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Old 09-22-2011, 11:36 AM   #1
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New! From Vanguard!

Vanguard sent me an e-mail in the last day or two pointing out that there were Great New Things on my personal page (IRA).

I went there just now.

Interesting. There is a place to click for Cost Basis. I clicked it for something simple--my Berkshire Hathaway (only made one purchase). ("OK" means a value was given and it was as expected.)

Quantity and Date Acquired = OK
Cost per share = "--"
Total Cost = "unknown"

ConocoPhillips:
Quantity = OK
Date Acquired = "Various"
Total Cost = OK

They know how much I bought and at what price. Why do I get "Unknown"?

As happy as I am with V, I have the persistent feeling that they do not pay their programmers enough.
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Old 09-22-2011, 11:37 AM   #2
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Maybe it is still in beta?
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Old 09-22-2011, 11:40 AM   #3
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As happy as I am with V, I have the persistent feeling that they do not pay their programmers enough.
Maybe it's one of the ways they keep their costs low ...
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Old 09-22-2011, 12:07 PM   #4
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I'm always amazed at how much useful info Vanguard can place into web pages.
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Old 09-22-2011, 12:33 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by rescueme View Post
Maybe it's one of the ways they keep their costs low ...
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Old 09-22-2011, 12:34 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed_The_Gypsy View Post
Vanguard sent me an e-mail in the last day or two pointing out that there were Great New Things on my personal page (IRA).

I went there just now.

Interesting. There is a place to click for Cost Basis. I clicked it for something simple--my Berkshire Hathaway (only made one purchase). ("OK" means a value was given and it was as expected.)

Quantity and Date Acquired = OK
Cost per share = "--"
Total Cost = "unknown"

ConocoPhillips:
Quantity = OK
Date Acquired = "Various"
Total Cost = OK

They know how much I bought and at what price. Why do I get "Unknown"?

As happy as I am with V, I have the persistent feeling that they do not pay their programmers enough.
At 15-20bp, they can't afford to hire someone to input all that, maybe they want YOU to do it??
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Old 09-22-2011, 12:55 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Ed_The_Gypsy View Post
As happy as I am with V, I have the persistent feeling that they do not pay their programmers enough.
Quote:
Originally Posted by rescueme View Post
Maybe it's one of the ways they keep their costs low ...
From Vanguard, you're getting exactly what you pay for.

I'm sure some of their customers are complaining that Vanguard is wasting "their" money on more website features...
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Old 09-22-2011, 01:06 PM   #8
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Made me look. Looks like you have to sell something first. I'm seeing this on the cost-basis page:

Quote:
Short-term and long-term gains/losses will be listed as "—" if the data is unavailable, if you have not sold shares of any taxable investment (for unrealized gains/losses only), or if you have not provided tax lot information for brokerage holdings.
and also this, so OP's IRA likely is older than 7/11/11 (of course, why send him the message about the new tool if it's only for IRA's going forward):


Quote:
Cost basis information may not be available for all accounts or holdings. Vanguard doesn't maintain cost basis information for IRAs opened before July 11, 2011. If you're looking to compare the amount you've invested with what it's worth today, you may wish to view your performance. Learn more about cost basis {fyi, this is a link}
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Old 09-22-2011, 01:49 PM   #9
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I like the fact that they didn't change most of the webpage. I got the same e-mail and went there, and had no trouble finding out my account balances broken down by fund as always.

Since I was only at my webpage for a minute or so I didn't notice the cost basis part or anything that was different. I can see why you found the lack of information puzzling. I'd assume that they are still working on it and that there might be something there later on (or not, as BestWifeEver pointed out above).
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Old 09-22-2011, 01:55 PM   #10
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They sent my DW (though strangely not me) a notice saying they are improving the buying interface for mutual funds. You now input all details for the transaction on one page instead of 3-4 pages previously. And they now give same day trade executions for orders placed by 4 pm Eastern and funded by bank draft. Pretty slick.

And if this "minimum level of service" is what saving 10-80 bp results in, then I am definitely ok with that, since this saves me hundreds or thousands every year in unnecessary investment expenses.
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Old 09-22-2011, 01:58 PM   #11
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And if this "minimum level of service" is what saving 10-80 bp results in, then I am definitely ok with that, since this saves me hundreds or thousands every year in unnecessary investment expenses.
The first time I read the above, I read it as "hundreds of thousands". I thought you were quite the big-time investor!
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Old 09-22-2011, 02:06 PM   #12
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The first time I read the above, I read it as "hundreds of thousands". I thought you were quite the big-time investor!
I wish! I guess there might be a hand full of board members that could save "hundreds of thousands" by investing with vanguard over some other high cost adviser or load mutual funds. 80 bp savings on $12.5 million portfolio = $100,000 cost savings. Let's just say I have significantly less than $12.5 million with Vanguard.
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Old 09-22-2011, 02:59 PM   #13
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My bet is that they have to get ready for the new reporting rules that kick in next year 2012 on reporting to the IRS shares sold.

If you bought the shares from them, they should have the info I would think. If it was rolled in, then probably not....
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Old 09-22-2011, 03:20 PM   #14
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I didn't count on them for basis reporting before and I don't intend to start. I track it myself. It is my tax return, not theirs.
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Old 09-22-2011, 08:34 PM   #15
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Quote:
and also this, so OP's IRA likely is older than 7/11/11 (of course, why send him the message about the new tool if it's only for IRA's going forward):


Quote:
Cost basis information may not be available for all accounts or holdings. Vanguard doesn't maintain cost basis information for IRAs opened before July 11, 2011. If you're looking to compare the amount you've invested with what it's worth today, you may wish to view your performance. Learn more about cost basis {fyi, this is a link}
That is the answer! It is a LOT older than 7/11/11.

Like W2R, I am happy with the content and that they did not change the format. Just puzzled about missing info.
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Old 09-23-2011, 06:23 AM   #16
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In-laws entered new level of management with USAA, who insisted that 5 or 6 stocks be included in the fold. Good idea I thought, so that summary data for all of their holdings will be easier to find. Sure enough, there is a brokerage account, they can buy and sell, etc.

A few weeks later USAA sent a form asking for detailed information on when bought, etc. I have no idea when Auntie left AT&T stock through inheritance.

So, this is not a Vanguard only challenge. If the company doesn't know the data for a brokerage account, they can't record it.
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Old 09-23-2011, 01:23 PM   #17
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I have no idea when Auntie left AT&T stock through inheritance.
So, this is not a Vanguard only challenge. If the company doesn't know the data for a brokerage account, they can't record it.
If you know the dates of Auntie's death and the date that the shares were actually received by the beneficiary, then the brokerage can do the rest. Of course you could do it yourself for free and give them the data, too.
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Old 09-23-2011, 01:48 PM   #18
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Vanguard, like other custodians, is probably just doing this as part of the new compliance with cost basis reporting on tax forms and to the IRS.

There have been a whole bunch of new cost-basis reporting features added on the institutional side at Schwab.
Here's an article from FP about Schwab's program.

Schwab Prepares for New Cost-Basis Rules - Financial Planning
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Old 09-23-2011, 02:09 PM   #19
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If you know the dates of Auntie's death and the date that the shares were actually received by the beneficiary, then the brokerage can do the rest. Of course you could do it yourself for free and give them the data, too.


Just as an FYI, it only matters the value on date of death... they get a step up in basis on that day (if there is a gain).... that basis follows the stock even if distributed much later...
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Old 09-23-2011, 03:24 PM   #20
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Just as an FYI, it only matters the value on date of death... they get a step up in basis on that day (if there is a gain).... that basis follows the stock even if distributed much later...
I haven't had to do this since 2002, but back then I thought there was a choice on which date was used.
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