Vanguard Investments for Canadians – Why Not?

andrew hallam

andrew hallam

I’m a financial columnist for Canada’s national paper, The Globe and Mail, as well as for AssetBuilder, a financial service firm based in Texas. I’m also the author of Millionaire Teacher: The Nine Rules of Wealth You Should Have Learned in School (Wiley 2011) and The Global Expatriate’s Guide To Investing: From Millionaire Teacher to Millionaire Expat (Wiley 2015). My mission is to educate, motivate and inspire people on basic retirement planning and best practices for investing, using evidence-based strategies. I'm happy to comment on your questions. However, please read the Terms of Use.

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6 Responses

  1. Hey Andrew,

    I found this information on their website:

    "Our clients' interests are our only interests." – nothing speical or new to me.

    But I did not know:

    "We're owned by the funds that are owned by clients like you." Therefore, as they say on their site: "…we have no competing loyalties. We don't pay profits to a private owner or stockholders."

    This tells me the Vanguard Group is basically a conglomerate of mutual funds – a HUGE one at that – with $1.3 T in AUM my research found.

    Again, I wonder if this structure, VGI owned and funded by funds, is the regulatory hurdle (and model) they can't overcome in Canada?

  2. Hey Andew – a thought…

    How about an online petition amongst bloggers or other personal finance and investing advocates? How good is your webmaster at developing this kind of thing?

    I got a similar idea, in more detail, from a visitor to my site called "cynical investor" who recommended the following, which I think is a great idea:

    1) Use or create a 'Put your money where your mouth is' website – where people pay $0.99 or $1.99 to e-sign, so no duplicate signatures;

    2) Money collected will be donated to a charity for example UNICEF (on behalf of Vanguard);

    3) At the end of the signature campaign, send message/petition to Vanguard;

    4) Send cash to UNICEF.

    Everybody wins. Thoughts? Sure, logistics, but potential…

    I think cynical investor has already floated this idea to thickenmywallet; a lawyer. I think this campaign would get some major media attention, plus, highlight arguments and premises of your site – using low-cost-index investing to help you get to finanical freedom.

    Do I have you intrigued, inspired or fearful? All the above? Cheers.

  3. Andrew Hallam Andrew Hallam says:

    Financial Cents:

    This does sound fascinating. I know a couple of guys who write for the Globe and Mail, and if we do this right, they could end up giving us some good exposure (maybe!) if I beg, and if they find it interesting enough. And I do think they'd find it pretty interesting.

    Here's a fun thought. Because Vanguard is non-profit, the money could be sent to Vanguard itself. Any "profits" they make go towards lowering fees anyway. Our mission could be based on helping the regular investor. Can you think of how bizarre a headline that would be? "Why did Canadian investors just donate $100,000 to a U.S. fund company?"

    What do you think?

    I am very much interested.

  4. Count me in. What do I have to lose to be a part of this? 🙂 Go ahead and see what your guys at the Globe think of this… Again, although Vangaurd is not for profit, I prefer the charitable causes; UNICEF, Save the Children (Haiti), cancer research, but I don't mind donating to Vanguard as well. I'll follow your lead Andrew. After you talk to your friends at the Globe, just need a plan. I think it would be prudent to include cynical investor as well – since he floated the idea.

  5. Dave the Admin says:

    @ FinancialCents

    let me look into it — and I'll get back to you soon…

    Question… can we make this …ahem… a 'mutual' jointventure where all contributors would/could add posts and copy comments etc? (Even a paragraph on the website with a link back to the article on your main website would be good…) But we will need ongoing material to post which can be emailed to me… I would be happy to make the site and maintain it as my ongoing contribution.

    I propose we donate to both Vanguard & a Children's charity 50/50 … the Charity to be the world wide children's charity that is also based in Canada "Variety"

  6. Hey Andrew,

    Looking forward to hearing what Ian McGugan has to say. Keep me posted…

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