Vanguard Review

Since John C. Bogle founded Vanguard Brokerage in 1975, it’s been known for cheap investing. Vanguard was made for people who want to invest for a long time, not for people who want to trade a lot. Vanguard is for people who believe in its way of investing. It provides an easy, educational, and cheap way to invest. Vanguard is special because its funds own the company, and the shareholders own the funds. This means Vanguard is only for investors, not for other owners. We’ll check where Vanguard stands among online brokers and help you see if it’s right for you.

🏢 Headquarters Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, United States
📅 Year founded 1975
🗺️ Regulation SEC, FINRA, SIPC, FCA, ASIC
💻 Trading platform: Proprietary web terminal, Vanguard Mobile, Vanguard Beacon (test version)
💰 Account currency: USD
📊 Accounts: Brokerage Individual & Joint Accounts (Margin Account, Cash Account), Roth IRA, Traditional IRA, SEP-IRA, SIMPLE IRA, 529 plan, Individual 401 (k), and 403 (b) plans
💵 Withdrawal: Mobile check deposit, ebanking, debit cards, ACH, asset transfer from another brokerage firm, personal, cash, bank, certified check, treasury, business, and U.S. Federal Reserve checks
🚀 Minimum deposit: $1
⚖️ Leverage: Floating
☪️ Islamic account (swap free) Yes ((IRA)
🎮 Demo Account No
💱 Spread: NA
🔧 Instruments: Stocks, CDs, bonds, mutual funds, ETF, options
📋 Orders execution: No
☎ Customer Support 24/5
📚 Education Yes

What is Vanguard?

The Vanguard Group, Inc., also known as just Vanguard, is a company in Malvern, Pennsylvania. They help people manage their money. Right now, they manage about $7.7 trillion in money all around the world. This makes them the biggest provider of mutual funds and the second-biggest provider of exchange-traded funds (ETFs) in the world. BlackRock’s iShares is the only one that’s bigger.

Besides mutual funds and ETFs, Vanguard does other things too. They offer services for buying and selling stocks, helping people save for education, making financial plans, managing money, and looking after trusts. Many of the mutual funds they manage are at the top of the list in the US for the most money managed. People say Vanguard, along with BlackRock and State Street, are the three biggest companies that manage index funds in America.

John C. Bogle, who started Vanguard, is famous for creating the first index fund that regular people could invest in. He made it easy for people to invest their money at low cost. Another person, Rex Sinquefield, also made an index fund available to the public a few years before Bogle.

Vanguard is owned by the people who invest in its funds. Vanguard has two types of shares for most of its funds: regular shares and admiral shares. Admiral shares have a bit lower fees, but you need to have more money to invest in them, usually between $3,000 and $100,000 for each fund.

Vanguard’s main office is in Malvern, near Philadelphia. They also have smaller offices in Charlotte, North Carolina, Dallas, Texas, Washington D.C., and Scottsdale, Arizona. They also have offices in Canada, Australia, Asia, and Europe.

Vanguard Fees and Costs

Vanguard aims to keep fees low for its index mutual funds and ETFs. Here are the costs:

  • You won’t pay any fees for buying or selling stocks or ETFs online.
  • You won’t pay any fees for buying or selling Vanguard’s own mutual funds online or by phone.
  • You can trade 160 mutual funds from other companies without paying any fees.
  • You won’t pay any fees for about 3,000 mutual funds from other companies if you hold them with Vanguard.
  • If you invest less than $1 million with Vanguard and buy a mutual fund from another company, you’ll pay a $20 fee online.
  • There’s no minimum amount of money needed to open an account, but you need some money to start investing.
  • Most funds require you to invest at least $1,000 to $3,000.
  • For managed accounts using the robo-advisor, you’ll pay 0.15% of your yearly balance for Vanguard Digital Advisor and 0.3% for Vanguard Personal Advisor Services if you have at least $50,000.
  • The average cost of owning a mutual fund at Vanguard is 0.1%, which is much lower than the industry average of 0.2% for similar funds.

Pros and Cons

Pros Cons
Vanguard offers many mutual funds to choose from. The trading platform is basic.
No commissions for trading stocks, options, and ETFs. There’s not much research or data available.
Vanguard is known for having low-cost funds. Online chat is not available.
You can earn a high interest rate on cash you haven’t invested yet. The return call option is not provided.
Orders are executed quickly and efficiently. Withdrawal of funds through electronic payment systems is not available.

Is it safe to invest with Vanguard?

Yes, Vanguard is a trustworthy company to invest with. It has been around since 1975 and is watched over by independent agencies like the Securities and Exchange Commission and FINRA.

Account Opening

Opening an account is easy and done all online. You don’t need to have a certain amount of money in your account to start. But, it takes a while for them to check your information.

  • Vanguard is a stockbroker in the US. It mostly serves people in the US. We looked at the services that Vanguard offers in the US.Vanguard has offices and partners all over the world. But what they offer can be different from one country to another.You don’t have to put any money in your Vanguard account to start.But if you want to borrow money to trade stocks or use Vanguard’s personal advisor service, there’s a minimum amount you have to put in.

Account Types

Vanguard offers different kinds of accounts for people to use.

  • Individual Brokerage Account: This account belongs to and is used by one person.
  • Joint Brokerage Account: This account belongs to and is used by two or more people.
  • UGMA/UTMA Account: This account is managed for a minor until they become adults.
  • Small Business Accounts: These accounts help small businesses save for their employees’ retirement.
  • Roth / Traditional IRA Accounts: These are retirement accounts for individuals.
  • Education Savings Account (“529 Plan”): This is for saving money for education.
  • Trust / Organization Account: This account is owned by a trust or a business.
  • Personal Advisor Services: Vanguard’s advisors manage this account.

Opening an account at Vanguard is easy and all done online. It takes about 15 minutes to fill out the application, but it takes a little longer for them to verify your account, about 3 business days.

Here are the steps to open an account:

  1. Choose how you want to put money into your account (from your bank, rollover, or other ways).
  2. Pick the type of account you want.
  3. Tell Vanguard about your investment goals and what you prefer.
  4. Give your personal information, like your Social Security Number, where you live, and your phone number.
  5. Say if you have a job and give some details about your finances.
  6. Put money into your account.
  7. Check all the information you’ve given.
  8. Agree to the terms and conditions.
  9. Sign up so you can use Vanguard’s website.

Deposit and withdrawal

Depositing money into your Vanguard account is easy and doesn’t cost anything. But, the ways you can put in or take out money are limited. You can only do it by bank transfer, and taking money out with a wire transfer isn’t free. At Vanguard, the only money they deal with is in US dollars. If your personal bank account uses a different currency, they’ll charge you a fee to change it into dollars.

A good way to avoid paying a lot in currency exchange fees is to get an account with a digital bank that handles multiple currencies. These banks usually have accounts in different currencies with good exchange rates, and they often let you do international transfers for free or cheap. It’s quick to open an account on your phone.

Vanguard doesn’t charge you anything to put money into your account.

If you’re in the US, you can use checks, ACH transfers, and wire transfers to add money. But, they don’t take credit or debit cards or online wallets. We tried an ACH transfer, and it took 2 business days to go through.

A bank transfer can take a few business days. You can only add money from accounts that are in your name.

If you’re in the US and you take money out with ACH, Vanguard doesn’t charge you anything. But, if you use a domestic wire transfer, it’s $10 unless you have more than $1 million in your account, then it’s free.

You can only take money out to an account that’s in your name.

How long does it take to withdraw money from Vanguard? 

We tried with ACH, and it took 2 business days.

How do you withdraw money from Vanguard?

  1. Log in to your account.
  2. Go to “My accounts”.
  3. In the “Buy & Sell” menu, select “Transfer money to/from your Vanguard settlement fund”.
  4. Choose if it’s a one-time or regular transfer, your Vanguard account, and the account you linked before.
  5. Put in the amount you want to take out.
  6. Check it and send the request.

Trading platform

Vanguard’s trading platform isn’t as robust as other stock trading platforms from trading-first brokers. If you regularly move in and out of stocks or like to make complex options trades, Vanguard is probably not the best choice for you.

On the other hand, Vanguard has plenty of functionality and features, such as research reports, that will be more than sufficient for long-term investors. And, Vanguard’s mobile app is highly rated on the Apple App Store and allows you to trade and check your portfolio on the go.

Vanguard Personal Advisor Services

If you have a lot of money to invest, you might like Vanguard Personal Advisor Services. You need at least $50,000 to start and they charge you 0.3% of what you invest every year.

To sign up for Vanguard Personal Advisor Services, you need to answer some questions about what you want to do with your money, how much risk you’re okay with, and what you need the money for. After that, a financial advisor will call you to help make a plan for your money.

If you have between $50,000 and $500,000, you can talk to a group of advisors to make your plan. If you have more than $500,000, you’ll get one advisor who will work with you for a long time.

Vanguard Personal Advisor Services will put your money into one of four Vanguard ETFs. These have costs from 0.03% to 0.08%. They don’t do tax-loss harvesting, but they have something called “MinTax cost basis method” that helps you figure out which things you sell can get you lower taxes.

Vanguard App: Mobile Experience

The Vanguard App keeps getting updates. They add new features often. But Android users aren’t very happy with it. They gave it a low rating of 2.0 on Google Play. However, Apple users like it more. They gave it a high rating of 4.7.

Here are some features of the app:

  1. You can see your portfolio.
  2. Check how well your investments are doing.
  3. See what types of assets you have.
  4. Trade stocks and other assets.
  5. Use your fingerprint to log in.
  6. Right now, you can use Beacon to deposit and take out money, but you can’t trade with it yet. Trading will be available in the future.
  7. The old Vanguard app lets you:
  8. Buy and sell stocks and other assets.
  9. Look at how your portfolio is doing.
  10. Keep track of your investments.
  11. Read news about the stock market.


Vanguard offers lots of educational materials. They’ve been doing this for a long time. They want to help you decide what you want to do with your money and how to do it. They have lots of stuff to help you learn, like blogs, news articles, videos, and more. You can learn about investing, retirement, and how the economy works. They even have tools to help you plan for different stages of your life. These tools are good for beginners and people who like to manage their money themselves. Vanguard doesn’t have a way for you to practice trading without using real money.

Customer Service

  • You can contact them for help between 8 am and 8 pm, Monday to Friday.
  • Vanguard doesn’t have live chat for new customers on their website, platform, or app.
  • Vanguard doesn’t use chat bots, but they have a client support center with organized topics.
  • If you’re a Vanguard Personal Advisor Services client, you can talk to financial advisors whenever you need to.
  • Vanguard has different levels of service depending on how much money is in your account. The more you have, the better support you can get from their top financial experts.


In conclusion, Vanguard is great for both new and experienced investors who want cheap mutual funds and ETFs. Vanguard is the leader in passive investing because it focuses on low costs and long-term investments. If you use Vanguard, you probably invest in their funds, even if you’re not a customer. Choosing Vanguard means passive investing. You get the most benefits from their low-cost options. If you like to buy and hold, you’ll like Vanguard’s services, even though their platforms aren’t as fancy as others’. Vanguard is for long-term or retirement investors who prefer low-cost investments like index funds and ETFs.

Vanguard Licenses:

  • The Vanguard Group, Inc. – authorized by SEC (USA) registration no CRD # 105958/SEC#:801-11953
  • The Vanguard Group, Inc. – member of FINRA and SIPC (USA)
  • Vanguard Asset Management, Ltd – authorized by FCA (UK) registration no 527839
  • Vanguard Investments Australia Ltd – authorized by ASIC (Australia) AFS license no 227263
  • Vanguard Group (Ireland) Limited – authorized by the Central Bank of Ireland registration no C23431