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Portfolio > Portfolio Construction

TD Ameritrade Unveils All-Digital Robo-Advisory

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TD Ameritrade introduced its Essential Portfolios robo-advisory service in a “soft launch” on Tuesday, according to the firm’s press release.

The firm, which recently announced its acquisition of Scottrade, expects to offer the automated advisory service nationally in early 2017.

The new fully digital service builds on TD Ameritrade’s existing Amerivest Management Portfolios, a hybrid service model that combines automated investing with human support. 

“Today’s investors want more choices for investment advice. Some want that guidance to come from a human, partnered with digital platform, while others might prefer an all-human or all-digital approach,” said Tom Bradley, president of retail distribution at TD Ameritrade in a statement.

(Related: TD Ameritrade-Scottrade Deal a ‘Brillant Play’ in RIA Space: Analyst)

Essential Portfolios “leverages Amerivest’s existing technology to create an all-digital version for the more value-conscious investor,” said Bradley.

In addition to choosing their ETFs, investors can set goals — and track their progress — and select their personal risk tolerance rating. Then, based on their goals and risk tolerance, the service will recommend a specific model portfolio, based on objective fund recommendations from Morningstar. The minimum investment is $5,000.

Once an account is opened, Amerivest will monitor and automatically rebalance the account. Investors can view an online dashboard to monitor portfolio and can access account information through a mobile app. A support team is available via live chat, email and phone.

TD Ameritrade expects to add more features through the coming months, including tax loss harvesting. It did not disclose the specific ETFs available via Essential Portfolios.

The firm “re-released” its Amerivest Management Portfolios in June, with a digital enhancement. That product offers five professionally managed discretionary portfolios consisting of mutual funds or index-based ETFs, also based on individual objectives and risk tolerance and Morningstar recommendations. 

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