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Vanguardinvestor

UncleEbenezer
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Vanguardinvestor

#126048

Postby UncleEbenezer » March 19th, 2018, 4:12 pm

I believe many Fools invest in Vanguard funds, one way or another.

I'm minded to put ISA funds that way based on reputation, raising the question of whether to open a new ISA with Vanguardinvestor.co.uk or use an existing broker account. Sadly the website is rather coy on matters of interest, not least that critical question of charges. Information I can see goes from the generic content-free broad-brush to the exhaustive list of funds and the haystack legalese, with anything between those proving elusive.

Anyone using their platform? Or the opposite: making an active choice to invest in Vanguard through a different platform? What did you base your decision on, and would you recommend it in hindsight?

TedSwippet
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Re: Vanguardinvestor

#126070

Postby TedSwippet » March 19th, 2018, 5:06 pm

UncleEbenezer wrote:... Or the opposite: making an active choice to invest in Vanguard through a different platform? What did you base your decision on, and would you recommend it in hindsight?

I hold Vanguard funds on iWeb. At the time I opened this platform account and started investing, Vanguard didn't have a direct-to-customer offering in the UK, so no decision to take there at the time.

While I am a fan of Vanguard's funds and ETFs, I don't think that their current platform charges offering is anything like as customer-friendly as it could or should be. At 0.15% capped to £375 it's lower than most competitors, from 0.25% Youinvest to 0.45% at Hargreaves Lansdown (the latter both uncapped).

But... I pay 0% annually to iWeb. This saves me £375/year compared to Vanguard direct, and a lot more than that compared to the other platforms I mentioned. iWeb does charge £5/trade, whereas on Vanguard the trades are all free. As a buy-and-hold passive investor I 'trade' perhaps four or five times a year, and nowhere near the 75 trades it would take to bring me level with Vanguard's platform fee.

Not exactly an "active choice" to use a different platform then, but definitely an active choice not to move from my current one to Vanguard's own.

GeoffF100
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Re: Vanguardinvestor

#126081

Postby GeoffF100 » March 19th, 2018, 6:03 pm

As an existing direct investor, I am fortunate enough to have an account with Vanguard Asset Management that is free of the platform fee that others pay. Nobody pays for buying and selling funds (apart from the charges inherent in the funds), unless they trade ETFs in real time. I do not believe that any interest is paid on cash. So far, I have just transferred my holdings to the new service, so I can not tell you much about how it works in practice. I have to say that the user interface could do with some improvement though, but hopefully it will all work when I come to use it. They are good at responding to email queries, which is encouraging.

As Ted has said, Vanguard Asset Management's standard charges are not competitive with iWeb, except for very small investors. It is curious that Vanguard has gone from targeting the big investors to targeting the small ones.

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Re: Vanguardinvestor

#126088

Postby dspp » March 19th, 2018, 6:18 pm

I hold Vanguard via iii, and my holding dates from before Vanguard offered to small-fry direct in the UK. Given iii's relatively modest charges I am inclined to stay where I am.

I think the Vanguard entry into the UK targetted the big-fry (whilst directing small-fry via brokers) so as to progressively enter the UK market at minimum cost, whilst building scale & brand recognition. They are now on the second step of that journey.

Whether a 60m-population will be enough to keep them interested in the UK remains to be seen. They depend on massive scale to work at these margins. I am sure they will have intended the UK to be an entry point for the EU of 500m-population. Whether that is still attainable for them depends on things that are yet to be known.

regards, dspp

absolutezero
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Re: Vanguardinvestor

#126096

Postby absolutezero » March 19th, 2018, 6:39 pm

I run a portfolio for Godchildren and I only invest in Vanguard funds using the UK Vanguard website.
I pay no fees except for those in the very low fund charges. Between 0.06% and 0.2% depending on the fund.
I'd recommend it.

GeoffF100
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Re: Vanguardinvestor

#126115

Postby GeoffF100 » March 19th, 2018, 7:24 pm

absolutezero wrote:I run a portfolio for Godchildren and I only invest in Vanguard funds using the UK Vanguard website.
I pay no fees except for those in the very low fund charges. Between 0.06% and 0.2% depending on the fund.
I'd recommend it.

Here are the charges, unless you have a special deal:

https://www.vanguardinvestor.co.uk/what ... -explained

absolutezero
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Re: Vanguardinvestor

#126132

Postby absolutezero » March 19th, 2018, 7:51 pm

GeoffF100 wrote:
absolutezero wrote:I run a portfolio for Godchildren and I only invest in Vanguard funds using the UK Vanguard website.
I pay no fees except for those in the very low fund charges. Between 0.06% and 0.2% depending on the fund.
I'd recommend it.

Here are the charges, unless you have a special deal:

https://www.vanguardinvestor.co.uk/what ... -explained

I'm sure that wasn't the case when I signed up.
I just pay the ongoing charges associated with the funds.

JohnB
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Re: Vanguardinvestor

#126150

Postby JohnB » March 19th, 2018, 8:43 pm

TedSwippet wrote:While I am a fan of Vanguard's funds and ETFs, I don't think that their current platform charges offering is anything like as customer-friendly as it could or should be. At 0.15% capped to £375 it's lower than most competitors, from 0.25% Youinvest to 0.45% at Hargreaves Lansdown (the latter both uncapped).

But... I pay 0% annually to iWeb


HL cap their SIPP ETF costs at £200 p/a (and at £45 for their ISA) and there are no charges for ETFs in their share dealing account. I think what you say is true of funds though. That's why I have my Vanguard holdings as ETFs with them. I use Iweb for my ISA, using other funds from iShares, Fidelity etc, as opposed to ETFs, again without charge

I did this split deliberately to avoid the charges, and to maintain multiple fund providers and brokers for risk reduction. Even Vanguard and HL could do something dodgy.

I think HL deserve the £200 they get. I wonder how long Iweb can keep their charging structure so low.

GeoffF100
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Re: Vanguardinvestor

#126159

Postby GeoffF100 » March 19th, 2018, 8:57 pm

absolutezero wrote:
GeoffF100 wrote:
absolutezero wrote:I run a portfolio for Godchildren and I only invest in Vanguard funds using the UK Vanguard website.
I pay no fees except for those in the very low fund charges. Between 0.06% and 0.2% depending on the fund.
I'd recommend it.

Here are the charges, unless you have a special deal:

https://www.vanguardinvestor.co.uk/what ... -explained

I'm sure that wasn't the case when I signed up.
I just pay the ongoing charges associated with the funds.

Here is a news article from before the launch:

https://www.moneywise.co.uk/news/2017-0 ... t-platform

The charges have always been the same. Do you have it in writing that you have a special deal?

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Re: Vanguardinvestor

#126208

Postby absolutezero » March 19th, 2018, 10:57 pm

GeoffF100 wrote:
absolutezero wrote:
GeoffF100 wrote:Here are the charges, unless you have a special deal:

https://www.vanguardinvestor.co.uk/what ... -explained

I'm sure that wasn't the case when I signed up.
I just pay the ongoing charges associated with the funds.

Here is a news article from before the launch:

https://www.moneywise.co.uk/news/2017-0 ... t-platform

The charges have always been the same. Do you have it in writing that you have a special deal?

I'd have to go and dig through the filing cabinet.
It's possible I'm paying 0.15% as a platform fee on top of the fees in the funds. I'll have a look tomorrow.
Either way, for the £50 a month I put into them it's peanuts.
The platform works well, setting up the account is easy and it's all very efficient.

UncleEbenezer
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Re: Vanguardinvestor

#126225

Postby UncleEbenezer » March 20th, 2018, 12:24 am

Thanks for the discussion so far. In general terms, we don't seem to have a strong view one way or t'other: a balanced choice.

One specific point:
GeoffF100 wrote: I have to say that the user interface could do with some improvement though, but hopefully it will all work when I come to use it. They are good at responding to email queries, which is encouraging.

A poor user interface is a consideration. Would it be meaningful to elaborate on its shortcomings?

GeoffF100
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Re: Vanguardinvestor

#126254

Postby GeoffF100 » March 20th, 2018, 8:00 am

I had a great deal of trouble finding an account number and postal address for my files. There is no link to the user's personal details in the main menu. A link appears in the footnote, if you go to the right page, but you have to scroll down to find it. I had to email them to get a postal address for executors etc. I did not get any paper documentation from them whatsoever when I opened the account, which is not reassuring.

There is a set of headings at the top of one of the pages, which are effectively tabs, but that is not evident at first sight. The main page has lots of space consuming boxes rather than clear links. These boxes mostly contain annoying distractions. I want the entry page to show my portfolio with a clear set of links, e.g.:

* Messages
* Portfolio
* Dealing
* Statement
* Payments
* Performance

Why did they not look at other brokers sites? Why did they not mock up a prototype and try it on some real users? The sort of problems that I am complaining about are also evident on the public pages. If you go into Index and Active Funds, there is a long delay while it thinks about it, before fully loading the page. If you click on a fund, most of the useful information is hidden away under Portfolio Data, but you have to puzzle to find it. No effort appears to have been made to separate out the important information, and present that first. There is a box that says "Transaction costs apply". It requires inspiration to click the little arrow in the button left corner of the box. When you do that, you get the start of a statement, but with no way of scrolling down to see the whole statement. When you exit back the to the Index and Active Funds Page, it goes away and thinks about it again.

In summary, Vanguard has made a seriously bad job of designing the website.

GeoffF100
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Re: Vanguardinvestor

#129190

Postby GeoffF100 » March 31st, 2018, 2:50 pm

I successfully funded the Vanguard account via a debit card, and added to an existing OEIC holding. On the plus side, I put in the trade at about 9:00 am and it executed later the same day. There always seems to be an extra day's delay with iWeb. Everything went smoothly.

On the minus side I encountered more niggles. Every time I pay cash in, I get a cryptic email informing me that I have a document on my account concerning Ex Ante Costs and Charges. There was nothing in my inbox, so I contacted Vanguard. It turned out that there is a link in my inbox to show my documents. The document in question tells me that there has been no charge for crediting cash. Vanguard says that Mifid 2 requires them to issue me with that document, but none of my other brokers does that. The same thing happened when I bought stock. The reulting document was very cryptic. It told be that there was a 0.17% charge on the investment. Annually, presumably, but it did not say that. It appears to be the OCF plus transaction costs, but there was no cost breakdown or explanation. It really is Day of the Mifids at Vanguard.

When I bought the stock, there was a helpful looking option to top up my existing holding. Nonetheless, when I clicked it, I had to select the same stock manually. Worse, only accumulation units were listed, but I found an option that showed income units as well. This was in my General Account, which is not tax sheltered. Buying accumulating units would have been an accounting nightmare.

I wanted to check the number of units that I had, and clicked the link to see my portfolio. It just showed the current valuations. No units. A fat lot of use that is. I did, however, find a slider that gave a "detailed view", which gave the usual information that one would expect.

The website seems to have been put together competently enough. It is not in the same league of reported awfulness as Selftrade, Interactive Investor or Barclays. It all works, but the overall design leaves a lot to be desired.

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Re: Vanguardinvestor

#129228

Postby scrumpyjack » March 31st, 2018, 8:57 pm

HL fees are capped in respect of Vanguard ETFs. Like other brokers they treat ETFs like share and investment trusts.

In HL's case, where you hold only shares, ETFs or investment trusts, there are no platform or admin charge for a personal account and fees are capped at £200 for other accounts.

I hold a number of Vanguard ETFs in my HL accounts.

paulnumbers
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Re: Vanguardinvestor

#131029

Postby paulnumbers » April 10th, 2018, 12:17 am

For what it’s worth, I’ve used the Vanguard site for an account I helped my Dad setup, and I thought it was absolutely delightful. I’ve tried a fair few brokers over the years, Comdirect, Selftrade, Halifax, Youinvest, TD, IG, Degiro, HSBC, ...and I’ve found the Vanguard one the most elegant and simple to use.

Now if they could do something about the percentage based fee’s I would probably move my Halifax stuff to them.

GeoffF100
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Re: Vanguardinvestor

#131245

Postby GeoffF100 » April 10th, 2018, 4:52 pm

paulnumbers wrote:For what it’s worth, I’ve used the Vanguard site for an account I helped my Dad setup, and I thought it was absolutely delightful. I’ve tried a fair few brokers over the years, Comdirect, Selftrade, Halifax, Youinvest, TD, IG, Degiro, HSBC, ...and I’ve found the Vanguard one the most elegant and simple to use.

Now if they could do something about the percentage based fee’s I would probably move my Halifax stuff to them.

I would nominate the old Comdirect/Squaregain/Selftrade site as having the best overall user interface design. A masterpiece of simplicity and obviousness. Hierarchical tabs. The first level selected messages, personal details and accounts. The second level selected the account. The third level selected portfolio, statement, payments etc. It is hard to better that. The details were done less well, but that is another matter.


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