Some advisors are trying to compete with automated investment software—the so-called “robo-advisors.” Others are paying for white-label versions. But some RIA firms are now building their own.
Take Los Angeles-based Gerber Kawasaki Wealth and Investment Management, which launched my Money Page, a mobile financial planning application, on Tuesday. My Money Page aggregates a client’s bank and investment account information to use in a net-worth calculator, a budgeting tool and a goal tracker.
Similar to LearnVest, my Money Page can connect a user to a flesh-and-blood advisor if they have questions or concerns. There is social feed that pulls in financial news and enables members of the community to interact, share experiences and post pictures, like sharing a shot of the new house that the client had been working towards.
Ross Gerber, the president and CEO of Gerber Kawasaki, said the purpose of my Money Page is to provide the planning and guidance, especially for younger, upwardly mobile clients, that is lacking from automated investment services. Though the app focuses on the Southern California region, Gerber hopes to license it to other advisors and help scale the app to a national level.
“With a growing number of Americans seeking out online and mobile platforms for help with their financial planning needs, the advisor community has a responsibility to provide investors a more robust set of options than what the market is currently offering,” Gerber said. “I strongly believe that the only way to build truly personalized, holistic and comprehensive financial plans is through human interaction.”
Advisor Software, a wealth management software provider, wants to give RIAs the tools to build their own robo-advisor. Its Wealth Management Cloud product includes seven application program interfaces (APIs), including a risk questionnaire, a progress-to-goal calculator and portfolio rebalancing, for an RIA to choose from. An advisor can then assemble a customized robo-advisor and mobile app that works for their business model.
Advisor Software hopes to make robo-advisor technology as ubiquitous for advisors as ATMs are to banks. Chief Customer Officer Erik Jepson said the company has some “large institutional clients” interested.