Why Wealthfront has Made Automated Financial Planning a Freebie to Everyone
In the hopes of capturing assets from new clients, robo-advice pioneer Wealthfront plans to give away a financial planning tool previously available only to its customers to anyone in the U.S. — for free, Reuters writes.
The company’s Path tool lets customers link up outside financial accounts — including bank and brokerage accounts and information on their home values — and then calculates spending and savings rates, the newswire writes.
Path then provides real-time projections on how much they’ll need to save to meet their retirement goals, according to Reuters.
Wealthfront had made Path available to its clients in early 2017 in the wake of its digital advice competitors starting to offer additional services that included access to human advisors, the newswire writes.
By the end of this year, however, even people who don’t have assets with Wealthfront will have access to Path, according to Reuters.
The company had witnessed an uptick in growth following Path’s release last year and hopes that offering it for free will convince users to also pay a fee for Wealthfront to manage their money, Dan Carroll, co-founder and chief strategy officer, tells the newswire.
“We don’t believe that financial advice should be for the ultra wealthy and it shouldn’t be behind the pay wall,” Carroll tells Reuters. “We were gratified when we looked at the data, that clients that engage with the engine do save more.”
Wealthfront, which manages over $11 billion, according to the newswire, has been taking other steps to keep up with competition for client assets. Earlier this month the company partnered with tax preparation giant Intuit, allowing users of Intuit’s TurboTax and Mint platforms to pre-fill Wealthfront account-opening documents from their tax documents.