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Vanguard is a high end online broker with a few offices around the U.S. It caters mainly for big investors with more than $1,000,000 to invest and can be quite expensive for anyone with less. One of its main selling points is that it is owned by the funds that you would likely be investing in so in a way all the profits are going right back into your pocket. It's slightly twisted logic, but in some ways makes sense.
The whole design of Vanguard's web site is intended to reinforce the idea of a sensible, mature investments company, and it works. The neutral colors, neat layout and carefully worded copy all help to convey the feeling of a company that knows what it's doing. It's not just an image either; Vanguard really does know investments with many years of experience to draw on and a lot of experienced staff. Help is always on hand either by phone, online or at one of their offices and the experienced investors can help you plan your portfolio and offer advice on how to achieve your goals.
The tools that Vanguard offers aren't widely trumpeted around the site as many online trading platforms tend to do, but they are there and they do let you do all the things you need to. There is a wide array of different calculators and planning tools to help you analyse new investment ideas that you can come upon by taking advantage of the screening tools. The main trading screen can be fully customized with all the charts and streaming quotes relevant to what you need to know and lets you carry out trades within seconds. Features are also provided to let you execute complex options strategies, but you will have to get your account certified before doing that.
Despite Vanguard's fees not being very welcoming to new or small time investors there is a good amount of information and educational material provided that would be useful for someone just starting out. Even more advanced investors may be able to learn a thing or two about improving their strategies. In addition to this there is also plenty of analysis and research to help you make decisions on what to invest in although we expected a bit more of this given the commission fees being charged.
Vanguard may be worth a look if you have a significant amount of money to invest and would like some quality professional advice on what to do with it. However, for more casual investors the fees will likely eat into profits more than is comfortable. When it comes to accessing the tools needed to play the markets we think it can be done cheaper elsewhere. Although Vanguard is still worth a look if you want some excellent financial advice thrown into the bargain.
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