Consumer Reviews and Complaints
I opened a Future Advisor premium account in June 2016 with the understanding that I will be able to decide on the investments they make with my money. Based on their advice, I opened an account with Fidelity Investment under the management of FutureAdvisor. It was mentioned that I can make a choice of any 3 out of the 4 investment options offered to me. Ever since I made my investment, FutureAdvisor refused to even discuss my portfolio. The portfolio started to degrow and I reached out to them as similar portfolios with other advisors were growing. I wrote the following to FutureAdvisor on Nov 12, 2016: "I am concerned to see the performance of my future advisor managed account with Fidelity. I have similar amount invested with other advisors and they are all in the positive. All the investment category in Future Advisor investment is in the negative."
I had a call with FutureAdvisor on Nov 16, 2016. The advisor (Nick) told me that this kind of portfolio will degrow and I need to open a separate retirement account, if I need to see profitable growth. On complaining and requesting closure, they terminated the account management with Fidelity and left it on me to withdraw the money by putting in trades to sell my holdings. They wrote to me that "While we're sad to see you go, we certainly understand that the FutureAdvisor Premium Service is not for everyone. Your FutureAdvisor Premium Account has been canceled. FutureAdvisor has been delinked from your accounts at Fidelity Investments, and you will retain the same account number. Your FutureAdvisor Basic Service account will remain open, and you can re-initiate your Premium application at any time by simply sending us an email."
On talking to Fidelity, I found out that I have to pay money to Fidelity (in terms of trade charges) to withdraw the money. The minimum courtesy that I had expected from FutureAdvisor was to close the account and refund the amount and not leaving a client high and dry. When I called FutureAdvisor back on Nov 21, 2016, they agreed to re-open the account and provide me with another advisor who can help me with the funds. I submitted a new application and completed the entire process.
I suddenly get a mail from FutureAdvisor on 22nd November, 2016 as follows: "Based on your previous conversation with our Financial Advisor team which led to the cancellation of management on your account last week, we feel we are not a good fit for your investment goals. Thus, we will not be moving forward with your reapplication to our services. We are not linked onto your account at Fidelity and those assets remain solely under your control. Please contact Fidelity with any further questions or requests regarding your account."
The customer service is prompt, informative, professional, and friendly. However one thing I would like to note is whenever I call I always have to wait for at least fifteen minutes before I am able to speak to a live representative. I would also like to add that the brand representatives are very helpful at explaining the nuances between the plans. Overall I was very satisfied with the overall absence of any additional hidden fees. This service was extremely easily to use. Not only was the online and mobile access extremely accessible and very convenient to use, the support I received over the phone was one of the most elucidating experiences with customer services I have ever experienced.
Any time they can help you through calls or chat. That's the wonderful thing and they professional or call attendees have a great knowledge too. We can do a little bit of customization but some aspects are restricted and I don't know why. Whatever, the useful and available customization is pretty good enough if you were on track. The additional fees are not too high when compared with the remaining companies. They also deduct if the customer is a kinda student and poor. No need to worry to use the app or web application. Because they are very easy even for the less educated person. Easy do the business without any support or questions.
It is an excellent and innovative service that helps you improve your quality of life and create new experiences for the future.
Very helpful. Easy to use. They make you feel very welcome. I will continue to use this service for a long time. No matter what the situation I know I’m covered. Flat rate tuition covers most program and service related costs. The following fees are charged to defray the costs of specific programs.
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Very thorough service for my account. I was explained everything in layman's terms which I needed. I was always looked in the eye during conversation. Easy to customize and easy to understand what I am reading. Navigating is very easy. Advancements are perfect. Time to complete the project is quick. There were no additional fees that are even worth complaining about. Additional fees are sometimes needed especially in times of error. Ease of use was pleasant and quick. I did not need help but I was offered help often. I always knew who and what to ask if I did have a question of some sort.
The customer service experience far over exceeded the normal. Meaning that they were very helpful in my business and personal meetings. The customization options were more than expected. I was able to customize my own business portfolios and was even able to customize my own business advertising. The additional fees were well worth all of the summary costs when you think of all of the potential benefits that it can do for your company. The ease of use makes the application so easy to use. I would definitely recommend this business application to my friends and colleagues.
The customer service is awesome. They work very hard and consistent to ensure that the customers are satisfied and that their needs are met in a timely manner. The customization is very effective. You are able to get tasks done without the worries. It is also easy and definitely reliable. The additional fees may be a bit high but I guess if the service is as expected you will not notice it very much since you are getting your money worth. It is easy to use and very user-friendly. If there is any issues they are very reliable and competent to address the matter as soon as possible.
Good service, fast attention, good price, 100% recommend, not problem. Satisfied all. I could renew the service the next year in this company. Many options of customization for all. I am happy with the service offered by this company, and I highly recommend it to anyone else. Meets all the needs. It is very easy to use, and is very friendly to work with her. It offers multiple options for use. I have no complaints about ease of use.
Barbara FriedbergPersonal Finance Contributing Editor
Barbara Friedberg, MBA, MS is a former investment portfolio manager with decades of financial experience. Friedberg taught Finance and Investments at several universities. Her work has been featured in U.S. News & World Report, Investopedia, Yahoo!Finance and many more publications.
More about Barbara→
FutureAdvisor is an investment advisory firm that manages investors’ existing IRA, Roth, taxable and other investment accounts that are held at Fidelity and/or TD Ameritrade. They use modern portfolio theory to build and manage diversified and tax efficient investment portfolios.
- Portfolio dashboard: The FutureAdvisor dashboard provides a comprehensive overview of the investor’s past performance, a timeline of all trades and investment activities and account-by-account portfolio holdings. The dashboard also shows the health of the overall portfolio with regard to performance, fees, tax efficiency and diversification.
- Fees: After a free three-month trial, the investment management fee is 0.5 percent of AUM with possible additional commission charges. As is the case with all mutual and exchange traded funds, there are low underlying fund management fees.
- Investment portfolios: FutureAdvisor manages the consumer’s investments holistically to minimize taxes and maximize returns. The automated algorithm uses modern portfolio theory to create investment portfolios with the best returns at each risk level. FutureAdvisor rebalances the portfolio when necessary.
- Licensed advisors: Their financial advisors and service specialists are available for information and guidance.
- No Fee, DIY Option: Consumers not interested in the management option can sign up for FutureAdvisor for free to receive their personalized account-by-account recommendations. Ultimately, the consumer may implement the recommendations or not, on their own.
- Tax-loss harvesting: FutureAdvisor continually seeks opportunities to harvest losses to be offset with the consumers gains and/or ordinary income for lower overall tax payments.
- Best for Investors seeking an automated investment advisor with access to financial advisors, along with the opportunity to maintain their own investment accounts. Also, it is suitable for DIY investors looking for a second opinion on their investments.
Question and Answers - FutureAdvisor
What problem is FutureAdvisor trying to solve?
- Middle-class households have been unable to access unbiased financial advice for decades because the industry imposes high minimums on net worth and only serves wealthy clients.
What sets your company apart from the competition?
- We manage brokerage and retirement accounts directly at custodians like Fidelity and TD Ameritrade, maintaining a balanced asset allocation that lowers their investment fees, optimizes their taxes, and diversifies their risks. We do so for a fee that is between one-sixth and one half what traditional advisors charge. We also offer consultations with our registered investment advisors free to our premium clients.
What needs do your products and services fulfill, and how do you fulfill those needs better than your competition?
- FutureAdvisor is bringing the same high-quality financial services that wealthy families have always relied on to the rest of America. We are managing the investments of hardworking families so they can send their children to college, reach their financial goals and retire well.
How does FutureAdvisor measure success?
- We measure our success by how likely our clients are to recommend us to others. We track this metric via our Net Promoter Score.
What’s the most common misconception consumers have about your industry? Your company?
- Many people have been rejected by traditional financial advisors, burned by bad advice from untrustworthy firms, or have paid too much for small returns. They no longer believe that they can find reliable advice at a low cost.
Some investors believe that robo-advisors lack a human touch, or only offer asset allocation. In fact, we have a team of registered investment advisors that can help our clients with all their financial questions.
How has your industry changed in the last 5 to 10 years?
- The financial advice industry has undergone tremendous upheaval in the last 10 years as it began to adopt software for investment management. About 10 years ago, human financial advisors who practice passive investing began automating portfolio management using in-house software. About 3 years ago, several firms including FutureAdvisor brought those software tools directly to consumers via Web applications, which has allowed us to offer financial advisory services for a fraction of the price that human advisors charge. It has also allowed us to basically eliminate the minimum that human advisors use to filter their clientele. The average minimum in the industry is about $500,000. FutureAdvisor asks that our clients have at least $10,000; any less and we recommend they buy a low-fee index fund.
What is something you wish every consumer knew about FutureAdvisor?
- FutureAdvisor is the most convenient and fastest-growing financial advisory firm in America. We help families invest well automatically so they don’t have to worry about it, and we minimize their taxes in the process.
Has your business received any awards or recognition for its products or services that your customers would like to know about?
- FutureAdvisor was named one of the top five financial sites in late 2013 by CNNMoney.
In 2014, we won the Euromoney prize for "Best American non-bank for innovation in wealth management”.
FutureAdvisor has been featured by the New York Times, and our CEO Bo Lu has contributed articles to notable publications such as the Wall Street Journal and TechCrunch. We are also regular contributors to Forbes.
In 2015, we were recognized as one of the five fastest-growing YCombinator startups that have raised their Series B.
We’re also featured on Breakoutlist, a curated list of the fastest-growing startups in Silicon Valley.
How has your company grown?
- FutureAdvisor has grown its assets under management by more than 3000% since it began managing investments in late 2013. We now have more than $400 million under management, and we’re growing by about 25% month on month. We have tripled our staff since that time from 15 to 45 people, including a number of registered investment advisors who serve our clients.
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FutureAdvisor Company Profile
- Company Name:
- Year Founded:
- 580 Market St, Suite 500
- San Francisco
- Postal Code:
- United States