Tag: Schwab

Posted on October 4, 2019

Schwab Cuts Commissions, TD Ameritrade Follows

Decades ago, Schwab led the revolution of reducing commissions on trades. High-tech startups, led by Robinhood, are now eliminating commissions altogether. Interactive Brokers slashed commissions on U.S. stocks and ETFs to zero last week. Schwab has responded in kind by announcing that it will cut all commissions on trades of U.S. stocks, ETFs, and options on October 7. TD Ameritrade and ETrade have both followed suit and cut the same commissions. The move rattled the prices of these companies’ shares. Schwab’s and Interactive Brokers’ share prices both fell over 9%, and TD Ameritrade’s, which relies more heavily on commission revenue, fell 25.8%. ETrade, who has kept commissions steady, saw its share price drop 17% on the day of the Schwab announcement.

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Posted on September 24, 2019

Vanguard is piloting and is expected to soon release a new digital planning and automated-investing product called Vanguard Digital Advisor, according to a document filed with the SEC. Vanguard Digital Advisor will have a $3,000 minimum and an all-in fee of 0.20%, placing it in direct competition with providers targeting less affluent investors. In doing so, Vanguard will undercut incumbents Fidelity and JP Morgan, who both have all-in costs—management and underlying fund fees— of 0.35% and independents Wealthfront and Betterment, who have all-in costs of around 0.33% and 0.36%, respectively depending on the portfolio chosen. 

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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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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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Posted on May 18, 2019

Robos expand into banking and cash management, as high yield account options have proliferated among direct to-consumer fintech platforms

Wealthfront joined the growing trend of fintech companies that offer high-yield accounts designed for cash savings. Betterment announced their cash management program late last year, as did trading app Robinhood. Robinhood launched its product with an aggressive 3% interest rate, but made a regulatory miscalculation and quickly pulled their product offline to reconfigure. Although these savings vehicles often appear very similar, there can be important differences. For example, Wealthfront places funds in FDIC insured bank accounts, while Betterment’s product invests funds in a conservative fixed income portfolio.

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