Vanguard’s low-cost brokerage model and a large selection of funds make it a good option for long-term traders. However, active traders will need a robust trading platform.
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Pros & Cons
- Large selection of mutual funds
- Commission-free options, stocks, and ETF trades
- Leader in low-cost investments
- Only for basic trading platforms
- Research and data are not complete.
Vanguard has a wide selection of large mutual fund options: Vanguard owns more than 3,300 non-transaction-fee mutual funds. There is also a wider range of proprietary and low-cost ETFs.
Leader in low-cost mutual funds: The company enjoys a solid reputation due to its well-below-average expense rates on both index funds and exchange-traded ones. Vanguard’s service and selection are unbeatable for long-term buyers who are looking to buy-and-hold strategies with low-cost alternatives.
Vanguard fails where it counts
Trading platform: Vanguard Broker has a basic trading platform that lacks many of the analytical tools offered by brokers who support stock trading.
Minimum investment amount: Vanguard retirement plans and the Vanguard STAR Fund both have an investment minimum requirement of $1,000. Other Vanguard funds must meet a minimum of $3,000 Beginner investors may find that the minimum initial investment amount of $1,000 to $3,000 is too high.
Vanguard is perfect for
- Long-term, or retirement investors.
- Those who favor low-cost investment.
- ETF and Index fund investors
Vanguard at the glance
Account minimum. However, minimum fund amounts start at $1,000.
Stock trading costs $0.
Options trades. $0 + $1 per contract. Accounts with a balance of at least $1 million receive 25 trades free per year. Accounts with a maximum of $5 million get 100 trades free each year.
Account fees (annual, transfer, closing, inactivity). No closing, inactivity, or transfer fees. $20 annual account fee for all brokerage accounts. Statement e-delivery clients get a discount
A number of mutual funds with no transaction fees. Surplus of 3,300 from external providers; Vanguard’s only 129 open-money transaction fees are waived.
Tradable securities. * Stocks.* Securities.* Bonds.* Mutual Funds.* ETFs.* Other options.* CDs.
Crypto availability. Vanguard does not provide access to cryptocurrency, but certain crypto-based products may be available.
Trading platform. Basic trading platform.
Mobile app. Trade mutual funds and ETFs; track account activity and analyze performance; keep up to date with market news and research investments.
Research and data. Low quality but excellent service.
Support options for customers include information about how easy it’s to find key information on your website
Telephone support Monday-Friday 8 a.m.-8 PM Eastern; email support
More details on Vanguard’s ratings
Minimum account: 5 stars
Vanguard has a minimum account balance of $0. However, some mutual funds may require minimum initial capital. Vanguard funds have a minimum of $1,000.
Stock trading costs: 5 of 5 stars
Vanguard followed the lead of other stock brokerage companies and eliminated all stock trading fees.
Options trades: 2 of 5 stars
Options trades don’t require commissions, but they do have a contract fee of $1. This is much higher than any other brokerage. Vanguard accounts with between $1 million-$5 million in assets receive 25 free option trades annually; customers with $5m and more get 100.
Account fees: 4.5 of 5 stars
Vanguard charges no inactivity, closing, or transfer fees. All brokerage accounts, IRAs, and IRAs have a $20 annual account fee. Customers who sign up for statement email delivery are exempt from this fee.
Number of mutual funds with no-transaction fees: 4 out of 5 stars
Vanguard was a pioneer in low-cost funds. Jack Bogle (founder of Vanguard) invented the index fund.
Vanguard offers over 3,300 non-Vanguard investments and 129 Vanguard Funds currently open for new investors.
Vanguard mutual funds and ETFs don’t just come at a low price, they are also considerably less than the industry standard. Vanguard’s average expense percentage is 0.09%. According to Morningstar, an August 2021 research, the average expense rate across all mutual funds or ETFs is 0.4%.
Admiral Shares What can you do when your current level is low? Go lower. Admiral Shares is a Vanguard mutual fund that offers super low expense rates — 35% lower than its standard fund shares class. This was the broker’s method of passing on savings to larger account owners. Vanguard also lowered the minimum amount that an index fund can invest to $10,000 from $10,000.
Available Tradable Securities: 3 of 5 stars
Vanguard investors can trade stocks, bonds, and mutual funds. Vanguard is an excellent option for retirement investors. However, active traders may need more options like futures and forex trading.
Crypto availability: 2 out of 5 stars
Vanguard does not provide access to cryptocurrency, but certain crypto-based products can be found.
Trading platform: 2 of 5 stars
Vanguard is not designed to be active traders but long-term investors.
Mobile app 5/5 stars
Vanguard’s apps for Android or iOS allow you to trade mutual money, ETFs, and stocks and monitor account activity. You can also analyze performance and analyze it.
Research and data are 3 out of 5 stars
Brokers must offer at minimum 15 third-party researchers at no cost and a wide selection of research tools in order to earn five stars. Vanguard offers research by Argus, Vanguard’s bespoke team of analysts.
Customer support and educational materials: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Vanguard has many retirement planning tools and resources, just like other brokerages. Investors can access information about investment options as well as prioritize their goals. With high-quality calculators that provide accurate calculations and tools, they can estimate their retirement expenses. Finally, they can weigh the pros and cons of converting a traditional IRA into a Roth.
Vanguard Digital Advisor will manage your portfolio, for an annual fee of 0.15%, if you prefer to skip the learning curve and leave investment decisions to experts. Roboto-advisors use computer-based investment advisers to manage and build client investment portfolios.
Is Vanguard right for you?
Ask yourself: Are you one of Vanguard’s target audiences of retirement investors with high account balances? If you are, there is no better home for you. The company has a large selection of low-cost funds.
Investors who don’t fit this criterion — those who have difficulty meeting the minimum fund balances or who need an efficient platform to trade stocks frequently — should look for a broker with a better reputation.
Read CMC Markets Broker Review on Google Site.