WAYS TO INVEST

Automated investing with Digital Advisor

Get your time back with Vanguard's powerful, easy-to-use automated investment tool.

$0

is what you pay in advisory fees for your first 90 days (investment costs still apply).1

$3K

in assets is required to enroll in Vanguard Digital Advisor.2

$15

is approximately what you pay per year for every $10k in an all-index portfolio.3

Personal investors

No advisory fees for 90 days.3


How Vanguard Digital Advisor® works for you

Custom from beginning to end

Leave the cookie cutters in the kitchen. Your Digital Advisor journey starts with a personalized risk assessment to determine the best asset allocation and glide pathtooltip iconA glide path is an investment strategy that gradually adjusts a portfolio's asset allocation over time from higher risk assets (e.g., stocks) to lower risk assets (e.g., bonds) to reduce risk as an investor approaches a specific target date like retirement. for your needs. The initial process can take up to 30 minutes to ensure we can deliver the best results for you.

Where big dreams are made

We believe investment planning should encompass all facets of your future. After setting your retirement goal, add additional ones like saving for a house, that car you've wanted, your bucket-list vacation, or even education. Digital Advisor can help you visualize your ambitions.

Maximize your investing experience

Digital Advisor's stack of premium financial tools is inspired by nearly 50 years of working with clients like you. Access the goal optimizer, debt payoff calculator, rainy day emergency fund tool, and more—including tax-loss harvesting** which can help offset taxes paid on capital gains.

Empower your decisions

Get the big picture you want with the details you need. Digital Advisor's financial outlook helps inform your planning and goal prioritization years into the future. Say hello to simplified investing and goodbye to complicated financial planning.

Custom from beginning to end

Leave the cookie cutters in the kitchen. Your Digital Advisor journey starts with a personalized risk assessment to determine the best asset allocation and glide pathtooltip iconA glide path is an investment strategy that gradually adjusts a portfolio's asset allocation over time from higher risk assets (e.g., stocks) to lower risk assets (e.g., bonds) to reduce risk as an investor approaches a specific target date like retirement. for your needs. The initial process can take up to 30 minutes to ensure we can deliver the best results for you.

Where big dreams are made

We believe investment planning should encompass all facets of your future. After setting your retirement goal, add additional ones like saving for a house, that car you've wanted, your bucket-list vacation, or even education. Digital Advisor can help you visualize your ambitions.

Maximize your investing experience

Digital Advisor's stack of premium financial tools is inspired by nearly 50 years of working with clients like you. Access the goal optimizer, debt payoff calculator, rainy day emergency fund tool, and more—including tax-loss harvesting** which can help offset taxes paid on capital gains.

Empower your decisions

Get the big picture you want with the details you need. Digital Advisor's financial outlook helps inform your planning and goal prioritization years into the future. Say hello to simplified investing and goodbye to complicated financial planning.

Investment options built for you

As an advice client, we do the work for you. Choose your preferred, pre-defined set of diversified exchange traded funds (ETFs) and mutual funds to include in your portfolio.

All-index investment option

Personalized, broad diversification of low-cost Vanguard ETFs® across U.S. and international stock and bond markets.

Active/Index investment option

Higher possible returns from active funds with broad diversification of index funds. May include 3 exclusive Advice Select funds. Higher advisory fee applies. 

ESG investment option

Funds that apply prescreened ESG criteria defined by third-party index providers. This strategy also uses certain non-ESG bond ETFs to provide additional diversification.*

All-index investment option

Personalized, broad diversification of low-cost Vanguard ETFs® across U.S. and international stock and bond markets.

Active/Index investment option

Higher possible returns from active funds with broad diversification of index funds. May include 3 exclusive Advice Select funds.

ESG investment option

ESG funds aligned to your preferences from third-party index providers with non-ESG bond ETFs for diversification.

Choose excellence when it matters most

Voted NerdWallet's "Best Robo‑Advisor for Low‑Cost Investing" for the 4th year in a row

Awarded January 2024, based on data as of October 2023.7

First overall robo‑advisor in Morningstar's Robo‑Advisor Landscape Report for 2 years in a row

Awarded June 2023, based on data as of December 2022.
Compensation provided for use of the rating in marketing materials.

Open quote mark
— Sandy T., 20s

I’ve been using Digital Advisor for almost 4 years now....Tools like the rainy day or estimated retirement medical cost calculator have been very helpful in preparing me for the future”

Sandy is a compensated advisory client of Vanguard and this experience may not be representative of all user experiences.

Learn more about Vanguard Digital Advisor

Other resources

Is tax-loss harvesting worth it? Now more than ever

Is tax-loss harvesting worth it? Now more than ever
Wondering whether tax-loss harvesting is worth it? These tax-loss harvesting examples show how automation and volatility make a big difference.

Is tax-loss harvesting worth it? Now more than ever

Understanding robo-advisor performance
Robo-advisor performance is one way to understand the value of digital advice. Learn how fees, enhanced features, and investment options can also be key considerations.

Frequently Asked Questions

Getting started with Vanguard Digital Advisor

To enroll, you'll need to meet the following requirements:

  • You have a retail Vanguard Brokerage Account with a balance of at least $3,000. (If you're new to Vanguard, opening an account is simple.)
  • You're a United States resident, or you have an APO/FPO/DPO mailing address.
  • You’re at least 18 years of age. (At least age 19 in Alabama or Nebraska and at least age 21 in Mississippi.)
  • You're not—or do not live in the same household as—a board member, executive, or someone who's able to influence policy in a publicly traded corporation.

If you have a Vanguard-administered 401(k) retirement account, you may also be eligible to enroll.Restrictions may apply to certain organization members.

Vanguard Brokerage Option (VBO®) accounts offered by plan sponsors aren't eligible for management by Digital Advisor. Special notice to non-U.S. investors 

A target retirement fund (or target-date fund) is a specific type of fund that automatically adjusts its asset mix over time. Target retirement fund names typically refer to the approximate year (the target date) when an investor would retire.

Vanguard's target retirement funds start aggressively and are mostly made up of stock funds. As years pass, the funds become more conservative and hold more bond funds along a singular glide path. All Vanguard target retirement funds charge an expense ratio and make the assumption that investors are retiring at 65 and have the same risk tolerance.†

Since Digital Advisor is a paid advisory service, investors enrolled in Digital Advisor can take advantage of more benefits. Your asset mix will come from one of over 300 personalized glide paths that help you find an appropriate asset mix based on a wide range of factors including your current age, risk attitude and loss aversion, and marital status.

Digital Advisor clients can also take advantage of tools and services like a debt calculator, a goal optimizer, an emergency fund tool, and tax-loss harvesting** at no additional cost.

Enrollments in Vanguard Digital Advisor require at least $3,000 in each Vanguard Brokerage Account.2 For each taxable, traditional, Roth, or rollover IRA you wish to enroll, the entire balance must be in certain investment types (based on eligibility screening by Digital Advisor at the time of enrollment, see next question for more details) and/or the brokerage account's settlement fund.

For eligible 401(k) retirement accounts, the minimum enrollment balance is $5.6

Your eligibility screening will determine whether you have the types of investments that Digital Advisor can manage. In some cases, you'll need to sell all or a portion of certain investments as part of the enrollment process so we can manage them for you.

For each brokerage account you wish to enroll, the entire balance must be in certain investment types (based on eligibility screening by Digital Advisor at the time of enrollment) and/or the brokerage account's settlement fund. If your brokerage accounts include Vanguard index funds or Vanguard ETFs®, you may be able to keep those investments in your Digital Advisor account. However, we may recommend you sell down those or other investments before enrolling. Since there may be costs and tax consequences associated with selling your existing investments, we use a breakeven cost analysis to weigh the costs of transitioning the investments you hold before enrolling in Digital Advisor (see our Digital Advisor brochure for more details). We estimate the capital gains tax impacts compared to the expense ratio benefits from selling investments that aren't our lead recommendation (the investment we would typically recommend for you), but that still align with your recommended asset allocation. So depending on the outcome of the breakeven analysis, we may recommend that you continue to hold certain investments subject to our portfolio construction guidelines—or we may determine it's in your interest to sell down a particular investment during enrollment.

The following types of investments cannot be in your brokerage account before enrolling in Digital Advisor: certain non-Vanguard mutual funds, individual bonds, securities traded on international exchanges, preferred stocks, penny stocks, illiquid stocks, and options.

In this case, you'd need to sell the ineligible investments and invest the proceeds in your brokerage account settlement fund before enrolling. If you're in this situation, you might also consider opening a new Vanguard Brokerage Account to enroll in Digital Advisor. 

Important: Digital Advisor doesn't assess the suitability of the sale of existing holdings given a particular client's financial circumstances, recommend selling a client's existing holdings to enroll, or provide tax advice. The sale of existing holdings could cause you to incur capital gains—costs associated with incurring capital gains vary based on the time you hold a position and your individual tax situation. The cost of incurring capital gains can be substantial. We recommend you consult a qualified tax advisor to discuss your individual situation and any potential tax consequences.

For eligible 401(k) retirement accounts, Digital Advisor doesn't require a money market or stable value fund minimum balance.6

You'll incur expenses to invest in the underlying funds, collective investment trusts, and ETFs in your portfolio (i.e., expense ratios). If you're invested in ETFs, collective investment trusts, or mutual funds today, you're already paying these expenses. We credit the revenue received from your investment portfolio toward the gross advisory fee and deduct only the additional net advisory fee from your managed accounts.

In general, if you incur a fee that results in revenue for Vanguard or a Vanguard affiliate, it will be included in this credit amount. Certain regulatory required trading fees aren't considered revenue and are still incurred for trades within Vanguard Brokerage Accounts, but not credited. For more information about Digital Advisor's fee structure, refer to Form CRS Conversation Starter questions and the Vanguard Digital Advisor Brochure.

Robo-Advisor services

Robo-advisor is a commonly used term for an all-digital financial planning and investment management service. Robo-advisors often use algorithms (i.e., processes or sets of rules followed in computer calculations) to provide automated investment services without human interaction. A robo-advisor typically gathers information about your investing goals, uses an algorithm to determine an appropriate asset allocation, and builds an investment portfolio tailored to your situation. Most robo-advisors automatically rebalance your portfolio, so you don't have to.

We're glad you asked! Our money-management service:

  • Features state-of-the-art financial planning and portfolio construction capabilities, powered by Vanguard's practical and time-tested investment strategies.
  • Offers access to high-quality investments consisting of Vanguard ETFs®, plus robust, easy-to-use financial planning tools.
  • Connects to non-Vanguard accounts so it can present you with a holistic picture of your financial life and more accurate projections.
  • Focuses on helping you build retirement savings and includes a debt payoff tool.
  • Continues to add new features to help with your financial planning needs.

Digital Advisor can manage your personal investment accounts and certain employer-sponsored 401(k) retirement accounts for which Vanguard is the recordkeeper.6

Vanguard is one of the most trusted names in financial services built on the radical idea of putting investors' best interests first.

Digital Advisor can manage eligible 401(k) retirement accounts6 and the following types of retail Vanguard Brokerage Accounts:

  • Individual or joint tenants with rights of survivorship (JTWROS) taxable accounts.
  • Traditional IRAs.
  • Roth IRAs.
  • Rollover IRAs.
  • Inherited IRAs owned by natural, adult investors.

However, we recommend that you connect other Vanguard and non-Vanguard accounts as you plan your goals so we can incorporate them into your goal growth projections, and help you forecast your likelihood of meeting your long-term goals.

Your first eligible Vanguard Brokerage Account (IRA or taxable) or employer-sponsored retirement plan account (401(k)) qualify for the advisory fee waiver. (If your employer-sponsored plan account qualifies for the advisory fee waiver, you’ll see that during the enrollment process.)

If your account has been enrolled in Digital Advisor for more than 90 days, any new accounts you subsequently enroll are not eligible for the advisory fee waiver.

Employer-sponsored retirement accounts enrolled by the plan fiduciary are not eligible for the advisory fee waiver.

For more information on Digital Advisor’s fee structure, see the VAI Form CRS and the Vanguard Digital Advisor Brochure.

Market volatility is when the price of stocks swings up or down because there's too much trading in one direction (substantially more buys than sells or vice versa). Many investors might see the stock dip and want to sell or wait to "time the market." The market, however, is unpredictable. But that doesn't mean your money is completely up to the whims of the headlines. Even with daily ups and downs, the overall market has historically grown over the decades.

With Digital Advisor, you can benefit from the market's long-term growth with a time-tested strategy: owning a balanced portfolio. The foundations of a balanced portfolio are asset allocation and diversification. Digital Advisor will maintain your investments so you'll always have a portfolio that aligns to your retirement goal. If you choose to add other goals, it can adjust your holdings to keep you on target. We'll rebalance your portfolio if we detect it's drifted more than 5% from our recommended allocation.

What can you do during market swings? You can look at your accounts and update your information if anything has changed. You can also check out Vanguard's resources on market swings. Rest assured that your goal projections take all kinds of market volatility into account—while short-term "blips" might feel jarring, we have your long-term focus in mind.

Investing more? Get additional guidance

Vanguard Personal Advisor offers ongoing financial planning, automated investing, and access to an advisor for those wanting to invest $50,000 or more.

Stay in the loop

Share your email address below so we can keep in touch with the latest buzz on Vanguard Digital Advisor.

Enter your email address to receive information about Vanguard. We may also send you other Vanguard information you might be interested in. You can opt out at any time.

All investing is subject to risk, including the possible loss of the money you invest. Diversification does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss.

Visit vanguard.com to obtain a Vanguard mutual fund or Vanguard ETF prospectus or, if available, a summary prospectus, which contains investment objectives, risks, charges, expenses, and other information; read and consider it carefully before investing.

1The introductory waiver period for Vanguard Digital Advisor's net advisory fee begins when the first account's enrollment is complete and ends after the close of the first billing period (generally 90 days), which is specific to each client. If you enroll additional accounts at a later date, you can still take advantage of any remaining fee-waiver period. However, each additional account you enroll won't trigger a unique fee-waiver period but will instead be commingled with your first enrolled account. If you unenroll before your fee-waiver period ends, you won't owe an advisory fee. But if you choose to reenroll in Vanguard Digital Advisor during or after your fee-waiver period, you won't be eligible for a second fee waiver. If you previously enrolled accounts in other VAI proprietary retail offers you will not be eligible for the introductory fee waiver. This fee-waiver offer may be modified or discontinued anytime at the sole discretion of Vanguard Advisers, Inc. All costs associated with fund expense ratios still apply at all times.

2Enrollments in Vanguard Digital Advisor require at least $3,000 in each Vanguard Brokerage Account. For each taxable account or traditional, Roth, rollover, or inherited IRA you wish to enroll, the entire balance must be in certain investment types (based on eligibility screening by Digital Advisor at the time of enrollment) and/or the brokerage account's settlement fund. 

3Vanguard Digital Advisor is an all-digital service. Digital Advisor charges brokerage accounts an annual gross advisory fee in the amount of 0.20% for an index portfolio option or 0.25% for an active portfolio option. That gross advisory fee is reduced by a credit of the actual revenue The Vanguard Group, Inc. ("VGI"), or its affiliates retain from investments in each enrolled account, resulting in a net advisory fee. The net advisory fee is the actual fee collected from your account(s) and will vary based on your unique asset allocation, portfolio option, account type, and specific holdings in each enrolled account.  Note that this fee doesn't include investment expense ratios charged by a fund, such as fees paid to the funds' third-party managers which are not credited.  While we generally recommend using low-cost Vanguard funds to build your portfolio, actively managed funds will have higher expense ratios than index funds. For more information on the services, find VAI's Form CRS and each program's advisory brochure here for an overview.

*To maintain diversification, this portfolio option will also include non-ESG investments to achieve your target asset allocation for international and domestic bonds.

The ESG investment option gives Digital Advisor clients the ability to substitute certain existing holdings with Vanguard ETFs that invest according to an index that has been pre-screened based on ESG factors determined by a third-party index provider. There is no guarantee that the ESG investment option will perform better than the other investment options.

ESG funds are subject to ESG investment risk, which is the chance that the stocks or bonds screened by the index provider for ESG criteria generally will underperform the market as a whole or, in the aggregate, will trail returns of other funds screened for ESG criteria. The index provider's assessment of a company, based on the company's level of involvement in a particular industry or the index provider's own ESG criteria, may differ from that of other funds or of the advisor's or an investor's assessment of such company. As a result, the companies deemed eligible by the index provider may not reflect the beliefs and values of any particular investor and may not exhibit positive or favorable ESG characteristics. The evaluation of companies for ESG screening or integration is dependent on the timely and accurate reporting of ESG data by the companies. Successful application of the screens will depend on the index provider's proper identification and analysis of ESG data.

**Vanguard can help determine if tax-loss harvesting is appropriate for your specific situation. Tax-loss harvesting is included in your Digital Advisor advisory fee. Tax-loss harvesting involves certain risks, including, among others, the risk that the new investment could have higher costs than the original investment and could introduce portfolio tracking error into your accounts. There may also be unintended tax implications. We recommend that you carefully review the terms of the consent and consult a tax advisor before taking action.

***Although the income from a municipal bond fund is exempt from federal tax, you may owe taxes on any capital gains realized through the fund's trading or through your own redemption of shares. For some investors, a portion of the fund's income may be subject to state and local taxes, as well as to the federal Alternative Minimum Tax.

Investments in Target Retirement Funds are subject to the risks of their underlying funds. The year in the Fund name refers to the approximate year (the target date) when an investor in the Fund would retire and leave the work force. The Fund will gradually shift its emphasis from more aggressive investments to more conservative ones based on its target date. An investment in a Target Retirement Fund is not guaranteed at any time, including on or after the target date.

4Based on enrolling accounts holding assets in the settlement fund that are invested in a portfolio of Vanguard Total Stock Market ETF, Total International Stock ETF, Total Bond Market ETF, and Total International Bond ETF.

5Vanguard Digital Advisor's debt payoff calculator helps you project the impact of different fixed-rate debt payments over time. To analyze your debt payments, you'll use a third-party aggregation service. There are limitations to the aggregated information, including inability to carve out any escrow payments. There also could be missing or inaccurate information, such as taxes and insurance, which you'll need to closely review in using the calculator.

6Vanguard-administered 401(k) retirement accounts are only eligible for management by Digital Advisor if the plan sponsor has elected to offer Digital Advisor to the plan's participants and the participants meet the eligibility criteria.

You should consult your plan fee disclosure notice for the applicable annual gross advisory fees that apply to your 401(k) account.

7Vanguard Digital Advisor received the top rating for "Best Robo-Advisor for Low-Cost Investing" for 2024 among 14 other robo-advisors selected by NerdWallet. NerdWallet evaluated each provider across the following weighted criteria as of October 1, 2023, to determine the winner for low costs: management fees (50%), expense ratios on investments (40%), and account fees (10%). NerdWallet also selected Vanguard Digital Advisor for the 2021 award based on November 16, 2020, data; the 2022 award based on October 1, 2021, data; and the 2023 award based on October 1, 2022, data. Additional details about NerdWallet's methodology are available on their website. Current fees may vary for Digital Advisor and the other robo-advisors considered. Although Vanguard compensates NerdWallet for marketing services, NerdWallet's opinions and evaluations are independent and unrelated to the selection of Digital Advisor for this award. ©2017-2024 and TM, NerdWallet, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

8Vanguard received the first overall ranking in Morningstar's "Robo-Advisor Landscape Report" for 2023 among 17 other robo-advisors selected by Morningstar. Morningstar evaluated each provider across the following weighted criteria as of December 2022, to determine their rankings: total price (30%); the process used to select investments, construct portfolios, and match portfolios with investors (30%); the parent organization behind the digital platform (20%); and breadth of services (20%). Vanguard also received the same ranking in 2022 in Morningstar’s first annual "Robo-Advisor Landscape Report" based on December 2021, data. Additional details about Morningstar's methodology are available on its website. Current fees may vary for Vanguard's advisory services and the other robo-advisors considered. Although Vanguard compensates Morningstar for marketing services, Morningstar's opinions and evaluations are independent and unrelated to the selection of Vanguard for this ranking. Following the independent announcement of this ranking, Vanguard purchased a license from Morningstar for the right to include this rating in Vanguard marketing. Source: “2023 Robo-Advisor Landscape” by Amy C. Arnott, et al.  ©2023 Morningstar, Inc. All rights reserved.

Vanguard Personal Advisor Services and Vanguard Digital Advisor's services are provided by Vanguard Advisers, Inc. ("VAI"), a federally registered investment advisor. VAI is a subsidiary of VGI and an affiliate of Vanguard Marketing Corporation ("VMC"). Neither VGI, VAI, nor its affiliates guarantee profits or protection from losses.

Vanguard is owned by its funds, which are owned by Vanguard’s fund shareholder clients. Our retail direct investment advisory strategies, in turn, are built on core investments in the Vanguard funds.

If you decide to manage your investments on your own, you can buy and sell Vanguard ETF Shares through Vanguard Brokerage Services® or another broker (which may charge commissions). See the Vanguard Brokerage Services commission and fee schedules for full details. Vanguard ETF Shares are not redeemable directly with the issuing fund other than in very large aggregations worth millions of dollars. ETFs are subject to market volatility. When buying or selling an ETF, you will pay or receive the current market price, which may be more or less than net asset value.