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Vanguard

Vanguard

 3.9/5 (477 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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  • 3 stars
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  • 1 stars

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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How do I know I can trust these reviews about Vanguard?
  • 3,304,235 reviews on ConsumerAffairs are verified.
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Page 1 Reviews 0 - 5
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?

5 people found this review helpful
Rated with 5 stars
Verified Reviewer
Original review: Dec. 4, 2020

I've been a client of Vanguard for about 10 or 12 years. I'm very satisfied with the excellent quality of service they provide, I get my e-statements every month explaining everything down to the penny, their customer service department are very knowledgeable on every aspect of the service, A+ with me, thank you Vanguard.

4 people found this review helpful

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    Rated with 5 stars
    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: Nov. 26, 2020

    I like that transitioning to a competitor was relatively easy. Also, they gave me time to make the change. 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 Vanguard was very easy to deal with. The people I spoke to were knowledgeable and very helpful. When I changed employers I wasn’t able to keep them. Otherwise I would not have switched companies.

    4 people found this review helpful
    Rated with 5 stars
    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: Nov. 25, 2020

    So far it has been a smooth sign up. It is been a free service and has many helpful tools for learning. They offer various calculators and shows an idea what earning can be. Whatever you want to invest in by utilizing the calculators it help to decide how much you should be investing over time.

    Be the first one to find this review helpful
    Rated with 5 stars
    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: Nov. 22, 2020

    I have been using them for several years now. The website is very easy to use and is very informative for those looking to find new investments or to find information on current investments. Fees are very low to purchase stocks and if you want you can get an advisor at Vanguard to help you invest.

    3 people found this review helpful
    Rated with 1 star
    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: July 26, 2021

    Vanguard caused me to have a big problem when they told me that "after tax" money is not really "after tax" money in my pension fund. After a withdrawal I got a big hit on my taxes and spent several weeks trying to resolve it. I had to liquidate several Roth IRAs to pay it back. After 2 weeks waiting, they dragged their feet on this, saying that they were "very busy." Fortunately, I called the pension fund administrator; he apparently read the Riot Act to them and they restored the account as it was when all this started several months ago within 2 days.

    I have been trying to move the account to another brokerage (for obvious reasons). Several weeks ago my new account advisor and I contacted them and they said that this could only be done if they sent me a snail mail form. I have waited more than two weeks for this, but none has yet arrived. I called them today, and after being cut off from the extensions they directed to me twice, I got a person who said they would send the form within 10-15 days, and it would take 10-15 days to then transfer the account. This is a 6-figure account. I would think that there is a class action suit here somewhere.

    Be the first one to find this review helpful
    Rated with 1 star
    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: July 10, 2021

    We have been trying to withdrawal from my 401k for 32 days for a house down payment with my plan allows for. We have overnighted paperwork to them multiple times. We have spent countless hours on the phone with them. Each time getting told different answers. It feels like they are trying to gate keep the funds until you give up. When asked to put a supervisor on the phone, there are none available. The documentation they send in response to requests are vague and unhelpful form letters. Calls mysteriously hang up when you are talking to them. So because of their inability to provide actual customer support, and their dragging of their feet with my requests, I may lose my first home. Stay away from this company.

    6 people found this review helpful
    Rated with 1 star
    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: June 19, 2021

    I had an account with Vanguard for over 20 years. After adding a large amount to my account received from the sale of my home they triggered a new security requirement without informing me. When I had desired to move the money to avoid a certain stock market conditions, I was not allowed to do so without completing this additional procedure. I lost about $10,000 as a result. I will never forgive this company. I will be moving the money to another brokerage house ASAP.

    5 people found this review helpful
    Rated with 1 star
    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: June 17, 2021

    I been with Vanguard over 10 years. I have have seen my 401k lose 20k at one time and that's the market game but trying calling or discussing your investment or try to move your funds or get fund these are the most incompetent people I have ever encountered. Lost paperwork not notes. Just a bunch of children playing with my investment and can't explain anything. I know that when I retire from this company or leave I am taking every cent to a different company. Don't trust them with your money..

    7 people found this review helpful
    Rated with 1 star
    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: June 11, 2021

    Vanguard is the WORST investment group our employer has ever contracted with. I can't get access to my funds for hardship withdrawal to catch up on bills as a result of the COVID-19 pandemics. Vanguard will easily take your money but is impossible to get it back unless you leave your employer. Absolutely the worst company. Horrible experience!!

    6 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