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Vanguard

Vanguard

 3.8/5 (670 ratings)
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About Vanguard

This profile has not been claimed by the company. See reviews below to learn more or submit your own review.

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.

Overall Satisfaction Rating

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Pros

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

Cons

  • 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.

Top Vanguard Reviews

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Rated with 5 stars
Verified

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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Rated with 5 stars
Verified

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 - 5
Rated with 5 stars
Verified Reviewer
Original review: Oct. 22, 2021

We trust Clark ** and he recommended Vanguard for money management. We have a live advisor verses a robo advisor. The management fee is only .03%! After answering his questionnaire he put us in 60/40 stocks/bonds. After one year we are up 15%. However, the market has been going north and to me the true test will be during the downturns. We are in our '70s and feel comfortable having our retirement fund with Vanguard.

4 people found this review helpful
Rated with 5 stars
Verified Reviewer
Original review: Oct. 8, 2021

I have used Vanguard for my former employer’s 401K and subsequently rolled that 401K into an IRA. They have been easy to work with and the choices for investments have been great. They work with you to create a portfolio tailored to your individual investment goals and stage in life. The funds I have invested in have generally have exceeded my expectations on performance while the fees have been minimal.

3 people found this review helpful

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    Rated with 5 stars
    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: Aug. 13, 2021

    It helps me manage my investments very easily from any one of my electronic devices. It consolidate accounts into one place and is easy to navigate and understand. It works to help me avoid financial risks.

    Be the first one to find this review helpful
    Rated with 5 stars
    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: July 29, 2021

    Vanguard is a trusted leader whom I depended on over five years. The have mutual fund which I invested in was fantastic. Their charges are moderate and have excellent website. They never disappoint. Their slogan is Vanguard is the best.

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    Rated with 4 stars
    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: March 4, 2021

    I am a non- sexual person. I have a sex, but I do not have relationships or any of the above. Two of the three security questions require answers that make me uncomfortable.

    1. "Who was your first Girlfriend/Boyfriend?"

    3. "What is the city you were MARRIED in?"

    As a non-sexual man, I have NEVER been in a relationship- so BOTH OF THESE questions are not something I can answer. Ask about my GPA, or my CAREER PATH. Ask about my ... anything ELSE!!! Why are two of the three SECURITY QUESTIONS requiring me to be ... in a relationship at some point? OR lying and putting a FORGETTABLE response??? I would prefer if Vanguard could offer a CHOICE of 3 Security Questions out of ... maybe 20?

    6 people found this review helpful
    Rated with 1 star
    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: Jan. 29, 2022

    Wanted to transfer my 401k over. Was on hold from various different departments from 430 until they closed at 9. Worst customer services I have ever experienced. Thank god this is going to be one of my last experiences with them...

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    Rated with 1 star
    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: Jan. 27, 2022

    Trouble from the beginning. First thing: confusing website led to bank transfer problem and they locked me out for months! Next thing: I complained to an agent about the "First thing" and someone listened in and called me back to scold me about getting upset with the poor handling by the agent! Final straw: 2021 performance horrible: lost $3K (~4%) but will have to pay about $800 in tax for dividends/CGD; closed account! Avoid this horrible company.

    Be the first one to find this review helpful
    Rated with 1 star
    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: Jan. 27, 2022

    If you have a choice, and your employer has not already selected them, do not put your money here. They have trillions under management but will not invest in taking care of specific needs and any interaction with them is going to cost a huge investment in time and trouble. And you won't be likely to DIY your trouble yourself on their website. Plant to be on hold in excess of an hour if you call them. They really are unimaginably bad. When I called even their phone system couldn't hold the line properly.

    Be the first one to find this review helpful
    Rated with 1 star
    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: Jan. 18, 2022

    It would take pages to review all of the ways Vanguard -- once the industry leader -- has fallen to last place in supporting individual investors. I still have a Vanguard account because it is more efficient to retain a few old Vanguard funds there. I never look forward to transactions at Vanguard because they haven't taken the time to provide the information you would naturally want to see when you are trading. The last time I sent an email with a question, it took them seven days to respond. I gave up on phone calls years ago. The website provides very little investor information, which means they are not paying for it.

    Contrast this to Fidelity where it can take months just to master all of the intelligence, expensive analyst reports (all free), investing tools such as stock and ETF screening software, dozens of event trigger and notification rules, tools, paid memberships to external services, modeling, portfolio analysis, profit/loss analysis, retirement analysis, and other forms of decision-support they provide at no cost. The Fidelity system is accessible via web browser, smart phone and tablet apps, and via a sophisticated PC application that adds advanced capabilities for the most serious of investors.

    In addition, Fidelity can provide full banking, credit and debit card, bill paying, HSA and college savings accounts and even free bank wires to give you one-stop financial services. It integrates all of this into a single dashboard. Fidelity also has advanced account security lockdown systems -- so good they can occasionally be frustrating if you are not behaving in your typical manner. I don't have need to call much but when I have called Fidelity, I get a smart and personable individual who is obviously well trained and enjoying his or her work.

    Every conversation included human interaction such as a comment on the weather, asking about my day and sharing theirs, etc. Nice people. None of this is provided or at most is provided in a token way by Vanguard. Vanguard is operating on the cheap and it shows. Given the alternatives, I really can't recommend them for anything, including their own funds, some of which are good but most of which are now available from competitors via similar funds at even lower costs.

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    Rated with 1 star
    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: Jan. 12, 2022

    I have had an employer sponsored 401(k) plan with Vanguard. Every interaction with Vanguard was horrible. Typically, I would be bounced around between a minimum of 3 departments before ending up speaking with the right person. On several occasions, my online account password stopped working for mysterious reasons and I would be unable to access their system. Wait-times are typically long. The overall impression was that Vanguard was hoping to "wear me down" to the point that I would give up and just leave my money with them. I know that's (probably) not true, but it sure felt like it. Worst performance from any financial institution I've ever dealt with in my life. I'm sure there are even worse customer service experiences out there - I just haven't experienced one before in about 30 years of dealing with financial institutions.

    4 people found this review helpful
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    Vanguard Company Information

    Company Name:
    Vanguard
    Year Founded:
    1975
    Address:
    Vanguard P.O. Box 1110
    City:
    Valley Forge
    State/Province:
    PA
    Postal Code:
    19482-1110
    Country:
    United States
    Website:
    investor.vanguard.com