Is Robo Investing A Good Idea


Is Investing With A Robo

Are robo-advisors a good idea for investing?

Is investing with a robo-advisor worth it? Bottom Line. Robo-advisors are probably most worthwhile for retail investors, especially those with small amounts to invest or who are new to investing. More affluent investors with complex needs may be more suited to traditional financial planners. However, robo-advisors constantly evolve and add new services.

Which Robo investor has best returns?

Vanguard 3.42%

Why you shouldnt use a robo-advisor? The diversification provided by robo-advisors isnt super powerful. While robos provide exposure to the broad stock market, youre at risk of losing money. This is true even with rebalancing and tax-loss harvesting. Thats why you want to diversify your types of investments across different asset classes.

Can you trust robo-advisors? Robo-advisors are safe to use. You can trust robo-advisors with your money after more than a decade of regulation and scrutiny. Some robo-advisors, like Personal Capital, even offer free financial tools for you to use to keep track of your net worth and analyze your own investments if you wish.

Custodian Banks To Safeguard Your Money

Each robo advisor has a custodian bank that acts as the safeguard for your money in case the robo-advisor were to go out of business. The custodian bank will be responsible for transferring your investments to a new bank. Or the bank will liquidate your assets in an orderly fashion and returning your money.

For example, the custodian bank for Personal Capital is Pershing Advisor Solutions, a Bank of New York Mellon Company. It has over a trillion dollars in global client assets. Robo-advisors are safe with managing your money.

How Much Do Robo Advisors Cost

Typically, robo-advisors charge a percentage of your assets under management. This fee would be all-inclusive of management, software, and trading fees. For example, if the annual fee is 0.25% and you have $1,000 in your account, your fee would be $2.50 yearly.

Some robo-advisors charge a flat rate monthly fee. And some even offer the service free of advisory fees. It’s important to compare advisory fees and minimum requirements against features you want.

Here are the fees and minimums for our top rated robo-advisors:

Robo Advisor
0.25% $500

Are robo advisors worth it?

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Average Annual Returns Over Short Periods Of Time Can Be Misleading

One thing to keep in mind, however, is that annual average return can vary drastically depending on your start date and end date.

The S& P 500, for instance, has an average annual return of 7% since its inception in 1928. But when an investor entered the market would seriously affect their returns.

Those who entered in the late 60s, for instance, wouldnt have much of a return for years. One who put his money in in the 50s, however, would be doing great. Like so many things, timing is everything.

This holds true for more recent years, as well.

If you look at Betterments returns since July of 2012, it shows an impressive 8.6% return. But the returns since January of 2013, just six months later?

A respectable 5.8%.

In those six months, the S& P 500 increased more than 100 points, and would continue to go up for several more years.

The later you came into the rally, the less it did for you.

Wealthfronts up front about the unpredictable nature of returns but still estimate an annual pre-tax return of between 4% and 6%.

Do You Need Financial Planning Services

Is Robo Investing A Good Idea

Beyond these automatic features, you may want a robo-advisor that offers more comprehensive financial planning. These robo-advisors may get your financial house in order by looking at your spending, saving and other aspects of your financial life, with investing as part of the picture.

For example, you may be able link your financial accounts with the robo-advisor and get a full real time view of your finances, where your money is going and where it could go instead.

Financial planning, using either automated software or a human advisor, can help you set specific savings goals, such as a college education or a down payment on a house. Or a more comprehensive financial plan could also help you with spending, for example, so that youre able to invest more money and ultimately roll up a larger nest egg over time.

SoFi and Vanguard Personal Advisor Services, for example, both offer access to financial planners as part of their management fee, while Ellevest offers discounted access to financial planners. Betterment offers unlimited access to a team of certified financial planners as part of its higher-tier service, while Wealthfront offers software-based financial planning.

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What Is Modern Portfolio Theory

Modern Portfolio Theory is the standard money management approach used by 95% of the industry. It says that the cost of a stock and the value of the business are the same. Because MPT assumes that the market always prices stocks correctly, its like a casino where the odds of beating it over a long period of time are zero.

MPT also takes a mathematical approach to measure the risk of each stock. Their level of risk depends on how much the stock price fluctuates compared to the index.

The big problem with MPT is that it simply doesnt believe that you can buy stocks at a price lower than their real cost.

Now, as Rule #1 investors we know this is not true just look at Warren Buffett, Charlie Muger, or the hundreds of Rule #1 students weve worked with over the years.

The reality is that MPT simply wont let you beat the market.

Charles Schwab Intelligent Portfolio: Best For Iras

  • Annual Fee:None

Why we like Charles Schwab Intelligent Portfolios for IRAs:

  • No advisory fees. When investing for the long term, this could add up to significant savings. That means more for you in retirement.
  • Offers traditional, Roth, and Rollover IRA accounts, as well as SEP IRAs and SIMPLE IRAs for the self-employed.
  • Invests your assets in as many as 20 asset classes – more than other robo advisors.
  • More diversified investments that may include real estate, precious metals, and bank loans.
  • Goal Tracker feature helps you see your progress toward your retirement goals, and gives advice on how to get back on target, if necessary.
  • The minimum investment is $5,000, which is a reasonable exchange for no advisory fees if you have that much to start.

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    No Minimums And Commission

    Cost is one of Robinhoods biggest value propositions. You can open a Robinhood account regardless of the amount of money youre able to deposit.

    Also, you can invest in any stock you want without having enough to purchase a full share. You can put as little as $1 into a security, even if a full share costs thousands.

    Give Human Advisors Time To Focus On Clients

    How To Invest: Try a Robo-Advisor.

    Its becoming more common for traditional financial planning practices to white label robo-advisors platforms for their clients. This takes the cumbersome task of choosing assets out of their hands so that the financial advisor may spend more time with their clients addressing individual tax, estate, and financial planning issues.

    Robo-advisors can require as little as $0 to open an account and start investing, making them perfect for a young person just starting to work and invest.

    Some consumers, younger investors, or those with lower net worth may not have considered professional financial advice. Robo-advisors are growing the existing market of financial advisory clients. Because of the easy access and lower fee models for professional financial management, more consumers may choose robo-advisors professional management in lieu of the do-it-yourself model.

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    Can You Make Money With Robo

    How much could that run you? Robo-advisors usually charge you a percentage of the assets they manage on your behalf. The industry standard is about 0.25 percent annually, though it can range higher and lower. So for every $10,000 you have invested, youd pay $25 a year.

    Makes It Easy For Anyone To Invest

    Robo-advisors are helping to make investing more accessible by lowering account minimums, keeping fees low, and offering user experiences that are easy to figure outeven if you have no investing knowledge. Anyone with internet access and a connected device can quickly and easily begin investing with a robo-advisor.

    Personal advisor services can carry an investible assets minimum of around $100,000, but with Truist Invest or Truist Invest Pro, you need just $5,000 to get started. And while fees for working with a personal investment advisor are typically higher, the annual fee for Truist Invest or Truist Invest Pro is just 0.5% or 0.85% of your assets, respectively .

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    When To Choose A Robo

    A robo-advisor can be a great addition to your financial plan, regardless of your investing knowledge.

    If youre a brand-new investor that doesnt understand much about the stock market, a robo-advisor is the perfect place to start. By signing up with a robo-advisor, you will have the opportunity to learn and gain experience in the market. Not only will you become familiar with investing terms like ETF or dividends, but youll also get the chance to watch your balance fluctuate as the market goes up and down.

    Robo-advisors are perfect for people who want to invest but are not interested in learning the intricacies of creating or managing an investment portfolio. If you dont have the time or the desire to research investments, a robo-advisor is perfect for you!

    If youre a more seasoned investor, you might still choose to make use of a robo-advisor. There is no rule that says you must invest all your money only one way. In fact, it might actually make more sense to split your funds between a robo-advisor and a DIY portfolio. This can give you the security of having someone else manage a portfolio for you, while still giving you your own money to play the market with.

    How you choose to split your savings between a self-directed investing vs. robo-advisor depends on your goals and investor confidence. The less familiar you are with the stock market, the more you should rely on a robo-advisor.

    Find Out If It Does Socially Responsible Investing

    Robo Advisors vs Financial Advisors: The Sh*t Just Got Real

    For many investors, the type of companies they choose to support is just as important as how well those companies are performing. Some robo-advisors will offer you the option to invest in your values by building a portfolio that reflects the standards of socially responsible investing . Robo-advisors that offer SRI will invest your money in ETFs from companies that engage in clean energy, companies that focus on sustainable hiring practices, have fair labor practices, or government-backed securities that promote affordable housing.

    Some Canadian robo-advisors may even offer services like Halal investing, which builds portfolios out of companies that comply with Islamic law.

    If responsible investments are important for you, its worth checking what robo-advisors have this option.

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    What Is Diy Or Self

    Managing your own investment portfolio is often referred to as self-directed or DIY investing. In this scenario, you are solely responsible for selecting and managing the assets you invest in. You have to do the research, make the decisions, and execute the actual trades. You will need to manage investment losses, minimize taxes, and more.

    Variety Of Investment Accounts And Savings Accounts

    Most robo-advisors offer a variety of accounts just like any good financial institution, such as:

    • Personal investment accounts

    Additionally, some robo-advisors even offer savings accounts. This makes robo-advisors a good choice regardless of your savings goal. Its usually wise to max out tax advantaged accounts before contributing to taxable accounts. When you sign up with a robo-advisor, they will generally ask what type of accounts you want to open in the sign-up process.

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    How Robo Advisors Work

    © CreditDonkey
    • Your portfolio is based on your age, income, goals, and risk tolerance. These are the basic questions the robo-advisor will ask you. It uses that information to build you a portfolio that aligns with your goals. For example, if you’re young, your portfolio may have a heavier stock allocation, as you can afford to take more risks.
  • Your portfolio is made of ETFs. Robo-advisors mainly use ETFs to build a diversified portfolio. An ETF is a collection of stocks and bonds, so it’s less risky than single stocks. They also cost less to trade, which makes the portfolio cheaper to maintain.
  • How fees work. Generally, you pay a percentage of your assets under management. But some robo-advisors also charge a flat monthly rate. While some charge nothing.
  • Automated vs. human oversight. Some robo-advisors are completely automated. The decisions are made by software. Some also have professional human oversight, where real financial advisors will periodically monitor your account and make changes.
  • How Much Money Do You Have To Invest

    Robo-investing, Your Way

    Based on research from Cerulli Associates, only 7% of financial advisors focus on serving investors with less than $100,000 in investable assets . That means financial advice can often be out of reach for those who need it most.

    Robo-advisors can help fill the gap for smaller investors. Almost every robo-advisor we surveyed is open to accounts of $5,000 or less. Several, including Acorns, Betterment, Ellevest , and Fidelity Go, dont require any minimum investment amount.

    And even for those with investable assets in the six-figure range, automated advice can be significantly cheaper than paying for a traditional financial advisor. Another key statistic from Cerulli Associates is that more than 85% of households have less than $500,000 in investable assets . In many cases, households like these can benefit from basic goal planning, retirement savings, and low-cost portfolio management they may not need the type of complex financial planning needed to justify an annual fee of 1% or more. An investor with a $500,000 portfolio, for example, might pay about 1% of assets per year to a traditional financial advisor, which translates into $5,000 per year. An investor with the same $500,000 portfolio who paid a typical level of fees for a robo-advisor , in contrast, would pay only $1,500 per year. Moreover, many financial advisors wont accept new clients unless they have a higher level of investable assets.

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    Youre Hoping To Beat The Market

    Many investors dont simply want to invest in the market they want to beat it. That is, they want to earn higher returns on a consistent basis.

    Reaching this goal takes a great deal of skill and portfolio customization. Thats the type of investment activity only a human can manage. And in each case, that person would have to be gifted, since beating the market consistently is difficult.

    When you invest with robo-advisors, theres little chance youll ever beat the market. Thats because robo-advisors werent designed to beat the market. Their purpose is to make sure that your portfolio performs in sync with the general market.

    In fact, since robo-advisors typically diversify at least some of your money into bonds and cash, your overall portfolio will typically return something less than what a 100% stock portfolio would.

    Betterments website even makes the point clear that its portfolio is designed to keep up with the market and not under-perform, but it is not designed to beat the market. This is not an admission of weakness but an acknowledgment of the reality that every investor should be aware of.

    Many investors who are uncomfortable doing their own investing are less concerned with outperforming the market. But if that’s important to you — and you or your advisor can make it happen — you’re better off avoiding a robo-advisor.

    Find Out If You Have Access To A Financial Advisor

    No two people are alikeand neither are their financial situations. But investment platforms vary in terms of how much access you get to professional advice. Keep an eye out for providers that offer access to a financial advisor. There are only a few who offer advice when you need it, regardless of how much money you have in your account.

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    We Do The Work For You

    Using Wealthsimple is, well, simple. In just a few minutes, well build you a custom portfolio that makes sense for your risk tolerance and investment timelines. And well do the maintenance for you, with automatic rebalancing and dividend reinvesting. All you have to do to get started is answer a few simple questions.

    Understand Whats Important To You

    For Robo

    This is the most important step. Know what you want to get out of your advisor by visualizing your goals. Are you planning for retirement? Are you trying to build up a nest egg, or perhaps saving for your childs future? This will determine how aggressive youll want your portfolio to be. Are there certain perks, like extended human support, or low fees, that matter to you? Would you like some control over what goes into the portfolio, or are you happy to just sit back and let the algorithm do the work for you? All of these questions will determine the right fit for you.

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    Pros And Cons Of Robo

    Robo-advisors advisors are not for everyone. Choosing them to manage your portfolio depends on your personal circumstances and investment goals.

    Take a look at these pros and cons of robo-advisors to make the best decision for yourself:


    • Not focused on financial planning
    • Not enough to retire
    • Incomplete picture of who you are
    • No human interaction

    If you think about it, theres no reason to pay any type of advisor fees for a portfolio that barely matches market returns.

    In that case, you might as well just buy a few indexes. These will save you more on fees and give you the same overall return as the index you choose. Plus, at least youll be able to invest the extra money that you would have paid the robo-advisor in fees.

    But dont take my word for it. Check out what some of the most successful investors in history have to say about it.

    Join My Free Online Investing Training


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