The press may have been highly focused on Betterment and Wealthfront, who now each hold over $2.5B AUM, but there are many other robo-advisors emerging. Moreover, incumbents such as Vanguard and Schwab have been flexing their muscles in the space as they hold much larger amounts of AUM. Some say the recent feud between Betterment and Wealthfront is largely due to the pressure of gaining market traction in such a proliferated market.
"We have seen tremendous growth,” said Jon Stein, chief executive of Betterment, adding that the company is increasing the distance between itself and the other automated investment service startups. “I think that in part is due to the rising general awareness of the space.” It's true that the number of investors likely to use robo-advisers is growing. According to a recent A.T. Kearney study, the percentage of total investable assets that robo-advisory services manage will jump from 0.5% today to 5.6% in 2020.