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Anyone used Vanguard's Personal Advisor Services?
Old 04-07-2014, 07:44 AM   #1
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Anyone used Vanguard's Personal Advisor Services?

I recently got a letter from Vanguard offering their Personal Advisor Services. It appears this is a new service (but not sure). And am also not sure if there is a fee for this. I'm tempted to contact them. Does anyone have any experience with this service?
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Old 04-07-2014, 08:46 AM   #2
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Looks like it is new, so probably nobody has experience with it yet.

Vanguard Personal Advisor Services Manages Your Accounts At An Affordable Price | Bogleheads® Blog

0.3% fee, $100K minimum in combined VG accounts, and you can stop anytime, so it might be a reasonable thing for someone who needs some hand holding to start with but wants to get to managing on their own.
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Old 04-07-2014, 01:16 PM   #3
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That's a lot of service for 0.3 percent. You get a financial plan and a CFP for questions. Automatic rebalancing. They are seriously undercutting their own service models on price. Beats the heck out of Wealthfront and Betterment and Personal Capital has to be shaking in their boots. The traditional "wealth managers" are going to have to polish their sales pitches, that's for sure.
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Old 04-07-2014, 02:57 PM   #4
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That's a lot of service for 0.3 percent. You get a financial plan and a CFP for questions. Automatic rebalancing. They are seriously undercutting their own service models on price. Beats the heck out of Wealthfront and Betterment and Personal Capital has to be shaking in their boots. The traditional "wealth managers" are going to have to polish their sales pitches, that's for sure.
I can't justify spending any amount for something I can do myself. Financial plan and asking questions of a CFP? Free to VG account holders with >$500K assets (neither of which I was all that impressed with, quite frankly. Best solution = educating oneself by *reading*). Rebalancing? Takes half an hour at most once annually. And i would never trust my assets to any "wealth manager".
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Old 04-07-2014, 03:06 PM   #5
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I recently got a letter from Vanguard offering their Personal Advisor Services. It appears this is a new service (but not sure). And am also not sure if there is a fee for this. I'm tempted to contact them. Does anyone have any experience with this service?
Some of the verbage in the Vanguard pitch just doesn't sound like Vanguard.......

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Once you have your accounts managed, you are relieved from messing with them.

Investors want and need help
Bogle followers "mess" with their accounts?

Investors "want and need help?"

The 0.3% doesn't sound like much of a bargain for what you get. Yes, there are plenty of places to get ripped off worse, but for a FIRE'd investor with, say, a million buck FIRE portfolio, $3k a year is a bit to pay to have someone rebalance when actuals are greater than 5% from targets.

The idea of investors being able to "keep their hands off the wheel" doesn't sound so good to me. Even if it only costs 0.3% to be able to divorce yourself from even remote understanding of what's happening to your money and why, Vanguard's pitch that you'll be able to detach yourself from finances is not where I'd like to see folks heading.
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Old 04-07-2014, 03:30 PM   #6
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Some of the verbage in the Vanguard pitch just doesn't sound like Vanguard.......

Bogle followers "mess" with their accounts?

Investors "want and need help?"
That wasn't written by Vanguard, but instead by someone on Bogleheads. But yeah, some of it bothers me too.

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At the low end of $100,000 in assets, the fee for VPAS is only $300 per year. That’s $25 per month, lower than most people’s cell phone bills.
I rarely like these unequal comparisons. Is there really someone who is considering whether they want financial advice or a cell phone plan? I'm surprised he didn't say it's less than $1 a day, as if someone doles out 3 quarters and a nickel and a couple pennies each and every day for such things.
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Old 04-07-2014, 03:44 PM   #7
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If you meet the Voyager Select or Flagship criteria and are comfortable with doing everything yourself, a fee based service is unnecessary. This product seems to be targeted to the newer investors in the $100-$500k range that would do better with some hand holding. A lot of folks aren't comfortable rebalancing or aren't focused enough to handle this or other aspects of investing efficiently. For those folks, most of whom would not want to pay a financial planner to draw up a plan, this is relatively inexpensive guidance and education.
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Old 04-07-2014, 03:45 PM   #8
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That wasn't written by Vanguard, but instead by someone on Bogleheads.
Thanks for pointing out the distinction.
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But yeah, some of it bothers me too.
It's the talk of becoming uninvolved and detached that rubs me the wrong way.
I don't think that folks who don't understand enough financial basics to comprehend a "couch potato" portfolio are good citizens and informed voters. I hate to see a firm like Vanguard falling in line with the other financial houses in this regard.
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I rarely like these unequal comparisons. Is there really someone who is considering whether they want financial advice or a cell phone plan? I'm surprised he didn't say it's less than $1 a day, as if someone doles out 3 quarters and a nickel and a couple pennies each and every day for such things.
Agree. And, gee, giving up Starbucks two days a week pays for my finance guidance service. Duh.......
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Old 04-07-2014, 03:47 PM   #9
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...The 3% doesn't sound like much of a bargain for what you get. Yes, there are plenty of places to get ripped off worse, but for a FIRE'd investor with, say, a million buck FIRE portfolio, $3k a year is a bit to pay to have someone rebalance when actuals are greater than 5% from targets....
I think the post said 0.3%, not 3.0%.
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Old 04-07-2014, 03:48 PM   #10
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I can't justify spending any amount for something I can do myself. Financial plan and asking questions of a CFP? Free to VG account holders with >$500K assets (neither of which I was all that impressed with, quite frankly. Best solution = educating oneself by *reading*). Rebalancing? Takes half an hour at most once annually. And i would never trust my assets to any "wealth manager".
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Old 04-07-2014, 03:48 PM   #11
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I would just pick a target-date,or life strategy fund that works for me.Rebalances on it"s own.
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Old 04-07-2014, 03:52 PM   #12
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For those folks, most of whom would not want to pay a financial planner to draw up a plan, this is relatively inexpensive guidance and education.
Is it going to be guidance and education or just a reason to become totally disassociated with your own personal finances? Especially if this if offered to newer, younger investors/savers, it hints of "someone else will watch out for you so don't bother "getting in the know" and taking care of the simple basics yourself."

It kind of reminds me of folks with very simple taxes to prepare going off and paying a few bux for a pro to do it. They just don't want to know. They just don't want to get it. And yet we entitle them to vote and make financial decisions for the entire country?
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Old 04-07-2014, 03:55 PM   #13
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It's not a bad option for a surviving spouse not interested or knowledgeable enough to manage a portfolio. Also an option for someone concerned about losing cognitive abilities and looking for a third party to advise and manage a portfolio.
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Old 04-07-2014, 03:55 PM   #14
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I think the post said 0.3%, not 3.0%.
Yes it did say 0.3%. Is there a math problem I'm overlooking? Or perhaps you're doing the math incorrectly?

EDIT - Oh, I see now. I had a typo (fixed) and typed 3% failing to get the dot in there in the first instance. But the math is right (used 0.3%) and the cost on one million bux is $3k. Sorry for the typo. Glad I did the math right despite not hitting the dot key hard enough........

Hope I haven't wrecked your day.
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Old 04-07-2014, 03:56 PM   #15
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... It kind of reminds me of folks with very simple taxes to prepare going off and paying a few bux for a pro to do it. They just don't want to know. They just don't want to get it. And yet we entitle them to vote and make financial decisions for the entire country?
I resemble that remark!
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Old 04-07-2014, 03:58 PM   #16
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It's not a bad option for a surviving spouse not interested or knowledgeable enough to manage a portfolio. Also an option for someone concerned about losing cognitive abilities and looking for a third party to advise and manage a portfolio.
Agreed. I guess I'm thinking of newer investors, likely younger, going this route in lieu of learning some of the basics themselves while their accounts are small and minor mistakes inconsequential.
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Old 04-07-2014, 03:59 PM   #17
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Not everyone subscribes to these forums, understands FIREcalc, or even believes they have the ability to self-manage their investments. Lots of people go to work, attend the kids' soccer games on weekends, and have had no exposure to the tenets of investing. Aren't they better off using this than being suckered into hiring a financial "advisor" or worse, an insurance salesman?
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Old 04-07-2014, 04:00 PM   #18
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I resemble that remark!


I'm just feeling proud of myself today because I just submitted my lightly complicated taxes, done with TurboTax and a Lasser's book ALL BY MYSELF.

Now, for a beer........ (I'm going to pay DW 0.3% to open it for me. I don't wanna bother learning how.)
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Old 04-07-2014, 04:06 PM   #19
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Not everyone subscribes to these forums, understands FIREcalc, or even believes they have the ability to self-manage their investments. Lots of people go to work, attend the kids' soccer games on weekends, and have had no exposure to the tenets of investing. Aren't they better off using this than being suckered into hiring a financial "advisor" or worse, an insurance salesman?
It would also be better, by far, to throw yourself in front of a bus "than being suckered into hiring a financial "advisor" or worse, an insurance salesman." I hope it doesn't hurt when the bus hits........
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Old 04-07-2014, 04:07 PM   #20
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I wonder who gets the money. The computer should be able to handle the investing part. I guess it will probably go to psychologists and teachers to talk with people.
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