Vanguard Brokerage Account Review
I recently opened a joint Vanguard Brokerage account. Since I am a Vanguard Flagship client, I decided to open an account with my wife with a long term goal of making it our primary money management account.
The Vanguard Brokerage account is actually 2 accounts - a money market account to hold cash positions and a brokerage account to hold securities.
What appealed to me to sign up for this account? See this article on how I got these Vanguard Flagship benefits without the $1million in asset requirement.
- 12 free stock trades per year in brokerage
- free checks and check writing
- earning higher interest (money market rates) on my balance vs checking account
- free online billpay
- no fees, no minimums
I have been using the account for about 3 months and except for some minor hiccups I can't complain about the free accounts and am satisfied enough to keep using it.
- The web site is not as streamlined to making stock trades as other online brokerages such as Etrade, Ameritrade, etc. but I am able to navigate through and place orders.
- I can place limit orders for no extra charge (orginally unclear to me)
- I have made about 8 trades for far; I have not been charged a single penny in fees
- The money market fund has a 10 day hold on money transfer in. This doesn't effect earning returns, but was a pain when I first tried to transfer oney into the account and then enter some limit orders
- A nice plus to me is transfers from outside account to the money market account work just like mutual fund depsits - the transaction is creditted into the Vanguard account and then a few days later the money is withdrawn from the outside account.
Is this the perfect money management account?
There is a lot of appeal to me to make this our primary joint money management account. We can get all our direct deposits redirected to this account from our checking accounts and immediately earn money market rates on the account balance. No more shifting money around between accounts -- I can get almost all our cash flow put in to this account, make immediate investments through the brokerage account, write checks our use the online billpay to handle expenses. The only reason to keep my existing checking account would be to handle paper checks (mostly from our rentla property).
Is the Vanguard Brokerage Account a Good Value?
However, despite all the positives of the account, if I didn't get the perks that come along with being a Vanguard Flagship client I would probably look elsewhere for a more streamlined version of the same type of account. The multiple accounts (money market and brokerage) are a little disjointed on the web site. If I had to pay fees to use these accounts I might be inclined to look elsewhere. If you are able to get this account as a Flagship client, I love it and would recommend it to anyone who doesn't have an existing (all in one) money management account to centralize all their money management activities.
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