Vanguard Reviews | Glassdoor

Vanguard Reviews

Updated July 27, 2017
1,693 reviews

Filter

Filter

Full-timePart-time

1,693 Employee Reviews

Sort: PopularRatingDate

Pros
Cons
  • Also there is a high turnover rate because it is more of a call center position once you get through training (in 129 reviews)

  • Pay is lower then the average but it is a trade off for the work life/balance (in 47 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Good on paper, not so much in practice"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Midlevel Developer in Malvern, PA
    Current Employee - Midlevel Developer in Malvern, PA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Vanguard full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Good benefits (health, PTO, etc)
    Coworkers are very nice (main reason I've stuck around)
    Flexible schedule (can leave fir a couple hours for a doctor's appointment)

    Cons

    They don't follow their writen policies when it comes to performance management. For example, some managers follow a quota system to give X% of their team a bad rating. They will make up reasons for this rating such as "the work you did for project X doesn't count since you weren't assigned to it". That reason directly contradicts the written policy that all work performed for the company counts towards your review. Another example is that you can do a job, like tech lead, that is over your pay grade and not receive an excellent rating. The reason they will make up for that is the bad rating from the previous year won't allow it. The written policy is that only the performance from the current year should be considered.

    There is no transparency to the process. It's a bunch of managers comparing you during several of their offsite calibration sessions.

    Pay is somewhat low, even with the benefits. They advertise a big pay range, but you have only two ways to get a raise. First is a promotion, but at 7% this isn't a big bump and there are not many opportunities for this (maybe 3-4 times in a carreer). The second way is year-end merit increases. These don't provide much. The maximum you can get for a good rating is 3%, which is basically cost of living since the CPI was 2.1%. The part that makes this worse is that if you are $15k below the median salary, then it will take over 20 years to get to the median (inflation adjusted).

    Carreer advancement is not good. You get stuck doing more project management and tech lead tasks like paperwork than development. The lack of a title matching the actual tasks leaves me in a bad spot if I wanted to go to another company.

    Advice to Management

    Follow your written policies before you get sued by somebody smarter than me.


  2. Helpful (1)

    "Flexible hours and good work life balance"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Vanguard full-time

    Pros

    Work from Home
    Work Life Balance
    Create your own hours - which is mostly long hours

    Cons

    Pay takes a while to get to where you need to be
    Opportunities including new tech often given to younger candidates

    Advice to Management

    Pay attention to those who are trying to improve things. It's often met with silence. Embrace Agile Methodology.

  3. Helpful (11)

    "College grads need not apply"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    I started working here right after I graduated from university and ill try to give my honest (and objective) view of this company. The benefits Vanguard offer about as good of a deal as you are going to get. My friends are always amazed at how much PTO (Paid Time Off) I seem to have. The retirement and health insurance plans are excellent, enough said. There is plenty of parking space and the campus (I work in Malvern) is large and has several forest paths and bike trails. There are several gyms on campus and there are cafeterias everywhere. Vanguard basically offers their employees a lot in terms of benefits that make work/life balance easier.

    With that being said (most) of the people you will work with a pleasant, normal folks that are just doing their job just like you. If all you want to clock in, do your work, and maybe grab a beer with some co-workers after work then its great. I also feel like if you have a family Vanguard would be ideal.

    The strongest aspect of Vanguard is its approach to investing. Jack Bogle is an absolute genius and Vanguards approach to investing is in my opinion the best way to save/invest your money and to improve quality of life overall. I could write a whole separate post on Bogle's sublime style of leadership but I fear it wouldn't fit here.

    Cons

    Vanguard's secret is that it is basically a huge call center. If you are applying at an entry level its likely that you will be working in a phone group, taking 50+ calls a day. Most of these calls will be password resets and helping people fill out forms, little actual discussion about investments.

    That is entirely the point. From a risk standpoint Vanguard wants you to handle as little as possible. My job is basically to give disclosures and if people ask me anything about tax I'm support to refer them to a tax advisor. If they ask for investment "advice" or even guidance, they should talk to a financial advisor.

    Vanguard doesn't want you to use the degree you just worked all those years to get. Even the financial licenses you need to get before actually working with clients are pointless. I use less than 25% of the subject matter in my day-to-day. They are basically a way for FINR_A to squeeze $300 out of the company in "Licensing Fees".

    I pretty much take calls back-to-back all day, every day of the week. The whole point is to start off under the grindstone and grow out of it right? Nope. There are some people in my department who have been taking calls for like 15+ years and I feel like some of them may have actually lost it. The only way I would work the phones for 10+ years is if assisted euthanasia became part of my benefits package. If you want to advance in this company you better start shaking hands and kissing babies because EVERYTHING is political here. There is no objective criteria for advancement. There are SO many people who are extremely capable at doing their job and might not be the "politician type", so they just end up doing the same job for years. If this is a company that you believe you can rise up the ranks of grab your notepad and popcorn and start binge watching Game of Thrones because that's what its going to take.

    That leads me to another point, the culture, it feels like a cult and I can kind of see why. When I first became interested in working at Vanguard all I heard was "its the best place to work ever" and "oh Wow, I read about them in the WSJ their a great company"! There's a saying here that people who are playing "politics" drink the "cool aid", and you will never hear them say anything negative about Vanguard. They sound like people who think the world is made of cotton candy and Vanguard is as close to heaven-on-earth as physically possible. If you run into someone who has ONLY positive things to say about Vanguard they are playing politics for personal gain, maybe that's just the way it is at most company's, but I find it unnerving.

    The "political" culture here means that no one can had an objective "matter-of-fact" conversation about why things may be imperfect. For example there is a massive problem with communications between departments and even within them. Technology is an issue, the systems we use are at least 5 years behind the curve, we just a couple of weeks ago started using Chrome as out default browser.

    The culture also means that only well connected people get jobs in middle management. Being well-connected isn't the best criteria for management and it really shows. For example the first meeting with my manager I was told that I would be making $3000 less than the people in my onboarding class because I was taking my exams after "the cut-off date". This turned out to be completely false and only added to my stress levels leading up to my exam. I cant speak for everyone, I am sure there are fantastic managers across the company, its just I don't work under one. I feel like my manager doesn't actually care about my "career" or helping me advance with my goals, all that matters is that I can take calls and keep the service level where it should be.

    Advice to Management

    -Institute some clear, objective, merit based criteria for promotions
    -Encourage a culture where problems are actually identified so they can be solved instead of passive aggressive "discussion" about it
    -if you will be phasing out phone rep jobs to automation just be upfront about it and don't beat around the bush with talk of "cognitive assistance", that's just another word for machine learning.


  4. Helpful (10)

    "No opportunities for advancement. The company underpays."

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

    I worked at Vanguard full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great benefits
    Great working environment
    Great people
    Rarely expected to work over time.

    Cons

    Low pay
    Lack of opportunities for advancement
    Employees are treated like expendable pieces of machinery

    Advice to Management

    Raise salaries, abolish the VADP program. Get back to what made you great in the first place: Keeping your employees happy. This include paying them a wage that, at the very least, keeps up with inflation.


  5. "Project Manager"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Vanguard full-time

    Pros

    Good benefits, good culture, job security

    Cons

    Lack of promotion, younger individuals picked, pay


  6. "Great benefits"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Vanguard full-time

    Pros

    Paternity leave!
    401k match
    Onsite gyms and doctors

    Cons

    Could be more advanced with technology


  7. Helpful (9)

    "Politics Rule Here"

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

    I worked at Vanguard full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    -Nice Coworkers
    -Free Parking
    -Solid 401s
    -Younger Faces

    Cons

    -Intense micromanagement
    -Limited Career Path
    -Below Average Pay
    -Controlled Time off and breaks

    Advice to Management

    -

  8. Helpful (2)

    "Investment Associate"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Vanguard full-time

    Pros

    Great people to work with

    Cons

    Firm started cutting cost at the expense of its employees


  9. "Complainde"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Malvern, PA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Malvern, PA
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Vanguard full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Work life balance.
    Partnership pay.

    Cons

    Salary should be more competitive.
    Advancement.

    Advice to Management

    Promotions should be more transparent.


  10. "Great Company to Work For!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Vanguard full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Amazing benefits: 401k match up to 4%, retirement portfolio equal to 10% of annual salary, industry-leading healthcare coverage, and 1-2 bonus opportunities each year (# depends on job grade). Vanguard is a great company to work for.

    Cons

    Vanguard is very conservative in how it expects employees to dress and act. As well, being conservative means changes sometimes seem to happen suddenly because the company waits to see what competitors and the industry are doing, and then rushes to catch-up.

    Advice to Management

    Build better entry-level leaders: I've been lucky, but I constantly hear stories about inexperienced/uncaring leaders who really hurt their reports' engagement and development with no obvious consequences.


Showing 1,693 of 1,762 reviews
Reset Filters