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Technology > Investment Platforms > Turnkey Asset Management

Ritholtz Relaunches Digital Service at Betterment for Advisors

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Ritholtz Wealth Management, led by Barry Ritholtz and Josh Brown, has moved its digital asset management service to Betterment for Advisors.

The service, called Liftoff, was started in 2014 but moved to the back burner after the software provider, Upside, was acquired by Envestnet and essentially “orphaned,” said Brown, the firm’s CEO.

Liftoff has no minimums and charges 50 basis points, which will be evenly split with Betterment, for portfolios of ETFs.

Brown tells ThinkAdvisor the digital service is for the firm’s “tons of fans who are young and first starting to invest” and don’t have the $1 million minimum for full service. “I always felt terrible turning people away,” said Brown.

He said Ritholtz Wealth Management chose Betterment because it is the “best out there” in terms of providing outsourced back-office and front-end services as well as portfolio management and user experience.

Liftoff clients will continue to receive financial advisory services from in-house certified financial planners at Ritholtz Wealth Management.

In a video announcing the new arrangement on the YouTube channel The Compound, which was shared on Twitter and on Brown’s blog, The Reformed Broker, CEO Jon Stein said Betterment Advisors currently serves thousands of individual advisors and about 500 firms. “They tend to be more upstart advisors … striving and growing their business” whether small shops or junior advisors at larger firms.

Betterment has $16.4 billion in assets under management divided among just over 542,000 accounts. Ritholtz Wealth Management has slightly more than $1 billion in AUM across 2,600 client accounts.

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