No. of Recommendations: 1
If your wife goes with Vanguard, she will have to do all the research and the fund selection on her own. No one will call her to do quarterly or annual reviews. She has no one she can sit down with to discuss any of her concerns over her funds. No one can give her advice (Vanguard is not authorized to make recommendations). And lastly, no one will be there to advise her when to change her allocation.

I'd bet (in fact, I am betting with my own money) that she would do better sticking her money in an S&P or Total Market Index fund vs. paying someone to change her "allocation" when she likely won't touch the money for 35 years.

You're right, the fee amounts to a little more than $200 per year, but a little spreadsheet work shows that compounding grows that number to nearly $40,000 over 35 years at 8% return. Another way to look at it, the loaded funds will have to average a quarter point return more than a no load fund to yield the same future value.

With time, her interest in investing will grow with her account balance. The sooner she develops the confidence to do it herself, the better off she will be.

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