Rise of the Machines: Can you tell a human financial adviser from a robot?

Not as stock-heavy: Everette Orr said the 35-year-old might want to go with a Vanguard target-date fund, but such funds are aggressive in how much they put into stocks. “If they’re really middle-of-the-road, then I would probably back them off,” said Orr, who runs McLean, Va.–based Orr Financial Planning. He would instead recommend the Vanguard STAR Fund VGSTX, +0.31% a fund of funds that is roughly 60% stocks and 40% bonds.

A significant difference: Orr’s recommendation puts less into stocks than the other three human advisers’ suggestions. And among the robo advisers, they’re all more equity-heavy, except for Schwab, which also only sticks about 60% into stocks. Kitces said that while the eight recommended portfolios are “not massively different,” the variations in how much gets put into stocks is “actually pretty material.”

Fees: Orr said the 35-year-old would likely pay a $ 600 fee, as he charges $ 200 per hour and that would cover a two-hour, face-to-face consultation and one hour of prep work. He added that he’s not currently taking new hourly clients, and for clients with at least $ 300,000, he charges 1% for the first $ 500,000, then 0.5% for the next half million and 0.25% beyond the $ 1 million mark.

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