Morgan Stanley targets millennials with robo-adviser

Morgan Stanley targets millennials with robo-adviser

Morgan Stanley is the latest Wall Street titan to enter the robo-adviser arena, launching a digital platform it hopes will attract the high net worth clients of the future while they are still millennials.

Built entirely inhouse, Morgan Stanley Access Investing is a purely online platform designed to help build, monitor and automatically rebalance a diversified portfolio for people with as little as $5000.

The firm says that the new service - which comes with a 0.35% advisory fee - is designed to help investors with "less complex needs" - such as saving for retirement or buying a home.

Investors get access to portfolios including one made up of mutual funds and ETFs and one that is an ETF-only market tracking portfolio.

In an effort to woo younger investors, there are also seven thematic portfolios, including one for sustainability, another for gender diversity and another for next wave technology.

Morgan Stanley says that its research shows that 86% of millennials say that they are interested in socially responsible investing and are twice as likely to invest in a fund if this criteria is part of the value-creation thesis.

Lisa Shalett, head, investment and portfolio solutions, Morgan Stanley Wealth Management, says: "Our analysis has shown that the next generation of high net worth individuals is looking for more than traditional portfolio allocation. By offering a diverse set of portfolios, we are enabling our clients to invest in what they believe."

In the longer term, the bank is hoping that this pays off by enabling its advisors to expand their reach and nurture future clients by building a pipeline to the next generation of high net worth clients.

Naureen Hassan, chief digital officer, Morgan Stanley Wealth Management, says: "Morgan Stanley Access Investing is an opportunity for financial advisors to grow their book of business by making connections with prospects earlier and eventually establishing full service relationships when clients are ready."

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