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Old 03-17-2017, 09:46 AM   #21
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I am super not impressed with Vanguard. Platform is way old, rules are weird. Too lazy to move my ancient IRA with them.
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Old 03-17-2017, 09:53 AM   #22
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I am not an active trader. I make one trade, or less, a year. The Vanguard site works fine for me, but bear in mind that I am not exactly a power user.
+1 I don't really have to deal with them much at all any more.

Every dealing I have ever had with Vanguard has been completely top notch. Frank deals with them too, and they were wonderful with him yesterday, going above and beyond the level of service one might expect.

So no, the idea of leaving Vanguard would be absolutely, totally insane in my case. But in a forum this large, there are going to be people whose opinions vary and who probably aren't totally insane... I guess.


Edited to add: One caveat; I should probably mention that the reason I found the Early Retirement Forum was Vanguard. I followed the Morningstar Vanguard Diehards forum years ago, before the Bogleheads split off from it. On Diehards somebody mentioned an Early Retirement Forum had just been started, and I began reading over here. Then Bogleheads once it was started, instead of Vanguard Diehards. Then eventually I registered here. So, Vanguard is really why I am here at all.
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Old 03-17-2017, 10:04 AM   #23
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I've been a Vanguard customer for 35 years.

But I have most of my portfolio at other places.

Vanguard is fine and many other places are just as fine. Each place has their own quirks. It is probably too much trouble (that is, no trouble at all) to move accounts around among different financial institutions just to find another place with annoying quirks.

So is the grass greener on the other side? You will only know by moving as customer testimonials are not reliable as service is pretty good everywhere.
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Old 03-17-2017, 10:05 AM   #24
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"Anyone ever leave Vanguard?" -

I've checked and am surprised to find that leaving Vanguard is not against the Community Rules.
LOL!!!!

I had an inherited IRA at Vanguard - but at the time my dad died they were beyond incompetant. My sister (executor) was handling it and we were both beneficiaries. They lost not just 1 death certificate - but 4 or 5.... they death certificates were sent certified mail with the appropriate forms... and Vanguard would acknowledge they received the forms but somehow were losing the death certificates in the same envelope. It took 3 months to finally get it all processed. My sister rolled her money to Schwab immediately because she was so disgusted... I waited another year... but ended up moving to Schwab.

Schwab has cheaper ERs on their index funds these days and cheaper trades.

I still have my sons' 529s at Vanguard... My dad started these. Despite Vanguard having *finally* received the death certificate for the inherited IRA - they could not transfer that information to the 529 group. And you guessed it - they lost the first one I sent so I had to send a 2nd one. Since these have to be certified copies - the hassle factor went up.

My husband has been slowing moving his IRA money to Vanguard... He's super conservative so it's been like pulling teeth to get him out of CDs and into Wellesley. Fortunately, their customer service is decent for getting the money *into* vanguard... just not so good if you die or want to roll out of vanguard.
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Old 03-17-2017, 10:24 AM   #25
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I've been with Schwab for 24 years. Their platform is easy to use. They just lowered their expense ratio on many of their index funds to 0.03. DS just opened a a Roth IRA this week; it took 10 minutes. I have two step authentication to log in. It takes less than 2 days to move money into my checking account. I have my IRA, taxable portfolio, and an inherited IRA with them.
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Old 03-17-2017, 10:36 AM   #26
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LOL!!!!

I had an inherited IRA at Vanguard - but at the time my dad died they were beyond incompetant. My sister (executor) was handling it and we were both beneficiaries. They lost not just 1 death certificate - but 4 or 5.... they death certificates were sent certified mail with the appropriate forms... and Vanguard would acknowledge they received the forms but somehow were losing the death certificates in the same envelope. It took 3 months to finally get it all processed. My sister rolled her money to Schwab immediately because she was so disgusted... I waited another year... but ended up moving to Schwab.
If I had a dollar for every death certificate lost by all fund companies.:sly:

Depending on when you were doing the transaction the process is different. This isn't totally specific to VGI but the industry in general.

In the way back machine, you sent the cert in and the paper was passed around the office. In that world many difficult(death claims generally are) transactions were lost! They tended to get stuffed in drawers and lost. Fund companies knew this and had manual processes that were only so good.

Then in the late 80s- middle 90s, imaging became the standard in the back office. The work became impossible to hide but many times the process of pulling the original death certificates and sending them back went sideways. I suppose the scan folks could have been confused about the process and bypassed scanning the death cert and send it back. The images and the work might not get married correctly and been lost.

Around the recession volumes increased and big organizations had a volume problem, technology improved around scanning rates and OCR capabilities, today the biggest fund companies don't have to touch the stuff to go back to the client. It should be impossible to lose a death cert.:sly: I'm sure it's still a problem.
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Old 03-17-2017, 10:37 AM   #27
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I went with Vanguard early in my investing career, eventually reaching Flagship status so was supposedly receiving the best service available. After multiple administrative screw-ups and dealing with CSRs who had little to no ability to problem solve, moved everything to Fido.
While there are occasionally disappointments at Fido, overall the benefits of having competence and ability to work issues and a true interest in client satisfaction, Vanguard offers nothing I can not get many times better at Fido. Examples include one of the best in industry website, awesome tools for planning and trading, excellent customer service.
BTW, with Fido handling the transfer, I had all my Vanguard positions transferred to Fido in a week. I converted my Admiral funds to ETF equivalents (Vanguard rep gave the third degree why I would even think of such a thing) so lost nothing with regards to fees.
It is almost as if, the lower their fees go, the worst their administrative skills to seem to be. For example, a few months ago I received notice of an upcoming change in my DM's account. Whoops, she has been deceased for nine years. Took a 30+ minute call to reach the correct person and to actually get the account closed even though it was supposedly done when all the funds were distributed at her death in 2008!
If you are just parking your investments in their core funds, you will probably be satisfied but you expect anything more , start looking for a better option.
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Old 03-17-2017, 10:45 AM   #28
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Count me among the non-power users who have very few transactions and find the site perfectly satisfactory for my needs. No more than 5 discrete funds across a joint taxable, his and hers Rollover IRAs and a VVA. So not too much to screw up either.
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Old 03-17-2017, 10:48 AM   #29
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I've been a Vanguard customer for over 30 years. I like the variety of funds, their low cost (historically the lowest and still quite low in the universe of what is available).

I don't do many transactions so the website meets my modest needs though I concede it is a bit klunky. I have had occasional issues with transactions over the years and my Flagship rep has been a godsend in sorting things out... so IME overall their service is ok but not great.

I do occasionally get frustrated with their bureaucracy. I recall wanting to do a gains trade to realize a capital gain for tax purposes and wanted sell and buy the same fund in the same day (Total Stock) and their frequent trading restriction got in the way because technically I was selling and buying. I got around it by selling Total Stock and buying S&P 500 (65%) and Extended Market Index (35%) which amounted to the same thing. Have also flipped between Total International and FTSE All-world ex-US for the same reasons.
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Old 03-17-2017, 11:01 AM   #30
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Never used them myself, but they don't get very good reviews on Yelp.

https://www.yelp.com/biz/vanguard-group-malvern

Every Yelp review gets at least one star.

More comments here:
https://www.consumeraffairs.com/auto.../vanguard.html
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Old 03-17-2017, 11:14 AM   #31
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For those with Schwab how is the security? I had them for stock and options from a former employer and the security was pathetic. Not that long ago passwords were limited to 8 characters with no symbols and were case insensitive! This got "fixed" but I was unsure of how well. I've also heard that the their 2 factor authentication is badly implemented.

For reasons other than their security I've been considering them but the security issue has kept me at bay.
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Old 03-17-2017, 11:15 AM   #32
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Been a Vanguard customer for a long time. I don't do transactions much as try have set up mostly on auto pilot (except for the annual rebalancing).
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Old 03-17-2017, 11:35 AM   #33
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I'm about ready to leave Vanguard.

It took me three phone calls and several online attempts to get my e-mail address changed. Three weeks after FINALLY getting it changed, they send me an e-mail (to the new address) saying I need to change my e-mail address since they cannot successfully send e-mails to it??

After three years of taking RMD's, I have yet to get them to actually mail me a CHECK for the actual RMD withdrawal. Apparently, their forms don't allow making a check out to me, but I can have the check made out to a third party or have the funds reinvested or sent to a bank.
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Old 03-17-2017, 11:58 AM   #34
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Good to know.

I've never had a problem getting my broker to send me a check made out to me. After all, it is my money eh?

I'll add them to my list of companies I'll never do business with.
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Old 03-17-2017, 12:03 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by rodi View Post
LOL!!!!

I had an inherited IRA at Vanguard - but at the time my dad died they were beyond incompetant. My sister (executor) was handling it and we were both beneficiaries. They lost not just 1 death certificate - but 4 or 5.... they death certificates were sent certified mail with the appropriate forms... and Vanguard would acknowledge they received the forms but somehow were losing the death certificates in the same envelope. It took 3 months to finally get it all processed. My sister rolled her money to Schwab immediately because she was so disgusted... I waited another year... but ended up moving to Schwab.

Schwab has cheaper ERs on their index funds these days and cheaper trades.

I still have my sons' 529s at Vanguard... My dad started these. Despite Vanguard having *finally* received the death certificate for the inherited IRA - they could not transfer that information to the 529 group. And you guessed it - they lost the first one I sent so I had to send a 2nd one. Since these have to be certified copies - the hassle factor went up.

My husband has been slowing moving his IRA money to Vanguard... He's super conservative so it's been like pulling teeth to get him out of CDs and into Wellesley. Fortunately, their customer service is decent for getting the money *into* vanguard... just not so good if you die or want to roll out of vanguard.
They have the same incompetency in moving money into Vanguard. I have been their customer for 35 years too, but I didn't noticed their incompetency until recently. I'm not the only one. My secretary had the same problem. I think they must be overwhelmed with the massive growth to low cost funds and Vanguard is well known for it.
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Old 03-17-2017, 12:05 PM   #36
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2 letters in the mail, 4 emails, 4 messages on their site and a couple phone calls recently saying I had a problem with my email account. In the end, it was an error on there end. Nothing wrong with my email. They seem to perform great as long as you don't use them much or do much of anything. I figured I was the only one. Looks like there are a few of us out there.
Am sure most folks that are happy with them, will remain happy with them. Change isn't something many folks like. But after 20 years with Vanguard I think its time to move into the 21st century.
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Old 03-17-2017, 12:28 PM   #37
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...

After three years of taking RMD's, I have yet to get them to actually mail me a CHECK for the actual RMD withdrawal. Apparently, their forms don't allow making a check out to me, but I can have the check made out to a third party or have the funds reinvested or sent to a bank.
I've only used electronic bank transfers. Generally I'll make the transaction on a Monday and the money is at the bank on Wednesday. Why bother with paper checks?
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Old 03-17-2017, 12:47 PM   #38
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I am retiring in July and my wife in December of this year. A few years ago I established a Roth with Vanguard and had pretty much decided to roll my 401Ks over to them as we retire.

However I have come to believe that there is risk (administrative not financial) in having all of our eggs in one basket. That in combination with all of the complaints that I have been seeing about VG service has me inclined to keep my VG Roth and possibly add to it and to roll my 401Ks to Schwab or Fidelity.

Vanguard does know they have a problem and I read that they are planning to hire as many as 1,700 new staff to get a better handle on things. I hope that works out for them as they have a great history and have contributed much to U.S. investors.

VG did make a mistake in initially setting up my Roth as a regular IRA but they quickly corrected it after only one phone call when I pointed it out and I did not experience a lengthy wait time. The people that helped me were professional and courteous at the time.
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Old 03-17-2017, 12:47 PM   #39
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Paper checks being mailed is the way Vanguard rolls with IRA transfers. They said I could set it up for electronic transfer, but mailing would be much faster the way they are set up. Am on day #8 waiting for funds sent from Vanguard... Was told 7-10 days is about as fast as they could do it. I offered to pay extra for overnight, but no. Not an option. Tracking also not an option......... The more I think about it, the less I like it.........




"The people that helped me were professional and courteous at the time."
Agree, they are always super nice and knowledgeable on the phone. Its just everything else.
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Old 03-17-2017, 12:58 PM   #40
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On another note, sites that keep changing and updating can also be tedious for some.
The updates aren't that bad. I really haven't noticed too much trouble finding things, but FIDO has to have one of the best websites going. Great knowledge bases to learn from, great planning tools and I think, easy to use. I couldn't imagine moving from FIDO.
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