HOW WE INVEST

Personalized, goals-based investing

Watch The Video
 

phil_goals

 

We build advanced, custom plans

Instead of a single portfolio that ignores your specific goals, our algorithms provide each of your goals with a custom investment plan, based on:

  • Growth

    The portfolio growth required for your goal

  • Reward vs Risk

    The amount of risk you're happy with

  • Time

    The time period you have to save or invest

  • Everything Else

    Stock market scenarios, inflation & your details

Then we automate them

Once you've set up your personal goal, BrightPlan can automate investing in a BrightPlan Investment Account to help you stay on track with your plan. You can also apply our advice in your external investment accounts when linked to a goal. 

A scientific approach

The BrightPlan Investment Committee is led by Peter Lazaroff and Jeff Buckner, who currently manage approximately $3.7 billion at Plancorp. Their evidence-based approach to investing is based on academic research that reveals the following tenets:

  • Let markets work for you
  • Practice smart diversification
  • Focus on what you can control

Capital markets do a good job of fairly pricing all available information and investors’ expectations about publicly traded securities. The market has already done most of the work. Rather than working to beat the market, let it work for you.

Embracing market pricing can net investors higher returns by

  • Calculates each employees' BrightPlan Financial Wellness ScoreTM
  • Provides personalized, actionable steps for employees to boost their score.
  • Gives you insight into your employees' needs through an aggregate financial wellness score calculated from anonymized employee data.

Most investors are neither diversified enough, nor properly diversified. We manage risk through smart diversification based on Modern Portfolio Theory. Our model portfolios invest in a global mix of over 10,000 stocks and bonds, yet you can start with as little as $500.

A good investment plan requires commitment, not activity. Investors gain time and peace of mind by automating smart choices like:

  • Recurring Deposits
  • Rebalancing
  • Asset Allocation
  • Tax-Loss Harvesting
  • Dividend Reinvestment

A handpicked diversified investment portfolio

The BrightPlan Investment Committee hand-picked the funds for each portfolio. The end result is a globally diversified portfolio filled with low-cost mutual funds from Dimensional Fund Advisors and Vanguard.1

Dimensional Fund Advisors

Dimensional Fund Advisors is one of the world's largest mutual fund providers, managing over $500 Billion primarily for institutions and high-net-worth individuals.

Their rigorous, evidence-based approach to investing has led to great historical results. In the 20-year period between 2002 and 2020, 81% of Dimensional Funds beat their benchmark, while only 17% of their peers could boast the same. The only way to access DFA funds is through an approved Registered Investment Adviser like BrightPlan.

 
 

DIMENSIONAL FUNDS THAT OUTPERFORMED BENCHMARKS[2]

Vanguard

Vanguard’s relentless mission to lower the cost of investing has driven down costs across the entire investment industry in a phenomenon widely known as “the Vanguard effect.” Their low-cost approach has helped 94% of Vanguard’s funds outperform their peer group averages over the past ten years.3

 

VANGUARD MUTUAL FUND FEES VS. INDUSTRY AVERAGE[4]

Automated Investing

Make automatic progress towards your goals with a BrightPlan Investment Account.

  • 01

    Tailored Advice

    Open an investment account for each of your goals and relax knowing your investment plan fits your resources, risk tolerance, and timeframe.

  • 02

    Fund Selection

    Choosing investments can be overwhelming. So we analyze, select, and monitor investments for you.

  • 03

    Saving Simplified

    Your plan on auto-pilot. Set up one-time or recurring contributions, we’ll invest them automatically.

  • 04

    Automatic Rebalancing

    If market movements push your portfolio out of balance, our software automatically nudges it back on track.

  • 05

    Strategic Dividend Reinvestment

    We reduce the need to sell funds by reinvesting dividends to rebalance your account.

  • 06

    Tax Mitigation Strategies

    Our tax aware portfolio construction and periodic tax loss harvesting work to improve your after-tax returns (the only returns that matter).

Fiduciary advice, at a fraction of the cost

BrightPlan offers fiduciary advice at a much lower price tag compared to traditional advisors.[5] We keep expenses low: no commissions, kickbacks, or fees, which keeps our advice aligned to clients' best interests.

View our pricing guide

Traditional Advisor

Brightplan

Set a low $500 account minimum

tick

Low annual management fee of 0.4%

tick

Real time account tracking from any device

tick

Chose funds with low expenses

tick

Negotiated with a low, unlimited trading fee with TD Ameritrade

tick

Zero commissions, we are only compensated by clients

tick

SAFETY & SECURITY

Keeping Your Money Safe

Opened at TD Ameritrade. Managed by BrightPlan. Owned by You.

BrightPlan Investment Accounts are opened in your name at TD Ameritrade Institutional, a top-tier custodian safeguarding over $1.1 Trillion in investors' assets with their asset protection guarantee. BrightPlan selected TD Ameritrade Institutional as our preferred custodian because of their robust technology integrations, strong track record as a custodian for over 6,000 Registered Investment Advisors, and low fees for trading and account management. Through TD Ameritrade, mutual funds and cash held in BrightPlan Investment Accounts are protected by SIPC and FDIC insurance.

Ameritrade


(*) TD Ameritrade and BrightPlan are separate and unaffiliated firms, and are not responsible for each other’s services or policies. TD Ameritrade does not endorse or recommend any advisor and the use of the TD Ameritrade logo does not represent the endorsement or recommendation of any advisor. Brokerage services provided by TD Ameritrade Institutional, Division of TD Ameritrade, Inc., member FINRA/SIPC. TD Ameritrade is a trademark jointly owned by TD Ameritrade IP Company, Inc. and The Toronto-Dominion Bank. Used with permission.

How our fees compare

Low management fees and minimums

Traditional Advisor

Brightplan

Account minimum

$250,000+

$500

Management fees

1%

0.4%

 

OUR ANNUAL FUND COST VS. THE INDUSTRY AVERAGE[6]

FURTHER READING

 

[1] All funds in BrightPlan portfolios have lower average expense ratios than their Morningstar category (as of 12/30/2017)

[2] Dimensional Statistic: Performance data shown represents past performance and is no guarantee of future results. Beginning sample includes funds as of January 1, 2002. The number of beginners is: Industry - 3,545 and Dimensional - 29. Outperformers (winners) are funds with return observations for every month of the 15-year period whose cumulative net return over the period exceeded that of their respective benchmark. US-domiciled open-end mutual fund data is from Morningstar and Center for Research in Security Prices (CRSP) from the University of Chicago. Performance of each fund in the industry sample are evaluated relative to the fund’s Morningstar Category Index. Dimensional fund data provided by the fund accountant. Dimensional funds exclude VA funds and those distributed exclusively through Loring Ward. Performance of Dimensional funds measured against prospectus benchmarks. When evaluating the Dimensional funds relative to the fund’s Morningstar category index, 79% outperform. For further methodology details, see DFA’s Mutual Fund Landscape brochure.

[3] Vanguard Statistic: For the 10-year period ended December 31, 2017, 9 of 9 Vanguard money market funds, 51 of 55 Vanguard bond funds, 21 of 22 Vanguard balanced funds, and 101 of 108 Vanguard stock funds—for a total of 182 of 194 Vanguard funds —outperformed their Lipper peer-group average. Results will vary for other time periods. Only mutual funds with a minimum 10-year history were included in the comparison. The competitive performance data shown represent past performance, which is not a guarantee of future results.

[4] Vanguard average mutual fund expense ratio: 0.12%. Industry average mutual fund expense ratio: 0.69%. All averages are asset-weighted. Industry averages exclude Vanguard. Sources: Vanguard and Morningstar, Inc., as of December 31, 2016. Morningstar US Fund Fee Study 2019

[5] Based on the median 1% annual assets under management fee for investment advisors managing between $250,000 and $1 million. Source: Inside Information 2017 Planning Profession Fee Survey

[6] How we calculated fund costs: BrightPlan fund costs are a weighted average of all of the funds included in a taxable BrightPlan Investment Account holding 60% stocks and 40% bonds. Industry averages are based on the asset weighted average fund costs of all US Mutual Funds from the Morningstar US Fund Fee Study 2019 Because the weightings of funds are different in every model portfolio, clients invested in BrightPlan model portfolios could have fund fee averages ranging between 0.13% and 0.28%.