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Vanguard Flagship versus fee only advisor

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  • Vanguard Flagship versus fee only advisor

    Hello everyone
    Thanks a lot for sharing your knowledge.
    I would consider myself a novice investor with average knowledge in investing. I have been using vanguard flagship for my taxable account for the last 4 years. I have retirement accounts at fidelity which I self manage. Advisor at vanguard is managing taxable assets for me, without consideration of how I am investing in retirement accounts. I believe it is important to manage all accounts as one unit to get maximal advantage as taxable and retirement accounts has their merits and demerits. I personally do not believe that I am getting great return for the money I am paying flagship at this point.
    I have three options that I see.
    1. Leaving vanguard flagship and managing with simple portfolio by my self.
    2. Pay fee only advisor for overall financial advice for all my accounts- initial consultation with subsequent follow up as needed.
    3. Continue with Flagship for taxable accounts and manage retirement accounts by myself- which is the current plan
    Please advise me on which route I should take
    Thanks in advance

  • #2
    Well, Flagship is free. So you cannot be paying anything for it. Anyone with over $1M in Vanguard funds is Flagship. This gets you some discounts, but there are no fees.

    Do you mean you are using the Personal Advisor Service? That has nothing to do with Flagship. There is a minimum investment but it is far lower than the Flagship minimum. There is a fee for PAS.

    You almost certainly do not need anyone to manage your investments for you. PAS will manage a portfolio of marketable securities, with new purchases going into Vanguard funds. You need a handful of funds and you should rarely change that mix (like easy to go decades with no need to change). Once set up, there is nothing to do.

    If you feel unprepared to make these decisions (but somehow are ready to do this for your retirement accounts) then hire an HOURLY fee planner to ask for advice. You pay for this once, then have no ongoing expenses.


    • #3
      yes, I mean personal advisor service with flagship designation.

      It is AUM which is 0.3% fees, charging 3000$/million. I am not sure if advise just for taxable account is worth that much??

      I was thinking if I could get decent hourly fee(300-400$)only financial advisor not asset manager like I have at vanguard, would it be  more worth for the money that I paying? as he could advise me on both retirement and taxable accounts.

      Am I thinking too much??

      please share your thoughts.


      • #4
        Have they been giving you good advice these past few years?


        • #5

          Am I thinking too much??
          Click to expand...


          go pay for a meeting with an hourly financial advisor.

          figure out a plan.

          then if you think you can handle the plan, cancel PAS.

          if you still dont understand it, then keep PAS.


          • #6
            I can’t handle the font.


            • #7
              PAS should have provided you with a plan for the assets it manages. You can use that as the model for your retirement accounts. You can keep your money at Vanguard but cancel the PAS. You could hire an hourly fee planner for another opinion.

              If you can manage your retirement assets on your own you can do the same for your taxable account.

              Again, Flagship and PAS have nothing to do with one another.


              • #8
                I’ve said this before, but one thing Flagship does do is give you a free annual review with recommendations on how to deploy your assets. Same folks as Personal Advisory Services offer this review. (I see it as sort of a loss leader for them to build business.) Anyway, I did it once and confirmed that I could do as well or better on my own and learned that they offer overly complicated portfolios. For example, I’m perfectly happy with Total Stock Market Index. My recommended distribution offered instead that I should own the constituent funds separately.