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Here's a statement of the obvious: The opinions expressed here are those of the participants, not those of the Mutual Fund Observer. We cannot vouch for the accuracy or appropriateness of any of it, though we do encourage civility and good humor.

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Morningstar going further downhill.

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Comments

  • I think we're largely in agreement, that "their website could be improved". It's adequate for the essential stuff (buying/selling funds) but there are significant areas for improvement on the nice-to-haves. I certainly wouldn't use it as my primary brokerage. Remember too that Vanguard only ever offered cash management services (Vanguard Advantage) to its Voyager Select and above customers. Even that it eliminated two years ago.

    Still, it has gotten better in some ways. BobC was emphatic in his criticism of Pershing as a clearing house, and there seemed to be nearly universal acclaim when VBS went to self-clearing. And one is able to buy Vanguard mutual funds through its brokerage, something that was formerly unsupported. Now if Vanguard would only let you do that through the same interface as for non-Vanguard funds.

    Half a cake is better than none?
  • I wonder if you were able to cancel fund order because you did it in a few seconds. The last time I tried to cancel an order, even before the market was open, Vanguard rep told me NOT ALLOWED.

    The entire website at Vanguard is clunky and inefficient. Fidelity has far better stock trading screen and graphs. Vanguard won't download trades to Quicken for three days, but Fido and Schwab do it at least at end of day one.

    My biggest complaint about Vanguard is that even for Flagship and up customers, ie folks with substantial assets, they have eliminated a personal contact. I assume if you pay their fee you get one but I don't want to pay for something as simple as having someone to call for issues about checks and transfers.

    Even when they used to provide them, they switched them off frequently, and just as soon as you got used to one person, they were gone.

    Schwab has provided us with the same rep for years, and he is in an office you can visit if you want. We have their direct line and even though the web page says mail stuff to central office, our rep says no mail it to me and I will facilitate it.

    Fidelity keeps insisting we need to sign up with a rep, but we haven't felt we needed one there yet.
  • In a broad sense, it doesn't matter why the cancellation went through. The fact that any order can be cancelled is enough to disprove the assertion that no orders can be cancelled.

    To address your speculation, I just cancelled another order 1/4 hour after submitting it. Anticipating additional theories, the first cancellation was done while the market was closed, the latter done while the market was open. We could go on guessing about this change in policy, but it is clearly real. Things change.

    Reps go beyond what I was responding to - criticisms about the website. Vanguard's website is certainly less feature rich than the websites of many other brokerages. It's not a good match for active stock traders. Isn't that what one expect of a Vanguard site?:-)

    To touch on reps and offices briefly ... Fidelity assigned me a rep years ago even though I told them I was not interested. They've since rotated me through a few reps. Without notice. When I upload material to Fidelity, it's personally tracked by whomever I speak with. And they get back to me. I never deal with my rep, though occasionally I do work with his "team".

    When I need a medallion guarantee, I can walk into my local Fidelity office and have it handled on the spot. I tried that at my local Schwab office (much more convenient, just four blocks away), and they offered to send it internally to another office somewhere to stamp the documents and then return them to me. Of course Vanguard has no local offices (or really, any retail offices at all, or do they?).
  • @Ben For me, one reason to have all/most holdings concentrated in one brokerage account is to make things simpler for whomever cleans up after me.
    When I was Executor for my Dad's estate a few years ago, every financial account that he had was one more thing for me to handle with phone calls, letters, etc.
    He had a small DRIP account with Kellogg -- I think because he liked Cornflakes -- which required several communications (and a death certificate) to close.
    Most his positions had been moved to TD Ameritade, who (like most firms) wouldn't communicate by email -- many communications over a period of time.
    His credit card accounts had to be handled one by one.
    Life insurance -- yep.
    Magazine subscriptions likewise.
    Something I would not have expected -- contact the Syracuse Alumni Association to say your faithful alum has passed and don't bother sending any more newsletter or Alumni magazines. Ditto for professional associations.
    You get the picture.
    So every extra entity to deal with will make life tougher for my wife and whoever is helping her (although I hope this doesn't happen very soon).
    David
  • @dstone42: Good point. Thanks for responding.
  • While it hopefully will not be an issue soon for anyone here, my mother's lawyer gave us wonderful advice several months before she passed.

    We had her sign documents with the brokerage making her account TOD Transfer on Death with the kids as listed beneficiaries, just as we were in her will.

    When she passed all I had to do was send a copy of the death certificate to the brokerage and they split the account up and dispersed it to the beneficiaries. NO probate, no estate account needed.
  • edited August 10
    sma3 said:

    While it hopefully will not be an issue soon for anyone here, my mother's lawyer gave us wonderful advice several months before she passed.

    We had her sign documents with the brokerage making her account TOD Transfer on Death with the kids as listed beneficiaries, just as we were in her will.

    When she passed all I had to do was send a copy of the death certificate to the brokerage and they split the account up and dispersed it to the beneficiaries. NO probate, no estate account needed.

    AT PTIAX, a phone agent mentioned that very thing to us. We signed a form. My son will simply have to do what was the case in YOUR case, and he takes over the money. There's just the one child, him. (And we'd BOTH have to be dead for the TOD to take effect that way.)
  • I guess it depends on the nature of the transaction and/or account because I just cut & pasted what I normally see when processing a mutual fund trade on Vanguard:

    "Once you've submitted this transaction, it can't be changed or canceled."
  • msf
    edited August 11
    When I enter a trade, whether for a Vanguard or non-Vanguard fund, I see:

    "Once you've submitted this transaction, you may not be able to cancel or change it."

    You're correct about the difference being the nature of the account. I was writing about VBS. There's still the obsolescent fund platform, where one gets the message you pasted. Apparently when you wrote:

            "I can think of quite a few ways in which Vanguard's web platform is antiquated."

    you were commenting only about the part of the website that Vanguard itself acknowledges is antiquated. Which raises the question: if you only have accounts on the old platform, how are did you determine that the brokerage is "awful, awful"?

            "I never 'upgraded' my Vanguard mutual fund accounts to their awful, awful brokerage and continue to hold them as just funds."

  • Having just spent 1.5 hrs on the phone with Vanguard (a hefty percentage of that on hold), I really do appreciate and share people's frustrations with its customer service. That is still a matter distinct from the website or the ease of fund investing there.

    The matter I was trying to resolve originated with limitations of a worse financial institution (really!) and I was exploring workarounds that Vanguard could provide. That turned out to be unfortunately little.
  • Wow, I'm never going anywhere NEAR Vanguard. Glad to read about what's been happening to some of us!
  • Crash said:

    Wow, I'm never going anywhere NEAR Vanguard. Glad to read about what's been happening to some of us!

    I would feel and do the same had I not already been invested for decades in a few excellent Vanguard funds with good results. I have no complaints about the fund managers. It's customer service that has become poor.

  • Ben ,one option is to ACH transfer the Vanguard funds to E-Trade, as Vanguard funds are ntf at E-Trade. As a former client , their customer service isn't great but it's better than Vanguard. A second consideration is how long will this arrangement last, given that E-Trade is now part of Morgan Stanley ? I left E-Trade once T Rowe Price funds became available ntf at Schwab, Fido and Vanguard.
  • edited August 11
    It's good to know that E-Trade offers Vanguard funds with no transaction fees.
    Unfortunately, admin shares for active Vanguard funds appear to be unavailable.
    AFAIK, you must purchase these admin shares directly via Vanguard.
  • carew388 said:

    Ben ,one option is to ACH transfer the Vanguard funds to E-Trade, as Vanguard funds are ntf at E-Trade. As a former client , their customer service isn't great but it's better than Vanguard. A second consideration is how long will this arrangement last, given that E-Trade is now part of Morgan Stanley ? I left E-Trade once T Rowe Price funds became available ntf at Schwab, Fido and Vanguard.

    Thanks. My investments in Vanguard funds are from pre-brokerage days. I hold these directly in a non-retirement account bypassing the brokerage. I don't think ACH is available this situation. One would have to first sell all shares and of course pay income tax on the gains.

    I do own shares in one T Rowe Price fund. I didn't need a brokerage to do this. I just invested directly. And T Rowe customer service has been splendid. I know some people are not having not-so-good experience with this but I got lucky I guess.
  • Firstrade offers several actively managed funds' admiral shares e.g. Vanguard Equity Income Admiral VEIRX. NTF.

    Though like Vanguard, Firstrade doesn't have a fund screener (just a lookup tool by family or ticker) and offers no cash management services. Its phone hours are even shorter than Vanguard's. (OTOH, if their wait time is any better than Vanguard's - not a high bar - then perhaps one doesn't need as many hours.)

    If you're talking about transferring shares, not cash, that's an ACAT transfer. Fund families generally support (free) ACAT transfers out of direct investment mutual funds accounts (such as funds on Vanguard's legacy fund platform):
    Mutual Fund Service Members of NSCC are eligible to use the [ACAT] service on a limited basis, only as the contra-party to a transfer initiated by a broker dealer or a bank for the purpose of re-registering a mutual fund position to or from them directly.
    https://www.dtcc.com/clearing-services/equities-clearing-services/acats

    ACH is a US bank to US bank electronic funds transfer system.
    https://gocardless.com/en-us/guides/ach/what-is-an-ach-payment/
  • ......And..... Once AGAIN. Portfolio "Manager" is effed-up.
  • msf +1 Thanks for the clarification about ACAT vs ACH .
  • Crash said:

    ......And..... Once AGAIN. Portfolio "Manager" is effed-up.

    It sure is. I click on "Portfolio" and I get a message "You are already signed in". Huh?

  • ...fixed. But simply unreliable, these days.
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