Yet another robo-advisory firm, claiming to be the world's latest 'disrupter', has popped up.
Similar to other online services like Nutmeg in the UK, or Wealthfront in the U.S., the new service offers up ultra-low priced index investing, automatic portfolio re-balancing, candy-coloured website that allows investors to pick risk-based investor profiles. Choose "Topaz" for "highly aggressive investors, to "amethyst" for the most conservative.
It couldn't be an easier, apparently. The cost is a flat AUD$77 per year plus an investment fee of 7 basis points per month of the value of funds under management. Stockspot is entirely online. It doesn't require any face-to-face interaction to establish identity or sign documents. Users sign up, transfer funds electronically, and build portfolio. So it's good for criminals and organized crime. An algorithm guides the decision-making based on the responses to questions to determine risk profile. Arranging the various brightly-coloured asset classes the company invests the funds in ETFs, and takes the fee on that.
The firm is started by someone named Chris Brycki, an Aussie who claims to want "to do to financial advice what PayPal did to payments." The goal is to sign up young millennials who don't have enough funds to warrant full-service. Others wonder if there isn't a bubble forming in the sector: http://www.kitces.com/blog/is-there-a-robo-advisor-bubble-wealthfront-betterment-learnvest-raise-95m-in-capital-in-two-weeks/