Research Outline

Holistic Financial Advisory Tools


To understand the global competitive landscape for a holistic financial advisory tool aimed at the mass affluent.

Early Findings

  • Wealthfront, based in Palo Alto, CA, is a self-service financial planning tool that uses computer algorithms to help consumers manage their investments and savings. NerdWallet named Wealthfront as the best among these self-service tools.
  • FacetWealth, based in Baltimore, MD, is an online financial planning tool that matches consumers with a certified financial planner who assists with the planning process. This tool offers a virtual dashboard where clients can access their financial data, as illustrated in the video at this link.
  • Betterment, another NerdWallet top pick, offers two service options, one of which offers the options of connecting with a human certified financial planner. Betterment, based in New York City, offers virtual advice on investing and saving.
  • Personal Capital, based in San Carlos, CA, is a hybrid tool that uses robo-advisor artificial intelligence with a dedicated financial planner. The process involves linking all of a consumers accounts (retirement, mortgages, banking, savings, and credit cards) to provide a holistic view, followed by a conversation with a financial planner who helps to devise a plan and launch the investing.
  • Empower specifically targets the mass affluent market with its "digital, consumer-focused wealth management platform." The Denver-based tool offers an intuitive interface to help consumers plan for their retirement, offering "investment advice, financial planning and insurance through a single user experience."