Vanguard personal advisor career path

From designing buildings to building financial plans

In my last blog, I shared with you the moment I knew leaving the world of architecture behind for personal finance was the right move. This is how I was inspired to come to Vanguard.

In the fall of 2012, my school awarded John Bogle the “Pioneer Award” for his efforts in starting the Index Fund and persevering through the hard road for this phenomenon to catch on. Here I was sitting, on the edge of my seat of course, several feet from a titan of finance!

After the Q&A session, I had the pleasure of having lunch with Mr. Bogle and his team. He autographed my copy of The Little Book of Common Sense Investing and shared a few more stories. Later that day, I helped him carry his Pioneer Award and a large framed painting of a ship from Great Britain’s Royal Navy to his vehicle. I also made sure to tuck my resume in the portfolio of one of his recruiters.

Vanguard personal advisor career path

Several emails and a few college transcripts later, I landed an interview with Vanguard’s Business Development Group. By this time, I was a pro in navigating Vanguard’s campus as I had visited during one of their EXPLORE days. Two weeks later, after the phone screen and four hour interview I was offered a full time position. Not only was I going to start my career with a top investment management firm, but I ended my job search before I even graduated!

After several weeks on Vanguard’s campus in Malvern, PA, I felt at home. Now I knew why so many investors trusted Vanguard with their life savings. Everyone from peers to leaders was dedicated to helping not only our clients but also crew members like myself, grow as professionals. The management team was engaged in my development and my peer coach was ready to provide job aids and resources to help get me off the runway.

By the end of 2013, the economy was continuing to stabilize, cash flows into Vanguard were steadily increasing, and the phones were ringing off the hook. Vanguard announced they were rebranding its advice offer, now calling it Personal Advisor Services® and that it was going to revolutionize the world of advice. We were going to provide high-quality, low-cost advice to millions and I couldn’t wait to be a part of this investment revolution!

Shortly after the announcement, I began studying for the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ certification. I was amazed to see how interconnected all of the financial planning topics were. With this amazement came a sense of need, knowing that these are real areas where people struggle. I experienced firsthand my family and friends scratching their heads and guessing at how to allocate their portfolios, determining how much they’ll need to comfortably retire, or even recite the definition of a balance sheet. Personal Advisor Services® was my shot at helping the masses get their financial lives on track.

After spending two years working in sales, going toe-to-toe with the competition, I was headed to Personal Advisor Services®. Again, my peers and leadership team went right to work on helping me get up to speed on the new technology, investment methodology, and best practices of managing the relationships I would build as an advisor. Now, with a few years of giving advice under my belt, I couldn’t imagine doing this for any other firm!

Vanguard personal advisor career path

Looking back at it all, I know I made the right decision. I never thought I could develop the relationships I have with my colleagues, leaders, and company in the way that I do now. It’s been five years since I first stepped foot on Vanguard’s campus and believe it or not, I still get that day one feeling.

And John Bogle and I are on a first name basis.

-Gary S.

If you’re seeking an environment where you can make a difference and develop professionally, learn about our careers in advice at

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