Tag: Personal Capital

Posted on November 11, 2019

Cash Products Attract Assets 

Wealthfront and Betterment have both hit $20 billion worth of assets on their platform. On its website, Wealthfront boasts that its “clients trust [it] with more than $21 billion” as of November 2019. However, regulatory filings suggest that most of this growth has been the result of cash moving into high-yield savings accounts.

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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 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 27, 2019

As the digital advice industry has grown, acquiring more customers and assets, providers have expanded their role from automated investment managers to digital bankers. A major component of this shift has been the offering of high-yield cash accounts. Betterment, Wealthfront, Ally, Personal Capital, Wealthsimple and SoFi offer these accounts, which have APYs of at least 1.80% and carry FDIC insurance. Personal Capital and SoFi accounts are FDIC insured up to $1.5M—six times the coverage of a savings account opened at a traditional bank. Wealthfront and Betterment offer $1M of FDIC insurance. Robos partner with numerous banks, take in users’ deposits, and spread those deposits across partner banks. This process allows high-yield cash accounts to provide insurance beyond the standard $250K.

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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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