Vanguard Review – A Slow and Steady Investing Platform
- What is Vanguard?
- How does Vanguard work?
- How much does Vanguard cost?
- Vanguard features
- Who is Vanguard best for?
- Who shouldn’t use Vanguard?
- Pros & cons
- Vanguard vs. Fidelity vs. e*Trade vs. TD Ameritrade
- The bottom line
What is Vanguard?
How does Vanguard work?
How much does Vanguard cost?
No account minimums
A variety of securities available
Good retirement calculators
Who is Vanguard best for?
The cost-conscious investor
Who shouldn’t use Vanguard?
Low net-worth investors
Pros & cons
- Lots of low-cost funds. The area where Vanguard truly excels is in offering a variety of low-cost funds. With low expense ratios and fees, you get to keep more of your investment returns with a Vanguard brokerage account.
- Relatively robust. Asset allocation in Vanguard allows for a good mixture of stocks, bonds, and other securities, with ETFs and mutual funds being the most common building blocks of a solid portfolio on Vanguard.
- Easy to set up an account. Setting up an account with Vanguard is pretty straightforward and generally takes less than 10 minutes, assuming that you already have information about your bank account and employer on hand.
- User interface can be confusing. While the signup process on Vanguard is pretty user-friendly, the dashboard for investing can be a bit daunting and is much more basic. You’ll want to spend some time with the help resources to understand where to go to set up your portfolio since there’s a higher learning curve than with other brokerages.
- Minimums can be discouraging. While Vanguard’s Target Date Retirement Funds have lower minimums, getting to the $1,000, $3,000, or $5,000 necessary to start purchasing funds for your portfolio can take some of the wind out of your sails (which is unfortunate as Vanguard’s logo is a ship!)
- Not a ton of analytical tools. Many brokerages offer detailed analytical tools to track stock performance for active traders. Vanguard’s tools are basic, even as they provide great calculators for estimating your retirement needs.
Vanguard vs. Fidelity vs. e*Trade vs. TD Ameritrade
|Header||Fees||Commission-Free ETFs||Cryptocurrency||Fractional shares||Mobile app||Robo-advisor|
|Vanguard||$0 for most stocks/ETFs, $1 for options||Yes||No||No, but you can reinvest dividends||Yes||Yes|
|Fidelity||$0 for most stocks/ETFs, $0.65 for options||Yes||No||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|E*TRADE||$0 for most stocks/ETFs, $0.50-$0.65 for options||Yes||No||No||Yes||Yes|
|TD Ameritrade||$0 for most stocks/ETFs in US, $0.65 for options||Yes||Yes (BTC Futures)||Yes||Yes||Yes|
The bottom line
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