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Wealthfront is again forced to disclose a bad mistake --testing how far the move-fast, break-things -then-apologize culture can go

The Redwood City robo issues erroneous 1099 data in 2017 that it just discovered. It happened around the time it dumped Apex.

Author Oisin Breen October 19, 2019 at 4:13 AM
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Andy Rachleff is staying the course on a minimum viable product philosophy that has benefits -- and embarrassments.


Jeff Spears

Jeff Spears

October 19, 2019 — 12:39 PM
Tech business practices don’t mesh with FINRA and the SEC. That can be an expensive lesson
Brian Murphy

Brian Murphy

October 19, 2019 — 7:50 PM
Another stain on the house of Wealthfront, but the bigger problem is that they don't have a service that is economically viable - regardless. Robo's spend a lot of time defending high customer acquisition costs in the name of future revenue expansion (higher share of wallet) through I guess proprietary products, high-yield money market funds, etc. But if you turn it around, high CAC is actually telling us that the service itself isn't differentiated enough from others to by adopted at a lower cost by clients - basically poor product/market fit. This whole industry has been thinking about the next generation personal finance service offerings in a very short-sighted way for too long and far too many $s spent. We need to go back to first principles and rethink what it is we're trying to provide our clients...after all, Wealthfront and Betterment investment services really are little more than "target date" funds with added complexity and an account wrapper. Silly, really.

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December 31, 2020 at 4:37 AM

Betterment whistleblowers net $2.5 million • Wealthfront's big pivot leads to profits • Altruist launches tax service • CMOs in at Ascensus, Wealthspire & Joe Duran's Rise • Savvy bags four advisors as Mariner sues it for poaching • Jim Dickson launches RIA stake buyer

Betterment is also bending to RIA needs • Wealthfront is in the black, thanks to cash • Altruist reveals where it makes its money • Rise, Wealthspire and Ascensus each add two executives • Compound hits $2 billion of AUM • CAIS slashes alts prices • BlackRock ups private debt sales to RIAs, through GeoWealth.

June 29, 2024 at 3:00 AM

Altruist is CTO-less, for now, quasi-intentionally, it says • Ex-rival exec hired to jumpstart cross-selling Orion products to enterprise clients • BlackRock tops Grayscale • Facet outsources estate plans • Advyzon profits off Goldman exodus • Dan Wiener's RIA has new CEO • CFP count tops 100k

Shiralker out at Altruist • Orion gives Trevor Noble his cause • Bitcoin has a new fund king • Software maker benefits from Goldman custody exec. churn • Carson Group denies lawsuit • Merge of Wiener's old shop complete • 100,000th CFP named.

June 7, 2024 at 1:44 AM

Wealthfront cedes to four years of investors clamoring for crypto by taking on expensive third-party vendor that Betterment rules out

The Redwood City, Calif., robo-advisor turned a hard 'no' into a soft 'yes' by dealing with Grayscale and its 200 basis-point-plus fees, which its robo rival in NYC -- also without a crypto path -- finds ludicrous.

August 14, 2021 at 2:20 AM

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Mentioned in this article:

Consulting Firm
Top Executive: Bill Winterberg

Portfolio Management System
Top Executive: Andy Rachleff

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