Vanguard ETFs Move to NYSE Arca Exchange

I was hoping to buy some VTI today but I couldn’t buy it through E*Trade’s website because there was no quote available. I had noticed in the past few weeks that there was an asterisk next to the market prices of my Vanguard ETF holdings that said: “A quote was not available on this security. It has been priced using the previous day’s closing value.” I called E*Trade and they weren’t much help. The lady kept saying “that is not the correct symbol” to which I kept replying “I don’t understand what you are saying.” Eventually she said that it was on the “Pacific Exchange.” Well the Pacific Exchange doesn’t actually exist anymore:

by 2005, the Pacific Exchange was bought by the owner of the ArcaEx platform, Archipelago Holdings, which in turn was bought by the New York Stock Exchange in 2006. The New York Stock Exchange conducts no business operations under the name Pacific Exchange, essentially ending its separate identity. Pacific Exchange equities and options trading now takes place exclusively through the NYSE Arca (formerly known as ArcaEx) platform

Googling for NYSE Arca and Vanguard finally gave me some hits. Apparently on September 19th, 2008, Vanguard ETFs are now trading on the NYSE Arca Exchange after moving from the American Exchange:

NYSE Euronext (NYX) announced that its fully-owned subsidiary NYSE Arca today began trading 34 Vanguard Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) after the group transferred over from the American Stock Exchange (AMEX).

I wonder if E*Trade will ever support quotes from the NYSE Arca exchange? Apparently I can buy them over the phone. Going to give it a go tomorrow because the markets were closed by the time I sorted everything out.

Update (2008/10/7): They will not charge you extra commission because it is sold on an exchange that E*Trade’s website doesn’t support. They have apparently always done this with stocks that cannot be purchased through the online system. We just bought some VTI shares. I’ll give it a few days and I’ll let everyone know if I see any extra commissions drawn my account due to this trade.

13 thoughts on “Vanguard ETFs Move to NYSE Arca Exchange”

  1. So did you fig out if you can still buy Vanguard through E*Trade?

    I’m in the same boat as you bro. The prices are low now, thinking of getting more VTI, XIC, VGK, VPL – hell most the stuff I own is Vanguard and I got it all through E*Trade – but that was almost 10 months ago.

    Still hope I can purchase through E*Trade cause that was a beyotch to get set up…

    Post back if you find anything out.

  2. CK, just updated the post. Apparently you can call them and buy that way. I’m going to tell them how much of a pain it is and tell them I really want them to fix it.

  3. This sounded so familiar that I thought this was something I sent to a couple of other PF bloggers in the last week or two. I sent it on the premise that this might be a problem for many individual investors as I’m sure many of them hold Vanguard ETFs.

    It would be nice to know which discount brokers support trades on the NYSE Arca (or as much of the industry still refers to in the Pacific Exchange or PCX).

    When I talked to a broker on the phone to make a trade (which was a very painful and time consuming experience) they explained that they don’t offer electronic trades on the PCX since they don’t have a real time feed. I asked if this was being worked on, and she said “It was, but she couldn’t say when”, which I interpreted as, “If I say ‘no’, you might get mad, so I’ll just say ‘yes'”.

    More details on why my experience was so painful. I first tried to confirm that there would be no $35 surcharge for the trade on the PCX as the customer service rep informed me. She assured me there wasn’t. I proceeded to explain that I wanted to trade the symbol VNQ and if she could provide a quote. She went on to explain that for VNQ there would be a $35 surcharge. I was very confused and I was asking why it would be different for VNQ and she tried to explain it. Eventually we realized we’d misunderstood each other as she thought I was asking about trading on the CNQ exchange (Canadian Trading and Quotation System), not VNQ on the PCX. An honest misunderstanding I suppose, but I don’t know why she would have thought that immediately after I’d asked about trading on the PCX. In any event, once that misunderstanding had cleared and I’d got a quote, I placed my order. Then it took several minutes on hold to get her to come back with confirmation of what I wanted. When I said ‘yes’, the order was executed in a few seconds. So all of that confusion along with the ‘Please confirm your identity’ 20 questions at the beginning doesn’t leave a great taste in my mouth for needing to do broker assisted trades on the phone. In addition, she said my order executed at a price about $0.75/share higher than I was quoted. After getting off the phone, I found that the price had actually gone down rather than up since my initial quote. In the end my order went through at about the right price (exactly $1/share less than I was told on the phone, so this was probably just a verbal mistake).

    Couple these concerns with my consistent bad customer service in the past on a number of issues, and I’m left with a paranoi that E*Trade will eventually ‘accidentally’ charge me $35 for a broker assisted trade and just create another hassle for me to unwind with their customer service department. Basically at the moment I’m just looking to get out of E*Trade.

    In terms of costs & features, Questrade is a high runner, but I’ve heard customer service horror stories from them as well. I guess you get what you pay for. Perhaps TD is the way to go. Other than their high costs for <100k assets, I haven’t heard too many bad things from them.

    Does anyone else out there have any first hand experience good or bad with Questrade? Things I like are the low fees, ability to hold USD in your account (no need to call for a wash trade when rebalancing securities in USD), and low forex fees (I believe I read 0.05% for CADUSD conversions). However, I don’t know if they offer electronic trades on the PCX either. Everything else seems too good to be true (i.e. exactly what I want), so I’m sure something’s gotta give somewhere.

  4. Oh my god boys, what a gong show. Dave let me know how you made out doing over the phone trade with E*Tards.

    Seriously, that really sucks that I have to call in to make these trades now…not that I am doing it frequently but still dealing with anyone on the phones these days is usually frustrating…I really hope there is no $35 charge either cause the whole reason I went to E*Trade was for the $9.99 deal.

    *Sigh* and I thought self managed portfolios were going to be easy…. LOL

  5. Hey guys, I just updated the post. The bad news is that the only way to buy and sell Vanguard ETFs now is by calling E*Trade. The good news is that you will not be charged an extra $35 commission if the trade is for a stock that cannot be purchased online.

  6. Thanks Dave.

    My money finally showed up on E*Trade. I booked a “spot rate” to transfer some CDN to USD – I guess that is cheaper than doing the transfer yourself online.

    She told me it would take till tomorrow till my money showed up in the trading accounts online – but then I complained and she said she would update the system and my “money should be avail in 15 min” – interesting.

    Glad I wont have to pay the $35. Thanks for the updates.

  7. Charles, no the latest is that with E*Trade you have to call them to make the trade. Although I don’t really mind it. I like talking to a real person. It does take a little bit longer though.

  8. Hope E-trade could set up the online service of buying and selling of ETFs with NYSE-Arca as soon as possible. Otherwise we have to shift our fund to other online dealers.

  9. Hey Dave,

    First off, the “book a spot Rate” I was talking about was a tip I heard of (from an ETrade rep on the phone one day) where if you are transferring larger sums of CDN to USD you will save money on the exchange – apparently they offer you a better conversion rate if you ask them to book you a spot rate, whereas he said if I just ask them to transfer the money over from one account to the other, they will charge more…that is what he told me so that is what I am doing.

    Today I was on E*Trade and saw that there were quotes up for VTI on the NYSE Arca (still 20min delayed though) I did a “Preview order” and it looked like I could purchase the shares right on the website, without having to talk to anyone…however, I did not execute the trade so I am not 100% sure if I will be charged an extra fee or not.

    I am planning to do some trades in the coming week so Ill let you guys know how it goes.


  10. Well I was able to purchase Vanguard ETF’s w/ no probs on E*Trade – they were listed on the Arca and everything went like normal so far as a buy goes.

    Now will the market stop tanking please? Pretty please?


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