Charles Schwab’s (read our review) evolution of its advisory services (read our review of Schwab Intelligent Portfolios) continues with the official launch of Schwab Intelligent Advisory. The service officially rolled out to the public on March 14th.

With Schwab Intelligent Advisory, as compared to Schwab Intelligent Portfolios, clients gain access to Certified Financial Planners (CFPs), ie human advice. The best way to look at Schwab’s new service is to think of it as a discount advisory service. Here’s a summary,

Schwab Intelligent Advisory competes head to head with Vanguard’s Personal Advisor Services. The minimum to open an account is $25,000 (Vanguard’s is $50,000) and the annual management fee is just 0.28% with no fund expense ratios and a quarterly cap of $900 (Vanguard’s is 0.30% + fund expense ratios, or approximately 0.49% all-in). Betterment’s new Plus and Premium offerings are also competitors, albeit much more expensive.

On paper, it appears Schwab has Vanguard beat. That said, there are still aspects that are not clear with Schwab Intelligent Advisory. Open questions include what the portfolio holdings are and what portion of each portfolio is allocated to cash.

Regardless, Schwab’s new service stirs the pot in a big way and is yet another plus-one for investors with smaller portfolios seeking human guidance.

Schwab Intelligent Advisory Makes It Easy for Investors to Have a Customized Plan and Automated Portfolio
March 14th, 2017