It is an appealing thought: take the worry (and work) out of investing your money by handing it off to a less expensive, on-line option that automates the process.
However, regardless of process, the money still ends up in the hands of a portfolio manager.
And regardless of what I suggest, most of you have easy access to your portfolio (on-line view), which means that you will likely look at it on a fairly regular basis (if not daily). So you will want to ultimately understand what is happening to your hard-earned money. Especially when it appears to be going in the wrong direction.
The positive aspect is that for young folks, it is reasonably priced (but check the "all in" to make sure), so it may be a good place to start out.
However, there is a serious drawback: investor education.
You cannot learn about personal investing and money management unless you engage a (human) professional and have an open dialogue with them that will address your very specific financial situation.
Financial literacy is not a mandatory subject as part of the education system, so when you get out into the "real world", the learning curve may be rather steep.
You cannot learn about your financial matters simply by reading journalistic interpretations of what is important (although some of the insight can be useful).
You certainly cannot learn from a mutual fund / stock salesperson who has a serious conflict of interest (despite the "advisor" title).
If you have the ability to engage your portfolio manager, who does actually have your best interests in mind, then you can begin the steep climb up the curve.
One of our clients said the other day: "I have lots on questions, but they might be stupid". No such thing.
If your portfolio manger doesn't have the time to answer your questions, they don't care. Find one who does.
It is important to have a plan (wealth forecast) and an investing strategy that is tailored to your goals. It is also important to understand what can be accomplished and why. So the learning part, while perhaps somewhat overwhelming in the beginning, is very important.
Knowledge is power. Especially when it comes to your money.
Scott Tomenson,CIM Managing Partner, Chief Investment Strategist