Vanguard is employing algorithms on its new digital-only robo-advisor in a bid to offer mass affluent investors more options than the typical target-date retirement fund as well as more detailed choices than other robos, according to news reports.

Vanguard Digital Advisor will employ glide path methodology to factor in variables, such as the client’s risk attitude, retirement saving rate, expected retirement income and marital status to produce one of more than 300 possible glide path options, FA-IQ sister publication Ignites writes, citing a recent regulatory document from Vanguard.

Based on the client’s various factors and goals, the robo’s asset allocation could range from 100% stock to 100% short-term reserves, according to the filing cited by Ignites.

The change goes into effect about mid-May, the document says, according to the publication.

Vanguard self-launched Digital Advisor in March, aiming it at mass affluent investors. While Vanguard’s Personal Advisor Services, which offers investors access to individual advisors, comes with a $50,000 minimum and charges 30 basis points or more, the digital-only Digital Advisor has a $3,000 minimum and charges around 20 bps before fee waivers.

But the recent feature enhancement is aimed at moving Digital Advisor away from a “one size fits most” approach to traditional target-date retirement funds, a company spokesman tells Ignites. TDFs usually rely on an investor’s expected retirement date to determine asset allocation, the publication writes.

In addition, Digital Advisor’s questionnaire is more detailed than that of most robo-advisors, David Goldstone, research analyst at Backend Benchmarking, tells Ignites.

Nonetheless, other robo providers, including Personal Capital, Wealthfront and Betterment, now also offer cash management options they say provide better yields than traditional banks, according to the publication.

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