Slide 1 of 11
MarketWatch wanted to find out what you actually get when you ask for investing tips from a so-called robo adviser.
We rounded up recommendations from four prominent robo advisers and four human ones for a hypothetical 35-year-old investor.
Read on for a detailed look at each of the suggested portfolios and how they differed. They might all be more similar than you expected.
You can also take our quiz to see if you can tell whether a portfolio comes from a robo adviser or a mere mortal.
A note about our fictional, but perhaps typical, 35-year-old: Our investor is basically average in terms of tolerance for risk, financial knowledge and money saved. This individual is investing for retirement and has $40,000 for that purpose. (Fidelity suggests that is about average for this age, and EBRI’s figures are near that level as well.) Maybe the money was in a 401(k) from an old job, and it is now getting rolled over into an IRA.
The 35-year-old has an annual income of $46,000, since that is about average for his or her age group, according to the Labor Department, as well as $4,000 in a savings account — roughly typical as well, according to the Fed. One rule of thumb is that by age 35 you should have an amount saved for retirement that is equal to your annual pay, so our test case is somewhat behind and possibly part of a nationwide retirement crisis, but that is another story.