Briefing

Vanguard is set to launch a robo-adviser service in Canada

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The investment giant will reportedly introduce a digital portfolio management tool in the next 18 months, most likely selling its own exchange traded funds and financial products. (Globe and Mail)

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Talking point: Vanguard may be arriving late to the Canadian robo-adviser space, but its platform has gotten very big, very fast elsewhere. Vanguard’s Personal Advisor Services only launched in the U.S. in 2015, but has US$112 billion in assets under management, according to Backend Benchmarking’s Robo Report. That’s significantly more than the robo-advisers of other financial services giants, like Charles Schwab (US$33.3 billion), or the fintech firms that popularized these tools, like Betterment (US$14.1 billion) and Wealthfront (US$11.1 billion). Canada’s big financial institutions are also getting into the robo-adviser space, but it’s Wealthsimple that’s likely to be watching Vanguard’s entry most closely. Power Corp.-backed Wealthsimple has been expanding in the U.S., but will now have to deal with a formidable competitor at home.

Correction: This briefing previously stated that Vanguard’s Personal Advisor Services had US$1.12 trillion in assets under management. The correct figure is $112 billion.