Wealthfront is pivoting -- away from the marketplace of RIAs model like Covestor employs and towards fundamental, portfolio management delivered over the Internet. The firm appears to be joining a growing bunch of firms focusing on the online delivery of financial advice, like:
- Personal Capital: a portfolio manager with A-team management, providing portfolio management over the Interwebs (see my interview with the president of Personal Capital)
- LearnVest: Focused on a younger, female demographic, delivers financial advice, courses, bootcamps, and now, a subscription model that gives clients financial planning and access to CFPs for ongoing advice.
- Hedgeable: up over 10% in 2011, this upstart -- founded by two experienced hedge fundies -- provides institutional-type strategies to individuals for insanely affordable fees (some services are free).
- Jemstep: Plug in your portfolios at different brokers and the Jemstep platform analyzes everything and makes suggestions to help your optimize your holdings. (here's my interview with Jemstep)
Wealthfront's new approach is to emphasize its adherence to MPT (Modern Portfolio Theory) and this is the first presentation from the newly-focused firm. I think it's pretty sweet.