Search Brokers +

Broker Reviews


Published by
On Tuesday, April 15th, 2014 .


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.


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 provides trade platform screenshots, detailed commissions information, and online broker ratings. Please note - Vanguard chose not to be included in our 2014 Online Broker Review and thus has little information alongside no star ratings.
Blain Reinkensmeyer

Reviewed by

Blain has been involved in the markets for over 12 years, heading equity broker research and reviews. His personal blog,, 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*
$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

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

Broker Awards

Misc. Account Information

-1 Clearing Firm
-1 Commission Free ETFs
-1 Retail Locations
-1 Mutual Funds (Load)
-1 Mutual Funds (No Load)
-1 3rd Party Research Reports
-1 Complex Options Max Legs

Account Features

Virtual Trading
No Minimum Deposit
No Maintenance Fees
Yes No Fee IRAs
Investor Community
Live Seminars

Mobile Trading

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

Customer Service

Yes Phone Support
Yes Email Support
Live Chat
Retail Locations
24/7 Support

Trade Types

Yes Stock Trading
Yes Options Trading
Yes Mutual Funds
Forex Trading
Futures Trading

Recommended For

Best in Class Options Tading
Best in Class Active Trading
Internalizes Trades

Banking Features

Checking Accounts
Savings Accounts
Credit Cards
Debit Cards
Mortgage Loans

Trading Platform Features

Web Platform
Desktop Platform
Mac Platform
Platform Backtesting

Active Trading Features

Direct Routing (Stocks)
Receives Payment for Order Flow
Internalizes Trades
Client Liquidity Rebates

Compare Vanguard:

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 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.