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Two ways of reading Wealthfront's inscrutable hire of a power CFO -- one it may not really need anytime soon

The Palo Alto-based robo-advisor may have tapped Ashley Fieglein Johnson to raise more VC -- or just because it doesn't need to count every bit of cash it burns

Author Lisa Shidler August 19, 2015 at 3:05 PM
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Ashley Fieglein Johnson earned close to $1 million in total compensation last year but a $12 annoyance bank fee charged to her five-year-old son was a big reason she joined Wealthfront.

Stephen Winks

Stephen Winks

August 19, 2015 — 7:23 PM

It is clear the advisory services business must change in the best interest of the investing public as now required by Dodd-Frank.. Harvard’s Clayton Christensen counsels the biggest mistake made by firms facing industry redefining innovation is looking at innovation in the context of its existing business model when a new business model is in order.
Will the necessary industry redefining innovation in the best interest of the investing public come from conventional broker/dealers or custodians? Not likely as it is politically inexpedient to champion the fiduciary standing (and associated fiduciary liability required for professional standing) of the broker. This is what makes Wealthfront so interesting, there are no inhibitors in its execution of fiduciary duty. Large scale institutionalized support for fiduciary standing which is in conflict with conventional brokerage may actually come from the Wealthfronts of the world at a far lower cost than expensive brokerage firms which by their own definition do not acknowledge or support the fiduciary responsibility of its brokers, in the client’s best interest. It has the advantage of not having massive product overhead that does not add value and can leverage through expert authenticated prudent process that delivers far more value than brokerage sales.

Stephen Winks

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Mentioned in this article:

Portfolio Management System
Top Executive: Andy Rachleff

Betterment, LLC
Financial Planning Software
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