Tag: Backend Benchmarking

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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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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Posted on September 10, 2019

Winner: Fidelity Go

Runner-Up: Vanguard

Fidelity Go, followed by Vanguard, are the Best Robos from an Incumbent Financial Institution. While our analysis indicates that independent robo advice providers offer the most robust online platforms, Fidelity and Vanguard leverage their institutional might to offer a high-quality service based on proprietary funds for those who would rather entrust their money to larger, more established institutions.

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Posted on September 8, 2019

Winner: Wealthfront
Runner-Up: Personal Capital
Honorable Mention: Betterment

The best digital planning experiences continue to be offered by independent robo advisors.  Wealthfront and Personal Capital stand above their peers by offering robust planning tools to clients and prospective clients alike.  Both of these tools can handle complex, multi-goal plans that show users the interaction of all their goals in a single unified plan. These free digital planners also leverage automated account aggregation and provide users with a comprehensive view of their financial picture, regardless of where their assets are held.  

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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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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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