July 9, 2015
For many years, we have been working with investment advisors to make the best use of our money. The accuracy and consistency of their advice have always been in question, but we never cared about it much till the time we started having choices. And now that software is taking over the world, we do have choices that are based on analytics and automation. Today, nearly $19 billion is managed by online investment platforms, sometimes dubbed as robo-advisors. These include:
Betterment: Betterment is a robo-advisor which manages more than $2 billion in 93,000 accounts. For the management of the asset, the company uses index funds and an automated allocation system on the basis of an investor’s risk tolerance and time period. It helps people to have better control on their wealth and to grow it with the help of advanced technology. The company has received $105 million in five rounds of funding.
Wealthfront: Wealthfront is the world’s largest automated investment service with over $2.5 billion in client assets. It manages a diversified, continually rebalanced portfolio of index funds on the customers’ behalf at a very low cost and in an extremely tax-efficient manner. It does not charge fees on the first $10,000 and charges only 0.25% annually on assets in excess of $10,000. There are no trading commissions, no account maintenance fees and no additional monthly fees. Now, they are raising the bar by lowering the minimum amount required to open a Wealthfront account to just $500.
Motif Investing: Motif Investing, a Silicon Valley-based company, is an online brokerage that allows investors to invest in stock and bond portfolios built around everyday ideas and broad economic trends, and create customized motifs. The company has developed a unique financial product called motifs which works like low-cost exchange-traded funds. A motif is a registered broker-dealer and a member of SIPC. Until now, the company has raised $126.5 Million in six Rounds of funding. Investors include Foundation Capital, Goldman Sachs, Ignition Partners and Norwest Venture Partners. Board members include former SEC Chairman Arthur Levitt and former Wall Street Executive Sallie Krawcheck.
FutureAdvisor: FutureAdvisor is looking to bring top-flight wealth management services to the middle class. Unlike other services which target typically tech-savvy and wealthier users, the typical FutureAdvisor client has roughly $100,000 to invest and has multiple accounts with different institutions. In some ways, FutureAdvisor’s service is similar to other offerings on the market; it uses algorithms to optimize the portfolio for a potential customer. It offers free services around portfolio optimization and the aggregation of investment data into a single source. Should a customer want FutureAdvisor to actually execute an investment strategy, the company can do that.
Personal Capital: The company’s service combines free tools that gather and analyze all of the investor's financial data with a financial advisor to help manage and grow his investments. The company has managed over $800 million invested by clients. The company’s services are used by over 600,000 Americans to track $100 billion+ in accounts on the free software.
Hedgeable: Founded in 2009, the company automates sophisticated investing for busy professionals in less than five minutes with no minimum investment required. It brings the wealth management services of the ultra-high worth to the masses. It has developed several proprietary systems to offer services that were previously only available to the ultra-high net worth, like risk management, hedging, bitcoin investing, impact investing and private equity. There is no minimum investment to access the Hedgeable platform.
Nutmeg: Specializing in investments, ISAs and pensions, the company provides an online investment service that’s intelligent, straightforward and fair. Until now, the company has received $37.3 million in two rounds of funding.
Wealth Horizon: A low-cost online service, Wealth Horizon offers investors investment advice starting from as little as £12.50. The company is targeting savers that fall into the so-called advice gap(those who don’t want to pay the high cost for a financial advisor’s expertise).
Swanest: Based out of London, Swanest is an online automated wealth manager using smart technology to build and manage custom-fit investment plans. The company helps their clients to reach their future financial objectives.
MoneyFarm: MoneyFarm, the only online financial advisor in Italy, provides first-class investment advisory to small savers through a scalable, UX-driven, enjoyable and hassle-free platform. The company’s clients are able to build build their portfolio with MoneyFarm’s asset allocation recommendations, manage it through time and execute all the transactions in a very simple and efficient way.
Vaamo: Vaamo, a leading German robo advisor, is dedicated to providing private individuals with an easy and intuitive access to capital markets in order to enable everyone to invest their money profitably and at minimum cost.
Owlhub.: Owlhub. provides a transparent, flexible and easy-to-use solution for young professionals. Owlhub. is the app that makes investing as hassle-free as a client’s piggy bank. Week after week, a user decides how much he/she wants to save and the company invests the customer’s savings into an ETF portfolio that suits their needs. That way, clients can make their money work for them.
Moneyvane: It is the first Swiss automated investment platform designed to significantly reduce operating costs. Moneyvane’s fees are much lower compared to other financial advisors. The company uses fully diversified investment portfolios. The users can customize their investments based on how much they want to earn, their risk appetite in addition to having full control of their investments. Everything is recorded, making the whole the system transparent for the users.
InvestYourWay: InvestYourWay is an online account in which customers can deposit funds and then use the company’s program to invest it as per his/her choice. A customer can build funds of his/her type that are individual and unique to the customer. The customer can then rebalance his portfolio at no extra cost with a click of a button.