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tony

Can Vanguard Remain Alone?

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Not that Vanguard requires an overhaul, because it does not. But it will need to respond to a growing threat: imitation. Across the industry, rivals are challenging Vanguard's brand. It is becoming difficult for casual observers to distinguish between Vanguard and its major competitors. Read more:

https://www.morningstar.com/articles/912928/can-vanguard-remain-alone.html

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Just my two cents, but Vanguard isn’t alone at the top because they’ve already been beaten.

...all of my money is still in Vanguard, for now. 

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and if that is the case Ed, who do you have to thank for this low fee environment? Think about that. So if it wasn't for Vanguard being alone in the first place, you wouldn't have alternatives now.   And while not at the top of the heap in assets under management they are close with only Blackrock edging them out. The other players aren't close. So they must be doing something right.

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M* has to "chummy" to managed funds or they would not be in business. 

Blackrock has institutional investors. Vanguard has primarily ordinary investors. 

But do we really care about another article trying to cast doubt about Vanguard?  

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3 hours ago, EdLaFave said:

Bogle was a saint.

I interpreted “at the top” to mean who is best rather than who has the most assets. 

Ed,

It confuses me that fees alone seems to be the only thing that matters to you when deciding who or what is best. That is a huge blind spot when you reduce everything down to who has the very very  lowest basis points when in truth it's insignificant. You obviously are not considering other important things like corporate culture and corporate mission and breath of low cost choices. Fidelity may have the lowest fund fee on a very few funds but on their part its just a ploy to draw investors in and then cleverly move them into higher fee investments. 

I don't understand the obsession among some of you that want the absolute lowest fee at all costs when other factors in the funds structure may also affect performance . This reminds me of the housewife who drives miles all over town to save a dime on toilet paper, saves that dime, but then realizes her new cheaper brand has thinner sheets. As mark Twain once quipped. "Some may have the words but they don't have the music"

 

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1 hour ago, sschullo said:

But do we really care about another article trying to cast doubt about Vanguard?  

Steve , I realize it irritates you when I post articles, it's pretty  obvious to me but we need to promote investment literacy and a broader view of what makes saving a successful endeavor . Not everyone who comes here is going to go out and read our favorite books we recommend here. So the articles are useful to many and some folks have messaged me and told me so. We are starting to give the impression here that if you get a low fee fund than you will be a successful investor. And ,if you pick a fund a few basis points higher,  its the equivalent of total failure. It 's just more complex than that. You can be in a low fee investment and still underperform someone in an annuity if you are not doing other things right. Being 403bwise is more than just a low fee. And the math alone does not tell the whole story.

Just how I feel about it. And I don't write any of this with any hostility just that the feeling is we may be helping people less than we think when we focus only on low fees and not much more.

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1 hour ago, tony said:

Steve , I realize it irritates you when I post articles, it's pretty  obvious to me but we need to promote investment literacy and a broader view of what makes saving a successful endeavor . Not everyone who comes here is going to go out and read our favorite books we recommend here. So the articles are useful to many and some folks have messaged me and told me so. We are starting to give the impression here that if you get a low fee fund than you will be a successful investor. And ,if you pick a fund a few basis points higher,  its the equivalent of total failure. It 's just more complex than that. You can be in a low fee investment and still underperform someone in an annuity if you are not doing other things right. Being 403bwise is more than just a low fee. And the math alone does not tell the whole story.

Just how I feel about it. And I don't write any of this with any hostility just that the feeling is we may be helping people less than we think when we focus only on low fees and not much more.

Hi Tony,

I am too old to be "irritated" by your posts regarding investing. :- )  I judge each one of them by their merit. I don't respond to most of them. 

I agree with you that most people will not go out and buy a book, much less read it. I just think this particular article is biased against Vanguard, perhaps causing confusion for those who lurk here once in a while. Some will go back to their agent convinced that Vanguard is no different than the vast majority of investment companies and annuities. OF COURSE, we know better, but people who lurk might not be. Worse yet, since this article is on 403b wise, it must be accurate. 

I just wanted to set the record straight. That almost all of us who frequent here will love Vanguard for many years.  

Have a great day,

Steve

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2 hours ago, tony said:

It confuses me that fees alone seems to be the only thing that matters to you when deciding who or what is best...in truth it's insignificant. You obviously are not considering other important things like corporate culture and corporate mission and breath of low cost choices. Fidelity may have the lowest fund fee on a very few funds but on their part its just a ploy to draw investors in and then cleverly move them into higher fee investments. 

This reminds me of the housewife who drives miles all over town to save a dime on toilet paper, saves that dime, but then realizes her new cheaper brand has thinner sheets.

 

I really only care about two things:

1) Am I well diversified.

2) Am I keeping as much profit as possible.

That’s it. That’s all I care about. The end.

Sure I think Vanguard’s corporate structure is more likely to deliver those two outcomes, but I have to live in reality, not just theory. The reality is that Fidelity has produced well diversified index funds with ZERO fees. I’m waiting a year or so to fully evaluate it, but I’ll be very surprised if I don’t switch.

Thanks to Vanguard, index funds are a commodity, not a product. It doesn’t matter where I buy it, it only matters what I pay for it.

Also I’m not impressed with Vanguard’s shift in culture. Opposition to the fiduciary rule was a clear signal to me that they aren’t on the investor’s side. Sure, I don’t think Fidelity is either. That’s fine, now that we have index funds and a price war over them, the only force we need on our side is an insatiable consumer desire for NO fees...or better yet, interest earned on the money I invest in a fund!

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 Vanguard was not opposed to it. They recommended that the DOL should revise, not revoke, the rule. They offered  their reasons is a letter to the DOL. 

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Perhaps I have an incomplete picture. What exactly were their problems with the fiduciary rule and didn’t they withhold support because they had problems with the regulations?

I don’t find these to be compelling reasons to speak out against the rule:

https://www.etf.com/sections/features-and-news/vanguard-why-proposed-fiduciary-rule-unfit/page/0/1

...then you’ve got Vanguard changing the language that was talked about earlier on this forum. They’re making me feel uncomfortable.

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