Online Advice Firms:
The Rapid Rise of Robo or Digital Advisors (& Related Firms)

Recently Released!!!
Date Published: December 4, 2017
Summary Power Point Deck: 70 Slides
Reference Power Point Deck: 852 Slides


The purpose of this research is to provide readers with a comprehensive understanding of the online advice market, often called robo or digital advisors. This research includes online advice firms which target defined contribution plans as well as those which target the B2C market. Futhermore, this research includes both pure online players as well as hybrid robo advisors that include video, chat, and/or telephone support. This research combines with Tiburon research coverage of online tools companies, online banking, online brokerage firms, and online insurance to form its online financial services research series.

This research starts with a history of online advice firms, including these phases:

  • Dot Com Phase
  • Robo Advisors Emergence Phase
  • Maturization & Consolidation Phase

This research defines distinct markets segments, including:

    • Defined Contribution Plan Focused Online Advice Firms
    • B2C Focused Online Advice Firms
      • Discount Brokerage Firms & Mutual Fund Companies Online Advice Offerings
      • Robo Advisors
    • Wholesale Robo Advisor Technology Firms

And this research makes several predictions for online advice firms, including: 

  • Substantial Growth in Online Advice Firms
  • Moderate Growth for Defined Contribution Plan Focused Online Advice Firms
  • Dominance of Discount Brokerage Firms & Mutual Fund Companies Amongst B2C Focused Online Advice Firms
  • Success of Three-to-Five Robo Advisors
  • Success of Several Wholesale Robo Advisor Technology Firms
  • International Opportunities for Online Advice Firms
  • Concentration of Future Venture Capital Investments in Fewer Robo Advisors
  • Consolidation of Online Advice Firms
  • Financial Advisor Pricing Pressure, Integration of Robo Advisor Technology, & Fewer Financial Advisors

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