Vanguard testing robo adviser in attempt to push costs further down

Image of Vanguard via David Swanson, Philadelphia Inquirer.

Vanguard is trying out a robo-only adviser in an attempt to push costs even further down for its automated investing service, writes Erin Arvedlund for The Philadelphia Inquirer.

The Malvern-based investment giant has filed notice with the Securities and Exchange Commission for a trial service called Vanguard Digital Advisor.

The robo adviser will initially only be available to investors with Vanguard brokerage accounts. They would then hand over control of their money for a 0.15 percent fee. If the robo adviser ever launches on a retail basis, it could one day become available to workplace retirement plans and employees nationwide.

In that case, according to the filing, Vanguard Digital Advisor would probably cost 0.20 percent annually and require a minimum of $3,000 in assets.

“We’re seeing the commoditization of financial planning tools,” said Adam Holt, founder and CEO of “Vanguard now has a formula-based system that aligns a person’s goals with their investment allocation, which makes absolute sense.”

Read more about Vanguard in The Philadelphia Inquirer here.

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