Independent Adviser for Vanguard Investors, The

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    1. Barry Northrop
      Feb 1 2009, 05:37:32 pm

      I have subscibed off and on to this newsletter for the past five years. I initially subscribed because Vanguard was the first mutual fund family in which I invested substantially and I wanted more independent analysis, which this newsletter delivers. While the editor, Dan Weiner, is a dedicated fan of Vanguard for its many positive attributes (he is a big investor there), he does not hesitate to offer opinions that are critical of this Valley Forge, PA giant. He does so backed with well researched data to make his point. The monthly newsletter is generally 16 pages long and includes month-do-date performance that include his buy/sell recommendations and a proprietary risk factor, 4 model portfolios, interviews with Vanguard fund managers, timely news, and in depth coverage on a handful of funds each issue. There is definitely information and backstory here that you will never read on Vanguard’s site or in its publications. In addition to bottom-up fund-specific details, Weiner also offers his own top-down economic big-picture view which is generally sanguine if not somewhat calming. He is not given to panic, but does make changes and recommendations from time to time based on fund/company management and to a lesser extent, outside economic forces. Far more Vanguard funds are on his sell list than his buy list, so he stands by his opinions, which is what you want in a newsletter editor. Maybe 50% of what I own in Vanguard is on his buy list, and the rest isn’t, so I have relied on him as an additional source of information, as opposed to a guru. And in many cases, I have been happy with my “outside the box” picks. If you’re looking for independent sound recommendations on how to build a fairly stable long-term investment with Vanguard funds among their better choices, this is a good newsletter–at least for a year while you get a sense of its style and patter. Over the years, I have have moved a fair amount of money out of Vanguard, mostly to other fund companies, although I still have a substantial stake in Vanguard funds. They are a kind of ballast to my portfolio. Plus I am familiar and comfortable with their product, due in large part to Dan Weiner’s newsletter. I have found that you can often beat the regular subscription price either by occasional special offers or, if renewing, letting your subscription lapse for awhile and then getting a better deal some months later. Lately, however, I tend to use Morningstar’s Premium Service for info on mutual funds, so I may not re-subscribe to the Independent Advisor for Vanguard Investors. If I was exclusively or mostly invested in Vanguard, however, I would reconsider that position.

    2. pirgnori
      May 24 2010, 07:55:42 am

      Dan’s model portfolios are worth following and, if you stay with them, can fairly consistently make you money. He’s good at following up with sell advice, rather than leaving you guessing. I wish his Growth Index Model held a wider variety of index funds, including small caps and value. I’ve been a subscriber for several years.

    3. Searic
      Feb 14 2011, 11:00:17 am

      Finally giving in to the incessant junk email spammings by Weenie to join, I did so, one ofthe dopiest decisions (at least in retrospect) I’ve ever made. Contacting this jerk–at first for orientation to making use of his ludicrously confusing array of “services” and soon in a so-far unsuccessul attempt to exercise his promise that I could cancel my subscription at any time over the first six months and receive a full refund–has proven impossible. Even worse, my following just one strong of his forceful recommendations re: my Vanguard holdings, I have LOST money, as the fund he told me had no future has done excellently in the four months since I transferred (thank goodness, only a portion of it), while the fund he recommended and to which I transferred the money from the first fund has tanked. The dippy newsletter itself is full of nothing of value that is new or unique. On those occasions when Weenie makes sense, any investor with a modest knowledge of Vanny and investing would already be doing what this loser recommends. Whenever he sticks his neck out, the results are WAY short of what one paying him a fee has a right to expect.
      My recommendation to Weenie is to confess that he is not worthy to roll in Jim Lowell’s spittle and then find honest work for which he appears qualified: surely SOME organization will hire him to keep their bathrooms sparkling, or he could consider freelancing to individual households.
      My recommendation to anyone considering subscribing to this ripoff artist’s scam is DON’T DO IT!

    4. Claude
      May 29 2012, 01:35:52 am

      I am far from an expert, but I decided to subscribe to this newsletter when I settled on doing my own investing. I like the Vanguard Funds, and generally speaking, I think Dan W knows his stuff. He knows way more than I do! I have to say, however, that on occasion, I have not followed his advice to sell and that mutual fund went up; or, in another case, I bought an alternate fund that he did not recommend and it has exceeded his recommended fund. But generally speaking, I like the newsletter.

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