Daniel Grossman writes:

As a major user of Vanguard brokerage for many years, I find their newly-introduced Buy/Sell Page (for entering trades) clumsy, slow and inefficient — what computer programmers might refer to as kludgy or klutzy.

Talking to the person at Vanguard running the project has convinced me that the new Buy/Sell Page has not been sensibly designed or tested, but that it is an unstoppable freight train rolling down the track to Vanguard's thirty million customers and Vanguard has no interest in reconsideration or change of any significant aspect.

Having completely failed on my own, I wonder if a group of significant Vanguard brokerage users would have more influence, for example by writing a joint letter to Vanguard's CEO Tim Buckley or by promoting a media story on the faulty Buy/Sell page (also referred to as the "ticket" or, perhaps in general, the trading platform).

If any Speclister has interest in comparing notes on this, please contact me offline at 561-278-5646 or

Bud Conrad writes:

I have used both Fidelity and Vanguard for years. I have been shocked by Vanguard's lack of sophistication on many fronts, like not charging me for cost for borrowing a stock to short, and not fully understanding some risks in shorting. Their support is weak in aids for trading and research on individual stocks. They don't allow a full complex of financial trading, outside of mutual funds and stocks. No futures, currencies. I've seen them offer more leverage on margin shorts than competition, which would seem attractive. In the early days you could only trade mutual funds, unless you opened up another separate account that they called a Brokerage Account, if you wanted to trade just regular listed stocks. Tha meant trading money between accounts that would not be required in different circumstances. For the lack of support, and other reasons I have done very little trading through them recently. I would guess in these days of "free" commissions pretty much everywhere (profits only made by relatively sophisticated order flow selling, as done by Riding Hood); I would guess they have little reason to invest in new trading platforms

I think it is part of a philosophy going back to John Bogle, of keeping costs down as identified for mutual funds. In any case, they seem surprisingly unsophisticated.

But it is not my job to fix a company's strategy or implementation. I would expect that if they don't know they have a problem they won't listen to you to say they need to develop a better interface. So the above is just to confirm that they are not trying to offer trading features, and would rather just hold Grand ma's passive mutual funds. And of course, collect money from the largest passive funds like S&P 500.


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