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Old 10-08-2021, 09:48 PM   #41
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We have a dedicated advisor who has assistants who provide help completing transactions if you need it. The advisor meets periodically, they call yearly to set a meeting time...if you don't want to meet they don't push.

In our household only one of us really deals with the finances. Something we really appreciate is that periodically we meet with the (free) financial advisor and go over our holdings and review the results of the Retirement Income Planner tool (or whatever they call it now). For us, this is the primary value of the advisor, ensuring we are both aware of the page we are on.

As far as advice, at the core they hew the corporate guidance which is along the lines of:
- Guaranteed income for "core" expenses. If Social Security does not meet core expenses they will consistently suggest Annuities. And every advisor we have had has consistently accepted we don't want annuities.

- Growth for, well, growth. And funding non-core expenses.

If you don't ant to follow their advice, we have had no pushback. And they have never suggested selling non-Fidelity assets and moving the money to Fidelity. Maybe we have just gotten lucky with the advisors we have had, but Fidelity handles 401k assets for company I retired from and all the people I stay in touch with have had the similar experience. Which is not a guarantee all advisors are the same.

Quality of advice? We do our own thing for better or worse. We listen, alternate perspectives are always good to hear.
Some time ago Vanguard had a dedicated Advisor/contact person for investors that had above a certain level of investments. If memory serves, investments over $1M achieved a "flagship" status and thus had access to that advisor/contact person to help navigate the Vanguard system. That has been gone for some time now and as far as I can tell there is no discernible advantage to have millions invested with Vanguard as far as service is concerned. Perhaps there is some super flagship level where those advantages come back into play but I don't know what that level would be.
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Old 10-08-2021, 10:42 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by OldShooter View Post
Slightly more accurately, just trying to dig out of the hole they were in after the zero-fee wars. I don't think we've seen the end of firms' maneuvering to recover.
This John Bogle video, from 3 years ago, expresses his concern about Vanguard's size (back when they were 4.7 trillion instead of today's 8 trillion) and the fee wars and economies of scale. Perhaps they've reached the tipping point? Anyhow, it's always entertaining to listen to John Bogle.

I think you have to click the link to watch it on youtube.

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Old 10-08-2021, 11:44 PM   #43
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They don't make it that easy. I was able to call them and remove myself from all marketing material. I don't get the advisor pop-up anymore when I login, so whatever they did solved the problem for me.
I think it requires 2 clicks, not sure how it could be easier. (1 click?)
No phone call required, are you saying you tried that and it didn’t work?
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Old 10-09-2021, 02:24 AM   #44
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I think it requires 2 clicks, not sure how it could be easier. (1 click?)

No phone call required, are you saying you tried that and it didn’t work?

I couldn’t find a way to opt out of ads when prompted online. Did I miss it?

I now have zero clicks. I called Vanguard, told them I’m not interested and now they are all gone.
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Old 10-09-2021, 05:37 AM   #45
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Bare bones login page

Here is an even lighter weight login page link that worked today for me to login to Vanguard with a minimum of fluff. I was using a Windows PC (not sure if this matters or not).

https://personal.vanguard.com/us/hnwnesc/nesc/LoginPage

The international mail service message is still present, but it is very unobtrusive IMHO.
No references to "Advisors" on this page.

YMMV
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Old 10-09-2021, 06:11 AM   #46
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We’ve been using their advisory service for a few years. We meet quarterly with our advisor and he does a good job. I agree that it’s possible to opt out of the ads you’re seeing if your not interested. But maybe have a conversation with Vanguard to learn more. In the past year I had conversations with two people who had significant balances with Vanguard and starting working with local financial planners. Fees were higher and some of the guidance they described for portfolio choices and investments were out of my comfort zone.
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Why is Vanguard pushing the Advisory service so hard?
Old 10-09-2021, 06:58 AM   #47
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Why is Vanguard pushing the Advisory service so hard?

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So for Vanguard to compete in the new playing field, they now have to offer some of those higher cost structure funds to their client base to cover their overhead. It was inevitable that building a company entirely on low cost index funds could only last so long. While index funds may be the best choice for the investor, it’s not necessarily a winning formula for growing Vanguard’s business under the current business climate.
Yes! Someone is paying for Fidelity and Schwab’s downtown storefronts, so enough people must be consuming the 70 basis point+ products and advice to make their model work….for now, at least.

As OldShooter’s video of Jack Bogle above shows, Vanguard, Blackrock and State Street have squeezed excess profits out of the whole industry with the raging success of index funds. He says, “It takes a lot of money to run this business” and their 12 basis points income barely covered things at 4.7 trillion. Now, at 8 trillion, the party is over and this seems Vanguard’s emerging business model in response: If you want our low priced index funds, you can wait on hold for a while. If you want advice, you can pay 15 or 30 basis points and get it on our spartan website or make an appointment and get it on the phone.

DW and I do the 30 basis points Vanguard AUM program and are quite happy with our dedicated CFP.
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Old 10-09-2021, 09:11 AM   #48
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So for Vanguard to compete in the new playing field, they now have to offer some of those higher cost structure funds to their client base to cover their overhead. It was inevitable that building a company entirely on low cost index funds could only last so long.
Perhaps. But, then we would see a bunch of people complaining that Vanguard was losing its focus on low-cost investing and becoming more like other investment outfits by charging fees for dubious services.
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Old 10-09-2021, 09:22 AM   #49
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Perhaps. But, then we would see a bunch of people complaining that Vanguard was losing its focus on low-cost investing and becoming more like other investment outfits by charging fees for dubious services.
That is their dilemma, of course. Increasing revenue to offset the lost of trading fees and to offset the fund management fee battles is not optional. So how do they do that in a way that minimizes collateral damage? Not an easy question to answer.

It's really analogous to the taxation problem: Jean-Baptiste Colbert, the Finance Minister to King Louis XIV, supposedly said: The art of taxation consists in so plucking the goose as to obtain the largest amount of feathers with the least possible amount of hissing.
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Old 10-12-2021, 03:43 PM   #50
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I've got a seven figure account under Vanguard's advisor management as well as one I manage. I've also got a similar sized one at Personal Capital under their management. And one at Betterment. They are the least expensive but I only get a dedicated human advisor at Vanguard and PC. They've offset their fees with tax and Social Security advice, tax loss harvesting and rebalancing.
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Old 10-12-2021, 03:44 PM   #51
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After 20 yrs with them, I bailed 7 years ago. Zero love loss. They used to be great. But did not keep up with the times. On another note, just think how much they saved by not updating their website.
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Old 10-12-2021, 04:20 PM   #52
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I did use VG's advisor services for a year or two. The advisor took my portfolio, put 50 percent into a stock index fund and 50 percent into a bond index fund, and called it a day. I can't really complain about the strategy, but it seemed a little silly to be paying a fee. Of course, he would have balanced it for me over time, but still.

Then came a day I wanted to sell some of it, and was told that I couldn't. Only the advisor could do that, and he would not be available for a few days to "review my case." I expressed displeasure, and was told that clients were not allowed to have control over their portfolios in order to keep them from doing stupid things, like panic selling. "But it's my money." Sorry, you signed an agreement.

Full disclosure: I am not the savvy investor that many of you reading this are. I'll go even further and confess that I'm exactly the bonehead who might panic-sell. Having said that... there was just something stick-in-the-craw-ish about being told my money was in someone else's control, and that I would be utterly impotent until that person got around to me.

So I fired the manager. And I reviewed my portfolio and decided, after deep and profound thought, to put 50 percent in a stock index fund and 50 percent in a bond index fund...
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Old 10-12-2021, 05:31 PM   #53
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So I fired the manager. And I reviewed my portfolio and decided, after deep and profound thought, to put 50 percent in a stock index fund and 50 percent in a bond index fund...
AND you no longer pay any fees to be told you have to wait to use YOUR $$
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Old 10-12-2021, 05:36 PM   #54
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I like the fact that I can't get my money. I don't do many transactions, 1 or 2 a year to fill the "cash bucket".

I literally can't get my money. I call the broker and he does the do and the dough is in my checking account in a couple days.

But if I can't get my own dough, I don't think any hackers will either -
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Old 10-12-2021, 06:02 PM   #55
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I like the fact that I can't get my money. I don't do many transactions, 1 or 2 a year to fill the "cash bucket".

I literally can't get my money. I call the broker and he does the do and the dough is in my checking account in a couple days.

But if I can't get my own dough, I don't think any hackers will either -
+1

I have about 40% of our investments under PAS and can't sell crap or access anything and love it. I self manage the rest at Fidelity. If I predecease DW she'll have Vanguard take it all over. I've seen Fidelity put the hard sell on clients, I know Vanguard doesn't.
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Old 10-13-2021, 11:19 AM   #56
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Well, we had our pitch meeting with the vanguard service. I spent a lot of time prepping and updating our plan, which needed to be done. That said, it was pretty useless for the meeting, other than to serve as a tool to illustrate how prepared we actually are. The vanguard rep said he’s never seen a spreadsheet as thorough, so I guess that’s something!

He basically ended up telling us to save our money and pay a CFA/CPA on an hourly basis to go through the spreadsheet and optimize any outstanding areas. He told us so far we’re doing everything right and gave us a few suggestions for drawdown strategies that were helpful, but was very frank in saying that the incremental help he could give us wouldn’t be worth the $ for us. His perspective was that if we signed up, we would get a decent amount out of it in the first year and then not much value add after that.
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Old 10-13-2021, 01:17 PM   #57
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I like the fact that I can't get my money. I don't do many transactions, 1 or 2 a year to fill the "cash bucket".

I literally can't get my money. I call the broker and he does the do and the dough is in my checking account in a couple days.

But if I can't get my own dough, I don't think any hackers will either -


+100. Vanguard has voice verification, 2 Factor Authentication, passwords, security questions, and yada yada, and I am in favor of all of it.
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Old 10-13-2021, 06:17 PM   #58
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Move your money to Fidelity... we get free advice/reviews from the local office VP/CFP. We schedule appointments on her calendar and meet her in the office. She also has another CFP on her team who helps us with transfers etc. We were also surprised with a nice cash transfer bonus for each of us, based on size of the transfers.
My experience with Fidelity is the same. I have never been suggested to move all the funds to Fidelity.

A friend who has had all the money with Morgan Stanley for 50 years but was not ever suggested by his FA at MS to do Monte Carlo simulations. So he opened an account with Fidelity online with Zero funds in it and FIdelity did complete the Monte Carlo simulation using eMoney. The only thing he suggested is that for people with more than $10 M (which this friend had) Fidelity offers a highly individualized service of various experts and not just CFP.

MS did an Estate Planning session and the first thing they said was that the friend did not need any EP since his total assets were less than $22M. When I pressed MS for the tax issues with the State Inheritance tax he was told to move out of the state! FIdelity on the other side showed how to use some trust as a shelter and insurance etc. to minimize the tax impact.

For one year in 2019, Fidelity hired a lot of new folks and there was some drop-off in the service but it was corrected soon. With new tax laws changes coming up Fidelity is shaping up their charitable offerings.
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Old 10-14-2021, 05:19 AM   #59
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I have only been with Vanguard about a year as we recently are finally able to invest at over age 60. Have vanguard balanced vbiax and star fund. about 8k in vbiax and 2 k in Star fund .glad to finally be in the 10k club.. 15 k is next goal.

These are taxable accounts because I have no earned income only Army retire pay and disable veteran pay.so we cannot have IRA.

Anyway not pleased with the way vanguard CEO and uper management has treated it's long time employees and retiree by cutting their medical benefits. CEO had to reverse that decision,but the Trust has been lost. If vanguard treats their own retirees like that that creates distrust among some investors as well and wife and I are in that camp. Mr. John Bogle would not be pleased with the way vanguard did this to it's retirees. I dont trust vanguard as much as I once did. Looking to have Fidelity do a broker to broker transfer of these 2 vanguard funds to fidelity zero fee total stock market fund fzrox.
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Old 10-15-2021, 12:30 AM   #60
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I'd add Schwab to that list -- pretty much the same.

And .. at the bottom they are businesses. They need to sell products and services to make an annual profit. Even VG needs retained profits to pay for new things. Hence, they are certainly going to try to sell products and services to their highest potential clients; their current base. No harm, no foul, IMO.
Before I knew better I used a well-known full service broker (this was over 25 years ago). The irony is that our broker gave us the kind of advice people are talking about here. Yes, they recommended we move everything to their firm. But they did not recommend selling anything because of the tax consequences.

All-in-all I think things are better now for moderately savvy individual investors, and fees are generally lower. But the advice back then from honorable brokers might have arguably been better.
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