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Is Vanguard FDIC Insured?

Minho Investment Association| Updated August 28th, 2023

Vanguard is a major financial industry player known for its investment products and services. When it comes to safety and investor protection, it’s important to understand the details surrounding Vanguard’s relationship with FDIC insurance.

Is Vanguard FDIC insured? Vanguard is primarily an investment management company and not a bank. As a result, Vanguard’s investment accounts, such as brokerage accounts and mutual fund accounts, are not FDIC-insured. However, some avenues qualify for FDIC. This means that investments, such as stocks, bonds, and mutual funds, are not protected by FDIC insurance in the same way that deposits in a bank would be.

This article embarks on a comprehensive exploration of Vanguard’s relationship with FDIC insurance.

Vanguard and FDIC Insurance

When exploring Vanguard and its approach to account security, it’s crucial to discern the strategies in place to protect your investments. While Vanguard operates as an investment management company rather than a bank, understanding the nuances of account security is essential for investors’ peace of mind.

While Vanguard accounts lack FDIC insurance due to their non-banking nature, there are vital protective measures for investors to consider. Notably, Vanguard offers Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC) coverage, ensuring up to $500,000 protection for securities and cash in each account type, with a maximum of $250,000 for cash alone.

However, it’s crucial to differentiate between FDIC-insured accounts and various investment products offered by Vanguard. While FDIC coverage shields uninvested cash, other assets like stocks, bonds, and mutual funds are not encompassed by this protective scope. By delving into the specifics, we unravel the layers of security Vanguard employs to safeguard your investments while aiding you in making well-informed financial decisions.

What Vanguard assets are covered by the FDIC

While Vanguard may not be a traditional bank, it offers avenues that qualify for FDIC insurance, offering layers of protection and peace of mind:

  • Brokered CDs, offered by FDIC-insured institutions, are eligible for FDIC insurance and can be held in a Vanguard Brokerage Account.
  • Vanguard Cash Deposit is offered as a settlement fund within your Vanguard Brokerage Account. This option ensures that funds in the settlement fund can qualify for FDIC coverage within the limits set by applicable regulations. For individual accounts, FDIC insurance can cover eligible balances up to $1.25 million, while joint accounts can enjoy coverage of up to $2.5 million.
  • Vanguard Cash Plus Account is for those seeking an alternative to traditional savings. Underpinned by a bank sweep program, eligible balances within this account are swept to program banks, aligning with FDIC-insured standards. As with the Vanguard Cash Deposit option, individual accounts can enjoy FDIC insurance coverage for eligible balances up to $1.25 million, while joint accounts can benefit from coverage up to $2.5 million.

Understanding FDIC Insurance

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) insurance stands as a cornerstone of financial security for depositors in the United States. This protection offers peace of mind by safeguarding your funds against potential bank failures.

In essence, FDIC insurance is a safety net for your deposits, covering a wide range of accounts, including savings, checking, and certificates of deposit (CDs). The assurance extends up to $250,000 per depositor per bank, ensuring that a significant portion of your funds remains safeguarded even in the face of unexpected challenges.

It’s important to note that FDIC insurance applies exclusively to traditional banking products, not investments like stocks, bonds, mutual funds, or other securities. The coverage primarily pertains to cash deposits, ensuring that even if a bank faces financial difficulties, your hard-earned money is shielded up to the specified limit.

FDIC deposit insurance covers: FDIC deposit insurance does not cover:
Checking accounts Stock investments
Negotiable Order of Withdrawal (NOW) accounts Bond investments
Savings accounts Mutual funds
Money Market Deposit Accounts (MMDAs) Life insurance policies
Certificates of Deposit (CDs) Annuities
Cashier’s checks Municipal securities
Money orders Safe deposit boxes or their contents
Other official items issued by an insured bank U.S. Treasury bills, bonds, or notes
Crypto assets


In conclusion, Vanguard goes beyond the conventional to ensure that your investments are not only poised for growth but also shielded by FDIC-insured options. 

By navigating the nuances of brokered CDs, Vanguard Cash Deposit, and the Vanguard Cash Plus Account, investors can maximise the security of their holdings within the Vanguard ecosystem. As you build your financial future, Vanguard is a reliable partner in securing your investments while fostering growth.

Minho Investment Association

The Minho Investment Association (MIA) is a junior initiative from the University of Minho (Portugal), which aims to promote financial literacy among young people.