In the last 5 years, there has been a price war developing in the business of providing investment advice to individuals. The upstarts are disparagingly referred to as “robo-advisors” by the traditional base of investment advisors since they do not engage clients with face-to-face service. But one thing is for sure - the newcomers are on a mission to make certain that investors realize that this personal touch comes at much higher price. The link below is a table from the New York Times summarizing the offerings of many of the leading online advisors.
Who is right? It depends…. It really comes down to individual needs and preferences. If you don’t need a lot of general financial planning assistance and you don’t require a lot of personal attention from your advisor, one of the new low-cost alternatives might be right for you. But don’t forget, it isn’t until the sea gets stormy that we need the guidance of a seasoned captain. And it is often easy to confuse brains with a Bull Market! Helping clients through stormy markets and ensuring they don’t make bad decisions when the costs are high is one of the most important services an advisor can provide to clients – and on that score, we don’t yet know how the new low-cost alternatives will perform.
Regardless, expenses are one of the very few variables that an investor can control when it comes to their investment portfolio. Every investor should know what they are paying in total expenses and what they are getting for it. That is the mission of GuardVest. Try it now and see how your investment portfolio stacks up!