Fees at Betterment and Wealthfront, for example, can be as low as a few dollars a month. Betterment's sliding scale shows that it charges 0.15 percent annually on assets of $100,000 or more, or from as low as about $13 a month, according to the firm's founder and CEO, Jon Stein. That compares with at least 1 percent annually, or just over $83 a month, for a full-service advisor.
And far from being impersonal and robotic, these new firms, Schmitt said, provide more "human and intuitive digital tools and services than incumbent providers do."
She added that these robo-advisors are being backed by seasoned and experienced financial and technology heavyweights, such as economist Burton Malkiel and technology guru and former PayPal and Intuit CEO Bill Harris.
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By and large, robo-advisors have set out to serve the substantial number of people who can't afford a financial advisor—mostly Gen X and Gen Y investors.
Apparently, robo-advisors are also enticing an older crowd.
"We had a number of customers [who are] in or approaching retirement," Stein said.