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Vanguard Review

  • Low fee brokerage on Vanguard ETFs & Mutual Funds
  • Great customer support
  • Very safe and highly regulated
  • Great long term investing platform
  • Limited choice of investment products
  • Simple and limited trading platform
  • High brokerage fees for not Vanguard investment products

Vanguard is a low cost investments brokerage best known for their extensive offering of low cost index funds and exchange traded funds (ETFs). The brokerage is primarily for long term value investors rather than short term day traders. Therefore, Vanguard is a popular investment broker for both young investors saving for a home, or older investor saving for retirement. The Vanguard investment brokerage is owned and operated by the Vanguard Group Inc. and is headquartered in Malvern, Pennsylvania, United States. Vanguard Group Inc was established in 1975 and now has a community of 20 million people investing with Vanguard and a total of $5.1 trillion in client assets. Therefore, Vanguard has seen great success and is trusted by many. The brokerage has maintained the trust of their customers and security of their funds by being regulated the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). Since Vanguard is not your traditional investments or trading brokerage, are they right for you? Let’s find out in the following review, where we’ll delve deep into all aspects of this investment brokerage and see how they differ and stack up to the competition.

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Trading Platform

As mentioned earlier, Vanguard is not much for trading as it is a brokerage service for investing. Therefore, their trading platform lacks the advanced capabilities as traditional trading brokerage trading platforms. That being said, the Vanguard trading platform is a very simple web-based platform. The platform is not the brokerages strong suit as it can be slow and has minimal features. The charting capabilities are very basic, and users cannot participate in automated trading, advanced technical analysis, or evaluate trading signals or strategies. While this platform is lacking many key features that traditional platforms have, it really is great for what it’s intended for. Investors can easily manage their portfolio without the distraction of all the bells and whistles that other platforms often have.
The Vanguard trading platform is also available on mobile devices including iOS, Android, and Kindle operating systems. The application is not ideal for managing your portfolio and opening or closing positions, but it is good for checking your investment progress. The platform is very user friendly and quick to respond but lacking various features.

Exchange Markets

The Vanguard investments brokerage is most notably recognized for their proprietary mutual funds and exchange traded funds (ETFs). These are the most popular investment options available to traders because their expense ratios are over 80% less than the industry average and they have historically outperformed many other investments of their kind. On these two types of investment products, Vanguard provides traders with greatly reduced costs, so it is in the customers favor to invest in Vanguards mutual funds and ETFs opposed to traditional ones. In addition to these tradeable investment products, customers can also buy and sell other mutual funds and ETFs, stocks, options, and US treasury securities. Overall, the investible products are limited compared with other trading brokerages.

Fees and Commission

The major benefit Vanguard has over their competitors is their extremely low cost exchange traded funds (ETFs) and mutual funds. For instance, Vanguards ETFs have expense ratios from 0.04% – 0.08% while other ETFs have expense ratios ranging from 0.10% – 0.32%. The mutual funds expense ratios are also much lower. As for the other investment product fees, stocks and ETFs can be traded at $7.00 per trade, options can be traded at $7.00 per trade plus $1.00 per contract, and other mutual funds are $20 to trade. All in all, the Vanguard trading brokerage only offers lower fees when it comes to their personal investment funds rather than traditional ETFs and mutual funds. As for the other fees, they are quite high compared with industry standards.

Security and Fairness

Vanguard takes the security of their brokerage and customer accounts very seriously and thus does everything they can on their end to create a safe and secure trading environment. Vanguard employs the latest encryption methods to secure their customers financial data and personal information. They also monitor user accounts and brokerage services for fraudulent activity. Also, Vanguard undergoes strict auditing procedures annually and must submit periodic reports to their regulators to prove compliance with their terms. In addition to what Vanguard does to protect customer accounts, they also provide users with in-depth guides on how to invest online safely and securely. All in all, Vanguard is a very safe, secure, and fair online trading brokerage.


The customer support offered by Vanguard is very good, although it is nothing out of the ordinary. Support representatives can be reached 24/7 via email, a secure messaging center, phone, mail, and in person at one of their many locations in the US. The support received is generally very friendly, helpful, and quick with their responses. Additional methods of support include the brokerages social media channels, an extensive FAQ page, and a comprehensive education center. All in all, the customer support provided by Vanguard is very good.


The Vanguard investment brokerage is large and successful online trading brokerage for long term value investors. The broker features a simple yet intuitive trading platform that handles the needs of Vanguard investors. The Vanguard brokerage is not meant for day traders or experienced trading professionals as their platform and services are limited in that regard. The Vanguard brokerage is great for low cost long term investing, and customers are provided with everything they need to do this successfully. All in all, we would recommend the Vanguard investment brokerage for anyone looking for a simple, easy, and affordable long term investment solution.

Vanguard Q&A

The following are the common questions that customers inquired about Vanguard.

Is Vanguard regulated?

Yes, it is regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).

Is Vanguard a scam?

No, Vanguard is a legit broker and it’s licensed in the US.

Where is Vanguard based?

Vanguard is based in Malvern, Pennsylvania, United States.


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Vanguard Reviews by Traders
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208 reviews
Review date 02/08/2018
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Vanguard is simple and easy to use. Their straightforward style is great for beginners.
Vanguard is very simple and doesn't offer many equities to trade.
161 reviews
Review date 02/08/2018
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The pros aren't worth the cons with this one.
Vanguard has a terrible customer service record. I'd put my money elsewhere.
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