Artificial Intelligence has introduced a wide range of services and skills formerly reserved for humans. Cars can now drive themselves, we can order groceries and play music through algorithm-controlled devices, perform diagnoses through our smart phones, and receive personal finance advice from robo-advisors. Financial advisors are no longer for the very wealthy. WiseBanyan has launched a technology that calls itself the “world’s first free financial advisor” and doles out wisdom on investments, taxes, IRAs, and EFTs.
WiseBanyan encourages investors of all levels to take advantage of its free advice and management services. Unlike their competitors, WiseBanyan has no account minimum, and their practices reflect basic, tried-and-true portfolio theories. Similar to when you walk into a human financial advisor’s office, WiseBanyan surveys new clients with a series of questions to determine a risk score in order to assign them an ETF portfolio. The client isn’t obligated to adhere to their risk score, and they can adjust their risk tolerance to be on the aggressive side or more conservative depending on their expectations for returns.
WiseBanyan’s portfolios exclude municipal bonds, emerging market bonds, and natural resources. Their funds have an average expense ratio of 0.12 percent and cover U.S. government bonds, Treasure inflation-protected securities, real estate, corporate bonds, and short-term and high-yield bonds.
Simplicity is WiseBanyan’s main attraction, and they’ve carved out several components that make it easy for young and first-time investors to get started, like the Milestone feature. Investors implement timeline and net worth goals, and WiseBanyan will generate a suggestion for how long to invest a set amount of cash. According to WiseBanyan, “Milestones is not designed to be a one-size-fits-all experience: it’s catered to what you want as an individual!” There are four Milestone options: Retirement, Rainy Day, Custom, and Build Wealth. Rainy Day is geared towards helping you save towards unexpected purchases and emergency spending. Custom allows you to save for virtually any kind of coal, like a car or a few months of travel. Build Wealth is for investors who feel ambivalent about committing to any kind of investment plan. Despite its name, Build Wealth doesn’t appear to be the right option for anyone trying to earn passive income. However, users can edit the Milestone’s asset allocation using the bar slider.
Although WiseBanyan claims to be spearheading the robo-advisor trend, other financial management services are doing similar things with AI like Betterment, Wealthfront, Acorns, and Vanguard. Even long-standing financial management institutions like Charles Schwab are bringing their best AI game to the table. Schwab’s Intelligent portfolio requires clients to maintain a large quantity of low-yielding cash and restricts you to its own ETFs. Unlike Schwab, WiseBanyan lets you own fractional shares, which means it’s an ideal platform to open up a portfolio with only $10. WiseBanyan is designed for solo investors, and you can’t open up a joint account for a spouse, which is a common option with other robo-advisors. However, according to company executives, there will be more flexibility for account ownership later in the year.
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