Online investment advisors look into brokerage and retirement accounts to evaluate your portfolio. They can visually gather everything you hold on one dashboard, break down your holdings by asset class, and recommend assets to buy and sell to balance your portfolio. FutureAdvisor provides such analyses and suggestions for free.
Take the Next Step
If you hire an online investment manager, it goes beyond analysis to begin buying and selling for you, taking advantage where it can of ETFs at Fidelity and TD Ameritrade that are free of trading commissions.
FutureAdvisor can analyze assets custodied at other brokerages, but to manage those investments directly, they need to be held at Fidelity or TD Ameritrade. If your assets are already there, fantastic! If not, we'll simply help you shift the funds from their existing home to one of those two brokerages. Both Fidelity and TD Ameritrade are major custodians that have existed for many decades.
Depending on your situation, you may not need to open a new account, and you don't always need to sell out of existing positions, potentially incurring capital gains taxes. Instead, FutureAdvisor acts as a manager on your behalf in your pre-existing brokerage and retirement accounts. Simply completing a few forms and granting permission is enough to have FutureAdvisor (registered with the SEC) manage your assets.
However, FutureAdvisor moves your accounts through a tax-efficient mechanism called a "transfer in kind," which doesn't require that clients actually liquidate their assets or incur capital gains.
Flexibility That's Right for You
Choosing to change advisors or invest for yourself is as simple as telling your custodian to withdraw an investment manager's permission to buy and sell - your money stays where it's been all along. (FutureAdvisor also has a 'lock' feature: if there's an asset that you never want us to sell, you can lock it and we'll hold it until you change your mind.)
The FutureAdvisor Advantage
Conventional wealth managers operate much like online investment managers: they trade inside your accounts on your behalf. But those wealth managers have high overheads which they pass along to clients in the form of high fees: as much 3 percent of your investable assets each year.
In addition, most conventional advisors only serve customers with $1 million and more to invest, leaving online advisors as the only alternative for many investors.
Services like FutureAdvisor use technology to provide the same services at a much lower cost. FutureAdvisor's fees are between one-half and one-sixth of what conventional wealth managers charge.
Other online advisors hold your assets themselves, serving as the 'custodian' of your funds. They also require that you liquidate your assets - creating tax exposure - and if you ever decide to change advisors, you have to cash out of your investments again.
Over time, lower fees can help improve portfolio performance. Every penny you pay in expenses is a penny you lose in returns.