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Vanguard Review 2024

Written by
Fact checked by
Gyula L.
Updated
2d ago
Trusted by BrokerChooser
  • Regulated by the top-tier SEC and FINRA in the US
  • Founded in 1975
  • Investor protection is $500k (securities up to $500k, cash up to $250k)
  • Clean track record: no major regulatory incidents or fines
2,821 people picked this broker at BrokerChooser in the last 6 months

Our take on Vanguard

Vanguard is an established stockbroker based in the US with an attractive offer of commission-free stock and ETF trading.

The account opening is smooth and the broker’s trading platforms are easy to use.

Just be aware that Vanguard’s product portfolio is limited to US markets and there are relatively few research tools. For advanced investors, high financing rates on margin trading could be a drawback.

BrokerChooser score
4.3 4.3 /5
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Vanguard is available in the United States
Pros
  • Stocks and ETFs are free to trade
  • Easy account opening
  • Great mobile trading platform
  • Interest paid on uninvested cash
Cons
  • Only US assets available
  • Basic research tools
  • High margin rates
“I recommend Vanguard as long as you are focusing on stocks and ETFs on the US market. It is a renowned provider that could be a great choice for beginners but also for more sophisticated investors. You shouldn’t worry much about costs, as stock and ETF trading come commission free, and there is also no inactivity fee.”

Vanguard summary

Snapshot of key data
🗺 Country of regulationUSA
💰 US stock feeCommission-free
💰 Inactivity fee chargedNo
💰 Withdrawal fee$0
💰 Minimum deposit$0
🕖 Time to open an account1-3 days
🎮 Demo account providedNo
🛍️ Products offeredStock, ETF, Fund, Bond, Options
Fees
Account opening
Deposit and withdrawal
Desktop platform

For a more comprehensive, in-depth look at the broker's services and features, simply expand on the sections below.

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Fees

Score: 4.1/5
Vanguard offers free stock/ETF trading, and some bonds are also free to trade. Non-trading fees are also low. On the negative side, margin rates and some mutual fund fees are high.
Pros
  • No inactivity fee
  • Free stock and ETF trading
  • Some mutual funds and bonds are also free to trade
Cons
  • High margin rates
  • High fees for non-free mutual funds
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Account opening

Score: 4.4/5
Account opening is fully digital and user-friendly, and there's no minimum account balance. However, the account verification process is quite slow.
Pros
  • Fully digital
  • No minimum deposit
  • Low minimum deposit
Cons
  • Slow account opening time
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Deposit and withdrawal

Score: 1.8/5
Transferring money to your Vanguard account is easy and free, but deposit/withdrawal options are limited to bank transfers, and wire transfer withdrawals are not free.
Pros
  • No deposit fee
  • User-friendly
  • Free withdrawal (via ACH)
Cons
  • Credit/Debit card not available
  • $10 fee for wire transfer withdrawals
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Web trading platform

Score: 3.4/5
Vanguard has an average web trading platform, with safe login and a good fee report. On the down side, navigation is tricky, search functions could be better, and there's no customizability.
Pros
  • Clear fee report
  • Two-step (safer) login
  • Price alerts
Cons
  • Limited customizability (for charts, workspace)
  • Some features are hard to find
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Mobile trading platform

Score: 4.4/5
Vanguard offers a user-friendly and well-designed mobile trading platform. However, it lacks price alerts, and you can't trade the full range of Vanguard products (such as options or bonds).
Pros
  • User-friendly
  • Two-step (safer) login
  • Good search function
Cons
  • No price alerts
  • Options and bond trading are not available
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Desktop trading platform

Vanguard does not provide a desktop trading platform.
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Markets and products

Score: 2.6/5
Vanguard offers a wide range of asset classes, including stocks, ETFs, funds and options. However, it covers only the US market, while forex and futures trading is not available.
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Research

Score: 3/5
Vanguard's research tools are easy to use but quite limited. You can view fundamental data and a few trading ideas, but we missed sophisticated charting and other analytical tools.
Pros
  • Trading ideas
  • Data on asset fundamentals
  • User-friendly
Cons
  • Limited interactive charting
  • Limited set of research tools
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Customer service

Score: 2.5/5
Vanguard has OK customer service, providing fast and relevant answers on all available channels. On the down side, it's not available 24/7, and live chat is also missing.
Pros
  • Phone support
  • Fast response time
  • Relevant answers
Cons
  • No live chat
  • No 24/7 support
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Education

Score: 3.5/5
Vanguard offers solid educational articles and videos, and high-quality interactive webinars. On the flip side, there are no trading platform tutorial videos or a demo account.
Pros
  • Educational videos
  • Good educational tools
Cons
  • No demo account
  • No trading platform tutorial videos
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Safety

Vanguard is regulated by top-tier US financial authorities, and comes with a high investor protection amount. On the other hand, negative balance protection is not provided.
Pros
  • Majority of clients belong to a top-tier financial authority
  • High level of investor protection
Cons
  • No negative balance protection
  • Does not hold a banking license
  • Not listed on stock exchange
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Bottom line

Vanguard is one of the biggest US stockbrokers and is regulated by top-tier financial authorities.
Vanguard offers free stock and ETF trading. It doesn't charge inactivity or account fees, and the account opening process is easy and fully digital. The mobile trading platform is user-friendly and has a great design.
Vanguard has some drawbacks, though. The product portfolio covers only the US market, and research tools are quite basic. Margin rates are also high.
Still, as non-trading fees are low and no inactivity fee is charged, you should feel free to try Vanguard.

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Author of this review

Edith Balázs

Fiscal Fables Storyteller | Forex • Safety • Financial Journalism

I bring 20+ years of experience as a correspondent having worked for Bloomberg, Dow Jones and The Wall Street Journal covering macroeconomics, stock, currency and fixed-income markets. I hold a Master's degree in American Studies and Journalism.

Everything you find on BrokerChooser is based on reliable data and unbiased information. We combine our 10+ years finance experience with readers feedback. Read more about our methodology.

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