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Wells Fargo Finally Launches Its Robo-Advisory Service

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Wells Fargo has finally launched its robo-advisory service, which the bank had initially planned to introduce at the beginning of this year.

(Related: Wells Fargo Plans Pilot Robo-Advisor for Early 2017)

Its Intuitive Investor hybrid product combines digital access to strategies from the Wells Fargo Investment Institute with the option of also consulting by phone with advisors from its financial services division, Wells Fargo Advisors.

(Related:  Wells Fargo Robo Pilot Set for Summer; Rollout for Late 2017)

Clients with a minimum of $10,000 can access the service for a fee of 50 basis points (40 basis points for existing clients who have $25,000 in deposits or $50,000 in combined banking, brokerage and credit assets at the bank via a link to the bank’s Portfolio by Wells Fargo relationship program).

(Related: Vanguard Is Way Ahead in the Robo Race)

The Wells Fargo robo offering is “designed to meet today’s younger investors where they are — online,” said Jon Weiss, the head of Wealth and Investment Management, in a Q&A published on the bank’s website. “It delivers what they want — a convenient, low-cost way to participate in the markets and pursue wealth over time.”

Roughly 20 million of the bank’s 72 million customers are millennial and Gen X clients who don’t have investment accounts at the bank.

The robo offering, developed with SigFig, includes nine different portfolios, ranging from conservative income to aggressive growth, each consisting of eight to 14 ETFs and charging a typical fee of 15 basis points.

In addition to online investment profiling and phone access to financial advisors, Intuitive Investor offers automated rebalancing and optional tax-loss harvesting and single sign-on integration with the bank’s online and mobile banking services, plus personalized communications. Those services are typical of most robo offerings. 

(Related: Merrill Edge Exec: What New Technology Means for Clients)

The fees and minimums of Intuitive Investor, however, are generally higher than those of other robo-advisory services, including those from other banks and brokerages. Merrill Edge Guided Investing, for example, has a $5,000 minimum and charges 45 basis points annually, and Betterment requires no minimum and charges 25 basis points annually.


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