In June 2016, bank and credit-card giant Capital One began its Advisor Connect service, by which customers have telephone access to a financial adviser in addition to robo-adviser services, such as the automatic rebalancing of a portfolio. Of course, other financial institutions provide similar services, but where Capital One says it differs is that it doesn’t provide proprietary investment products.
That doesn’t mean that Capital One doesn’t provide investment options, however. Advisors Connect is linked to Capital One Advisors Managed Portfolios. Yvette Butler, who is the president of Capital One Investing, which oversees both programs, tells Consumers Digest that the portfolios consist of third-party exchange-traded funds (ETFs). Capital One merely decides which ETFs that it wants to provide, like a company 401(k) plan, and its financial advisers work on a salary, not commissions, Butler says.
Butler says the financial advice is available to anyone and is “holistic,” or comprehensive, although she concedes that it’s geared primarily to investors and to those who participate in the Managed Portfolios program.
Sheryl Garrett, who founded Garrett Planning Network, which connects independent financial advisers to consumers, likes a lot of what Capital One is attempting. However, she says Capital One’s service fee—0.9 percent—isn’t competitive. “It’s the concept of the future with the pricing of today,” she says.
Garrett says consumers should approach Capital One’s financial advisers as they would any financial adviser and ask questions to ensure a good fit. She says that in addition to basics about background and fiduciary capacity, an important question to ask is, how frequently will the adviser be available? “Convenience and access is necessary,” she says.