Robo-advisors create the opportunity for automated investment services. While many investors incorrectly assume that “all robo advisors are created equal,” on April 15, 2016 in the Investor Junkie, Larry Ludwig shows that is not the case.
You have a choice between:
- Minimum Deposit – Some firms you can start out with nothing and others require sizable amounts to start with
- Annual Fees – Be aware of hidden costs and ETF fees
- Asset Allocation – Asset allocation can vary quite a bit based upon your age, and the way you answer their risk assessment questions.
- Account Type Support – No firm can manage a 401(k) directly, but some do offer guidance in investment selection.
- Automation – Some services are 100% automated vs human assisted advice.
- Tax Optimization – Services like Tax-Loss Harvesting.
- Custody of Funds – Managed by you in which they give trading advice, or directly by the firm.
- Management of Assets – Manage all your assets or just a portion.
- End-Goal – Retirement only, or other goals (i.e. college education).
The author goes on to point out that the fees listed due not always include the fees from the recommended exchange-traded funds (ETF’s).
While Resonate is committed to staying current and competitive through technology, we also suggest that the smart use of Robo-Advisers is to “allow them to do what they do best” while acknowledging what they cannot replace.
We find that great technology combined with the opportunity for personal connection creates best results. For example, what happens when any of the following life events occur?
- “Mom has just been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s… what do we do now?”
- “I have an offer for early retirement complete with a severance package and need help understanding it.”
- “My husband was just seriously injured in a car accident. How will we able to afford to keep the house?”
- “We are trying to decide whether to lease or buy our next car. Can you help?”
- “Dad just passed unexpectedly from a heart attack. We have no idea what to do next.”
This is where compassionate understanding combined with professional competence and the human connection is truly irreplaceable.
We welcome the opportunity to share a cup of coffee and conversation with you.
Barbara A. Culver
CFP®, ChFC®, CLU, AEP®