Tag: Personal Advisor Services

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 October 1, 2019

Winner: Vanguard Personal Advisor Services
Runner-Up: Personal Capital
Honorable Mentions: Ellevest & Wealthsimple

Digital-only platforms currently lack the high degree of sophistication and customization needed for complex financial planning.  Therefore, investors looking for more personalized advice and tailored portfolio allocations still need to work with live advisors.  In order to justify the level of customization being offered, such services typically have higher investment minimums than digital-only products.

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Posted on September 21, 2019

When digital investing was first introduced, platforms quickly began accumulating assets. Digital advisors were labeled industry disruptors, as talks of fee compression, the commoditization of professional asset management, and disruption of the investment advice industry ran rampant.  Digital advice providers had the advantage of emerging during a historic multi-year bull market. Over the last four years, the market has continued to mature, adoption has spread across major financial institutions, and new consumer trends have emerged. An increasing number of companies are battling for market share and institutions have developed their own offerings.  In the race to achieve scale, the largest independent advisors continue to expand product offerings to stay a step ahead of incumbent players and maintain impressive rates of asset accumulation.  

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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 5, 2019

Winner: Fidelity Go
Runner-Up: Vanguard Personal Advisor Services
Honorable Mention: SigFig

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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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