We’ve previously had a discussion on whether Freetrade is the best platform which can be found here.

So Vanguard offers a stocks and shares ISA for UK investors which is a huge tick off the bat. This allows you to deposit up to £20,000 per year and any gains made will be completely tax free. There is also an option to open a self-invested pension plan (SIPP) which has really gained popularity in recent years or a junior ISA for the sprogs.

What makes Vanguard stand out is that it’s owned by the funds people invest in rather than shareholders and therefore focused on improving the individual investors experience. Vanguard is known for value as it was founded by Jack Bogle who essentially created the index fund and helped the average investor save significant sums of money by avoiding mutual funds, but is it really that cheap today? Well yes, mostly. Vanguard charges an account fee of 0.15% per annum of the value of your account holdings, including cash up to £250,000 which is a maximum charge of £375. OK fine, it’s cheap. You also have to pay an Ongoing Charges Figure (OCF) which is paid to Vanguard for managing the specific funds you’re invested in, these are still pretty competitive (the popular VUSA fund which tracks the S&P 500 for example has a fee of 0.07% which is insanely low).

There are of course negatives to the Vanguard Platform, the investment options are limited to Vanguard funds (obviously). You may be OK with this but there are other platforms out there which offer most of the Vanguard funds plus more. Sometimes less is more however and many of Vanguard funds offer a passive investing strategy which tend to cover large portions of the stock market to avoid you having to invest and keep track of many different funds. Vanguard also offers Targeted Retirement and LifeStrategy funds to do the heavy lifting for you and act as a one size fits all by incorporating bonds depending on your risk tolerance. Annoyingly one of our favourite Vanguard funds ‘The FTSE All World’ only comes as a distribution fund on Vanguard and doesn’t reinvest dividends automatically. This can be frustrating as it’s an ETF and doesn’t allow you to purchase partial shares therefore your dividends are sitting in your account doing nothing until you decide to add more money in. You can invest in the accumulating version of this fund on Freetrade and not Vanguard which makes no sense to us at all.

The platform also doesn’t offer two factor authentication and the website itself is pretty basic with no app available although we believe that will change in the future with a possible app in the pipeline. It’s worth noting there are good alternatives to Vanguard tracker funds which offer a similar price point – iShares for example.

Nonetheless, if you had to invest your life savings in one platform who would you choose? Exactly, Vanguard. There’s just a sense of reliability and dependability in the brand. It’s probably because fans of Vanguard associate it with Jack Bogle and his selflessness when it came to his customers. You can learn more about Jack Bogle in his book Stay The Course.

The views expressed in this post are the authors and should not be construed as financial advice

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David is an Engineer and Finance Writer educated to masters degree level with sound knowledge in investing, the stock market and personal finance. We hope the information provided on this site can help you achieve your financial goals.

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