Vanguard Reviews in Phoenix, AZ | Glassdoor

Vanguard Phoenix Reviews

Updated February 18, 2017
291 reviews

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Phoenix, AZ Area

291 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Great work life balance, good prospects for those that are identified as high achievers (in 278 reviews)

  • Vanguard is an excellent conservative company to work for with great benefits" (in 180 reviews)

Cons
  • Also there is a high turnover rate because it is more of a call center position once you get through training (in 120 reviews)

  • Work life balance is great but more flexibility is needed in some of the departments" (in 45 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (29)

    "Wake up and smell the Crew's Views"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Line Manager in Scottsdale, AZ
    Current Employee - Line Manager in Scottsdale, AZ
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Vanguard full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Partnership, retirement benefits, healthcare, good co-workers and people, don't lay off (only manage out), career development and rotational opportunities, work life balance for exempt crew

    Cons

    This used to be such an incredible company to work for with a great culture. The focus used to be on clients, crew, community. Now the focus is on profits and bottom lines. It is not the idyllic company it makes itself out to be. For investors, it absolutely is the best place to invest. To work, it is seriously lacking in empathy and care or concern for the crew. Sociopaths have taken over the helm and they are doing whatever they need to to get to 10 basis points. They will bleed you dry. They have Crews Views every year to survey the crew's satisfaction, but they don't do anything with the results and pretend to care but really don't. They are not willing to do what it takes to get good people into the company or to stay at the company. If you don't fit inside their little mold, then you will suffer here.

    Advice to Management

    Get your heads out of your butts and really look around at what is happening within your walls.


  2. Helpful (20)

    "The cost of low costs"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Investment Associate in Scottsdale, AZ
    Current Employee - Investment Associate in Scottsdale, AZ
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    I have been working at Vanguard full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    It feels good to know that you're not charging your customers ridiculous fees and your coworkers or pretty friendly

    Cons

    There is only growth here if you brown-nose, drink the cool-aid, and do the bare minimum. Going above and beyond is disincentivized, while being a mediocrity is rewarded. Having industry knowledge is pointless because vanguard does't care about it. All that matters is lowering costs. So if you are a cheap employee, you'll get far here.


  3. Helpful (1)

    "awesome environment to work at"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Processor in Scottsdale, AZ
    Current Employee - Processor in Scottsdale, AZ
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    friendly environment. super nice management. relaxing working pase

    Cons

    there are distinguished difference between vanguard employee and contracted worker.


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  5. Helpful (40)

    "Flagship Client Relationship Associate"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Client Relationship Associate, Flagship in Scottsdale, AZ
    Former Employee - Client Relationship Associate, Flagship in Scottsdale, AZ
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    1. Retirement plan-they have a generous employer match (the entire Financial services industry has a generous employer match when compared to companies outside the industry-so from an Industry stand point it's similar to competitors. )

    2. Decent Work life balance and PTO

    Reasons to consider working here:

    If you know you want to be in Finance and need licenses this is a good option. If you are a female or provide diversity-you will have much higher chance to get in a leadership program to eventually manage a team. So if you are a female and want leadership experience, they do a good job at driving diversity within leadership-to lead a call center team.

    Cons

    This is strictly a review on the Arizona locations and the client relationship role. I've "heard" that the east coast locations are a little different of a feel when compared to Arizona.

    I feel a little bad for posting this because the negative out weighs the positive. I've tried to be fair, I even waited several months after leaving Vanguard to write this review to attempt to remove emotion. But this is my honest experience:

    Vanguard has a great product from an investors stand point. It's the lowest cost out there. But low costs internally isn't as good for the employee. As one former coworker put it, "it's like eating at my favorite restaurant, I just wish I never would've stepped foot in the kitchen."

    1. Not one person that I knew personally wanted to stay for the long term-this is including people who were "distinguished"-Vanguards best rating in year end performance reviews.

    2. Work life balance is a pro but it's also because you need it. Arizona locations are basically large call centers. Over my time they seemed to get more and more understaffed (to keep costs down). You take call after call over and over. It gets old really fast. (I work more in my current job and don't feel as drained when I come home each day). People that were at the company 15 years, waiting to retire would say that it gradually gets worse and worse as they try to continue to lower costs.

    4. PTO-you have a decent amount of PTO-that's a pro. During the few years I was there I never got any days within two weeks of Christmas off. November and December are extremely hard to get days off. It carries over into the next year during tax season as well. I struggled actually finding the days off that I wanted to take off.

    5. Lack of Transparency-This is probably more a personal con, because I prefer it. But upper management lacks transparency. Example: They did a reorganization and cited that it was to be more consistent globally (which I believe is true). But it caused a good amount of workers in AZ to not get year end bonus's anymore and get less of a bonus during their annual partnership. Most employees knew it was also to drive costs down, but management seems to try and skirt around areas like that often.

    6. Employee feedback-they do a "crew views" every year. Employees solicit feedback and do a survey to rate engagement. Scores are broken down to teams and we meet to discuss them. We attempt to come up with plans for the year on how to improve them. While this is great-each year I was there no progress was ever made. We would come up with ideas and try things but it never seemed to make upper management actually address things. While I agree the employee can affect their own engagement, it's partially up to the leaders to drive it as well.

    Their is also an pattern of a large group getting hired in a short amount of time. These guys are here a couple of months when they take the survey. They push up this score-which management seems to rely on. On average it goes down significantly during year 2 of employment after they've actually experience the job. These employees leave, new guys come in and it goes up again. Management says look employee engagement has gone up. They've never had a lay off-it's because their employees leave themselves.

    7. Technology-we had the oldest Windows operating system until the very last day Microsoft said they were supporting the system. (2 trillion dollar company). Computers froze multiple times a day, had to restart-it would frustrate clients because systems were so slow. We were tracked on client experience via survey scores-but didn't have the tools to actually do our job.

    We would actually find glassdoor reviews (always ones that were negative towards Vanguard) and pass them around and say "finally" a true review of our role here.

    If you don't know if you want to be in Finance, be patient and keep looking. If you do want to be in Finance I've heard Fidelity and Schwabb are a little more "salesy" but they also have higher average employee reviews. Vanguard has a better product, but internally I have no idea how they compare. Disclaimer: I no longer work in personal finance.

    Advice to Management

    Be more transparent, care about engagement more then just crews views, focus on generating revenue not just cutting costs.


  6. Helpful (79)

    "Another honest review"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Registered Representative in Scottsdale, AZ
    Current Employee - Registered Representative in Scottsdale, AZ
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Vanguard full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Benefits, benefits, benefits. After 9 years of service, I've accrued 5 weeks of PTO plus 1 that I buy. My 401(k) has been increasing steadily, even when I've not been able to contribute (because VG will deposit 10% equivalent to our salary into our 401(k)). Health benefits are top notch and FMLA a true lifesaver.

    Cons

    While the benefits are the best part of working at VG, it is still not offsetting the low wages. Merit increases are an insult at 2%, which doesn't make a dent. Reviews are written by biased and emotional team leaders. The opinion of the crew does not count, only as an opportunity to have an excuse at the end of the year to withhold the 2% "merit increase". The internal interview process is an audition. Crew are not chosen on the basis of their skills, experience and track record or results. Crew are chosen in their ability to answer a few "behavioral based questions". The result: under-qualified, inexperienced, overwhelmed, stressed out, unhappy crew. It is unfortunate that my greatest challenge is navigating through office politics to scrape up a 2% pay increase or get to the next job internally than occupying my attention, focus and talent on the work at hand, which I really enjoy.

    Advice to Management

    If you truly want your crew to be engaged and thriving and have Vanguard be a "best place to work" by 2020, really pay attention to the last Gallup survey and do not dismiss it as the result of individuals with an attitude problem. It's not one or two people, you consistently score low on the same thing. We want better pay. We want our performance reviews to be based on our performance and not on a biased opinion of a moody team leader. We want the internal interview process to be less of a production and more of an actual interview. We want feedback given to be actionable and we want more genuine praise. We want to be able to spend more of our hours at work to be dedicated to our job and not running a campaign for the next one.


  7. "C2C Internship is challenging and rewarding"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Intern - C2C Intern in Scottsdale, AZ
    Former Intern - C2C Intern in Scottsdale, AZ
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Vanguard as an intern (Less than a year)

    Pros

    -Great environment
    -Solid wages
    -Great work/life balance
    -You have the room to take on more work if you want to and continue to challenge yourself

    Cons

    -Not all roles will be heavily finance focused


  8. Helpful (9)

    "Good job, needs leadership changes"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Assigned Representative in Scottsdale, AZ
    Former Employee - Assigned Representative in Scottsdale, AZ
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Vanguard (More than a year)

    Pros

    Job teaches you great skills, a great introduction to the financial world. Gets you very involved, and helps you to educate the client. Founded on great principles, and is truly the best investment company from a product standpoint.

    Cons

    Leadership seems to have lost track of the foundations the company was built on by Bogle. Focused too much now on selling products, and less about educating the client. There is a lack of embrace of technology, and the general leadership structure is based more on hierarchy and networking than performance. Pay does not lend itself to a career, rather a stopping off point.

    Advice to Management

    Get back to the basics of what made Vanguard great to begin with. Embrace technology changes to help reduce costs rather than increasing sales of other products to offset operational costs. The way people get promoted needs to change, as too many mid-level leaders are not qualified to be managers.


  9. Helpful (14)

    "Financial Advisor for Voyager Clients"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Financial Planner for Voyager Clients in Scottsdale, AZ
    Current Employee - Financial Planner for Voyager Clients in Scottsdale, AZ
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Vanguard full-time

    Pros

    A company philosophy that is clear, concise, and client oriented. We are not product pushers, and our ideal is for investor advocacy by providing great high level advice and low cost mutual fund solutions. The retirement benefits are great in all roles (10% profit share in your retirement account and a 4% match, which is unheard of). The paid time off is also very generous especially as you have years under you working for the company.

    Cons

    The company has been changing for the worse of the last few years. A 'Sales" type culture is beginning to emerge which has resulted in more work, as well as the reliance on contract workers, and so the client experience provided continues to diminish. In this particular role, the work-life balance seems to be diminished, and despite a generous paid time off offering, most of the roles see work pile up while you are out of the office or require you to dump your workload on someone else, making it hard to enjoy your hard earned time off. The base salaries are well below market average and the annual increases rarely even reach COLA levels. Finally the leadership at Vanguard lacks motivated hard working people who have served in numerous roles and actually know the job that their subordinates do.

    Advice to Management

    Remove excess mid-level management from "babysitting" those in professional roles, as it is condescending, and unnecessary. You could use the extra money and divide it between those who actually produce and thus increase independence which will pay dividends both through the quality and passion in your advisors work.


  10. Helpful (29)

    "Vanguard is a call center, nothing else"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Advanced Brokerage Investment Professional in Scottsdale, AZ
    Former Employee - Advanced Brokerage Investment Professional in Scottsdale, AZ
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Job is very easy, and training is impeccable. Benefits are great. 401k match is generous, health care coverage is top-notch and PTO is #1 in the industry. You will get 4-6 weeks off per year based on tenure and job title. You can also buy a week.

    Cons

    Pay is low. Vanguard claims that its compensation is "competitive" for the industry, however it is using call centers as the "industry" benchmark, which don't pay well at all. As of July 2016, new hires will start at $40,000. Bonus is very low, and is generally less than 10% of salary. Year-end merit increases in pay outpace inflation slightly, but new salary caps prevent you from taking advantage of this for very long.

    This is a call center. You might think that this is a job whereby you will be offering investment advice or managing client's wealth, but in reality the majority of your day will be spent changing addresses, helping clients log onto their accounts, taking verbal abuse by clients and reading numbers/scripts off of a screen. I have been at Vanguard for 3+ years and been promoted to a trading role, yet I still spend most of my time doing things that a minimum wage contractor could be doing.

    Growth is slow. Any time you get a position, you have to spend 12-18 months in your role before you are even allowed to post out. When you post to a new position, you will go through 1-7 rounds of interviewers against dozens of other candidates, some of which may be external hires. The only real way to grow into a role that is actually off the phones is to get your MBA, CFA or CFP. I did this and left after I realized that with it, I am worth a lot more with another firm. If/when you do finally reach your time-in-job requirement and post to a new role, it is now only a 7% raise in pay. This means that you could jump 6 levels (unprecedented and would likely take 10-15 years), and your salary would go from $40-50k to a whopping $57-71k. Do not think that you will ever make anywhere near six-figures at Vanguard without spending 20+ years with the firm.

    Advice to Management

    Increase pay to retain talent, create a real program that encourages growth and stop wasting talent by forcing tenured brokerage representatives to do clerical work that an 8-year-old can do.


  11. Helpful (23)

    "Associate"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Client Relationship Associate in Scottsdale, AZ
    Former Employee - Client Relationship Associate in Scottsdale, AZ
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Vanguard (Less than a year)

    Pros

    You don't take your job home with you, once you're off the phones, that's it.

    Cons

    Pay is terrible, managers don't know how to coach or do their job, hard to get out of retail, and if you do it will take you a while. I would get your series 7 and 63 work their another 2 months and leave. I got a 15k increase by leaving.

    Advice to Management

    Clean up the retail department. Vanguard is experiencing a lot of growth but instead of following basic business principles and investing in the company via technology etc, they lower expense ratios which is a dividend. So we are a growth company paying dividends, and have technology from the late 90s early 2000's. You would think a Ceo from Wharton would have learned basic business as a freshman, but I guess not. I was there 10 months and I count it as time wasted. Take your exams get liscensced and leave by month 3, not a company for a career driven young person who wants to make money. The company is for people who just want a mundane 9 to 5, and then collect a paycheck.



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