Tag: Backend Benchmarking

Months After Questionable Trades Cause Tax Liability, SoFi Makes Customers Whole

Posted on September 20, 2019

SoFi, a company initially focused on consolidating student loan debt, has been aggressively expanding into other areas of financial services. Within the past two years, they launched a robo-investing platform, high-interest cash account, and a self-directed brokerage platform with commission-free trading. Most recently, they announced proprietary ETFs offering an introductory 0% expense ratio through June 2020.

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Backend Benchmarking Company Update – September 2019

Posted on September 20, 2019

I hope that this post finds you well and that you have enjoyed your summer. The last few months have been quite busy at Backend Benchmarking! Here are some highlights of our progress:

Successful Capital Raise

On June 1, we closed a fundraising round with $3.8 million in equity capital—$3.0M in Preferred Equity and $800K in SAFEs. We also secured a signed letter of intent from Peapack Gladstone Bank for an additional $1 million in debt financing. Once the debt financing is finalized, the total amount raised this year will be $4.8 million!

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SRI Portfolio Perform Well Despite Higher Fees

Posted on September 6, 2019

In recent years, socially responsible investing (SRI) – also commonly categorized as environmental, social, and governance investing (ESG) – has gained popularity with retail investors and investment managers alike.  Between 2016 and 2018, assets invested in ESG-themed mutual funds grew 34%, while assets in ESG-themed ETF funds more than doubled. Driven by consumer demand, a natural expansion has been undertaken by digital advisors to offer separate SRI portfolio options.  Within the past few years we have opened and funded SRI accounts at each of the providers that offer sustainable investing options. With a year of performance to review, we have assessed the risk and return statistics of SRI portfolios offered compared to their standard offerings.  While today’s focus is on performance, we will publish a full report on the composition of SRI portfolios, including costs and sustainability scores, later this month.

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The Robo Ranking™: Best Robo for Performance at a Low Cost

Posted on September 5, 2019

Winner: Fidelity Go
Runner-Up: WiseBanyan

We awarded the Best Robo for Performance at a Low Cost to the top-performing robos over the prior two-year period: Fidelity Go and WiseBanyan.  

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Q2 2019 – Taxable Accounts Commentary

Posted on September 4, 2019

After faltering at the end of last year, U.S. and global markets have returned to a period of strong growth in 2019, with the S&P 500 returning 4.30% in the second quarter.  While this was considerably less than the first quarter’s return of 13.65%, due largely in part to markets rebounding sharply following a December selloff, the combined return marks the best first half-year performance for domestic markets since 1997.  Many trends from the first quarter continued through the second quarter, as mid-cap continued its outperformance and growth once again outperformed value. Growth has experienced a multi-year dominance, outperforming value YTD, as well as over the trailing one-, two-, and three-year periods.

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Robo News: April 2019

Posted on May 30, 2019

SoFi has been making headlines this month, as they have recently introduced two proprietary ETFs.  The funds are as follows:

  • SoFi Select 500 (SFY) tracks the performance of 500 of the largest U.S.-listed companies weighted based on a proprietary mix of their market capitalization and fundamental factors
  • SoFi Next 500 (SFYX) tracks the performance of the 500 smallest of the 1,000 largest U.S.-listed companies weighted based on a proprietary mix of their market capitalization and fundamental factors.

SoFi continues to diversify their offerings, as they have also recently announced a partnership with two fintech insurance firms.  SoFi now plans to offer homeowners and renters insurance through Lemonade and auto insurance through Root. This has been a busy month for Sofi, as they are rumored to be working on an additional round of funding, estimated as $500M.  This funding round, reportedly led by the Qatar Investment Authority, is expected to be at a similar valuation to their last round in February 2017.

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