TradeKing Advisors Review: Managed Core and Momentum ETF Portfolios

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tkalogoAnother online ETF portfolio advisor joins the mix. Discount brokerage TradeKing, possibly best known for their $4.95 stock trades, announced a new subsidiary called TradeKing Advisors which will directly manage ETF portfolios for retail customers. Details:

  • Portfolio asset allocation designed and monitored by Ibbotson Associates. There will be Core and Momentum portfolios.
  • The portfolio will be determined by an 8 question risk questionnaire.
  • TradeKing Advisors will manage and rebalance portfolio as needed to stay on target. Assets will be held at TradeKing brokerage.
  • Management fee of 0.75% of account balance annually for Core portfolios, minimum initial investment of $10,000. For Momentum portfolios, 1% management fee and $25k minimum account size. For account balances over $250,000, the fees for each portfolio are reduced to 0.50% annually.

Per their website, their “strategies include a diversified allocation of up to 20 asset classes – including fixed income, equities, real estate and foreign investments – implemented cost-effectively with ETFs.” I could not find any specific information about the asset allocation of these ETF portfolios or the ticker symbols used.

But that’s okay, as I pretty much stopped listening when the fees were listed at 0.75% for a basic index ETF portfolio. It may be less than what E*Trade charges but in my opinion that’s still too much to pay for any ETF portfolio, and much more than many other services like Betterment and Wealthfront that do pretty much the same thing also with a slick user interface. Supposedly TradeKing will differentiate themselves with their “exceptional customer service”. As a TradeKing brokerage customer, I found their customer service fine and Live Chat is nice but not worth another 0.40% to 0.50% annually as you don’t even get assigned a Certified Financial Planner or CFA. So far it just sounds like an expensive robo-advisor. In that case, I will pass.

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  1. Following the Blog at Tradeking advisors and i saw they dropped their price to wealthfront level and offered it for free for a year. Maybe the Schwab news got them rethinking things.

  2. I have recently have created a TradeKing Advisors fund.
    I do not know how the difference is between Wealthfront Funds for
    opening similar accounts. I realize the rate of managing the account
    is larger than at Wealthfront. However, an investor with Tradeking
    represenative’s has the advantage of speaking to another Tradeking
    individual. That is not the case with Wealthfront!
    E-mails are the only system by which service will be achieved.
    Without any direct contact from a service as this, problems will arise.
    Waiting times for their response could vary between good to no
    answer at all, until they return your e-mails.
    Well, I am speaking from experience!
    I wrote to Wealthfront about a new account TWICE today.
    I never received any answer from Wealthfront, if funds today
    were deposits I am aware that could have been gains or losses
    depending on the closing price today. I am concerned about
    this Index Funds could significantly affect the value of your account!
    I realize the larger fees associated with Tradeking Advisors but a
    voice is better than possibly losing value on your account performance!
    Lower fees could result in lower gains!

  3. It appears that Tradeking managed accounts invest in a wider variety of asset classes than Wealthfront. Wealthfront appears to invest merely in index funds, which is fine but an individual can invest in that on their own.

    Tradeking managed accounts appear to be much closer in investments and investment strategy to my old Morgan Stanley account. That account had very high fees, and did not perform better that the Dow in the nearly two years I had the account with them.

    It would be interesting to open accounts in all three firms mentioned in this article, and see how well they perform! All charge less than 1%, and have a minimum account size of only $5K, so it might be worth the effort — then fund accounts appropriately after one sees the results! —

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