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Broker Reviews


Vanguard

Published by
On Wednesday, June 11th, 2014 .

Overview

Unless trading with a flagship account ($1,000,000+ portfolio value) or with Vanguard funds, Vanguard has little to offer the average investor that cannot be found elsewhere.

Dislikes

Extremely expensive commissions for clients that don't meet required portfolio values; no live chat support and email support slow to respond; not designed for the active online investor.

Our Vanguard review includes a variety of information for researching and finding a brokerage to suit your needs. We have detailed commissions & fees data, an extensive features checklist, and other important broker information available. Our team encourages all investors to compare Vanguard with their competitors to find out how they stack up.

Please Note: Our annual review requires the online brokers to actively participate due to the extensive amount of testing, data, and research that takes place over the course of six months. Since Vanguard elected not to be included in our 2014 Online Broker Review, Vanguard does not have star ratings or rankings.


Blain Reinkensmeyer

Reviewed by

Blain has been involved in the markets for over 12 years, heading StockBrokers.com equity broker research and reviews. His personal blog, StockTradingToGo.com, provides to-the-point daily market recaps to over 17,000 subscribers.

Commission Notes

Vanguard commissions details below:

Stock Trades - Vanguard offers different commissions rates depending on the size of the portfolio. These rates are broken down below:

  • Less than $50,000 (Standard) = $7 for first 25 trades, $20 for each trade thereafter (yearly). There is also a $20 per year account service fee charged.
  • $50,000 - $500,000 (Voyager) = $7 per trade.
  • $500,000 - $1 million (Voyager Select) = $2 per trade.
  • $1 million plus (Flagship) = First 25 trades free, $2 for each trade thereafter (yearly)

Options Trades - $20 + $1.00 per contract. For Voyager accounts the rate is $8 + $1.50 per contract. Assignments are $30 + $.015 per contract. For flagship accounts, assignments are $8 + $.015.

  • Less than $50,000 (Standard) = $20 + $1.00 per contract. Excercise & assignments are $20 + $.01 per share.
  • $50,000 - $500,000 (Voyager) = $7 + $1.00 per contract. Excercise & assignments are $7 + $.01 per share.
  • $500,000 - $1 million (Voyager Select) = $2+ $1.00 per contract. Excercise & assignments are $2 + $.01 per share.
  • $1 million plus (Flagship) =$2+ $1.00 per contract. Excercise & assignments are $2 + $.01 per share.

Mutual Funds - For transaction fee funds it is $35 per trade for Standard accounts, $20 for Voyager and Voyager Select, and $8 for Flagship accounts. For non transactin fee funds there is no commission charged to buy or sell.

There is $3,000 minimum investment for most funds with $1,000 minimum reinvestments thereafter. There is also a 1% sale charge of the proceeds ($50 minimum, $250 maximum) for shares held less than 180 days.

Other Investments - Vanguard does not support futures and forex.

Trade Commissions Breakdown

$7.00 Stock Trade Fee (flat)*
N/A Stock Trade Fee (per share)*
$20.00 Options Base Fee*
$1.00 Options Per Contract Fee*
N/A Options Exercise Fee
N/A Options Assignment Fee
$35.00 Mutual Fund Trade Fee
$7.00 Broker Assisted Trades Fee
$3,000.00 Minimum Deposit

Margin Rates

-1.00% Under $24,999.99
-1.00% $25,000.00 to 49,999.99
-1.00% $50,000.00 to $99,999.99
-1.00% $100,000.00 to $249,999.99
-1.00% $250,000.00 to $499,999.99
-1.00% $500,000.00 to $999,999.99
-1.00% Above $1,000,000.00

Miscellaneous Fees

N/A Bond Trade Fee
N/A Treasury Trade Fee
$0.00 CD Trade Fee
N/A IVR Trade Fee
N/A IRA Annual Fee
N/A IRA Closure FEe
N/A Forced Margin Sellout Fee
N/A Returned ACH Fee
N/A Returned Wire Fee
N/A Stock Certificate Processing Fee
N/A Stock Certificate Delivery Fee
N/A Paper Statement Fee
N/A Paper Confirmation Fee
N/A Domestic Wire Fee
N/A International Wire Fee

Broker Ratings

Overall
Commissions & Fees
Ease of Use
Research
Platforms & Tools
Customer Service
Mobile Trading
Offering of Investments
Education

Broker Awards

Offering of Investments

Yes Stock Trading
Yes Options Trading
Yes Mutual Funds
Forex Trading
Futures Trading
OTCBB / Pink Sheets
DRIPs
After Hours Trading
N/A Commission Free ETFs
N/A Retail Locations
N/A Mutual Funds (Load)
N/A Mutual Funds (No Load)
Mutual Funds (NTF)
Mutual Funds (Total)
N/A Complex Options Max Legs
-1 Clearing Firm
No Inactivity Fees
No Minimum Deposit
Yes No Fee IRAs
Broker Assisted Trades

Research

Mutual Funds Research
Pink Sheets / OTCBB Research
Fixed Income Research
Global Market Overview
Equity Research - SEC Filings
ETF Research - Top 10 Holdings
ETF Research - 3rd Party Reports
Fund Research - Strategy Overview
Fund Research - 3rd Party Reports
Fund Research - Fees Breakdown
Fund Research - 3rd Party Ratings
Screener - Stocks
Screener - ETFs
Screener - Funds
Screener - Options
Screener - Bonds

Banking

Checking Accounts
Savings Accounts
Credit Cards
Debit Cards
Mortgage Loans
No Fee Banking
Mobile Check Deposit
ATM Fee Reimbursement

Customer Service

Yes Phone Support
Yes Email Support
Live Chat (prospect clients)
Live Chat (current clients)
24/7 Support

Recommended For

Best in Class Commissions & Fees
Best in Class Platforms & Tools
Best in Class Research
Best in Class Customer Service
Best in Class Ease of Use
Best in Class Investor Education
Best in Class Mobile Trading
Best in Class Active Trading
Best in Class Options Trading
Best in Class New Investors

Mobile Trading

Yes iPhone App
Yes iPad App
Yes Android App
Yes Mobile Site

Platforms & Tools

Virtual Trading
Web Platform
Desktop Platform
Mac Platform
Trade Ideas - Backtesting
Trade Hot Keys
Streaming Time & Sales
Level 2 Quotes - Stocks
Streaming CNBC TV
Sitewide Real-time Quotes
Watchlist Streaming Real-time Quotes
Options - Chains Basic View
Options - Chains Spreads View
Options - Chains Greeks Viewable

Active Trading

Internalizes Trades
Receives Payment for Order Flow
Direct Market Routing (Stocks)
Client Liquidity Rebates
# of Easy to Borrow Stocks

Education

Investor Dictionary
Live Seminars
Community Forums

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All pricing data was obtained from a published web site as of 04/07/2014 and is believed to be accurate, but is not guaranteed. The StockBrokers.com staff is constantly working with its online broker representatives to obtain the latest pricing data. If you believe any data listed above is inaccurate, please contact us using the link at the top of this page. * For stock trade rates, advertised pricing is for a standard order size of 500 shares of stock priced at $30 per share. For options orders, an options regulatory fee per contract may apply.

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