Vanguard announced Monday a new one-stop shop for financial planning, which will be free to existing clients with $250,000 or more and to those who bring $100,000 of new assets to the Valley Forge-based company.
Those who do not meet those requisites can still have access to the services for a $1,000 flat fee.
"With the introduction of Vanguard Financial Planning Services, we are building on our 10 years of experience in providing investment advice and responding to our clients' desire for a simple, low-cost financial plan," said John J. Brennan, chairman, in a statement.
Clients will start with an on-line questionnaire pre-programmed to include their portfolio holdings. After submitting the Web form, clients will receive a phone consultation offering the opportunity to review the recommended plan, and to help implement it.
Vanguard's financial planners are not commission-driven, and receive no incentives for their recommendations.
Planners will first review asset allocation, recommending a mix of stocks, bonds and short-term reserves suited to the client's age, risk tolerance and financial situation. Planners will keep an eye toward tax implications.
From there, clients will receive recommendations for their portfolio, typically including diversified stock and bond index funds, and actively managed stock funds with articulated strategies and managed by a firm selected by Vanguard.
Clients will also receive retirement advice to help them determine how much they will need to retire, along with a "draw-down strategy" that pulls from several retirement revenue streams.
For those considering college savings, the planner will help define goals and determine the best plan.
Each of these strategies will be revisited in annual check-ups. The average total expense ratio, including fees, will be 0.21%, the company said, citing Lipper data from December.
Extra estate, insurance, education or cash flow consultations will be available for separate fees between $500 and $1,000, depending on the size of the client's Vanguard accounts.
Those individuals and institutions that turn to Vanguard for its Asset Management Services, can expect the same service and access to their dedicated planers.
"We want to dispel the notion that 'no load' means 'no advice' and help our clients reach their financial goals," Brennan said.