Morgan Stanley Wealth Management is consolidating its digital advice product, Access Investing, under the ETrade brand name.
ETrade Capital Management already offers Core Portfolios, which, like many retail-facing robo-advisers, puts investors into an automatically managed portfolio of ETFs based on answers to a questionnaire. The product requires a $500 minimum investmen, charges a 0.30% annual fee and allows for customization around smart beta and socially responsible strategies.
In September, Morgan Stanley added a new strategy to Core Portfolios that puts 50% of portfolios into equities and 50% into fixed income and cash.
The model portfolios offered are run by Morgan Stanley’s Global Investment Office, making Core Portfolios a “natural home” for Morgan Stanley’s robo, the company said in a statement. Morgan Stanley also plans to add features from Access Investing, like tax-loss harvesting, to Core Portfolios over the next several months.
“Throughout the integration we have looked for opportunities to combine Morgan Stanley’s deep wealth management expertise with E*TRADE’s digital prowess,” Chad Turner, head of Morgan Stanley Wealth Management’s digital direct channel, said in the statement. “Today represents an important step in that effort, wherein we are combining the most sought-out features of both Core Portfolios and Access Investing to offer an exceptional experience for digitally inclined and beginning investors.”
The move signals that the wirehouse will leverage the ETrade name for products targeting retail investors, while the Morgan Stanley brand will be for wealthier clients, said David Goldstone, manager of investment research at Condor Capital Wealth Management, which publishes a quarterly report on robo-advisers.
“Core Portfolios has always been a quality product, and we like to see that it will continue to exist,” Goldstone said in an emailed statement. “One concern that always comes up is how will the models and portfolios of the old product be integrated with the surviving product. In taxable accounts in particular, changing models can cause tax consequences and advisers need to be careful about how this is handled.”
Morgan Stanley will stop making Access Investing available to new clients in December.
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