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Vanguard

Mission: To take a stand for all investors, to treat them fairly, and to give them the best chance for investment success.
Locations:
Valley Forge, Pennsylvania
Northsight Boulevard, Scottsdale
Charlotte, North Carolina
Malvern, Pennsylvania
Employees: 17406
Funding: $625.6 Million

Company Q&A

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Q: What in your opinion is the best part of Vanguard's culture?

Q: What is the work environment like?

Q: How large is Vanguard's Taiwanese Community?

Q: Where do you think the company is headed in the next 5 years?

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Jobs At Vanguard

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Location: Toronto, Ontario
Description: To enable low to medium complex business partners to make fully informed decisions around business, ...
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Vanguard Salaries

30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 110 10% 20% 30% 40%
Top 25%
$65,474
Average
$56,934
Bottom 25%
$37,007

Employee Reviews

Really great place to work. Vanguard has nailed down what the best practices in the investment industry are, and nailed down how to teach them efficiently and bring up new employees up to speed. The job isn't easy in the sense that there's a lot of work to do, but it is easy because the people are great to work with and the portfolios that we offer are actually valuable to our investors. There are some pockets of bad management (as with any big company)but if you report it and express interest in moving around you'll have lot's of opportunities to do so.
Vanguard is a nice and friendly company, I think that's the best way to describe it. People aren't really looking to step over peoples toes and the overall vibe is 'let's get this work done, quickly and well, then lets go home and do what we actually care about in life'. There's kind of a cheerleader type of attitude if you're looking to move up in the company, but most people are down to earth and just want to do their job well.
Love the opportunities that I've been able to get from working at Vanguard! I started working right out of university and the training was absolutely phenomenal. They really pushed me to be more of an adult, not scared to give or receive feedback, and constantly striving to be an efficient part of the operations. I've been able to move up to management positions faster then I ever thought possible.
I've been working at Vanguard for a few years now and I've seen a couple different departments. It's not a terrible job but it's also not somewhere people actually enjoy working. The reason the environment is good at all is because of the people, but this isn't a place that's going to change the world and we all know it. I find it hard to motivate myself when I don't feel connected to the bigger picture.
I have really liked my time working at Vanguard. It's definitely one of the best places to be if you're looking for a stable income, a friendly environment and good compensation. Myself and a bunch of colleagues call it a career job. It can get boring at times because we're not really pushed to be innovative, but it's overall a great job.
Vanguard is great place to get started in your career in finance right after graduating university. I joined the company right after I graduated and was given a lot o time and training to ramp up to my full potential. They give you a lot of space and not much pressure to do well right away, and I found the whole process extremely comfortable. The work can sometimes be boring, but it's a method that's tried and tested and it's good to know that I have the best practices down to a science.

Vanguard Glassdoor Themes

Strong culture

Vanguard is great place to get started in your career in finance right after graduating university. I joined the company right after I graduated and was given a lot o time and training to ramp up to my full potential. They give you a lot of space and not much pressure to do well right away, and I found the whole process extremely comfortable. The work can sometimes be boring, but it's a method that's tried and tested and it's good to know that I have the best practices down to a science.
I've really enjoyed my time working at Vanguard and I couldn't really imagine working somewhere else. Every team I've had has been filled with nice and hard-working people. They genuinely care about you as a person and I've always been able to count on them in times that I've been struggling either at work or at home. I see myself staying with the company until I retire because it's such a comfortable job.

Growth opportunities

The training that Vanguard gives us as we start the job really sets you up knowing that this is going to be a professional and well run company. I was really impressed with how efficient they were able to explain all the roles of the company, and how my work fit in with everyone else's. The work itself is measured to a T, and we follow a strict code of processes to follow, so there isn't much room to try new things and innovate, but Vanguard has the core part of the business down to a science.
I've been able to grow so much at Vanguard personally and professionally thanks to an amazing management team that's constantly given me feedback on where I can improve and the confidence that I can excel at whatever I put my mind to. I've jumped around a few different departments and now lead my favorite that I've worked in, and that's all because the people at Vanguard knew how to support me along the way.

Repetitive processes

It feels good to work for a company that actually actively works in their customers interest. It shows with how well organized and structured everything is. In training we're taught our roles and how everyone's work relates, and it's nice to see my clients portfolios constantly gain in value. I wish that there were more technically difficult things to work on, although organizing teams and working with other people always has its challenges. I wish management engaged us more in giving our own ideas for where the funds should go next.
Not a bad place to work. The people are nice and overall the portfolios that we offer our clients give good returns and are well balanced. But this is definitely an established organization with an established way of doing things. If you're looking to try new things and change the finance industry, you won't be able to do anything like that here.

What do investors think of Vanguard's funds?

“If you're looking for a good and stable investment fund that has really proven itself over time, the Vanguard Group is a great company to use for long term investments. There history has really proven in my eyes that you can count on them for giving solid returns, which I attribute a lot to how they have set up their company itself. It's not a public or private company, it's owned by the investors, so everything they do is with their investors interests truly at heart.

The pros of Vanguard as an investment agency and company for me are that firstly they have a great selection of funds. They offer a really broad range of mutual funds and ETFs, known to be used if you're looking for stable investments. If you have an idea of one you want or an area you want to invest in, good chances are Vanguard has it. Another pro is that the they have some really handy tools to help you invest well like the Vanguard's screener which helps you find the right fund based on your investment criteria like asset class, minimum deposit, risk level, tax efficiency, and share class.

Customer service is also something that Vanguard does exceptionally well. Not only is it usually very easy to get a hold of someone, with usually low wait times even during peak hours, but I found the people working the phones are extremely knowledgeable and just generally nice to talk to.

Some of the cons though of using Vanguard is that it's a little expensive to invest in stocks and non-Vanguard ETFs through Vanguard, so I'd stick to their funds. They're also mostly only good if you're looking for passive investments in mutual funds and ETFs, they aren't really an efficient broker of stocks. Lastly the minimum investment for any Vanguard mutual fund is $3,000, which sets the entry barrier a little high.

Vanguard is a great company if you're looking to invest in ETFs or are looking to use their funds, but if you're looking for anything outside the realm, even though their service is great, I'd recommend using a different stock broker.”

What's the interview process like for joining Vanguard?

“I had a really great experience at my interview for Vanguard, made it all the way to the end but didn't get an offer. The initial phone screen is very easy and straight forward, the rep who contacted me was very friendly and knowledgeable and spoke with authority (very rare for phone interviews). If the phone interview goes well they'll bring you in for an in-person interview (sometimes flying you down to the location you're applying to). The in-person interview involves a case study (which I didn't do well on) and some behavioral type questions. Even though I didn't get the job I found the interview process to be really great.”

How can I be successful at Vanguard?

“Everyone at Vanguard starts at pretty well the same position, a sort of call center customer service/analyst role. So it's a great place to be if you're looking for an entry position, and then opportunities to move up in the company! Best way to move up from that position is to be patient, constantly achieve your quotas, and be proactive asking your manager for feedback and how you can improve to move up!”

What's the work like on a daily basis?

“Really depends on the role but in general it can be quite repetitive, sometimes a little boring. We have very defined roles and responsibilities so you can't really deviate too much. There are quite a few meetings and some group work to do so this can be fun as I found most people working here have a good head on their shoulders. It's not a job that you have to grind out all day to hit your goals, but it's also not a job where you can sit around and not do anything.”

What's the working environment like at Vanguard?

“I've been working at Vanguard for over 10 years and have been able to grow my career to a level I honestly never thought I'd be able to. In the past I found it hard to work in some workplaces. Some managers are overly aggressive, while others don't seem to care at all what you're doing, and I felt lost in the working world.

I came to Vanguard and what really set the company apart from the rest was how positive of an environment it was and how much I actually enjoyed working there. This was the first time I had managers who seemed to care about my long term success and invested their time into teaching me and giving me feedback on things I could do better. It was never overly pushy, but they would always be there and make themselves known that they were there if I needed anything.

My co-workers have also supported me along the entire process and I wouldn't have been able to do it if it weren't for them. Lots of family people who are 'present' and genuinely nice to be around on a daily basis. We know how to work efficiently and get what needs to get done done, but we also know how to relax and have fun. I actually look forward to meetings because its times where we come together and are always able to find a collaborative solution.

What makes Vanguard a positive workplace is the people. Both my managers and my co-workers have helped me grow so much during my time here and I couldn't be happier with the choice I made to join this company now almost more than 10 years ago.”

What kind of benefits does Vanguard provide?

Vanguard actually has a really good benefit package that starts off good from day one. First two years you get 18 days PTO (+ the usual 9 or 10 paid holidays), and you can buy a week of PTO by getting a paycut on a check. We get phone plan discounts, really good health, dental, and retirement benefits, and a subsidized gym membership. They also give pretty good yearly bonuses and 401k matching on top of an already comfortable salary.

What's management like at Vanguard?

It really depends where you're working in the company because since we're such a big company, there are definitely some teams with bad management. Overall though I found the management teams to be very professional, calm, and helpful. I've always been able to ask my manager for feedback on my work and I've never really had a manager that I didn't like to work for.

Can I grow in my career at Vanguard?

Vanguard is a fantastic place to build your career in the finance industry. The company is first of all very stable, and we just continue to grow year over year at a stable and slow rate, so there never is any crazy instability. There are really defined paths for growth and lots of opportunities to talk to HR and management staff who I found genuinely want to see people grow with the company. There's a definite sense of teamwork here which I feel comes from all of us pretty well starting at the same position.

Is there room for innovation at Vanguard?

“Vanguard itself was an innovation when it started more then 40 years ago. Investors at the time didn't think it was valuable at all to make a fund that didn't charge high premiums and didn't give their investors the opportunity for super high returns. Well Vanguard really showed them growing from $11 million to over $4 trillion in assets under its management in these short 40 years.

So is there room to innovate at Vanguard? Well to be honest I don't think we can really innovate over the core strategy that has made Vanguard successful which is invest in the stock market itself. ETFs and mutual funds are the core of what has made Vanguard successful, and we have some of the largest options of mutual funds and ETFs available in the world. People choose Vanguard for its stability and consistent returns on the market, no matter what.

There are some people who find it frustrating joining the company, being here for a few years, and wondering why we aren't taking more risky moves, but Vanguard is built on selling low cost ETFs and mutual funds that represent the overall market, and this is how we've proven to build a stable long term investment strategy that will continuously gain returns and give compounding interest to our investors.

As new markets continue to develop there will definitely be opportunities to enter these markets and build funds based on these opportunities, but the majority of work done at Vanguard is more about managing these funds and making sure our customers are happy and constantly receiving growth.”

About Vanguard

Vanguard is a company focused on providing their customers with the best financial investment services, focusing on giving their customers low cost mutual funds and ETFS, and advice in the individual investors, financial professionals, corporate, and institutional investor segments. Vanguard has structured itself not as a private or public company, but instead a company that is owned by its clients.

Founded in 1975 and headquartered in Malvern, Pennsylvania, Vanguard is run by it's current CEO Mortimer J. Buckley, CFO Michael Rollings, and CIO Gregory Davis. Vanguard has grown to be one of the largest financial investment firms in the world, growing quickly from it's founding just over 40 years ago, to having over 16,000 employees spread out across 17 different offices.

With Vanguard growing year over year and having a very stable business model of focusing on long term investments, Vanguard is constantly hiring for a wide variety of roles. The majority of positions are in the financial analyst and customer service disciplines, however Vanguard is also hiring for human resources, operations, technology, business analysts, business consultants, project management, and management positions. With over 300 jobs posted on indeed and 1,700 on glassdoor, there are many open positions available to join the Vanguard team.

Positive reviews from vanguard employees report enjoying: the company being great for new college graduates, the very friendly work environment, the ample opportunities for upwards mobility, the high quality of training in business best practices, and the high quality of the mutual funds offered.

Negative reviews from Vanguard employees report being frustrated with: the lack of worldly impact, the mundane and repetitive nature of the work, the large size of the company and the bureaucracy that comes with it, the pockets of bad management, and the difficulty of finding new challenges.

Values and Beliefs

Vanguard has 3 core values that drive how the company interacts with their employees and investors, driving the company forward for continued growth in the future. These 3 core values are:

- Integrity. As an investment firm Vanguard must always be the most trusted party when it comes to making decisions. Vanguard stresses to it's employees that they must always act with the highest degree of integrity.

- Focus. Vanguard is responsible for hundreds of thousands of peoples core assets. To ensure the company is always doing what is right for their investors and for their employees, everyone must always be focused on their jobs and what will be best for the future.

- Stewardship. Vanguard has been a revolutionary investment firm that has changed how investors approach their portfolio's. Vanguard wants to continuously be the steward that changes how people invest in mutual funds.

Interview Questions

Why are you interested in working at Vanguard?

Tell me about a time when you had to deal with a team member who wasn't pulling his weight.

Describe a time you took a leadership role.

Tell me of a time you missed a deadline. How did you handle it?

What are you interested to get out o your next job?

History

Vanguard was founded by John C. Bogle, a graduate of Princeton university, who in his early days recognized that most mutual funds did not earn any more money than if they had invested in stock market indexes because of the management fee associated with it. He wanted to change this, and after graduated from Princeton, joined the Willington Management Company. he grew in the company from 1951 to 1966 and forged a merger with a fund management group in Boston where he later became president and CEO. The merger did not end successfully and so John Bogle was fired from his position.

After leaving the firm that he got fired from, he rejoined the Wellington Management Company and created a separate fund division called Vanguard after Horatio Nelson's flagship at the Battle of the Nile. Bogle saw an opportunity of investing in a passive fund that was tied to the performance of S&P 500, giving people the opportunity to invest in stock market indexes only held for investment firms.

The company grew slowly, through slow methodical year over year growth. Growth accelerated at the beginning of the bull market in 1982, and the 'Bogle' model started to get copied by competing companies. These companies were not successful as they typically charged higher fees, defeating the purpose of index funds. Vanguard released funds that reflected the total state of the stock market, giving investors their first opportunity to invest in funds of such a quality. These funds soon became some of the largest funds in the world. Bogle retied in 1999 when he hit the company's mandatory retirement age of 70. With over $4.3 trillion assets under management in 2010 Vanguard has been named the world's second-largest fund company.