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As you may know, I am not a big fan of unilateral “Hobson’s Choice” contracts that are “take it or leave it” rip-offs…

Here is the latest example of a major financial institution grabbing a chunk of money that should flow to the injured customer, especially since there is little or no cost to participate in securities-related class action lawsuits. And in many cases, the same financial institutions impose individual arbitration requirements to prevent class actions directed at them.

Vanguard’s reputation as the lowest-fee investment vehicle appears to be eroded by junk arbitrary fees. 


Notice of updated commission and fee schedules and account agreement for Vanguard Brokerage Services

Dear Vanguard Brokerage Client,

We want to make you aware that we have updated the Vanguard Brokerage Account Agreement and associated commission and fee schedules. These updates include changes to our Digital Interaction Expectations, new Class Action Service Terms, and Vanguard Brokerage’s ability to close accounts, including low balance accounts with no activity.

Effective July 1, 2024, the following commission schedule changes will take effect:

  • Broker-assisted commission: A $25 broker-assisted commission will be charged for each Vanguard mutual fund1 and Vanguard ETF® (exchange-traded fund) trade placed over the phone and for closing transactions placed by Vanguard Brokerage Services® to cover a margin call or satisfy an outstanding debt owed in your brokerage account.* This broker-assisted commission is consistent with our existing policy on trading stocks and other products.
  • Certificate deposit fee: A $100 processing fee (per CUSIP) will be charged for the deposit of physical share certificates into your brokerage account.
  • Class action service fee: With the introduction of this new service in which Vanguard Brokerage will facilitate filing claims on behalf of clients in an attempt to recover class action settlement funds, a fee of 20% will be deducted from these recovered funds prior to their deposit into your brokerage account. See the Notice of Amendment to the Vanguard Brokerage Account Agreement (“Account Agreement Amendment”) for details on the service.
  • Foreign securities and American Depositary Receipts (ADRs) dividends fee: A fee of 1% on the gross dividend amount will be charged when a dividend is paid on a foreign or ADR asset held in U.S. dollars.
  • Restricted security legend removal fee: A $250 processing fee may be charged for research and removal of a restriction on a security held in your brokerage account.
  • Account closure and transfer fee: A $100 processing fee may be charged for account closure or transfer of account assets to another firm.**

Effective June 1, 2024, the following commission schedule change will take effect:

  • The tax filing fee for master limited partnerships (MLPs) held in an IRA will change from $300 to $500 per account.

You can obtain an updated copy of the Vanguard Brokerage Services commission and fee schedules here and read more about these important account agreement updates in the Account Agreement Amendment.

Please note that the updates discussed in this communication apply to all your accounts maintained with Vanguard Brokerage Services.

Thank you for belonging to the Vanguard community of investors.

Bottom line…

The largest institutions grab your money on the way in, while it is in their custody with fees, and use your funds to impose their politics and social engineering demands on corporations, even if they are counterproductive. Then, on the way out, they charge you for leaving.

And while I am ranting, why do they base their reputation on past results and then loudly warn you, “Past performance is no guarantee of future results.” Why not say our advertising is misleading, and your investment is still a crap shoot.

We are so screwed.

-- Steve

“Nullius in verba”-- take nobody's word for it!
"Acta non verba" -- actions not words

“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”-- George Bernard Shaw

“Progressive, liberal, Socialist, Marxist, Democratic Socialist -- they are all COMMUNISTS.”

“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS

"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius

“A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell

“Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt." (The people gladly believe what they wish to.) ~Julius Caesar

“Describing the problem is quite different from knowing the solution. Except in politics." ~ OCS