Tag: Performance

Posted on November 15, 2019

In the not so distant past, professional financial advice and investment management were only available to households with sufficient wealth. This began to change a decade ago, when startup financial firms digitally automated the investment management process, enabling them to offer professionally managed portfolios at low costs and low to no minimums. Fast forward 10 years and nearly every major financial institution in the United States either offers or owns a stake in a robo advisor. The individual who previously had no access to such investments is now overwhelmed with choices. Below, we provide insight into the most important factors one should consider when selecting a robo advisor. If you are unfamiliar with robo advisors or how they work, we suggest you first read our post, What is a Robo Advisor? 

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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 7, 2019

Schwab and Vanguard are the two dominant platforms in the digital advice industry.  Leveraging their clout as established investment managers, Schwab and Vanguard have amassed $43 billion and $140 billion, respectively, in assets under management on their digital platforms.  Below is a comprehensive comparison of the two services, including facts, features, and historical performance based on accounts we have open at both providers.

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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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