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Can I Buy Vanguard Funds Through Stash Invest? Does Stash Offer Fidelity Index Mutual Funds/ETFs (Retirement, Stocks, and S&P Funds)?


Investing in Vanguard and Fidelity Mutual Funds on Stash


Our readers are sometimes asking us the following questions:

- Are Vanguard (Fidelity) mutual funds and ETFs offered on Stash Invest?
- Can I buy and sell Vanguard (Fidelity) funds (index, bond, stock, and target retirement funds) and ETFs through Stash Invest?
- What is the cost to invest in Vanguard (Fidelity) mutual funds and ETFs on Stash account?

In this article we will provide answers to all these questions.


Funds on Stash


Stash does not offer mutual funds. At all. The broker only offers investing in stocks and ETFs. To invest in Fidelity and Vanguard mutual funds we recommend Ally Invest.

Many Vanguard and Fidelity exchange traded funds do appear on Stash's list of available ETFs.


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Overview of Vanguard


Investors often choose Vanguard (member of SIPC) for the brokerage firm's large selection of mutual and exchange-traded funds with low expense ratios. But other fund families now have very low costs, while Vanguard offers investment services in other areas. Let's analyze how Vanguard performs today in important categories and see where it shines and where it fails to deliver.


Customer Support


Vanguard Customer Support Rating

Vanguard has representatives on the phone from 8 o’clock in the morning until 10 o’clock in the evening, EST, Monday through Friday. The broker is closed on the weekend. There are different phone numbers for different departments. For example, insurance services has a separate number from education accounts. There is also a phone number that can be used by clients who are travelling outside the U.S.

While the broker’s website doesn’t have an on-line chat function, internal messaging is available after logging in. Languages besides English are not available at Vanguard, and the brokerage firm does not have any branch locations.

Compared to some of its rivals, Vanguard falls short in this category. WellsTrade, for example, provides customer support 24/7, while E*Trade has an on-line chat function and several branch locations.


Vanguard Commissions, Fees, and Account Requirements


Vanguard Fees Rating

Vanguard has a complicated commission schedule with several pricing tiers, depending on an account’s balance. Stock and ETF trades can cost anywhere between $0 and $20.

Accounts with less than $50,000 pay $7 for the first 25 trades in a year, then the price increases to $20. Accounts above $50,000 but below $500,000 pay $7 for all trades. At half a million dollars, the equity commission drops to $2. At one million dollars, the commission goes down to $0 for the first 25 trades, then back up to $2 for the rest of the year. Flagship Select customers (defined as more than $5 million in assets) get 100 trades free, at which point the trading fee goes back to $2. Clients with less than $1 million in assets pay an additional $18 for phone orders.

Option contracts at Vanguard cost $1 each for all customers, plus a base charge of either $2 or $7. Accounts with more than $500,000 get the lower base commission.

An investment account can be opened at Vanguard with any deposit or no deposit at all. The broker does not charge a low-balance, maintenance, or inactivity fee. There is an annual fee of $20, but it can be avoided by signing up for e-delivery of account documents. The brokerage house will also waive the fee for accounts that have at least $10,000 invested in Vanguard funds, or at least $50,000 in total assets.

Large accounts obviously have generous policies here, but most investors will probably be under $50,000. Thus, Vanguard’s commission schedule isn’t competitive for most customers and they will be better off with other brokers, such as Firstrade ($0 per trade) or Ally Invest ($0 per trade).


Trading Tools


Vanguard Trading Tools Rating

Vanguard doesn’t have a desktop platform, and that subtracts one star immediately. Moreover, the brokerage firm doesn’t even offer an elementary browser-based trading system. Many of Vanguard’s rivals have at least one of these tools.

Trading at Vanguard takes place on the broker’s website, and it’s fairly rudimentary. There is no trade bar available, and the site is a little difficult at times to navigate. Trades are placed on simple web pages.

A stock’s profile page doesn’t have buy and sell buttons, which is somewhat of an inconvenience. Instead, the site has a link in the right-hand column that says ‘Trade this stock.’ Clicking on this link generates a new page. Here, there is an appropriate order ticket with balance information. There are also links to pages that discuss how to submit an order and how to use different types of orders. Stop and stop limit orders are available, but there are no trailing orders.


Vanguard Review: Website


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Mobile App


Vanguard App Rating

Vanguard traders who don’t want to use the website can use the broker’s mobile app, which can be downloaded free of charge. It is compatible with Apple and Android phones and tablets. There is also a platform for Amazon Kindle.

The app has several useful features. For instance, there is a portfolio analysis tool that looks at an account’s asset allocation and displays a pie chart with a breakdown among investments, such as bonds, stocks, and short-term reserves.


Vanguard Mobile App Review


Also not to be missed on the broker’s app is the Vanguard news section. Here, the company presents many articles covering a wide range of investment topics, such as the recent change in U.S. tax law and delaying IRA contributions.

The app has a watch list, although it is not synched with the website. Statements and trade confirmations in pdf format can be accessed on the platform. Mobile check deposit is available as is transaction history.

Market indexes are shown on the app. Besides the American exchanges, there are also indexes from Europe and Asia. Rates for bonds and currencies are also shown, but there is no data for commodities. Graphs for the indexes are displayed, and two or more can be compared to each other.

Security research is available for ETF’s, stocks, and mutual funds, although the information presented is rather limited. While Vanguard mutual funds can be traded on the app, non-Vanguard mutual funds can only be traded on the broker’s website, a disappointing feature.


About the Author
Chad Morris is a financial writer with more than 20 years experience as both an English teacher and an avid trader. When he isn’t writing expert content for Brokerage-Review.com, Chad can usually be found managing his portfolio or building a new home computer.