Vanguard Digital Advisor 2021 Review: Is It a Top Robo-Advisor?


Vanguard Digital Advisor® is just a robo advisor in the purest sense of the word. Competitors offer services like automated tax strategies (tax-loss harvesting), virtual meetings with financial planners, and more. But, like most Vanguard products, Vanguard Digital Advisor® isn’t intended to be a full-featured robo advisor. For a bare minimum of expense, Vanguard will construct a portfolio of basic index funds that will be a good match to your investment needs.

That said, Vanguard also offers several personal finance resources that clients might find valuable. It has a debt payoff calculator tool that can help customers get on the path to paying off credit card and other types of debt. In short, Vanguard Digital Advisor® aims to keep investing simple, but focuses on its clients’ overall financial well being.


In addition to standard brokerage accounts, Vanguard Digital Advisor® is available in both traditional and Roth IRA accounts for retirement savers who want to put their investment strategies on auto-pilot.

It’s worth mentioning that the index funds used by Vanguard Digital Advisor® are essentially the same as Vanguard’s target-date retirement funds. A target-date retirement fund is one that invests your money in an age-appropriate asset allocation, and then gradually adjusts your investment allocation as you get close to your “target” retirement date.

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Vanguard Digital Advisor® takes this a step further. It doesn’t only consider your age, it also uses other factors to construct your portfolio, like your personal risk tolerance. Essentially, Vanguard Digital Advisor® creates a custom-allocated Vanguard target-date retirement fund, which costs about the same as Vanguard’s standard target-date funds.

Access to financial advisors

Vanguard Digital Advisor® doesn’t include access to human financial advisors, which isn’t so surprising considering the ultra-low fee structure. Some of Vanguard’s competitors offer financial advisors, typically with a somewhat higher fee structure or a premium membership.

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