Vanguard Reviews

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Overall Rating2.1 out of 5
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About Vanguard Reviews

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Vanguard, founded by Jeff Bogle (who invented index funds), is a long-standing investment company that offers low-cost funds and robo-advising options. Its platform is intended for long-term investors who wish to buy and hold their funds. The company offers mutual funds, stocks, ETFs and options and requires no commissions on certain trades.

Pros & Cons


  • Robo-advisor option
  • Free educational resources
  • Low-cost funds


  • Lacks features on platform
  • Fund minimums

Bottom Line

Vanguard is one of the largest investment companies in the world and is known for its low-cost funds and robo-advising. It doesn’t have commission fees, but it does require certain fund minimums.

Featured Reviews

Arlington, VA

Great variety of good performing mutual funds and ETF - no upfront charges, low fees on both index funds and ETFs - easy to use website, in transferring money from outside account...

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Los Ángeles, CA

When I had an emergency it was fairly easy to get my money. My portfolio was very diversified and I was able to keep abreast of any changes, trends, losses and gains. All in all V...

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What is Vanguard?

Vanguard is a long-standing investment company known for its low-cost index and exchange-traded funds. It’s one of the largest of its kind in the world and has over 30 million investors. It’s not owned by outside stockholders — instead, it's owned by the customers who buy and own its shares, meaning Vanguard can give back its profits to customers through lower costs.

Vanguards offers commission-free ETF, stock and option trades, and the company has over 3,100 mutual funds with no transaction fees. It’s geared toward buy-and-hold investors, especially those looking to build a diversified portfolio from ETFs. Vanguard also has good educational resources for those wanting to learn more about long-term planning.

What is a Vanguard brokerage account?

A Vanguard brokerage account lets you invest in mutual funds or ETFs owned by Vanguard or other companies, as well as other investment products like stocks, CDs and bonds. It’s designed for investors who need more flexibility than Vanguard’s money market settlement fund offers.

How does Vanguard work?

You can start trading Vanguard ETFs, stocks, bonds and more through a money market settlement account. If you want to invest in Vanguard’s mutual funds and ETFs — or those of other companies — you’ll need a Vanguard brokerage account. The easiest way to fund your Vanguard accounts is by linking to your credit union, bank, savings or loan accounts.

When it comes to trading, you’ll have access to a basic trading platform that’s best for placing orders on Vanguard’s website and app. Unfortunately, the mobile view omits data like charting or the day’s change and volume. For certain investment products, like multi-leg options, you’ll have to call in your order with a live broker instead of completing it online.

New investors wanting some help and guidance can take advantage of Vanguard’s Digital Advisory, a service that provides professional money management for $4.50 per year for every $3,000 invested. The service is a robo-advisor that builds a basic index funds portfolio based on your personalized profile. You’ll need a Vanguard brokerage account and an individual taxable account, traditional IRA or Roth IRA to use Digital Advisory.

Vanguard fees

Vanguard charges $0 trading commissions on online trading of stocks, ETFs and Vanguard mutual funds. There also aren’t closing, transfer or inactivity fees. A few mutual funds charge purchase and redemption fees to discourage short-term trading and cover high transaction costs.

The company’s management fees, or expense ratios, are as follows:

  • Mutual funds: 0.10%
  • ETFs: 0.06%
  • Target-date retirement funds: 0.10%

Vanguard also charges a $20 annual service fee for brokerage accounts and accounts with only mutual funds. This fee is waived for customers opting to receive statements electronically. 

If you want to invest in Vanguard’s mutual funds, a minimum of $3,000 is required to fund your account. Vanguard also requires a minimum investment of $1,000 for any Vanguard Target Retirement Fund or Vanguard STAR fund.

Vanguard FAQ

Is Vanguard good for beginners?

Vanguard may be good for beginners — its library of educational resources can help first-time investors get started, but new investors may find it challenging to meet the fund minimums.

Is Vanguard a good investment?

Whether Vanguard is a good investment depends on your needs. Vanguard is known for its low-cost investing and is ideal for retirement savers and buy-and-hold investors.

Does Vanguard have account minimums?

No, there aren’t any account minimums, but there are fund minimums of $1,000 or $3,000, depending on the account.

What types of funds does Vanguard offer?

Vanguard offers mutual funds, ETFs, options and stocks.

Is Vanguard good?

Yes. Vanguard is a trusted leader in low-cost investing due to low expense ratios on index and exchange-traded funds. Its founder, Jack Bogle, invented index funds. Its services are ideal for buy-and-hold and retirement investors looking to build wealth over the long term.

Those new to investing might also appreciate Vanguard’s free educational resources and explainers on its website, as well as its low-cost Digital Advisor service. Active investors looking for a comprehensive trading platform may be better served elsewhere, as Vanguard’s website and app are pretty basic in terms of features.

Vanguard Reviews

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Page 1 Reviews 0 - 10
Customer ServiceCoveragePriceStaff

Reviewed Sept. 19, 2023

I reached out to VANGUARD on 08/29/23 to start a reqst for a Hardship Withdrawal to purchase a home. The original paperwork list the home at one price per what was online per HAR.com, however when the appraisal came back the home was lower than the original asking price. I reached out to my lender informing her that my reqst was denied from Vanguard for my confirmation number on the fax cover sheet was incorrect at first and the closing cost disclosure document was not rec'vd. My lender sent me all the necessary documents to reassure that I have all I needed to send to Vanguard. The reps that answer the phone in Customer Service are 5 Times RUDE with no QUEST customer service skills. They speak all over you because they don't know the answer.

I may have spoken to 2 reps that gave me the indication they were interested in what I'm dealing with. My closing date is 9/22 and I will have no where to go if the monies are not in my account by Friday. I was told that it will take 24 hrs for a supervisor to contact me back and the rep I spoke with tonight before I started this review told me her supervisor does not handle hardship withdrawals. Not only that the rep as other reps stated, are capable of taking care of the issue. I beg the difference because nothing is being taken care of. I was also told that the supervisor may not even call back. SMH!!!! It's sad that I am going back and forth with a company and it's reps behind money I'm putting into a account for my future.

I think that ALL the Supervisor that are walking around like Casper The Ghost should be let go if the customer Service reps are capable of making the decisions and if by talking to a supervisor stops the process of the withdrawal they don't need to be with the company. The reps need to take a training for QUEST because their quality, listening, empathy, trust skills are out the window. I will be reporting this to my employer to see if and what I can do to remove myself from your company. However, at the same time get my request done.

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Customer ServiceStaff

Reviewed Aug. 24, 2023

The only reason they get 1 start is because you have to give at least one star to post your review, because if not they would get a negative star from me. Vanguard is one of the worst companies I have ever had to deal with. I have gotten hung up on and I have gotten no help trying to get into this account. They have no one else to speak to or no actual building to go to so you can have someone to speak with instead of these rude customer service reps that have to read off from a script and really don't have any other knowledge to give. I would NEVER recommend this company to anyone. Please stay clear

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    Reviewed Aug. 2, 2023

    TERRIBLE experience. Been two weeks trying to move money from 401K into IRA trading account. KEEPING IT IN VANGUARD. 3.5 weeks ago I was told it would be 7-10 days to get paperwork , and when we get it back we can make the transfer (sounds easy right???) Well, it's 7-10 days because they insist on sending USPS. So, I sent the docs back overnight , and the day AFTER they process it, the money moves OUT of my 401K... NOT into the IRA, inot a holding account while they "prepare the IRA account." ("OK you guys ready over there? There's incoming money from our 401K pocket and into our IRA pocket,

    This is level 4, all hands on deck, lets get it together people! Are we ready for this once in a lifetime transaction? Let's get it right now!") Minutes ago they admitted they made a mistake. Thats code for THEY may not be able to transfer MY MONEY until "MAYBE" FRIDAY. I insisted on a supervisor when the "support team" wanted to know if I still worked there, after she noted I separated from the company. Can't wait for the funds to settle so I can LEAVE VANGUARD-seems like a mass exodus, and until this I didn't understand why-what a completely unnecessary mess.

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    Customer ServiceStaff

    Reviewed July 17, 2023

    ABSOLUTELY HORRIBLE! The first time I called they transferred me and I was on hold for 67 minutes. The associate sent me an email and told me how to handle. What I didn't know is that he had updated some of my profile info on the site, which put a temporary hold on my account (He added an email). When I called back regarding the website questions I had, I was told the hold time would be 20 minutes or I could set up for a call back and that would save my place in line. I waited over an hour and never received a call back.

    I called back and choose to hold for the 27 minutes and when associate answered I asked why I didn't receive a call back and she said, 'We have 1-4 business days before we have to call you back!" THAT's NOT WHAT THE RECORDING SAYS! I had questions regarding my profile and she told me that she could not help me until after the registration hold is lifted. I also asked her some general questions and she was EXTREMELY RUDE and said I should ask those questions after the hold is lifted! DO YOURSELF A FAVOR AND DO NOT INVEST WITH VANGUARD! READ THE REVIEWS - THEIR CUSTOMERS SERVICE IS HORRIBLE!!!! Do you want to struggle to get answers to your questions regarding your investments!

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    Customer ServiceStaff

    Reviewed July 12, 2023

    Live and learn. Opened account. Advised to buy a Vanguard fund which lost money. Called to get info on how to transfer out and got a lot of gobbledygook.. They train employees to convey catchphrases... "We can help. We can solve . We can transfer. We can keep you in this nest of vipers as long as possible to squeeze every last cent out of you." Never again. Vanguard has become the center of lost money and decreasing retirement funds. Look elsewhere for financial help...

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    Customer ServicePricePunctuality & SpeedStaff

    Reviewed July 6, 2023

    I have waited 6 months for them to approve my divorce settlement QDRO. While my ex-husband sits comply in a house I paid for I get to be homeless because of this company. They have a 60 day waiting period and when my 60 days arrived and I’ve called to make sure I get my money on time every week. Then all of the sudden tonight 7/6/23 They said they won’t make that 60 days. My 60 days are over on 7/9/23 and this is the 3rd time I’ve had to wait 60 days and they don’t know when I will get my money: so they are keeping my money as long as they legally can to keep the interest it’s providing for them. I have been very patient with them and now this?

    They have no reason that they can say as to what the hold-up is. Nothing ...and I have no idea how long they can legally keep my money from me. It’s a court ordered settlement and it’s a good amount that they don’t want to let go of I’m sure. CEOs must need a bonus this quarter. And to think I was going to leave some to invest with them is a crazy idea. Don’t do it. They steal from you. They are keeping my money that I could have the interest paying to me on instead of them.

    Thanks Vanguard. I’m not a young chicken that has time to wait for you to decide to release my funds to me. It doesn’t belong to you anymore so give it to me. It’s time to release it. How hard is it to approve something you’ve had 60 days to figure out. Looks like you need more employees. I guess you can afford it since you’re taking money from people now. How many people has this happened to? I cannot be the only one who keeps getting blow after blow from this horrible company. I would never invest my money with them and I will make sure nobody I know does as well. How long do I have until they have to pay my money out to me? They have to have. Cut off timeframe. They have my paperwork and it’s all correct.

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    Customer Service

    Reviewed July 3, 2023

    Received communications that Vanguard Growth and Income fund securities would no longer be based on financial performance but by another approach (ESG?). Customer service claimed to be familiar with letter but declined to explain what it meant... after over an hour on phone. Treated like trash. Done. No longer good selection of funds available. Another Blackrock. Have read reviews about customer service. It's true.

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    Customer ServiceOnline & App

    Reviewed July 2, 2023

    Customer service is non responsive to such a degree that after 30 years I am switching investment firms. Most recently I phoned with a question regarding a portion of my account not functioning on the app. They said they'd call back. No response after 2 weeks. This is typical.

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    Customer Service

    Reviewed June 28, 2023

    This is a side by side comparison of Vanguard with Fidelity, Schwab, and others. I've had a vanguard account for over twenty years. They always had the lowest fees compared to other brokerages. Now they're just the same as everyone else in terms of fees. Their funds have low fees, but I can buy into them through other brokerages. I prefer online communication for investments. My mother preferred to use the phone. I think Vanguard's portal is cumbersome yet lacking, but that's just my personal opinion. What isn't subjective is the hassle that they are putting me through in order to inherit two accounts from deceased parents.

    This season, I've inherited accounts from Fidelity, Vanguard, T Rowe Price, Schwab, a bank, and another investment through a transfer agent. Lucky me, I know. All of the accounts were setup properly. There were no surprises and no hurdles to overcome. Straightforward stuff. I had all documents in order. ALL the other investment firms handled the transfers without issue. Some required this or that, a notary or a medallion, overnight paper or scan and upload. No problem. EXCEPT Vanguard. Oh my. It has been horrible. Almost comical. They tell me their names and that we're on a recorded line and sound very official. After 30 minutes on the phone all that I have is more bad information. Conflicting info. Jeepers.

    I'm up to Six phone calls of 30 minutes or more to do something that they could automate. Transfer your IRAs elsewhere. The transfer process is easy enough. The receiving company will do all the work. If you don't mind having some extra fees, go with T Rowe Price or JP Morgan. If you're frugal like me, go with Fidelity or Schwab. Just don't put your kids through estate hell with Vanguard. Or better, just don't die.

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    Reviewed April 26, 2023

    It is odd, to say the least, how Customer service personnel, likely doing their best to assist customers, are hampered by the system (i.e. IT). Example, on April 2 I contacted Vanguard when informed that a transfer was not going through. It turns out that one tinker was incorrect. It was duly correct. More than three weeks later, on 4.26.2023 the transfer has not yet been complete, indeed not even initiated. One would think that with their profits Vanguard would have the manpower to complete such simple transactions. one would think that Vanguard would like to see money transferred to their coffers from other brokerages. No such thing. Do I plan to do more transfers to Vanguard? NO.

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    Vanguard Company Information

    Company Name:
    Year Founded:
    Vanguard P.O. Box 1110
    Valley Forge
    Postal Code:
    United States