Vanguard financial advisors: what are the pros and cons?

1 min readLast updated January 24, 2024by Unbiased team

Find out more about who Vanguard is, what they do, and what kind of service offerings they have in the field of investment planning and financial advice.


  • Vanguard is an online brokerage and investment management company based in the US. 

  • This firm was established in 1975 and now has about $7.7 trillion in global assets. 

  • Their main areas of expertise include passive investment strategies and low-risk trading. 

Vanguard: who are they? 

The US is home to some of the finest brokerages and financial advisory firms in the world, one of which is Vanguard.  

Vanguard is an online brokerage that specializes in slow-and-steady buy-and-hold investment strategies. They also offer a comprehensive ETF trading program with low commission fees, which makes them an attractive financial advisory firm for new or low-risk-tolerant investors.  

Having been in the financial services industry for over 50 years, Vanguard’s financial advisors have developed a reputation for being a reliable and trustworthy source of financial guidance.  

What does Vanguard do? 

Vanguard’s services focus on providing financial advice and services to clients. Their main areas of expertise include passive investment strategies and low-risk trading systems.  

The principles that Vanguard is guided by include cost-effectiveness, clear goal-setting, balance, consistency, and helping clients reach both their long-term and short-term financial goals.  

What are the pros and cons of Vanguard? 

Vanguard is known for being a trustworthy financial advisory firm for investors who prefer consistent, reliable buy-and-hold investment strategies. But if you’re looking for a brokerage that offers stronger active services, you may want to look elsewhere for support.  

Here are the pros and cons of Vanguard: 


  • Outstanding educational resources  

  • Low expense ratio for cash sweep market funds 

  • Very low expense ratios for clients with more than $3,000 in funds 

  • Wide variety of low-cost Vanguard and other mutual fund varieties to choose from  


  • Comparatively high minimum investment requirements for most fund options 

  • Slow account-opening process 

  • The contract options fee is higher than average  

  • No trading platform is available for active traders  

Vanguard: financial services 

While certain trade trends, such as cryptocurrency and forex trading, are missing from Vanguard’s service offering lineup, the list of services they do provide is still considered extensive by most standards.  

Take a look at what they offer: 

  • Stocks  

  • Mutual funds  

  • Bonds  

  • ETFs 

  • International markets 

  • Penny stocks 

  • Advisory services 

Vanguard’s advisor services focus on cash investment options and money market management strategies for people who need advice navigating them – whether it’s for first-time investors or those with more experience who simply need assistance in balancing it all with their other portfolio responsibilities.  

Vanguard: fees 

Vanguard’s fees were recently adjusted to include commission-based payments.  

Your AUM with VanguardOnline Trade FeePhone Trade Fee
Less than $1 million $20 per trade Online rate + $25 broker-assisted fee
$1 million to $5 million $0 for the first 25 trades, $8 per trade thereafter $0 for the first 25 trades, $8 per trade thereafter
$5 million+ $0 for the first 100 trades, $8 per trade thereafter $0 for the first 100 trades, $8 per trade thereafter

Vanguard: technology 

Vanguard’s relationship with technology is efficient but relatively basic.  

While you won’t find them offering complex graphs, charts, or sleek UX web design, their online platform is functional and effective, allowing a wide age range and demographic of people to use it with ease.  

Vanguard technology does feature a mobile app for clients to track account balances and portfolio overviews, but it doesn’t perform many additional or particularly innovative features.  

Vanguard security: is it secure? 

Like most online brokerages, Vanguard’s security meets industry standards in order to keep client’s data safe.  

To access personal information, clients must answer a variety of security questions. Data is also protected by 128-bit encryption, multi-factor authentication, and a number of firewalls.  

Vanguard: customer service 

Vanguard’s customer service system is old-school and relationship-focused. Clients can contact customer support between 8 am and 8 pm from Monday to Friday, and there are no live chat or email support resources available.  

However, the phone-in call system for customer service is reputed to be sufficiently helpful and effective for clients across the board.  

Seek expert financial advice 

Vanguard’s advisor services are some of the most trusted in the US. With its reputation for developing robust buy-and-hold investment strategies and supporting a wide range of other financial service offerings, it’s no surprise that Vanguard remains a major player in the financial industry.  

If you’re looking for a financial advisor so that you can learn more about finances and get expert advice,  Unbiased can help. Get matched with an SEC-regulated financial advisor who is best suited to your needs now.   


Unbiased team

Our team of writers, who have decades of experience writing about personal finance, including investing and retirement, are here to help you find out what you must know about life’s biggest financial decisions.