Wells Fargo Advisors has reduced the advisory fee on its digital advisory service along with the platform’s minimum account size.
The annual advisory fee for the service, known as Intuitive Investor, was cut from 0.50% to 0.35% for new customers, and the minimum account size slashed from $10,000 to $5,000.
Existing bank customers will pay just 0.30% if they link their Intuitive Investor brokerage account to the bank’s Portfolio by Wells Fargo, a relationship program with premium benefits based on a Wells Fargo checking account.
“We continue to enhance our platforms to attract the next generation of investors and compete with our peers,” said Joe Nadreau, head of independent brokerage and platform services at Wells Fargo Advisors, in a statement. “We know our clients enjoy having access to financial advisors and ongoing account monitoring and rebalancing of their portfolios.”
Wells Fargo’s new minimum and advisory fee for its digital advisor is in line with offerings from Morgan Stanley, TD Ameritrade and TIAA, but unlike most robo-advisory services at that price and minimum, it also provides interactions with human advisors.
“Wells Fargo is stepping up the fee pressure in the space by reducing their management fee to 0.35%,” said David Goldstone, Head of Research for Backend Benchmarking, publishers of The Robo Report and Robo Ranking. That fee “for a product that offers access to live advisors is at the low end of available ‘hybrid’ advice products.“
Wells Fargo’s digital advisor is not the cheapest robo but it has one of the lowest minimums to qualify for advice from a human advisor.
Vanguard Personal Advisor Services, for example, offers live advice service for a 0.30% management fee, but its minimum is $50,000; Schwab’s Intelligent Portfolios Premium charges $30 a month plus a $300 initial planning fee, but its minimum is $25,000.
Goldstone expects robo-advisory fees will continue to decline especially among those platforms that are digital-only, offering no human advice. “We may see these products eventually have management costs reduced to zero over time.”
Wells Fargo Advisors has a self-directed trading platform, called WellsTrade, that charges nothing for trades in stocks and ETFs.
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