Breaking down the best robos for your practice

Advisers have a lot to consider when picking an automated investment service to use with their clients — here is a rundown of the features and functionality of the top adviser-targeted platforms

Jun 25, 2015 @ 10:55 am

By Alessandra Malito

There's a lot to consider when managing a financial advisory practice, but one of the more ever-present components of the business these days is whether to offer an automated online investment platform.

Robo-proofing a practice is one of the more obvious ways advisers can stay competitive, as direct-to-consumer robo-advisers' popularity continues to rise.

In fact, investors are becoming more and more likely to use these automated platforms. According to an A.T. Kearney study that surveyed 4,000 consumers with investible assets, 20% said they are aware of robo-advisers. Although just 4% said that they were extremely likely to use robo-advisory services for managing investible assets, 10% were very likely, 19% were likely and 36% said they were somewhat likely. Less than a third of respondents — 31% — were not at all likely to adopt a robo platform.

Advisers can find an offering that is compatible with their practices, though. Below is a breakdown of the various features offered on these automated investment platforms that are designed for advisers to implement.

Betterment Institutional Jemstep Advisor Pro Trizic Charles Schwab's Institutional Intelligent Portfolios Hedgeable Marstone Folio Institutional's Advisor Connexion Envestnet's Advisor Now Motif Advisor Wealthminder NestEgg/Vanare
Price 25 bps platform fee paid by client Starts at 15 bps and reduces to 8 bps Annual fee: Below $10M, 10 bps; $10M to $24.9M, 9 bps; $25M to $49.9M, 8 bps; $50M to $74.9M, 7 bps; $75M to $100M, 6 bps; more than $100M, 5 bps Advisers with AUM less than $100 million custodied with Schwab outside of IIP, 10 bps; with AUM more than $100 million, free Yearly fee: Between 30 and 75 bps In beta — expected roll-out is Q4 Not available Between 10 and 25 bps Between 15 and 25 bps $10 per month per client or $75 per year per client 15 bps and reduces to 10 bps; 25 bps for subadvisor
Account minimum $0 At each adviser's discretion $0 $5,000 $0 $5,000 $0 $5,000 $0 $0 At advisor discretion
Consumer version
In beta
Tax-loss harvesting
$50,000 minimum
via iRebal
Active/Passive Passive Active & Passive Active & Passive Passive Active & Passive Passive Active & Passive Active & Passive Active & Passive Active & Passive Active & Passive
Products ETFs All All ETFs All ETFs Stocks, ETFs, REITs, ADRs, mutual funds ETFs and mutual funds Stocks, ETFs, ADRs, CEFs All All, including UMAs
Risk profiling Age-based allocation
Automatic rebalancing
$5,000 minimum
Client billing
Compliance Reporting
Software Integrations Fidelity Investments' eMoney Advisor, MoneyGuidePro, Advent's Black Diamond, Orion Advisor Services, LPL Financial's Fortigent Fiserv, Salesforce, Orion, Xignite, TD Ameritrade Institutional's Veo, DocuSign, various marketing automation such as Marketo and Oracle Eloqua TD Ameritrade's Veo, DocuSign Schwab Alliance, Schwab Advisor Center and Schwab OpenView Gateway Intuit's Mint and TurboTax, Personal Capital, Fidelity's eMoney Advisor, BNY Mellon's Albridge, Advent's Black Diamond, Coinbase, CircleUp Yodlee A suite based on each firm's preference Yodlee, Finance Logix and DocuSign In development TD Ameritrade Institutional's Veo iRebal, TD Ameritrade, HiddenLevers, FolioDynamix, DocuSign, Cabinet SAFE, Intercom
Customizable portal for clients
Mobile app for clients
Mobile responsive website, app coming soon
Mobile responsive website, app coming soon
Mobile responsive website
Mobile responsive website for tablet
Mobile responsive website
Mobile responsive website
Mobile responsive website
Custodians Betterment TD Ameritrade TD Ameritrade Schwab FOLIOfn Investments, Interactive Brokers, Mid-Atlantic Trust, Scottrade, DriveWealth, Stifel, Envestnet's Placemark Pershing FOLIOfn Dozens Pershing Whichever the adviser works with TD Ameritrade, National Bank of Canada
Minimum cash allocation
Dynamically weighted based on market risk


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