Category: Performance

Posted on November 13, 2019

Through the end of the third quarter of 2019, the active robo portfolios we track have shown some early signs of outperformance when compared to the passive offerings from the same providers. Over the first three quarters of 2019, our active portfolios at E*Trade, Morgan Stanley, and TIAA returned 13.42%, on average. The standard offerings from the same providers returned 12.55% over the same period. For the two providers at which our active portfolios have a year of performance—Morgan Stanley and TIAA—the active options have slightly outperformed standard offerings. One factor driving this outperformance is that many of our active portfolios have a tilt towards growth stocks that have outperformed value stocks in the first three quarters of 2019.

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Posted on November 8, 2019

Consumer demand has prompted digital advisors to offer socially responsible investing (SRI) portfolio options over the past few years.  We have opened and now have eight pairs of portfolios (regular and SRI) included in our report, including six pairs with a year or more of performance reported.  The SRI robo portfolios included in our analysis are offered by Betterment, E*Trade, Ellevest, Merrill Edge, Morgan Stanley, TD Ameritrade, TIAA, and Wealthsimple.  

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Posted on November 6, 2019

Prudential, Axos Invest, and Acorns Lead YTD

Amongst our taxable robos, Prudential, Axos Invest (formerly WiseBanyan), and Acorns are the top performers YTD for performance above/below the Normalized Benchmark. All three portfolios have above-average allocations to domestic stocks, which have outperformed international equities consistently over the past three years. Axos Invest has emerged as a long-term performance leader, proving that a simple portfolio can achieve strong long-term performance. Axos’s domestic equity allocation relies almost entirely on the Vanguard Total Stock Market ETF, and their fixed income consists of high-yield and investment-grade corporate bonds. 

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Posted on November 1, 2019

Top Performers:

2-Year Trailing Top Performers  (annualized):

  • Fidelity Go IRA
  • T. Rowe Price IRA
  • Axos Invest IRA
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Posted on September 10, 2019

Top Performers*:

1-Year Trailing Top Performers

  • Fidelity Go IRA – 6.55%
  • TD Ameritrade IRA – 5.87%
  • WiseBanyan IRA – 5.61%

2-Year Trailing Top Performers

  • Fidelity Go IRA – 8.25%
  • WiseBanyan IRA – 8.07%
  • TD Ameritrade IRA – 7.45%

*Based on Total Portfolio Return above/below Normalized Benchmark

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Posted on September 8, 2019

As existing firms have grown and new players have entered an increasingly crowded field, companies have looked for new ways to differentiate themselves. For some companies that means offering “active” portfolios. Although Backend Benchmarking has only had our active accounts opened for a short time, active portfolios have showed some early signs of outperformance.  Active portfolios outperformed their passive counterparts in the first six months of 2019 by 1.17% on average. One significant factor that may be driving this short period of outperformance is many of our active portfolios have a tilt towards growth which has outperformed in the first 6 months of 2019.

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