Ask Terry Questions Robo Advisors fee comparison

Robo Advisors fee comparison

By Terry Savage on March 21, 2018 | Investments

I've been using for the last three years both a Robo investment company (.25%) and a % fee-based financial adviser (1.5%) to manage separate retirement accounts. Both fee structures (shown) are based on a % of total funds managed. Is it possible, or advisable) to compare the net after fee returns of one account to the other? My wife and I are five years from retirement, and everything I've read from multiple sources says to save fees. Your advise is appreciated.

Terry Says

I agree that you should do everything possible to save fees!  On the other hand, a ROBO advisor isn't very good at hand-holding in tough times.  So you have to measure the attention, experience and advice of a good financial planner and the value in scary times. In answer to your specific question:  Each account should give you a "rate of return" annually, NET of fees.  You should ask for that.  But don't forget that you are likely still paying fees "inside" your account if you hold mutual funds.  Typically, ROBO advisors use low-cost investments, and that may not be the same with your human advisor!  So be sure to look inside the NET report, to compare ongoing investment fees, beyond the fees charged for advisory services.

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