Vanguard iPhone App

Updated Saturday, July 24, 2010

Vanguard iPhone App Grade: D


The Vanguard iPhone App really puzzles us.  This nearly featureless offering does not allow for trading, stock charts or other basic features found on almost every other broker platform.  Sessions are not saved at all so users who log out of the app for even a second are forced to re-enter their user name and password.  Account information is limited to very basic balance, holding and historical data.  Vanguard published podcasts and videos are of decent quality but are rarely posted.  General market news is provided by Reuters but articles are only published a few times a day.  Version 2.0 adds mutual fund, ETF and stock quotes and profile pages but this is not nearly enough to make the app competitive with other broker offerings.  In the end, we are left wondering why Vanguard would bother releasing an app with so little thought and effort put into it.

App Store Facts:

  • App Name: Vanguard
  • Version: 2.0
  • App Size: 3.3 MB
  • User Rating: 3.5 / 5 stars


The Vanguard iPhone App contains seven discrete sections: My Portfolio, Performance, My Prices, History and News, Markets and Funds & ETFs.  Descriptions of each section are as follows.

My Portfolio
This section shows current account balances, holdings and some trivial information about specific holdings. For those looking to check up on very basic information about their account, this is at least better than nothing.

This section features charts that display 5 years worth of balance and investment return history, both of which can be viewed in normal and widescreen modes.  Here is a view of our investment return history with less than ideal data because of our sparse account activity (click on images for larger views):

My Prices
This section shows each current account holding, the current price and the daily change in value.

This section shows any transactions that have occurred in the last 7 days.

This section contains Vanguard company and fund news, podcasts and videos created by Vanguard advisors and general market news.  The podcasts and videos are mildly useful but are only uploaded at a rate of 1-2 per month.  The video quality is actually quite good, as shown below in widescreen mode:

If Vanguard published more frequent content then this could develop into a nice feature.

General market news is provided by Reuters.  Only a few articles are posted per day, making this section another missed opportunity for Vanguard.

The markets section simply shows index quotes and the daily price change for the Dow Jones Industrial Average, NASDAQ, S&P 500 and 10 year treasury note.

Funds & ETFs
This section contains a list of 181 Vanguard mutual funds and 46 Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) and links to profiles for each fund.  Here is a look at the profile page for the Vanguard REIT Index Fund:

Profiles are also available for all stocks by searching by symbol from within this same section.