Few experts review Vanguard because its brokerage services mainly support its fund business -- the firm is known for its proprietary mutual funds with low expense ratios. Individual investors give Vanguard high marks, however. Vanguard offers a range of investment products, an easy-to-use website and good customer support. This online broker is most suitable for buy-and-hold investors. If you trade frequently and want advanced trading technology at a reasonable cost, experts recommend Interactive Brokers (*Est. $0.005 per share) .
Vanguard is included in large customer satisfaction surveys conducted by ConsumerReports.org and J.D. Power and Associates. One of our top review sources, Kiplinger.com, offers a brief review of the firm, as does TopTenReviews.com.
ConsumerReports.org ranks 17 brokers firms based on a survey of 8,969 online respondents. The editors rate brokers on account service, website, phone service and in-person service. Vanguard is included in the ratings.
Review: Brokerage Service Ratings, Editors of ConsumerReports.org, Feb. 2012
2. J.D. Power and Associates
This annual survey asks more than 4,000 investors who make all of their investment decisions without an investment adviser to rate their brokerages. For 2010, Vanguard gets the best ratings and is ranked number one. According to a news release about the survey, Vanguard "performs particularly well in account offerings and account information."
Review: 2012 Self-Directed Investor Satisfaction Study, Editors of J.D. Power and Associates, June 14, 2012
Vanguard is ranked fourth out of 14 brokers included in the Kiplinger.com review of online brokers. According to the brief review, "Anyone can appreciate Vanguard's low costs and stellar customer service -- but investors in index funds and exchange-traded funds, in particular, will find a lot to love."
Review: Best Online Brokers for 2011: Vanguard, Elizabeth Ody, Jan. 2011
Vanguard is ranked 16th of the 18 brokers reviewed here. According to the review, "Vanguard can be pricey, especially for small time investors who trade often."
Review: Vanguard Review, Editors of TopTenReviews.com