TIAA rolls out new automated investing platform to simplify retirement planning

The program offers socially responsible options and a range of risk levels

Saving for retirement is tough, especially if you don't know a lot about investing. It's often hard to find a financial advisor you can trust and who won't eat up all your earnings in fees.

A new "robo-advice" entrant that claims to solve those dilemmas comes from TIAA, the 100-year-old non-profit that manages nearly $1 trillion, mostly for academics and employees of non-profit organizations.

The automated platform offers clients access to active, passive, and "socially responsible" mutual funds and exchange traded funds. Each category includes five different risk levels, ranging from conserative to aggressive. 

“At TIAA, we recognize that there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ when it comes to personal finances,” said Kathie Andrade, chief executive officer of TIAA’s Retail Financial Services business. “With the launch of TIAA Personal Portfolio, we are expanding the reach of our personalized financial support to more people, including younger generations, and those who value working with a mission-based organization. It is a great option for customers who would simply prefer to receive advice from us digitally.” 

Robo-clients will also be able to receive live financial advice from a call center that's manned by about 100 financial advisors, Andrade said.

While older investors often prefer having a "real" financial advisor they can visit in person, many younger people prefer digital advice that they can access anytime, according to surveys. Women investors are thought to prefer investment plans that match their environmental, social, and governance beliefs, so TIAA is trying to hit both groups with its new offering. 

Investors must have a minimum of $5,000 to open an account. Annual advisory fees are 0.3 percent.

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