Morgan Stanley's hybrid robo offering is priced at a 35 bps annual fee, below Merrill's 45 bps but higher than Betterment and Wealthfront at 25 bps. MS is also focusing on customization, with seven thematic portfolios offered at launch.
What’s at play here, analysts say, is a strategy to tap into the massive wealth transfer that’s about to take shape. According to Accenture, $30 trillion in financial and nonfinancial assets is expected to move from baby boomers to young people in North America. Meanwhile, the market for digital investment advice is growing among younger people, with robos expected to capture $385 billion in assets under management by 2021, according to recent research. By setting a lower entry point, it’s addressing millennials’ comfort with digital tools.