Battle of the giants: Wealthfront Vs. Betterment

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8 July 2015
William Trout
Wealthfront CEO Adam Nash is at it again. Fresh from poking Schwab in the eye, he’s calling out archrival Betterment for what he calls client-unfriendly practices. Needless to say, Betterment has responded in force. Nash asserts that Betterment is ripping off client minnows (in the form of a $3/month fee) in order to subsidize the whales, i.e. those $100,000+ investors who pay Betterment 15 bps in fees. As he puts it, banks operate in much the same way, by nickel and diming those who can least afford it. Ouch. At the same time, Nash has underscored the difference between his firm and his NYC based rival by lowering the Wealthfront fee paywall from $5,000 to $500 in assets. This head-on approach is classic Nash. Yet as is often the case with Wealthfront, there’s more here than meets the eye. Join me on this blog tomorrow when I explain what this contretemps is really about.

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