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Vanguard

Vanguard

 3.8/5 (543 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.

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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 - 10
Rated with 3 stars
Verified Reviewer
Original review: Dec. 2, 2022

I've been a Vanguard customer since the mid-1990s. I have nothing but praise for their funds. Founder Jack Bogle's devotion to the small investor, focusing on low expenses and streamlined funds has benefited small investors over many years, myself included. Customer service via phone is excellent. My chief complaint is Vanguard's horrible website, which is clunky, nonintuitive and confusing. A recent upgrade improved little, if anything. For example, I've tried in utter frustration to dig into the cost basis of various stocks and funds. And forget trying to ascertain how much income they spin off. All in all, the site seems to have been frozen in 1989. One would think that a leading multi-billion dollar investment firm like Vanguard would take a close look at competitors' sites and learn and copy. But, sadly, not.

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

My Roth IRA with 5 investments has no unrealized gain or loss and I have account for over 10 years and invest annually. Customer service did not know why or could not update account to show unrealized gain or loss. How can one evaluate performance by investment without this… I moved my account to another financial institution who will help me with cost basis.

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    Rated with 1 star
    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: Nov. 17, 2022

    I've been a Vanguard client for more than 40 years, with many millions invested with them. Trying to contact them by phone today was impossible. When I finally got through after several times trying and waiting for a call back, I was told they were unable to answer my very simple RMD question. I'm too old to be moving my Vanguard accounts elsewhere, but here's a piece of advice to you young investors. This is not the Vanguard they advertise. Their company is an operational mess. I suggest you look at other low cost mutual fund index funds for your holdings. Even if you have to pay a little more for maintenance fees, it will be worth it to get a call-back and straight answers from trained personnel. Vanguard's founder, John Bogle, must be somewhere spinning at the disaster that's become of his company.

    7 people found this review helpful
    Rated with 1 star
    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: Nov. 9, 2022

    Any time call Vanguard to get help; I get nowhere!! The people who handle the service calls are individuals who many time have ESL!! Further, they never seem to know much about the 'various products'.! Also, these folks are more often than not nice: RUDE and HANG UPS are their Things!!!

    7 people found this review helpful
    Rated with 1 star
    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: Oct. 28, 2022

    HIGHLY disappointed with Vanguard's approach to transferring accounts to its new IT system. The brokerage is charging people to do their transfer. That is ridiculous! If you don't want to be charged, they put the onus on the customer through an arduous process. This process requires customers to create an "artificial" new account stating that they are transferring from Vanguard to Vanguard re-entering all of their account and personal details that are already in the Vanguard system. I just wasted an hour on the phone trying to do this. The customer service rep did not know the process (he was not given accurate guidance by his management), nor was he able to see the workflow of the customer. Once finally through the "Open Account"/Transfer process, I received a "System Error," so the transfer never happened.

    I asked to speak with a manager, and the customer service is so poor that they say they will contact you within 24-48 hours. Whoever is in charge of the IT and account transfer migration should be fired. I have already wasted 2 hours of my time with no resolution. I am seeking to get reimbursed the $40 they charged me to "transfer" without my authorization. I have no choice but to close my long-standing account and transfer my funds from Vanguard, due to this lack of professionalism and customer service. I suggest other customers do the same!

    5 people found this review helpful
    Rated with 1 star
    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: Oct. 14, 2022

    There is something seriously wrong happening at Vanguard. I have been a long-time customer and have had to call several times in the past two weeks on account issues. Each time, on-hold waits have been between 30 to 60 minutes. One call was because I was sent a prompt to open a certain account and when I had to call as it wouldn't let me open online, I was told "That's a pilot, you missed the account opening window." Then why did I get the prompt? I had to call again as for a week I was met with "We are having technical difficulties" when I tried to log on to my account online. I am starting to get really frustrated with issues such as these. So, if you're planning to move money over there, be prepared for LONG WAITS.

    6 people found this review helpful
    Rated with 1 star
    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: Oct. 13, 2022

    Their Customer Service is terrible - they don't answer the phone regularly and they do not answer emails except maybe once a day. They were not clear about the costs to my parents, who thought everything was taken care of. They then overcharged me (I had two other free consultations and was told I was being ripped off). When they told me the cost, they said they were giving me a "deal". When I balked at the cost, they told me they would lower my "deal" even more. I decided against their services so they told me I needed to pay for the lawyer consultation. They charged me the day I called them. When I asked for a refund they refused to refund my credit card and instead said they would mail a check. Is this 1990? I think you are better served finding a company that doesn't see you as a number but a valued customer.

    8 people found this review helpful
    Rated with 1 star
    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: Sept. 15, 2022

    Just ordered checks to access my accounts and received one book of checks, no check register, no cover. Vanguard unwilling to provide any solution. When combined with poor, slow customer service would suggest using a different financial company.

    7 people found this review helpful
    Rated with 1 star
    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: Sept. 13, 2022

    I phoned to get a statement not provided and was transferred 9 times until I gave up. The old saying. "couldn't find their ass with a flashlight and a roadmap", surely applies!! I spoke to so many people who kept transferring me and then would go into a twenty to thirty minute wait!

    7 people found this review helpful
    Rated with 1 star
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    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: Sept. 12, 2022

    1. Wait times to speak with someone, could be excruciatingly long.

    2. IMO, their website is not user friendly.
    3. They don't answer your emails in a timely manner.
    4. If you transfer funds to a different institution, it can take weeks.
    5. Some of the customer service associates, don't seem very knowledgeable.

    6. I've gotten wrong information from the website, and from the customer service associates.

    I'm currently, transitioning my money out of Vanguard. I'm done with them.

    8 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