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This Web site contains a compilation of more than a thousand consumer finance  columns written by Tony Novak from the 1980s through 2006, updated and reformatted for maximum usefulness today.  New material was added after 2010.

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Vanguard limited authorization

originally posted: 11/22/2006  reposted: 2/18/2011 This post has not been recently reviewed or revised by the author and may be out of date. If in doubt, please send a new question or ask for an update.

Q: What is a Vanguard Limited Authorization?

A: This is a permission given by an investment account owner that allows another person, usually an investment adviser or accountant, to perform administrative functions on the account without having full authority to the money. Since Vanguard is an excellent investment company that offers a wide range of services direct to the public without using outside brokers, the use of a "limited authorization" allows the best of both worlds by enabling professional help as may be needed without adding the extra cost of a commission or fee-based investment firm. The easiest way to describe this function is to state what is and is not allowed under a limited authorization: A limited authorization allows: viewing of account statements purchase and sale of investments within an account communication regarding account service issues. The limited authorization does not allow: a change of address, a change of banking information, request a wire transfer, change beneficiary, have funds sent anywhere except the owner's address of record, have check writing authority, open an account, transfer assets to a new account. A copy of the authorization agreement is posted at


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Vanguard Limited Authorization