Vanguard Review

as of 26/02/2019 at 3:22 pm

Holly's View

Low-cost. Huge global player. Fair. Good choice to get started as a default option. Vanguard has an almost evangelical following from people who like the low-cost simple mantra of this firm. They offer cheap ready-made investment portfolios which are great options for many but don’t expect much help on navigating your way into them. It’s still a bit lacking in help and support but is worth a look for many. No pension yet.

Our Rating

Recommended For

Beginner Investor

Confident Investor

In a nutshell

Low cost

No access to shares

Straightforward investments

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Based on 26 reviews

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At Vanguard, we've been helping investors reach their goals since 1975, growing into one of the world's largest fund managers along the way. Our aim is to cut the cost and complexity of investing, and do the right thing. By taking a stand for all investors, treating them fairly, we aim to give everyone the best chance for investment success.

Investment risk information:

The value of investments, and the income from them, may fall or rise and investors may get back less than they invested. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future results.

A different type of investment company

In 1975, our founder John ‘Jack’ Bogle launched a bold experiment: an investment company that was designed to make money for its investors, not from them. He structured Vanguard in the US to be owned by its funds. Instead of paying dividends to external shareholders, we would redirect any profits we made to our own investors in the form of lower costs. A year after opening Vanguard's doors, Bogle created the first index fund for individual investors, ushering in the era of low-cost index (or tracker) investing. Today, Vanguard remains committed to helping all investors achieve investing success.

Why invest with Vanguard?

Because our focus is always on you, where it belongs. Because we provide clear information that empowers you to make smart investment decisions. Because we give you access to the world of equity and bond investments at low cost. Some people say investing is complicated. We don't think it has to be. In fact, we believe successful investing rests on four simple principles – goals, balance, cost & discipline.

And the benefit to you? You get to keep more of your investment returns over time. Because when it comes to investing, you get what you don't pay for. That's the Vanguard difference.

More about Vanguard

What to Expect

Investment Choice


Stocks and Shares ISA

Junior ISA

Investment Account

Investments available

Own brand funds

Investment help

Robo advice / ready-made portfolios

The 'Geeky' Details

Provider details

Vanguard is one of the world's largest asset management groups, which recently launched Vanguard Investor so investors can buy its funds directly. There are just investments and ISAs today, however the launch of a pension is looming. You can only hold their investments – so you can’t access other fund managers or buy shares here. 
This low-cost service won’t offer research and shares, bells or whistles; but with its LifeStrategy range of funds it will manage your money in a decent portfolio, spread around lots of global investments which are picked and run for you, for around 0.48% all-in or £4.80 on a £1,000 investment.   

Important Facts & Figures

Provider Size:

New investment service from one of the world's largest asset managers.

Minimum amounts: £100 minimum monthly amount
£500 minimum initial amount
12 month indicative performance:

A medium risk fund (Vanguard LifeStrategy 60%) returned 8.6% in 2017, after charges.

Your Questions

"I have had roughly £40k in a Hargreaves Lansdown Stocks & Shares ISA for the past 2+ years, divided into £34k in their Portfolio Plus Balanced Growth and £5k in a mixture of shares I selected myself (£3.5k of that in Lloyd’s). While I am happy to keep the shares element, I don’t feel the managed portfolio is working for me and I could do better elsewhere. Over the 2+ years I am down 1% on initial investment. I would like to move away from Hargreaves Lansdown altogether, as in that period I have paid close to £350 in charges. I also have a separate ISA with Vanguard which is £20k in the LifeStrategy 80:20 which I am happy with. Where would you suggest I could invest the £34k for a better return? I am happy with balanced and some element of high risk. I’m 47, have two primary school age children, & live in central London. I also have a mortgage and a workplace pension. Many thanks."

Jennifer, London


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"Hi - Your site is very useful and informative. For the last 9 months I've drip fed just over £10,000 into a Moneyfarm Investment ISA (balanced/medium risk) just over 60% shares, it has been a very volatile year as you know. Moneyfarm seem to have done a good job of protecting my capital. I was down around £500 at the worst point which I have now recouped, however I haven't really made much in the way of gains, which I'm a bit disappointed about. I was wary about taking on too much risk, but now think I may have not taken on quite enough. I'm thinking about giving it 12 months to see how it goes. If I then wanted to, would I be able to transfer the whole lot to another platform (say Vanguard) where the fees are lower, and I might make a bit more profit? I know you're not allowed to give regulated advice - but I'm uncertain if I should transfer the whole lot in one go, or drip feed it into the new platform should I decide to move it. I would welcome whatever help you can give me. Regards, Robert"

Robert, UK


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"I am 47 years old and up to this point I have ensured I have sufficient cash saved and regularly overpay my mortgage. I also have a company pension into which I pay additional voluntary contributions. I would now like to open an investment ISA for growth, with an initial figure of about £5000 and then about £250 per month (more when possible) for at least 10 years. I am tempted by the Vanguard LifeStrategy 80 due to the low fees and strong reputation. I would also consider investing in a couple of other Vanguard funds as well. Would this be advisable or relatively unnecessary, if I'm already investing in the LifeStrategy fund? I have also been looking with interest at a number of other companies including, Nutmeg, Wealthify, IG and AJ Bell Youinvest. Is there any provider that would stand above the others as most suitable in my circumstances? Whilst I would like my investment to start working without too much input from me, I would be happy to get more involved as my knowledge and understanding increase. Any insight or opinions you may have would be appreciated. Thanks."

Matt, South Yorkshire


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