As a kickoff to our series on digital wealth, I thought we would start with one of the hardest problems: how to do it.

When looking at the digital wealth space (colloquially known as “robo-advisors”) there are three key objectives that must be achieved. Internally, we refer to these as “The A-I-M of the Robo-Advisor.” They are as follows:

  1. Acquisition
  2. Interaction
  3. Monetization

When looking at the digital wealth landscape it becomes much easier to evaluate when using this A-I-M paradigm.

Let’s quickly break them down by B2C and B2B.

The B2C robo-advisors are trying to achieve all three objectives. They need toAcquire the customer, Interact with them, and then ultimately Monetize them. They are meant to be a complete end-to-end solution.

But, what about the hybrid robo-advisors? Or, rather those providing a B2B solution?

Their objectives are slightly different.

The KEY assumption is that “acquisition” is occurring elsewhere, and/or has already been accomplished (i.e. the customer may have an existing loan with the bank). This is a critical economic and mathematical challenge to solve that most advisors are ill equipped to handle.

So, to start this series, I am going to focus on the first key objective: Acquisition.

I will begin by asking a question:

What does it cost to acquire a client?

More specifically, what does it cost to acquire a specific type of client (broken down by AUM)?

In fact, I would ask the B2B robo-advisors worldwide:

What client acquisition costs should an advisor expect when implementing a robo-advisor solution?

I open this up to everyone.  I would encourage input from other readers of this blog globally to share their thoughts.

I think the real $$ numbers (for those who are brave enough to share) will be surprising.

Lastly, for those of you who want to know the four firms who will not answer this question in a pubic forum (because they solved the math), feel free to email me directly at

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