Financial Advisor Tool Makes Membership Worth It

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  • Bloom is an investment advisor that manages retirement accounts with no minimum balance requirements or assets under management fees.
  • Bloom has a free analysis tool that will analyze your workplace retirement plan or IRA.
  • For ongoing management of a retirement account, plus unlimited access to a financial advisor, Bloom charges $120 per year.
  • Learn more about Bloom »

Costs

$120 – $395 annually

Types of investment

Index funds

Costs

$120 – $395 annually

Types of investment

Index funds

Advantages
  • Automated and personalized management of 401(k) plans and other employer-sponsored plans
  • Free 401(k) or IRA analysis
  • No minimum account
  • Human Financial Advisors available through Standard and Unlimited pricing plans
The inconvenients
  • Account management is only available for employer-sponsored plans and IRAs
  • No phone customer support

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More information
  • Promotion: None at this time.
  • Consider it if: A large portion of your wealth is in one or more employer retirement accounts.

As long as you are of working age, you should plan for your retirement.

The savings portion may be automatic if you put money into a 401(k) at work or make regular contributions to an Individual Retirement Account (IRA), but that’s not all.

You need an investment strategy to get the most out of the money you put aside. This means putting the right proportions into stocks and bonds to match your risk tolerance – the level of risk you can bear – and your time horizon – when you plan to retire and start tapping into your nest egg. It takes a little time, right?

Enter: Bloom (yes, three o’s). Blooom is an investment advisor that supports your retirement accounts to ensure you stay on track as markets fluctuate.

In short, Blooom reviews your retirement account (or several), determines your ideal mix of stocks and bonds, and selects quality, low-cost funds so that fees – which are usually unavoidable but can be mitigated – don’t eat away not your returns. And then he does all the heavy lifting.

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Who has to pay for a Bloom subscription?

How much does Bloom cost?

You can get an analysis of your retirement accounts for free when you sign up for a Bloom account. If you want Blooom to optimize and monitor your investment accounts, annual fees apply.

Bloom offers three levels of membership: $45, $120, or $250 per year. The distinguishing factor between them is the number of retirement accounts you can link. The two cheapest tiers will manage one account, while the most expensive membership will manage unlimited accounts. You might prefer the more expensive tier if you have a 401(k) through work and an IRA on the side, for example. Unfortunately, Advisor doesn’t yet support family accounts, so you won’t be able to pay Blooom to manage both your professional and your partner’s plans through a single membership.

The $120 and $250 per year subscriptions review your retirement accounts, recommend a personalized strategy, execute trades on your behalf, and periodically monitor your accounts to ensure you’re investing for the lowest possible cost.

But just because Bloom takes the wheel doesn’t mean you’ll be completely in the dark. Before making any changes to your accounts, it will send you an email to let you know. And as long as you keep your investment profile up to date, Bloom will manage your retirement account according to this framework.

Both memberships also come with unlimited access to Blooom’s in-house financial advisors, a feature that’s well worth checking out.

How does Bloom work?

Bloom currently manages approximately $5 billion in retirement funds for over 25,000 investors. It uses technology to optimize retirement accounts like a human advisor would, but for a fraction of the cost.

Blooom has a free tool that looks at your employer-sponsored retirement plan or IRA to analyze how well your current investments are – i.e. your stock-to-bond ratio and the funds your money is in. – correspond to your objectives and your risk profile. All you have to do is create an account and link your retirement accounts to it, like you would with a budgeting app and your bank, for example, and fill out a risk profile.

In addition to handling nearly all 401(k), 403(b), 401(a), 457, and Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) accounts, Blooom can also handle most types of IRAs held at three major brokerages. : Fidelity, Schwab, and Avant-garde. You do not need a minimum account balance to qualify.

After reviewing your account, it recommends an ideal stock/bond combination for your situation and shows you where you currently stand. According to Blooom’s client account analysis, 38% of investors had portfolios that were too conservative for their own goals and risk tolerance when they signed up with Blooom. That’s nearly twice the share of investors who have been too aggressive with their investments.

Chris Costello, co-founder and chief investment officer of Blooom, says there’s a natural human tendency to be cautious with money. The company’s goal, he told Insider, is to reassure people who have to take more risks to achieve their goals and prevent people who tend to make emotional decisions from botching their strategy. long-term.

“That’s really what’s at stake here, is making sure people are saving money and is that money being invested properly? Is it working the way it should for people? ” said Costello. “Then the best thing we can do is stop people from hurting themselves, which is getting in there and doing stupid things like sales and things of that nature. That’s the most important job in my opinion.”

If you like the recommendations made by Blooom, which can range from changing your asset allocation to creating a new portfolio from scratch using the options available in your retirement account, you can sign up to become a member. and the digital investment manager will take it from there.

How can Bloom users work with financial advisors?

Bloom has licensed financial advisers on staff, including Costello himself, who are available to answer investor questions about their retirement accounts and beyond.

“We’ve always told our customers that any money-related question you have is fair game for us to ask,” Costello said. “It could be a question about paying off debt. It could be a question about paying off student loans. It could be a question about refinancing your mortgage.”

Financial advisors can be contacted during working hours via a chat box on the website. Depending on demand, members can get their question answered within two to three days. Advisors don’t make phone or video calls or in-person visits – it’s all virtual. Members are encouraged to complete a profile in their account to give advisors more information about their financial situation, such as whether they are married, have children, have a credit card balance or own a home.

As long as your membership is active, you have access to an advisor at no additional cost. A typical financial advisor might charge between 0.5% and 2% of your account balance as an annual fee to manage it, and possibly an additional fixed fee to help with your larger financial plan. The average account balance at Bloom is around $160,000, which would translate to an annual management fee of $800 at the low end. Needless to say, Bloom provides some of the cheapest financial advice you can find.

Is Bloom a fiduciary?

More importantly, Bloom is a fiduciary, which means its advisors have a legal and ethical responsibility to make decisions and provide advice in the best interests of their clients. They can help manage the numbers for investors making an important financial decision, but they’re also there to offer unbiased support and advice, especially during market downturns and other economic chaos.

“In my opinion, that’s the biggest added value of your Blooom subscription – the ability when you’re scared, confused or worried to be able to message an advisor and we have no conflict of interest , ” says Costello.

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