Skip to main content

Your best interests are at the heart of our service

A lot of work goes into helping you reach your goals. Here’s a look at how our best thinking, strong and steady investment philosophy, and innovative technology combine with your best interests to power Vanguard Personal Advisor Services®.


When you enrolled, an advisor explained how we help you reach your goals by evaluating your objectives and then applying Vanguard’s time-tested investment philosophy. Think of this as the “anatomy” of our methodology.

How we’ve built your plan

Our methodology has multiple parts, each with an important role. But together, these parts make up the foundation of any sound financial plan, including yours:


We work with you to make sure your investment goals are both measureable and attainable.

We've built your plan based on your personal goals. So if your situation or goals change, let us know and we’ll adjust your plan so you stay on track to achieve those goals.

Asset mix

We assemble your mix with a variety of stocks, bonds, and short-term reserves.

Your asset mix regulates how your portfolio reacts to market movements. So our advisors already factored in market fluctuations when they assembled your mix.


We make sure you’re well diversified by choosing investments that offer exposure to thousands of securities from dozens of regions and industries.

Diversifying your portfolio is another way our advisors help you reduce risk. For example, a portfolio that has exposure to all markets—U.S. and international—can minimize the long-term effects of market ups and downs.

Value of an advisor

Did you know that our advisors may be able to help you achieve better returns than you would by managing your investments on your own?

It's true—the research shows it.* Here's how:

We build your plan.

When you enrolled, we got to know you, learned what your short- and long-term goals were, and then crafted a custom financial plan to help you reach them.

Your financial plan serves as your personal road map to your future. So, it's critical for us to get it right!

We choose the investments for your plan

Building your plan includes creating the appropriate asset allocation—the mix of stocks, bonds, and cash in your portfolio—based on your goals, risk tolerance, and time horizon.

Once we put together your asset allocation, we also choose the specific low-cost investments that make up your asset mix.

We bake tax-smart strategies into your plan

When we put together your financial plan, we built in tactics for tax efficient asset location and spending so you could hold on to as much of your investment returns as possible.

Our advisors help minimize your tax burden by allocating your assets between taxable and tax-advantaged accounts—and by developing a tax-smart retirement spending plan.

We manage your plan

Building the plan is only the first step. We also provide ongoing plan management to keep you on the course we've set.

Our advisors review your portfolio regularly, rebalance it as needed—and revise your plan if your goals change. We also provide you with updates and ongoing education.

We help you follow the plan

The journey to reach your goals isn't always smooth, but we're here to guide you through the ups and downs in the markets—and in your life.

Working with our advisors means you get help making decisions, tackling challenges, and navigating your financial journey.

*Source: Donald G. Bennyhoff and Francis M. Kinniry Jr., 2018. Vanguard Advisor's Alpha®. Valley Forge, Pa.: The Vanguard Group.


As an investor, it's important to remember that success isn't just about the money you make. It's about what you can do with that money—buy a home, send your kids to college, travel, retire.

That's why our advice doesn't just revolve around getting you bigger returns but, instead, is grounded in helping you make sure you reach your goals—and live the life you want.

We "stress test" your portfolio

We work with you to make sure your investment When we built your plan, we took detailed information about the last 100 years of past market data—as well as our proprietary global forecast for the next decade—and used them to run thousands of different future scenarios. We then put your portfolio through all the scenarios to make sure you'll be on track to meet your goals, no matter the market conditions.

If you want to dig deeper into your projected success rate, you can also see how you fared in all 10,000 potential scenarios.

We regularly review your progress

We assemble your mix with a variety of stocks, We send you a progress report 4 times a year, highlighting your projected outlook. And we update your outlook whenever our forecasts for the future have changed.

You don't have to wait to see if you're "on course," "off course," or "slightly off course." You can log on at any time—on any device—to check your progress in real time.

We help you focus on the important things

We make sure you’re well diversified by choosing As a Vanguard Personal Advisor client, you have access to something much more powerful than quarterly performance figures to guide you on the path to your goal: your advisor. Looking at a set of returns won't tell you whether you're in good shape to retire early, start saving for college, or buy a second home. But your advisor can.

If you do get off course, we're here to coach you through any challenges—and support you in getting back on track.