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Vanguard Admiral Class

My Schwab account doesn't offer Vanguard Admiral class funds. Are these only available directly from Vanguard?


  • msf
    edited April 2016
    Some time ago, it seemed that Vanguard stopped offering Admiral shares through all brokerages. Since then, Admiral shares have started reappearing at some brokerages, e.g. TDAmeritrade.Scottrade.

    Keep in mind that some Vanguard funds may be closed unless purchased directly through Vanguard, e.g. Wellington.
  • We access Admiral Share Class funds for clients through Schwab Institutional.
  • As an individual investor I am locked out of buying any fund Schwab deems available for "Institutional Only" customers, although I can buy many of the institutional share classes (for example anything at Pimco) by making a large enough purchase. Interestingly I have also found I can make the initial purchase large enough to meet the minimum and then turn around and sell down as much as I want the next day (or whenever the trade restriction allows), thus buying but not necessarily holding the institutional minimum.

    Wonder if there is any work around for the funds labeled "Institutional Only"?
  • Scottrade offers a number of Admirals with low minimums: VEIRX, VCSAX, VWNAX, VMNVX, VWEAX, VWIAX.
  • Through my 401k I have access to the Institutional shares at even lower expense ratios. Check out government employees who use Blackrock's index funds in their TSP accounts. Also they have similarly low ER.
  • @ MFO Members: Are you aware there is a vehicle within Vanguard to convert Vanguard Investors Shares to Admiral Shares with certain qualifications.
    Wondering How To Convert To Admiral Shares?:
  • You can also convert to ETF class shares (except for four of Vanguard's bond ETFs), one way only.

    Since Admiral and ETF class shares yield the same (and it costs less to trade Admiral shares, even at Vanguard), I don't recommend this. But it does have the advantage that Vanguard won't convert your shares back to Investor class as it does with Admiral shares if your balance drops too low.

    Note that conversions if not done properly can be taxable events (there's some paperwork magic to perform). Vanguard handles this, but if you try conversions elsewhere make sure you check with the brokerage about possible tax consequences (unless the investment's in a tax-sheltered account).
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