Roboadvisor Websites Crash, Lock Out Traders From Their Accounts

As the Dow plunged 1,600 points during intraday trading Monday, millions of investors rushed to check on their portfolios to survey the damage from one of the worst selloffs since the financial crisis.

But customers of roboadviser firms Betterment and WealthFront were furious to find that both companies' servers crashed during today's stock-market route, locking thousands of customers out of their portfolios.

As Bankinnovation pointed out, Betterment and other roboadvisers automate most of their functions, which is why they're so much cheaper than hiring a traditional, human financial advisers. But the downside to this is that these services, which have soared in popularity over the past five years, don't have much experience with market routes like what happened today.

The glitches could set the industry's progress back - a welcome relief for their human rivals, per Bloomberg.

One Betterment customer complained that the company was costing him money...

...while WealthFront promised to fix the problem ASAP...

...Other customers threatened to take their business elsewhere...

Wealthfront acknowledged in a statement that its clients lost access to their accounts for “a short period of time today” and said it’s working to make sure “clients don’t experience this again.” Betterment has yet to issue a statement. According to Bloomberg, back  during the Brexit fallout in 2016, Betterment told users that it had implemented a “short delay in trading” to protect its users from a “potentially erratic market.” No such statement was issued by the company in this case.


onthedeschutes Mon, 02/05/2018 - 18:04 Permalink

Reminds me of the Bugs Bunny episode where the autopilot button is pressed on a crashing plane and the autopilot robot puts on the last parachute and jumps off the doomed plane.

Kaiser Sousa Mon, 02/05/2018 - 18:05 Permalink

sure am glad that my dumb ass never started buying Physical Silver & Gold held outside the fraudulent financial system back in 2008....

what a maroon...

Thautikus Mon, 02/05/2018 - 18:06 Permalink

You know what is really funny?

This Stillman guy thinks he is trading in a free market.

Buddy, the criminal gang that owns this market doesn't give a crap what you want, you'll be allowed to buy or sell when you are told you can.

Until then STFU.

JailBanksters Mon, 02/05/2018 - 18:31 Permalink

Wealth Transfer, that's all this be

Betterment, founded 2008, HELLO !!

Your starting your Investment Company at the start of the Wall St crash.

Betterment has partners with Blackrock and Goldman Sachs, HELLO !


DaBard51 Mon, 02/05/2018 - 18:36 Permalink

Employment offer: ZH copy editor

Must be able to correctly manage synonyms

Like "route" and "rout" (Correct usage is "rout")

Hiring bonus:  two ZH coffee mugs

Long arduous route to the executive suite; from this position, it will be.


When nine hundred years old you become, look this good you will not.

Occasional Tue, 02/06/2018 - 00:13 Permalink

Come hither child and put your piggy bank savings in my super safe and oh so thoughtfully designed black box investing machine - we will take care of you oh so well. We have algorithms! Yes, you didn't realize that Al Gore had any rhythms not did you! But yes, put your tuppence in our little black box and everything will be automagically wonderful - no messy human emotions and frailties, no thinking, no responsibility for making decisions..... it will be so special.