Axos (previously wisebanyan) no longer free - now charging 0.24% fee

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Topic Author
Broszy
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Jan 28, 2019 6:28 am

Axos (previously wisebanyan) no longer free - now charging 0.24% fee

Post by Broszy » Mon Jun 29, 2020 8:52 pm

Hi group,
I'm a long time investor in wisebanyan, the free roboinvestment service that was bought by axos. They have been great about providing automatic investments in a diversified portfolio without charging fees. But since the company has changed hands I'm on the lookout for a sneaky change in policy about free investing.

I received a vague email from axos today (form CRS and adv 2a) about their fee structure. I never signed up for a premium package, but it sounds like "legacy clients" may be subject to a 0.5% aum fee.

So I'm curious if this once free robo investing service is still free?

Edit: (Deleted)

Edit 2: so another email from axos today says their previously free service now has a 0.24% fee. I knew something was fishy! Hope this helps some poor wisebanyan investors in a future search on this board.
Last edited by Broszy on Wed Jul 01, 2020 3:59 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Merican
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Aug 08, 2017 11:53 pm

Re: Axos (previously wisebanyan) now charging fees?

Post by Merican » Mon Jun 29, 2020 9:30 pm

Hi Broszy,

Thank you for the post and noticing that fee! It is not at all clear from the form who it applies to. Intentionally vague? It sounds really sneaky and suspicious though. Could it be true that only the "legacy members" or first customers got lumped into a special group of semi-managed portfolios without their permission and charged this exorbitant 0.5% fee?

This would be a huge disappointment and complete breach of trust. Especially with the assurances of "Always Free" during the transition. I've been investing with WiseBanyan / Axos since 2014 and have so far been really happy. If this fee has been charged, I will most likely close my account immediately and move elsewhere.

I just emailed customer support. We'll see what they say.

Topic Author
Broszy
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Jan 28, 2019 6:28 am

Re: Axos (previously wisebanyan) now charging fees?

Post by Broszy » Tue Jun 30, 2020 11:01 am

Edit: updated info in op. Below post is no longer current. I guess customer service was not up to date with this change to fee structure ***

Previous text: I too emailed customer support. They said fees do not apply to my account.
It appears wisebanyan / axos is still free. Woohoo!

"Thanks for reaching out!

This fee does not apply to your account since your account is held at Apex Clearing.

Let us know if you need anything further. "

Merican
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Aug 08, 2017 11:53 pm

Re: Axos (previously wisebanyan) no longer free - now charging 0.24% fee

Post by Merican » Wed Jul 01, 2020 10:58 pm

"The world's first free financial advisor" breaks its own motto, starts charging a fee. The rationale for this 0.24% "advisory fee" is that customers can now use their premium services (tax loss harvesting, faster deposits, additional investment protects). I would rather have more money in my account. This is also a fee that they could raise with little warning in the future. They will be loosing one formerly happy customer. Will you be closing your account Broszy?

Dottie57
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Location: Earth Northern Hemisphere

Re: Axos (previously wisebanyan) no longer free - now charging 0.24% fee

Post by Dottie57 » Thu Jul 02, 2020 12:25 am

Merican wrote:
Wed Jul 01, 2020 10:58 pm
"The world's first free financial advisor" breaks its own motto, starts charging a fee. The rationale for this 0.24% "advisory fee" is that customers can now use their premium services (tax loss harvesting, faster deposits, additional investment protects). I would rather have more money in my account. This is also a fee that they could raise with little warning in the future. They will be loosing one formerly happy customer. Will you be closing your account Broszy?
How did this free robo make money?

Cyanide123
Posts: 259
Joined: Sun May 05, 2019 9:14 am

Re: Axos (previously wisebanyan) no longer free - now charging 0.24% fee

Post by Cyanide123 » Thu Jul 02, 2020 12:33 am

Dottie57 wrote:
Thu Jul 02, 2020 12:25 am
Merican wrote:
Wed Jul 01, 2020 10:58 pm
"The world's first free financial advisor" breaks its own motto, starts charging a fee. The rationale for this 0.24% "advisory fee" is that customers can now use their premium services (tax loss harvesting, faster deposits, additional investment protects). I would rather have more money in my account. This is also a fee that they could raise with little warning in the future. They will be loosing one formerly happy customer. Will you be closing your account Broszy?
How did this free robo make money?
Optional fee based items like TLH feature that could be turned on for 0.02% per month cost.

They probably do other things like lending securities etc.

Cyanide123
Posts: 259
Joined: Sun May 05, 2019 9:14 am

Re: Axos (previously wisebanyan) now charging fees?

Post by Cyanide123 » Thu Jul 02, 2020 12:39 am

Merican wrote:
Mon Jun 29, 2020 9:30 pm
Hi Broszy,

Thank you for the post and noticing that fee! It is not at all clear from the form who it applies to. Intentionally vague? It sounds really sneaky and suspicious though. Could it be true that only the "legacy members" or first customers got lumped into a special group of semi-managed portfolios without their permission and charged this exorbitant 0.5% fee?

This would be a huge disappointment and complete breach of trust. Especially with the assurances of "Always Free" during the transition. I've been investing with WiseBanyan / Axos since 2014 and have so far been really happy. If this fee has been charged, I will most likely close my account immediately and move elsewhere.

I just emailed customer support. We'll see what they say.
Yeah, I'm already contemplating on a self managed 3 fund portfolio instead of Axos if they start charging 0.24%. Also, contemplating moving to wealthfront, their TLH is significantly more impressive and potentially worth some of the fee rather than the poor man's TLH at Axos.

I emailed axos to inform them that I will be closing my account if my account gets the 0.24% fee without a $20 cap.

Topic Author
Broszy
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Jan 28, 2019 6:28 am

Re: Axos (previously wisebanyan) no longer free - now charging 0.24% fee

Post by Broszy » Thu Jul 02, 2020 4:39 am

Yes I did initiate a withdrawal to change platforms.

I feel like I acted a bit too hasty, but I’m going through with the change anyway.

I use Axos as my side pot of money for paying off the mortgage and vacations, so I could have stuck it out for the 7 or so more years it would take to payoff our mortgage.

But I calculated that they would take about $480 each year. No thanks!!!

tbc3
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat Feb 25, 2012 9:10 am

Re: Axos (previously wisebanyan) no longer free - now charging 0.24% fee

Post by tbc3 » Mon Jul 06, 2020 6:30 am

I was upset too about the change for Axos/WiseBanyan. While I enjoy their simple strategy and sleek interface, I feel this is a 1 month notification for something we were told wasn't going to happen after the acquisition. I have always limited my investments with them, however, because I didn't feel they could keep their business going given the current cost structure.

You may want to consider M1 Finance for those of you jumping ship. While it is not an robo-portfolio per se, you can choose the investments (e.g., 60% VTI, 30% VEA, 10% BND) and it will automatically invest (including fractional shares) to the ratio you specify, and as you contribute it will bring it back into alignment. I liked it better than WiseBanyan because it didn't keep buying/selling shares to rebalance automatically... I prefer to limit the taxable events.

As far as free, M1 Finance and Sofi are the only ones I know of that don't require large cash reserves (e.g., Schwab, Ally). Am I missing another free automated robo-advisor?

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