智能投顾平台Wealthfront好像遇到麻烦了 - 互联网金融门户 未央网

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智能投顾平台Wealthfront好像遇到麻烦了

国际资讯基于互联网平台的金融业务

智能投顾平台Wealthfront好像遇到麻烦了

独立智能投顾公司Wealthfront再次上了新闻,这次是因为该公司大幅提高收费标准的行为惹怒了客户。

位于加利福尼亚的红木城公司(Redwood City)将之前风险平价投资的费用率减半,该比例现只有25个基本点。这一投资于二月首次推出便遭受强烈抵制,原因是它的成本为50个基本点,相对较高,除非客户退出该项目,否则该成本最终都转嫁到了客户头上。

Wealthfront领导人Andy Rachleff表示:"事后想来,我们一开始就应该把费用率设定为0.25%。"他解释称,公司误以为客户会对比新投资与其他风险平价策略的成本差异,而非与10,000美元以上账户25个点的成本率作比较。

Wealthfront旗下管理着价值逾100亿美元的资产。一个月前,该公司市值跌至5亿美元,相较2014年下降了近三分之一,并因此上了新闻。这一方面反映出折扣券商和拥有机器人投顾的券商带来的激烈竞争,另一方面也体现了独立小公司试图实现盈利的艰难程度。

其他的独立智能投顾公司也存在这一问题。一旦收费过低,就很难达到盈利所需的规模。有个问题问得好:为什么Wealthfront、Betterment等公司起初的收费标准是25个基本点呢?北美金融服务咨询公司西蒙顾和(Simon Kucher & Partners)负责人Wei Ki告诉我们,经过多方打听,业内没人能回答这个问题。

他表示:"智能投顾是一种创新性的做法,收费模式仍在摸索中。盈利战略也尚未确定,他们的目的只是占领市场。"

而事实证明,扩大市场份额更为困难,特别是行业巨头Vanguard(资产价值1010亿美元)和Charles Schwab(价值270亿美元)也进入了智能投顾领域。Ki还说:"人人都知道独立智能投顾公司的存在,但与此同时,这些公司也没能如最初预想的那样令资产管理这一领域产生根本性的转变。"

Independent robo-advisor Wealthfront is in the news again, this time for doing an about-face on a fee change that upset its customers.

The Redwood City, California-based firm is cutting in half, to 25 basis points, the expense ratio on its two-month old risk parity fund. The fund’s February rollout caused a backlash because of its relatively high 50-basis-point cost, and the fact that it was added to customers’ portfolios unless they opted out.

“In hindsight, we should have delivered it at 0.25% to begin with,” Wealthfront chief Andy Rachleff told Bloomberg. The firm mistakenly believed customers would compare the new fund’s cost to that of other risk-parity strategies, instead of the usual 25-beep cost for accounts over $10,000, he explained.

Wealthfront, which has more than $10 billion of assets under management, made news a month ago after its valuation fell to around $500 million, down by about a third from its 2014 level. This appears to reflect stiff competition from discount brokerages and wirehouses that now have their own robos, as well as the difficult road the indies face in trying to achieve profitability.

Part of the problem, which is shared by the other independent robos, is that if you charge a pittance, it’s really hard to achieve the scale to make that profitable. A good question is why Wealthfront, Betterment and others decided to charge 25 basis points in the first place. Wei Ki, who heads North American financial services for consulting firm Simon Kucher & Partners, told me the firm has asked around, but “nobody in the industry could tell us why it was 25 basis points.”

“Robos were an innovative proposition, but the fee model was a random shot on the dartboard,” he said. “The monetization strategy wasn’t thought through; they just wanted market share.”

It’s proving harder to grow that market share, especially since giants like Vanguard ($101 billion of assets) and Charles Schwab ($27 billion) jumped in. The independent robos “are a presence felt by everybody,” says Ki, “but at the same time they haven’t fundamentally disrupted the wealth management space way they were initially envisioned to do.”


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