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Top 5 largest robo-advisers by AUM

first_imgIt’s only March and the robo-advice sector has already seen a lot of change this year. Goldman Sachs’ Marcus Invest and Stash’s Smart Portfolios entered the playing field. Betterment announced its acquisition of Wealthsimple Inc.’s U.S. book of business, while M1 Finance raised another $75 million in funding — and got caught up in a Twitter spat with Wealthfront. Social Finance Inc. announced it’s going public with a blank-check company that values the upstart at around $8.7 billion.However, when it comes to the top five robo-advisers by assets under management for investment accounts, the largest robos have remained consistent over the past few years.1. VANGUARDVanguard Personal Advisor Services reigns king, with an AUM clocking in at $212 billion as of year end 2020, largely due to its stellar hybrid approach with human advisers in the mix, according to Backend Benchmarking’s Robo Report covering the fourth quarter of 2020. In fact, Vanguard won best robo-adviser for complex financial planning needs, according to the report. Vanguard’s Personal Advisor Services includes planning with a live adviser for only a 0.30% annual management fee. “In previous ​rankings​, we have highlighted a lower quality online experience at Vanguard than many of the independent robos,” said Backend Benchmarking’s head of research David Goldstone in the report. “Following the introduction of Vanguard’s digital-only offering, Digital Advisor, Vanguard has also revamped the online experience.”  Competition is heating up in the robo-advice market as new players enter the space, acquisitions expand scale and account openings surge.  Rounding out the top five rankings by AUM are independent robo-advisers Betterment, Personal Capital and Wealthfront. 3. BETTERMENTBetterment, which also ranked as winner for best robo-adviser for first-time investors, manages about $18.1 billion in assets. Investors can get started with Betterment with any size initial investment for a low 0.25% annual advisory fee, making it an accessible option, according to the report. When it comes to other features, Betterment also offers Socially Responsible Investing, income-focused investing, and smart-beta investing — strategies that may be more interesting to fresh investors still navigating what makes sense for them, Goldstone said. “With no investment minimum, competitive fees, clear financial planning tools, an ability to upgrade for access to CFPs, and different options to explore, Betterment is our top choice for the first-time investor,” he said.  2. CHARLES SCHWABCharles Schwab & Co.’s digitally advised assets rank second in AUM size, with $57.9 billion in managed assets. The offering gives investors a choice between Schwab Intelligent Portfolios, which does not have an advisory fee with a $5,000 minimum, and Portfolios Premium, which is subscription based with a minimum of $25,000. Schwab’s introduction of a free financial planning tool, Schwab Plan, to all users with a Schwab brokerage account earned the firm an honorable mention for best digital financial planning robo, according to the report.  4. PERSONAL CAPITALComing in fourth place by AUM size is Personal Capital, which manages $16.5 billion in assets. Personal Capital is the runner-up for the best robo for digital financial planning, right behind Betterment. The Robo Report cites Personal Capital’s series of individual tools for specific insights that makes it stand out from competitors. For example, there are tools for analyzing adviser fees, debt management, and a Portfolio Checkup. “These tools tend to be visual, intuitively designed, detailed, and free,” Goldstone said. “Personal Capital also stands out for its inclusion of debt management planning, an area many robos have not yet integrated.” 5. WEALTHFRONTWealthfront closed out the top five with $15.85 billion in AUM, but took home the win for best robo for digital financial planning — outpacing Schwab, according to the report. Wealthfront won first place for this category due to its innovative features and sleek user interface. Without having to sign up for any paid service, users see their linked accounts in one place, their overall plan’s expected future value, and Wealthfront instantly calculates the user’s savings rate. From there, the user can model a variety of planning goals, including saving for college or buying a home. As each scenario is added to the plan, users check in to their overall goal and see its impact. “When looking at some of the innovative components that Wealthfront boasts, the first is the new Autopilot feature,” Goldstone said. “Autopilot allows the user to set a specific amount of cash to be used as the liquidity in the plan, while excess cash is recommended to be moved to a Wealthfront investment account.”last_img read more

Another case of local Zika infection confirmed in Miami

first_imgThe Florida Department of Health (Florida Health) confirmed yesterday that there was another case of locally spread Zika in Miami, this time outside of the Wynwood neighborhood. This brings the total locally transmitted cases to 15.Natalie Spindle, a public information office for Florida Health, said investigations into the origins of the new case were still ongoing this morning.”We still believe active transmission is only occurring in Wynwood,” she told CIDRAP News. “But this case comes from outside of that neighborhood. We’re doing questioning now and will let everyone know when we have more answers.”Local transmission of Zika virus was first confirmed late last week in the Wynwood neighborhood just north of downtown Miami. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a travel advisory on Monday, warning pregnant women to stay away from that area.In addition to local transmission, there have been 336 cases of travel-related Zika in Florida, and 55 cases in pregnant women. Infection with Zika during pregnancy can lead to severe birth defects, including microcephaly.In a daily update yesterday, Florida Health said officials were testing people living in a 150-meter radius around known cases. Aedes mosquitoes are not known to travel more than 150 meters. Florida Health said officials are still going door to door in Wynwood to gather samples and inform community members about mosquito prevention.In light of the new case, the CDC and Florida Health said yesterday they will begin aerial spraying with naled, an insecticide, in Miami. While naled is safe and effective in spraying against some types of mosquitoes, critics have warned that it does little to deter Aedes. But CDC Director Tom Frieden, MD, MPH, said in an Aug 1 news conference that ground spraying has been infective in reducing Aedes populations in Miami. “Aerial treatment of areas with products that rapidly reduce both young and adult mosquitoes is a possible way to limit the number of mosquitoes that carry the Zika virus,” Benjamin Haynes, a CDC spokesman, told CIDRAP News today.Spraying was supposed to begin today in a 10-mile area around Wynwood, but it was canceled because of weather, Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez said in a statement. The mosquito-control team will try again tonight or tomorrow morning.Human trials to begin on NIH vaccineIn related news, today the National Institutes of Health announced the launch of a phase 1 clinical trial of VRC 319, a Zika vaccine candidate. The trial will test safety and immune response in 80 healthy adults at three sites in the United States. Results are expected in January 2017.”NIAID worked expeditiously to ready a vaccine candidate, and results in animal testing have been very encouraging. We are pleased that we are now able to proceed with this initial study in people. Although it will take some time before a vaccine against Zika is commercially available, the launch of this study is an important step forward,” said National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) Directory Anthony Fauci, MD in a statement.VRC 319 is a DNA vaccine and does not contain the Zika virus. Instead, it contains plasmid, a small circular piece of DNA, that’s injected into a participant’s arm. The genetic information triggers the body to make Zika virus proteins. The proteins illicit an immune system response, triggering virus-neutralizing antibodies in participants.”A team of scientists here at NIAID worked tirelessly to rapidly develop this vaccine for clinical testing,” said John Mascola, MD, director of NIAID’s Vaccine Research Center. “DNA or gene-based vaccines induce antibodies, but they also can activate the cell-mediated immune response, which ultimately could yield strong and durable protection against disease.”Travel, mosquito, military developmentsThe CDC announced a travel restriction today to Antigua and Barbuda as well as to Turks and Caicos Islands. Travelers recently returning from the islands have sexually transmitted the Zika virus, according to a CDC statement. The level 2 travel notice recommends practicing “enhanced precautions,” including avoiding nonessential travel if you are pregnant, or you or your partner wants to get pregnant in the near future.The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) published two new maps today showing Aedes mosquito activities in Europe. The maps show where Ae albopictus and Ae aegypti population have been found. Both mosquitoes can transmit viruses, including Zika and dengue. The EDCD said in a news release that there are reports of Ae aegypti in Turkey, and established Ae albopictus populations in Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Italy and Turkey.Thirty-three US military service members, including one pregnant woman, have been diagnosed as having Zika virus infection, according to the Pentagon. At least six family members of the servicemen and women contracted Zika. Since about 80% of Zika cases are unreported and asymptomatic, the total number of military personnel infected is probably much higher, the Pentagon said.See also:Aug 2 Florida Health updateAug 2 Miami-Dade County release on spraying Aug 3 Mayor Gimenez’s statementAug 3 NIH press releaseCDC’s Zika travel informationlast_img read more

Four railways save money with a joint train order

first_imgSWITZERLAND: Four metre-gauge operators in western Switzerland have jointly selected Stadler Bussnang to supply a total of 17 two and three-car electric multiple-units worth a total of SFr150m.Announcing the orders on March 13, Stadler said joint procurement had saved SFr28m compared to separate competitions and should offer long-term savings through maintenance synergies. Having reached the same point in their fleet renewal cycles, in August 2012 the operators issued a joint invitation to tender with a list of specifications that would meet the needs of all four companies. Stadler will sign separate contracts with each railway. Deliveries are scheduled to run from January 2015 to July 2016, and there are options worth a further SFr80m. Compagnie du Chemin de fer Montreux Oberland Bernois has ordered four EMUs to replace its Class 4000 EMUs dating from 1968. Transports de la Région Morges-Bière-Cossonay has ordered four EMUs to replace units dating back to 1981 and enable the provision of a half-hourly service between Bière and Morges from December 2015. Transports Vallée de Joux Yverdon-les-Bains Ste-Croix has ordered two EMUs to replace stock nearing the end of its service life, and a third to allow the introduction of a half-hourly service between Sainte-Croix and Yverdon-les-Bains. Transports Publics Fribourgeois has ordered six EMUs to replace four older units and provide enhanced Fribourg commuter services.last_img read more