The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau launched a new, interactive, online retirement tool aimed at helping consumers make more informed decisions on when to claim their Social Security retirement benefits. In a recent survey, the CFPB found that only 12 percent of retirees knew how their benefits would change if they claimed before, at, or after their full retirement age (which is usually 66 or 67, depending on when you were born). Additionally, the agency said almost half of retirees start collecting their benefits as soon as possible, usually at age 62. But research shows that Americans who are age 65 currently will likely live to 85, indicating their savings will need to cover an additional 20 years. “Millions of Americans are likely to face financial insecurity in their retirement years,” CFPB director Richard Cordray said. “Deciding when to start claiming Social Security benefits is one of the most important financial choices a consumer will make.”
Wisebanyan has done something in the financial services industry that customers have been begging cable companies to do for years: charging for a la carte products and services. That's how founders Herbert Moore and Vicki Zhou are able to brand their technology-driven app as the "World's First Free Financial Advisor." The robo will design a diversified basket of low-cost ETFs for users for free; investors can then opt-in to paid services if they choose. According to Wisebanyan's website, it was built on two pillars: minimizing fees and helping people invest sooner. It does so by fully automating the investment process and managing portfolios using domestic and international ETFs. "Since we don't make money based on your account size or by putting you in commission-generating funds, we can manage your money in the most effective way possible," the website states.
Pefin, a startup computer software company based in New York City, has developed what they claim is the "world's first AI financial advisor." The technology entered into public beta on Thursday, and will provide personalized investment strategies tied to a user's specific financial plans, according to a company statement. “We built Pefin to help anyone understand their money, make the plans they want, and confidently know how to save and invest, ongoing, to achieve those plans,” said CEO and founder Ramya Joseph. “Most plans you will get today are great for the moment, but ultimately static. And life is far from static." Joseph, a veteran portfolio manager at Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, founded Pefin in 2011.
On Wednesday in Geneva, Christie’s set an auction record when “The Blue Moon Diamond,” a huge 12.03 carat blue diamond, sold for $48.4 million, the highest price per carat ever realized for a precious stone. CNN also reports that the purchaser, Hong Kong billionaire Joseph Lau of Chinese Estate Holdings, bought the diamond for his daughter Josephine—who is 7 years old. In fact, Lau, who is the 114th richest person in the world with an estimated net worth of $9.8 billion, is no stranger to buying precious stones for his little girls. Days before this purchase, an anonymous bidder, thought to be Lau, bought a $28.5 million pink diamond, which he christened “Sweet Josephine.” His other daughter, Zoe, age 13, hasn’t been left wanting either. In the past he’s bought her both a $8.43 million Burmese Ruby and Diamond Brooch and a $32.6 million Blue Diamond. Christmas morning in the Lau house must be pretty wild.