Do others dislike Vanguard's new website as much as me?

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
Topic Author
bmorgy
Posts: 7
Joined: Thu Jan 16, 2014 6:07 pm

Do others dislike Vanguard's new website as much as me?

Post by bmorgy » Tue Sep 16, 2014 8:13 pm

[Title was "Vanguard's Website - Bad, or just me?" --admin LadyGeek]

Hi all,

I've been using Vanguard's website for a few months now and think that it is one of the worst investment web interfaces that I've ever used. I keep thinking that I must be missing something since everyone loves Vanguard so much! Yes, they have great products - but, gee, the website leaves much to be desired, or is it just me??

I also have an account with TIAA-CREF. Their website is a work of beauty. Rebalancing a portfolio with them takes mere minutes as one can buy/sell investments based on either dollar amounts or percentages. I love the percentages! You just enter 10% of this, 40% of that, and 50% of another -- and voila, it handles all of the ugly math.

With Vanguard, I need to calculate my required balances using Excel, then enter all the current share prices to calculate how many shares I will need to buy and sell -- and then finally enter each transaction individually into their website using their goofy transaction entry screen. Yuck! To make matters worse, since I maintain separate accounts (IRA, SEP, ROTH), I need to do this for each account. Double Yuck!!

Thoughts?? With enough complaints, maybe they'll spend a few dollars on their website and actually provide a better experience!

Cheers.

User avatar
Phineas J. Whoopee
Posts: 8733
Joined: Sun Dec 18, 2011 6:18 pm

Re: Vanguard's Website - Bad, or just me?

Post by Phineas J. Whoopee » Tue Sep 16, 2014 8:20 pm

Investors here who like Vanguard mostly like them for their low-cost offerings. Not everybody agrees about sticking with broad-market index funds. The box they come in is less important.

The map is not the territory.

PJW

User avatar
JamesSFO
Posts: 3217
Joined: Thu Apr 26, 2012 10:16 pm

Re: Vanguard's Website - Bad, or just me?

Post by JamesSFO » Tue Sep 16, 2014 8:21 pm

Aside from (lack of a) rebalancing (feature) what are your specific issues?

I personally prefer Fidelity's website, especially the new preview website, and especially for trading stocks/ETFs. But Vanguard's is more than serviceable. But you'll find many complaints about the VG website here and preferences for other sites' features.

User avatar
LadyGeek
Site Admin
Posts: 57473
Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2008 5:34 pm
Location: Philadelphia
Contact:

Re: Vanguard's Website - Bad, or just me?

Post by LadyGeek » Tue Sep 16, 2014 8:25 pm

This thread is now in the Personal Consumer Issues forum (website design).

As JamesSFO states, you're not the first: vanguard bad website design site:www.bogleheads.org - Google Search

To keep the discussion focused (and personally actionable: A reminder that non-investing general comment threads are OT), please state the specific issues.
Wiki To some, the glass is half full. To others, the glass is half empty. To an engineer, it's twice the size it needs to be.

Geologist
Posts: 1308
Joined: Fri Jan 02, 2009 7:35 pm

Re: Vanguard's Website - Bad, or just me?

Post by Geologist » Tue Sep 16, 2014 8:38 pm

I guess I'm a little unsure about your issues as well. I never specify the number of shares to buy or sell myself, only dollar amounts. Since I keep track of my holdings in dollars, it is easy for me to calculate how many dollars of a particular investment (or type of investment such as bonds), I need to sell. This is easy to enter in my Vanguard website window. I only use mutual funds, however.

I keep my rebalancing to a minimum of accounts. Why do you need to rebalance in each of traditional IRA, SEP and Roth each time? If you maintain an overall asset allocation across all retirement investing, it doesn't have to be the same in each type.

User avatar
Steelersfan
Posts: 3728
Joined: Thu Jun 19, 2008 8:47 pm

Re: Vanguard's Website - Bad, or just me?

Post by Steelersfan » Tue Sep 16, 2014 8:43 pm

As a long term buy and hold investor of Vanguard mutual funds, it serves my needs just fine.

I suspect that's their target market.

Catering to every type of investor adds costs, to the detriment of their target market.

User avatar
LadyGeek
Site Admin
Posts: 57473
Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2008 5:34 pm
Location: Philadelphia
Contact:

Re: Vanguard's Website - Bad, or just me?

Post by LadyGeek » Tue Sep 16, 2014 8:48 pm

Is your main concern about Vanguard's lack of built-in rebalancing? I took the opposite approach - Frustrated by a lack of website functionality (I called them about it, was not gonna happen), I wrote a spreadsheet to take care of the details.

It's in the wiki: Rebalancing

Direct link: Rebalancing spreadsheet, the 3rd option "Rebalance by Desired Funds to Transfer" is for Vanguard.
Wiki To some, the glass is half full. To others, the glass is half empty. To an engineer, it's twice the size it needs to be.

HawkeyeJD
Posts: 87
Joined: Mon Sep 01, 2014 6:03 pm

Re: Vanguard's Website - Bad, or just me?

Post by HawkeyeJD » Tue Sep 16, 2014 8:57 pm

For reference, my wife has her 401k through Vanguard. When she logs in, she can exchange funds, change current investment mix, change paycheck investment mix, and "rebalance account." I've also heard people mention that they provide this option in their variable annuities.

So, I guess the technology is there, but they choose not to implement it more broadly.

User avatar
rob
Posts: 3049
Joined: Mon Feb 19, 2007 6:49 pm
Location: Here

Re: Vanguard's Website - Bad, or just me?

Post by rob » Tue Sep 16, 2014 9:02 pm

Steelersfan wrote:As a long term buy and hold investor of Vanguard mutual funds
...... I find it woeful; not the worst I have used by certainly in the lower end - As you say it comes down to usage patterns and what sites you are used to in the past.

OP - It's leaps and bounds better than it has been in the past - I know that's not much of a help. You can do a txn that hits multiple funds at once within an account if you play around. I use the Vanguard funds while holding my nose at the web-site and trying to avoid the phone lines as much as possible.
| Rob | Its a dangerous business going out your front door. - J.R.R.Tolkien

User avatar
MossySF
Posts: 2361
Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2007 9:51 pm
Contact:

Re: Vanguard's Website - Bad, or just me?

Post by MossySF » Tue Sep 16, 2014 9:06 pm

Does anybody use TIAA-CREF for non-retirement accounts? If not, that means there's no tax penalty for rebalancing often.

For Vanguard though, many of us have multiple account types ... joint, ira, roth ira, spouse's ira, spouse's roth ira, 529, whatever ... so there could be some pretty ugly tax consequences of an easy-to-use rebalancing tool. Imagine the howls of protest if somebody clicks some percentages to rebalance and then gets a 1099 for the transaction.

User avatar
LadyGeek
Site Admin
Posts: 57473
Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2008 5:34 pm
Location: Philadelphia
Contact:

Re: Vanguard's Website - Bad, or just me?

Post by LadyGeek » Tue Sep 16, 2014 9:19 pm

MossySF wrote:... so there could be some pretty ugly tax consequences of an easy-to-use rebalancing tool. Imagine the howls of protest if somebody clicks some percentages to rebalance and then gets a 1099 for the transaction.
Excellent point. My employer's 401(k) plan has a rebalancing tool. However, it's within a 401(k) - a tax-deferred account.

You can always call Vanguard and have them do the rebalancing for you. In that case, Vanguard should tell you if a transaction has tax consequences. A key hint might be "Do you want taxes withheld..."
Wiki To some, the glass is half full. To others, the glass is half empty. To an engineer, it's twice the size it needs to be.

User avatar
rob
Posts: 3049
Joined: Mon Feb 19, 2007 6:49 pm
Location: Here

Re: Vanguard's Website - Bad, or just me?

Post by rob » Tue Sep 16, 2014 9:22 pm

LadyGeek wrote:
MossySF wrote:... so there could be some pretty ugly tax consequences of an easy-to-use rebalancing tool. Imagine the howls of protest if somebody clicks some percentages to rebalance and then gets a 1099 for the transaction.
Excellent point. My employer's 401(k) plan has a rebalancing tool. However, it's within a 401(k) - a tax-deferred account.

You can always call Vanguard and have them do the rebalancing for you. In that case, Vanguard should tell you if a transaction has tax consequences. A key hint might be "Do you want taxes withheld..."
It's not hard for a good site to take that into account is it.... As for 529 plans - not much risk there since the Van onc kicks to a new window outside of the main site to do anything useful anyways :-)
| Rob | Its a dangerous business going out your front door. - J.R.R.Tolkien

Silence Dogood
Posts: 1125
Joined: Tue Feb 01, 2011 9:22 pm

Re: Vanguard's Website - Bad, or just me?

Post by Silence Dogood » Tue Sep 16, 2014 9:30 pm

Have you tried using any of their mobile apps? I have the Vanguard app on my phone (Android OS).

I only have one fund and rarely need to check on it so I don't mind the site at all.

User avatar
cfs
Posts: 4154
Joined: Fri Feb 23, 2007 1:22 am
Location: ~ Mi Propio Camino ~

Re: Vanguard's Website - Bad, or just me?

Post by cfs » Tue Sep 16, 2014 9:42 pm

Do not hit that panic button yet.

On my side of the keyboard, we add to our taxable account every other Friday (basic transaction, just adding to a single mutual fund).

Now, for serious transactions I contact Vanguard on the phone (had to do so yesterday for a large transfer).
~ Member of the Active Retired Force since 2014 ~

Ybsybs
Posts: 532
Joined: Thu Aug 28, 2014 4:28 pm

Re: Vanguard's Website - Bad, or just me?

Post by Ybsybs » Tue Sep 16, 2014 9:56 pm

Silence Dogood wrote:Have you tried using any of their mobile apps? I have the Vanguard app on my phone (Android OS).

I only have one fund and rarely need to check on it so I don't mind the site at all.
My understanding of cell phone security was that it was really pretty awful. Are you comfortable making your investments accessible through your phone? (Perhaps the underlying network security has improved recently...)

User avatar
ogd
Posts: 4875
Joined: Thu Jun 14, 2012 11:43 pm

Re: Vanguard's Website - Bad, or just me?

Post by ogd » Tue Sep 16, 2014 10:26 pm

The rebalancing stuff shows up in 401k and in CFP financial plans. In the latter taxes are specifically a topic so it's very likely about that.

A decent way to have them run some numbers is through Portfolio Watch simulations. But indeed there's nothing as simple as the 401k rebalancer.
Ybsybs wrote:
Silence Dogood wrote:Have you tried using any of their mobile apps? I have the Vanguard app on my phone (Android OS).

I only have one fund and rarely need to check on it so I don't mind the site at all.
My understanding of cell phone security was that it was really pretty awful. Are you comfortable making your investments accessible through your phone? (Perhaps the underlying network security has improved recently...)
The app is decent. For security, I'll take a smartphone or tablet over a Windows PC every time.

abyan
Posts: 510
Joined: Mon Jun 23, 2014 8:51 pm

Re: Vanguard's Website - Bad, or just me?

Post by abyan » Tue Sep 16, 2014 10:57 pm

I have an example. I just got agent authorization for my parents' account at Vanguard. Vanguard told me that I'd be able to see and adjust (buy and sell) their investments from within my account. How cool, I thought. Until I logged in today and found that all of my account summaries, my total assets for example, meaning the total tally of the value of my investments, now includes my parents' assets. One page let's you create new subsets (my investments vs my parents' investments), some pages don't at all, and others require me to go into the settings and uncheck all of my parents' investments, then I can see how im doing, then I go in and uncheck all of my investments, and recheck theirs, to see how they're doing. And every time I come back I have to uncheck and recheck.

It's a freaking mess. And has now made it nearly impossible for me to conveniently get a sense of how my portfolio is doing, unless I use another service like morningstar.

This web site is circa 1999.

PS And people stopped using the phrase "log on" around 1999 as well ;-)

Angst
Posts: 2066
Joined: Sat Jun 09, 2007 11:31 am

Re: Vanguard's Website - Bad, or just me?

Post by Angst » Tue Sep 16, 2014 11:04 pm

Welcome bmorgy!

Yes it's a little sad, but maybe you can just consider it a part of the price of admission? :? Functionality and usefulness (or lack thereof) aside, beware in particular of some of the Vanguard reports that purport to "analyze" your data and accounts. I simply don't bother with them anymore d/t the inaccuracies. Great funds though, and thank goodness for Excel.

User avatar
southerndoc
Posts: 1067
Joined: Wed Apr 22, 2009 7:07 pm
Location: Atlanta

Re: Vanguard's Website - Bad, or just me?

Post by southerndoc » Tue Sep 16, 2014 11:06 pm

There are many things that can be improved on Vanguard's website and IT departments, but it's a small price to pay to get funds at 0.05-0.15% instead of 1-2%. You get what you pay for.

User avatar
MossySF
Posts: 2361
Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2007 9:51 pm
Contact:

Re: Vanguard's Website - Bad, or just me?

Post by MossySF » Tue Sep 16, 2014 11:07 pm

rob wrote:It's not hard for a good site to take that into account is it....
To do it properly, it would be quite hard. You could have an easy option that only considered each sub-account as an unique account for rebalancing calculations but that's relatively useless except for the case where the user has only 1 retirement sub-account. You'd need the following features to make it truly work:

1) Allocate stocks/bonds to taxable/retirement sub-accounts in tax-preference order
2) Allocate to sub-accounts to optimize for Admiral shares
3) Rebalance by directing new contributions in taxable
4) Make near-mirror transactions in taxable vs non-taxable where tax loss harvesting opportunities are available
5) Allow for violation of asset allocation plan where taxes are incurred
6) Partition off arbitrary funds as "cash" accounts (I direct deposit my paycheck to Vanguard)
7) Take into account estimated balances outside of Vanguard

User avatar
rob
Posts: 3049
Joined: Mon Feb 19, 2007 6:49 pm
Location: Here

Re: Vanguard's Website - Bad, or just me?

Post by rob » Tue Sep 16, 2014 11:14 pm

MossySF wrote:4) Make near-mirror transactions in taxable vs non-taxable where tax loss harvesting opportunities are available
We disagree on complex and what it would need to do but #4 on your list is not allowed :-)
| Rob | Its a dangerous business going out your front door. - J.R.R.Tolkien

McCharley
Posts: 336
Joined: Tue Apr 12, 2011 5:45 pm

Re: Vanguard's Website - Bad, or just me?

Post by McCharley » Tue Sep 16, 2014 11:18 pm

It is interesting that you like TIAA-CREF, as I nominate THEM for the worst website.

Why? TIAA-CREF is totally opaque about account history older than 6 months. I like to check once in a while to ensure that money diverted from my paycheck actually goes to them and that purchases are properly credited. In fact, how about just letting me download all transactions for all time? Not possible. I even emailed them to ask for a custom spreadsheet and was told this was not possible. :annoyed

I just checked Vanguard, and I can get data going back 10 years. I grant you that rebalancing is a pain (I think they have better tools for this if they are your current employer's 401(k) provider). Complete transparency is important: TIAA-CREF could be siphoning off money and I'd have no way to tell (not that I think they are).

Really, what I want is to be able to get all information in a .csv file that I can open in Excel. The winner in this is ScotTrade -- I can get everything from the beginning of time from them. Sometimes I do this to compare how I am doing to the market, do an XIRR tabulation, whatever. But I only have my funny money with them, not retirement. Sometimes I am tempted to move everything there to simplify, since they are so transparent.

placeholder
Posts: 4019
Joined: Tue Aug 06, 2013 12:43 pm

Re: Vanguard's Website - Bad, or just me?

Post by placeholder » Wed Sep 17, 2014 12:05 am

I never used them long enough to have a problem because so many others offered better deals of one sort or another over the years.

lululu
Posts: 1378
Joined: Thu Apr 10, 2014 4:23 pm

Re: Vanguard's Website - Bad, or just me?

Post by lululu » Wed Sep 17, 2014 12:54 am

Steelersfan wrote:As a long term buy and hold investor of Vanguard mutual funds, it serves my needs just fine.
I suspect that's their target market.
Catering to every type of investor adds costs, to the detriment of their target market.
+1
abyan wrote: PS And people stopped using the phrase "log on" around 1999 as well ;-)
That's what I call it. Maybe because I was logging on to systems when your parents were gleams in their parents' eyes, and am not a johnny-come-lately.

User avatar
MossySF
Posts: 2361
Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2007 9:51 pm
Contact:

Re: Vanguard's Website - Bad, or just me?

Post by MossySF » Wed Sep 17, 2014 4:43 am

rob wrote:
MossySF wrote:4) Make near-mirror transactions in taxable vs non-taxable where tax loss harvesting opportunities are available
We disagree on complex and what it would need to do but #4 on your list is not allowed :-)
I said "near" mirror. Substitute the closest equivalent fund (or set of funds) and then swap you back into your original fund after 2 months.

IPer
Posts: 1639
Joined: Sun Jul 28, 2013 8:51 pm

Re: Vanguard's Website - Bad, or just me?

Post by IPer » Wed Sep 17, 2014 5:13 am

I disagree, I have used most of the brokerages around and the Vanguard site is totally useable for everything that is offered on it. Automatic rebalancing? Well, I doubt I would want something like that anyways why not just use a target date fund and/or with slices if you need something like that? I currently have personal brokerage, personal funds, IRA (and Roth) and SEP accounts. I run a nice little spreadsheet that lets me know what's really happening, and it also ties in the other 4 brokerages I use and balance/rebalances the whole thing as I need, it is definitely not magic. As for number of shares, if you are using ETFs I understand, however, you will always need to buy a round number anyways so why not just learn to round a bit? And I heard someone say something ugly about the Vanguard statements, however, I really really like the format for my way of reading. The Vanguard site has made small but very significant improvements that I have noticed other the years, some of them are really awesome from a
software standpoint (I have developed software).
Read the Wiki Wiki !

livesoft
Posts: 68251
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 8:00 pm

Re: Vanguard's Website - Bad, or just me?

Post by livesoft » Wed Sep 17, 2014 9:20 am

There is something to be said for a web site that prevents one from making transactions and trading. After all, don't investors do better if they forget about their accounts and don't make any adjustments?
Wiki This signature message sponsored by sscritic: Learn to fish.

IPer
Posts: 1639
Joined: Sun Jul 28, 2013 8:51 pm

Re: Vanguard's Website - Bad, or just me?

Post by IPer » Wed Sep 17, 2014 9:24 am

livesoft wrote:There is something to be said for a web site that prevents one from making transactions and trading. After all, don't investors do better if they forget about their accounts and don't make any adjustments?
tsk tsk, or it depends what you call trading. If you want a real trading platform everyone knows you can use TDAmeritrade and their Think or Swim, more stuff
to do then you should ever be interested in, however, on Vanguard you can buy/sell just fine as I am sure you are well aware being a long timer on this board, right?

In fact the Brokerage side of Vanguard is a full Brokerage, most things that can be done transaction wise at another brokerage can be done at Vanguard.

There seems to be a lot of blatant misrepresentation of facts on this board these days. Is it just me or should I just concede and spend less time reading it?
Last edited by IPer on Wed Sep 17, 2014 9:25 am, edited 1 time in total.
Read the Wiki Wiki !

KyleAAA
Posts: 7535
Joined: Wed Jul 01, 2009 5:35 pm
Contact:

Re: Vanguard's Website - Bad, or just me?

Post by KyleAAA » Wed Sep 17, 2014 9:24 am

I've been howling for a simple rebalancing tool for several years at least. I'm not optimistic it will happen anytime soon. The objections here about unintended tax consequences, etc, would be trivial to overcome, but still no tool. The website has always been pretty bad and probably always will be in comparison to others. It's just not Vanguard's focus. Oh well, at least the funds are good.

I do agree the ipad app is pretty decent so long as you don't try to make actual transactions involving more than one fund at a time on it. Then it's a nightmare. Vanguard needs some serious UX training.

livesoft
Posts: 68251
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 8:00 pm

Re: Vanguard's Website - Bad, or just me?

Post by livesoft » Wed Sep 17, 2014 9:43 am

rkatz0 wrote:There seems to be a lot of blatant misrepresentation of facts on this board these days. Is it just me
It may be just you because I didn't mention ANY company or firm or broker or brokerage in my very generic post, so if misrepresentation was happening, I think it wasn't in my post. :)
Wiki This signature message sponsored by sscritic: Learn to fish.

IPer
Posts: 1639
Joined: Sun Jul 28, 2013 8:51 pm

Re: Vanguard's Website - Bad, or just me?

Post by IPer » Wed Sep 17, 2014 10:02 am

@livesoft you caught me, fair and square, now going to put it on ice for a while, thanks!
Read the Wiki Wiki !

letsgobobby
Posts: 12082
Joined: Fri Sep 18, 2009 1:10 am

Re: Vanguard's Website - Bad, or just me?

Post by letsgobobby » Wed Sep 17, 2014 10:08 am

Website is more than enough to meet my needs.

User avatar
midareff
Posts: 6416
Joined: Mon Nov 29, 2010 10:43 am
Location: Biscayne Bay, South Florida

Re: Vanguard's Website - Bad, or just me?

Post by midareff » Wed Sep 17, 2014 10:10 am

I find the VG website sufficiently utilitarian for my needs. I'm not a trader or speculator so my automatic monthly draws are all the activity going on. Anytime I want to update everything I export my portfolio from M* and open/update excel. Any statistic I could possible want is updated in about 20 seconds from starting to log into M*.

Website is more than enough to meet my needs too.

Angst
Posts: 2066
Joined: Sat Jun 09, 2007 11:31 am

Re: Vanguard's Website - Bad, or just me?

Post by Angst » Wed Sep 17, 2014 10:27 am

In regards to the OP, automatic rebalancing strikes me as problematic. Do any of the likes of Fidelity, TRowe, TDAmeritrade, etc. offer it? TIAA seems somewhat like an unfair comparison. E.g., my 401k is with Vanguard and we DO have automatic rebalancing. Well, I think you have to make it do it every time you want it to happen, but it's very easy to use if you want to. But this is within a specific, tax-deferred account that limits the funds available and has no ETFs. My personal ROTH at Vanguard e.g. is a different animal, containing mutual funds, ETFs and TIPS. When it comes to Vanguard's website interface though, you're preaching to the choir here: I couldn't agree with you more!

My take is this: There are presently multiple companies out there providing low-cost, index-based mutual fund and ETF products that are competitive with some of Vanguard's best (off top of my head, Fidelity, iShares, Schwab...). In addition to that, there are also companies providing free, no transaction fee access to a good variety of similar low-cost ETFs, including some Vanguard ETFs (e.g. TDAmeritrade which I use). These competitors don't cover as many indexes as Vanguard, yet, but my point is that we don't live in a static world.

Vanguard is great and John Bogle truly is a hero, but time keeps movin' on. There may well come a day when Vanguard is looked back upon as having sat upon its laurels and heritage while other companies were able to not only show up and compete on equal footing with Vanguard's indexed investing products (which have long been moving toward fungibility anyhow) but most important, to differentiate themselves by excelling in ways that Vanguard has not. There are real opportunities here, both for the competition and for Vanguard. I look forward to watching it play out over the next few years or decade. We all stand to benefit. That's the beauty of the marketplace.

User avatar
ResearchMed
Posts: 9372
Joined: Fri Dec 26, 2008 11:25 pm

Re: Vanguard's Website - Bad, or just me?

Post by ResearchMed » Wed Sep 17, 2014 10:36 am

abyan wrote:I have an example. I just got agent authorization for my parents' account at Vanguard. Vanguard told me that I'd be able to see and adjust (buy and sell) their investments from within my account. How cool, I thought. Until I logged in today and found that all of my account summaries, my total assets for example, meaning the total tally of the value of my investments, now includes my parents' assets. One page let's you create new subsets (my investments vs my parents' investments), some pages don't at all, and others require me to go into the settings and uncheck all of my parents' investments, then I can see how im doing, then I go in and uncheck all of my investments, and recheck theirs, to see how they're doing. And every time I come back I have to uncheck and recheck.

It's a freaking mess. And has now made it nearly impossible for me to conveniently get a sense of how my portfolio is doing, unless I use another service like morningstar.

This web site is circa 1999.

PS And people stopped using the phrase "log on" around 1999 as well ;-)
Yes, this was a mighty unpleasant surprise. DH's accounts swamp my one lonely IRA at Vanguard. Both of us still have most of our holdings at TIAA-CREF, which just sit there nowadays, as we add only to Vanguard & Fidelity. T-C is slowly getting shifted, but never the TREA.

But this is less of an annoyance for us, compared with Vanguard continually and apparently spontaneously claiming that there is "no paperwork" to support the Agent Authorization - despite the fact(S) that they repeatedly acknowledge receiving the SAME Agent AuthorizationS (by phone: "Yes, I can see they are here and all proper, thank you, etc."). And then the other's account vanishes. Then later, after complaints, it's baaaack.
Other times, we need to send in the forms again, and then it's "fixed", and then... it's all "missing" again.
This happens to IRA accounts, then 403b, then both, then one, then the other, then both, then both again, then one... rinse and repeat. (Employer has not been able to help with the 403b part of this, alas, although they, too, have been told that yes, the paperwork IS there... then ... it's not...)
Gremlins? We both doubt it.

WORSE: Vanguard admits that I can NOT "see" the 403b funds in "my" account anyway, yet warns us that I'm logging in - WITH PROPER AGENT AUTHORIZATION ON FILE (when that manages to stay for a while) - to DH's account to double check all is well, or to transfer some cash to other holdings, etc. - and that although I can ONLY do this by "being him", it's a violation of their policies. But... NO OTHER WAY TO DO IT, *WITH* THE PROPER AUTHORIZATIONS ON FILE.

(And as an aside comment, this is totally separate from the refusal of Vanguard to allow a REAL PoA or DPoA that ==> stands there for more than 30 days after being executed, etc. Sounds like others have also given up on this, and use Fidelity specifically because of the PoA lack at Vanguard. No, an "Agent Authorization" at Vanguard will NOT suffice as a real PoA/DPoA. We haven't figured out how to predict within 30 days that we'll have a catastrophic event...)

Vent over.

RM
This signature is a placebo. You are in the control group.

User avatar
Bustoff
Posts: 1980
Joined: Sat Mar 03, 2012 6:45 pm

Re: Vanguard's Website - Bad, or just me?

Post by Bustoff » Wed Sep 17, 2014 5:45 pm

midareff wrote:Anytime I want to update everything I export my portfolio from M* and open/update excel. Any statistic I could possible want is updated in about 20 seconds from starting to log into M*.
Ive been trying to learn excel spreadsheets and track it all myself ... it's too hard.
Does M* do all that for you?

Silence Dogood
Posts: 1125
Joined: Tue Feb 01, 2011 9:22 pm

Re: Vanguard's Website - Bad, or just me?

Post by Silence Dogood » Wed Sep 17, 2014 6:06 pm

Ybsybs wrote:
Silence Dogood wrote:Have you tried using any of their mobile apps? I have the Vanguard app on my phone (Android OS).

I only have one fund and rarely need to check on it so I don't mind the site at all.
My understanding of cell phone security was that it was really pretty awful. Are you comfortable making your investments accessible through your phone? (Perhaps the underlying network security has improved recently...)
One nice security feature that Vanguard has is the ability to block access to any unrecognized devices. Right now I have only two devices recognized, my Macbook and my smart phone. I also have the voice verification set up if I need to call.

The only thing I would really care to see changed with the Vanguard site is longer usernames and passwords. Particularly longer usernames because the one I would like is just a few characters too long (right now Vanguard restricts to 12 characters). Allowing for longer passwords would be helpful to me because I use a password manager and can pretty much make the password as difficult as Vanguard will let me.

dhectorg
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Oct 21, 2016 9:54 pm

Re: Vanguard's Website - Bad, or just me?

Post by dhectorg » Fri Nov 04, 2016 1:38 am

Wow, I'm blown away by all the responses defending Vanguard's website, which has been panned all across the internet, and rightly so. I agree 100% with the OP. It's the worst site of it's kind that I've ever used. It requires way too much digging to find the most basic info, if you can find it at all, info that should be on the front page acct summary. One example (for IRAs) is that it doesn't show anywhere that I can find what portion of my contribution limit is still available. This is probably the most basic, yet important, piece of info an IRA customer needs, but Vanguard buries it for some reason. In any case, it is widely agreed on numerous investor forums that Vanguard's website stinks, so I'm a bit confused by all the defenders here. Clearly, I like Vanguard's investment options enough to continue doing business with them, but to suggest that a decent web portal isn't critical in this day and age is utterly absurd, especially from a company as prolific as Vanguard. Everyone I know does the vast majority of there investing online, so a good website is absolutely crucial.

User avatar
House Blend
Posts: 4614
Joined: Fri May 04, 2007 1:02 pm

Re: Vanguard's Website - Bad, or just me?

Post by House Blend » Fri Nov 04, 2016 10:33 am

dhectorg wrote:One example (for IRAs) is that it doesn't show anywhere that I can find what portion of my contribution limit is still available. This is probably the most basic, yet important, piece of info an IRA customer needs, but Vanguard buries it for some reason.
I can agree that it could be handy if IRA contribution totals were more visible, say on the Balances & Holdings page or one of its tabs.

That said, if you attempt to make an IRA contribution, AFAIR a text box will open showing how much you have contributed for the tax year(s) in question and (if prior to April 15) give you a choice of tax year designation for your contribution.

Of course you are free to cancel the transaction if you just want to see the numbers.

white_water
Posts: 221
Joined: Sun Oct 27, 2013 1:16 pm

Re: Vanguard's Website - Bad, or just me?

Post by white_water » Fri Nov 04, 2016 2:39 pm

No, its not you. Yes, it's clunky, needs updating and not user friendly. I'm guessing that's why many here use Fidelity as well as VG. Both DW and I do.

Vote with your wallet. Fidelity has low ER indexes that work fine for a 2 or 3 fund portfolio.

gkaplan
Posts: 7034
Joined: Sat Mar 03, 2007 8:34 pm
Location: Portland, Oregon

Re: Vanguard's Website - Bad, or just me?

Post by gkaplan » Fri Nov 04, 2016 8:22 pm

dhectorg wrote:Wow, I'm blown away by all the responses defending Vanguard's website, which has been panned all across the internet, and rightly so. I agree 100% with the OP. It's the worst site of it's kind that I've ever used. It requires way too much digging to find the most basic info, if you can find it at all, info that should be on the front page acct summary. One example (for IRAs) is that it doesn't show anywhere that I can find what portion of my contribution limit is still available. This is probably the most basic, yet important, piece of info an IRA customer needs, but Vanguard buries it for some reason. In any case, it is widely agreed on numerous investor forums that Vanguard's website stinks, so I'm a bit confused by all the defenders here. Clearly, I like Vanguard's investment options enough to continue doing business with them, but to suggest that a decent web portal isn't critical in this day and age is utterly absurd, especially from a company as prolific as Vanguard. Everyone I know does the vast majority of there investing online, so a good website is absolutely crucial.

Interesting first post resurrecting a thread over two years old.
Gordon

User avatar
White Coat Investor
Posts: 14220
Joined: Fri Mar 02, 2007 9:11 pm
Location: Greatest Snow On Earth

Re: Vanguard's Website - Bad, or just me?

Post by White Coat Investor » Sat Nov 05, 2016 2:03 am

I dunno. I have a Fidelity, Schwab, TD Ameritrade, and Vanguard account. They're all about the same in my view. Whatever features it doesn't have I don't seem to miss much.
1) Invest you must 2) Time is your friend 3) Impulse is your enemy | 4) Basic arithmetic works 5) Stick to simplicity 6) Stay the course

angelescrest
Posts: 1014
Joined: Tue May 27, 2008 10:48 am
Location: Texas

Re: Vanguard's Website - Bad, or just me?

Post by angelescrest » Sat Nov 05, 2016 7:51 am

White Coat Investor wrote:I dunno. I have a Fidelity, Schwab, TD Ameritrade, and Vanguard account. They're all about the same in my view. Whatever features it doesn't have I don't seem to miss much.
To each their own. Comparing the websites of TDAmeritrade to Vanguard to me is like comparing a Tesla Model S with a 1996 Toyota Echo.

User avatar
ruralavalon
Posts: 16548
Joined: Sat Feb 02, 2008 10:29 am
Location: Illinois

Re: Vanguard's Website - Bad, or just me?

Post by ruralavalon » Sat Nov 05, 2016 9:00 am

I prefer the Vanguard website, it's one of the reasons I chose Vanguard. It's easy to compare funds when considering what to buy.

Rebalancing is infrequent, and I find it easy. I use Morningstar's free portfolio manager to help keep track of our portfolio -- taxable, rollover IRA and 2 Roth IRAs.
"Everything should be as simple as it is, but not simpler." - Albert Einstein | Wiki article link:Getting Started

peppers
Posts: 1389
Joined: Tue Oct 25, 2011 7:05 pm

Re: Vanguard's Website - Bad, or just me?

Post by peppers » Sat Nov 05, 2016 10:39 am

Vanguard recently changed how My Account page looks. They requested my feedback on the changes. The big difference is that I now have a group of Vanguard articles listed on the page. My wife's account has not changed. Overall, it is a "cleaner" look. And No, I did not upgrade to the brokerage side.
"..the cavalry ain't comin' kid, you're on your own..."

User avatar
saltycaper
Posts: 2650
Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2014 8:47 pm
Location: The Tower

Re: Vanguard's Website - Bad, or just me?

Post by saltycaper » Sat Nov 05, 2016 10:51 am

dhectorg wrote:
One example (for IRAs) is that it doesn't show anywhere that I can find what portion of my contribution limit is still available. This is probably the most basic, yet important, piece of info an IRA customer needs, but Vanguard buries it for some reason.
Funny you mention this. I'm not a huge fan of Vanguard's website either, but I was trying to find a summary of IRA contributions to date on Fidelity's website just this past week, and I could not locate the information. It must be there somewhere. Maybe it's staring right at me, but I don't see it! I might have to look through statements.
Quod vitae sectabor iter?

michaeljc70
Posts: 5746
Joined: Thu Oct 15, 2015 3:53 pm

Re: Vanguard's Website - Bad, or just me?

Post by michaeljc70 » Sat Nov 05, 2016 11:24 am

In my opinion (and I work in IT), the site is poorly designed. It has quite a bit of functionality, but visually and organizationally is lacking.

That combined with customer service issues may lead me to take my Vanguard funds elsewhere in the future. At this point, I am staying and giving them some time to improve.

User avatar
Barry Barnitz
Wiki Admin
Posts: 3158
Joined: Mon Feb 19, 2007 10:42 pm
Contact:

Re: Vanguard's Website - Bad, or just me?

Post by Barry Barnitz » Sat Nov 05, 2016 3:17 pm

Hi;

Vanguard is returning to Philadelphia, with a scheduled 2017 opening of a new "Innovation Center". See news release, Vanguard returns to Philadelphia, starting with a staff of 20,Erin Arvedlund, Philly.com, November 2, 2016.
After a hiatus of more than 15 years, Vanguard, the $3.8 trillion mutual-fund company, is returning to Philadelphia, with an office in University City.

Vanguard announced Wednesday that it plans to open next year what it has dubbed an "innovation center," to focus on "developing services to meet the evolving needs of its individual, financial adviser, and institutional clients."
Vanguard said the center represented a growing commitment to its online business. According to the release, more than 90 percent of Vanguard’s interactions with its 20 million clients occur digitally. For example, Vanguard Personal Advisor Services is a hybrid offering that combines virtual engagement, customized financial planning, and robo-advisers.

Vanguard said it envisions the innovation center being staffed initially with 20 people, but with space for about 100 staff members "as projects get underway and we bring in additional crew and partners," company spokeswoman Arianna Stefanoni Sherlock said in an interview.
regards,
Additional administrative tasks: Financial Page affiliate blog; finiki the Canadian wiki; The Bogle Center for Financial Literacy site; Wiki Bogleheads® España.

User avatar
rob
Posts: 3049
Joined: Mon Feb 19, 2007 6:49 pm
Location: Here

Re: Vanguard's Website - Bad, or just me?

Post by rob » Sat Nov 05, 2016 3:28 pm

Vanguard announced Wednesday that it plans to open next year what it has dubbed an "innovation center," to focus on "developing services to meet the evolving needs.....
Instead; How about a focus on the bleeding obvious issues.... I see they changed the summary page recently with such amazing technology as larger text and tab's. :oops: I mean give me a break.....
| Rob | Its a dangerous business going out your front door. - J.R.R.Tolkien

miamivice
Posts: 2194
Joined: Tue Jun 11, 2013 11:46 am

Do others dislike Vanguard's new website as much as me?

Post by miamivice » Tue Feb 19, 2019 10:02 pm

[Thread merged into here, see below. --admin LadyGeek]

Several months ago, Vanguard had an all-weekend outage to upgrade their website. Well, I don't find their upgrade to be much of an upgrade. Information is more difficult to find and less user friendly in my opinion. I have migrated most of my portfolio viewing to my phone because I find their Vanguard App to be usable while their website is just difficult.

Am I the only one in this boat? I enjoy viewing my portfolio and wish they had a nice website to use to look at it.

Post Reply