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Robo Newcomers Bring Little Innovation

Robo newcomers bring little innovation, the Fed releases research on education and stock market participation, and Shannon Pike is named 2017 FPA president.

Newcomers to the robo advisor space, such as E-Trade, Fidelity and TD Ameritrade, fell short on innovation, while independent companies in the space, such Wealthfront and Betterment, maintained their footing, according to NerdWallet’s ranking of the Best Robo-Advisors. Wealthfront and Betterment were named the Best Online Advisors in the ranking, for their low account minimums, user-friendly interfaces and innovative features, NerdWallet says. They also have low management fees, although their structures differ. Wealthfront costs less for accounts below $100,000, while Betterment becomes a better value once an investor passes that threshold. Other companies that made the ranking include FutureAdvisor and Blooom for Best 401(k) Advisor, Personal Capital and Vanguard for Best Access to Financial Advisors, and Schwab Intelligent Portfolios and WiseBanyan, named Best for Free Management.

College and The Stock Market 

The higher the educational attainment of a person, the more likely he or she is to participate in the stock market, according to a research note released by the Fed. Over the course of their lives, college graduates are more likely to invest in stocks than those with some college credit, and those with some college credit are more likely to do the same compared to those with only a high school diploma. Researchers also found that stock market participation rates among college graduates—regardless of student loans—increase more dramatically over a shorter period of time, compared to those with only some college credit. Interestingly, student loans had no impact on the participation rates of those with only some college attainment.

Shannon Pike Named 2017 FPA President

The financial planning association named Shannon Pike, a 20-year industry veteran, as its 2017 president. As a long-time volunteer leader, Pike intends to focus his efforts on helping the FPA align and integrate its various communities to the benefit of the members. Pike is the vice president of Tanglewood Legacy Advisors in Houston, and began his volunteer leadership with FPA’s Houston chapter. “I have long believed that our communities are the single greatest strength of our association. The work we have been doing, and will continue to do, to align and integrate them will serve our association and our members well as we truly create ‘OneFPA,’” Pike said. “OneFPA is not a marketing catch phrase, but a bold vision on how professional associations need to operate to thrive.”

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