Robo-Advisors vs Online Brokers vs RIAs – Which is Best?

robot advisor

The rise of the “robo-advisor” is hard to ignore. Startups Wealthfront, Betterment, Personal Capital, and others have shaken up the managed assets scene by letting algorithms determine the best allocation of capital.

Investing with a robo-advisor has given investors the ability to accomplish long term investment goals with a much lower cost over using a traditional advisor.

A similar trend of lower costs has been seen with the online brokers. All the major brokers charge $9.99 or less per trade, with a variety of firms offering trades at half that rate, $4.95 or lower.

So which is the better choice: park your capital with a so called robo advisor and let the algos direct your portfolio, or take the bull by its horns and trade for yourself?

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STTG Market Recap July 28, 2014


Stocks sold off moderately Monday morning but dip buyers came in yet again – a pattern we have now seen for 2 months – and indexes close near unchanged. The S&P 500 gained 0.03% while the NASDAQ dropped 0.10%. News flow was light; keep in mind we do have the Federal Reserve meeting Tuesday and Wednesday but they have telegraphed their intentions so no fireworks will come of this. We also have the monthly employment data coming Friday. There was another weak housing report today as the National Association of Realtors said pending-home sales were down 1.1 percent in June.

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STTG Market Recap July 25, 2014


Indexes gapped down and stayed down all session as weakness in and Visa hurt morale a bit. The S&P 500 fell 0.48% and the NASDAQ 0.50%. Late in the day Goldman Sachs released a note saying they are “neutral” on equities over three months as it sees a slide in bonds leading to a temporary selloff in stocks.

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STTG Market Recap July 24, 2014


Thursday was a quiet session with indexes flipping around the unchanged line. The S&P 500 gained 0.05% while the NASDAQ dropped 0.04%. It was another day of very high profile companies reporting. Economic news in the housing market was not very good – new home sales declined 8.1 percent in June, the biggest drop in almost a year.

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STTG Market Recap July 23, 2014


Indexes were up most of the session as a surge by Apple (AAPL) helped lift things; this is a massive component of the NASDAQ. The S&P 500 gained 0.18% and the NASDAQ 0.40%. It was a very busy day with a lot of blockbuster companies reporting so we’ll focus on that today.

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