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Vanguard Customer Service

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Comments

  • @msf, thank you. I am interested in Capital Opportunity fund.
  • Sven said:

    @msf, thank you. I am interested in Capital Opportunity fund.

    Since Capital Opportunity is also closed if you are not Flagship, you might want to look at Primecap Odyssey Growth POGRX.

  • edited September 2021
    @Mona, thanks for the reminder of Odyssey funds. I am a Flagship client, but I don’t use their advisor services. Not sure the process of getting into Vanguard PRIMECAP funds. Vanguard Capital Opportunity is managed by PRIMECAP and is similar to their mid-cap equivalent of Odyssey Aggressive Growth, POAGX. Will contact Flagship service.
  • @sven,

    If it's not too much trouble, can you report on how to invest in the Vanguard Primecap funds?
  • Will do. Flagship clients use a different phone number.
  • @Sven, Flagship clients can simply enter the buy order of $25k or less in their Vanguard brokerage account and see the order in the order status.
  • Just be very, very sure before you press the "enter" button. Vanguard doesn't look favorably on attempts to cancel orders.

    (Orders can be cancelled on the brokerage platform but seemingly not on the legacy mutual fund platform.)
  • Exactly. Vanguard only allows cancel order early in morning. Other times are not okay even if you call their agents. I will talk with their Flagship service first to see if I can get into the Investor shares first. Afterward i can add up to $25k per year until reaching the Admiral requirement, $50K.
  • Sven said:

    Exactly. Vanguard only allows cancel order early in morning. Other times are not okay even if you call their agents.

    I will talk with their Flagship service first to see if I can get into the Investor shares first. Afterward i can add up to $25k per year until reaching the Admiral requirement, $50K.

    As Flagship, you can. If you desire, you can purchase $25K of Primecap and $25K of Capital Opportunity between now and the end of the year, and then purchase $25K in each after the first of the year, and convert to Admiral Shares, assuming the total in each is 50K or greater.

    Let's have some fun with this and my guess is if you call Vanguard six times, you will get three different answers. This is my understanding:

    Let's say that you have your retirement accounts with Vanguard. A Roth, Inherited, and Rollover IRA. You can purchase $25K of Primecap and $25K of Capital Opportunity in each account, each year.

    Let's say that you have four taxable accounts with Vanguard, all with different account numbers. You can purchase $25K of Primecap and $25K of Capital Opportunity in each account, each year.

    Now you ask, what prevents me from opening additonal accounts at Vanguard with different account numbers and put $25K of Primecap and $25K of Capital Opportunity in each account, each year?

    My answer is nothing.


  • Mona said:


    Now you ask, what prevents me from opening additonal accounts at Vanguard with different account numbers and put $25K of Primecap and $25K of Capital Opportunity in each account, each year?

    My answer is nothing.

    My answer is that pretty much any fund from any fund company can reject a purchase order that it chooses. Sometimes this is phrased as "a trade that would be disruptive", sometimes not.
    Each Vanguard fund reserves the right to reject any purchase request—including exchanges from other Vanguard funds—without notice and regardless of size. For example, a purchase request could be rejected because the investor has a history of frequent trading or if Vanguard determines that such purchase may negatively affect a fund’s operation or performance.
    https://personal.vanguard.com/pub/Pdf/p059.pdf?2210168823

    Given that Vanguard has limited the amounts one can invest so that purchases don't negatively affect a fund, it's hardly a stretch for Vanguard to consider gaming their rules disruptive.

    But if you want to game the system, why stop at $25K/account? Vanguard allows shares to be moved from one account to another existing (not new) account. Sure, it took me over an hour on the phone with Vanguard years ago when I converted some shares in kind from a traditional to a Roth IRA (with existing positions in both accounts), but it can be done.

    So open two accounts with $25K, move the shares from one account to the other, then convert the $50K to Admiral shares. Even if you get so far as to open multiple accounts of the same type (e.g. two taxable accounts) in a closed fund, I have my doubts whether Vanguard will then let you take the next step.

    Side note: Fidelity once initially rejected a purchase order of mine for a Fidelity fund because it might have been disruptive. (Upon review, Fidelity allowed it to go through.) So this is not a matter of Vanguard being different from other families.
  • "But if you want to game the system, why stop at $25K/account? Vanguard allows shares to be moved from one account to another existing (not new) account. Sure, it took me over an hour on the phone with Vanguard years ago when I converted some shares in kind from a traditional to a Roth IRA (with existing positions in both accounts), but it can be done."


    I do not own any shares in any Primecap managed fund.
  • msf
    edited September 2021
    I do not own any shares in any Primecap managed fund.

    Flagship customers can open accounts, investing up to $25K in each. You don't see any reason why one cannot game the system and open[] additonal accounts at Vanguard with different account numbers and put $25K of Primecap and $25K of Capital Opportunity in each account, each year.

    If there's nothing stopping one from gaming the system, one could then immediately combine those multiple accounts to meet the $50K Admiral share requirement.

    I only gave an existence proof that even if one is not a flagship customer, once one has multiple open accounts they can be combined. Combining them does not violate Vanguard's restriction on opening new accounts (which flagship customers don't have to follow, anyway). Nor does it violate Vanguard's restrictions on buying additional shares.
  • If there's nothing stopping one from gaming the system, one could then immediately combine those multiple accounts to meet the $50K Admiral share requirement.

    I only gave an existence proof that even if one is not a flagship customer, once one has multiple open accounts they can be combined. Combining them does not violate Vanguard's restriction on opening new accounts (which flagship customers don't have to follow, anyway). Nor does it violate Vanguard's restrictions on buying additional shares.



    Thank you for your use of the word "one" instead of "you" in your prior post.

    I am a long time Vanguard Flagship Plus client with Vanguard. Opening an account in a closed Primecap managed fund in multiple accounts was a suggestion of the Vanguard Flagship Relationship Manager. One Primecap managed fund in one account does not interest me and multiple Primecap managed funds in multiple accounts interests me even less.

  • POLRX has beaten POGRX handily over the last few years. granted POLRX is 25% FANG but somehow I doubt when there is a major correction POGRX will loose less
  • Family members with Vanguard complain about their c/s, like everyone, but I have to report here that I just tried to place a Fidelity fund Sell All before the close and got blocked for 'dollar amount --- see prospectus'.

    There is nothing about it in the prospectus.

    So when I called Fido about it, not only could the rep not discover what happened and why, but they also dropped the call. Now on hold w second rep ....:)
  • I don't believe that funds can outright reject redemption orders (though they can postpone orders as was done in Sept 2001 when the markets were shut down). However, funds can place restrictions that might trigger on large orders. It is easy to imagine that such atypical transactions could not be processed online.

    From the prospectus of FCNTX:
    payment of redemption proceeds may take longer than the time a fund typically expects and may take up to seven days from the date of receipt of the redemption order as permitted by applicable law.
    ...
    a fund reserves the right to pay part or all of your redemption proceeds in readily marketable securities instead of cash (redemption in-kind). Redemption in-kind proceeds will typically be made by delivering the selected securities to the redeeming shareholder within seven days after the receipt of the redemption order in proper form by a fund.
    It would be interesting to know what the stumbling block was.
  • It remains interesting. Turns out the prospectus, like most, has, or is officially reported to have, vague language about reserving the right to reject orders exceeding yada yada ...

    without any figure given, said the rep.

    He added that the current limit for FCNTX is $138M or something. (Coincidence that you mentioned it.)

    This from the 'back desk', he said.

    I was attempting 1/276 of that.

    Minor irony is that on yet another day of a rising market, if I had put in my FMSDX order for a dollar under the half-mil, it would have gone through fine even as the actual sale amount would turn out to have been nontrivially >$0.5M.

    Now, I am willing to believe that if you were an FAIRX or CGMFX (cheapshot examples) shareholder and sold several millions it might well take some time to settle to you.

    I love the line about in-kind --- Fido are going to put a ton of VGIT or BSV into your account in lieu of cash ?

    The rep did suggest next time (go, bull, next week!) to call them directly or use chat.fidelity.com ....
  • chat device. Oh, THAT'S rich.
  • fido does so many things so well, I will try that next time

    but I generally like doing almost everything electronically
  • edited October 2021
    Electronically. These days, me too. Because how much of what you're being TOLD is ACTUALLY the case? Dubious proposition. Refer to @Ben's comments re: Vanguard, for instance. A different thread. Asset Transfers to Vanguard. When I opened a non-retirement, ordinary brokerage account with TRP some months ago, it was likewise way less than satisfactory. LONG hold on the phone. The agent wanted to impress me with how well SHE understood all of this sh... stuff, rather than specifically answer my very simple questions. On 3rd try, I got an Agent who understood, and did not fill the air with words, just to fill the air with words. Then the stock I chose to invest in went to feces. I swear there is criminal junk going on with the shorts and the arbitrage. But it's just a small bite of my money, and a dividend is due. I wait, and watch.
  • reserving the right to reject orders exceeding ...

    You were given imprecise information. Fidelity, like most fund sponsors, puts in boilerplate allowing them to reject any purchase, including a purchase via an exchange if they feel it would disrupt the fund. But not sell orders. If they did, the funds would no longer be classified as OEFs.
    An open-end fund is required by law to redeem its securities on demand
    https://www.sec.gov/rules/proposed/2015/33-9922.pdf

    Based on the purchase dollar limit you were given for FCNTX, and the limit that I actually hit on a very new and very small Fidelity fund, it looks like Fidelity sets its fund limits at 0.1% of AUM. (M* shows FCNTX as having $139.5B, or roughly 1,000x the purchase limit.)

    Regarding redemption in-kind, Fidelity (or any fund company) would distribute securities owned by the fund. Obviously if the fund were to sell some securities just to purchase other ones to hand you, it might as well hand you the cash since that would be no more disruptive.

    As it constitutes 10.65% of the fund's portfolio, I'd expect you to get a ton of FB.

    According to the latest semiannual statement, Fidelity Contra redeemed 293,065 FCNKX shares in kind, worth $5,071.454. It does happen.
  • edited October 2021
    Vanguard Customer Service sucks. Historically. I suffer them because I consider them safe and use their funds for indexing.

    Oh and another thing. They sense of "rounding" is illogical regarding how many shares they give you for whatever price even when you are investing nice whole $ amounts e.g. $1000.

    You want customer service, my top pick amongst the "big guys" is Fidelity. Schwab comes next (while it hasn't yet translated over to TD Ameritrade).

    PS - If you think Vanguard is bad, you haven't experienced E*Trade (now Morgan Stanley) or Merrill Lynch (barf), TIAA-CREF (someone just shoot me)
  • msf
    edited October 2021
    Most of Vanguard's index funds offer ETF class shares, so one can avoid using the Vanguard platform to invest in those funds. However, none of Vanguard's allocation index funds (target date, target risk, or "traditional balanced") or tax managed index funds have ETF class shares.

    Oddly, neither does VFTAX even though Vanguard has three ETF-only ESG funds.
    https://investor.vanguard.com/investing/esg/

    I agree with you about the last three firms you mentioned. I find Vanguard serviceable, the others not so much.

    E*Trade - ran my employer's stock purchase plan. Refused to let us sell shares of a new company created in a spinoff. Forced us to open a new retail E*Trade account or to pay E*Trade to get the shares out. I didn't appreciate being held captive.

    Merrill Edge - here's the thread I started a couple of years ago; 'nuff said.

    TIAA - impossible to navigate, reducing offerings. They used to offer a simple, vanilla brokerage IRA. No longer. Now all they offer is an IRA annuity with a brokerage window. Since it's an annuity you can't just have another brokerage pull your assets (not even cash). And to open this oddball IRA you have to be "eligible".
    https://www.tiaa.org/public/pdf/eligibility_flyer_external.pdf
  • edited November 2021
    msf said:

    reserving the right to reject orders exceeding ...

    You were given imprecise information. Fidelity, like most fund sponsors, puts in boilerplate allowing them to reject any purchase, including a purchase via an exchange if they feel it would disrupt the fund. But not sell orders. If they did, the funds would no longer be classified as OEFs.

    An open-end fund is required by law to redeem its securities on demand
    https://www.sec.gov/rules/proposed/2015/33-9922.pdf

    Based on the purchase dollar limit you were given for FCNTX, and the limit that I actually hit on a very new and very small Fidelity fund, it looks like Fidelity sets its fund limits at 0.1% of AUM. (M* shows FCNTX as having $139.5B, or roughly 1,000x the purchase limit.)

    Regarding redemption in-kind, Fidelity (or any fund company) would distribute securities owned by the fund. Obviously if the fund were to sell some securities just to purchase other ones to hand you, it might as well hand you the cash since that would be no more disruptive.

    ...
    According to the latest semiannual statement, Fidelity Contra redeemed 293,065 FCNKX shares in kind, worth $5,071.454. It does happen.
    'Imprecise', well, sort of. It does appear to be an online issue and an editing problem, said the editor. (No one has said anything at any point about purchases.)

    Today's trade-block message says

    (009073) The order you have entered exceeds the dollar amount that may be traded in the mutual fund as specified in the prospectus. Please review your order or call a Fidelity representative at 1-800-544-6666.

    So I used chat to talk w a rep who researched and then reported

    Purchases, exchanges, or redemption cannot exceed $500,000 per day. Anything over that requires a call in request which will even need approval from someone higher up than me.

    to which I said 'So the text does not exactly mean what it says; I suggest a change to yada-yada "greater than $500k cannot be accomplished online but require human approval ..." and he said he would so note that and escalate it. We'll see. I cited the SEC footnote.
    Plus I sent email just to get something more official in writing.
  • Vanguard ...

    Oh and another thing. They sense of "rounding" is illogical regarding how many shares they give you for whatever price even when you are investing nice whole $ amounts e.g. $1000.

    It seems every institution has its own calculation quirks that show up in penny differences.

    I just looked at a Fidelity brokerage account in which I have a single position (no cash or MMF, just a single equity fund). So the account totals should match the fund totals. But the account percentage increase for the day is 0.01% higher than the fund percentage increase. All the other numbers match.

    It could be that the fund line calculation is truncating the percentage increase while the account calculation is rounding it up. Not worth the effort to figure out what's going on.
  • edited July 4
    TIAA - impossible to navigate, reducing offerings. They used to offer a simple, vanilla brokerage IRA. No longer. Now all they offer is an IRA annuity with a brokerage window. Since it's an annuity you can't just have another brokerage pull your assets (not even cash). And to open this oddball IRA you have to be "eligible".
    https://www.tiaa.org/public/pdf/eligibility_flyer_external.pdf
    Can you expand on your experience dealing with TIAA? I am thinking about the TIAA Real Estate Trust in a traditional IRA. Funds will be coming from Fidelity.
  • edited July 4
    TIAA Real Estate VA is available in eligible TIAA IRAs. TIAA uses Pershing/BK for its brokerage operations/window, so the experience isn't as good as at Fido or Schwab, but it should be tolerable for stuff you want at TIAA. The TIAA Traditional (SV) with lower rates is also available in these special TIAA IRAs. There is lot of related info at M* TIAA forum, and I have also put some related info at links below:

    TIAA Real Estate VA Reports https://ybbpersonalfinance.proboards.com/thread/143/tiaa-real-estate-account-quarterly?page=1&scrollTo=621

    TIAA Traditional Rates https://ybbpersonalfinance.proboards.com/thread/142/tiaa-traditional-rates-monthly?page=2&scrollTo=690
  • msf
    edited July 4
    Anyone can open a conventional taxable brokerage account at TIAA.
    https://shared.tiaa.org/private/mytcbrokerageaccountopening/aobrokerageapp/secure/required

    It gives you access to what you'd find at most brokerages - stocks, ETFs, mutual funds. Like those other brokerages, it does not give you access to mutual funds sold through annuities.

    Most brokerages offer retail IRA accounts that, aside from being wrapped up in an IRA, are virtually identical to their retail taxable accounts. TIAA does not. It used to but stopped offering such an IRA account a few years ago.

    What TIAA does do is sell retirement annuities. To colleges, that's a 403(b) annuity. Like most variable annuities, TIAA's have a limited set of funds that are sold only through annuities. Notably the CREF funds, like CREF stock. And like some variable annuities, the TIAA annuities offer a fixed annuity option. Here, that's TIAA Traditional Annuity.

    For individual investors, TIAA offers two variable annuities. One is your typical VA, called TIAA Intelligent Variable Annuity. It offers "funds" (typically VA clones) shown here. The other VA is effectively the equivalent of the 403(b) annuity (plus brokerage window). It's that one that gives you get access to TIAA Traditional, CREF, and TIAA Real Estate.

    That annuity is only offered to "eligible" investors, and only as an Individual Retirement Annuity. Unlike typical VAs, you can't buy it for a taxable account.
    https://www.tiaa.org/public/retire/financial-products/annuities/annuity-ira-benefits

    As Yogi mentioned, the TIAA Traditional Annuity (fixed annuity investment option) that you can get though this limited access IRA annuity comes with a lower rate than paid to 403(b) participants. It is paying 2.50%, and has a guaranteed floor of 1.0%. I believe the IRA annuity contract restricts Traditional withdrawals to one per quarter.

    An IRA investor is at the bottom of the totem pole when it comes to the CREF funds. Several years ago, TIAA split these into three share classes, with large institutions getting cheaper shares and small institutions getting the most expensive shares. As an IRA investor, you're thrown in with the small institutions. It could be worse; TIAA could have created a fourth share class for IRA investors.

    IMHO the only significant benefit to this IRA annuity is access to TIAA Real Estate Account (TREA).

    You can find the VA options (including those for this IRA annuity) here. The IRA doesn't give you access to the non-TIAA VA subaccounts listed (except for Nuveen, which is owned by TIAA).
    https://www.tiaa.org/public/investment-performance

    Since it is structured as an annuity, this IRA can be difficult to deal with. You can't do transfers in kind (e.g. for RMDs, or IRA-to-IRA). When transferring money out of this annuity, you have to initiate the transfer from the TIAA side; typically one initiates transfers from the receiving side. These are attributes normally associated with employer-sponsored plans (401(k)s, 403(b)s), not with IRAs.

    The website is atrocious. I'm won't go into details. Suffice to say that people who complain about Vanguard's website likely haven't yet had the "pleasure" of dealing with TIAA's. And you won't know what funds you can buy through the IRA brokerage window until you actually open an account.
  • edited July 5
    @yogibb, thanks for the info. My previous experience with Pershing/T. Rowe Price required patience. Is TIAA available for anyone or limited to teachers ? I had TIAA-CREF serving as the administrator for Oregon 529 plan.

    @msf, really appreciate for sharing your experience. What I am interested is TIAA Real Estate VA. I have to read more since the withdrawal process for RMD appeared to be not so straight forward. Also what is your experience of rolling over $ from another brokerage like Fidelity to TIAA?
  • Always dropping knowledge @msf!
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