随着竞争的白热化，其他智能投顾也可能坚持不了太久。分析公司BackendBenchmarking出版了一份《智能投顾报告》。在这篇报告中，研究分析师David Goldstone表示， "智能投顾周期正在逐渐成熟，赢家脱颖而出。许多智能投顾企业认为客户会自己上门，某种程度上是这样，但是他们很快就会发现，客户获取成本高于预期。"
The robo-advisor movement is going strong, but the nuts and bolts of competition are taking out the smaller players.
On Tuesday, Hedgeable, a pioneer in automated advice, will shut down its managed accounts just shy of the company's 10-year anniversary. Co-founder and Chief Operating Officer Matt Kane declined to comment, but referred Barron's to its client note: "Hedgeable is restructuring, and we have decided to discontinue our regulated investment management business effective Aug. 9."
The firm will continue to manage its $80 million in assets until that date, but current clients must transfer their accounts to another advisor or brokerage firm by then. Hedgeable referred its 1,700 existing clients to the company's custodian Folio Investments, which will waive monthly account management fees (but not its ordinary service fees) for the remainder of the year for those who make the switch.
It's hard to stand out in the robo world. For many clients, cost is the main or only factor. Many robo-advisors charge next to nothing in terms of fees, require low minimums, use exchange-traded funds, and offer the same kind of low-touch service. Kane and his twin brother Mike, who hailed from Bridgewater Associates, aimed to make Hedgeable distinct by being more active. Hedgeable followed a momentum strategy and offered bitcoin through Coinbase and a venture-capital fund.
Yet being early to the game and somewhat unique didn't give Hedgeable an edge. It hasn't seen the kind of success that no-frills rivals Wealthfront and Betterment have.
As the competition heats up, other robos may bite the dust. "The robo cycle is maturing and separating the winners from the losers. A lot of robos thought people would flock [to them]—true to a certain extent—but many are finding customer-acquisition costs are higher than they expected," says David Goldstone, a research analyst for the Robo Report, published by analytics firm BackendBenchmarking.
Not to mention independent robos also have to compete with the likes of Vanguard, Fidelity, Charles Schwab (SCHW), and Wells Fargo (WFC), which have rolled out their own versions. Early in the robo-advisor movement, analysts said the traditional firms could be threatened by shiny, tech-savvy newcomers. Turns out scale matters—and it always will.