Fortune, updates and summarizes the battle between the incumbents and millennial focused finance platforms that are trying to take over the wealth management industry.
It’s a game being played mostly with technology, especially the apps and websites lumped together as -“robo-advisers.” Startups such as Wealthfront, Betterment, and Lu’s FutureAdvisor aim to speak the language of younger investors (beginning with their Silicon Valley brand names). They share key characteristics: low fees, no or low account minimums, and snapshots of your portfolio in the palm of your smartphone-holding hand. Established wealth managers, however, are not passive spectators. “If we don’t stay at the top of our game, our industry is ripe for disruption,” says Nicole Sherrod, managing director of the trader group at TD Ameritrade and leader of TD Ameritrade U, a platform that introduces college students to simulated investing. Legacy brokerages like hers are launching robo-tools of their own, while betting that millennials will eventually need—and pay for—-something more.