Yet another firm has launched a new robo-advisory. This time, it’s Plancorp out of St. Louis, whose hybrid-robo is certified by Pittsburgh-based Centre for Fiduciary Excellence, an independent global assessment and certification organization. We think it’s a great idea – and marketing strategy – to get a new online platform certified by an external organization. What we do not know yet, is how the platform will perform in market conditions long term. What is interesting is that the robo does not require direct investment through Plancorp, though we certainly get that it’s certainly great lead source for future business. As more of these robos come online, they’ll have to have more unique angles – like this certification – to stand out in the crowd.
“SAN JOSE, CA, November 1, 2017 – BrightPlanTM, a digital financial planning and investment platform, launched today. BrightPlan is built on 30 years of award-winning advisory experience from Plancorp and incorporates Nobel Prize-winning research. BrightPlan is the first hybrid-robo advisory service certified by the Centre for Fiduciary Excellence (CEFEX). This certification validates that BrightPlan follows prudent fiduciary practices to provide clients with a service they can trust to act in their best interest.
“For too long, sophisticated financial life planning and investment services have been the exclusive privilege of the wealthiest one percent of the population,” said BrightPlan founder and CEO Marthin De Beer. “My inspiration to create BrightPlan was to provide everyone that same level of access to trusted, affordable financial advice in order to achieve life’s most important goals.”
BrightPlan is an online platform for defining and planning financial life goals, helping clients navigate the often complex task of optimizing their finances today and into the future by providing personalized plans and tailor-made investment strategies.
Clients are not required to invest through BrightPlan in order to receive financial planning advice. They can manually input external account balances or link external accounts from more than 10,000 financial institutions to BrightPlan, which will monitor goal progress and provide advice to stay on track. For example, BrightPlan will recommend a diversified portfolio of stocks and bonds for a client’s existing external 401k account based on a defined retirement goal.
Those who choose to invest through BrightPlan will benefit from automated saving and investing in low-fee mutual funds and exchange traded funds. BrightPlan handles all the details including automated contributions, rebalancing, dividend reinvestment, and tax loss harvesting.
Clients can choose a digital-only service or a hybrid service, which taps the experience of wealth managers from Plancorp, a subsidiary of Prumentum Group that has decades of experience guiding a diverse range of clients to reach a variety of financial goals, and was an early adopter of evidence-based investing, supported by Nobel Prize-winning academic research.
“We have collaborated with the BrightPlan team to integrate our 30 years of experience working with high net worth individuals, families and institutions, into proprietary algorithms and approaches which are now available via BrightPlan,” said Chris Kerckhoff, President of Plancorp. “With the launch of BrightPlan, personalized financial planning and wealth management has been democratized.”
Key BrightPlan services include:
- Financial Life Planning: Easy to use, personalized planning to help you achieve life’s most important goals.
- Saving and Investing Simplified: Automated investing of your one-time or recurring contributions, based on a tailored, goal-driven investment strategy.
- Hybrid Platform: Seamless migration from digital-led to human-led advisory services.
- Financial Insights: Ability to link your accounts from over 10,000 financial institutions to analyze your investment portfolio, track progress towards achieving goals, and view net worth and cash flow in real time.
- Tax Mitigation Strategies: Improved after-tax returns with tax-aware portfolio construction and periodic tax loss harvesting.
- Superior Fund Selection: Nobel prize-winning research applied to select low-cost, diversified mutual funds and ETF’s with exclusive access to Dimensional Fund Advisors products.
- Predictive Analytics: Personalized insights and a proactive plan to produce optimized results.
- Automation: Automated portfolio recommendations, savings tracking, rebalancing and tax loss harvesting to keep goals on track.
- Content and Community: Access to experienced advisors so you can learn and plan.
“Personalized, goals-based investment planning enhances the probability of successful outcomes compared to investment only strategies.” said Robert Merton, Nobel Prize-winning economist, Professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management and Resident Scientist at Dimensional Holdings, Inc. “When choosing an advisor, it’s all about trust. The three pillars of trust are philosophy, experience and certification. BrightPlan has an intriguing service offering in this respect, especially given its focus on the mass market where trust is even more critical.”
The demand for a mass market fiduciary financial service is fueled by the largest transfer of wealth in history. Millennials and Generation X are expected to inherit $30 trillion of wealth over the next two decades and their needs are not being met by traditional firms. In addition, 1,700 new millionaires are established every day in the United States and need access to experienced financial advice both online and offline to manage this new-found wealth. Accenture found that 46% of Americans are willing to get financial advice online – BrightPlan was built for those who are ready to experience goals-based planning and investment services with integrity and transparency
BrightPlan and Plancorp are subsidiaries of Prumentum Group, Inc., founded by former Cisco executive Marthin De Beer and serial entrepreneur Robert Wallace. Prumentum raised $25 million in Series A funding from America’s most successful entrepreneurial families and technology investors.”