Backend Benchmarking, the Robo Advisor research firm, announced that SigFig has the best four year track record of any of the 41 robo-advisors that they monitor as of the third quarter of this year. They wrote, “It owes its success to domestic large-cap exposure, investment-grade Treasury and corporate bonds, and a low total cost.”
Utilizing the same results, Barron’s also named SigFig “Top Robo for 2020”. In their July 31 story by Sarah Max, Barron’s wrote about an embargoed Backend Benchmarking report ranking robo-advisors across a variety of weighted categories including performance, fees, ease of use and access to a human advisor among other areas. Here is what they wrote about SigFig:
“SigFig takes the top spot in this year’s results—with the best performance relative to its normalized benchmark and the best risk-adjusted performance measured by the Sharpe ratio. Its portfolio returned 4.71% annually over the past 2½ years, versus 3.22% for the average portfolio in Backend’s ranking. While SigFig manages just $835 million of assets directly, its technology is behind the portfolio tools used by planners at major financial institutions, including Citizens Bank, UBS, and Wells Fargo.
One area where SigFig stands out is in its oversight of outside accounts. The firm allows users to link external investment portfolios, which it then flags for high fees, mismatched risk, or poor diversification. For customers who want to roll over assets from existing accounts, as opposed to funding accounts with cash, SigFig’s premium service factors for such things as tax implications and transaction costs, and migrates assets over accordingly. The premium service is 0.25% for accounts over $10,000; accounts below that amount are free.”
Further along in the story, our CEO, Mike Sha is quoted talking about the variety of accounts that Americans acquire over the years and the difficulty of keeping track of all of them:
Given that many people will have multiple employers during their career—with multiple retirement plans—the ability to look at various plans is key. “By the time you’re 50 or 60 years old, your money is spread all over the place, which is a really big problem for a lot of people,” says CEO Mike Sha, who co-founded SigFig in 2007, initially as a portfolio tracking tool.
A few weeks later, Backend Benchmarking named SigFig the Best Overall Robo Advisor over a four year period. After a number of top three finishes over the years, this was the first time that SigFig took the overall title. The Robo Ranking™ grades robo-advisors across more than 45 specific metrics and is the only examination that includes real and reliable performance data. They score each robo on various high-level categories, such as features, financial planning, customer experience, access to live advisors, transparency and conflicts of interest, size and tenure, account minimums, costs, and performance:
“The Robo Ranking has a new Best Overall Robo Advisor, as SigFig has taken the top spot from Fidelity Go. SigFig won because of its record of strong performance, low fees, and access to advisors at lower asset levels than many other providers. Over the 2.5-year analysis period used for this Ranking, SigFig had the best performance relative to its Normalized Benchmark and the best risk-adjusted performance measured by the Sharpe ratio. Its resulting performance score drove it to the top of the Ranking.
However, SigFig has many attractive features beyond performance. With a $2,000 account minimum and a $10,000 minimum for access to live advisors, SigFig is widely accessible to new investors and can provide live advice at a low minimum with an affordable fee. SigFig only charges 0.25% annually and there is no management fee on the first $10,000 invested.
But even at its lower tier, SigFig offers customers strong digital tools. Its built-in retirement planner allows users to adjust retirement and investing variables, such as where a user will retire, standard of living in retirement, risk profile of the user’s investment strategy, life expectancy, and more. SigFig also offers several unique features. Users can link external brokerage accounts and SigFig will analyze the portfolio and flag issues, such as high fees and improper diversification across and within asset types.”
Aaron Gubin, head of product and operations at SigFig, said “It is wonderful to get this kind of recognition for the hard work that all of us here at SigFig have put in. Our constant efforts to improve our offering definitely pays off in receiving these awards, but more importantly, in helping create a better financial future for our clients. On behalf of the team, I couldn’t be more proud of this achievement.”
US News and World Report also covered this achievement, writing in September:
For the first time, SigFig overtook Fidelity Go to claim the top robo advisor spot. SigFig earned its crown thanks to its strong performance, low fees and access to human financial advisors. In fact, it had the best performance relative to its benchmark over the 2.5 years used in the analysis. “SigFig boasts an exceptional track record of performance, a competitive management fee of 0.25% annually and access to financial advisors at no additional cost,” says Thomas Leahy, a research analyst at Backend Benchmarking. “These features make it an excellent overall choice for most investors.”