Robo advisers aren’t as mindless or interchangeable as their name makes them sound.

The idea behind these vehicles is to save investors money through simplicity and automation. Robo advisers put together portfolios of inexpensive index funds, and then keep the allocations steady via computer programs or algorithms. The implicit understanding is that a human overseer won’t be making choices about how the funds are managed.

But there’s a crucial step here that isn’t always obvious. Algorithms manage the portfolios…
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