cost of doing business, and a new nuisance fee designed to get rid of accounts that Vanguard is not really interested in servicing.
Why would Vanguard want to get rid of all accounts that contain ADRs as part of their holdings? Their running a brokerage, comes with the territory.
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Re: Vanguard Notice - Update to Brokerage Agreement, Commission and Fee Schedules

Post by Time for Coffee »

Clarky wrote: Fri May 03, 2024 7:50 pm Why would Vanguard want to get rid of all accounts that contain ADRs as part of their holdings? Their running a brokerage, comes with the territory.
"Get rid of" was perhaps too flippant. But there's been plenty of speculation that Vanguard sees self-directed brokerage accounts as cost centers, and the funds and advisory services as profit centers. I don't know if that's true, which makes the new fees an interesting sort of test. Are they fees that cover specific costs and will eventually be charged at most brokerages, as the race to zero stabilizes? Or is it peculiar to Vanguard, because folks who hold individual securities are swimming upstream from what they "want" from their customers?
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Re: Vanguard Notice - Update to Brokerage Agreement, Commission and Fee Schedules

Post by rkhusky »

rob wrote: Fri May 03, 2024 7:10 pm
marcopolo wrote: Fri May 03, 2024 6:53 pm
rob wrote: Fri May 03, 2024 6:46 pm
metalworking wrote: Fri May 03, 2024 3:34 pm If you transferred your accounts to another institution with a full automated customer account transfer (ACAT), you may be charged the $100.00 fee with the new fee changes.
Did you respond and ask the definition of "may". I'm not trying to derail but that response does not answer the question. Their answer on zero balance (for example a backdoor roth) is clear.
The "may" seems to be addressed by the asterisk note at the bottom. The fees does not apply if you have more than $5m with Vanguard.
That is my guess also... so why not just say "unless you have $5M or more" in that response to an individual. How can I assume that this is what it relates to as a general rule otherwise?
The pdf of the fee schedule doesn't have an asterisk. It simply says:
Vanguard Brokerage may charge a $100 processing fee for account closure or the transfer of account assets to another firm. The fee will not be assessed for clients who hold at least $5 million in qualifying Vanguard assets.
It would be interesting if the fee was only charged for folks that open an account and quickly transfer to a different brokerage. Or charge the fee to those that transfer enough to get a fee waiver - then it would be the new brokerage paying the $100, not the Vanguard customer.
Last edited by rkhusky on Fri May 03, 2024 8:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Vanguard Notice - Update to Brokerage Agreement, Commission and Fee Schedules

Post by HanSolo »

pm5987 wrote: Fri May 03, 2024 7:14 pm Honestly folks this is sounding "not too bad".
In my observation, there are at least 3 areas of concern:

(1) new fees
(2) other changes (like removal of language saying Vanguard will give advance notice of account closure)
(3) Vanguard's transparency and effectiveness in communicating their policy changes

While I'm willing to assume (hope) that (1) and (2) won't affect me significantly, I can say that (3) "may" contribute to an ongoing perception of spotty professionalism on Vanguard's part (which I think we were hoping would improve).
This isn't M1 Finance that charges $100 for ACAT plus $100 account closure for IRAs.
Huh? You might want to look at the following. Vanguard checks all the boxes, to the tune of $100 each.
placeholder wrote: For reference here are some of the transfer fees from other brokerages:

https://www.brokerage-review.com/discou ... -fees.aspx
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Re: Vanguard Notice - Update to Brokerage Agreement, Commission and Fee Schedules

Post by beyou »

Time for Coffee wrote: Fri May 03, 2024 7:43 pm
beyou wrote: Fri May 03, 2024 7:33 pm
Time for Coffee wrote: Fri May 03, 2024 7:24 pm The fee that concerns me the most is the new ADR fee.

Of course it's normal for the custodian bank of an ADR to collect a fee for its services. Buying and registering the shares, currency conversion, tracking ownership, managing dividends, and so on.

But are there any costs to Vanguard? Are their costs higher when a brokerage account holds shares of Nestle instead of Exxon? Or could the same logic being used to levy this fee also apply to brokerage accounts with any non-Vanguard assets?

It's hard for me to distinguish between a legitimate fee that's part of the cost of doing business, and a new nuisance fee designed to get rid of accounts that Vanguard is not really interested in servicing.
This was answered with details in prior locked thread. Yes brokerage firms have hard $ costs they pay on your behalf and they usually pass it on to clients. Until now you have been getting a free ride. Most other brokerage firms charge adr/foreign stock related fees. Use google.
Vanguard already collects pass-through fees for ADRs, like everyone else. The new fee is in addition to that, and I'm not aware of any other brokerage that charges a fee for holding a security. My question, which Google does not have an answer to, but perhaps some industry insiders here might, is what services this new fee is covering?
I think this link explains well why there are both fees for securities held and for dividends.

https://help.en-us.firstrade.com/articl ... ru-charges
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Re: Vanguard Notice - Update to Brokerage Agreement, Commission and Fee Schedules

Post by calwatch »

Someone from Doctor of Credit also said that Vanguard wasn't charging fees for partial ACATS. Of course, this would result in folks gaming things, but I'm not sure why they decided $100 to close an account was fair when that is industry-leading (well, except for TradeStation, except TS gives large bonuses to transfer in, so it is fair to claw some of them back coming out).
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Re: Vanguard Notice - Update to Brokerage Agreement, Commission and Fee Schedules

Post by rkhusky »

HanSolo wrote: Fri May 03, 2024 8:03 pm
pm5987 wrote: Fri May 03, 2024 7:14 pm Honestly folks this is sounding "not too bad".
In my observation, there are at least 3 areas of concern:

(1) new fees
(2) other changes (like removal of language saying Vanguard will give advance notice of account closure)
(3) Vanguard's transparency and effectiveness in communicating their policy changes

While I'm willing to assume (hope) that (1) and (2) won't affect me significantly, I can say that (3) "may" contribute to an ongoing perception of spotty professionalism on Vanguard's part (which I think we were hoping would improve).
Note that Fidelity also has the language about closing accounts at any time, for any reason, without warning. Sounds like this is common although I haven't checked if others have similar language. No info from Fidelity on what may trigger such an account closing, so everyone is free to dream up whatever wild scenarios that they want.

edit:
Schwab has this language:
We may in our sole discretion close your account or terminate any or all services rendered under the Account Agreement anytime and for any reason.
but there is also this
If your account falls below the minimum value required to open that account, you authorize us to take such actions as are appropriate, in our discretion, to close your account. Unless there is no balance in your account, you will be given notice prior to our closing your account.
which seems to indicate you will get notice of an account closing. Don't know whether this is absolute or you could get a pass if you say that you never received the email.

But then there is this
For our protection or to satisfy your obligations to us, we can, at our discretion and without prior demand or notice, sell or otherwise liquidate all or any part of the Securities and Other Property, securing your obligations or closing any or all transactions in your Schwab Account.
which seems to contradict some of the above.
Last edited by rkhusky on Fri May 03, 2024 8:21 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Vanguard Notice - Update to Brokerage Agreement, Commission and Fee Schedules

Post by Doom&Gloom »

Time for Coffee wrote: Fri May 03, 2024 7:57 pm
Clarky wrote: Fri May 03, 2024 7:50 pm Why would Vanguard want to get rid of all accounts that contain ADRs as part of their holdings? Their running a brokerage, comes with the territory.
"Get rid of" was perhaps too flippant. But there's been plenty of speculation that Vanguard sees self-directed brokerage accounts as cost centers, and the funds and advisory services as profit centers. I don't know if that's true, which makes the new fees an interesting sort of test. Are they fees that cover specific costs and will eventually be charged at most brokerages, as the race to zero stabilizes? Or is it peculiar to Vanguard, because folks who hold individual securities are swimming upstream from what they "want" from their customers?
It seems to me that the more parsimonious explanation for these moves, along with some of their earlier ones, is that Vanguard would like to shed unprofitable customers. As much as I like finding a deal or free money, I'm ok with these changes if that is actually what is going on. Time will tell.
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Re: Vanguard Notice - Update to Brokerage Agreement, Commission and Fee Schedules

Post by beyou »

HanSolo wrote: Fri May 03, 2024 8:03 pm
pm5987 wrote: Fri May 03, 2024 7:14 pm Honestly folks this is sounding "not too bad".
In my observation, there are at least 3 areas of concern:

(1) new fees
(2) other changes (like removal of language saying Vanguard will give advance notice of account closure)
(3) Vanguard's transparency and effectiveness in communicating their policy changes

While I'm willing to assume (hope) that (1) and (2) won't affect me significantly, I can say that (3) "may" contribute to an ongoing perception of spotty professionalism on Vanguard's part (which I think we were hoping would improve).
This isn't M1 Finance that charges $100 for ACAT plus $100 account closure for IRAs.
Huh? You might want to look at the following. Vanguard checks all the boxes, to the tune of $100 each.
placeholder wrote: For reference here are some of the transfer fees from other brokerages:

https://www.brokerage-review.com/discou ... -fees.aspx
Every financial services firm reserves the right to close your account. Banks and brokers are not obligated to do business with any particular customer if there are no discriminatory reasons (which is hard to prove). There are numerous stories of banks actually closing accts and refusing to give any reason nor any advanced notice. We’re talking major banks. I can’t recall complaints about any brokers doing the same, but they do reserve the right. Common business practice.

As far as how new policies and fees are communicated, nothing will ever be perfect. I do think Vanguard’s website does a mediocre job of documenting and explaining many things (about funds and accounts) compared to BlackRock (funds) and Fidelity(funds and acct info). But it comes down to trust, I have not had any problems with actual real world interaction with Vanguard, not recently nor over 3 decades. If you don’t trust that their policies will be competitive with the industry, then why not move and be done with the doubt ?

I have had pleasant and helpful interaction, no surprise fees, no accounts closed, with Vanguard and Etrade over the years. Neither has as rich of a website as Fidelity nor BlackRock (for fund data) but I do trust them both to do the right thing. Also note I use Schwab funds, and their online fund data is poorly documented compared to Fidelity and BlackRock. But I trust their funds are run as per industry standards until proven otherwise.
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Re: Vanguard Notice - Update to Brokerage Agreement, Commission and Fee Schedules

Post by HanSolo »

beyou wrote: Fri May 03, 2024 8:24 pm Every financial services firm reserves the right to close your account. Banks and brokers are not obligated to do business with any particular customer if there are no discriminatory reasons (which is hard to prove).
Yes, of course. I believe in free enterprise. If I understand correctly, the reason some people brought up the issue of removing language about advance notice of account closure is that they consider the old wording to be better for the client (which, as someone here noted, is still the wording given at Schwab).
As far as how new policies and fees are communicated, nothing will ever be perfect.
Agreed. Nobody said they expect perfect. But there's such a thing as going up or down in quality, and we've seen issues in that regard at Vanguard (not only according to forum members, but also articles in reputable news sources). Note that the Schwab wording cited above not only specifies advance notice, they also specify what they regard as low balance. I remain optimistic and hope that Vanguard can learn the better communication practices.
If you don’t trust that their policies will be competitive with the industry, then why not move and be done with the doubt ?
As I said, I remain optimistic that Vanguard will improve (even if George Carlin did say "inside every cynical person, there is a disappointed idealist").
Also note I use Schwab funds, and their online fund data is poorly documented compared to Fidelity and BlackRock. But I trust their funds are run as per industry standards until proven otherwise.
I don't know enough to know how far Vanguard is departing from industry standards, but it was noted in the previous thread that Vanguard is unusual in its charging an account closure fee for non-IRA accounts.
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Re: Vanguard Notice - Update to Brokerage Agreement, Commission and Fee Schedules

Post by rob »

Rocinante Rider wrote: Fri May 03, 2024 7:26 pm
rob wrote: Fri May 03, 2024 7:10 pm
marcopolo wrote: Fri May 03, 2024 6:53 pm
rob wrote: Fri May 03, 2024 6:46 pm
metalworking wrote: Fri May 03, 2024 3:34 pm If you transferred your accounts to another institution with a full automated customer account transfer (ACAT), you may be charged the $100.00 fee with the new fee changes.
Did you respond and ask the definition of "may". I'm not trying to derail but that response does not answer the question. Their answer on zero balance (for example a backdoor roth) is clear.
The "may" seems to be addressed by the asterisk note at the bottom. The fees does not apply if you have more than $5m with Vanguard.
That is my guess also... so why not just say "unless you have $5M or more" in that response to an individual. How can I assume that this is what it relates to as a general rule otherwise?
"May" is a commonly used, utilitarian English word that implies possibility or permission. In this context you should read it to mean that Vanguard will charge the $100, but Vanguard has the option to waive that fee at their discretion, in addition to their explicitly excluded circumstances. They expressly will not charge the fee "for clients who hold at least $5 million in qualifying Vanguard assets," but they're also leaving open the possibility that there "may" be other circumstances in which they'd also waive the fee. Seems better to me than just saying "unless."
Your assuming linkage to that 5M that is not explicit - it might or might not be and there might or might not be other exceptions. My issue is the poor definitions and lack of explicit rules in an area where customers have a right to know. I could take the view that none of this affects me so what do I care, as many other responses are doing but I think it's important to explicitly know the boundaries.
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Re: Vanguard Notice - Update to Brokerage Agreement, Commission and Fee Schedules

Post by MKP »

So glad I already transferred all my assets to Fidelity. This would have cost me $1000s across multiple account types.
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Re: Vanguard Notice - Update to Brokerage Agreement, Commission and Fee Schedules

Post by stan1 »

HanSolo wrote: Fri May 03, 2024 8:03 pm
This isn't M1 Finance that charges $100 for ACAT plus $100 account closure for IRAs.
Huh? You might want to look at the following. Vanguard checks all the boxes, to the tune of $100 each.
placeholder wrote: For reference here are some of the transfer fees from other brokerages:

https://www.brokerage-review.com/discou ... -fees.aspx
We should use authoritative sources, which means for right now we don't really know whether Vanguard would charge $100 or $200 to ACATS out everything in an IRA and close the account because their email lacks precision and people are trying to do fortune telling to understand what Vanguard intends to do.
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Re: Vanguard Notice - Update to Brokerage Agreement, Commission and Fee Schedules

Post by HanSolo »

stan1 wrote: Fri May 03, 2024 9:11 pm
HanSolo wrote: Fri May 03, 2024 8:03 pm
placeholder wrote: For reference here are some of the transfer fees from other brokerages:
https://www.brokerage-review.com/discou ... -fees.aspx
We should use authoritative sources, which means for right now we don't really know whether Vanguard would charge $100 or $200 to ACATS out everything in an IRA and close the account because their email lacks precision and people are trying to do fortune telling to understand what Vanguard intends to do.
Agreed. Vanguard's information wasn't clear. Hopefully, they'll improve.
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Re: Vanguard Notice - Update to Brokerage Agreement, Commission and Fee Schedules

Post by rkhusky »

HanSolo wrote: Fri May 03, 2024 8:49 pm Note that the Schwab wording cited above not only specifies advance notice, they also specify what they regard as low balance. I remain optimistic and hope that Vanguard can learn the better communication practices.
Except that Schwab has language in their user agreement that contradicts the advance notice. And Fidelity has no clarifying information on when they may close accounts. So, all the big three leave much to be desired in the way of clarity. Vanguard is no better or worse in this regard.

Correction: Fidelity says that you agree that they can liquidate and close your account if it falls below $100 with no activity for 6 months.
Last edited by rkhusky on Fri May 03, 2024 9:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Vanguard Notice - Update to Brokerage Agreement, Commission and Fee Schedules

Post by Rocinante Rider »

rob wrote: Fri May 03, 2024 8:55 pm Your assuming linkage to that 5M that is not explicit - it might or might not be and there might or might not be other exceptions.
It's not an assumption. It is explicit. The ** in the text links directly to the ** footnote.

You are correct that there might or might not be other unspecified exceptions. Such additional exceptions, if any, would be at the discretion of Vanguard, as the use of the word "may" indicates. The definitions and rules seem pretty clear. At this point, the $5M waiver is the only explicit exception you can count on. Saying that Vanguard "may" charge the fee to clients who don't meet that one explicit exception is preferable to saying that Vanguard "shall," or "must," charge the fee.
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Re: Vanguard Notice - Update to Brokerage Agreement, Commission and Fee Schedules

Post by HanSolo »

rkhusky wrote: Fri May 03, 2024 9:43 pm
HanSolo wrote: Fri May 03, 2024 8:49 pm Note that the Schwab wording cited above not only specifies advance notice, they also specify what they regard as low balance. I remain optimistic and hope that Vanguard can learn the better communication practices.
Except that Schwab has language in their user agreement that contradicts the advance notice. And Fidelity has no clarifying information on when they may close accounts. So, all the big three leave much to be desired in the way of clarity. Vanguard is no better or worse in this regard.
I didn't look at it. Perhaps that's true in the present. I think people brought up the advance notice issue because they consider Vanguard's previous wording to be more client-friendly than the new wording.
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Re: Vanguard Notice - Update to Brokerage Agreement, Commission and Fee Schedules

Post by TimeRunner »

My Vanguard brokerage account has been unused for a couple of years after moving everything to Fidelity. This finger wag email reminded me to close that account, which I did today. Happy to hold my Vanguard ETFs at Fido.
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Re: Vanguard Notice - Update to Brokerage Agreement, Commission and Fee Schedules

Post by rkhusky »

TimeRunner wrote: Fri May 03, 2024 9:49 pm My Vanguard brokerage account has been unused for a couple of years after moving everything to Fidelity. This email reminded me to close that account, which I did today. Happy to hold my Vanguard ETFs at Fido.
Fidelity is starting to charge for buying some ETF’s. Perhaps they will start doing the same for Vanguard ETF’s in the future.
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Re: Vanguard Notice - Update to Brokerage Agreement, Commission and Fee Schedules

Post by Ztx »

Hmm.. This might push me to move to Schwab or Fidelity. Been with Vanguard for 15+ years but some recent changes (including the topic of this thread) are very annoying. There is a Personal Advisory Services popup _every_ time I login to the site and no option to turn it off. Not cool Vanguard, not cool.
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Re: Vanguard Notice - Update to Brokerage Agreement, Commission and Fee Schedules

Post by classpro »

The discussion has focused on the $100 for transferring an accounts (ACATS). But the notice also says that they may charge $100 for "closing" an account. People are asking about draw downs. It seems like once you draw your account down to zero, they would close it and could charge the fee, no? Not sure how they would collect the fee once you've taken all the money out. They really should be more clear about when they are going to charge. If it's just ACATS transfers, they should say that.
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Re: Vanguard Notice - Update to Brokerage Agreement, Commission and Fee Schedules

Post by Random Musings »

Ztx wrote: Fri May 03, 2024 10:05 pm Hmm.. This might push me to move to Schwab or Fidelity. Been with Vanguard for 15+ years but some recent changes (including the topic of this thread) are very annoying. There is a Personal Advisory Services popup _every_ time I login to the site and no option to turn it off. Not cool Vanguard, not cool.
The PAS pop up has disappeared, been gone for quite a while.

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Re: Vanguard Notice - Update to Brokerage Agreement, Commission and Fee Schedules

Post by StrangePenguin »

rkhusky wrote: Fri May 03, 2024 9:51 pm
TimeRunner wrote: Fri May 03, 2024 9:49 pm My Vanguard brokerage account has been unused for a couple of years after moving everything to Fidelity. This email reminded me to close that account, which I did today. Happy to hold my Vanguard ETFs at Fido.
Fidelity is starting to charge for buying some ETF’s. Perhaps they will start doing the same for Vanguard ETF’s in the future.
I guess I shouldn't derail a thread about Vanguard to talk about Fidelity. But I'm surprised to hear this. They do?
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Re: Vanguard Notice - Update to Brokerage Agreement, Commission and Fee Schedules

Post by Lyrrad »

StrangePenguin wrote: Fri May 03, 2024 10:58 pm
rkhusky wrote: Fri May 03, 2024 9:51 pm Fidelity is starting to charge for buying some ETF’s. Perhaps they will start doing the same for Vanguard ETF’s in the future.
I guess I shouldn't derail a thread about Vanguard to talk about Fidelity. But I'm surprised to hear this. They do?
Ongoing thread about this: viewtopic.php?t=428461

Starts next month. The list of affected ETFs from a Brokerage Link notice is available, though I assume retail will use the same list.
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Re: Vanguard Notice - Update to Brokerage Agreement, Commission and Fee Schedules

Post by Northern Flicker »

beyou wrote: Fri May 03, 2024 8:24 pm
HanSolo wrote: Fri May 03, 2024 8:03 pm
pm5987 wrote: Fri May 03, 2024 7:14 pm Honestly folks this is sounding "not too bad".
In my observation, there are at least 3 areas of concern:

(1) new fees
(2) other changes (like removal of language saying Vanguard will give advance notice of account closure)
(3) Vanguard's transparency and effectiveness in communicating their policy changes

While I'm willing to assume (hope) that (1) and (2) won't affect me significantly, I can say that (3) "may" contribute to an ongoing perception of spotty professionalism on Vanguard's part (which I think we were hoping would improve).
This isn't M1 Finance that charges $100 for ACAT plus $100 account closure for IRAs.
Huh? You might want to look at the following. Vanguard checks all the boxes, to the tune of $100 each.
placeholder wrote: For reference here are some of the transfer fees from other brokerages:

https://www.brokerage-review.com/discou ... -fees.aspx
Every financial services firm reserves the right to close your account. Banks and brokers are not obligated to do business with any particular customer if there are no discriminatory reasons (which is hard to prove). There are numerous stories of banks actually closing accts and refusing to give any reason nor any advanced notice. We’re talking major banks. I can’t recall complaints about any brokers doing the same, but they do reserve the right. Common business practice.
They only reserve rights that they are entitled to exercise. They state that they can close the account for any reason and at any time to preserve the maximum rights available to them, which likely are more restrictive than a literal interpretation of the language used.

Marketing say a mutual fund, and then liquidating it after a customer accrues a large gain to close an account for no legitimate reason, foisting an involuntary taxable gain onto the owner would be an interesting case. I don't know what their rights are there, but I don't assume they have unfettered authority to use a business model that entraps customers with involuntary tax bills.
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