Author Topic: Vanguard Personal Advisor Services?  (Read 3222 times)


  • Handlebar Stache
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Vanguard Personal Advisor Services?
« on: October 12, 2016, 11:33:17 AM »
We are considering using this service.  We are putting some of my husband's old 403(b)s, our Roths and some taxable stuff in Vanguard.  (Man, it's a lot of work to get that done, but slowly but surely . . . ).  Anyway, we had the first call with an advisor last night and while I was reluctant at first, now I'm wondering if it might be a good move.  We have two young children and while I have some inclination to learn about investing, I am still a newbie with quite limited time/attention to devote to it and my husband has even less inclination than I.  I feel if we could muster enough devotion to the topic to get it set up right and then utilize VPAS to help us monitor the allocation and advise on questions we don't yet know, that it would be worth it for us.  I realize, though, that it would be more expensive than doing it ourselves.

The moment I realized it might be the way to go is when she was telling us about the tax-efficient places to use stock/bond funds.  I have no idea about this, and DIY mistake could cost us a lot more than the cost to have the service, at least for a few years.

That's the other thing - we could have it and if we get really gung ho about DIYing, we could cancel and manage it ourselves . . .

Anyway, sounds like I've talked myself into it.  :)  But still wanted to get thoughts here.


  • Bristles
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Re: Vanguard Personal Advisor Services?
« Reply #1 on: October 12, 2016, 11:44:57 AM »
I've heard good things about them. My only experience is through my FIL, who has substantial assets invested at Vanguard, so the Adviser services are all free. Even if you have to pay, they are probably about the best option out there. Other than the MMM forums, of course!



  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Re: Vanguard Personal Advisor Services?
« Reply #2 on: October 16, 2016, 01:58:18 PM »
I think the question really comes down to whether or not you want a financial advisor.  If you do, PAS is the probably the best value for the money.
I was with them for a little while.  They helped me come up with a good asset allocation, and they take care of allocating new money to investments and rebalancing as necessary.  They will also probably help act as a “speed bump” to help you stop from selling during a market downturn.  They ended up putting me into funds that looked pretty similar to the Target Retirement funds for my desired (early) retirement date, with some additional corporate bond funds to help beef up return on the bond end of my portfolio.

Eventually we ended our relationship with PAS, since I eventually learned the basics of investing and felt that I was able to do what they were doing for free. 

I would be careful about overestimating the complexity of managing your own investments – it’s actually not that difficult once you know a few basic rules.  (The part about putting bonds in tax-deferred and stocks in taxable accounts is one of the big ones.)  Having limited time to worry about investments may actually be a good thing, since “overthinking” it can actually cause you to move money more often than you should which can depress your overall returns (market timing, etc). 

Good luck!


  • Stubble
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Re: Vanguard Personal Advisor Services?
« Reply #3 on: October 16, 2016, 04:56:46 PM »
If you haven't already, look at the Bogleheads forum and Wiki. They make it rather easy to follow a two, three or four fund portfolio of broad based index funds. You need to decide your allocations (if any) to domestic stocks, international stocks, domestic bonds and international bonds. The Vanguard website has a tool you can use to establish allocations based on risk tolerance. Bonds are best held in tax-deferred accounts. Doing it yourself is the cheapest option. Target date retirement accounts are also an option, but may result in higher percentages being invested internationally than some people may like.


  • Handlebar Stache
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Re: Vanguard Personal Advisor Services?
« Reply #4 on: October 16, 2016, 06:10:33 PM »
I would tell you no if it was an advisor charging 1% plus using expensive funds, but I know PAS is affordable. If you feel comfortable doing everything they would do then do it yourself. If you don't, then have them do it. If you made mistakes you could easily end up costing yourself more than the cost of the service. Tax efficiency, which is what you described earlier, is very valuable so that could justify the cost.

You could always try it for awhile, and once you feel comfortable doing it yourself leave the service.


  • Walrus Stache
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Re: Vanguard Personal Advisor Services?
« Reply #5 on: October 16, 2016, 06:26:50 PM »
  Fee is 30 basis points, or .3%.

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