It wasn’t supposed to be this way

The robo-advisor concept began as an idea that could disrupt the wealth management industry.  It started moving through a series of phases that are common to disruptive ideas and technology.  Disruptors like Amazon, Apple and Uber all went through these phases with their products and services.  New business models rose up to slay the incumbents and bring about a new paradigm in their respective industries.

But, the robo-disruption hit a bump along the way.

We started with the “innovators” phase when automated investment advisors first appeared and started gathering assets.  Next was the “discovery” phase when the industry took notice amid breathless coverage from the press.

Then came the “incumbents try to catch up” phase as Charles Schwab and Vanguard launched their own online solutions and in a few months hoovered up double the assets of all the first movers combined.


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