(Reuters) - Wealthfront, one of the largest digital wealth management startups
known as “robo-advisers,” will offer its automated financial planning tool for
free by the end of the year as it seeks to grow its customer base, it said on
in the United States who do not have money managed by Wealthfront will be able
to connect their various financial accounts to the company’s Path tool, which
will calculate their saving and spending rates and help them create a plan for
launched Path for clients in early 2017 as competitors started to shift
strategy by creating new services that included access to human advisers.
Others launched similar automated financial planning tools but offered them
only to clients with larger accounts.
which has over $11 billion in assets under management, said growth picked up
following the tool’s launch. It hopes that offering it for free will fuel
growth as users decide to have Wealthfront manage their money for a fee, Dan
Carroll, co-founder and chief strategy officer, said in an interview. Weal
believe that financial advice should be for the ultra wealthy and it shouldn’t
be behind the pay wall,” Carroll said. “We were gratified when we looked at the
data, that clients that engage with the engine do save more.”
link various non-Wealthfront accounts to the platform, including bank accounts,
brokerage accounts and information on the value of their homes. They can play
around with the numbers and charts on the mobile app and get real time
projections on how much money they will need to save to retire at a certain
automatically create and manage portfolios made up of exchange-traded-funds for
customers with as little as a few hundred dollars to invest. This model has
driven established players to launch similar services, but some large and
smaller firms believe that combining human advice and digital tools could be
robo-advisers have also been facing concerns about their ability to grow enough
to become profitable. This has prompted them to diversify their offerings with
new kinds of tools.
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