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signing up with Vanguard Personal Advisor Service
Old 01-05-2018, 12:00 PM   #1
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signing up with Vanguard Personal Advisor Service

Interesting conversation with Vanguard regarding their advisor service. Currently, 90% of our portfolio is indexing very nicely at Vanguard.

DW has zero appetite for financial education or conversation. My concern is that if something happens to moi, she will be lost and $$$ will most likely will fall into some FA's lap at some astronomical fee.

Today I found out that I can put a minimum amount (50k) under Vanguard's PAS and retain a specific advisor rather than someone in their rotating pool. That advisor can start a file that will memorialize our agreed upon goals and and advise with the intent to roll over all $$$ into PAS if I'm out of the picture. This would give DW someone who will provide council for most everything except taxes. Main goal is to 'stay the course' and keep distributions in the range we set up initially.

We're both retired and are blessed to have other income from pensions along with SS, so the distributions supplement our income. She will not be totally vulnerable in any situation I can imagine.

So, with 50k AUM the annual fee will be $150. Seems well worth it to me.

Am I missing anything?
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Old 01-05-2018, 12:19 PM   #2
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Let us know how that works out. We have all of our retirement at VG and have considered PAS for when I'm gone. I'll be curious to see if you get the same treatment with only 50K invested? It's worth a trial run, I would think.
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Old 01-05-2018, 12:55 PM   #3
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Yep. Keep us posted. DW of four years is reluctant to give up on FA(high fee) of thirty plus years to go to Vanguard. Slowly slowly.

heh heh heh -
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Old 01-05-2018, 02:04 PM   #4
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I'm interested to hear how this goes as well.
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Old 01-05-2018, 03:29 PM   #5
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OP, Is your portfolio complicated or is it a "couch potato" portfolio? If it's complicated, then simplify it so your wife won't have to worry about it. Why pay a fee? My husband has no interest in our finances. I have his accounts in "couch potato" mode and the more aggressive investing, we have a friend that would help him.
I'm pretty sure there was a similar thread, though I don't know how to find it.
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Old 01-05-2018, 03:40 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by splitwdw View Post
OP, Is your portfolio complicated or is it a "couch potato" portfolio? If it's complicated, then simplify it so your wife won't have to worry about it. Why pay a fee? My husband has no interest in our finances. I have his accounts in "couch potato" mode and the more aggressive investing, we have a friend that would help him.
I'm pretty sure there was a similar thread, though I don't know how to find it.
Couch potato...very simple with 45 equities 40 bonds and 15 cash. All Vanguard index funds. I have always handled rebalancing. I just am looking for a comforting, calm advisor who can be a sounding board or discuss options she might have if big events happen down the road and to keep her in the slow and steady lane.
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Old 01-05-2018, 03:56 PM   #7
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I moved about 75% of our investments to VPAS for the same reason as OP. DW is not interested in investing and I want a simple vehicle to support her if I croak. The .03 fee is probably not worth what they currently do, which is periodically rebalance to a 50/50 mix. But down the road they will definitely be useful to help her out with the most tax-advantaged way to withdraw assets.
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Old 01-05-2018, 04:01 PM   #8
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I thought of this too since my spouse has no interest in learning about investing. My problem is that Vanguard's website is not very intuitive and their procedures are cumbersome. I recently moved the Vanguard assets to Fido. I would not want to use Fido's PAS services though.
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Old 01-05-2018, 08:05 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tailgate View Post
Today I found out that I can put a minimum amount (50k) under Vanguard's PAS and retain a specific advisor rather than someone in their rotating pool. That advisor can start a file that will memorialize our agreed upon goals and and advise with the intent to roll over all $$$ into PAS if I'm out of the picture. This would give DW someone who will provide council for most everything except taxes. Main goal is to 'stay the course' and keep distributions in the range we set up initially.
....
Am I missing anything?
Think about the scenario where that specific advisor you selected retires early.

I bring this up because I have a family member who uses PAS and this situation happened to them recently.

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Old 01-05-2018, 08:12 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Linney View Post
Think about the scenario where that specific advisor you selected retires early.

I bring this up because I have a family member who uses PAS and this situation happened to them recently.

--Linney
In the last year Vanguard has replaced one PAS advisor for some assets held there.

I have twice as much in Fidelity and shortly I'll be meeting my fourth Private Client representative in the same time.

What was the concern?
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Old 01-05-2018, 08:25 PM   #11
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What was the concern?
In the first post, OP expressed that he wanted to retain a specific advisor rather than someone from the general pool.

While that might be fine initially, advisors appear to come and go and OP needs to think about what happens when his hand-picked advisor leaves, retires, etc.
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Old 01-05-2018, 08:43 PM   #12
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In the first post, OP expressed that he wanted to retain a specific advisor rather than someone from the general pool.

While that might be fine initially, advisors appear to come and go and OP needs to think about what happens when his hand-picked advisor leaves, retires, etc.
Yes but.. That's an unrealistic expectation. With PAS you are given a specific advisor, who may not always be immediately available. Given Vanguard's "swiss army" approach to phones you can't guarantee who's going to answer.

You are contracting for a service, not a person. People move, take on new responsibilities, retire, or leave organizations. They're not a fixture, nor do I want them to be. I'd like it if my advisor went on to be the next CFO.

I think we are both suggesting the same thing to the OP; no guarantee who's up next.

My first two Fidelity reps were great, the last one I fired and am waiting for the branch manager to contact me. Point is you can go from great to not in a hurry. Perhaps the limited nature of VPAS helps keep the aggressive annuity sales people away?
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Old 01-05-2018, 09:15 PM   #13
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If it's anything like Flagship advisors, you'll have many over a long time frame. I think I'm on my 3rd Flagship rep in the last year.
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Old 01-05-2018, 09:58 PM   #14
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You are contracting for a service, not a person. People move, take on new responsibilities, retire, or leave organizations. They're not a fixture, nor do I want them to be. I'd like it if my advisor went on to be the next CFO.

I think we are both suggesting the same thing to the OP; no guarantee who's up next.
Yes. I laid it out as a question to consider, but you did a fine job of filling in the blanks

Over the past 4 years I have observed up close and personal how Vanguard PAS service operates for my family member. All in all I think they do a good job. Transition from initial advisor to the second advisor went reasonably smooth. They adhere to the plan that was agreed on. We have had to make some tweaks along the way but that is due to complexities in family member's portolio, not Vanguard's fault, and Vanguard has been supportive in implementing those tweaks.
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Old 01-05-2018, 10:47 PM   #15
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So if you have hypothetically $2M in VG accounts, you could move $50K into a PAS account and they would help your spouse manage the whole balance after your demise?
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Old 01-29-2018, 03:24 PM   #16
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OP here- with update..

Just got off phone with our designated PA and the initial phone call. Nice enough guy, CFP. Didn't try to sell anything. We reviewed the current situation and scheduled a followup phone call to discuss the recommendations he will send shortly.

I'm sure it's the same analysis I've seen before... robo, plug-in and spit out stuff, but that's fine. I just want to have a fall back for my DW just in case. She is totally indifferent about the whole subject.

This service is worth the expense for me to be at peace that she will have someone to talk with who has a fiduciary relationship with the money we have. Other than that, I wouldn't be inclined to use their service.
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Old 01-29-2018, 04:11 PM   #17
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Is Vanguard's PAS actually act as fiduciaries? Or is it "best fit"?
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