Vanguard Personal Advisor Services
Fees and Deposit Limits6.8/10
Ease of Use8.4/10
Account Types and Services9.6/10
- You get a dedicated personal advisor
- Personalized asset allocation and tax-efficient trading
- Very comprehensive range of account types
- A reasonable management fee of 0.30%
- $50,000 investment minimum
- No discounts on the management fee
- No automated tax loss harvesting available
2017 Vanguard Personal Advisor Services Review
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Partnering with a Vanguard advisor can help you reach your goals
You can think of Vanguard Personal Advisor Services as the Rolls Royce of Robo Advisors. It offers a bespoke kind of service, which is quite unlike other Robo Advisors in the investment world. Vanguard treads a slightly different track, even though it is sort of a latecomer in the industry.
It was launched in 2015, and is the latest offering from brokerage giant Vanguard. This automated investing service should definitely be taken seriously.
Fees and Deposit Limits
In the first part of this 2017 Vanguard review, we found out the reason that sets Vanguard apart from other automated investing services: it combines the old with the new.
Similar to a Rolls Royce motorcar, technologically advanced materials are combined with the skilled hands of master craftsmen to create a stunning automobile. Vanguard works in the same way. It combines automated features with personal financial advice, but the downside to this kind of service is the cost: the deposit minimum is a very high $50,000.
If you are the type of investor that can hold a balance of $50,000 or higher, take knowledge in the fact that you will have to pay an annual management fee, which is 0.30% on total assets managed. This percentage is just right in our opinion, and the charges remain the same regardless of your account balance.
This is perhaps the sad part of our 2017 Vanguard Personal Advisor Services review, because the service doesn’t work with existing brokerage accounts. Here’s another thing: Vanguard does not offer active trading options.
Despite this, multi-talented would be the right word to describe VPAS. It is a brilliant automated investment service, but it also offers direct personal advice from a human advisor. What this means is that you have more control over your investment portfolio, and you can talk to a human financial advisor whether you need to make changes or if you just want some investment advice.
This also gives you the ability to arrange a customized asset allocation plan complete with tax planning. If you are a seasoned investor with large amounts to invest, you better take a closer look at Vanguard.
Vanguard Personal Advisor Videos
Check out these videos for an overview of how Vanguard Personal Advisor works:
Ease of Use
Similar to other Robo Advisors, Vanguard Personal Advisor Services is also easy to use, but if you are a newbie investor you might find the service daunting at first. After signing up, a plan is developed based on your goals and current investments (if any). This is then analysed to produce a fully personalized portfolio to suit your unique financial circumstances.
The combination of traditional and automated methods does have a lot of perks, but it somewhat takes away the ease and speed of access that other Robo Advisors will generally offer.
But once everything is set up, your portfolio wouldn’t need any more manual inputs, and the Robo Advisor will automatically handle your portfolio from there. When in doubt, you can take knowledge in the fact that a human advisor is just a phone call away, acting as a safety net for your investments. This we see as a definite advantage, and this makes VPAS unique among other Robo Advisors.
Account and Investment Types and Services
Vanguard (VPAS) caters to a full and impressive range of account types, including both individual and joint taxable accounts. This also includes traditional, Roth, SEP and SIMPLE IRAs to suit all manner of investors. Across those accounts, the customized and personalized portfolios will consist mostly of ultra-low cost Admiral Shares from the Vanguard Index and active mutual funds, but ETFs can be – and sometimes are – built in.
Your portfolio will be expertly produced and tailored according to your financial situation, all made possible through a combination of the work of a personal advisor and automated software. Automatic rebalancing is also provided as standard, and tax-efficiency can be discussed and applied on a client-by-client basis with the personal advisor. But there is no automated tax loss harvesting provided as part of the service.
Suitability for Different Investment Budgets
There is no other way to say it. Vanguard Personal Advisor Services is primarily aimed at investors with a higher investment budget. The $50,000 minimum balance is a tell-tale sign that this Robo Advisor is for the moneyed folk who already know their way around the financial world.
You already know that VPAS is focused mainly on traditional personal advice, so this service is likely to appeal to an older or wealthier set of investors. On the contrary, even high rollers might complain about the VPAS management fees, despite them being significantly less than normal human advisor.
Backed by the deep pockets of brokerage giant Vanguard, the VPAS Robo Advisor is, without a doubt, a major player in the automated investing market. But in this 2017 Vanguard Personal Advisor Services review, we found it to be one that offers a very specific type of service, which is tailored for a very specific set of clientele. Like a Rolls Royce, then.
The combination of traditional financial advice (accessed via an online portal) and automated features provides excellent wealth management services, but this only holds true to if you have more than $50,000 to invest. And if you’re looking for a simple, easy and totally hands-off investing experience then you probably need to look elsewhere.
However, if you are a wealthy investor who demands top class wealth management advice and more direct access to features like asset allocation and rebalancing, you will get everything you desire from the VPAS Robo Advisor.