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Vanguard Financial Planning
Old 11-08-2013, 05:55 PM   #1
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Vanguard Financial Planning

Hi,

I thought I read that Vanguard offers free retirement planning if you have an account with them? I have about $40K in a mutual fund with them.

Can anyone confirm this and have any other details?

Thanks,
Trooper
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Old 11-08-2013, 06:20 PM   #2
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Hi,

I thought I read that Vanguard offers free retirement planning if you have an account with them? I have about $40K in a mutual fund with them.

Can anyone confirm this and have any other details?

Thanks,
Trooper
I thought you need to be a Voyager member, unless that's change recently
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Old 11-08-2013, 06:25 PM   #3
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Yes, the free one is the top level account..... over $1 million...

Sorry, but $40K will not get you a free one....
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Old 11-08-2013, 06:27 PM   #4
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Yes, the free one is the top level account..... over $1 million...

Sorry, but $40K will not get you a free one....
That's not correct, it's 500k (Investors with a minimum of $500,000 in Vanguard assets):

Free consultations with a CFP® professional from Vanguard anytime the need arises, or a more detailed financial plan for your long-term investment goals—also at no cost.
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Old 11-08-2013, 06:28 PM   #5
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I thought you need to be a Voyager member, unless that's change recently
$50,000 to be Voyager
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Old 11-08-2013, 06:34 PM   #6
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A financial plan will cost you $1,000 if your assets are less than $50k, $250 if your assets are greater than $50k and free if over $500k.
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Old 11-08-2013, 06:46 PM   #7
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I told them that I was planning on investing over $500K with them and they gave me a free plan prior to even sending the first dollar to them. Of course I really was planning on doing so, and I did send the money shortly afterward, once they helped me figure out what to do with it.
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Old 11-08-2013, 06:53 PM   #8
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That's not correct, it's 500k (Investors with a minimum of $500,000 in Vanguard assets):

Free consultations with a CFP® professional from Vanguard anytime the need arises, or a more detailed financial plan for your long-term investment goals—also at no cost.

It is at $500K... I thought it was in the Flagship...


Voyager Select Services®

Voyager Select Services offers access to a team of experienced investment professionals, complimentary advice, and additional discounts on brokerage trades.
Investors with a minimum of $500,000 in Vanguard assets*

  • A team of experienced investment professionals who will act as your guide to all we have to offer. They can answer your questions, make transactions, and help you learn about all of the products and services available to you.
  • Free consultations with a CFP® professional from Vanguard anytime the need arises, or a more detailed financial plan for your long-term investment goals—also at no cost.
  • Discounts on brokerage costs, which includes—in addition to commission-free Vanguard ETF trades—$2 commissions for stock and non-Vanguard ETF trades.**
  • Freedom from account service fees at Vanguard.
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Old 11-08-2013, 07:03 PM   #9
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I told them that I was planning on investing over $500K with them and they gave me a free plan prior to even sending the first dollar to them. Of course I really was planning on doing so, and I did send the money shortly afterward, once they helped me figure out what to do with it.
This is really interesting to hear. Last year I called them about moving more assets over from another brokerage, enough to get me over the $500k status (I have $150k at Vanguard now), but it's an all stock portfolio and I didn't want to sell them off. I got a Flagship transfer specialist who wanted me to transfer my assets over, but wouldn't offer me any planning or free trades to entice me to transfer my assets to them because I still wouldn't qualify since stocks are considered non-Vanguard assets.
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Old 11-08-2013, 07:09 PM   #10
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Try calling their concierge desk, (800) 337-8476. They are generally more accommodating in that group.
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Old 11-08-2013, 07:22 PM   #11
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Try calling their concierge desk, (800) 337-8476. They are generally more accommodating in that group.
I just checked the email. it was the concierge services group.
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Old 11-08-2013, 07:29 PM   #12
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It would be generous to call the Vanguard service a "financial plan". My impression is that it covers an investment plan or what funds to invest in and not the usual financial plan stuff such as insurance, taxes, mortgage, college expenses, estate issues, when to have trust, saving for new cars, vacations, etc.
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Old 11-08-2013, 08:33 PM   #13
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I told them that I was planning on investing over $500K with them and they gave me a free plan prior to even sending the first dollar to them.
Good to know Ready, I am also planning to invest that much (more).

I really don't need any of the other "Financial Services" typically offered by a full service broker...just another set of eyes on my retirement plan.
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Old 11-08-2013, 09:23 PM   #14
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It would be generous to call the Vanguard service a "financial plan". My impression is that it covers an investment plan or what funds to invest in and not the usual financial plan stuff such as insurance, taxes, mortgage, college expenses, estate issues, when to have trust, saving for new cars, vacations, etc.
And you are 100% correct.........
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Old 11-08-2013, 11:34 PM   #15
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This is really interesting to hear. Last year I called them about moving more assets over from another brokerage, enough to get me over the $500k status (I have $150k at Vanguard now), but it's an all stock portfolio and I didn't want to sell them off. I got a Flagship transfer specialist who wanted me to transfer my assets over, but wouldn't offer me any planning or free trades to entice me to transfer my assets to them because I still wouldn't qualify since stocks are considered non-Vanguard assets.
Couldn't you just have the shares transferred from your broker to Vanguard and avoid having to sell the shares?
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Old 11-09-2013, 07:53 AM   #16
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It would be generous to call the Vanguard service a "financial plan". My impression is that it covers an investment plan or what funds to invest in and not the usual financial plan stuff such as insurance, taxes, mortgage, college expenses, estate issues, when to have trust, saving for new cars, vacations, etc.
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And you are 100% correct.........
Would you really expect a comprehensive financial plan for free (even at $500K in assets)? The plan is generic Bogle, but the phone call (mine was 45 min) was the most worthwhile aspect of the exercise. And the planner I talked with seemed willing to field any and all questions, the call wasn't over until I had no more questions.

What would a plan that covered everything listed above cost if you went to a local planner? Most of the plans I have seen exclude taxes, though I am sure more expensive ones will include tax impact (using who knows what assumptions).

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Couldn't you just have the shares transferred from your broker to Vanguard and avoid having to sell the shares?
You can, that's exactly what I did when I moved my portfolio. I was still holding several individual stocks.

No disrespect intended, but does $40K warrant a comprehensive financial plan?
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Old 11-09-2013, 08:05 AM   #17
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Would you really expect a comprehensive financial plan for free (even at $500K in assets)?
No, but I expect some truth in advertising.

The Vanguard web site has this text:
Quote:
A detailed financial plan at a discount. A Certified Financial Planner™ (CFP®) professional from Vanguard will analyze your investments and saving strategy.
If it was "A detailed investment plan at a discount.", then that would be better, wouldn't it? They falsely raised expectations by using CFP in the next sentence.

But elsewhere on the site, Vanguard has
Quote:
A Vanguard Financial Plan for long-range planning by a Certified Financial Planner™ (CFP) professional from Vanguard who analyzes your investments and saving strategy.
I can see that there might be a difference between "A detailed financial plan" and "A Vanguard Financial Plan". I suppose Vanguard will eventually fix its web site.

OTOH, Vanguard now offers "face-time" via the internet instead of a phone call.
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Old 11-09-2013, 08:12 AM   #18
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It would be generous to call the Vanguard service a "financial plan". My impression is that it covers an investment plan or what funds to invest in and not the usual financial plan stuff such as insurance, taxes, mortgage, college expenses, estate issues, when to have trust, saving for new cars, vacations, etc.
I think your criticism is unduly harsh. I have never, ever seen a financial plan cover all of the items that you list.

The Vanguard offering is a typical retirement plan. It was good, but I still had to improvise some for it to meet my needs. IIRC it had trouble providing for special expenses like our mortgage (which will only last another 14 years), college costs for DS, DD's wedding costs, etc. All I did was reduce the retirement assets that they used in evaluating the adequacy of funding for our recurring living expenses by my mortgage balance and the expected college and wedding costs. I include provision for new cars and vacations in my living expenses. If I knew I was going to buy a car near term, I would have just reduced the investment assets by the cost of the car.

While the actual plan itself wasn't much better than what I can do myself with Quicken Lifetime Planner and Firecalc, as Midpack mentioned the real value was in being able to spend some with with the CFP asking questions and bouncing some ideas off him.
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Old 11-09-2013, 08:17 AM   #19
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No, but I expect some truth in advertising.
I don't see any false advertising whatsoever among your quotes. They don't meet your definition of a financial plan (comprehensive to be sure), but you're certainly entitled to your POV. Of course there is no accepted definition of what a financial plan should include, so like so much in financial services, (very deliberately) subject to interpretation.
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Old 11-09-2013, 08:29 AM   #20
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Couldn't you just have the shares transferred from your broker to Vanguard and avoid having to sell the shares?

I could but then I'd be giving up the all the benefits (free fin. planning, reduced/ free stock trades, reduced/free turbotax, etc) that should come as a Voyager Select or Flagship customer. Vanguard has this stupid restriction calculating your status based on Vanguard only assets and stocks don't qualify. I'm already getting most of these benefits as a Fidelity Private Client customer and can move 50-100k over time to get free stock trades or some other cash/rewards promotion. At the higher asset levels, I see bigger differences in the customer service between Vanguard and Fidelity. Vanguard has been completely inflexible to entice me to bring over more business to them.
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