/// Taking the Guesswork Out of Retirement Saving

June 5, 2012  |  All Things Digital

How often do you tinker with your retirement savings? Many people think about this when starting a job or opening a 401(k), but sometimes not again until they are ready to retire. According to financial advisers, that’s too late. This week, I forced myself to look at accounts I rarely monitor as I tested FutureAdvisor.com, a website founded by two former Microsoft engineers who are also a registered investment adviser and chartered financial analyst, respectively. They wanted to create an easy way for people to manage their retirement savings, primarily using index funds, and they based the site’s suggestions on what they consider to be the best practices in the industry and in academia. FutureAdvisor, which has no ads, bills itself as a free alternative to paying a lot for financial advice from professionals, who often charge a 1% annual fee or work on commission. Many big investment firms offer retirement-savings services, but these generally don’t offer step-by-step advice for an investor’s complete portfolio. FutureAdvisor expects to make money when it introduces later this year an optional premium service, which will charge an annual fee of less than 0.25% of your assets to rebalance and maintain your portfolio, automatically. It says suggestions offered on the site are made solely on merit, with no kickbacks or commissions to FutureAdvisor. The site differs from budgeting sites like Mint.com that don’t specialize in retirement savings. Instead, Mint makes money through recommendations for users, like which credit cards carry lower fees. I’m not a financial expert; rather, I looked at FutureAdvisor through the lens of an average person who might want to use the site. Its investment philosophy may not be right for everybody. FutureAdvisor is easy to use and walks users through a set of simple steps.

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Taking the Guesswork Out of Retirement Saving


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