Author Topic: The ins and outs of having a Vanguard account  (Read 10375 times)

Almost Retired

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The ins and outs of having a Vanguard account
« on: June 29, 2013, 08:47:51 PM »
I certainly like the Vanguard approach but I don't want to start down that track without understanding how one adds, moves or perhaps removes funds.  Can it all be done online?  Can you add to an account from my bank account? Can I signup for an account online? I have a good chunk of investment with Ameriprise and will be adding a good chunk more as I sell a business over the next 5 years; would moving this into Vanguard over time be smart or dumb?  I am a put it and forget it investor.

Could someone describe the process - opening an account, getting money into to it, monitoring the account, removal rules that I will need to know, more etc. etc. I don't mind $$ to be with Ameriprise; what I don't want are problems if I do the Vanguard thing.

Tim

oldtoyota

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Re: The ins and outs of having a Vanguard account
« Reply #1 on: June 29, 2013, 09:19:18 PM »
I certainly like the Vanguard approach but I don't want to start down that track without understanding how one adds, moves or perhaps removes funds.  Can it all be done online?  Can you add to an account from my bank account? Can I signup for an account online? I have a good chunk of investment with Ameriprise and will be adding a good chunk more as I sell a business over the next 5 years; would moving this into Vanguard over time be smart or dumb?  I am a put it and forget it investor.

Could someone describe the process - opening an account, getting money into to it, monitoring the account, removal rules that I will need to know, more etc. etc. I don't mind $$ to be with Ameriprise; what I don't want are problems if I do the Vanguard thing.

Tim

I don't know if you can open an account online. At most, you'd need to make a phone call. You can buy and sell via online no problem. Yes, you can hook it up with your bank account too.

Vanguard has the lowest prices of most, if not all, other similar companies. It's been great for me. Also, I can see my asset allocation when I log in all in one place.

aj_yooper

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Re: The ins and outs of having a Vanguard account
« Reply #2 on: June 29, 2013, 09:26:49 PM »
Call them up with your questions.  I use them and am happy with the results but YMMV.  I'm cheap and so is Vanguard.

sol

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Re: The ins and outs of having a Vanguard account
« Reply #3 on: June 29, 2013, 10:00:38 PM »
Yes you can set up an account online.  Yes you can tie your bank account to it so you can transfer funds electronically.

Their user website is pretty good.  Not only can you purchase or transfer funds, or reallocate, you can set up recurring transfers, you can research funds, and you can get personalized breakdowns of your account performance over time by a variety of metrics.  All from the comfort of your home internet connection. 

Just to be safe, since you're dealing with your life's savings, I'd probably keep an updated OS and antivirus like MSE running on a hard wired connection.  No wifi, no public computer access.  The chances of having your data intercepted are small, but it is super easy for someone to do if they know there's a cool million or two waiting for them.

jnik

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Re: The ins and outs of having a Vanguard account
« Reply #4 on: June 30, 2013, 07:14:38 AM »
You can sign up online. You will NOT have online access to your account the second you sign up: signing up for online access is another step (which can be done immediately) and requires the account number from the account sign up confirmation screen. That is the only time you will have access to the account number until you finish the online access signup, so write it down or print up the page before continuing. (I didn't, and had to call.)

Zamboni

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Re: The ins and outs of having a Vanguard account
« Reply #5 on: June 30, 2013, 09:46:21 AM »
I've been thrilled with Vanguard.

Since it sounds like you have a decent sized chuck of stash, go to their website and click "What We Offer" on the top bar.  Then Click on the different buttons for Conciege, Voyager, Flagship service.  You'll see different dollar amounts AND different phone numbers to call for each level of service.  Then just give them a call while you're working online. 

I can tell you that even at the Voyager level ($50K+ total investments) the person on the phone will be in the US and will happily walk you through the process and just chat about investing in general for an entire hour.  It's really top notch service.  Just pick the phone number that matches your investment level and give them a call; they'll get you set up quick and even open your eyes to things you didn't know about (like admiral shares for lower costs, etc.)  They guy I talked to even knew how to navigate MY EMPLOYER'S website to get the internal employer forms I needed for setting up the 401k transfer.  I've gotten much friendlier phone service from these specialty numbers than from the main number on the home page.

Spork

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Re: The ins and outs of having a Vanguard account
« Reply #6 on: June 30, 2013, 09:54:11 AM »
Just to be safe, since you're dealing with your life's savings, I'd probably keep an updated OS and antivirus like MSE running on a hard wired connection.  No wifi, no public computer access.  The chances of having your data intercepted are small, but it is super easy for someone to do if they know there's a cool million or two waiting for them.

Good advice.  I would also use a totally separate browser instance.  (I'm not a Microsoft user, so not sure how you'd do this in IE.)  In Firefox, you can create multiple profiles.  I have one profile that is used only for financial transactions.  This virtually eliminates cross site scripting exploits, cookie exploits, CSRF exploits, click jacking, etc.

oldtoyota

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Re: The ins and outs of having a Vanguard account
« Reply #7 on: June 30, 2013, 10:14:10 AM »
Just to be safe, since you're dealing with your life's savings, I'd probably keep an updated OS and antivirus like MSE running on a hard wired connection.  No wifi, no public computer access.  The chances of having your data intercepted are small, but it is super easy for someone to do if they know there's a cool million or two waiting for them.

Good advice.  I would also use a totally separate browser instance.  (I'm not a Microsoft user, so not sure how you'd do this in IE.)  In Firefox, you can create multiple profiles.  I have one profile that is used only for financial transactions.  This virtually eliminates cross site scripting exploits, cookie exploits, CSRF exploits, click jacking, etc.

This is good to know. I use Firefox. Could you explain how the additional profile eliminates cross site scripting exploits? Is it because you are not using that profile for other sites?

Spork

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Re: The ins and outs of having a Vanguard account
« Reply #8 on: June 30, 2013, 12:30:12 PM »
Just to be safe, since you're dealing with your life's savings, I'd probably keep an updated OS and antivirus like MSE running on a hard wired connection.  No wifi, no public computer access.  The chances of having your data intercepted are small, but it is super easy for someone to do if they know there's a cool million or two waiting for them.

Good advice.  I would also use a totally separate browser instance.  (I'm not a Microsoft user, so not sure how you'd do this in IE.)  In Firefox, you can create multiple profiles.  I have one profile that is used only for financial transactions.  This virtually eliminates cross site scripting exploits, cookie exploits, CSRF exploits, click jacking, etc.

This is good to know. I use Firefox. Could you explain how the additional profile eliminates cross site scripting exploits? Is it because you are not using that profile for other sites?

Exactly.  You create a profile for just "financial stuff".  It doesn't share cookies.  It doesn't share memory.  You avoid going to randomsite.com with that profile.  It's still theoretically possible, for example, to get a XSS between "Financial institution1" and "financial institution2" ... but the risks are much lower.  (And those sites are less likely to allow users to upload their own javascript to exploit such a thing.)

Iron Mike Sharpe

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Re: The ins and outs of having a Vanguard account
« Reply #9 on: July 01, 2013, 03:49:08 PM »
I started a Roth IRA with Vanguard this year.  Did my 2012 contribution before April 15 and am now DCA my 2013 contribution for the rest of the year.  I was able to setup everything online.  I'm a US resident, so if you live elsewhere, ymmv.  It was real easy to setup.  They did send me some paperwork that I had to send back to them.  I can't remember the details.  But I think it was to allow automatic transfers into and out of my bank account.  And maybe a scan of my ID to confirm my identity.

Almost Retired

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Re: The ins and outs of having a Vanguard account
« Reply #10 on: July 01, 2013, 09:49:41 PM »
I am learning.  Just would not like this to be a pain.  Set-up and forget.  I'll give them a call.  Hope others continue to post.

Tim

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Re: The ins and outs of having a Vanguard account
« Reply #11 on: July 02, 2013, 03:18:05 PM »
Also, if you have a smart-phone, their mobile app is really good. You can take a photo of a check someone wrote you, and have it invested (i.e. skip the step of depositing it into your checking account and transferring the funds to vanguard).

https://personal.vanguard.com/us/whatweoffer/accountservices/mobileservices

oldtoyota

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Re: The ins and outs of having a Vanguard account
« Reply #12 on: July 02, 2013, 09:12:01 PM »
Just to be safe, since you're dealing with your life's savings, I'd probably keep an updated OS and antivirus like MSE running on a hard wired connection.  No wifi, no public computer access.  The chances of having your data intercepted are small, but it is super easy for someone to do if they know there's a cool million or two waiting for them.

Good advice.  I would also use a totally separate browser instance.  (I'm not a Microsoft user, so not sure how you'd do this in IE.)  In Firefox, you can create multiple profiles.  I have one profile that is used only for financial transactions.  This virtually eliminates cross site scripting exploits, cookie exploits, CSRF exploits, click jacking, etc.

This is good to know. I use Firefox. Could you explain how the additional profile eliminates cross site scripting exploits? Is it because you are not using that profile for other sites?

Exactly.  You create a profile for just "financial stuff".  It doesn't share cookies.  It doesn't share memory.  You avoid going to randomsite.com with that profile.  It's still theoretically possible, for example, to get a XSS between "Financial institution1" and "financial institution2" ... but the risks are much lower.  (And those sites are less likely to allow users to upload their own javascript to exploit such a thing.)

Thank you. I will google how to go about it. Glad to have this info!