For investors who have $100,000 to $1 million-plus at Vanguard, the news is good: reduced costs for brokerage and planning, broader services, and for the highest bracket, access to some mutual funds that had been closed. For advisors, perhaps this is yet another layer of competition for customers and assets.
Valley Forge, Pennsylvania-based Vanguard wants to attract a higher share of investors’ assets by “making it more rewarding for investors to place most, if not all, of their investment eggs in Vanguard’s basket,” according to John Brennan, CEO, in a September 5 announcement. “The ‘all-in’ costs of keeping a financial relationship with Vanguard are extraordinarily low, and we believe our value proposition is unmatched in the financial services industry.”
The firm has divvied services into three tiers based on Vanguard invested assets, Voyager class shareholders with $100,000 to $500,000 in assets in Vanguard investments will have access to a financial plan with a CFP for $250, and assorted other privileges which include a “dedicated service team,” exemption from account maintenance fees, and discounted equity commissions. Clients with $500,000 to $1,000,000 in Vanguard investments qualify for Voyager Select status and get an enhanced version of the above with a complimentary financial plan and deeper discounts on commissions. Investors with $1,000,000 and more in Vanguard products get the complimentary CFP financial plan and “anytime consultation with a CFP”, deeper equity trade commission discounts, access to certain closed Vanguard funds, and a “dedicated service associate.”