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Wealthfront Launches Home Planning

Wealthfront automates home buying advice, higher volatility doesn’t signal a market crash, and the richest of the rich are flocking to Australia.

Much of the fear that automated advice platforms would replace the flesh-and-blood variety has disappeared, as many argue that the other services advisors provide, such as financial planning, can’t be automated. But Silicon Valley robo advisor Wealthfront is trying to do just that. Its latest step is the launch of a home planning feature within Path, its financial planning tool introduced last year. The feature helps users understand what they can afford today, or how to best position themselves to buy a home in the future. The app will also help users understand the impact of owning a home on future goals. It even links to Redfin, so house hunters can search for affordable homes in their neighborhood. “No doubt planning for a future home purchase comes with a lot of unknowns, and for many it’s difficult to know where to even begin,” writes Dan Carroll, founder and chief strategy officer at Wealthfront, on the company’s blog.

The Market Ends with a Whimper, Not a Bang

Copyright Andrew Burton, Getty Images

Conventional wisdom holds that markets get wobbly before a crash. But in fact the end of asset bubbles are rarely signaled by a preceding period of market volatility, according to a recent research report cited by Mark Rzepczynski on his blog. Researchers from ETH Zurich studied 40 asset bubbles and found no connection between volatility and the pop; Researchers found two-thirds of the time bubble crashes follow periods of low volatility. “The markets do not see the crash coming and there is little dispersion of opinion. This should make any investor in bubble-type markets nervous and a reason to avoid,” he writes, suggesting that investing in a low-volatility market can be turned into an investor’s advantage via “buying cheap insurance at the extremes.”

The World’s Richest People Are Moving to Australia

Copyright Mark Kolbe, Getty Images

Australia is the No. 1 destination for high-net-worth migrants, according to New World Wealth in its 2018 Global Wealth Migration Review.The study found that Australia saw a net inflow of 10,000 HNW individuals. The U.S. was second with an inflow of 9,000. The top five was rounded out by Canada, the United Arab Emirates and the Caribbean. Overall, global wealth migration is accelerating, with 95,000 HNW individuals migrating in 2017 compared to 82,000 in 2016 and 64,000 in 2015. One reason why Australia is so popular is its close location to emerging Asian countries. Another is its safety; Australia is considered the safest place in the world for women.

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