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In the News

Corporate Insight is frequently in the news, whether to announce and discuss our published research or to offer our views on topics within our areas of expertise. Scroll down this page to read the latest articles in which we’ve appeared, and use our News Archive to find previous items.
How Robo-Advisors Are Reshaping Investing PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 29 April 2014 11:28
etf.com
By Cinthia Murphy

ETF.com: We're seeing a massive proliferation of these online-based financial advisors and investment tools. What’s driving the growth of this segment?

(Grant) Easterbrook: A lot of these firms can be grouped into a post-financial crisis generation of startups. In the aftermath of the crisis, a lot of venture capitalists and entrepreneurial minds got their eyes set on the investment industry, on personal finance.

They saw the major players were battening down the hatches, trying to survive in an industry that was perceived to have a lot of flaws. They saw an opportunity to offer an online-only service that’s lower cost. The idea was that people were so burned out by their advisors or their institutions they just might consider trusting a new online service.


ETF.com: You looked into more than 100 of these firms, and you broke it down into 10 different categories of various services and tools they provide. Still, it struck me that, in general, most of them point investors toward passive index investing. What do you make of that?

Easterbrook: For the most part, they're trying to be competitive on low cost. To do that, they emphasize passive investing. And if they're not using any human touch, it's almost easier, too, to put forward passive management rather than try to explain and justify why they think this or that active fund is better than the passive option. There are a few exceptions in there, but for the most part, these firms are certainly favoring passive options.

Click here to read the full article...

 
Covestor profiled among online financial startups PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 25 April 2014 15:02
the street
By John Spence

A new report examining online financial startups such as Covestor highlights how the financial services industry is evolving as investors grow more comfortable using the internet for research and building portfolios.

"Online financial startups are starting to take root with investors. A report released Wednesday by Corporate Insight analyzed 11 online investment advice providers and found that combined they have more than $11.5 billion under management or advisement," ThinkAdvisor reports.

"With a few exceptions — Covestor, MarketRiders are a little older — most of these services have gone live in the last year or two. Overall, they're pretty young," said Grant Easterbrook, an analyst for Corporate Insight, in the article.

"The basic idea here is they're trying to build a very scalable model. They want to make it very low-cost at each new customer," Easterbrook said. They can also onboard clients quickly with online tools.

Click here to read the full article...

 
Does Vanguard pose a threat to advisers? PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 25 April 2014 14:57

By Trevor Hunnicutt

On April 16th, Grant Easterbrook spoke with Investment News via video-chat to provide commentary on the momentum robo-advisers are seeing and Vanguard's potential impact on the market.

Click here to watch Grant's Commentary...

 
Finally, some social-media ground rules PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 25 April 2014 14:55


Like it or not, social media is part of our culture, and neither advisers nor regulators can stick their heads in the sand and ignore it.

As Liz Skinner reported, a survey conducted by Corporate Insight in December indicated that 67% of Generation Y/Millennials and 28% of baby boomers said that they would use an online search tool to find an adviser.

Such searches often lead to sites that feature customer reviews. Slowly, the SEC has come around to realizing that social media is here to stay and has tried to help advisers adapt to it to enhance their businesses, while at the same time protecting investors from its abuses.

Click here to read the full article...

 
Don’t Try to Outwit the Robots — Embrace Them PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 11 April 2014 11:39
Financial Advisor IQ
By Murray Coleman and Joan Warner

The onslaught by so-called robo-advisors continues, but they’re not about to knock traditional wealth managers out of the industry, says Carl Richards of the BAM Alliance on Morningstar Advisor. At the same time, if practitioners fail to exploit technological tools that can make investing cheaper and more client-friendly, they’re basically “crazy,” he writes.

Online financial-advice providers manage or advise more than $11.5 billion in client assets, according to a new report by researcher Corporate Insight. (For context, PwC estimated assets under professional management in North America at $33 trillion in 2012.) Top players in the space include Betterment, Covestor, FutureAdvisor, SigFig and Wealthfront. The draw of their business model is that using algorithms to sort through investment options can dramatically lower fees and speed up the process of cobbling together an asset allocation plan.

Click here to read the full article...

 
Robo-Advisors Gobbling Billions in Assets PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 11 April 2014 11:34
ThinkAdvisor
By Danielle Andrus

Online financial startups are starting to take root with investors. A report released Wednesday by Corporate Insight analyzed 11 online investment advice providers and found that combined they have more than $11.5 billion under management or advisement.

The majority of that is under advisement, the report found, as those firms reported they provide paid advice for $9 billion in client assets. Online startups directly manage $2.6 billion in client assets, according to the report.

Data for the report was pulled from publicly available information. Corporate Insight also conducted interviews with executives at several firms.

Corporate Insight tracks more than 200 online financial services startups, but this analysis only included data from the 11 best-known firms: Assetbuilder, Betterment, Covestor, Financial Guard, FutureAdvisor, Jemstep, MarketRiders, Personal Capital, RebalanceIRA, SigFig and Wealthfront. The services those firms offer include algorithm-based advice and advice from real advisors who meet with clients virtually.

Those firms are among the oldest and largest of the startups Corporate Insight tracks, according to Grant Easterbrook, an analyst for Corporate Insight. Considering how new the services are though, “old” is relative.

Click here to read the full article...

 
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