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If, on the other hand, you want to start trading individual stocks I'd take a chunk out of there and to another brokerage, since Vanguard's trading commissions are on the high side for a discounter.

Actually Vanguard's trading comissions for stocks are very competitive if you have a Flagship account( >$1 million in assets) - only $8 per trade, with 12 free trades per year. They are not competitive for option trading unfortunately - $30 + $1.50 or $2.50 per contract.

I have gradually (over the last 5 years) been moving all of my stock market assets to Vanguard - I have had a very good long term experience with them. I was concerned about having all my assets with one company after I read this:

and here is the relevant thread on the Liquid Lounge:

But after talking to Vanguard, I felt that they have safeguards in place which would prevent such an occurence, and they indicated that they and their private insurance would cover against this kind of incident, as long as the client had taken reasonable precautions.

Actually the representative I spoke to couldn't believe that JP Morgan had such lax controls that they allowed this to happen.

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