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Fidelity Spire Beats Project Avocado To Launch

Financial planning is a key theme for both apps, though Spire is meant for Fidelity retail investors while Avocado is designed to bring investors to advisors.

Fidelity’s Spire app, a free mobile app announced in July (but available in mobile app stores since at least April), marks an important milestone for the firm. Designed for young adults, the retail-focused app brings together financial planning and investing, and introduces those users to the firm's robo product: Fidelity Go. Fidelity houses Go and Spire under its retail business, called Personal Investing.

Spire is designed to improve users’ financial literacy, as well as guide users into opening and funding an investing account through Fidelity’s direct-to-consumer robo—Fidelity Go. Go is one option for investors seeking to hit long- and short-term financial goals. While it addresses investing, Spire is not an investing account. Rather it is a gateway for Go and Fidelity's cash management account.

With Go, there are no account opening minimums and the robo has dropped its advisory fees for accounts with less than $10,000, according to the announcement. For users with balances between $10,000 and $49,999, a $3 per month subscription fee is charged to users, which converts to an advisory fee of 35 basis points for balances above $50,000.

Spire users can link their short-term goals with a cash management account, which comes with an ATM card and ATM fee reimbursement. 

Fidelity does not publish the assets under management for its Go product but a company spokesperson noted that Fidelity's overall wealth management business has "more than $405 billion in AUM at the end of Q2."

A spokesperson for archrival Charles Schwab noted that its “pure robo offer,” Schwab Intelligent Portfolios, a direct competitor to Fidelity Go, comes with no advisory fee. Its hybrid advice service, Schwab Intelligent Portfolios Premium, which comes with access to CFPs, costs $30 per month and is a subscription service.

Meanwhile, the unveiling of Spire precedes a forthcoming Fidelity app launch, called Project Avocado, which is associated with financial planning software developer eMoney. 

“The eMoney team will be making an announcement about Avocado in the next month or so,” confirmed Fidelity spokesperson MeeJin Annan-Brady. While Spire and Avocado are separate apps, different parts of Fidelity are working on both products. 

Avocado was deployed within Fidelity in February and the firm had planned to run a pilot program with advisor firms in July. Avocado will also include financial planning and account aggregation features, and is designed to guide users to financial advisors. 


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