Since the end of March, Charles Schwab’s subscription-based pricing model has attracted $1 billion in new assets under management for the wealth management firm, according to an announcement. Earlier this year, Schwab moved to deliver financial planning to investors who paid a monthly subscription fee alongside a one-time fee for planning under a rebranded service called Schwab Intelligent Portfolios Premium.
Previously called Schwab Intelligent Advisory, the service has seen a 25% increase in account openings, a 40% increase in average household assets enrolled and a 37% rise in new enrollments for Schwab since the rebranding and change in fee structure, according to the company. Year over year, the firm’s digital advisory solutions saw client assets under management increase by 23%.
A portion of those $1 billion in assets came from investors who were unimpressed by the technology, fees or complexity of existing advisory models, said Cynthia Loh, the firm’s vice president of digital advice and innovation. “We’ve seen many new clients sign up who knew they needed help with financial planning but hadn’t found an advisory model that fit them,” said Loh in a statement. “Today’s consumers expect simplicity, transparency and value.”
“It’s clear from these early results that we’ve struck a chord,” Loh added, noting that investors who were drawn to the service “were managing their investments on their own but not necessarily by choice.”
Even though advisors are clearly wary of the threat Schwab could pose to their businesses, Schwab CEO Walt Bettinger previously dismissed advisors’ concerns that the retail side of the company was encroaching on advisors’ businesses. “The idea that our robo advisors would be a threat to our retail clients is pretty low,” said Bettinger at last fall’s IMPACT conference.
Investors using the service have access to unlimited call center CFPs, in addition to ETF-based automated investing and rebalancing.