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Which Vanguard MM fund...and go broker side or no?

I'm a long time holder of Vanguard Prime Money Market fund (since the early 1990s), but was informed that the fund is changing and will no longer support checkwriting, which is a must-have for my wife and myself in this kind of fund. Called today and was told that the alternatives still allowing checkwriting are Vanguard's Federal MM (VMFXX), Treasury MM (VUSXX), or Municipal MM (VMSXX). Anyone have experience with these and/or have suggestions? Preferences?

And as a side question: VMFXX is used as a sweep account for investors using Vanguard's brokerage account, and I'm now considering whether to go there as part of the necessary changes I'll be making. We've always invested directly onto the fund side and had no need of broker services (been with TD Ameritrade for decades), but even if we don't I suppose it couldn't hurt to have things housed on the brokerage side. Or am I wrong? Advice? 

I've been trying to simplify our accounts, and housing more of our money at Vanguard (or Fidelity, where my wife's IRA is) tempts me. Plus, I don't know how things will shake out when TD Ameritrade's operations are taken over by Schwab. Also, I've always been told that Vanguard's brokerage internet interface is "clunky" but have heard glowing reports about Fidelity's. Again...advice from those familiar with these issues would be appreciated.

Thanks in advance, folks.

Dirk

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Re: Which Vanguard MM fund...and go broker side or no?

Government/federal m-mkt fund VMFXX is fine; it is also core/settlement fund at VG Brokerage. It will give you checkwriting option. I have my VG mutual fund account linked to my bank/CU, so I can use bank/CU checks.

I have checking now on VG Prime m-mkt fund VMMXX and will keep balance under $3K in it to avoid auto-conversion trigger to its new form VMRXX for as long as possible.

BTW, we are resisting conversion from VG mutual fund a/c to VG Brokerage a/c. 

YBB
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Re: Which Vanguard MM fund...and go broker side or no?


@dirkronk wrote:

<snip>

Also, I've always been told that Vanguard's brokerage internet interface is "clunky" but have heard glowing reports about Fidelity's. Again...advice from those familiar with these issues would be appreciated.

Thanks in advance, folks.

Dirk


I have accounts at both Vanguard and Fidelity.
Fidelity's web interface is noticeably superior.
It is better organized (easier to find different options, less "clicks") and has a more consistent layout.
Frankly, Vanguard's interface reminds me of websites from the early aughts.
As long as Vanguard offers good actively managed funds with low expenses,
I can tolerate their clunky interface since I don't trade frequently.

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Re: Which Vanguard MM fund...and go broker side or no?

"BTW, we are resisting conversion from VG mutual fund a/c to VG Brokerage a/c."

Ditto, Yogi.  So far, so good.

Bob

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Re: Which Vanguard MM fund...and go broker side or no?

I have been using VMFXX for about 10 years since I moved to the Vanguard brokearge side with ETFs. I have linked checking accounts from three different banks. I transfer cash both in/out not only to buy new investments but also move funds to different banks without checks. I transferred cash from First Horizon bank last week to One Bank of Tennessee through VMFXX. I paid some loan to Wells Fargo. I am transferring some left over cash back to VMFXX and put a buy order today. It did not go through today. Well, another day. If not, I will move back to First Horizon and pay some loan there also. So, I can do a lot of maneuvering through VMFXX in my brokearge account. This type of transfers were particularly useful to make payments of different loans using different checking accounts (by necessity).

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Which Vanguard MM fund...and go broker side or no?

"We are resisting conversion from VG mutual fund a/c to VG Brokerage a/c"

@yogibearbull  Would you please explain the pros & cons of owning a VG mutual fund vs a VG brokerage account"

Thank you.

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Re: Which Vanguard MM fund...and go broker side or no?


@seniorNH231 wrote:

"We are resisting conversion from VG mutual fund a/c to VG Brokerage a/c"

@yogibearbull  Would you please explain the pros & cons of owning a VG mutual fund vs a VG brokerage account"

Thank you.


I am not Yogi but I started with MF and switched to ETFs because of the costs. In fact, one participant back in 2000 (Ted) asked me to switch to ETFs to reduce the costs. You do not have to trade unless you want to. So, I do not see any difference. Indeed, I find the brokerage more convenient for me because I buy and soemtimes sell to move from one to another a few times a month. I am already in the second page of 8949 for this year just for the short term transactions. I buy and sell even within 5 days or 2 days if I feel that I cannot extract anymore profits from that investment because some of these depend on the ex-div dates.

 

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Re: Which Vanguard MM fund...and go broker side or no?


@seniorNH231 wrote:

"We are resisting conversion from VG mutual fund a/c to VG Brokerage a/c"

@yogibearbull  Would you please explain the pros & cons of owning a VG mutual fund vs a VG brokerage account"

Thank you.


We already have brokerage accounts at Fido and Schwab.

We don't want 5 additional VG Brokerage accounts.

Only my wife gets urgent requests for conversion to Brokerage, not I - once I asked Vanguard, it said I have to wait for my turn. So we will BOTH wait until we are the last remaining VG mutual funds accounts. We are interested only in a few VG mutual funds and VG Brokerage doesn't have any value added for us.

YBB
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Re: Which Vanguard MM fund...and go broker side or no?

Not Yogi here, but I find the non-Bogle Vanguard increasingly intrusive if not coercive.

My MF accounts have served me fine for 40 years. Why should I change?  If I ain't broke, what needs fixin'?

Bob

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Re: Which Vanguard MM fund...and go broker side or no?

All I have ever had a Vanguard is a brokerage account. My account at Vanguard was originally opened to purchase Vanguard ETFs commission free and I still hold some of those in that account although I can now purchase Vanguard ETFs at Fidelity commission free. Mostly what I use Vanguard for now is a place to put cash savings. I can get a slightly better yield at Vanguard that I can at Fidelity. Years ago I had mostly nutual fund accounts at Fidelity; however, I have converted them to brokerage accounts for simplicity. Since most of my trading now is in ETFs brokerage accounts serve my purposes better. I also like the convenience of having a settlement account for dividends and uninvested funds. I can fully understand those who prefer mutual fund accounts and respect their decision. I do not have check writing at Vanguard. I use the transfer function and send funds to/from my local bank or Fidelity electronically. I do find Vanguard very clunky. In fact when I want information about Vanguard Funds I use the Fidelity site.

Capital
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Re: Which Vanguard MM fund...and go broker side or no?


@Capital wrote:

All I have ever had a Vanguard is a brokerage account. My account at Vanguard was originally opened to purchase Vanguard ETFs commission free and I still hold some of those in that account although I can now purchase Vanguard ETFs at Fidelity commission free. Mostly what I use Vanguard for now is a place to put cash savings. I can get a slightly better yield at Vanguard that I can at Fidelity. Years ago I had mostly nutual fund accounts at Fidelity; however, I have converted them to brokerage accounts for simplicity. Since most of my trading now is in ETFs brokerage accounts serve my purposes better. I also like the convenience of having a settlement account for dividends and uninvested funds. I can fully understand those who prefer mutual fund accounts and respect their decision. 


It is funny. I moved from Fidelity to Vanguard for the sake of costs in the mid 90s. I was thinking of moving back to Fidelity because they offer trades of partial shares. My wife did not like it because we went though all those medallion signatures when we transferred the IRA accounts from TIAA to Vanguard. She does not want to go through the same problem. Besides, there is not much advantage in this because I have 25 free trades in Vanguard FundAcceect. I can buy Fidelity Funds from vanguard directly. But, I do not need the feel for change because all ETFs can be bought (and sell) free in Vanguard.

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Re: Which Vanguard MM fund...and go broker side or no?


@ECEPROF wrote:

@Capital wrote:

All I have ever had a Vanguard is a brokerage account. My account at Vanguard was originally opened to purchase Vanguard ETFs commission free and I still hold some of those in that account although I can now purchase Vanguard ETFs at Fidelity commission free. Mostly what I use Vanguard for now is a place to put cash savings. I can get a slightly better yield at Vanguard that I can at Fidelity. Years ago I had mostly nutual fund accounts at Fidelity; however, I have converted them to brokerage accounts for simplicity. Since most of my trading now is in ETFs brokerage accounts serve my purposes better. I also like the convenience of having a settlement account for dividends and uninvested funds. I can fully understand those who prefer mutual fund accounts and respect their decision. 


It is funny. I moved from Fidelity to Vanguard for the sake of costs in the mid 90s. I was thinking of moving back to Fidelity because they offer trades of partial shares. My wife did not like it because we went though all those medallion signatures when we transferred the IRA accounts from TIAA to Vanguard. She does not want to go through the same problem. Besides, there is not much advantage in this because I have 25 free trades in Vanguard FundAcceect. I can buy Fidelity Funds from vanguard directly. But, I do not need the feel for change because all ETFs can be bought (and sell) free in Vanguard.


@ECEPROF  At Fidelity I and my wife each have individual Roth IRA, Rollover IRA and HSA accounts. In addition we have a joint Brokerage account and a joint Cash Management account. The Cash Management Account is our checkbook and most of our bills are paid from that account electronically. NEVER once have either of us been required to sign a Medallion Signature. In addition Fidelity has an "authorized accounts" function that I use. I am an "authorized user" on all of my wife's accounts. When I log onto my personal Fidelity account login I see not only my accounts and our joint accounts; but, I also see her accounts. From one single screen I can see everything that both she and I have at Fidelity. Makes it very easy to manage our investments. 

Capital
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Re: Which Vanguard MM fund...and go broker side or no?

@Capital 

We have only three accounts. 1. Joint taxable account, and (2) our ROTH accounts. I have all the same features that you mentioned in Vanguard also. My Cash management account is VMFXX (I mentioned it earlier in this thread). I have three checking accounts in our Bank of Putnam County (now One Bank of Tenn.), one with First Horizon (old First Tenn. Bank), and one Chase for our use in Chicago. VMFXX is linked to all these directly or indirectly. I can use Zell and Venmo transfers between these accounts - small amounts. Then, there is also G-pay. For larger amounts, I transfer through VMFXX and no need for use of checks. I write checks to my son and daughter-in-law. My wife gives checks locally for repair works and the landscaping (lawn mower) guy. We still need to use checks locally. Most of these people do the work automatically and do not even wait for our checks because they know that they can get it whenever they need.

 

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Re: Which Vanguard MM fund...and go broker side or no?

Medallion Signature Guarantee is much stronger than Notarized Signature or bank verification of signature. Medallion Signature Guarantee provider is on the hook up to a certain dollar amount if identity fraud becomes an issue later. Once a 529 transaction required it and my local bank manager provided it for free because we were bank customers.

YBB
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Re: Which Vanguard MM fund...and go broker side or no?


@yogibearbull wrote:

Medallion Signature Guarantee is much stronger than Notarized Signature or bank verification of signature. Medallion Signature Guarantee provider is on the hook up to a certain dollar amount if identity fraud becomes an issue later. Once a 529 transaction required it and my local bank manager provided it for free because we were bank customers.


I had to go through a medallion signature guarantee when I inherited savings bonds owned my mother. The treasury forms/procedures were a nightmare. Luckily my chase branch had an officer who could sign off on a medallion guarantee. When the bonds expire next year I will cash them out.

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Re: Which Vanguard MM fund...and go broker side or no?


@yogibearbull wrote:

Medallion Signature Guarantee is much stronger than Notarized Signature or bank verification of signature. Medallion Signature Guarantee provider is on the hook up to a certain dollar amount if identity fraud becomes an issue later. Once a 529 transaction required it and my local bank manager provided it for free because we were bank customers.


I had to obtain a Medallion Signature Guarantee to transfer my Roth IRA from Fidelity to Vanguard.
My local credit union representative provided this service gratis.
The completed paperwork was then mailed to Vanguard via USPS.
The entire transfer process was somewhat inconvenient but I appreciate the fraud protection these safeguards provide.

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Which Vanguard MM fund...and go broker side or no?

Thank you Yogi, ECEPROF & all other posters for your quick response.

When reading Yogi's original post, I wondered if there was a "structural" difference b/w a mutual fund account & a brokerage account.  But it seems it's just a personal preference.

I currently have several VG brokerage accounts, one for IRA, three for ROTH, and a couple for taxables.  Under each of these brokerage accounts are a bunch of M/M, equity & bond mutual funds, ETFs & individual stocks,

 

 

 

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Re: Which Vanguard MM fund...and go broker side or no?

How about this?

The daughter of the couple from whom we bought our house (He was a builder) is the current VP in First Horizon. Since she knows and can sign upto a few million dollars, we go to her and get the medallion signature.

Last year, when I used the balance transfer of 12 k from BOA to First Horizon account, the clerks thought that it was a fraud. But, our friend called my wife (our home number) and we were in Chicago at that time. I talked to her and told her that it was legit. Then, they deposited the check. The account managers in other bank also know us. One of them was only a fifth grader who had lived in our neighborhood, when we moved here. He also knows us and we get notary signatures very easily. It also makes it easy to transfer money. Once, he helped us to transfer more than 100 k to an escrow account to a bank in Ohio for closing of a condo in Chicago.

It pays you to live and stay in a place where you know people, and they know you - like banks, Kroger, Food Lion, Walgreen, Wal Mart, etc. Even if you do not know somebody directly, they will direct you to someone in their work place or church, and something like that. That is how I came to know of the senior VP (the local head) of the First Horizon. Now, he knows me. My wife's friend Chris from Walmart picks and brings grocery items home - like milk, fish, chicken, etc if we need it urgently.

 

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Which Vanguard MM fund...and go broker side or no?

Hello
The benefits really depend on what classification of investor you are. In short, how much in assets you have with Vanguard, how often you trade funds, whether you want to trade in and out of non Vanguard Funds. If you just have one or two Vanguard funds and you are the type of investor that will be long term and not planning to trade, I do not think there are advantages. 
See this page to see where you fit in;  Vanguard benefits at a glance | Vanguard
In short the larger amount of funds with Vanguard the cheaper it is to trade with them. 
If you do not trade or purchase ETF or Stocks, there may not be an advantage at all. 
If you have less than $50,000 and or want to trade often, you may find better bargains at Robinhood, or TD Ameritrade, etc. 
Summary Description: 
Brokerage ServicesYou can open a Vanguard Brokerage Services account and purchase individual stocks, mutual funds, bonds, and CDs from other companies. A Brokerage Services account costs $20 a year and offers you access to any stock or mutual fund.
With a Vanguard Brokerage Services account, each trade is $7 for the first 25 trades and $20 for each subsequent trade if your account has under $50,000. For accounts between $50,000 and $500,000, all trades are $7. Trades for accounts with $500,000 to $1,000,000 are just $2. Because of trade fees, Vanguard may not be suitable for active investors with modest portfolios.
If you already have a Brokerage Services account, you can also open an options account. Vanguard charges $30 plus $1.50 per options contract. If you have Flagship Services (accounts over $1,000,000) then options cost just $8 plus $1.50 per contract. Vanguard is most suitable for the infrequent options trader who may require or desire assistance with options trades.
Vanguard ETFsOnce you have a Brokerage Services account, you can invest in Vanguard ETFs. These funds are similar to mutual funds, but are traded throughout the day on an exchange, like stocks. Vanguard ETFs have no transaction costs and the average fund expense ratio is only .17%. The industry average is .53%.
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Re: Which Vanguard MM fund...and go broker side or no?


@stevenjam wrote:
Hello
The benefits really depend on what classification of investor you are. In short, how much in assets you have with Vanguard, how often you trade funds, whether you want to trade in and out of non Vanguard Funds. If you just have one or two Vanguard funds and you are the type of investor that will be long term and not planning to trade, I do not think there are advantages. 
See this page to see where you fit in;  Vanguard benefits at a glance | Vanguard
In short the larger amount of funds with Vanguard the cheaper it is to trade with them. 
If you do not trade or purchase ETF or Stocks, there may not be an advantage at all. 
If you have less than $50,000 and or want to trade often, you may find better bargains at Robinhood, or TD Ameritrade, etc. 
Summary Description: 
Brokerage ServicesYou can open a Vanguard Brokerage Services account and purchase individual stocks, mutual funds, bonds, and CDs from other companies. A Brokerage Services account costs $20 a year and offers you access to any stock or mutual fund.
With a Vanguard Brokerage Services account, each trade is $7 for the first 25 trades and $20 for each subsequent trade if your account has under $50,000. For accounts between $50,000 and $500,000, all trades are $7. Trades for accounts with $500,000 to $1,000,000 are just $2. Because of trade fees, Vanguard may not be suitable for active investors with modest portfolios.
If you already have a Brokerage Services account, you can also open an options account. Vanguard charges $30 plus $1.50 per options contract. If you have Flagship Services (accounts over $1,000,000) then options cost just $8 plus $1.50 per contract. Vanguard is most suitable for the infrequent options trader who may require or desire assistance with options trades.
Vanguard ETFsOnce you have a Brokerage Services account, you can invest in Vanguard ETFs. These funds are similar to mutual funds, but are traded throughout the day on an exchange, like stocks. Vanguard ETFs have no transaction costs and the average fund expense ratio is only .17%. The industry average is .53%.

I am not sure if your summary is correct. But, I am a Flagship investor, and so, I cannot say much. However, I found a recent summary from an independent review here. This seems to be correct but no so independent. The platform is very much slow and cumbersome. I do not find any other problem with Vanguard. Besides, long term investors just like the way Vanguard is because they do not trade much.

 

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