Green Tip: Digital Prospectus Delivery

I’m currently in the process of digitizing all my documents and reducing the amount of physical paper I keep on hand. This is important because I expect to be moving around quite a bit in the next few years. Digital documents are much easier to back up and carry with you. Also, if you tag them appropriately, they become searchable and much easier to sort through.

One document that I always hated receiving in the mail was the prospectus for my investment funds. This was usually a hefty document sent from Vanguard that went straight from my desk into the recycle bin. Why read it when all the information I need about the fund is available online? A prospectus is really no more than additional “investment porno.” The fund managers do everything they can to justify projections, smooth out cash flows, and brag about how great they are. I save much more time by ignoring the prospectus, finding the fund online, and looking at its expense ratio.

At the time, I wasn’t aware if I had the option to opt out of this delivery, so I mindlessly continued the process of ripping open letters from Vanguard, realizing it was a prospectus, and dumping the whole lot into the paper recycling. It was only when I was rolling over my 401K into an IRA, when I realized a new communication delivery option was available.

In addition to receiving statements in digital format, you can now also do the same for the prospectus. I had no idea how long this had been up, but I immediately checked the box and updated my profile. I’m now prospectus free and helping the environment by doing so.

Completing this process is very simple, at least with Vanguard.

Login to your Vanguard Account and click on My PortfolioAccount Profile

Under Set my delivery preferences, click Mail and e-delivery

Scroll to the bottom of the next page and click Customize

At the very top, click the option to Set all to e-delivery. Then scroll to the bottom of the same page and click Submit.

That’s it. A painless way to help save the environment and bring Vanguard’s cost ratios down even further.

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