Author Topic: Any thoughts on MarketRiders.com vs self-managed?  (Read 5461 times)

MaudMan

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Any thoughts on MarketRiders.com vs self-managed?
« on: November 08, 2014, 01:55:49 PM »
Hi All! I've been a long time MMM reader, but I'm brand new to the forums. 

Anyway, I have a question and I'll try to keep this short...  I've been with Schwab for 25+ years, and all my investments are there with the exception of a Betterment account containing some of my F-you money. :)  Anyway, I used to use Schwab's managed portfolio services for which they charge .50% and they select a lot of very expensive mutual funds.  I stuck with that for a few years, and then cancelled the service because it just didn't line up with everything I've learned over the years about low-cost indexing.

In order to have a system that eliminates emotions (I need this), I started using MarketRiders.com instead to build a portfolio for me. They charge $150/year flat fee, and you can create up to 10 portfolios (ie. accounts to manage). Anyway, they build a well diversified portfolio based on a risk assessment and appropriate asset allocation.  Of course, they recommend very low cost index funds, and they try to select ones that trade free at your brokerage of choice. Unfortunately, all their recommended ETF's (some from Vanguard) are not free at Schwab, so I do have to pay $8.95 per transaction for those. When my asset allocation gets out of whack, they send me an email alert with buy/sell recommendations to get things back in balance.

OK, having said all that. I've been using MarketRiders for a year now and it's about time to renew. I'm happy with the service and the performance of the portfolio they constructed for me. But I keep questioning if I really need them, or if I could do the same with a simple portfolio of Schwab ETF's that are totally free. I've seen some Boglehead recommendations for a Schwab 3-fund portfolio for instance, but I really need a system to keep my emotions out of the equation.

I know Vanguard is the 1000 pound gorilla in the personal finance and early retirement community, but I really like Schwab and would prefer to stay with them unless someone knows of a REALLY good reason to switch. :)  Schwab does have some really good ETF's now that compete very nicely with Vanguard on fees and performance.

Anyway, would love to get some thoughts, especially from folks who might have used MarketRiders.com and/or be with Schwab and managing their own investments using a low-cost indexing approach.

Thank you!

Dave



BEN_BANNED

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Re: Any thoughts on MarketRiders.com vs self-managed?
« Reply #1 on: November 08, 2014, 02:03:09 PM »
Have you tried FEEX.com yet?

You'd have to do a bit of your own legwork on building your portfolio but if you have the basic framework on how you'd like to allocate your assets it's a nice tool.

Added bonus: IT'S FREE!!!

MaudMan

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Re: Any thoughts on MarketRiders.com vs self-managed?
« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2014, 02:34:33 PM »
Have you tried FEEX.com yet?

You'd have to do a bit of your own legwork on building your portfolio but if you have the basic framework on how you'd like to allocate your assets it's a nice tool.

Added bonus: IT'S FREE!!!

Wow, thanks BEN_BANNED!  I had not heard of FeeX before, but I set up an account and turned it loose on my Schwab account. What is very interesting is that they recommended lowering my fees anywhere from 10-80% across the board, EXCEPT for all of my Schwab ETF's! :)  For all of those, it said, "We couldn't find any cheaper similar funds. FeeX will keep trying to find a match and let you know." 

LOL! I love it, thanks for letting me know about this service! I guess it confirms that I can't do much better than the Schwab ETF's I'm already in.  So now I just need to think about constructing a very simple allocation using a few of the Schwab ETF's.  Then I could sell the other ETF's and not renew my MarketRiders service.  Not 100% convinced yet, but this definitely helps!   


GGNoob

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Re: Any thoughts on MarketRiders.com vs self-managed?
« Reply #3 on: November 08, 2014, 02:50:46 PM »
Have you tried FEEX.com yet?

You'd have to do a bit of your own legwork on building your portfolio but if you have the basic framework on how you'd like to allocate your assets it's a nice tool.

Added bonus: IT'S FREE!!!

Wow, thanks BEN_BANNED!  I had not heard of FeeX before, but I set up an account and turned it loose on my Schwab account. What is very interesting is that they recommended lowering my fees anywhere from 10-80% across the board, EXCEPT for all of my Schwab ETF's! :)  For all of those, it said, "We couldn't find any cheaper similar funds. FeeX will keep trying to find a match and let you know." 

LOL! I love it, thanks for letting me know about this service! I guess it confirms that I can't do much better than the Schwab ETF's I'm already in.  So now I just need to think about constructing a very simple allocation using a few of the Schwab ETF's.  Then I could sell the other ETF's and not renew my MarketRiders service.  Not 100% convinced yet, but this definitely helps!

You cannot do any better on fees than Schwab's ETFs. So if you still have any expensive funds at Schwab, its probably time to sell and buy more ETFs! The bid/ask spread is a bit higher with these ETFs, but as long as you are a buy and hold investor, it doesn't matter.

MaudMan

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Re: Any thoughts on MarketRiders.com vs self-managed?
« Reply #4 on: November 08, 2014, 03:02:35 PM »
You cannot do any better on fees than Schwab's ETFs. So if you still have any expensive funds at Schwab, its probably time to sell and buy more ETFs! The bid/ask spread is a bit higher with these ETFs, but as long as you are a buy and hold investor, it doesn't matter.

My thoughts exactly. And I'm definitely a buy&hold investor.  I really do like Schwab, and their ETF list has only gotten better.  The expense-ratios actually beat Vanguard in most cases for similar ETF's.  Based on some advice from the Bogleheads, I thought about just doing a very simple 3-fund AA for each of our IRA accounts:

  • US Broad Market ETF (SCHB)
  • International Equity Index ETF (SCHF)
  • U. S. Aggregate Bond Index ETF (SCHZ)

My 401K is with Fidelity, and I have an 80%/20% AA there using a S&P 500 index fund, and a bond index fund.  These two funds had the lowest fees of all my choices, and the bond index fund is actually from Vanguard. :)


GGNoob

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Re: Any thoughts on MarketRiders.com vs self-managed?
« Reply #5 on: November 08, 2014, 03:13:12 PM »
You cannot do any better on fees than Schwab's ETFs. So if you still have any expensive funds at Schwab, its probably time to sell and buy more ETFs! The bid/ask spread is a bit higher with these ETFs, but as long as you are a buy and hold investor, it doesn't matter.

My thoughts exactly. And I'm definitely a buy&hold investor.  I really do like Schwab, and their ETF list has only gotten better.  The expense-ratios actually beat Vanguard in most cases for similar ETF's.  Based on some advice from the Bogleheads, I thought about just doing a very simple 3-fund AA for each of our IRA accounts:

  • US Broad Market ETF (SCHB)
  • International Equity Index ETF (SCHF)
  • U. S. Aggregate Bond Index ETF (SCHZ)

My 401K is with Fidelity, and I have an 80%/20% AA there using a S&P 500 index fund, and a bond index fund.  These two funds had the lowest fees of all my choices, and the bond index fund is actually from Vanguard. :)

You may want to add SCHE to your international allocation. SCHF doesn't seem to have any emerging markets exposure. The allocation between the 2 would be up to you.

MaudMan

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Re: Any thoughts on MarketRiders.com vs self-managed?
« Reply #6 on: November 08, 2014, 03:17:43 PM »
You may want to add SCHE to your international allocation. SCHF doesn't seem to have any emerging markets exposure. The allocation between the 2 would be up to you.

Good advice! I also read on the Bogleheads wiki they recommend adding SCHC as well for Intl. small cap exposure. See, it keeps getting more complicated! LOL!

BTW, have you heard that Schwab is launching Intelligent Portfolios in Q1 2015? From what I understand, it's supposed to compete with the likes of Betterment, Wealthfront, etc, but I'm sure they will only offer Schwab funds and/or ETF's.  The best part is they plan to charge ZERO fees. If it's anything like I'm hoping, the plan would be to pull my money out of Betterment and put it back with Schwab.  And I really hope to be able to use the service for my tax-advantaged accounts as well.  This would be the best of all worlds for me:  1) A system to eliminate emotions and "stupid human tricks", 2) low-cost index investing, 3) automatic rebalancing, 4) eliminate MarketRiders.com, and 5) stay with Schwab!

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Re: Any thoughts on MarketRiders.com vs self-managed?
« Reply #7 on: November 08, 2014, 03:25:42 PM »
You may want to add SCHE to your international allocation. SCHF doesn't seem to have any emerging markets exposure. The allocation between the 2 would be up to you.

Good advice! I also read on the Bogleheads wiki they recommend adding SCHC as well for Intl. small cap exposure. See, it keeps getting more complicated! LOL!

BTW, have you heard that Schwab is launching Intelligent Portfolios in Q1 2015? From what I understand, it's supposed to compete with the likes of Betterment, Wealthfront, etc, but I'm sure they will only offer Schwab funds and/or ETF's.  The best part is they plan to charge ZERO fees. If it's anything like I'm hoping, the plan would be to pull my money out of Betterment and put it back with Schwab.  And I really hope to be able to use the service for my tax-advantaged accounts as well.  This would be the best of all worlds for me:  1) A system to eliminate emotions and "stupid human tricks", 2) low-cost index investing, 3) automatic rebalancing, 4) eliminate MarketRiders.com, and 5) stay with Schwab!

Keep us updated on the Schwab robo-investing thingie if you decide to try it out. I recently closed my Betterment account and put the money into WiseBanyan to avoid management fees.

MaudMan

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Re: Any thoughts on MarketRiders.com vs self-managed?
« Reply #8 on: November 08, 2014, 03:53:21 PM »
Keep us updated on the Schwab robo-investing thingie if you decide to try it out. I recently closed my Betterment account and put the money into WiseBanyan to avoid management fees.

Will do! I plan to get going with it as soon as it's available in Q1.  I'll start with the money in my Schwab1 taxable account and go from there.

surfhb

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Re: Any thoughts on MarketRiders.com vs self-managed?
« Reply #9 on: November 08, 2014, 11:26:49 PM »
I think you're putting too much thought into this.   

All you need is simply 3 or 4 funds which would pretty much diversify you into the entire world market.   The reason Vanguard is the 1000 lbs gorilla is because they tend to offer the lowest ERs on these funds. But, if Schawb or any other institution can beat Vanguard than go with them.   

Easy, simple, buy and hold.....done. Now go play golf, learn to surf or write that novel you always wanted to finish :)
« Last Edit: November 08, 2014, 11:31:07 PM by surfhb »

MaudMan

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Re: Any thoughts on MarketRiders.com vs self-managed?
« Reply #10 on: November 09, 2014, 08:19:18 AM »
I think you're putting too much thought into this.   

All you need is simply 3 or 4 funds which would pretty much diversify you into the entire world market.   The reason Vanguard is the 1000 lbs gorilla is because they tend to offer the lowest ERs on these funds. But, if Schawb or any other institution can beat Vanguard than go with them.   

Easy, simple, buy and hold.....done. Now go play golf, learn to surf or write that novel you always wanted to finish :)

Good advice surfhb! And you're right... I pretty much over-think EVERYTHING. :(  That's exactly why I need a way to keep the emotions and over-thinking out of it. Betterment is a good example of how I've done that with some of our money. So I'm looking forward to Schwab's new service when they launch it in a couple months.

fermata49

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Re: Any thoughts on MarketRiders.com vs self-managed?
« Reply #11 on: October 22, 2015, 06:21:15 PM »
Hi MaudMan -

I know this is a way old post by now but was just wondering if you've tried Schwab Intelligent Portfolios and if so what your impressions are.  FYI - I moved everything from Fidelity to Schwab earlier in the year and very happy with the move.  I also put equal amounts in IP and into Betterment.  So far they are on par with each other, though a lot more activity at Betterment, which means nothing of course, mostly tax loss harvesting.  Will be curious to see if IP does a good job of that at year end. 

Also, did you continue with MarketRiders?  I'm considering them.

Thanks,

bill

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Re: Any thoughts on MarketRiders.com vs self-managed?
« Reply #12 on: October 23, 2015, 05:34:21 AM »
Problem with Intelligent Portfolios is they keep a huge portion in cash so they can make money off of you, and I think they put it in their "fundamental" ETFs rather than their mindblowingly low fee regular ETFs. SCHB and its friends are already awesome. No need to make it more complicated.

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Re: Any thoughts on MarketRiders.com vs self-managed?
« Reply #13 on: October 23, 2015, 07:43:33 AM »
Problem with Intelligent Portfolios is they keep a huge portion in cash so they can make money off of you, and I think they put it in their "fundamental" ETFs rather than their mindblowingly low fee regular ETFs. SCHB and its friends are already awesome. No need to make it more complicated.

I have my bank and some funds at schwab and generally like them, but agree the robo-investing thing is pretty crap, almost sleazy. Holding at least 7-10% cash just to get their fee? Awful! I wonder what happens if you have a $300k+ portfolio and contribute a few thousand. If the market is going up it will almost always have to go into cash. So then you're plowing your contributions into cash, seems unwise.

If you like schwab I think it's good otherwise. Go with something like (suggested %):
SCHB -60%
SCHF - 30%
SCHC - 5%
SCHE - 5%

This is more or less equal to 60/40 total US/total international market cap weighted at vanguard.