How did you first decide to sign up with Vanguard?

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How did you first decide to sign up with Vanguard?

Read about Vanguard in a book or an article
Word of mouth -- friend told me about it, saw it discussed in a message board, etc.
Other -- please post below
Other -- please post below
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How did you first decide to sign up with Vanguard?

Post by bizguy2 » Tue Nov 23, 2010 1:37 pm

For me it was from reading the Random Walk Guide to Investing.

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Post by Opponent Process » Tue Nov 23, 2010 1:57 pm

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Making Money with Mutual Funds, in 2001.

This book discussed Vanguard funds, but I resisted at first, mainly because I could only afford $50/month to invest and I wanted to get in the markets as soon as possible. So I went with a much higher cost custodian that let me invest that way. At some point as I was screening DRIPs to buy I came up with a list that basically resembled the S&P 500. This was shocking to me; all the companies I wanted to own were right there in one package. It still took some time to let go of the ego-stroking process of stock picking, but as soon as my account balances grew to the minimum, I made the switch to Vanguard. I also bought into the idea of simply owning the market, and not trying to beat it in some clumsy fashion.
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Post by stevewolfe » Tue Nov 23, 2010 2:03 pm

Smart Money magazine advertisement.

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Post by livesoft » Tue Nov 23, 2010 2:04 pm

Had to be a magazine article back in the early 1980's.

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Post by ascenzm » Tue Nov 23, 2010 2:14 pm

The ~ 17% interest rate that the Vanguard Prime Money Market fund was paying looked pretty good when compared to my local bank's savings account 5% interest rate (late 1980).

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Post by Alex Frakt » Tue Nov 23, 2010 2:14 pm

Some ad campaigns are designed to make you feel the company is trustworthy or otherwise give you the warm fuzzies when you encounter their name later. These ads can be effective even if you don't even remember seeing them.

At least that's what the ad agencies tell us :-)

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Post by magicmom » Tue Nov 23, 2010 2:17 pm

I took over the finances from my now EX who had an advisor handling everything and stealing us blind. After Researching I found Vanguards low cost funds to my liking and moved everything and dropped the "advisor" on his butt. Boy he didn't like that a woman knew what she was talking about! We made great money fast with the tech funds till the great tech fall. Lost my shirt, but am building again, lesson learned.

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"A Random Walk Down Wall Street"

Post by Taylor Larimore » Tue Nov 23, 2010 2:17 pm

I learned about Vanguard the same way Buzguy did.

Reading an early edition of Random Walk Down Wall Street convinced me of the importance of low-cost and the many other advantages of index funds.
"Simplicity is the master key to financial success." -- Jack Bogle

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Post by Sammy_M » Tue Nov 23, 2010 2:18 pm

Funny, I was researching market timing, of all things, and came upon Paul Merriman's website when he used to talk about moving average market timing as a way to reduce risk. Thankfully I read more of his articles and got convinced that indexing was the way to go and started adopting his Vanguard all-equity model within my taxable account. Finally came to realize it made no sense to consider accounts separately so started using Vanguard everywhere that I could and following tax-efficient asset location.
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Post by integrity » Tue Nov 23, 2010 2:19 pm

I learned about investing and Vanguarding from this forum. I don't remember how I happened upon the forum originally...

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Post by aainvestor » Tue Nov 23, 2010 2:48 pm

I said other but probably should have said "book or article". The company I worked for was bought out and I needed to roll over my ESOP money to an IRA and I had an adviser trying to sell me on loaded funds. I kept thinking, I don't want to support me and him, just me and I read some articles and all of them mentioned Vanguard as the lowest cost option. My initial buy at vanguard was atrocious but as I read more I refined my portfolio over time.

Oh and the adviser calls every year around Christmas to see how I am doing and if I am considering giving up on doing it myself. Especially after the panic, he asked how I was doing and I was like fine, no panic selling and in fact was buying equities on the big dip.

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Post by ruralavalon » Tue Nov 23, 2010 2:59 pm

"How did you first decide to sign up with Vanguard?

I voted "other".

Fee-only adviser suggested I look at Vanguard, Schwab And TRPrice websites to select fund family to choose index fund investments from.
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Post by BETHE » Tue Nov 23, 2010 3:01 pm

Actually, I'm just cheap!

But...when I first decided to invest, it was suggested to me to look at Vanguard, Fidelity and TRP, start reading "Smart Money", and then learn more from there. That lead me eventually to Mr. Bogle's book "Bogle on Mutual Funds", which made perfect sense to me.

After that research, our first investments were with Vanguard. Over the years Vanguard has been our main investment company. We are now retired, and 100% with Vanguard and 100% indexed.

I've been with this board since the early 2000's and gotten great advice here. Thanks.

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Post by Noobvestor » Tue Nov 23, 2010 3:10 pm

Other. Parents signed me up ages ago (essentially telling me 'don't worry about it - just send us checks when we ask and we'll put 'em in for ya'). When I got to the point of caring enough to look into it, I was overjoyed and thanked them profusely for making the decision on my behalf.
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Post by FafnerMorell » Tue Nov 23, 2010 3:23 pm

Back in the mid 90s, when I was looking into getting started in investing, I read through a lot of different sources - Motley Fool, Wealthy Barber, Dummies Guide, etc. What struck me is that even folks pitching their own product/investment-strategy would recommend low-cost index funds from Vanguard as the "second best choice" - i.e. for folks who were willing to "settle for average". With things getting crazy during the tech boom, going with something average seemed like safe ground, and it seems to have worked out better than the other schemes, which have mostly come and gone.

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Post by OZAR » Tue Nov 23, 2010 3:35 pm

I got exposed to Vanguard & Bogleheads by way of Rick Ferri’s All About Asset Allocation book. I found the book on a recommended reading list from Bob Brinker’s Market Timer website while researching and trying to understand investing.

I then tuned out the noise and stopped listening to MoneyTalk and went “ALL IN” on the Boglehead way.

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Post by flowerbuyer » Tue Nov 23, 2010 3:48 pm

My mom's advice (given years ago) about investing only in no-load funds, and this forum.

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Post by FrugalInvestor » Tue Nov 23, 2010 3:50 pm

I read and heard about Vanguard in the press back in the early 1980's and began investing with them then. I have moved more of my investible assets to Vanguard over the years until I reached about 90% in the last few years. Only my bank CD's are elsewhere now.
IGNORE the noise! | Our life is frittered away by detail... simplify, simplify. - Henry David Thoreau

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Post by mbres60 » Tue Nov 23, 2010 4:26 pm

I am lucky enough to work for a company that chose Vanguard as their 401k provider. That was 20 years ago at least... now even my taxable savings go to Vanguard.

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Post by mickeyd » Tue Nov 23, 2010 4:31 pm

I read and listened to Bogle every chance that I had. Eventually I got smart. 8)
Part-Owner of Texas | | “The CMH-the Cost Matters Hypothesis -is all that is needed to explain why indexing must and will work… Yes, it is that simple.” John C. Bogle

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Post by Cloud » Tue Nov 23, 2010 4:40 pm

Recently pulled the trigger and opened a Vanguard account. We already owned mostly all Vanguard funds in our various accounts due to many investment book tips, this forum, and recommended portfolios using all Vanguard funds from these guys @: ... olios.html

Decided if we're mostly using Vanguard funds then why keep paying commissions and fees to add new money and re-balance when we can go straight to the source. Not sure why I didn't do this years ago. It gives me a warm feeling every time I add money or re-balance for FREE!

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Post by Grasshopper » Tue Nov 23, 2010 4:47 pm

I did a lot of research before I would hand my money over to an investment company. I couldn't see why anyone would pay a load to buy MF shares. I started my first deductible IRA in 1984 I believe with Vanguards Windsor fund. Those first $2K IRA's are still there working for me.

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Serious Money

Post by yellowjacket » Tue Nov 23, 2010 4:51 pm

I moved to Vanguard after reading Rick Ferri's SERIOUS MONEY. Put my whole financial philosophy into a proper perspective. And last year when I was getting ready to retire, Bogleheads, esp. LANDY, helped me simplify my asset allocation to easily monitor and control what I was doing, getting into Admirals, and now easily "staying the course". :)
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Post by northend » Tue Nov 23, 2010 4:55 pm

I use to listen to Bob Brinker's "Money Talk."

I learned about Vanguard from his show and a number of Vanguard Ads that ran frequently on his show.

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Post by PaulW » Tue Nov 23, 2010 5:09 pm

Until 1987, I had my IRA in three no-load funds recommended by MONEY magazine. As the balance was growing each year, I realized that I needed to know more than just blindly following a magazines suggestion.

Although I found many things confusing and had difficulty in selecting the "best" fund, the one fact I could clearly understand was low costs. That led us to Vanguard and we have been there ever since.


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Post by Fallible » Tue Nov 23, 2010 6:14 pm

In the late '80s, after I told a co-worker about the 8.5 percent front-end load of the first mutual fund my broker put me in, he told me about Vanguard. At first I couldn't believe the low expense ratios he mentioned, but then I read up on Vanguard in a couple of magazines and made the change - and been there ever since.

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Post by CABob » Tue Nov 23, 2010 6:26 pm

Like a couple of others my first introduction to Vanguard and their Total Stock Market index fund was from Bob Brinker on his Moneytalk radio show.

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Post by chaz » Tue Nov 23, 2010 6:31 pm

I read about Mr. Bogle in 1976. I was captivated.
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Post by nisiprius » Tue Nov 23, 2010 7:09 pm

I knew about the Vanguard Index Trust, as it was known then, probably from Andrew Tobias' The Only Investment Guide You'll Ever Need, not sure... I'm sure I had noticed it being mentioned in more than one place, it was familiar enough to me that by the time I was ready to invest more than my TIAA contributions, I knew exactly what I wanted to invest it in. My first purchase was in 1993. I'm not sure when I first read A Random Walk Down Wall Street.
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Post by tat2ng » Tue Nov 23, 2010 7:17 pm

similar to mbres60, I was lucky in that my 1st job out of college in 2001 had Vanguard as the 401k provider. as I began to research on my own which funds to use in the 401k, I stumbled onto the old Morningstar Bogleheads forum. I lurked there for years, and followed over to this forum when it first started. I began reading the recommended books (Bogle, Ferri, Swedroe, etc) and have been index investing since then.


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Post by silvereagle » Tue Nov 23, 2010 7:26 pm

Actually I don't remember how I found Vanguard ... It may have been MONEY Magazine ??? .... I remember the year I first invested in them ... 1981. I was 24 a few years out of college and it was my first time investing because it was when the personal IRA started. I invested $2000 in the Windsor fund.

I have been with Vanguard since that day ... I'm now 53 and a Flagship Client !! I feel like Vanguard is part of my family

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Post by DaleMaley » Tue Nov 23, 2010 7:30 pm

Here is link to a very similar posting on how people found Vanguard.
Most investors, both institutional and individual, will find that the best way to own common stocks is through an index fund that charges minimal fees. – Warren Buffett

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Post by Duckie » Tue Nov 23, 2010 7:36 pm

I was reading Money magazine in the early 1990s and started noticing a lot of mentions of Vanguard and its funds, so I began to check them out. It took me a few years to bite the bullet and move over but I have never regretted it.


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Post by NSW » Tue Nov 23, 2010 8:38 pm

lost a small fortune with a broker
lost a large fortune with an "advisor"

betting on myself now.

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Post by Sailorette » Tue Nov 23, 2010 9:17 pm

I was headed towards engagement with my then-BF (now DH) and made him sit down with me and read David Bach's 'Smart Couples Finish Rich'. Bach's ideas about automating your finances struck a chord.
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Post by dbonnett » Tue Nov 23, 2010 9:36 pm

S&P 500 fund was kicked off by a full page ad in either WSJ or NYT in late 70s. Bogle's rationale made sense.

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Post by tetractys » Tue Nov 23, 2010 9:38 pm

To tell the truth I don't remember exactly, so probably a confluence of stuff. The first Vanguard fund I invested in was VIPSX through a broker, because of it's low expense compared to other inflation indexed bond funds. I was influenced in that decision by reading Jason Zweig's commentary in one of the later editions of Benjamin Graham's The Intelligent Investor. A couple of years after that, and after reading several more of our favorite authors during that period, I began to progressively invest more into index funds with a corresponding move Vanguard. -- Tet

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Post by epilnk » Tue Nov 23, 2010 9:42 pm

I'd known for years, maybe decades, that VG was one of the "better" fund companies. But I'd say it was Four Pillars that sent me down the road to an all VG investment plan.

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Post by indexfundfan » Tue Nov 23, 2010 9:46 pm

Can't recall how I got to know about Vanguard but it was the good doc's "The Intelligent Asset Allocator" that convinced me how I should invest. Gosh I am about to celebrate my 10 years with Vanguard.
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Post by blevine » Tue Nov 23, 2010 10:46 pm

Common sense did it for me :idea:

I bought mutual funds no different that I would buy a new car.
Research the best options at the most reasonable cost.
Of all the products I have researched and purchased,
few choices have been so easy.

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Post by celia » Tue Nov 23, 2010 10:46 pm

A previous employer gave us choices of some Vanguard funds in our 401k.

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Post by theresa » Tue Nov 23, 2010 11:06 pm

My father told me in the 80's that he had read about a mutual fund called the Vanguard Star Fund that was created especially for IRAs. That became my first IRA investment.

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Post by ElJay » Tue Nov 23, 2010 11:32 pm

Found Vanguard and this forum from a discussion on

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Post by CrossOverGuy » Tue Nov 23, 2010 11:50 pm

Andrew Tobias' The Only Investment Guide You'll Ever Need
I'm surprised this isn't on the Bogleheads' list of recommended books. It's well-written, with some very good advice and funny to boot. It is updated every few years.

I think I learned started hearing about Vanguard when reading "Money" magazine in the 90s. While the magazine has to cater to their mostly load advertisers, they did have some very good articles talking about no-loads, index funds and keeping investment expenses low, especially those written by Jason Zweig. I think that helped me start investing with Vanguard.

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Post by lazyone » Wed Nov 24, 2010 12:36 am

This is an interesting question. I spent time following threads on the motely fool before I had any money to save. One day a poster decried the lack of good information on the board and rec'd this website. After a year of reading the forum and finally some of the mentioned books I started with Vanguard. I wish I could thank that poster, but I didn't pay attention to who it was.

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Post by indexflyfisher » Wed Nov 24, 2010 1:06 am

I don't remember how I learned about indexing, but probably general investing education and listening to the Motley Fool. Anyhow, I was invested with Strong Funds in 2004 when they got caught up in the mutual fund scandal. That's was what did it for me. Although I knew that about indexing and Vanguard long before that, there was a lot of inertia. Been at Vanguard even since.

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Post by Winthorpe » Wed Nov 24, 2010 1:43 am

Rick Ferri's All About Index Funds book.

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Post by SpecialK22 » Wed Nov 24, 2010 6:14 am

Actually, my Dad opened up a Roth IRA for me at Vanguard when I was 17 ( or maybe 18 ) and funded it with I believe $2k. I really didn't understand anything much about personal finance at the time, and it probably wasn't until I was about 25 that I actually understood what I was invested in. It also wasn't until this time that I began to max out contributions to the Roth, as prior to that I mainly saved money in a savings account. It actually started as me just putting money into the Roth IRA held at Vanguard because that was where an account was open.

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A special dad

Post by Taylor Larimore » Wed Nov 24, 2010 6:42 am

Special K:
My Dad opened up a Roth IRA for me at Vanguard when I was 17 ( or maybe 18 ) and funded it with I believe $2k.
You have a Special Dad.
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Post by englishgirl » Wed Nov 24, 2010 7:57 am

I picked up a copy of Money magazine that had a list of 5-star mutual funds, or Hot Funds to Invest In Now!, or some other such nonsense, and there was a Vanguard ad in the same magazine that talked about its low fees. Having always been cheap and at least understanding that low fees were a good thing, I decided to go with a couple of the 5-star funds that were from Vanguard.

About a year or so later I decided that I should learn about investing, and found the M* Vanguard Diehards forum. Then I eventually swapped my 5-star funds for index funds, learned about things like Roths and 401ks, et voila.

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