Targeting younger investors, Morgan Stanley has launched its online platform, Access Investing, with an annual fee below those of its wirehouse rivals.
At 0.35% of assets under management per year, the program fee comes in below the Merrill Edge Guided Investing robo service, which charges 0.45%, and Wells Fargo’s Intuitive Investor offering, which has a 0.50% fee.
(Discount brokerages Schwab, Fidelity and Vanguard all charge less than Morgan Stanley for advisor-focused robo services: 0.28% for Schwab Intelligent Advisor, 0.30% for Vanguard Personal Advisor Services and 0.15% for Fidelity AMP. These fees don’t include expenses on the underlying funds.)
Like Merrill’s robo, Morgan Stanley’s has a $5,000 account minimum. The competing Wells Fargo service can be accessed with $10,000 or more of client assets.
“Morgan Stanley Access Investing leverages the firm’s intellectual capital to reach a broader audience of investors who are looking to achieve their financial goals,” said Morgan Stanley Chief Digital Officer Naureen Hassan, in a statement.
But the wirehouse firm, which recently left the Protocol for Broker Recruiting, sees the program as good news for its roughly 14,800 employee advisors, too.
“Morgan Stanley Access Investing is an opportunity for financial advisors to grow their book of business by making connections with prospects earlier and eventually establishing full-service relationships when clients are ready,” explained Hassan.
The robo portfolios include mutual funds and ETFs with both active and passive strategies. They also feature automated rebalancing and tax-loss harvesting at no additional charge, according to the firm.
Though the set service fee is 0.35% per account, clients “will incur fees and expenses related to owning shares of a [specific] fund,” which are not included in the advisory fee, says Morgan Stanley.