Vanguard Stock Trading

Updated Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Stock Trading Grade: D

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Trading at Vanguard is below average. The trading interface, like the rest of the website, is poor. Portfolio holdings do not always populate immediately after securities are purchased, so trading from the holdings menu is not always possible. Canceling trades is easy but orders cannot be modified. Trade execution time is unknown, since trade confirmations include the date but not the time of trades.

Order Types:

See our Order Types page for an explanation of order types

Initially, I purchased shares of several stocks. The next day, I went to close out my positions but to my surprise my portfolio view did not display my updated holdings. I checked my trade confirmations and the trades did indeed go through, so I decided to sell my positions from the general trading interface. I entered a sell order for 30 shares of ZNH at the limit price of $13.50. Vanguard's good until canceled orders are purged after 60 days (click on images for larger views):

I was asked to confirm my order:

A warning screen appeared warning me about my limit price and potential settlement issues due to fund levels:

Despite the error messages, I was able to confirm my order successfully:

Once orders are entered, they can be viewed on the transaction history page. If the trade has not been executed, trades can be canceled but not changed. Canceling trades works instantly, but it would be nice to be able to modify orders.

Once trades have executed, confirmations are available that show the date of trade but not the time of day.

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