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Vanguard's Advice Services Rank #1

Vanguard ranked first on Morningstar’s Robo-Advisor Landscape report based on our “low annual fees, tailored investment approach, and strong parent organization.”
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August 30, 2022
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Awarded March 2022, based on data as of December 2021. Compensation provided. 

Vanguard ranked first overall and earned the only “high” assessment ranking in Morningstar's new Robo-Advisor Landscape report.*

In the first ever Robo-Advisor Landscape report by Morningstar, our 2 robo-advisor products, Vanguard Digital Advisor® and Vanguard Personal Advisor Services®, ranked first overall. Vanguard was also the only firm to achieve a “high” assessment ranking. The report placed Vanguard first out of 16 U.S.-based robo-advisors.

Morningstar’s press release about the report highlighted Vanguard’s “low annual fees, tailored investment approach, and strong parent organization,” which helped Vanguard stand apart from our competition. It also noted that “Vanguard's premium-level service provides comprehensive financial planning advice at a cheaper asset-based fee than any competing offering.”

Among all companies in the report, we are unique in that our fund shareholders own the funds which in turn own Vanguard. Digital Advisor and Personal Advisor Services are just 2 products that embody our approach to helping our clients as partners. At Vanguard, you’re more than just an investor, you’re an owner.

What’s a robo-advisor?

As more and more people turn to their phones and tablets to handle their finances, robo-advisors have become increasingly popular. A robo-advisor is an online platform that manages investments automatically. Your investment recommendations come from an algorithm instead of a person and it can take a lot of the time, guesswork, and stress out of owning a portfolio.

A robo-advisor can be a good option for people who don't want the stress of keeping up with the markets or managing their own portfolios. You can set it and check in as little or as often as you want. You get the peace of mind that comes from knowing your money is working hard for you, without all the effort it takes to do everything yourself.

Robo-advisors come with another perk. They often charge less in fees than traditional financial advice services, and you can usually start investing with a lower initial deposit.

About Vanguard Digital Advisor

Vanguard’s Digital Advisor offers professional money management at a low cost. The tool helps investors easily save for future goals, empowering them to enjoy their lives without stressing over their investments. Digital Advisor is backed by Vanguard's proven investment methodology and uses Vanguard’s well-diversified ETFs (exchange-traded funds) to keep investment portfolios well-balanced. Learn more about Vanguard Digital Advisor by visiting our Digital Advisor website.

About Vanguard Personal Advisor Services

With Vanguard Personal Advisor Services, investors partner with an advisor to navigate the complexities of investing. Personal Advisor offers a personalized plan and ongoing access, support for complex financial needs, and goal-based planning based on decades of research and time-tested strategies. For more information about Personal Advisor Services, visit our Personal Advisor website.

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The Value of Ownership with Vanguard

Both Vanguard Personal Advisor Services and Vanguard Digital Advisor are a reflection of Vanguard’s approach to investing and investors. At Vanguard, you’re more than just an investor, you’re an owner. Vanguard fund shareholders own the funds, which in turn own us, making Vanguard unique in the industry. That means helping our clients isn’t a secondary goal, it’s the mark of our success. When our owners gain the confidence to build a life filled with love, security, and dignity, we’ve done our job. That’s the Value of Ownership®.

Morningstar’s report and Vanguard’s #1 ranking

Morningstar, Inc. is a leading provider of independent investment research around the world. Earlier this spring, Morningstar published its first ever Robo-Advisor Landscape report, which examined the current digital advice landscape in the United States. Morningstar’s report evaluated 16 U.S.-based robo-advisors.*

The report found that Vanguard Digital Advisor stood out as the strongest overall offering among 16 competitors. Vanguard was the only product to earn a “high” assessment because of our “low annual fees, tailored investment approach, and strong parent organization.”

In the report, Morningstar analysts looked for low, transparent fees; a robust risk tolerance questionnaire and logical mapping to portfolios; sound portfolio diversification that steers clear of questionable asset classes and investment tactics; and a broad range of planning-related features.

Robo-advisors were ranked on a five-point scale: high, above average, average, below average, and low. Four dimensions were used to weight the rankings: total price (30% weighting); the process used to select investments, construct portfolios, and match portfolios with investors (30%); the parent organization behind the digital platform (20%); and the breadth of services­­ (20%). Each category is a weighted score that was summed up to create an overall score to rank the robo-advisors.

The full Robo-Advisor Landscape report is available here. 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. 

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*Vanguard received the first overall ranking in Morningstar's inaugural Robo-Advisor Landscape report for 2022 among 15 other robo-advisors selected by Morningstar. Morningstar evaluated each provider across the following weighted criteria as of December 2021 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 the breadth of services (20%). Additional details about Morningstar's methodology are available in its press release. Current fees may vary for Digital Advisor 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.

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All investing is subject to risk, including the possible loss of the money you invest. Be aware that fluctuations in the financial markets and other factors may cause declines in the value of your account. There is no guarantee that any particular asset allocation or mix of funds will meet your investment objectives or provide you with a given level of income. 

Vanguard Personal Advisor Services and Vanguard Digital Advisor's services are provided by Vanguard Advisers, Inc. ("VAI"), a federally registered investment advisor, or by Vanguard National Trust Company, a federally chartered, limited purpose trust company. VAI is a subsidiary of The Vanguard Group, Inc. ("VGI"), and an affiliate of Vanguard Marketing Corporation. Neither VGI, VAI, nor its affiliates guarantee profits or protection from losses. For more information on the services, see Form CRS and the Vanguard Personal Advisor Services Brochure (PDF) and Form CRS and the Vanguard Digital Advisor Brochure (PDF).

You must buy and sell Vanguard ETF Shares through Vanguard Brokerage Services (we offer them commission-free) or through 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.

Vanguard is investor-owned, meaning the fund shareholders own the funds, which in turn own Vanguard.