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Portfolio Analysis Tool and Automated Portfolios - FAQs


What is the Portfolio Analysis Tool?
What are the benefits of the Portfolio Analysis Tool?

The free Portfolio Analysis Tool provides customized insights on how you may potentially improve the performance of your existing investments to help you work toward your investment goals. It's easy, fast and personalized to your situation.

What are Automated Portfolios?

Automated Portfolios is a managed investment service that makes goal-based investing easier, like preparing for retirement or a major purchase. This service, backed by a team of financial advisors and investment research experts, selects personalized investments based on your goals and allows you to track your progress against your goals with an easy-to- use interface. Customers have access to U.S. Bancorp Investments Investment Advisors for any questions regarding their portfolio, combined with technology that is at the leading edge of a shift in financial services for transparency and affordability.

What are the benefits of Automated Portfolios?

Automated Portfolios provides three major benefits:

  • Customized, professionally managed portfolios to help you work toward your financial goals, including automatic portfolio monitoring and rebalancing to stay on track.
  • Tax-efficient, cost-effective and commission-free indexed exchange-traded funds.
  • (ETFs) that diversify your portfolio.
  • Easy to use. Whether you have existing U.S. Bancorp Investments accounts, investments at other financial institutions, or both - we have online tools make it easy to aggregate your accounts in your profile at, where you can track your progress 24/7.
What is the difference between Automated Portfolios and just buying my own investments?

With Automated Portfolios, your portfolio is designed to meet your specific investment objectives, time horizon, and risk profile with low-cost, tax-advantaged securities. The portfolio is then continually monitored and rebalanced to help keep you on track over time. Rebalancing is critical in working to reach investment objectives. The Automated Portfolios does this work for you.

Who is behind Portfolio Analysis Tool and the Automated Portfolios?

The Portfolio Analysis Tool and Automated Portfolios were built by a team of investment experts from U.S. Bancorp Investments and FutureAdvisor, a BlackRock company. Both entities are investment advisers registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Can I skip the Portfolio Analysis Tool and just open an Automated Portfolio?

The questions in the Portfolio Analysis Tool are key building blocks in determining the appropriate investments for Automated Portfolios. The information flows into the Automated Portfolios.

Introduction/About: Portfolio Analysis Tool

Who is eligible for the Portfolio Analysis Tool?
What is the cost for using the Portfolio Analysis Tool?
Do I have to sign up for Automated Portfolios to use the free Portfolio Analysis tool?
How do I get started?
Can I invest on my own using the Portfolio Analysis Tool?

Introduction/About: Automated Portfolios

Who is eligible for Automated Portfolios?
What is the minimum investment amount?
What is the cost for Automated Portfolios?
How and when is the fee on Automated Portfolios account assessed?
How do Automated Portfolios determine which investments to use?
How do Automated Portfolios work?
How is my portfolio managed on an on-going basis?

Getting Started

How do I get started?
What information do I need to get started?
How do I access the Portfolio Analysis Tool and Automated Portfolios?
What is the dashboard?

Getting Started: Portfolio Analysis Tool

How does the Portfolio Analysis Tool determine my future projected balances?
What are the risk tolerance levels?
How do I select my risk tolerance level?
How do I include my current investments in the Portfolio Analysis?
Is it a requirement to link my investment accounts to use the Portfolio Analysis Tool?
What happens when I link my accounts?
Is it safe to link my external account information to the Portfolio Analysis Tool?
I'm receiving prompts to answer additional security questions for authentication. What does this mean?
My financial institution isn't listed as an option, what should I do?
What happens when I enter a security that is not recognized?
One of my investment accounts that I linked is showing up twice. What should I do?
How do I make a change to a manual account submission?

Getting Started: Automated Portfolios

Which account types are eligible for Automated Portfolios?
Are you able to manage my 401(k)?
What information do I need to get started?
How do I transfer funds into my Automated Portfolio account?
Do I have to sell (liquidate) the assets in my existing U.S. Bancorp investments account to include them in my Automated Portfolio?
Will my current custodian charge me account closing/transfer out fees?
How do I transfer my IRA?
How long does it take to transfer funds?
I don't have an existing investment account. Can I still sign up for Automated Portfolios?
Will I be charged account opening or maintenance fees?
Can my Automated Portfolio be jointly held with my spouse?
How does Automated Portfolios manage assets for households?
If I have existing investment accounts, will I see a preview of the initial trades made to balance my portfolio?
Will I receive a preview of trades to rebalance my portfolio on an on-going basis?
Will I incur trading commissions when trades are made in my Automated Portfolios account?
Can I include/exclude specific investments in my Automated Portfolios account?
What is meant by "locking" individual portfolio holdings?
What if I need help?

My Automated Portfolio

I applied for Automated Portfolios yesterday. When will my account be traded?
How do I view my Automated Portfolios account performance?
My Online Banking investment account balance doesn't match my Automated Portfolios account balance. Why?
Not all of my cash was invested in my account. Why?
How are idle cash and dividends invested?
How often will my Automated Portfolios account be rebalanced?
How soon will I see the results of my rebalance?
How do I add money to my Automated Portfolios account? Can I set-up a regular, recurring transfer of funds into my account?
How do I withdraw funds from my Automated Portfolio?
Where do I access account statements and tax documents?
What is a short-term gain block?
What is the impact of a short-term gain block on my portfolio diversification?

Getting Started: Not a U.S. Bank or U.S. Bancorp Investments customer?

Can I take advantage of the free Portfolio Analysis Tool if I am not currently a customer?
How do I get a free portfolio analysis?
Do I have to deposit any funds or invest any money to get my free portfolio analysis?
If I want to open an Automated Portfolios investment account after I see the results of my free Portfolio Analysis, can it be funded using brokerage accounts or checking and/or savings accounts from other financial institutions?

My Automated Portfolios: Understanding my Projections

How does my retirement age influence my plan projections?
How is the projected yearly income determined?
My Automated Portfolios account projections are much lower than the projections I saw in the Portfolio Analysis Tool. Why?
My Portfolio total value is higher than it should be. Why?
What does the "recommended path" represent and how is it calculated?
Why is my recommended savings rate 0%?
What does the Contribution number represent?
What does the Growth number represent?

My Automated Portfolios: Tax Topics

What does the Automated Portfolio service do to minimize the impact of taxes?
How does tax-loss harvesting work?
Can U.S. Bancorp Investments assist me with tax planning for my Automated Portfolios account?
How do I cancel this service?

Investment Details

What is the Automated Portfolios investment strategy?
What are the asset classes that are used in the portfolios?
How do I interpret the display in the "Minimize your investment fund fees" guidance under the Smarter Investing practices?
What risk management strategies do the Automated Portfolios employ?


Algorithm A computer-driven calculation designed to provide a mathematical solution that can be applied to a specific problem. In the investment world, algorithms are used to help guide specific investment strategies or securities trades.
Asset Class An asset class is a group of similar types of investments, such as stocks, bonds, cash equivalents and real estate. Within each of those broader asset classes, sub-asset classes exist to help further define investment choices (i.e., large-cap stocks, high-yield bonds, etc.).
Diversification Diversification is a risk management technique that mixes a wide variety of investments within a portfolio. A portfolio constructed of different kinds of investments will, on average, yield higher returns and pose a lower risk than any individual investment found within the portfolio.
Diversification score The diversification score measures the diversity of the investment classes and individual securities within a portfolio. A lower score means that your portfolio could benefit from greater diversification.
Efficient Frontier The "efficient frontier" is a tool that shows investors the best possible returns they can expect from their portfolio given the level of risk they're willing to accept.
ETF ETF is an acronym for Exchange Traded Fund. Unlike mutual funds, an ETF is a fund that trades like a common stock on a stock exchange, similar to the way stocks are bought and sold throughout the trading day. ETFs typically have higher daily liquidity and lower fees than mutual fund shares. Because it trades like a stock, an ETF does not have its net asset value (NAV) calculated once at the end of every day like a mutual fund does. Instead, its price varies throughout the day.
Glide Path A formula designed to create a mix of assets in an individual's portfolio that will become more conservative as a specific goal, such as retirement, approaches. The objective is to manage assets in a way that captures opportunity (by taking on greater risk) in the early years of the investment time horizon, and then reduces risk as the date of retirement approaches to preserve accumulated wealth.
In-kind transfer Transferring specific investments from an account held with one financial institution to an account at a different financial institution without actually selling the investments. For example, if you wish to retain ownership of a particular mutual fund held in an existing account, you can request a "transfer-in-kind" of the fund's shares to your account from another custodian.
Monte Carlo Simulation Monte Carlo simulations are used to model the probability of different outcomes in a process that cannot easily be predicted due to the intervention of random variables. One way to employ a Monte Carlo simulation is to model possible movements of two components of asset prices: drift, which is a constant directional movement, and a random input, representing market volatility. Historical price data can be analyzed to determine the drift, standard deviation, variance and average price movement for a security.
Portfolio A portfolio is a grouping of financial assets such as stocks, bonds and cash equivalents, as well as their funds counterparts, including mutual, exchange- traded and closed funds. Portfolios are held directly by investors and/or managed by financial professionals.
Rebalancing Rebalancing is the process of restoring a portfolio to its target allocation. Different asset classes will experience different levels of performance over a specific period of time, sometimes referred to as "drift". As a result, a portfolio may end up overweight in one asset class and underweight in another asset class. To bring the portfolio back to its target allocation, assets are adjusted and rebalanced by selling a portion of the asset that is overweight and purchasing more of the position that is underweight.
REIT REIT is an acronym for Real Estate Investment Trust. A REIT is a type of security that invests in real estate through property or mortgages and often trades on major exchanges like a stock.
Risk tolerance Risk tolerance means the amount of volatility and loss - especially the ups and downs of the market - that an investor can accept. Risk tolerance is typically gauged by a questionnaire that categorizes investors on a spectrum from Aggressive to Moderate to Conservative.
Tax-efficient investing Tax efficient investing refers to the practice of making investment decisions that minimize the impact of short-term (assets held less than one year) and long-term capital gains and losses which are often taxed at different rates (per the IRS tax code). This practice is most frequent in taxable investment accounts, where consideration is given to hold positions with gains at least a year to get favorable tax treatment, and selling positions with a loss to offset positions sold for a gain. Note that the tax implications of buying or selling a position is only one of many considerations for maximizing an investors overall return.
Tax-loss harvesting A strategy to sell securities that have lost value to help reduce taxes on realized capital gains. Capital gains are realized when an investment position is sold for a profit - or when a fund or ETF sells securities for a gain - and passes the earnings on to the individual shareholder. Tax loss harvesting offsets those gains by selling positions at a lower price than what was paid for those assets.
Time Horizon In investing, time horizon refers to the amount of time before the assets are needed for a specific goal. For example, if a person intends to retire in 20 years, that would be the length of their investment time horizon before spending assets to fund their retirement.
Wash sale A wash sale is a transaction where an investor sells a losing security to claim a capital loss, only to repurchase it again for a bargain. Wash sales are a method investors employ to try and recognize a tax loss without actually changing their position. The effectiveness of this strategy has been greatly reduced with the implementation of the IRS 30-day wash rule, where a taxpayer cannot recognize a loss on an investment if that investment was purchased within 30 days of sale (before or after sale).