Tuesday, March 14, 2017

automated Wall Street

Brokerage Charles Schwab Corp (SCHW.N) on Tuesday launched a service that combines its automated investment management technology with human advisors, as financial institutions race to offer digital financial advice.
The service, called Schwab Intelligent Advisory, provides clients with a financial and investment plan, unlimited access to a human advisor via phone or video conference, and an investment portfolio of exchange-traded funds managed by computer algorithms.
The service, for clients with at least $25,000 to invest, includes an online platform that keeps track of financial goals and retirement plans, the San Francisco-based company said in a statement. It will charge a 0.28 percent fee on assets, with a quarterly maximum of $900.
The service comes less than two months after Betterment LLC, one of the first and largest online wealth managers known as robo-advisers, said it would offer two similar hybrid plans, with minimum investments of $100,000 and $250,000.
"Wealth management" is one of those terms like "hand-crafted" that makes me wonder who is buying the snake oil this morning. Do the algorithms have a function that allows people to yell at them ... after which the algorithms hang their heads and take responsibility?


  1. When they warned that robots would take our jobs, who knew they'd take jobs from the criminal class as well?

  2. More and more we hear how government pension plans are unsustainable and heading towards bankruptcy (never mind the amount of tax money being misused and stolen that might easily cover the gap) and how private fund investment is the only way forward, while saving accounts don't even cover inflation. We've been hearing it for decades now.

    Here in Brazil, the government has released the withdrawal of retirement savings to help heat up the economy. People are queuing to get their old age cash out. It won't last long and it won't come back.

    With the cost of living running higher and higher, the few who can actually spare some cash to invest, are placing their retirement welfare right in the hands of nameless and unelected market speculators and this grand institution called "Market" who, like algorithms, is hardly accountable or even reachable by phone when an economic crisis hits (or is made to hit), especially if you consider how it funds elections and is protected by governments.

    I just look forward 20-30 years and imagine tens of thousands of elders without a dime in their pockets and hardly employable, with their offspring hardly paying their own bills.

    And should that happen (and I can't see how it won't), when the shit hits the fan, no one will know who to yell at, so people will probably just end up yelling at each other or at barriers of well-armed and armored police.

    At this rate, elders living rough will be a very common sight. Add a potential extreme freezing winter coming. Very sad.

    Kind of makes me wonder if a large meteor or a nuclear war wouldn't be a quicker and kinder way of ending the story. Scary.

    Sometimes I really wish I had been born 100 years ago or into the future, though the same feeling would probably exist anyway...

  3. A golden age is a historical myth. The majority have always struggled, always will.

  4. I'm not thinking 100 years earlier or later as a "golden age" Charlie, just not as harsh as this one seems to be paving itself to be. No one can tell the future for sure, but at least in the past the majority had reasonable access to home ownership and families lived closer and in smaller and closer-knit communities, before we began flocking to big cities hoping for work, leaving the family nucleus behind.

    The majority have always struggled and always will, but as cities become bigger and families and communities become more and more fragmented and individualised (I don't even know my nextdoor neighbors) and as pensions plans get depleted even before retirement and living costs rocket through the sky in big cities, things may well become tougher for old age city-dwellers less well-off.

    I see a lot of 30-50 years old people living in rented homes with little to no perspective of having any cash reserved.

    The only thing keeping a roof above their heads is a job, when thousands are loosing theirs and economies show little to no signs of improvement.

    How much longer can they hold their jobs for, before they are sacrificed or being replaced by a newer and probably cheaper generation?

    Just because things were always hard, doesn't mean they can't get harder.

    Hope they don't, but - to be honest - I do feel that old age is on route to become absolute poverty age for a lot of people.

    Time will tell...