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Bloomberg Wants to Give You a Run for Your Money

May 7, 2013

Depending on whom you ask, media giant Bloomberg’s new wealth-management service, BloombergBlack, will be either a yawn or an industry disruptor with the potential to erase some of the smaller financial-advice websites that have sprung up recently.

Bloomberg declines to discuss details of the service, aimed at mass-affluent investors, but Crain’s New York Business says it will offer account aggregation, personalized investment advice and access to “a vast array of financial and editorial material already produced by Bloomberg.”

At a cost of $100 a month, users of the Bloomberg service — consumers, remember — would have to take in $1,200 a year on their portfolios just to break even. That’s a lot more than with ostensibly similar services from Morningstar, Charles Schwab, LearnVest and Betterment charge.

Grant Easterbrook, a senior research associate at consultant Corporate Insight, tells Crain’s that the new site is “a big deal" that could provoke other similar products from large brokers and banks. Others, including Bill Winterberg, chief executive of technology consultant FPPad, are more restrained, noting that the focus appears to be more on investment management than on financial planning, putting the service more in the category of Betterment. Financial adviser Michael Kitces tells Crain’s he sees the new service as competition for discounters like Schwab and E*Trade.

For BusinessInsider, BloombergBlack is primarily a threat to online wealth-management startups. “There are firms you compete with on data, analytics and user interface, and there are firms you just don't,” the website says. “Bloomberg is in the latter camp.”

By Elizabeth Jensen
  • To read the Business Insider article cited in this story, click here.
  • To read the Crain's New York Business article cited in this story, click here.