Editor’s Note: This product has been removed from our side-by-side comparison because it has been replaced by another product. You can still read our original review below, but Top Ten Reviews is no longer updating this product’s information.
Vanguard is best known for its mutual funds. However, if you have an account at Vanguard Brokerage Services, you can also invest in stocks, bonds, CDs, ETFs and mutual funds from companies other than Vanguard. Advantages to using Vanguard as an online stock trading service are that you can manage your investments from a single login to a single set of statements. Furthermore, if you hold investments that are outside the Vanguard circle of products, if you hold them in a Vanguard account, you can transfer them “in kind,” which means you can move them around without tax consequences.
If you want to invest in stock, Vanguard provides a stock screener that lets you pick criteria. Sort by performance, debt, dividend yield or analyst rating, for example. The system lets you create stock screens dedicated to industry sectors or market indices. You also have access to stock profiles from Standard and Poor’s, Thomson Reuters and First Call. There is also a mutual fund and ETF screener that lets you sort by fund style or management style. If you are interested in fixed income securities, Vanguard’s online fixed income trade desk lets you look for such things as U.S. Treasury securities as well as corporate and municipal bonds. Further mutual fund research support is available in the form of fund profiles. Vanguard clients also benefit from alert messaging, portfolio analysis and the ability to create and test a hypothetical portfolio before you commit investment money.
The commission and fee schedule for Vanguard Brokerage Services is on various levels. The Standard account, available to those with less than $50,000 in Vanguard accounts, charges $7 for the first 25 trades and $20 for subsequent trades. If you want unlimited $7 trades, then you would need to have from $50,000 to $500,000 in Vanguard accounts to qualify for the Voyager Services. If you qualify for Voyager Select Services ($500,000 to $1 million), then all trades are $2. Your first 25 trades are free if you step up to Flagship Services with $1 million in our Vanguard accounts and $2 per trade thereafter.
Vanguard is a provider of mutual funds as well as online brokerage services. As a client of Vanguard Brokerage Services, you can buy individual stocks and bonds as well as mutual funds outside of the Vanguard family. Although the pricing structure favors account holders with significant funds in Vanguard accounts, even if you have less than $50,000 in Vanguard, the price per trade competes with online stock brokers better known as discount brokers.