WiseBanyan Reviews 2017

Introduction

WiseBanyon bills itself as “the world’s first free financial advisor”. Founded in   2014, this automated investment advisor requires that potential clients receive an invitation before applying. You’ll be added to their waitlist following receipt of an invite, but once you’re accepted, it only takes a few days to set up your account. WiseBanyan has 9,400 clients and manages $49 million dollars in assets, much less than many other robo-advisors. WiseBanyan reviews note the digital service’s low AUM in comparison to similar firms. Its financial showing is a combination of its no-fee business model and its status as a new, evolving company.

Types of Accounts Supported/Facts

WiseBanyan membership is invite-only, and you may have to wait before you can fill out a questionnaire regarding your finances and goals. They accept applications from legal U.S. residents over 18 with a permanent address and Social Security number. H-1B Visa holders with a U.S Social Security number and U.S. address are also eligible to apply.

WiseBanyan will verify your identity when you apply for an account, but they don’t conduct a credit check.

WiseBanyan has a $1 minimum deposit and requires no annual fee, regardless of your account balance.  Clients must pay $95 to transfer their IRA to another broker; it costs $75 to transfer a non-retirement account to another brokerage house.

You’ll receive electronic statements for free. A paper statement costs $10 or $150 for 12 monthly reports. A domestic paper check costs $5. If you want to use a wire transfer to send money from WiseBanyan to another financial institution, you’ll pay $25 (domestic) or $50 (international).

Apex Clearing conducts and clears all transactions for WiseBanyan and holds investments. The company has registered with SEC and FINRA. It offers SIPC insurance up to $500,000 for clients and lacks FIDC insurance.

WiseBanyan supports the following account types:

  • Individual Investment Accounts
  • Roth IRAs
  • Traditional IRA
  • SEP-IRAs
  • Rollover IRAs

How the Product Works

WiseBanyan creates a risk score for your account based on your answers to financial questions. The company’s algorithms then build a portfolio of exchange-traded funds (ETFs) appropriate to your financial risk assessment. You can always change the amount of financial risk you’re willing to take, and the automated system will update your account to fit the new level.

WiseBanyan will use the seven following ETFs (or most of them), in your portfolio:  

  • Vanguard REIT ETF
  • Vanguard FTSE Emerging Markets
  • Vanguard Intermediate-Term Government Bond ETF
  • Vanguard Total Stock Market ETF     Vanguard FTSE Developed Markets ETF
  • iShares iBoxx $ Investment Grade Corporate Bond ETF
  • iShares TIPS Bond ETF

WiseBanyan omits municipal bonds, natural resources and emerging market bonds from its assets.

Once WiseBanyan has set up your account, you can keep track of investments with the easy-to-navigate user interface. It clearly shows your balance, deposits, and withdrawals with accompanying graphs.

Features

Milestones

Set your financial goals with WiseBanyan’s Milestones. You let the advisor know your net worth, income level and time horizon, and it will create a savings plan for you, complete with automatic deposits and rebalancing.

  • Choose from Rainy Day, Retirement, Build Wealth Milestones or create a plan for all three. You can develop a plan for as many Custom Milestones as you want.
  • A Rainy Day Milestone helps you save for unexpected events like a car repair or moving to a new apartment.
  • Choose a Build Wealth Milestone if you want to invest money without a specific goal in mind.
  • Save for the future with a Retirement goal, or create a Custom Milestone for a goal that doesn’t fit in the first three categories.

Check on your Milestone details on your online Dashboard. If you want to changeyour asset allocation, use the slider on your Milestone screen. To transfer funds from one milestone account to another, click the “Funding’ tab, and then the “Transfer Funds” tab.

When you first use a Milestone account, you may want to auto-deposit monthly, and then change the frequency to weekly as you become more comfortable.

WiseBanyan doesn’t let you change the EFTs assigned to your account. A diversified portfolio gives you the best results, and their algorithms choose particular securities for a sound financial reason.

Portfolio Rebalancing

When you make a deposit,withdrawal, or earn dividends,WiseBanyan rebalances your portfolio for free to reduce your tax burden.

Modern Portfolio Theory

Like most other automated investment advisors, WiseBanyan adheres to theModern Portfolio Theory, which favors the use of several types of stocks and bonds to minimize risk.

WiseHarvesting

WiseHarvesting is a form of paid tax-loss harvesting. It turns losses in your account into an opportunity to reduce taxes. Most digital advisors include tax-loss harvesting as a regular part of their service for all clients (or for high-balance customers). WiseBanyan provides this service as a paid option for customers.

You can take advantage of WiseHarvesting for a yearly cost of 0.25% of taxable assets and a cap of $20 per month if you have a taxable account. Accounts over

$96,000 will give you unrestricted value over a lifetime of use. You don’t need to have a certain minimum balance to use WiseHarvesting.

Fractional Shares

WiseBanyan can buy fractional shares for your portfolio.

Blog and Web Content

WiseBanyan offers a blog, financial advice, interviews, and a “Heroes” section on its website. Like WealthSimple, another newcomer to the electronic investment industry, they provide lots of content and financial food for thought on their website.

You can contact customer support by phone from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Eastern Time, and email support.

WiseBanyan offers free Android and iOS apps. Customers rate the apps as being suitable for beginners and being easy to install.

Potential Drawbacks

WiseBanyan doesn’t offer support for trusts, joint taxable accounts, 401(k)s or 529 college plans. If you have any of these accounts, you’ll need to use WealthFront, Betterment of the more comprehensive automated investment advisors. Another robo-advisor can offer you more benefits if you have any taxable account.

WiseBanyan has customer support but lacks personal financial advisors to complement the automated system.

You may prefer to use traditional tax-loss harvesting instead of paying a separate fee for WiseHarvesting. The add-on fee might not be worth the cost for many people, even with the otherwise free service.

Who Will Benefit from WiseBanyan?

This no-cost service serves as a relatively risk-free introduction to digitalinvestment if you’re a beginning investor or have a small balance.

WiseBanyan will help you save without a complex layout if you have a retirement account and need a safe, inexpensive digital investment account.

Summary

WiseBanyan’s free service offers a clear and easy to navigate app, and its l Milestones provide an excellent way to manage several different financial plans.

You may wonder how WiseBanyan stays solvent without charging management fees. It offers additional products to clients, like paid tax-loss harvesting, IRAs and investment accounts.

Unlike its competitors, WiseBanyan requires no management fee for any customer account. It offers most of the services fee-charging companies do, such as portfolio rebalancing, automatic deposits, and mobile apps.

WiseBanyan reviews, while not glowing, praise the company as a new player on the robo-advisor landscape. If you’re a new investor or prefer a digital-only platform, WiseBanyan may be a good option for you.

About the Author HarryC

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