Vanguard Computers Crash on Thursday

March 2, 2007 ( - Two days after a major Wall Street selloff, a computer network outage at The Vanguard Group left retirement plan and other customers unable to reach their online accounts Thursday afternoon.

An Associated Press news report said the glitch at the suburban Philadelphia investment company blocked plan participants and retail customers from being able to place trades or check balances.

Vanguard spokesman John Woerth indicated the outage lasted for about an hour and that investors were still able to call Vanguard’s investment call center to place trades. Callers were guaranteed a fund’s 4 p.m. closing price, Woerth told the AP.

Vanguard manages $1.1 trillion in mutual fund assets.

Computer woes have saddled other systems in the last week. High volume delayed the processing of trades at the New York Stock Exchange, the Nasdaq Stock Market and major brokerages.

In the heat of Tuesday’s session, trade data had to be shifted from a backlogged computer at Dow Jones & Co. to another system, and when it caught up the Dow industrials dropped 178 points in a minute, the AP report said.