Why Is Vanguard Transitioning To Brokerage Accounts?

Vanguard has been attempting to persuade clients to transition their funds to their brokerage account platform for some time now. If you hold a Vanguard fund, you have likely seen emails or pop-ups asking you to transition your funds.

If you do not currently have a Vanguard brokerage account, you are probably among the many other customers wondering if you should make the transition. This change has created some questions and concerns among investors who hold Vanguard mutual funds and other investments within their accounts.

Vanguard Transition to Brokerage Account: The primary goal of this transition is to streamline account management and provide clients with an enhanced investing experience.

By consolidating all of their clients’ accounts into a single brokerage account, Vanguard can offer a wider range of investment options, such as stocks, bonds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), and certificates of deposit (CDs), all in one place.

  • Vanguard is transitioning clients to brokerage accounts to enhance their investing experience.
  • Consolidation of investments under one account allows for easier portfolio management.
  • Benefits of transitioning may include improved convenience and more investment opportunities.

Why Is Vanguard Transitioning To Brokerage Accounts?

Why Is Vanguard Transitioning To Brokerage Accounts?
Why Is Vanguard Transitioning To Brokerage Accounts?

The main reason for this is to manage accounts better by putting all assets together. Vanguard Brokerage Accounts let investors trade stocks, bonds, ETFs, and mutual funds. This variety helps clients build a customized portfolio.

This change also cuts fees. Instead of separate charges for each mutual fund, clients pay one fee for their entire brokerage account.

Vanguard is doing this due to the popularity of ETFs, which offer advantages like intraday trading and lower costs. Moving to brokerage accounts helps clients benefit from ETFs.

Lastly, Vanguard wants to make things easier. Merging accounts makes the client experience smoother, simplifying navigation and decision-making.

What happens if i don’t transition my Vanguard account?

Many Vanguard users have been reporting the appearance of a pop-up screen asking them to transition their account for some time now.

It is essential to understand that while Vanguard insists on doing this, it is voluntary.

Vanguard themselves have confirmed that customers are not required to transition if they do not wish to. So, the choice is really up to you. Let’s weigh the benefits and disadvantages of transitioning to get a better idea of what you should do.

Vanguard themselves have confirmed that customers are not required to transition if they do not wish to. So, the choice is really up to you. Let’s weigh the benefits and disadvantages of transitioning to get a better idea of what you should do.

Benefits of A vanguard transition to brokerage account

Benefits of transitioning to a Vanguard brokerage account

The decision to transition your Vanguard mutual funds to a Vanguard Brokerage Account offers several advantages. One of the standout benefits is the increase in flexibility within your investment options.

By moving to a brokerage account, you can hold Vanguard mutual funds and ETFs, stocks, bonds, and CDs, as well as investments from other companies, all in the same account.

Moreover, with a Vanguard Brokerage Account, you can access various types of accounts, such as an IRA, Roth IRA, and other retirement accounts, providing you with a comprehensive investment platform to achieve your long-term financial goals.

Efficiency is another crucial aspect of a Vanguard transition to a brokerage account. This streamlined platform allows you to manage multiple investments under one umbrella, simplifying tasks such as portfolio rebalancing and asset allocation. It also helps in monitoring your investments’ performance and NAV (Net Asset Value) more effectively.

Besides flexibility and efficiency, a Vanguard Brokerage Account can save you money through reduced fees. By avoiding the annual fee of $20 for each fund on the mutual fund-only platform, you can reallocate these savings to enhance your investments.

Lastly, the transition to a Vanguard Brokerage Account opens up opportunities to tap into Vanguard Brokerage Services, a valuable resource for customized advice on navigating the stock market and other complex investment landscapes.

Disadvantages of transitioning to The vanguard new platform

do vanguard etfs automatically reinvest dividends

The brokerage platform leaves something to be desired: Some users report that they are unhappy with the brokerage platform. The Vanguard app does not get the best of reviews, as opposed to some other brokerage services. 

Transitioning to the Vanguard new platform for brokerage accounts may have some downsides for certain investors, particularly those who are accustomed to the traditional mutual fund-only platform.

Vanguard users report that the app feels a bit outdated and could do with newer and more user-friendly features. The usability is somewhat lacking, and as a whole, the platform seems quite outdated compared to other brokerage platforms. 

A Money Main Street Reader helped provide some important information regarding this transition to Vanguard Legacy Account.

Its very important to know that this transition may well have tax consequences if you move your mutual funds over to the brokerage accounts.

In particular, your funds will be locked into whatever they were on the date of transfer. So anything you had, say, in average cost tax basis will be stuck in that.

They say no tax consequences and that all of your historic information switches to the new platform, but that is a misrepresentation and could cost you thousands of dollars because you will be giving up the ability to manage your cost basis on shares you transfer over.

You cannot direct dividends from one fund to another: If you transition to a brokerage account, you won’t be able to redirect dividends and capital gains distributions from one mutual fund into a different one.

You will also be unable to transition them into a sweep account. You will need to either reinvest shares of the distributing holding or distribute them in cash to your money market settlement fund.

Some employers may have restrictions on brokerage accounts: If you or your spouse are an employee of a financial services company, the employer may not allow you to have a brokerage account with Vanguard.

If you are in the financial services industry, you should check with your employer to see if you are permitted to hold funds in a Vanguard brokerage account on your current contract.

If you are in the financial services industry, you should check with your employer to see if you are permitted to hold funds in a Vanguard brokerage account on your current contract.

You cannot set up transfers in kind on certain investments.

These investments include: 

  • CDs held directly with a bank
  • Certain options
  • Limited partnerships and private placements
  • Certain mutual funds and other investment products are offered exclusively by your current firm
  • Certain low-priced securities traded over the counter (OTC) or on the pink sheets market
  • Commodities
  • Annuities
  • Life insurance policies

The minimum on funds is higher than some other brokerage platforms.

While minimums on mutual funds are somewhat common, many brokers waive the fees if investors agree to certain terms, such as monthly auto-deposits.

With Vanguard, most fund deposits are set at a minimum of either $1,000 or $3,000 USD. This may be a bit high for novice investors or those looking to set up a fund with a smaller deposit. 

Use this for vanguard legacy account transition https://logon.vanguard.com/logon.

What will happen to my accounts if I transition?

does vanguard withhold taxes on dividends

Most services will still be available on the brokerage platform. 

Some services will require you to fill out new forms, such as check writing. 

You will only need to fill out the form if your brokerage account does not have check-writing available already.

It is important to understand that check-writing privileges that you had on Vanguard funds will not carry over to the new brokerage account, and this is when you will need to submit a form and get a new checkbook. 

before after Vanguard broker

You will also need to establish any third-party access on your new account. This means that agents will not have immediate access to your account unless you grant access after transitioning. 

How long does the transition take?

The move will usually complete on the next business day if you transition before 4 p.m. EST. Mutual find assets will usually appear in your account on the second business day. 

The bottom line: Vanguard Transition to Brokerage Account

Why Is Vanguard Transitioning To Brokerage Accounts? When it comes down to it, making the transition of your Vanguard account is not a bad decision. The good outweighs the bad, as there aren’t too many disadvantages associated with making the move.

Along with the benefits, transitioning will put an end to you being bothered by those pesky pop-ups and nagging messages about moving to the new platform!

While the transition has many advantages, it is essential to recognize some of the pros and cons associated with the change.


  • Access to a wide variety of investment products
  • Simplified account management
  • Enhanced tools and research resources
  • Competitive with other low-cost online brokers


  • Potential account fees for those who choose to remain on the mutual fund-only platform
  • Adjustment period as clients familiarize themselves with the new interface and features

Before you go…


What is a Vanguard Legacy Account?

A Vanguard Legacy Account refers to the older, mutual fund-only platform offered by Vanguard. This type of account was specifically designed for investors who held Vanguard mutual funds exclusively. A Vanguard Brokerage Account offers a more comprehensive investment platform, allowing investors to hold a wider variety of investment options, such as stocks, bonds, ETFs, and other funds alongside their Vanguard mutual funds.

What is vanguard.com/vbatransition?

Vanguard.com/vbatransition is the online portal created by Vanguard to help their customers with the process of transitioning their existing Vanguard fund accounts to the new Vanguard Brokerage Account (VBA) platform. This transition aims to offer customers an enhanced experience and potentially avoid fees associated with maintaining legacy accounts.

What are common vanguard transition problems?

Common Vanguard transition problems include issues with the brokerage platform, delays in getting tax statements, and difficulties in transferring funds or investments. Some users have reported being unhappy with the Vanguard app and brokerage services compared to other providers. Additionally, the transition process may take longer than expected, and some users have experienced errors or glitches during the transfer of funds or investments.

Why is vanguard switching to brokerage accounts?

Vanguard is switching to brokerage accounts to streamline their services and simplify their administrative processes. By phasing out their old platform and consolidating their accounts onto one platform, Vanguard aims to lower costs for investors and provide better services.

Do i have to transition my vanguard account

You are not required to transition your Vanguard account to a brokerage account if you do not wish to do so. While Vanguard has encouraged customers to transition to their new platform, they have confirmed that customers can continue to use their existing accounts if they prefer.

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