Overstock branches out into roboadvising


You can already buy everything from home goods to shoes to handbags and even cars on Overstock.

Now the e-commerce site wants to bring financial advice to the masses with the launch of a new roboadvisor service.

RELATED: 14 ways to save at Overstock.com

Overstock’s product aims for women seeking financial planning

The financial advice industry, once the exclusive domain of humans, is having to make room for the ‘bots.

Roboadvising is a new trend in the industry that involves the use of machine learning and artificial intelligence to direct an investor’s portfolio.

When used in its purest form, roboadvisors creates and manages a portfolio for you that is untouched by human hands — which means lower fees for you because you’re not paying the salary of some Wall Street brainiac to manage your money.

With the Overstock offer, housed within the online retailer’s FinanceHub, you pay a flat fee of $9.95/month for roboadvising guidance to build and rebalance your portfolio periodically. There are no account minimums to get started.

Overstock already has an established customer base of 40 million unique visitors per month. Some two-thirds of their customers are women who have long been under-served by the traditional financial advice industry.

Yet women are expected to control two-thirds of private wealth in just three years. By some estimates, the ladies already have $14 trillion in investable assets — and they’re routinely being ignored in a male-dominated financial advice industry.

Overstock wants to change that.


“Swanky financial advisors serving the wealthy are not our natural target [for our new service],” Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne says. “We intend to serve the mass of middle- and upper-middle-income females who shop on our site.”

In a related development, Overstock recently introduced a discount online trading platform for people who don’t embrace a passive money-management strategy.

(Editor’s note: Money expert Clark Howard is a big believer in passive investing via index funds and exchange-traded funds. See his investment guide for more info.)

Members of Overstock’s Club O Gold loyalty program are only charged $1.99 per trade, while non-Club O Gold members must pay $2.99 per trade.

That’s substantially cheaper per trade than competitors like TD Ameritrade ($6.95); Etrade ($6.95); Merrill Edge ($6.95); Fidelity ($4.95); and Ally ($4.95). That said, a newer and more competitive startup like Robinhood offers zero-commission stock trading!

Membership to Club O Gold is free to first-responders, teachers, students, active military and veterans. For everyone else, it costs $19.95/annually to join. Club O members also get free shipping on all orders and earn 5% in rewards dollars for every purchase.

RELATED: 6 ways to start investing when you only have $100 or less

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