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T. Rowe Price Launches Robo Platform

March 20, 2017

Mutual-fund giant T. Rowe Price may be late in the game to launch a robo-advice platform of its own, but it’s bucking the trend by having it invest only in actively managed funds, 401(k) Specialist magazine writes.

What’s more, the firm’s ActivePlus Portfolios platform will come with no advice fee: investors will only be responsible for the expense ratios of the underlying funds, according to the publication.

The initial rollout is only available to IRA investors, however, and the minimum account size is $50,000, 401(k) Specialist magazine writes. Bank of New York Mellon’s Pershing will be the broker-dealer on the accounts, according to the publication.

As with most robo-advice platforms, ActivePlus investors will answer a questionnaire to assess their goals and risk tolerance, according to the publication. The robo then invests each model portfolio in eight to 13 of T. Rowe Price’s proprietary actively managed funds, 401(k) Specialist magazine writes.

The portfolios are also overseen by the company’s investment professionals, according to the publication. In addition to online and mobile access, clients on the platform will still be able to call “licensed client managers” with more complex questions, 401(k) Specialist magazine writes.

Several traditional financial institutions have been playing catch-up with robo-advice pioneers such as Betterment and Wealthfront. Last month, Wells Fargo Advisors said it will start testing an automated advice platform it designed in partnership with robo-advisor SigFig.

Merrill Lynch also unveiled a robo-advisor earlier this year, this one aimed at prospective clients who can’t afford the wirehouse’s traditional advisors. And Raymond James is rolling out an automated advice platform in stages into 2018.

By Alex Padalka
  • To read the 401(k) Specialist article cited in this story, click here.