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Vanguard Asset Management Services
Old 02-22-2008, 05:54 PM   #1
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Vanguard Asset Management Services

Other than a brief relationship with a full service broker about 20 years ago, I have always managed my own money. I am all in mutual funds now, basically buy-and-hold other than rebalancing and some minor tweaking and I follow Bernstein's Four Pillars of Investing - already mostly Vanguard funds. I'm 54 and essentially FI now, although I'm not quite ready to quit working yet (primarily because I have good healthcare coverage), at least 4 more years. Although I've done well, I suspect I am not making maximum advantage of some tax nuances, annuities, etc. so I am wondering if I have reached the $ point where some assistance might be wise. I wouldn't pay anyone 1% to manage my money, but Vanguard AMS would cost me just over 0.5% and I'm wondering if it might be worth it. Anyone have any experience with Vanguard Asset Management?
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Old 02-22-2008, 06:57 PM   #2
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If I had to pay 0.5% for assets under management, I would investigate some of the low-cost DFA-sanctioned providers as well. Search this forum and you will find various recommendations.
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Old 02-22-2008, 07:11 PM   #3
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I'm not sure of how much you have to have with Vanguard but I know with a least 1M they will give you a yearly evaluation. Maybe you should just get the annual free evaluation from one of there advisors and put the $ where they tell you, all for free.
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Old 02-22-2008, 07:20 PM   #4
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You might also post at the Bogleheads site. There are some really sharp people there, including the authors of the new Boglehead book.
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Old 02-22-2008, 08:04 PM   #5
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I'm not sure of how much you have to have with Vanguard but I know with a least 1M they will give you a yearly evaluation. Maybe you should just get the annual free evaluation from one of there advisors and put the $ where they tell you, all for free.
I am eligible for the annual evaluation, but I am not much concerned about AA and from prior evaluations that's pretty much what the free work is. I am wondering if some money in annuities might make sense for me since I've maxed out sheltered and still significant money to work with. Or if there are other tax issues I'm exposing myself to unnecessarily. Some of those details. Thanks...
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Target WR: Approx 2.5% Approx 20% SI (secure income, SS only)
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Old 02-22-2008, 08:11 PM   #6
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Based on your previous posts, I don't see how annuities are helpful to you. My impression is that you can easily have all your tax-inefficient investments in tax-advantaged accounts already.

For example, in my case, we have about half our assets in tax-advantaged accounts and half in taxable accounts. Since it is very unlikely that we will ever have less than half our assets in stocks, we will always be able to put tax-efficient investments in our taxable account. Thus, no need for annuities.
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Old 02-22-2008, 08:17 PM   #7
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Based on your previous posts, I don't see how annuities are helpful to you. My impression is that you can easily have all your tax-inefficient investments in tax-advantaged accounts already.

For example, in my case, we have about half our assets in tax-advantaged accounts and half in taxable accounts. Since it is very unlikely that we will ever have less than half our assets in stocks, we will always be able to put tax-efficient investments in our taxable account. Thus, no need for annuities.
I want you to know that I really appreciate you taking the time to consider my questions, this one and earlier, and sharing your thoughts. This is a great forum, and you're one of the big reasons. Thank you...
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Retired Jun 2011 at age 57

Target AA: 60% equity funds / 35% bond funds / 5% cash
Target WR: Approx 2.5% Approx 20% SI (secure income, SS only)
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Old 02-22-2008, 08:28 PM   #8
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Then take the free evaluation and when you get to speak with the advisor you can ask all the questions about tax savings and such. They are very helpful and from my experience will not steer you toward annuities.
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Old 02-22-2008, 11:11 PM   #9
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To those of you who have had a Vanguard annual evaluation, what do you think of it? Do you follow their advice? I've had a couple of Vanguard annual evaluations but so far haven't acted on them. But now I'm retiring this year and I'm thinking about putting all my assets with Vanguard and following their recommendations. Would that be a good idea? Has anyone done that?
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Old 02-23-2008, 07:16 AM   #10
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To those of you who have had a Vanguard annual evaluation, what do you think of it? Do you follow their advice? I've had a couple of Vanguard annual evaluations but so far haven't acted on them. But now I'm retiring this year and I'm thinking about putting all my assets with Vanguard and following their recommendations. Would that be a good idea? Has anyone done that?
The one I had didn't recommend a lot of changes. And I can get a Portfolio Analysis online as often as I want, which follows pretty much the same strategy as their annual evaluation. From my experience, they recommend a basket of mutual funds, mostly index funds for AA. It's very mainstream, fairly conservative. My portfolio is modeled after Four Pillars of Investing with 8-10 funds, and Vanguard suggested adding one fund and minor tweaking of % AA. Without knowing what your holdings are (I don't want to know), no one can tell you how different the Vanguard recommendation might be. I can tell you that they are sensitive to the tax implications of buying and selling so they do try to work with what you have instead of changing everything if they can. Best of luck...
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No one agrees with other people's opinions; they merely agree with their own opinions -- expressed by somebody else. Sydney Tremayne
Retired Jun 2011 at age 57

Target AA: 60% equity funds / 35% bond funds / 5% cash
Target WR: Approx 2.5% Approx 20% SI (secure income, SS only)
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Old 02-23-2008, 08:19 AM   #11
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I took the general advise on the yearly checkup, but pushed back on a couple of recommendations and asked their opinion on what I wanted to do. Sometimes they agreed my approach was just as good, maybe with more risk. A few times they pointed out what was wrong with my ideas. I still need to make an appointment for this years adjustments.

I looked at VG Asset Management as a fall back if my mental abilities start sliding and my wife has to take over and isn't comfortable with that roll. I have told her that the switch can be pulled with a phone call to VG (and probably some paper work) if needed. I am in the process of creating a Dead Book, as suggested on this forum, so she can hopefully manage things herself.

Jeb
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Old 02-23-2008, 02:29 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by km4hr View Post
To those of you who have had a Vanguard annual evaluation, what do you think of it? Do you follow their advice? I've had a couple of Vanguard annual evaluations but so far haven't acted on them. But now I'm retiring this year and I'm thinking about putting all my assets with Vanguard and following their recommendations. Would that be a good idea? Has anyone done that?
There may be a few types of evaluations. When we moved over a slug of money in 2003 I got a free evaluation and had to fill out a fairly long survey ahead of time. The person I spoke to was very pleasant and knowledgeble. He was also willing to listen to me and follow up. I think we spent a few hours in 2 or so sessions. I would recommend using that process.

The freebee checkup I got a few years ago was not so good. The guy seemed to be opinionated and wanted to wrap things up after an hour. I guess the hour limit was reasonable. He wanted to convince me that IRA to Roth conversions were a wash. I did not agree given our tax scenario and expectations for the future. Anyway it seemed a bit worthless. Still if you get one idea out of it, then it's probably worth it. But I haven't done it this year.
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