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Vanguard Transition is too much trouble
Old 11-04-2019, 12:18 PM   #1
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Vanguard Transition is too much trouble

I have a fairly large Vanguard IRA on the old platform (just mutual funds). I recently got a notice from Vanguard that I need to transition to the new brokerage platform because the old platform is going away. I log on and went to my account, searched everywhere and could not find a way to transition. I contacted my account rep (yes I still have one of those) who is going too send me the paperwork to do the transition but he says one of the forms will have to be notarized (the form pointing my DH as my agent). I told him that the notary is too much trouble, I had already appointed my husband as my agent and that should just transition over without having to be redone. What is this transition thing so much trouble? What if I don't do the transition? Will Vanguard close my account?
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Old 11-04-2019, 12:24 PM   #2
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The only reason I haven't done the transition. I already had the joint brokerage and had agent authorization enforced why should the MF accounts be different?
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Old 11-04-2019, 01:20 PM   #3
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I also could not find the transition button after getting the link. So we will wait...
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Old 11-04-2019, 02:01 PM   #4
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DH and I have POA on each other's retirement accounts at Fidelity, TDAmeritrade, and Vanguard. None of the POA forms required notarization, including Vanguard, IIRC.

It doesn't sound as though you have a choice to opt out of the transition. I don't think they would just close your IRA, because that could have potential tax consequences. Do you have an account at a local bank or brokerage? You may be able to get a notary there. I think the UPS store offers notary services for a fee.

Worst case scenario is that you'd wind up with a brokerage IRA at Vanguard with no POA, until and unless you decide to jump through their hoops.
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Old 11-04-2019, 02:09 PM   #5
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This is one of the many reasons that we closed all of our accounts at Vanguard. Between this and them blocking my accounts because my mail was being returned (we've lived in the same house for nearly 10 years, so no clue what their issue was) I had enough. Even when I went to transfer the accounts, they blocked one of my wife's due to some strange hold they had on it (can't remember the issue due to the extreme anger I had at the time). I have one last account there that is my wife's 401k. Since she just left that job, I will be moving it very soon and I don't think for a second that it will go smoothly.
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Old 11-04-2019, 02:52 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by harllee View Post
I have a fairly large Vanguard IRA on the old platform (just mutual funds). I recently got a notice from Vanguard that I need to transition to the new brokerage platform because the old platform is going away. I log on and went to my account, searched everywhere and could not find a way to transition. I contacted my account rep (yes I still have one of those) who is going too send me the paperwork to do the transition but he says one of the forms will have to be notarized (the form pointing my DH as my agent). I told him that the notary is too much trouble, I had already appointed my husband as my agent and that should just transition over without having to be redone. What is this transition thing so much trouble? What if I don't do the transition? Will Vanguard close my account?
Your bank probably has a notary. DW just used one at a local bank. I'm not sure why it's so much trouble to notarize something, my guess is that Vanguard needs to comply with updated regulations. Did you have the first form notarized? It's quite likely a difference in the underlying technology that makes it necessary to replace the notary.

As far as will Vanguard close your account? Not likely, at least now. At some point they will make a decision on what it costs to maintain the old system(millions per year) vs . what assets remain on it. I've seen systems quiesced when conditions are right.

I remember when the existing system was created; it was state of the art. Of course that was 35 years ago and technology changes. It's hard to find developers who even know the old stuff and harder to find ones who admit to it!
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Old 11-04-2019, 02:57 PM   #7
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Unless this is something new that I haven't heard about, they informed all Vanguard investors about the mutual fund account>brokerage account transition in March 2018. Since they were eliminating mutual fund accounts for everyone, I didn't see any reason to wait, and did it then. It was easy then, no idea how it's done now 1 years later.
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Old 11-04-2019, 03:03 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by harllee View Post
I have a fairly large Vanguard IRA on the old platform (just mutual funds). I recently got a notice from Vanguard that I need to transition to the new brokerage platform because the old platform is going away. I log on and went to my account, searched everywhere and could not find a way to transition. I contacted my account rep (yes I still have one of those) who is going too send me the paperwork to do the transition but he says one of the forms will have to be notarized (the form pointing my DH as my agent). I told him that the notary is too much trouble, I had already appointed my husband as my agent and that should just transition over without having to be redone. What is this transition thing so much trouble? What if I don't do the transition? Will Vanguard close my account?
It's not any trouble at all.... I've transitioned some but not all... since it seems they are finally getting serious about it, I'll do the remainder in the first few days of January 2020.

If you log on and go to the Holdings tab, just below the name of the account there is a brown colored "Transition this account"... click on that and follow the prompts. You have to log in as the account owner... if I log in it shows the transition this account for my accounts but not for DW's... to see it on hers I need to use her login.

I've done a couple and it was all online... no forms to fill in.

My understanding is that if you don't do the transition at some point they will just do it for you.
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Old 11-04-2019, 03:27 PM   #9
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OP - rather than transition, perhaps you just want to move to a new brokerage account,
many of them are offering $600 bonus if you move $200K .
Talk to a rep because if you are going to move a lot more than $200K, they will pay larger bonuses.
Might as well get paid for the effort of moving.

You start a move by phoning the new brokerage and telling them you want to move your investments... they will be glad to help.
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Old 11-04-2019, 03:27 PM   #10
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It's not any trouble at all.... I've transitioned some but not all... since it seems they are finally getting serious about it, I'll do the remainder in the first few days of January 2020.

If you log on and go to the Holdings tab, just below the name of the account there is a brown colored "Transition this account"... click on that and follow the prompts. You have to log in as the account owner... if I log in it shows the transition this account for my accounts but not for DW's... to see it on hers I need to use her login.

I've done a couple and it was all online... no forms to fill in.

My understanding is that if you don't do the transition at some point they will just do it for you.
Once you find the link, it is easy. My biggest problem was I logged on as DW. No such transition link was to be found. Logged on as me. Lo and behold! I found a link.
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Old 11-04-2019, 04:18 PM   #11
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OP here, I logged on to my own account spent maybe 15 minutes searching, found no transition link. My Flagship Rep is suppose to send me the link. As to the agent notary I don't remember having to get a notary before, maybe this is something new. True I can go to my local bank or credit union and get a notary but why should I have to? This is something Vanguard is asking me to do. My husband is my agent on my current account, why can't that just follow to the new account. I have a large account with Vanguard and have been with them about 30 years (before there was even a website). Overall I have had a good experience with them and would hate to change. But this transition thing is just irritating me. Vanguard asked me to transition and then they make it hard.
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Old 11-04-2019, 04:26 PM   #12
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harllee.... if you log on to your own account and click on the Holdings tab you don't see something like this just below the name of your account?
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Old 11-04-2019, 04:40 PM   #13
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It's not any trouble at all.... I've transitioned some but not all... since it seems they are finally getting serious about it, I'll do the remainder in the first few days of January 2020.

If you log on and go to the Holdings tab, just below the name of the account there is a brown colored "Transition this account"... click on that and follow the prompts. You have to log in as the account owner... if I log in it shows the transition this account for my accounts but not for DW's... to see it on hers I need to use her login.

I've done a couple and it was all online... no forms to fill in.

My understanding is that if you don't do the transition at some point they will just do it for you.
I doubt it -- unless they have gone to the Wells Fargo school of customer management. I don't think that opening new accounts without the consent of the owners would pass regulatory muster.

I would expect them to either close or transfer the account. The account agreement probably addresses this somewhere.

FWIW - I still have ~ 1/2 dozen Vanguard MF accounts between DW and myself.
I suspect I will be moving the assets elsewhere when the time comes.

Vanguard appears to have lost its way after Bogle died.

-gauss
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Old 11-04-2019, 04:43 PM   #14
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I did our joint account and my Roth early on right after the end of year to avoid two tax statements. We (I) had not accessed DWs IRA or Roth for a long time and just noticed that it wasn't done a couple of days ago. I clicked around a couple of views and saw the transition link in the upper left under the account heading. Took about 30 seconds and since these were an tIRA and a Roth no hassle with two tax statements.
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Old 11-04-2019, 04:54 PM   #15
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I doubt it -- unless they have gone to the Wells Fargo school of customer management. I don't think that opening new accounts without the consent of the owners would pass regulatory muster. ...

Vanguard appears to have lost its way after Bogle died. ...
Ignorant comment... there are no "new" accounts a la Wells Fargo.

They wouldn't be opening a new account... but rather just changing
its form (mutual fund to brokerage holding the same mutual funds).. no substantive change.

You would have one brokerage account after for each mutual fund account that you had before... in some cases where you had both a mutual fund and a brokerage account of the same type (for example, taxable or tIRA or Roth IRA) you would have fewer accounts.

While I concede that today's Vanguard isn't the same Vanguard that we know and love, it is still the best looking horse in the glue factory.
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Old 11-04-2019, 05:02 PM   #16
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Your bank probably has a notary. DW just used one at a local bank. I'm not sure why it's so much trouble to notarize something, my guess is that Vanguard needs to comply with updated regulations. Did you have the first form notarized? It's quite likely a difference in the underlying technology that makes it necessary to replace the notary.
I doubt that updated regulations or underlying technology have anything to do with it. Just last month, DH made me POA of his new TD Ameritrade SDBAs, no notary required. Maybe it's just one of the Vanguard policies that most other firms don't have.
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Old 11-04-2019, 05:28 PM   #17
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I doubt it -- unless they have gone to the Wells Fargo school of customer management. I don't think that opening new accounts without the consent of the owners would pass regulatory muster.
I'd guess that there are exceptions for things like this transition situation, just as there are for employer sponsored accounts. DH got a month's notice back in August that Vanguard was transferring half of his 401k to TD Ameritrade. By not closing the VBO and transferring the assets back to the standard mutual fund side, we, in effect, consented to the transfer. Since Midpack said that Vanguard announced this over a year ago, by not taking action to move the mutual fund accounts to a brokerage account at another firm, Vanguard customers are, in effect, consenting to have a Vanguard brokerage account opened for them.

That said, OP has the choice to use the notary available at the local bank, if staying with Vanguard is desired. Transferring assets to another firm is about equal work, if that is preferable.
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Old 11-04-2019, 06:40 PM   #18
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harllee.... if you log on to your own account and click on the Holdings tab you don't see something like this just below the name of your account?
OP here, no, when I log in to my own account and click on Holdings I do not see anything about transition. I got a message from my Account Rep today who said the transition info with a completed form would appear under "New Accounts" but when I click on New Accounts do not see any Transition form. It seems that the ability to transition is hiding from me so I will just stay where I am until they kick me out.
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Old 11-04-2019, 06:43 PM   #19
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When I click the Transition option VG takes me to a page of lots of forms, none of which mentions the word "transition". Which form is the one to use? Really, VG needs to make this more obvious and easier.
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Old 11-04-2019, 06:50 PM   #20
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I doubt it -- unless they have gone to the Wells Fargo school of customer management. I don't think that opening new accounts without the consent of the owners would pass regulatory muster.
-gauss
Personally from my experience, I would not bet against Vanguard taking independent action. The experience is from some time ago when they converted all accounts from POD to TOD. They unilaterally converted all her positions to TOD and in the process fundamentally changed the beneficiaries in the process.
One of the main reason we left Vanguard was their repeated and unpredictable ineptness in executing administrative processes.
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