You might not have heard of them, but robo-advisors may be just what you’re looking for

Roboadvisors are a class of financial adviser that provides portfolio management online with minimal human intervention.

More and more companies like Betterment and Wealthfront are offering advice and asset allocations to smaller investors. This works well for younger investors with smaller portfolios.

Wealthfront invests your money for you with a minimal amount of work. They will monitor your portfolio every day looking for opportunities to rebalance or harvest tax losses. They charge 0.25% of your assets as a management fees; much lower than the usual 1.00% many advisors charge. There are also no commissions.

Betterment does one better, like Wealthfront, they charge 0.25% for your investments, but if your account exceeds $100,000, they only charge 0.15% on the excess amount.

There are many others; these are just the two most prominent. Our friend Rick Ferri is the latest advisor to offer automated money management targeted at younger investors. Rick Ferri is one of the most well-known index investors in the world. His goal to for his robo advisory service is simple: to reach younger investors. Ferri says the younger demographic doesn’t necessarily want to pay for advice, nor can it afford account minimums at most advisories. His service begins this summer.

There’s also Josh Brown, chief executive officer of wealth management firm Ritholtz Wealth, who launched a robo advisory named Liftoff last fall. And, Ric Edelman, of Edelman Financials, who launched  Edelman Online. And even Schwab and Vanguard are getting into the act as well.

Our friends at put together a handy chart with reviews of several robo-advisor services.

Robo Advisors List
Company Fees Minimum Deposit More Info
Betterment 0.15% – 0.35%/annually None – less than $10k must deposit $100/mo or pay $3/mo Review
Charles Schwab None $5,000 Review
Financial Guard $15.95/month
$1,000 Review
FutureAdvisor 0.5%/annually $10,000 Review
LearnVest $89 – $399/setup and $19/month None Review
MarketRiders $14.95/month + trading fees None Review
Motif Investing $9.95/trade $250 Review
Personal Capital 0.49% – 0.89%/annually depending the amount invested $100,000 Review
Rebalance IRA 0.50%/annually, $250 setup fee, and trading fees, min $500/year None Review
SigFig $10/month None Review
TradeKing Advisors 0.25%/annually – Core
0.50%/annually – Momentum
$5,000 – Core
$25,000 – Momentum
Vanguard Personal Advisor Services 0.30%/annually $100,000
Wealthfront Free for first $15k, 0.25%/annually for anything higher $5,000 Review
WiseBanyan None $10 Review


I believe that everyone can and should manage their own money. It just takes a few index funds and the occasional rebalancing, but if you don’t want to manage your own money, you might want to consider a robo-advisor. They are relatively inexpensive options available for you.


About: This video is from the Wall St Journal.
Topics: Investing, Personal Finance
Published: May 23, 2015

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