Robo advisors are new in the financial marketplace. They serve investors who are comfortable investing through the Internet but still feel the need for investment guidance. Robo advisors design online investment programs for their clients using algorithms and asset allocation models — and even manage client assets —without any human interaction with the client.
The Department of Labor has touted robo advisors or as a source of low-cost personal investment services for retirement investors that pose minimal conflicts of interest. But do they live up to the department's acclaim? A review of user agreements for the leading robo advisors suggests they do not.
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