FutureAdvisor is part of a growing trend of personal wealth management startups popping up. Which comes as no surprise with all these newly minted startup millionaires who will have to turn to someone to help them manage their virtual gold.
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Take, for example, Seattle-based FutureAdvisor, a site that helps its users manage their index investments and plugs directly into 401(k) plans, pulling data from 100 of the largest plans. FutureAdvisor is in the advice business only; it doesn’t do transactions. Users need to have an existing 401(k), IRA or brokerage account to participate, though there’s no minimum investment. Automated advice is free, but an annual fee of up to $195 gives users the chance to videochat with investment advisers.
A competing site, Redwood City, Calif.-based Personal Capital, is a wealth management startup led by former PayPal and Intuit CEO Bill Harris. It offers tools to manage stock options, tax optimization and stock portfolios. There’s a free version, but to get real advice, users must invest a minimum of $100,000 within the system and pay a fee of approximately 1 percent of their assets annually.