WiseBanyan was founded in the fall of 2013 by Herbert Moore and Vick Zhou who started the company after seeing incentives between financial advisors and clients were often improperly aligned. They both have first-hand experience with this issue from working in asset management and investment banking. They later were colleagues at a quantitative asset management firm. Due to these improperly aligned accounts, which usually resulted in high fees, unnecessary tax consequences, and unreasonable account minimums they decided to build a company that was not incentivized to earn money at their clients' expense.
WiseBanyan is one of the new robo-investing firms and they are truly a free service; therefore, they are something you should definitely consider. So let's take a few minutes to review what they have to offer, the good and the bad. We'll start with the good, then in the next section we'll talk about a few areas where we feel they could use some improvement.
With WiseBanyan, there are no management fees, no trading fees, no rebalancing fees, no dividend reinvestment fees and no minimum deposit to start. The only requirements are that you are at least 18 years old, you must have a permanent U.S. address, a U.S. social security number and a bank account from a U.S. bank. You will also be asked to supply some additional personal information such as your net worth, income and investing experience. However, you won't be subjected to a credit check, just supporting documents as proof of identity. Then all that's left is to fill out their risk questionnaire, but it's very short. This will help them assign you a risk score so they can determine the proper portfolio asset allocation for you.
With WiseBanyan, your investments are protected. They are a securities investor protection corporation (SIPC) to protect you from losses that are the result of financial failure on the part of the brokerage company. Held in a brokerage account in your name with a broker-dealer registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).
With WiseBanyan, you can easily rollover your existing accounts and have them managed for free. Their client specialists will help you transfer your outside brokerage, retirement and/or trust accounts in just minutes. You can also use WiseBanyan to rollover your old 401(k) and 403(b) accounts. This will keep you from having to pay the fees that most traditionally managed accounts of this kind charge, but it will also keep you from having to spend your valuable time managing them as well.
A new feature that WiseBanyan has created is their WiseHarvesting service. It is a tax-loss harvesting tool that captures small losses and applies them to your taxable income. This helps reduce your tax liability at the end of the year.
WiseBanyan has created a new feature called Milestones, which are goals that you set. This helps their automated system know how to invest your money in order to help meet your investment goals.
While many appreciate how quickly WiseBanyan gets started, there are some control issues and fears to be aware of. So far, WiseBanyan appears to be a reputable robo-advisor, but before you make any final decisions, let's go over a few of the areas we feel they could use some improvement:
The WiseBanyan website is not very intuitive. This means that it can be tough to navigate because it is not like the traditional websites that most people are used to. For example, there is no main top navigation bar. You can find all the dedicated pages in the footer, but that is assuming their customers will bother looking there and assuming they will take the time to scroll all the way to the bottom of the page before clicking off their site and be on their way to one of their competitors. However, if their customers do actually make their way to the footer and click on the various pages, they might still be a little frustrated as the pages really don't give much detail.
Recently, WiseBanyan did away with their login-waitlisting, which is a plus and definitely helps speed up the profile creation process. For the passive customer the profile creation might feel a bit too aggressive. WiseBanyan requests your personal information before you even have access to browse the stock-market and research ticker symbols. I suppose this makes sense as it is an auto-investor type system and the investment algorithms makes decisions contingent on the information that you provide. For someone who wants to have a bit more control on their investments, WiseBanyan and other auto-advisor type systems may not be for you.
So this is true for all auto-advisor companies, not just WiseBanyan. Nut if you like to have control of where your money goes and when to buy and sell than this type of service is not just for you.
I have made only good experiences with WiseBanyan myself. Very good customer service which understands your needs and concerns. It is also an easy tool which makes it clear even for the unexperienced investor. I like also the background information they give you for each stock/bond. 5 Stars from me!
Palmer Lee Pace
Received $15 dollars free by Going through the http://www.biblemoneymatters.com/ to register! I used auto pay and also manual deposit. Very smooth! I then sold everything after just a couple of weeks (with a nice profit) Received my money within 4 days - no sales pitch to stay - nothing to aggravate me. Reinvested a couple of days later. Very smooth. Called customer service once just to see how I was treated. Excellent? I rate this a 10 for sure
Dependable, consistent and appears to be able to positively react to fluctuations and unexpected events.
looks awesome !