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Navigating vanguard
Old 03-17-2014, 10:50 PM   #1
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Navigating vanguard

I have managed both my 457 and my wifes 401 for the last decade and have done reasonably well. I am invested with ICMA and my wife was invested with Principal.

As my wife has left the workforce I have moved her 401K money to Vanguard. I have a straightforward question...how on earth do I navigate their site to purchase various funds? I dumped all her money into a conservative fund and want to move money out into other funds but I'll be darned if I can figure out how.

I've never been so lost on a site in my life. The sites I have used in the past, which is to say the ICMA and the Principal sites were pretty intuitive, Vanguard not so much.

Is there a primer I've missed?
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Old 03-18-2014, 12:06 AM   #2
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Right after I log in, I see a gray bar across the top of the "Welcome, Harry" page that includes an account summary over on the left side. There is a "buy & sell" button on the right side of the bar.

Maybe you are lost on the institutional side of Vanguard's house? investor.vanguard.com/home/ is where you want to be. The opening page also shows the same bar and button.
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Old 03-18-2014, 06:32 AM   #3
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Thanks for the reply,

I can get "in" with no problem. After I log in there are options presented across the top of the screen. One of the options is "Funds, Stocks & ETF's" from there I select "Vanguard Funds", from there I'm given a choice of "Vanguard Select Funds", and finally "See a list of Vanguard Select Funds".

From that list are several funds, from bonds to stocks. Lets say I select "Mid-cap Index Admiral Shares". There is a box next to that choice, I check the box and click on "Buy" and I'm taken to a dead end.

The next page says "Open an account"....what the?

When I log in I see that my account is active I have it funded and all of the funds are in "Target Retirement 2015". How do I move funds out of that and into another fund?

Clearly I need to talk with Vanguard. In all my years of doing this I have managed to figure the process out at various sites involving various institutions, but Vanguards site, for me, is not intuitive at all.
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Old 03-18-2014, 07:28 AM   #4
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Did you sign up for online account access ? Vanguard requires before accessing your accounts.

https://personal.vanguard.com/us/JSP...ityContent.jsf

If you have access to your account, after you log in, use the "My Accounts" drop down, go to "Balances and Holdings", Then "Buy and Sell", "Buy Vanguard Funds", then "Buy a New Fund"
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Old 03-18-2014, 07:39 AM   #5
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Do you have an option on the top "my accounts"? If you click on this and choose "overview", you should see your account listed. If you click on the account, you should see your current fund listed. Next to the fund all the way on the right, you should see options "Buy|Sell|Exch". You would chose Exch (exchange). This enables you to exchange shares of your current fund to whatever new funds you choose.
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Old 03-18-2014, 07:45 AM   #6
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rocks911,

I don't have any advice for you, but I can relate! Of all my online accounts, I find the vanguard website to be the LEAST intuitive. Seems like it takes me forever to find the function I want!
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Old 03-18-2014, 07:47 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by rbmrtn View Post
Did you sign up for online account access ? Vanguard requires before accessing your accounts.

https://personal.vanguard.com/us/JSP...ityContent.jsf

If you have access to your account, after you log in, use the "My Accounts" drop down, go to "Balances and Holdings", Then "Buy and Sell", "Buy Vanguard Funds", then "Buy a New Fund"
+1 this is what I do.
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Old 03-18-2014, 08:07 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by rocks911 View Post
Thanks for the reply,

I can get "in" with no problem. After I log in there are options presented across the top of the screen. One of the options is "Funds, Stocks & ETF's" from there I select "Vanguard Funds", from there I'm given a choice of "Vanguard Select Funds", and finally "See a list of Vanguard Select Funds".

From that list are several funds, from bonds to stocks. Lets say I select "Mid-cap Index Admiral Shares". There is a box next to that choice, I check the box and click on "Buy" and I'm taken to a dead end.

The next page says "Open an account"....what the?

When I log in I see that my account is active I have it funded and all of the funds are in "Target Retirement 2015". How do I move funds out of that and into another fund?

Clearly I need to talk with Vanguard. In all my years of doing this I have managed to figure the process out at various sites involving various institutions, but Vanguards site, for me, is not intuitive at all.


Your in the wrong spot.... use that to select the funds you want to move into, but not buy... write down the funds you want to buy...

If you are logging in correctly, you will see a summary of your account... that is where you want to be... in "My Accounts"...

Click on any of them and it will open up the details of funds you are in... to the right is a choice of "Buy Sell Exch".... you want to exchange...

I am not going any further in my account.... but you will see the options and a step by step instructions...

If all else fails, give them a call and they will walk you through the process..
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Old 03-18-2014, 08:17 AM   #9
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One thing I find not at all intuitive on Vanguard's website. When I want to buy or sell a Vanguard fund I do not use the "buy or sell" functions, I need to "exchange one Vanguard fund to another", even when the funds are in a cash account.

When I want to do the same thing with a non-Vanguard fund or buy or sell a stock or ETF, I then use "buy or sell". Using non standard terms for the Vanguard transaction and different terms for the same transaction is confusing.
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Old 03-18-2014, 09:28 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by PRSC View Post
Do you have an option on the top "my accounts"? If you click on this and choose "overview", you should see your account listed. If you click on the account, you should see your current fund listed. Next to the fund all the way on the right, you should see options "Buy|Sell|Exch". You would chose Exch (exchange). This enables you to exchange shares of your current fund to whatever new funds you choose.
Exactly right about the "exchange". I wasnt getting that. That is a completely different methodology than what I'm used to. Thank you, and thanks to all the other replies as well. I promise I'm not a twit, and I probably should have contacted Vanguard but this forum is a god-send.

Thanks again.
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Old 03-18-2014, 10:20 AM   #11
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One thing I find not at all intuitive on Vanguard's website. When I want to buy or sell a Vanguard fund I do not use the "buy or sell" functions, I need to "exchange one Vanguard fund to another", even when the funds are in a cash account.

When I want to do the same thing with a non-Vanguard fund or buy or sell a stock or ETF, I then use "buy or sell". Using non standard terms for the Vanguard transaction and different terms for the same transaction is confusing.
I don't have a Vanguard account. I hold their funds in my 401k. So I don't use their UI.

The words are actually legacy MF terminology, I exchange funds in the same fund family(I.e. Vanguard). I sell a fund (or ETF or equity), to buy a fund (or other security) in a different fund family.

As a individual investor I would find it confusing too.
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Old 03-18-2014, 08:44 PM   #12
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Just today I transferred a maturing IRA CD from my local bank to the Vanguard Admiral Fund. It all seemed confusing until my Vanguard rep suggested I talk with someone in the "concierge" group. This guy was wonderful, described everything in detail and made it like a walk in the park. If your having trouble with anything in Vanguard, just ask for a rep in that department. That individual will stick with you until everything is completed to your satisfaction. I found this group to be most helpful.
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Old 03-18-2014, 10:27 PM   #13
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Vanguard's website is definitely not the most user friendly. For instance, you can't exchange multiple funds to multiple funds. If you want to liquidate 3 funds and invest the proceeds into 3 other funds, it can't be done in one step. You have to put the proceeds in the MM fund and then do the process all over again. If you only exchange 1 fund, you can put it into as many funds as you'd like. Makes it a 2 step process which I just don't understand.
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Old 03-18-2014, 10:29 PM   #14
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How user-friendly is the Ameriprise website?
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Old 03-18-2014, 10:51 PM   #15
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One thing I find not at all intuitive on Vanguard's website. When I want to buy or sell a Vanguard fund I do not use the "buy or sell" functions, I need to "exchange one Vanguard fund to another", even when the funds are in a cash account.

When I want to do the same thing with a non-Vanguard fund or buy or sell a stock or ETF, I then use "buy or sell". Using non standard terms for the Vanguard transaction and different terms for the same transaction is confusing.
.



My thinking on this (since I do have a broker account at Vanguard) is that the broker account is separate... and does not hold any money.... they transfer the money back and forth between your MM account... not sure if there is some legal reason or not.... but it is what they do...
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Old 03-19-2014, 11:11 AM   #16
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Vanguard's website is definitely not the most user friendly. For instance, you can't exchange multiple funds to multiple funds. If you want to liquidate 3 funds and invest the proceeds into 3 other funds, it can't be done in one step. You have to put the proceeds in the MM fund and then do the process all over again. If you only exchange 1 fund, you can put it into as many funds as you'd like. Makes it a 2 step process which I just don't understand.
I'm pretty sure you can exchange 3 funds into 3 funds. I did two funds into one fund this morning and could have easily done 3 funds to 3 funds if I wished. No need to go through the MM fund. This is in a MF account.

If you have a brokerage account, you are right, you have to go through the MM fund - I think due to T+3.
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Old 03-19-2014, 11:19 AM   #17
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I'm pretty sure you can exchange 3 funds into 3 funds. I did two funds into one fund this morning and could have easily done 3 funds to 3 funds if I wished. No need to go through the MM fund. This is in a MF account.
Give it a shot. I'll bet you can't exchange 3 funds to 3 other funds. I tried this last week and got Vanguard on the phone to help me with it. He thought you could do it too, but turns out you can't. Once you select a destination fund all the ability to select another fund goes away. Then tell it you only want to put 50% of the proceeds into the fund you selected and it just gives pop saying you have not allocated the full amount.
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Old 03-19-2014, 12:28 PM   #18
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Give it a shot. I'll bet you can't exchange 3 funds to 3 other funds. I tried this last week and got Vanguard on the phone to help me with it. He thought you could do it too, but turns out you can't. Once you select a destination fund all the ability to select another fund goes away. Then tell it you only want to put 50% of the proceeds into the fund you selected and it just gives pop saying you have not allocated the full amount.
I stand corrected. I can do an exchange of a number of funds to one fund, but not into more than one fund.

Also, interestingly, if I try it in our taxable account it asks for shares but if I do it on my IRA it asks for $ amounts.
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Old 03-19-2014, 12:43 PM   #19
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What frustrated me is that I could not convert Wellington TIRA to Wellington Roth. Trading restrictions on a sell and buy in same day.
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Old 03-19-2014, 03:41 PM   #20
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Just an FYI - We have our accounts at Vanguard (Joint, IRA, Roth). I have "permission" to view all of our accounts and make changes to our Joint, and my own IRA/Roth accounts - but I am not authorized to make changes to my wife's IRA, and Roth accounts from my access. I'd have to access her accounts through her own online access to make any changes. This is how they set things up.
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