Wealthfront hopes to be a public company someday. In an interview with Benzinga, Wealthfront’s senior director of communications, Kate Wauck, confirmed what many had suspected, saying, “That’s definitely the goal, to reach an IPO someday.” The statement is a bit of a rarity for the robo advisor, which tends to avoid interviews with the media in favor of releasing news themselves on their corporate blog. The interview focused on Wealthfront remaining a digital-only company, while Betterment and traditional financial institutions are focusing on a hybrid approach that combines automation and human advisors. The article does make some strange claims, like that Wealthfront launched the first-ever software-based financial-planning service, or that they aren’t raising money. Companies like eMoney Advisor, MoneyGuidePro and Personal Capital have offered financial-planning software for some time, and Wealthfront has raised $129.5 million, according to Crunchbase.
Fidelity Labs, the company's R&D and innovation unit, announced today that it is formally partnering with cryptocurrency startup Coinbase. This development will allow investors to monitor bitcoin and cryptocurrency investments alongside traditional assets. Hadley Stern, a senior vice president and managing director at Fidelity, described the expansion as part of the company’s commitment to high tech. "We've made bitcoin available for use in our cafeteria. We've enabled people to donate bitcoin to their Fidelity Charitable Donor Advised Funds. The partnership with Coinbase is another point along that path of bitcoin development." This announcement occurs in interesting congruence with other large, traditional firms dipping their toes into cryptocurrency. In July, American Express teamed up with Abra to allow customers to buy bitcoin with their credit cards.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average recently closed above 22,000 for the first time in history. Some celebrated the high heading into the notoriously slow month of August, but Scott Wren, a senior global equity strategist with the Wells Fargo Investment Institute, does not share that sentiment. In a report Wednesday, Wren wrote that his Equity Strategy Group's views had changed, and the second half of the year could lead to lower index levels. Wren also said the group is paying attention to the DJIA but that they gauge stocks by the S&P 500, which since mid-February "has been trading above levels we consider to be appropriately aligned with the current forward-looking fundamentals."