Vanguard Review

Updated Sunday, November 6, 2011

Ranking: 17 / 18   Score: 20.50
Understand our Ranking Methodology

Standard PlatformCommissions & Fees
Account Opening:BStock Trades:$20.00
Stock Trading:DOption Trades:$30.00 + $1.50/cnt
Options Trading:review n/aOption Ex. & Ass.:$30.00 + $0.00/cnt
Charts:FMutual Funds:Click for Options
Research Tools:DMargin Rates:5.250% - 7.750%
Advanced PlatformsAcct Maintenance Fees:Click for Info
No Advanced PlatformAcct Transfer Fees:Click for Info
Stock Trading:n/aCommission Free ETFs:Yes
Options Trading:n/aDiscounts Available:Click for Offers
Charts:n/aOther Features
Research Tools:n/aDRIPs:Yes
Mobile PlatformsExtended Hrs. Trading:Yes
iPhone App:CStock Order Types:Click for Info
iPad App:DClearing Firm:Click for Info
Android App:DTax Reporting:Click for Options
BlackBerry App:NoMint.com Compatible:Yes
Mobile Website:Yes (no review)Wikinvest Compatible:Yes

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Company Background:

Vanguard was founded by John C. Bogle on May 1, 1975 in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. Vanguard has a unique company structure, with the funds themselves owning the company and each contributing to the shared costs of the business. The company is chiefly known for its mutual funds, which currently hold $1.3 trillion in assets spread across 160 funds. The company's oldest fund, Wellington, actually predates the company itself, having been formed in 1929 and managed by the Wellington Management Company. In 1976, Vanguard launched the first indexed mutual fund, which eventually grew to become the world's largest mutual fund.

Vanguard is currently headquartered in Malvern, Pennsylvania. The company's Chairman and CEO is F. William McNabb III. Vanguard launched its website in 1995. It is a self clearing broker.

Review Summary:

Vanguard has a poor trading engine, terrible research tools, the worst charts we have ever seen and severely lacking iPhone and iPad apps. Combine this with excessive commissions and fees in all areas and you are left without a compelling reason to choose this broker. The lone bright spot is an impressive selection of Vanguard branded commission free ETFs. Even with this feature, investors of all stripes should steer clear of Vanguard.

See our Broker Rankings Page to compare Vanguard with other brokers