Vanguard Reviews

Updated September 19, 2014
Updated September 19, 2014
689 Reviews
3.2
689 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Vanguard Chairman and CEO William McNabb
William McNabb
413 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Work/life balance is a priority as you don't work crazy hours and get a lot of vacation time (in 111 reviews)

  • Great benefits; was able to earn MBA and CFP with full tuition reimbursement (in 61 reviews)


Cons
  • The positions in AZ are largely call center support roles, or supervisory roles (in 49 reviews)

  • Good work/life balance for some people, but not if your on the phones (in 14 reviews)

More Highlights

126 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1. 3 people found this helpful  

    If you want a career in finance, STAY AWAY!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Client Relationship Associate  in  Scottsdale, AZ
    Former Employee - Client Relationship Associate in Scottsdale, AZ

    I worked at Vanguard full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    This is a great place to be if you don't know what you're doing. Vanguard has this pathological disgust with their own industry. Because of this Vanguard regularly advances people with little industry knowledge and no desire to deepen their knowledge. This truly is the place to be if you are not ambitious and know you are not the archetype for success. Pay is below industry average, the W-2 benefits are the same as anywhere else in the industry, the non W-2 benefits are non-existent: bad coffee unless you pay for it, Christmas party is a pot luck you provide and it's on your own time, no parties, no trips, they'll provide lunch on days where they cut your lunch in half but it's never good and it will have been sitting out for hours depending on your shift. Hell, they once awarded me 2 movie tickets but they were MATINEE ONLY!!!!! Most employees think they have it good, but that's only because they've never worked anywhere else. If you're still interested, know this: You will be expected to drink the Kool-Aid. The only people who last and advance are those who buy into the propaganda without question. Bogle is a genius who is responsible for the work other people won Nobel Prizes for, Vanguard is generous, Vanguard doesn't treat their clients with disdain, etc.

    Cons

    The main problem with working here is that it makes it incredibly hard to find a job elsewhere. Vanguard employees have a reputation for being incompetent, unintelligent, and overly emotional (I've gotten this from frank discussions with friends and connections I've talked to on Linkedin, many of whom are in charge of hiring). To be honest, this reputation is mostly deserved. Managers especially have no chance of finding a job elsewhere, but those who stay less than 2 years have a chance of staying in the industry, but it's a seriously uphill battle.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Create a new metric for performance measurement that gives weight to qualitative measures. Many of your "stars" have great call times, but they give clients the run around, will often refuse to help clients with simple requests because of the effect it will have on their call times, and regularly refuse to do their due diligence and follow up on client issues because they know how few calls you listen to and they know they won't be punished for these sorts of things when caught. Stricter standards for who you place in management positions is needed as well. Most team leaders are far less competent than the average B and C level under them… that's a serious problem.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2.  

    Perfect for someone young trying to gain experience in the financial industry.

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Vanguard

    Pros

    They pay for licensing and further education. The job is very easy once you get the hang of things. You learn a lot very quickly.

    Cons

    Low pay. There's a manager for every 8 people so you're constantly being watched and micromanaged. If you're on the phones, you have to deal like being treated like customer service instead of an advisor. Vanguard keeps a very tight leash on what you can and cannot say, so all of your conversations are basically the same. It gets very monotonous. Promotions are very political so if you want to get ahead don't expect your performance to speak for itself - you must make friends with management and play the game.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    If you would invest more in the salaries of your client-facing reps and give them a little more freedom you wouldn't need to pay the inflated salaries of so many managers to make sure that no one is making mistakes

  3. 19 people found this helpful  

    15 years down the drain

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Client Service Associate  in  Malvern, PA
    Former Employee - Client Service Associate in Malvern, PA

    I worked at Vanguard full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    PTO policy is decent for starting out, plus you can deduct from your weekly pay in order to add time. 401k matching investment plan is good

    Cons

    After 15 years of doing everything that was ever asked of me (quite well at that - I regularly received awards from management and coworkers), I was nitpicked and harassed to the point that I took advantage of the early retirement. The abuse was so bad that on several occasions I needed medical attention for anxiety. (My supervisor KNEW that I was suffering PTSD from a car accident).
    Vanguard might be an ok place for someone starting out, but if you're and older person who's been there for years, you will be driven out in favor of younger (cheaper) new hires. They get around their no layoff policy by treating people like dirt to make them quit.
    I wouldn't recommend anyone staying at VG more than 5-6 years. After that, take your skills where you'll be appreciated.
    When I received my 'retirement' gift in the mail, I sent it back to them.That's how disgusted I am with them, but I'm sure they really don't care. They didn't while I worked for them.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop giving kids just out of college management positions! One of my managers admitted that it was her first real job. How could anyone think this is a good idea? Inexperienced, immature, pulling the same kind of games that don't belong in junior high school, let alone a professional corporation

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5. 4 people found this helpful  

    Great benefits.....not for long term career.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Vanguard full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    PTO and Retirement Plan is great.

    Cons

    Seem to manage anyone over 40 out the door. Not very diversed. Take a look at how many people are in management over the age of 40. They prefer inexperienced college grads. Very disappointing place to work in the long run. Not many races working in company. They also discriminate against overweight individuals. They are a lawsuit waiting to happen.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The culture is not as good as it use to be.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6. 1 person found this helpful  

    Not much of a career here

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Client Relationship Associate  in  Malvern, PA
    Current Employee - Client Relationship Associate in Malvern, PA

    I have been working at Vanguard full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Most people work here for the PTO.
    Nice 401k matching plan
    They have nice gyms
    Its not a bad ho-hum job. (no long hours, while salaries are below average) Raises are around 1% or 2% at best. Everybody gets about the same yearly meager raises.

    Cons

    If your on the phones they are constantly micro-managing your day. It gets pretty stressful. Most of lower management is made up of "Yes men/women." Very few Team Leaders think for themselves.

    Management is overly concerned about winning best place to work awards. Beware of the short one sentence reviews on here.

    Networking is a joke. Upper management controls everything. Promotions consist of going to other phone jobs at the same salary.

    The company's goal is to lower the companywide expenses from .14% to .10% and that money has to come from somewhere. On a percent basis that's more then a 40% decrease. I'm afraid its only going to tougher on the average crew member. Including myself.

    They give you a ton of PTO but its almost impossible to take days off around the major holiday's. In three years, I have not gotten a day off around Thanksgiving, Christmas or New Year's.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop trying to squeeze everything out of your employees. Value your people. Its not all about costs.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7. 5 people found this helpful  

    If you are career driven this is not your place

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Processing Associate  in  Scottsdale, AZ
    Current Employee - Processing Associate in Scottsdale, AZ

    I have been working at Vanguard full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    As much as I dislike working for vanguard there are some positives.. This is such a slow paces conservative company that it would be nearly impossible to get fired from most of the positions that you would get hired from externally. The benefits are not bad but I've had better at my two companies prior to VG. Vanguard is also a profit sharing company and partnership time is a lot of fun and normally you get a decent sized bonus/partnership.. I can't think a whole lot more

    Cons

    Any non-exempt position you're only scheduled 27.5 hours a week... why is this bad? First it is simply a direct pay cut.. They sell it as "oh we care about your life at home", nonsense. Which means when overtime is available to work(which is only year end and tax season) the company saves themselves loads of money by not having to pay overtime till you hit that 40 hours. My salary is lacking an additional 4 or 5K because of this.. Management is really hit and miss. Some of them are good and some are horrendous. They don't hire externally which means people will get switched in divisions with in VG and will get promoted without any experience in a division. The biggest issue for me is career growth. Once you hit a certain labor grade they will start expecting you to horizontally move instead of climbing the ladder. Horizontal movement is a direct contradictive to our company's strengths.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8. 5 people found this helpful  

    Job description does a poor job depicting actual job

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Client Relationship Specialist  in  Scottsdale, AZ
    Current Employee - Client Relationship Specialist in Scottsdale, AZ

    I have been working at Vanguard full-time

    Pros

    Good benefits. You can say they have the best mutual funds with confidence

    Cons

    They don't truly care for their crew members. On Saturdays, they don't turn on AC in the Arizona office. That is just insane. Plus on Saturdays they turn on the light three hours after work starts. I guess at-cost also means, poor working conditions. Also, you can try all you want, your management team will tell you "those positions are in PA only", "honestly, it will take you at least 5 years to get there", or "those positions rarely open up so just apply for something thats kind of similiar". Very discouraging.
    And work/life balance?????????? Working 11:30-8pm is not work/life balance. How am I supposed to have a life in the morning or super late at night. Do not be deceived by their 37.5 hour work week. They will give you a horrible shift.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    You should tell your applicants that "your license is used about 5% of your calls. just get used to generating temporary passwords, changing addresses, and filling out change of ownership forms".

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9. 3 people found this helpful  

    Non inspiring mediocre growth.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Software Developer  in  Valley Forge, PA
    Former Employee - Software Developer in Valley Forge, PA

    I worked at Vanguard full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    People are great. Company reputation as a stable safe place to work is amazing. Very close to Philadelphia.

    Cons

    Slow to no innovation. Not really a place if you want personal and skills growth. Pay is average or low in comparison to other financial firms.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    If you want to change the community, listen to your employees and not outside sources.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10. 3 people found this helpful  

    Stressful, low pay

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Client Relations Associate  in  Charlotte, NC
    Former Employee - Client Relations Associate in Charlotte, NC

    I worked at Vanguard full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Great benefits package.
    Get paid to study for licensing exams.

    Cons

    Call center environment.
    Tough to get days off between January and April.
    Very low pay compared to other companies with similar roles.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Pay your employees what their worth!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11. 4 people found this helpful  

    Think again! There are better opportunities.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Brokerage Associate  in  Paoli, PA
    Former Employee - Brokerage Associate in Paoli, PA

    I worked at Vanguard full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    They truly care about the client. It was a great place to learn about the investment industry and about investing in general.

    Cons

    Advancement was not going to happen unless you were under 30 years old, a kiss-up, or from the outside. The pay was just enough to get by. Merit increases where not possible unless you were at least a supervisor. Everybody else received a paltry .50% to 3% increase.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    You need to revamp everything surrounding your HR team. I would suggest you fire everyone and start over. Maybe then you could recognize contributors from kiss-ups.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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