Which robos got off to the fastest start in 2016?

These online automated investment platforms gained the most assets in January

Jan 15, 2016 @ 6:45 am

By Alessandra Malito and Ellie Zhu

+ Zoom

Almost all robo-advisers have grown in some shape or form between the start of last year and this year. Some of the well-known online automated investment platforms that embraced a business-to-business model have grown tremendously. Take Betterment, which has Betterment Institutional and now Betterment for Business — it has grown to more than $3 billion in assets under management compared to $1.1 billion, where it was in January 2015. Future Advisor started at $232 million in January 2015 and now has $695 million, after being acquired by BlackRock this summer. Hedgeable hit $3.5 million, up from just a third of a million in the first month of last year.

Even Acorns, which takes consumers' leftover change from bank account purchases and makes a portfolio out of them, has spiked up significantly.

And of course there are the giants. Vanguard and Charles Schwab & Co. made a splash in the first half of 2015 when they launched their own automated platforms called Vanguard Personal Advisor Services, a hybrid model; Schwab Intelligent Portfolios; and adviser-facing Schwab Institutional Intelligent Portfolios.

These numbers are from the company's most updated SEC Form ADVs, except for Charles Schwab & Co. and Vanguard, which come from company earnings.

Robo's AUM breakdown (in millions)
Robos 2016 Jan 2015 Jan Yearly change 2015 by quarter
Financial Engines** 104,426 88,200 18.4%
Vanguard** 31,000 N/A N/A
Schwab* 5,300 N/A N/A
Betterment 3,228 1,105 192.1%
Wealthfront 2,613 1,703 53.4%
Personal Capital** 1,518 862 76.2%
Future Advisor 695 232 199.2%
Asset Builder 686 616 11.4%
Blooom 157 26 501.8%
Acorns 87 5 1712.5%
SigFig 70 59 17.6%
WiseBanyan 35 20 74.6%
Hedgeable 35 3 1278.0%
Covestor 16 27 38.3%
TradeKing 12 1 857.7%
Source: SEC Form ADVs
Note: * Schwab: Q1 data not available, Q4 data according to a Schwab spokesman; includes Schwab Intelligent Portfolios and Schwab Institutional Intelligent Portfolios; ** hybrid robo-models


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