The Daily Brief
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Wealthfront Opens College Planning Tool to All Users

Wealthfront opens its college planning tool to all users, Acorns launches its retirement tool and the SEC builds an online tool to find troubled brokers.

Investors using Wealthfront’s 529 savings account will already be familiar with the integration of college savings accounts into the company’s financial planning tool, Path. But today, investors who don’t have a 529 account with Wealthfront—or don’t have a 529 at all—will be able to make plans for future college expenses, company founder Dan Carroll announced Wednesday. The planning tool projects future college tuition, room and board, financial aid and more for a number of post-secondary institutions using data from the National Center of Education Statistics. Users without children are able to project costs for future children or for someone else they’d like to help with college expenses. Path incorporates all accounts and user data so changes to rates of college savings interact with other savings options available in the tool, like retirement goals and real estate savings.

Acorns Launches Retirement Product

After acquiring retirement fund investment service developer Vault late last year, micro-investment app Acorns has launched their retirement offshoot, Acorns Later. Investors can open an account with a minimum of $5, but need to first have an Acorns account. The combined Acorns and Acorns Later service costs $2 per month until $1 million is invested in the product, at which time the monthly subscription fee is $100 per million. Acorns Later selects a traditional IRA, Roth account or SEP for the user based on a questionnaire that includes the investor’s age, income, marital status and how likely the user is to dip into retirement savings in the event of an emergency. At the time of launch, there were over 340,000 sign-ups on the Acorns Later waitlist, according to the company, although not all of them were Acorns users.

SEC Helps Investors Find Troubled Advisors

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The Securities and Exchange Commission has introduced an online tool that allows investors to search for investment advisors with judgments or orders against them. The SEC Action Lookup for Individuals, or SALI, will identify individuals, whether registered or unregistered as investment advisors, with checkered pasts. “One of the SEC’s most important tasks is to arm our investors with the tools necessary to identify potential fraudsters. An important risk factor is whether the person you’re dealing with has a disciplinary history with the SEC or other regulators,” said SEC Chairman Jay Clayton. The search function currently includes SEC actions filed between Oct. 1, 2014 and March 31, 2018, and will be updated periodically.

 

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