I less than three Vanguard.
When I was first introduced to Vanguard, I called her all the time. It was about 2 years ago. I remember checking my phone’s call history for fun – turns out I actually called Vanguard more often than my girlfriend. Why? Vanguard is one attractive brokerage firm. She takes care of all my (investing) needs.
The torrid love affair began after reading Mr. Money Mustache who strongly recommends the company. And my new employer at the time setup our 401(k)’s through the firm. Seems the universe wanted us to be together.
Tons of people love Vanguard but they typically only ever seem to talk about their low-cost funds. So I’ll spare you that spiel and just say, YES they have tons of low-cost funds you can easily buy into with a few clicks. They do quite a dandy job of keeping costs low on my lazy portfolio!
But I’m attracted to the company for other reasons:
1) Other firms that offer primarily actively managed and single stock options are geared towards younger men and women who have yet to grow up and realize they cannot beat the all powerful markets. Since Vanguard generally opposes such silly behaviors, their site is geared towards old investors. Old investors who probably don’t know how to properly use the interwebs. And when they do get online, it’s usually for watching anti-Obama videos while clicking on every popup that appears on their CRT monitor. So Vanguard makes their site super easy for the steotypical old-man investor to navigate!
Even though I’m 24, I still love an intuitive site. Vanguard is the easiest and fastest investor site I’ve ever used.
2) Old people also love talking on the phone! I do too. Vanguard’s phone customer support is PHENOMENAL! I have never once called and not found my answer. I guarantee I’ve called in at least 30 times. But avoid calling in around 5pm CST as that’s when I’ve had long wait times. I use Google Voice though so that makes it a little easier to blog and be on hold simultaneously. WASTE NO TIME, yo.
3) Vanguard also actually shows you have much money you’ve made. I used to buy through Edward Jones and holy crap I honestly believe they tried to hide the actual ROI. Even as an internet-savvy teenager, I found it impossible to see my ROI. I could see how much my account had grown but not the actual ROI. And of course my account was always in the green because I kept piling money inside. But that didn’t mean I actually earned a cent of passive income! I remember getting mad one night and actually penciling out my YTD ROI for each mutual I owned. Just one more reason to avoid Edward if possible. Ugh, don’t get me started about that mess of a brokerage firm. Now I’m mad. Anyyyyway, I digress.
4) The fourth reason I love Vanguard is you can change your personal greeting! When I login, my home screen says, “welcome back, Jedi Lipovsky”
account maintenance > web greeting > greet me by a different name
If I were to move to another country, however, Vanguard wouldn’t be so great. But that’s okay because there are other options. So if I move abroad (or if you live abroad) there are other useful alternatives to Vanguard. As they say, there are plenty of fish in the sea.
So cost-savings aside, those are the 4 other reasons I love Vanguard.
And that girl I was dating when I met Vanguard is now my ex. Causation or correlation…?
Pic of the ‘Black Pearl’ courtesy of jhornett. Fun fact: It was used in Pirates of the Caribbean but not used as the movie’s ship named the Black Pearl.