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The 11 Best Portfolio Management Tools for 2022

Whether you are just getting started or are ready to scale up your investment portfolio, it is definitely in your best interests to check out some of the top portfolio and asset management tools for 2022.

These asset management tools ensure that you have a platform and the necessary portfolio tracking software that give you a clearer view of your investment activities.

Do you want to have better insights into your investment returns? Perhaps a clearer breakdown of fees you pay? 

In this article, we will be taking a closer look at platforms that will help you more efficiently track your investment activities.

Why use a Portfolio Management Tool?

Investing in mutual funds, exchanged funds, stocks and bonds can be fun and profitable but it can also be challenging. This is especially true for those that have plans of scaling up their investment activities and portfolios.

Some of you may already be using tools for your investment activities such as a pen and paper or perhaps a spreadsheet- these are perfectly OK tools to use and they can get the work done however, a proper portfolio manager tool can enrich your investment activities in a myriad of ways that a spreadsheet or a pen and paper cannot.

A portfolio management tool does everything a pen and paper or a spreadsheet does but it also offers so much more.

There may be a bit of a learning curve when making the transition but once you start seeing all the benefits of the tools and features they offer, switching is well worth the effort.

There is no shortage of portfolio trackers and wealth management software available in the market but the vastness of options can make choosing the right one quite daunting. To help make the decision-making process easier, we have rounded up several platforms to compare and contrast.

Free vs Premium

We are starting out with the free trackers which are perfect for those on a budget and want something more feature-rich than a pen and paper. Next in line will be the paid services to see which ones give the best value for money.

One important thing to remember in this case is that there is no single asset management platform that will be best for everyone. In fact, the best ones are those that:

  • Fit your budget (if you have one)
  • Meet your portfolio management needs

The best software is one that fits you.

The fanciest and most expensive ones won’t be the best if you don’t even use half the features they offer. Also, why struggle with a free software if it can’t handle half of what you need it to do?

Best Free
Best Premium
Professionals
Personal Capital
Quicken
Master Investor 6
Analyse income and expense cash flow.
Desktop version that can be synched to Quicken on the mobile app and Quicken on Web.
Desktop application that works on Windows 95 to Windows 10
Calculate personal net-worth with an option to include current house value.
Offers a comprehensive dashboard for financial management information
Easy download and installation process
Look over and analyse investments
Has different account tiers for all budgets and needs
Robust report generator
Create retirement plan
Highly customisable investment and money management reports
A fast and intuitive interface that show primary and secondary menu options.
Provide analysis for account fees
Reports include capital gains, ROI, tax reports, costs, etc.
Technical analysis features to help users analyse current and potential investments.
Check on investment performance
Allows users to export investment accounts for tracking dividends, fees, income etc.
Charts to track price movements and provide visual analysis.
Review allocation of assets
Risk and return analyses
Online quote updates that import current and historic quote files sourced from top information services like Metastock and Quote.com.
-
Retirement planning tool
Graphs for asset allocation
-
Tracking options trading
Automatic net worth calculations
Need to talk to a company rep but after that, the tools are yours free of charge.
Occasional hiccups when exporting data from credit card and investment accounts but this may just be due to banks tightening their security processes.
Not the most fancy design
Best Free
Personal Capital
Analyse income and expense cash flow.
Calculate personal net-worth with an option to include current house value.
Look over and analyse investments
Create retirement plan
Provide analysis for account fees
Check on investment performance
Review allocation of assets
-
-
Need to talk to a company rep but after that, the tools are yours free of charge.
Best Premium
Quicken
Desktop version that can be synched to Quicken on the mobile app and Quicken on Web.
Offers a comprehensive dashboard for financial management information
Has different account tiers for all budgets and needs
Highly customisable investment and money management reports
Reports include capital gains, ROI, tax reports, costs, etc.
Allows users to export investment accounts for tracking dividends, fees, income etc.
Risk and return analyses
Retirement planning tool
Tracking options trading
Occasional hiccups when exporting data from credit card and investment accounts but this may just be due to banks tightening their security processes.
Professionals
Master Investor 6
Desktop application that works on Windows 95 to Windows 10
Easy download and installation process
Robust report generator
A fast and intuitive interface that show primary and secondary menu options.
Technical analysis features to help users analyse current and potential investments.
Charts to track price movements and provide visual analysis.
Online quote updates that import current and historic quote files sourced from top information services like Metastock and Quote.com.
Graphs for asset allocation
Automatic net worth calculations
Not the most fancy design

Best Free

If you are keen on getting started and using a portfolio management software but don’t want to spend money just yet, the next ones on the list are free of charge.

1. Personal Capital – The Powerhouse

As far as free investment software goes, Personal One may just be the most perfect one yet. It is a virtual powerhouse with features that include:

  • A platform that works both on web and mobile so you can check your investments at home and on the go.
  • Hassle-free setup that syncs accounts in minutes
  • Offers a personalised dashboard of accounts that include CC, investment, and bank accounts and some added important financial data.

Useful features allow you to:

Our Pick
Analyse income and expense cash flow.
Calculate personal net-worth with an option to include current house value.
Look over and analyse investments
Create retirement plan
Provide analysis for account fees
Check on investment performance
Review allocation of assets
Need to talk to a company rep but after that, the tools are yours free of charge.
Our Pick
Analyse income and expense cash flow.
Calculate personal net-worth with an option to include current house value.
Look over and analyse investments
Create retirement plan
Provide analysis for account fees
Check on investment performance
Review allocation of assets
Need to talk to a company rep but after that, the tools are yours free of charge.

This portfolio managements software and the investment checker tool it offers is one of the best in the business especially for those looking to gain more clarity on returns on their investments.

Can your current portfolio offer better returns at an acceptable risk level?

Perhaps.

But you won’t get a clear answer unless you check and this program helps you do just that. It can also show you ways to improve your investments by comparing where your assets are currently allocated against your recommended target.

Another bonus is the retirement planning tool – a calculator that shows you best- and worst-case retirement scenarios. It shows you an estimated monthly spend based on what your current asset and wealth will allow for once you are retired.

Obviously, the features mentioned are amazing but perhaps the very best thing about Personal Capital how easy it is to link and synch accounts. User reviews almost always rave how they were setup and ready to go in next to no time at all. Set-up is easy ranging from the simplest to extremely complicated accounts.

One downside for this tool is the high probability of needing to engage with a company rep but after that, the tools are yours free of charge.

2. Mint – Great for Beginners

Mint is another free and popular web-based money management software. But don’t let that fool you since it is also quite feature-packed such as:

User friendly
Easy account linking and synching
Dashboard for financial overview
Tracks financial accounts such as credit, banking etc.
Catch hidden fees with Investment Tracking
Compare portfolio vs. market benchmarks
Use portfolio tracking for investments
May be too simplistic for very complicated portfolios
User friendly
Easy account linking and synching
Dashboard for financial overview
Tracks financial accounts such as credit, banking etc.
Catch hidden fees with Investment Tracking
Compare portfolio vs. market benchmarks
Use portfolio tracking for investments
May be too simplistic for very complicated portfolios

Did we mention that Mint is free and very beginner friendly?

One of Mint’s main claims is it offers tools to suit different investment styles. A handy thing for passive and active investors. Furthermore, it even offers some investment advice for all types of investors. Something that new investors are sure to find handy.

A common consensus on Mint is:

Mint is really handy for beginner investors but may be too simplistic for more seasoned investors with their more complicated portfolios. But if simple, basic, and free works for you, it is worth checking.

Free and feature-packed. These two platforms offer a premium experience at no cost and allow users to explore new tech to manage investments. If you love these software then they are yours to use and if you end up not loving them, you can simply cancel your subscription at no charge.

Best Premium

Free and comprehensive asset management tools like the first two options offer amazing value for no money. But what about paid services? What do they have to bring to the table and why should you consider them?

Simply put, there are just some software worth paying for and again. It all boils down to finding a software that best fits your needs and in some instances, you may need to pay to get a premium experience that offers you the very best results.

Have a look at some of the top paid portfolio management software below.

3. Quicken – Robust Allrounder

Quicken is and has always been a favourite among investors as it offers a robust set of features and tools. Below are some aforementioned tools that give it an edge:

Best Premium
Desktop version that can be synched to Quicken on the mobile app and Quicken on Web.
Offers a comprehensive dashboard for financial management information
Has different account tiers for all budgets and needs
Highly customisable investment and money management reports
Reports include capital gains, ROI, tax reports, costs, etc.
Allows users to export investment accounts for tracking dividends, fees, income etc.
Risk and return analyses
Retirement planning tool
Tracking options trading
Occasional hiccups when exporting data from credit card and investment accounts but this may just be due to banks tightening their security processes.
Best Premium
Desktop version that can be synched to Quicken on the mobile app and Quicken on Web.
Offers a comprehensive dashboard for financial management information
Has different account tiers for all budgets and needs
Highly customisable investment and money management reports
Reports include capital gains, ROI, tax reports, costs, etc.
Allows users to export investment accounts for tracking dividends, fees, income etc.
Risk and return analyses
Retirement planning tool
Tracking options trading
Occasional hiccups when exporting data from credit card and investment accounts but this may just be due to banks tightening their security processes.

Quicken gives serious investors a serious set of tools and features. It also offers great value for money especially if you score a discount on their plans. There are some great deals for 2022 so it’s a great idea to act now if you are keen on getting premium features at a discounted price.

As great as this is, it does have occasional hiccups. Some problems we have seen are centred on exporting data from credit card and investment accounts but this may just be due to banks tightening their security processes.

Another plus is that recently, Quicken has recently introduced a subscription service along with their buy-now options.

4. Investment Account Manager – Sophisticated

If you are looking for a sophisticated portfolio management software then look no further than Investment Account Manager. What sets this apart from similar products is it was created by money management experts. This has also been the tool of choice for investors all over the world since 1985. Below are some tools offered by Investment Account Manager:

Sophisticated
Technical Support
Secure desktop application
Tax tracking
Comprehensive transaction tracking
Two plan types Individual and Professional
Professional plan designed for financial advisors
Users can create, save, and customise reports
Automatic security price updating
Fundamental ratio analysis
No access to budget tools or retirement planners
Sophisticated
Technical Support
Secure desktop application
Tax tracking
Comprehensive transaction tracking
Two plan types Individual and Professional
Professional plan designed for financial advisors
Users can create, save, and customise reports
Automatic security price updating
Fundamental ratio analysis
No access to budget tools or retirement planners

This is a slick piece of software that is designed to work for beginners as well as more seasoned investors. The product was designed to be scalable to grow as you grow in your investment activities.

However, it is also important to note that investment Account Manager was specifically designed to help manage investments.

What does this mean for you? Well, it does not come with the bells and whistles that the previous software did so you won’t have access to budget tools, retirement planners etc. This means you may want to look at a software that can work on conjunction with this.

Investment Account Manager offers a generous 90-day trial that also comes with tech support.

Best for Professionals

5. Master Investor 6 – For Professionals

Coming straight to you from Owl Software, Master Investor 6 is an investment portfolio management software designed for both investors and pro portfolio managers. There is also an available plan for everyday investors. Below are some tools on offer from MI6:

Professionals
Desktop application that works on Windows 95 to Windows 10
Easy download and installation process
Robust report generator
A fast and intuitive interface that show primary and secondary menu options.
Technical analysis features to help users analyse current and potential investments.
Charts to track price movements and provide visual analysis.
Online quote updates that import current and historic quote files sourced from top information services like Metastock and Quote.com.
Graphs for asset allocation
Automatic net worth calculations
Not the most fancy design
Professionals
Desktop application that works on Windows 95 to Windows 10
Easy download and installation process
Robust report generator
A fast and intuitive interface that show primary and secondary menu options.
Technical analysis features to help users analyse current and potential investments.
Charts to track price movements and provide visual analysis.
Online quote updates that import current and historic quote files sourced from top information services like Metastock and Quote.com.
Graphs for asset allocation
Automatic net worth calculations
Not the most fancy design

This software doesn’t have the most fun design but what it lacks in style, it more than makes up for in terms of functionality. One very special feature that helps it stand out is the record keeping protocol. It is IRS-compliant and much valued for those complex trades and a feature that seasoned traders are sure to find handy.

The company offers different price points that each come with different features. They also offer a free 30-day trial for new sign-ups.

Alternatives

We have said it before and we will say it again.

The best asset and financial management software is the one that suits your needs regardless of its price. When looking at this list of different software, check for one that has the capacity to handle growing portfolios so it is able to grow as you grows. Always take advantage of free trial offers when shopping around for a platform and look at reviews to help supplement your learnings of the platform.

We have just covered our Top 5 of the best investment management portfolios for 2022 but there are also some other alternatives we would like you to know about:

6. Morningstar Portfolio Manager – Feature Packed

Free and Premium: Freemium

A truly interesting freemium  asset and portfolio management tool that investors are sure to love is the Morningstar Portfolio Manager. Have a look at the tools below to see what it has to offer:

Feature-packed
Portfolio x-ray
Free and paid plans
Comprehensive database of guides and readings for investors
Allows users to manually enter or import holdings to access insights
Morningstar portfolio x-ray shows sector and style breakdowns, stock style diversification, summary of expenses, breakdown of fees etc.
Easy way to track portfolio data by clicking on “Tracking” tab to show prices, market value, percentage changes, and asset allocation etc.
My Performance tab exhibits a graph of portfolio performance vs. designated indices
Feature-packed
Portfolio x-ray
Free and paid plans
Comprehensive database of guides and readings for investors
Allows users to manually enter or import holdings to access insights
Morningstar portfolio x-ray shows sector and style breakdowns, stock style diversification, summary of expenses, breakdown of fees etc.
Easy way to track portfolio data by clicking on “Tracking” tab to show prices, market value, percentage changes, and asset allocation etc.
My Performance tab exhibits a graph of portfolio performance vs. designated indices

Morningstar portfolio manager offers a free 14-day trial. Users also have the option of signing up for a Basic plan which is free. Note though that the free plan comes with limited features but they do not in any way detract from its usability.

For users that wish to go for a more feature-packed experience, the premium plan comes in at $199 annually or $29.95 a month (prices subject to change). More seasoned investors will find the added premium features worth the money for sure.

7. Ziggma Portfolio Manager

Another “freemium” service is offered by Ziggma. A fairly new service that is completely web-based.

What does that mean for you?

There is no need to update the service and deal with any patches, updates or software issues. If you sign up for a year the premium version costs only $ 9.90/month which is very competitive.

A neat feature they have is “smart alerts”. This simple feature allows you to set alarms, for example maximum exposure to a certain company. At that very moment an email will be sent to you, that way you no longer have to manually look at your exposure limits.

8. YahooFinance

This one falls under the free category of investment portfolio trackers and allows users to either manually input portfolio data or import using a spreadsheet. It also offers users an investment list that details things like performance, news, risk analyses etc. It’s a handy tool for beginner investors or some seasoned investors that just want a no-frills free tool.

9. Ticker App

This investment management app can be used on Android or iOS devices and has the ability to handle and oversee multiple portfolios. It also comes with some really colourful graphs and charts that make it attractive to a younger investor crowd. Like the previous software, this app is free and shows profits, losses, new, and positions. Holdings are to be put in manually.

10. PortfolioVisualizer

This isn’t strictly a stock tracking software but more a slick tool for analysing investments. This is one free tool that we find ourselves using mostly to track and analyse investment portfolios because that is really where its strengths lie. This is an online customization tool (sorry, no desktop version) that offers features like back-testing, planned asset allocation, etc.

11. Sharesight

This is yet again another stock portfolio tool and is one we recommend to newbie investors that don’t yet have a lot of positions. This portfolio tracker comes jampacked with automated tax and performing reporting tools. Did we mention that there is no charge holdings? Yup, completely free for the first 10! It also offers tools that check stock splits, dividends etc.

There are so many asset management software out there and while the best one is one that works for you, it is also safe to say that some are just simply better than others. The options given above are some of the very best we have tested and we encourage you to check them out as well.

Every investors journey is different and the right tools can make all the difference.

[Bonus] Robo Advisors

Coming in last but certainly not the least is the robo-advisor category of portfolio investment management software. Like the paid portfolio analyser plans above, these robo-advisor portfolio and investment management software usually come with monthly subscription charges.

Whether you are just starting out on investing or planning to get more serious, these platforms are definitely worth looking into. They may be involve some money being spent but do remember that you can always go for the free trial accounts to see which ones suit you best before you decide to take the plunge.

But why stop at paid portfolio management plans and miss out on something truly revolutionary? Something that can take away some investing pain points?

What is a robo-advisor?

Robo-advisors (also known as roboadvisors), are digital platforms designed to provide algorithm-driven and automated financial planning advice and services that require little or no human supervision. It is definitely some next-level design and typically collects financial situation data and future goals from clients. They do this using online surveys.

They then use that data to invest their clients’ assets and offer investing advice. At the worst of times, these robo-advisors are nothing more than glitchy search engines. However, the very best robo-advisors are worth their weight in gold and offer everything from seamless account set-ups, portfolio management, comprehensive goal planning, customer service, and even client education all for a very low fee.

Let’s look at the top one now.

Slick Sigfig Portfolio Tracker

Sigfig has a goal to put your money to work and your mind at ease. Lofty goals for an investment software but this isn’t just any asset management software and more of a robo-advisor that has some amazing features. Admittedly, it is still less comprehensive when compared to Personal Capital but it still offers outstanding services and tools such as:

Robo Portfolio Tracker
Portfolio tracker (free)
Managed account
Investment account synch
Comprehensive reporting graphs and dashboard
External analyses for portfolios
Managed account with free annual fee for the first $10,000
Live chat and phone support
Investment Advisor
Tax loss harvesting
Whitelisting
$2000 Account minimum, no fractional shares
Robo Portfolio Tracker
Portfolio tracker (free)
Managed account
Investment account synch
Comprehensive reporting graphs and dashboard
External analyses for portfolios
Managed account with free annual fee for the first $10,000
Live chat and phone support
Investment Advisor
Tax loss harvesting
Whitelisting
$2000 Account minimum, no fractional shares

What is really nice about this service is it suits all investor levels. The free Sigfig investment manager, which offers a mutual fund tracker in addition to a stock tracking tool, is handy at any level of trade. For those that are wanting to up the ante and try the robo-advisory function, Sigfig offers a great experience and value for money.

Other companies will prompt you to switch your existing assets to the company’s account but not Sigfig. The platform can provide services to all investors that have existing accounts with TD Ameritrade, Fidelity, or Schwab.

A handy offering especially for those with larger portfolios hoping to do away with tax issues that come from transferring investments to different platforms.

But just how big is Sigfig? This review drilled deep into the platform and found that it has helped everyday investors with tracking assets valued over $30 billion. It is amazing to see how Sigfig’s partnerships with Schwab, Ameritrade, and Fidelity, the company has not only minimised fees and reduced risks but also help to diversify and balance investments. Now that is putting a sophisticated algorithm to work! And this is proven by their automated systems that constantly work to optimise and monitor investments and at the same time, eliminating pain points.

For investors interested in the managed accounts, below are some quick figures to consider:

  • $2000 – The minimum amount Sigfig requires investors to invests.
  • $10,000 – The service is offered free to accounts valued at less then this amount.
  • 25% – Accounts valued over $10,000 incur a 0.25% annual fee

What then happens if you have an account that is worth $20,000? This means you will be charged the 0.25% annual fee or about $2.08 per month. This isn’t at all bad considering a traditional advisor is likely to cost you significantly more in fees.

If you are curious to compare and contrast how much you will pay Sigfig vs. a traditional financial advisor, they offer a handy little tool on their pricing page that helps with this.

FAQs

Which is the best portfolio management tool?

The best overall tool in our comparison is Quicken. If you are looking for the most professional tool out there, you are probably best served with Master Investor 6.

In order to really find the best fit for you it is essential to find a software that suits your needs and your budgets. Check out our in-depth comparison to find the best tool according to your preferences.

Which is the best free portfolio management tool?

Our favorite as far as free portfolio management goes is Personal Capital. Quicken comes in as a close second. While Quicken may lack the most advanced features it is still a great option for users who are looking for an easy to use platform.

What is the most important when it comes to picking the right portfolio management tool?

The most expensive and advanced ones won’t be the best if you don’t even use half the features they offer.

That is why the most important thing to remember there is no single tool that will be best for everyone. Ask yourself the following 2 questions:

  • Does it fit my budget?
  • Does it meet my portfolio management needs?

The best choice will be the one that fits you best.

Which is the best investment tracker app?

The best app is one that suits your needs. Why, you will even find that some investment brokers recommend their own apps. However, we do like Personal Capital just because it is extremely robust with features and doesn’t cost anything.

What is a “freemium” service?

We know that looks like a made-up word and it sort of is but it was made specifically to address services that offer a type of membership for free but with certain limitations on features, functions, users etc. You can usually bypass limitations by going for a paid plan version.

Why use these tools for Retirement Planning?

It may seem like a long way off but of pays to plan your retirement as early as possible. This means planning and budgeting your finances when you no longer work so you can see how much you need to retire and live a certain lifestyle.

Is a desktop investment management app better than a web/mobile one?

It is definitely not better or worse but depends on your needs. If you are constantly on the go and want to check on your assets than a desktop-only version may not be the best for you. However, if you are strict about not checking your assets while you are out of the house then a desktop-only version will suit you just fine.

Summary

These paid asset and portfolio management software all have their pros and cons and come at different price ranges as well. One thing they have in common though is a lot of work has been put into them so they can help you do the heavy lifting in your portfolio management.

We believe that Quicken is the best premium tool. Fot the very advanced, Master Investor 6 is probably the way to go.

As far as the free options go, you are probably best served with Personal Capital.

Is there a tool we may have missed? If you have experience or questions about any of the above tools, please comment below!

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Acorns vs Robinhood vs Stash Invest | Which is best for you?

If you’re a beginner looking to dip your toes in investing, you have many options. Robo-advisors offer a great introduction to the world of investing without overwhelming you.

Three of the most popular platforms are Acorns, Robinhood, and Stash Invest. Each platform has its advantages and specialties that cater to specific types of investors.

Check out my review on Acorns vs Robinhood vs Stash Invest to determine which one is just right for you.

Active Traders
New Investors
Theme-based
Account Minimum
$0
$0
$0
Management Fee
0.00%
There are 3 options: $1monthly for taxable investment account. $2 for an IRA account and investment account and $3 a month for checking, investment and retirement account.
Subscription of $1 to $9 monthly depending on which program you chose.
Portfolio
ETFs (NYSE, NASDAQ),‎ Stocks, Options and Crypto
ETFs, stocks, bonds
Theme-based
Account Types
Individual
Individual and joint taxable accounts; traditional, Roth and SEP IRAs
Individual, taxabable, traditional and Roth IRA
Rebalancing
Tax Loss Harvesting
Fractional Shares
Automatic Deposits
SRI
Human Advice
Best for
Active investors who are interested in a free service that has the option to trade crypto currencies.
New investors who want to start saving by investing their spare change with a hands-off approach.
Self-directed beginner investors who are looking to get their feet wet in the investing world
Active Traders
Account Minimum
$0
Management Fee
0.00%
Portfolio
ETFs (NYSE, NASDAQ),‎ Stocks, Options and Crypto
Account Types
Individual
Rebalancing
Tax Loss Harvesting
Fractional Shares
Automatic Deposits
SRI
Human Advice
Best for
Active investors who are interested in a free service that has the option to trade crypto currencies.
New Investors
Account Minimum
$0
Management Fee
There are 3 options: $1monthly for taxable investment account. $2 for an IRA account and investment account and $3 a month for checking, investment and retirement account.
Portfolio
ETFs, stocks, bonds
Account Types
Individual and joint taxable accounts; traditional, Roth and SEP IRAs
Rebalancing
Tax Loss Harvesting
Fractional Shares
Automatic Deposits
SRI
Human Advice
Best for
New investors who want to start saving by investing their spare change with a hands-off approach.
Theme-based
Account Minimum
$0
Management Fee
Subscription of $1 to $9 monthly depending on which program you chose.
Portfolio
Theme-based
Account Types
Individual, taxabable, traditional and Roth IRA
Rebalancing
Tax Loss Harvesting
Fractional Shares
Automatic Deposits
SRI
Human Advice
Best for
Self-directed beginner investors who are looking to get their feet wet in the investing world

Acorns

Acorns is a micro-investor. It syncs with your main account, usually a credit card, and rounds up your purchases to the nearest dollar. When you have $5 accumulated, Acorns invests it according to your chosen portfolio allocations.

Acorns doesn’t have an account minimum and is great for new investors worried about investing. It offers a hands-off approach – all you need to do is answer simple questions when you set up your account and then Acorns does the rest.

Investors can open a taxable or retirement account (both IRA and Roth IRA). Investors love it because it takes the ‘thinking’ out of investing. Every time you spend money, you invest money too, but it’s just spare change so it doesn’t make you go over budget.

Robinhood

Robinhood was the first platform to introduce zero-commission trading, while many have since followed – Robinhood was the pioneer. Robinhood operates mostly as a mobile app, but if you prefer a web browser, that’s available too.

Robinhood is great for ‘young investors’ who prefer advanced technology. Robinhood is user-friendly and simple at its best. New investors find it simple to use and not overwhelming, which is what new investors often need, as investing is scary when you first start. It takes just minutes to sign up you don’t need a minimum balance, so anyone can get started. With a low barrier to entry, it’s a great starting point for many.

Stash Invest

Stash is the perfect platform for investors who prefer DIY investments, but want advice too. You’ll get the same type of advice a human advisor would offer but at a fraction of the cost. It’s not your ‘traditional robo-advisor’ that asks you a set list of questions and creates your portfolio based on it. Instead, it asks questions and then guides you to the right investments.

Stash is user-friendly and is great for beginners and experienced investors who want a DIY approach to investing. If you’re looking for the program to make the choices for you, this isn’t it. But if you’re feeling adventurous and want to learn the ropes – Stash Invest may be just what you want.

What do they have in common?

Robinhood, Acorns, and Stash are all targeted to ‘beginners’ and they have a lot in common despite having three different methodologies.

Here’s how they are similar:

  • Acorns, Robinhood, and Stash Invest don’t require a minimum opening balance. This means anyone can get started even with just a few dollars.
  • All three platforms trade ETFs, exchange traded funds which is a great choice when you are a beginner and need to diversify your investments.
  • You can open an individual taxable account on all three platforms. A taxable account doesn’t have tax benefits like retirement accounts do.
  • You can set up automatic deposits on all three platforms. This takes the ‘thinking’ out of contributing to your investments and may make your money grow faster.
  • All three platforms are suitable for beginners, even though Stash Invest is a bit different, it’s still a great way for beginning investors to try their hand at investing.

How are they different?

Every investing platform will look and feel different, no matter how many similarities they have. Understanding the differences between Acorns, Robinhood, and Stash Invest will help you understand which one is right for you.

  • Acorns is for the investor who has minimal money to get started but wants to invest. If you never seem to find anything but spare change, Acorns is the right platform. It will round up your purchases and invest automatically for you – taking the thinking out of, which is just what most new investors need.
  • Robinhood is also great for beginners, but those that prefer mobile apps and modern technology. Its user interface is simple but robust enough for millennials just getting started with investing. You’ll need to actively transfer funds (or set up automatic deposit) with your Robinhood account, though so it takes a bit more thinking. You’ll also pick your investments from Robinhood’s suggestions, whereas Acorns picks investments for you.
  • Stash Invest is completely different than the other two as you do the investing, but Stash provides the advice. It doesn’t invest or manage your portfolio – you do it all. Stash just guides you along the way. Like Robinhood, though, you can contribute funds manually or set up automatic deposits.

In-depth comparison – 10 distinctions

1.    Goal Setting

All three platforms have goal setting features, but they each work differently.

Acorns creates a portfolio based on your goals. You answer some goal-based questions and Acorns does the rest. It’s as hands-off as you can get while still having somewhat of a say in how your money is invested.

Robinhood also asks questions about your goals and timeline, but you have more say in how you reach them. Robinhood suggests investments based on your risk tolerance and goal timeline, but you ultimately choose the investments and handle portfolio rebalancing to meet those goals.

Stash Invest is more similar to Robinhood than Acorns when it comes to goal setting. They look at your goals and create a plan, but it’s up to you to implement it. You can choose individual investments to include or exclude from your suggested portfolio. Stash Invest leaves you ‘on your own’ but with the help of an investor just a button away.

2.    Retirement Planning

Only Acorns and Stash offer retirement accounts. If you’re thinking of using Robinhood, you can only use it for taxable accounts, so keep that in mind.

Acorns ‘Later’ account is its retirement account. You can set up an IRA with recurring contributions of as little as $5 at a time. There’s no reason not to save for retirement with Acorns at your disposal if saving money is hard for you.

Stash Invest has both traditional IRA and Roth IRA options. Like Acorns, you can set up recurring contributions to help you stay on top of your retirement goals. Stash also offers plenty of advice and education for your retirement opportunities.

3.    Account Types

Each platform has different account options. Robinhood, as you probably guessed is the simplest. They only offer individual taxable accounts. This means you can’t sign up for an account with your spouse – but each of you can open an individual taxable account where you pay taxes on your capital gains.

Acorns and Stash offer individual taxable accounts and retirement accounts, both Roth and traditional IRA. Surprisingly, Acorns, which is the most basic robo-advisor allows joint retirement accounts, but Stash doesn’t. Acorns also offers SEP IRA options for the self-employed.

4.    Features and Accessibility

Acorns is the most accessible platform with its $0 minimum and the opportunity to invest your spare change. Even though it’s a basic platform, it has robust features too including:

  • 5 pre-built portfolios
  • You can set up automatic investments
  • Educational content in layman’s terms
  • Access to an Acorns Spend account which earns interest
  • The ability to earn ‘Found Money’ with your credit card linked to Acorns (money credited back to you for your purchases at partner stores)

Robinhood is also accessible with its $0 minimum. Its features are simple, yet robust for what it offers:

  • An interest-bearing cash management account
  • The option to trade cryptocurrencies
  • You can earn free stock if you refer other investors

Stash Invest is accessible with its $0 minimum, but it’s a more complex platform that requires you to do the trading, so make sure you’re ready for that. Its features include:

  • Access to a Stash Banking cash card that you can set up to round-up your purchases and invest the spare change (like Acorns)
  • Plenty of research that’s perfect for beginning investors
  • Earn stock-back (like cashback but in stocks) when you make purchases with your linked credit card
  • The option to reinvest your dividends rather than take them in cash

5.    Fees

Fees are an important part of any robo-advisor as they take away from your profits. All three platforms have a different pricing structure:

  • Acorns has 3 pricing tiers – $1/month for a taxable account, $2/month for a retirement and taxable account, and $3/month for a retirement, taxable, and checking account
  • Robinhood doesn’t have any management fees
  • Stash Invest has three subscription tiers at $1 for a taxable account, $3 for a taxable and retirement account, and $9 for all of that plus two investment accounts for kids

6.    Minimum Deposit

All three platforms don’t have a minimum deposit requirement.

7.    Portfolios

All three platforms vary considerably when looking at portfolios.

Acorns has five prebuilt portfolios for you to choose from. You cannot alter the investments in each portfolio – you must use the prebuilt options, each of which consists of ETFs.

Robinhood differs a bit. You have more trading options in addition to ETFs. You may trade stocks, cryptocurrency, and options.

Stash Invest only offers stocks and ETFs, but there are 2,000 investments to choose from.

8.    Tax Loss Harvesting

Tax-loss harvesting is important when you’re investing, but not one out of these three platforms offer it. Check out the best robos for tax loss harvesting here.

9.    Security

Each of the three platforms takes security seriously, but as is the case with any investment platform, there’s always a risk. All three platforms have SIPC insurance, which protects your investments should the platform go out of business.

10. Customer Service

Customer service is a crucial component of investing too, especially when you’re a beginner and trying to figure things out.

Unfortunately, all three platforms offer only email customer support.

While each of the platforms do their best to get back to your right away, it’s something to consider when choosing your investment platform knowing you can’t get an instant answer to your questions.

Acorns Pros and Cons

PROs
Everything’s automatic – If you don’t like thinking about depositing funds or making investments, let Acorns do it all for you from the savings to the investments.
CONs
Transfer fees – It costs $50 per ETF to have them transferred to another broker.
Connect as many cards as you wish – Acorns sweeps the spare change from every purchase on your cards into your investment account and then invests the money once you accumulate enough.
High monthly fees – You pay a monthly fee of $1 - $3 for Acorns. If you have $5,000 invested, that’s a 0.24% fee and you don’t get as many benefits as you would at say Wealthfront.
Small balance requirements – You only need $5 to start investing. While you obviously want more, it’s easy to get started and stay motivated.
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Great for new investors – If you’re trying out something new, Acorns is a great place to try it. They offer plenty of educational opportunities and guidance. 
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PROs
Everything’s automatic – If you don’t like thinking about depositing funds or making investments, let Acorns do it all for you from the savings to the investments.
Connect as many cards as you wish – Acorns sweeps the spare change from every purchase on your cards into your investment account and then invests the money once you accumulate enough.
Small balance requirements – You only need $5 to start investing. While you obviously want more, it’s easy to get started and stay motivated.
Great for new investors – If you’re trying out something new, Acorns is a great place to try it. They offer plenty of educational opportunities and guidance. 
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CONs
Transfer fees – It costs $50 per ETF to have them transferred to another broker.
High monthly fees – You pay a monthly fee of $1 - $3 for Acorns. If you have $5,000 invested, that’s a 0.24% fee and you don’t get as many benefits as you would at say Wealthfront.
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RobinHood Pros and Cons

PROs
Free, no commissions on trades, easy to understand user-interface
CONs
While the app is sleek and clean, the web platform is outdated and lacking
Simple and straightforward design makes finding companies and prices super easy
Slower customer support than M1 Finance
Ability to trade cryptocurrencies
If you’d like to perform any research or technical analysis, you’ll most likely have to use other platforms outside of Robinhood
Free stock when you send a referral link or sign up using someone else’s
They don’t offer retirement accounts
PROs
Free, no commissions on trades, easy to understand user-interface
Simple and straightforward design makes finding companies and prices super easy
Ability to trade cryptocurrencies
Free stock when you send a referral link or sign up using someone else’s
CONs
While the app is sleek and clean, the web platform is outdated and lacking
Slower customer support than M1 Finance
If you’d like to perform any research or technical analysis, you’ll most likely have to use other platforms outside of Robinhood
They don’t offer retirement accounts

Stash Invest Pros and Cons

PROs
A wide selection of investments – Stash has more than 2,000 investments to choose from. Don’t worry that you’ll get overwhelmed, they narrow it down by your risk tolerance and desired themes before presenting you with choices.
CONs
The monthly fees can be a high percentage of assets under management if you don’t have a lot invested.
Plenty of education – Stash provides extensive education on their website that anyone can use, but is great for beginners.
The ETF expense ratios are on the high side.
There’s no minimum balance required - You can open an account with as little as $1 if you want. This also pertains to their retirement account, which is unusual for retirement accounts, they usually have higher balance requirements.
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You can buy fractional shares If you don’t have enough for a full share, you can buy a portfolio of it, giving you more options.
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PROs
A wide selection of investments – Stash has more than 2,000 investments to choose from. Don’t worry that you’ll get overwhelmed, they narrow it down by your risk tolerance and desired themes before presenting you with choices.
Plenty of education – Stash provides extensive education on their website that anyone can use, but is great for beginners.
There’s no minimum balance required - You can open an account with as little as $1 if you want. This also pertains to their retirement account, which is unusual for retirement accounts, they usually have higher balance requirements.
You can buy fractional shares If you don’t have enough for a full share, you can buy a portfolio of it, giving you more options.
CONs
The monthly fees can be a high percentage of assets under management if you don’t have a lot invested.
The ETF expense ratios are on the high side.
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Which is best? My Pick

If you’re looking for a robo-investor for beginners with little money, my choice is Acorns. I love that it provides you with different account options including taxable and retirement accounts but at an affordable rate.

If you’re a beginner that can’t pull the trigger to find money to invest, grabbing your spare change is the perfect start. Once you see how fast spare change adds up, you’ll likely find a way to invest more money on a regular basis. That’s what Acorns is all about – helping investors start somewhere. The earlier you start the better and Acorns gives you the push you need to see that you can do it. You just have to start.

Categories
Reviews

Iconomi | My experience so far

Are you looking for a suitable cryptocurrency exchange platform that allows copy-trading?

Or are you a successful trader who wants to earn a bit extra by sharing your strategy with the rest of the crypto community?

Welcome to the future. Welcome to Iconomi.

In this Iconomi Review I will navigate you through the intricate details of the still new platform.

I will walk you through my experience, how to choose the best strategy, pros, cons, alternatives, sign up and much more. 

Use the following table of contents to immediately find what you are looking for.

(Disclaimer: The trading of cryptocurrencies has potential rewards, and it also has potential risks involved. Trading may not be suitable for all people. Anyone wishing to invest should seek his or her own independent financial or professional advice.)

What is Iconomi?

Iconomi is a copy trading platform, similar to eToro, but only for cryptocurrencies. 

You fund your account and then pick one of the many strategies the platform offers. Simply put, you are letting someone else take care of your investments by copying their strategy.

Alternatively, you can also create your own strategy and, if successful, you can charge others to copy your strategy. 

Crypto Strategies

Copy Someone Else’s or Create Your Own

Iconomi offers experienced strategists to make a collection of crypto assets which they can share with other strategies to copy or investors to adopt.

A strategist is a person who does all the market search and thinking to make the best strategy. They have their own share in the strategy, and so they make any necessary modifications and amendments needed to make the strategy succeed.

Investors who are new to the crypto world or simply do not have the time to run the lengths of market surveys to choose a strategy can copy a strategy from a fund manager.

1. Copy Someone Else’s Strategy

…and how I pick the best strategy to copy

An investor can copy a strategy with their own assets and automatically copy the same changes their strategist makes. Copying a strategy requires a fee. The amount is decided by the strategist.

The copying fee can be changed twice a year. It is increased or decreased as per the choice of strategists.

The copying investors get notified a month prior to the increase of fee in order to allow them some time to reevaluate their strategy or withdraw from it.

So here it goes:

Sign up was pretty easy and straight forward. I then immediately transferred money to try out some of the strategies.

When you first click on the strategies section you will see something like this:

Strategies-ICONOMI-24h

You will see some of the top performers of the past 24 hours.

I guess they are featured so new investors can get some exposure however when picking a strategy to earn serious money, a 24 hour window does not seem to be the most helpful metric.

So after some scrolling and clicking I finally find something more useful: The top performers within a one-year span. Voila:

top-Strategies-ICONOMI

Now this is much better.

It is pretty insane what kind of returns some of these investors / teams of investors were able to generate within the past year. The top strategy “Pina Criptohold” for example, was able to generate almost 4000% in returns within only 1 year. (turn $1000 into $400.000) (!)

I could just go ahead and copy the best performers strategy but there are a couple of more things to consider when it comes to making a decision, such as

  • Copy Fee: Decided by strategist. I have seen copy fees anywhere from 0% to 5%.
  • Performance Fee: This is usually the biggest one. From my experience, a “normal” performance fee is around 5% but there are also some very successful strategists who charge up to 25%. But note that the performance fee is only charged when copiers make a profit.
  • Exit Costs: So far I have only seen 0.5% to exit. This is merely to cover the trading costs. The strategists or Iconomi don’t make any money when you want to take home some earnings.

  • Volatility: Most of crypto investing is a lot higher in volatility than traditional assets. The strategy above for example has a volatility of 8.42% (how much the price has moved up or down over the past year).
  • Maximum Drawdown: Even though the above strategy has had an impressive 591.78% return over the past year, there was also a moment when the strategy went down a total of over 80%. Be prepared for that!
  • Tenure: This is one of the big cons for Iconomi in general. It is still new and even the more experienced strategists have only been around for a year. Make sure to check how long a strategy has been around for before making your choice!
  • Trust: How many other investors trust these strategies? Luckily you can see the number of people who trust a strategy and also how much money the strategy manages. So maybe there is a strategy with an extraordinarily high return however very few people are copying the strategy. That may be because the strategy is very volatile or has not been around for very long.
  • Investing style: If you only take about returns, then fair enough, this may not concern you. However maybe you prefer to trust your investments with someone who believes in fundamentals, or someone who is more into chart analysis as opposed to reacting to broader macro events. This is completely up to you but when I made my choice I also made sure that my interests and the interests of the strategists were aligned.
Fees0.00%
Beginners9/10
Advanced Users10/10
Account Minimum$0

2. Create Your Own Strategy

Creating your own crypto strategy takes place in a matter of seconds. After signing up your Iconomi account, you can go to “My Crypto Strategies” and proceed to follow the simple instructions. Here is a simple outline of the procedure:

  1. Make sure to make up a distinct name for your strategy and ticker. A ticker is a part of your strategy’s direct URL and cannot be changed afterward.
  2. The next step is to simply select the cryptocurrencies you prefer and their weightage by percent.
  3. To make your strategy go live, you need to make your first buy-in or your first investment, no matter how little it is (minimum €100). By doing so, your strategy goes live. You can also make any changes to your strategy any time you wish.
  4. If you wish to earn extra money, you can set a “performance” or copying fee. This way, a copier pays a fixed annual fee.
  5. Now all you have to do is invite your contacts to copy your strategy.

3. Referral Program

How Does it Work?

The referral program of Iconomi works the same as any other app; you bring users and get paid. Iconomi offers a long-term referral program through which you collect a small amount of money with each referral you bring to it. Each month you will be paid your collected referral amount collectively.

You would not only earn when someone creates an Iconomi account through your referral link but also gain money whenever they copy a crypto strategy or add funds to it. You can invite friends by sharing your referral link or code, by sending email-based invites, or by sending out gift cards, and this reward time period of referrals lasts for two years.

Sign Up

Signing up is an easy process that can be done even on your smartphone. Here is an outline of instructions you need to follow to sign up for your Iconomi account.

Account Opening

To create an Iconomi account, go to the official Iconomi website and click on the “Get Started” button.

sign-up-iconomiYou will need to enter a secure email ID to which a verification email is to be sent. Next, select a suitable password that is moderately difficult and complete the verification process by clicking on the “Upgrade” button. You will need to provide your particulars, such as country of residence, ID, or passport.

Moreover you are required to add the scanned pictures of your documents and face for identification. For these reasons, a mobile phone with a camera is recommended to scan and upload the documents on the spot without any wastage of time.

Deposit and Withdrawal

Deposits and withdrawal with Iconomi is pretty straightforward. You will be given two options, i.e., money transfer or crypto transfer.

1. Money Transfer

To deposit money to your Iconomi account, simply log onto your account and click on the “Money Transfer” option. Make sure to use the bank account having your particulars that match the ones you provided to Iconomi; otherwise, your deposit will be rejected. When depositing, do remember your “Reference Code” because you will be needing it later during the deposit process.

To withdraw money, click on the withdraw option. Just add your bank account along with the amount you wish to withdraw. Always make sure to check your details again. The money transfer process takes about 1-3 working days to be completed on average.

2. Crypto Transfer

To deposit crypto, click on the “Crypto Transfer” option. You will be presented a list of assets from which you can select the assets you wish to deposit.

Similarly, to withdraw assets, go for the withdraw option. However, keep in mind that you can not withdraw assets from a strategy. In order to withdraw assets from a strategy, you will need to end the strategy.

Interface

Iconomi has the specialty of simplifying things to provide a straightforward and satisfactory experience to its users.

explaining-the-interfaceIt has a simple interface having the benefit of trading, storing, and exchanging cryptocurrencies, as well as making complicated orders, all under one platform.

Trading Options

Trading is the far most convenient option for newbies or the people having packed schedules and zero time, and so Iconomi has a far ending range of trading options.

Costs

When dealing with crypto, there are many costs and charges that you need to be well aware of before investing your time and money. Let’s have a look at different fees and costs that you may come across while working on Iconomi.

Iconomi Fees

On Iconomi, the official fees are explained beforehand, such as copying fee, performance fee, and adjusting the strategy fee. The copying fee is already explained in detail above.

Performance Fee is the fee charged from the investors when their copied strategy shoots up, succeeds, and gains profit. This fee is paid to the strategists for their hard work and critical thinking and is also determined by them.

It is charged according to the number of initial investments of the copiers, and its collection schedule is designed by the strategist, which can be weekly, monthly or quarterly.

However, the investors are not charged this fee only in case of downward fluctuation, and the crypto strategy fails to perform well.

Performance fee directly benefits the strategists and motivates them to design more strategies as well as encourages potential analytics and strategists to enter and work on Iconomi.

Similarly the interface is very clear and transparent. The fees are designed in a way so the investors only pay when their investments make a profit.

Transaction Fee is another additional cost associated with each transaction that you make. This fee does not profit Iconomi; rather, it goes to the cryptocurrency miners that work for the accurate security of the network as well as direct your transaction to the blockchain network.

Different Plans

Other plans also include their own fees, which are fair and justifiable, such as Rebalancing or Adjusting Fees. It is also called “changing the crypto strategy structure fees’ ‘ referring to the fees paid by the copiers in case they decide to adjust or modify their strategy.

However, this fee is not charged by the Strategists themselves, and changing a strategy does not directly cost any charges. The Rebalancing fees are actually the trading fees required due to the change or trade of different cryptocurrencies.

Hidden Fees?

In the case of buying and selling cryptocurrency, Iconomi costs a fee called “Spread,” which is not mentioned along with the exchange rate. The spread is a small amount in addition to the original exchange fees due to the fluctuation in the market.

In addition to that, there is also a fee associated with the addition of funds into a strategy in case they are not Ethereum or Bitcoin. The Iconomi needs to make and exchange itself in such a situation, and of course, these exchange fees have to be paid.

Additional Features

Iconomi has set its goals to link the economy of the past with that of the future, enabling both new and seasoned investors to shoot their shot at big investments without going neck-deep into dozens of blockchain projects.

Human Advisors

To provide a safe and wonderful user experience, Iconomi has many professional and accredited advisors enabling heaps of different people to invest in Iconomi’s projects and cryptocurrencies.

Customer Service

Iconomi has excellent customer service having a detailed offline help center as well, which provides intricate guidelines to even the simplest of operations such as signing up.

Furthermore it explains in-depth the complexities of the system to make the experience better suited for beginners to professionals, thereby promoting inclusivity which is the motto of Iconomi.

Pros and Cons

Before opting for a serious investment, it is always wise to weigh its pros and cons. So here are some pros and cons of Iconomi to help you decide whether it is the one suitable for you or not.

Pros

The biggest pro of Iconomi is its user-friendly interface and inclusive environment free of undesired complexities. It allows and welcomes potential investors open handedly into the crypto industry, irrespective of their extent of crypto knowledge.

Its DAA foundation works the best for the less aware people and the ones who are always on the go, as it automatically picks up the coins having the highest chance to succeed. Moreover it also benefits crypto experts and masterminds along the way and serves as an excellent source of passive income for them.

However, the fact that makes Iconomi stand out from the pack is the strong and well-guarded safety that makes it a reliable and stress-free choice.

Cons

It takes a while until you get a good sense of how everything works out with the fees.

Furthermore, the platform is still new. (started in 2018) Therefore it is still too early to call it a success.

FAQs

Is Iconomi worth it?

A simple answer, Yes. Iconomi is one of the first platforms to introduce non-accredited users and make crypto dealing easy and convenient for them. It provided expert and trusted strategists to deal with the fluctuating world of cryptocurrencies, therefore, promising a bright future ahead.

Is Iconomi a scam or legit?

Iconomi is one of the first platforms to introduce and efficiently execute the concept of DAAs and has been successfully gaining tons of appreciation from all over the world. It is totally authentic and legit in terms of security, as well as offering a wide variety of excellent strategies that benefit investors and strategists alike.

Where to buy Iconomi?

Buying the ICN token is currently impossible.  The ICN token, moved to a more traditional legal structure and has therefore eliminated ICN in favor of tokenized company shares.

What is ICN crypto?

ICN crypto or Iconomi is a digital asset management platform that allows users to exchange cryptocurrencies as well as invest in different strategies made by themselves or copied from strategists. The foundational principle of ICN is one of DAAs which has been discussed extensively in this article.

How much money can you earn with Iconomi?

Like other investments, there is always a risk. The extreme highs and lows of crypto are more beneficial than any other investment, and Iconomi is dedicated to making it efficient and convenient for you. For example, unlike a US stock exchange, you can make up to 20 percent of your investment with Iconomi.

Are there any promotions when signing up with Iconomi?

Iconomi does not have any promotions specifically while signing up. However, if you are a potential crypto specialist and have a decent amount of folks in your crypto circle, then you can surely benefit from your skills by monetizing your strategies.

By doing so, you would not only be able to profit from your coins’ success but you will also be given copying and performance fees by the investors copying your strategy. In addition to that, you will also get Influencer Rewards if you promote your knowledge to the mass public through other platforms as well.

How safe is Iconomi?

Iconomi is a totally safe platform to keep your assets secure due to its multi-story authentication process. A part of your fees goes to strong security organizations protecting your assets as well as providing safe transactions. If you wish to transfer your assets, you will need access and authentication from many organizations ensuring a secure transfer.

How does Iconomi make money?

Iconomi charges a percentage of the fees. They offers different levels of investments to its investors ranging from very low-risk ones to high-risk ones.

It allows the users to invest in a variety of assets and strategies as well as benefits the strategists. The potential strategists are ranked high up, and people copying their strategies usually get profit for sure.

Alternatives

Iconomi Vs. Gate.io:

Although Gate.io is considered to be on the top 10 crypto platforms, it is still not suitable for beginners. The operational team is somehow not transparent, making it ideal for heavily seasoned crypto professionals only. On the contrary, Iconomi serves to be a secure and suitable platform for beginners and professionals alike.

Iconomi Vs. Coinmatics

Coinmatics is an excellent alternative to Iconomi as it works more or less on the same scheme. It provides a large range of info about the crypto world from many different sources, making it popular among the newbies as well. It is equally secure and works on many operating systems, including mobile phones as well.

Iconomi Vs. Etoro

eToro is another famous option; however, its cons sometimes outweigh its pros. On the good side, it offers social trading and free stock and ETF trading.

However, it costs a lot of charges in the form of an inactivity fee and withdrawal fee. The customer support is consistently reported to be difficult to reach, and it is not registered on the stock exchange. Iconomi, on the other hand, has a fair and transparent procedure of investment along with accessible customer support.

Iconomi Vs. 3commas.io

3commas.io is a bot-based crypto trading platform with the intelligent and fast-paced brains of bots working 24 hours around the clock. It is another wonderful platform for beginners to benefit from the endless knowledge and expertise of bots at the same time allowing you to customize your trade.

Iconomi Vs. Shrimpy

Shrimpy is another top-tier crypto platform offering various features and trading tools. It also offers bot support which is accessible to everyone, as well as highly secured transactions.

However, on the downside, it does not have crypto signals and is not available for use on mobiles and so you need to have access to a laptop or PC system.

Iconomi Vs. Primex bt

Primex Bt is pretty famous in the crypto world, and many prefer it due to its many features such as copy trading, low trading fee, and leverage. Like Iconomi, it also offers referral programs to benefit its users in other ways as well.

However, unlike Iconomi, it does not offer a demo account to help beginners. There is no license for many countries including the US, Canada, and Japan, so a wide community cannot benefit from it.

About DDA’s

(The complicated version)

Iconomi is specifically curated to accommodate and benefit the people having multiple digital asset tokens, and so its prime focus lies on Digital Asset Arrays, aka DAA.

DAA allows the users having minimal crypto knowledge to manage funds with ease as the users would not have to run through a search for the best individual coin to invest in, rather they invest in Iconomi, which itself selects the safest coins having the highest chance to shoot forward.

DAAs are a combo of different types of digital assets, and so the users can choose and invest as per their will. It serves as an excellent platform to connect DAA managers and investors.

The managers can customize their own investment strategy and can even make it visible to the public to benefit from it. DAA managers can gain popularity through wise decision making which in turn spikes up their rating. Such managers gain access to more investors.

On the contrary, all the different strategies and many safe investment plans by the managers serve to spoon-feed the investors. This allows the beginner and experienced investors alike to invest without thinking and prodding.

Become-an-influencer-promote-crypto-strategy

Is Iconomi Worth It or A Scam?

Profiting from its vast experience, Icomomi is an exceptionally innovative and inclusive platform that serves to link the past to the future.

Furthermore it is welcoming many people in the crypto industry and therefore improving its reputation and increasing its pool. It is safe and claims good profits so far. (2022)

Summary

The Crypto world is rapidly overcoming the atmosphere leaving many people curious. You can access it through many platforms, among which a well reputed and eminent one is Iconomi.

However, the downside associated with cryptocurrency is its rapid fluctuation, and thus it is crucial to opt for a suitable platform that keeps your investment safe and sound, along with briefing you about the highs and lows of crypto.

Many investors have been head over heels for Iconomi, and many are investing consistently in it, including myself.

So far I have used the platform for a little more than a month. I have invested in 5 different strategies and only only one of them did not have positive returns so I am very happy with my results so far.

From my experience, I can certainly recommend Iconomi.

 

Categories
Reviews

MarketRiders – Is it legit? Review 2022

If you’re looking to build a diversified portfolio yourself, but want low fees, and a bit of advice along the way, look no further than MarketRiders.

The do-it-yourself platform works with any brokerage account. MarketRiders works as a digital advisor – advising you on the best way to manage your portfolio.

If you decide you don’t want to manage your own portfolio, MarketRiders also offers a managed service. It’s a bit more expensive than other robo-advisors, but it offers a great service.

Below I review both MarketRiders options for you to see which one (if any) would work for you.

 

What is MarketRiders?

MarketRiders is a digital advisor. They don’t manage your portfolio, like traditional robo-advisors.

Instead, they customize a portfolio after assessing your goals and risk tolerance. They suggest a portfolio of ETFs based on how much you need to earn and in what amount of time.

You take the advice provided and create a portfolio at your chosen broker. You don’t create the account at MarketRiders – they just provide the digital advice; they don’t hold your funds.

You can manage up to 10 portfolios at a time with the DIY portfolio. MarketRiders also offers a managed service, where they manage your portfolio for you. With the managed account, MarketRiders (and its subsidiaries) manage your account and hold your funds. It’s less of a DIY platform and more of an automated system.

Investors may choose how they want to handle their investments. The DIY version is great for those looking to branch out on their own. MarketRiders offers a bit of ‘hand-holding’ while providing you with the freedom to manage your own investments. It’s like knowing someone has your back.

The managed version is more of a traditional robo-advisor. You answer the same questions, but with the managed version MarketRiders handles your portfolio for you, choosing the investments and reallocating your portfolio as needed.

DIY Investing
Account Minimum
$1,000
Management Fee
$14.95 per month or $149.95 a year
Portfolio
DIY or 20 ETFs selected according to your goals
Rebalancing
Tax Loss Harvesting
Fractional Shares
Automatic Deposits
Smart Beta
SRI
401(k) Assistance
Human Advice
Supported Accounts
Individual, Joint,Traditional and Roth IRA, Rollover IRA, Trusts
Best for
DIYers, Investors who want to be in charge of their portfolios. Perfect for the advanced.
Summary
MarketRiders is an established and trusted company. It is great for DIY investing however if you are just starting out and prefer more of a hands-off approach you will probably better off with a different robo advisor.
DIY Investing
Account Minimum
$1,000
Management Fee
$14.95 per month or $149.95 a year
Portfolio
DIY or 20 ETFs selected according to your goals
Rebalancing
Tax Loss Harvesting
Fractional Shares
Automatic Deposits
Smart Beta
SRI
401(k) Assistance
Human Advice
Supported Accounts
Individual, Joint,Traditional and Roth IRA, Rollover IRA, Trusts
Best for
DIYers, Investors who want to be in charge of their portfolios. Perfect for the advanced.
Summary
MarketRiders is an established and trusted company. It is great for DIY investing however if you are just starting out and prefer more of a hands-off approach you will probably better off with a different robo advisor.

How does it work?

Account opening

Setting up an account is simple at MarketRiders.

You answer a handful of questions regarding your risk tolerance and goals along with some personal information. MarketRiders suggests portfolios based on this information. You can adjust the investment recommendations based on your needs until you settle on a portfolio that works.

If you choose the managed version, the account setup works the same way. You answer the questions which determine your risk tolerance and goals, but then MarketRiders manages your portfolio for you.

Deposit and withdrawal

If you use the DIY portfolio, the deposit and withdrawal limits and procedures are up to your chosen platform.

MarketRiders (both DIY and managed) require a $2,500 minimum initial deposit or portfolio.

If you use SogoMarketRider’s automated portfolio system, you can withdraw as much as you need/want at any time. If the amount requested exceeds the amount of cash you have in your portfolio, Sogo will sell ETFs to satisfy the amount.

Interface

The MarketRiders and SogoMarketRider’s platforms are easy to use. They are user-friendly, and make it easy to determine where your money is and what you should do. They even offer calculators that help you determine how much you can withdraw from your account without disrupting your portfolio allocation.

Account options

You may open a taxable (individual or joint) or retirement account at MarketRiders and SogoMarketRiders. The retirement accounts include traditional and Roth IRAs as well as rollover IRAs.

What can you trade?

MarketRiders invest only in ETFs. They don’t recommend investments in mutual funds or individual stocks. If you aren’t into investing in ETFs, this isn’t the right platform for you as that’s the only asset they trade.

Costs

MarketRiders (the DIY platform) charges the following fees:

  • $14.95/month or $149.95 per year
  • ETF fund fees chosen by MarketRiders usually have average fees of 0.17%
  • There is usually a $10 trading commission every time you buy or sell an ETF

MarketRiders has a 30-day free trial if you want to try it out, but you still provide your funding information should you decide to keep the service.

SogoMarketRiders charges 0.75 percent of assets under management with a minimum management charge of $5 a month.

How does MarketRiders make money?

MarketRiders makes money by the fees they charge, whether you use the DIY platform or the managed portfolio. They make money monthly from both services.

Additional features

Cash accounts

Both the DIY platform and managed platform have cash accounts. You can keep a portion of your portfolio in cash if you feel better about having it for emergencies or you just prefer some liquidity. If you request a transfer from either account, MarketRiders first exhausts all cash in your account.

If your withdrawal request exceeds the cash amount, they will sell ETFs to obtain the remaining funds, which may result in more cash in your portfolio depending on how the numbers work out when they sell the ETFs.

Advisors

MarketRiders doesn’t have human advisors available. They do have online chat and email capabilities, but you won’t get financial advice. The only financial advice they offer is what you get in the platform, which is extremely helpful, but it’s not human advice if that’s what you’re looking for.

Education

MarketRiders has a great section on educational webinars.

Video

Pros and Cons

PROs
Versatil - Has options for both hands-on and hands-off investors
CONs
Relatively high fees - ($14.95) a month for the DIY option
Convenient - MarketRiders works hard to find the lowest cost investments to maximize your earnings
You have to manually buy/sell the assets MarketRiders suggests you trade
Adjustability - You can change the risk tolerance of your portfolio at any time
Many of the tools offered can be found for free at other brokerages
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PROs
Versatil - Has options for both hands-on and hands-off investors
Convenient - MarketRiders works hard to find the lowest cost investments to maximize your earnings
Adjustability - You can change the risk tolerance of your portfolio at any time
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CONs
Relatively high fees - ($14.95) a month for the DIY option
You have to manually buy/sell the assets MarketRiders suggests you trade
Many of the tools offered can be found for free at other brokerages
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FAQ

How does MarketRiders provide you with advice without human interaction?

MarketRiders has a robust algorithm they use to watch your portfolio. When your portfolio needs adjusting, they have one of two ways of helping you, depending on the type of account you have.

If you use the DIY platform, the system alerts you via text or email (depending on what you set up) when you should make changes. It offers the necessary details to help you reallocate your portfolio accordingly.

If you use the managed portfolio, SogoMarketRiders handles the reallocations for you. This means you don’t have to worry about the reallocations yourself, taking the pressure off you.

How does MarketRiders bill the annual management fee?

If you choose the SogoMarketRiders program, you’ll pay a management fee of 0.75 percent of assets under management. MarketRiders bills you monthly, based on your average daily balance.

Everything is included in this fee, though. You don’t have to worry about ‘other’ fees including commissions trade costs, and custody fees.

There is a minimum $5 charge per month. If you don’t have enough assets to cover a fee of $5, you’ll be charged $5 anyway.

How hard is it to set up an account with MarketRiders?

Both processes are simple when setting up an account with MarketRiders. Whether you open up a DIY account or managed account, the process takes approximately 15 minutes.

For both accounts, you need a portfolio of at least $2,500. If you already have portfolios at another broker, make sure it’s worth at least $2,500. If you’re choosing the managed account, you’ll need $2,500 to open an account.

MarketRiders asks simple questions and they walk you through the process carefully. If you have any questions throughout the setup process, you can chat with them online to get help right away.

Who holds your money when you use MarketRiders?

Who holds your money depends on which service you choose. If you use the DIY platform, the broker you have your portfolio with holds your funds – not MarketRiders. For example, if you have a Schwab account, they hold your funds and handle your deposits and withdrawals. MarketRiders only provides the advice to help you manage your account.

If you have a managed account, your funds are held by SogoTrade who is a member of FINRA and has SIPC insurance. SogoMarketRiders and SogoTrade are companies that work together to help you meet your financial milestones.

How many portfolios can you manage with Market Riders?

This is an area MarketRiders really shines. You can manage up to 10 portfolios with one subscription. That means for $14.95 per month you can manage 10 different portfolios rather than paying for 10 portfolios.

Can you use MarketRiders to manage your employer-sponsored 401K?

It depends. In some cases, yes you can, but it’s tricky. Your employer must allow you to manage your own 401K in your own brokerage account for MarketRiders to be able to help. If this is the case, you can use MarketRiders because it will provide you with advice on which ETFs to buy, and then you can execute the trades.

Can you use mutual funds in your portfolio?

MarketRiders only uses ETFs. They can’t change your portfolio from mutual funds to ETFs nor do they recommend mutual funds. Their investment method focuses only on ETFs that work the best for your portfolio. All the advice they provide pertains to ETFs and includes rebalancing instructions to help get your portfolio back on track.

Alternatives

MarketRiders vs Betterment

logo of bettermentIf you’re looking for a robo-advisor to ‘do the work for you,’ Betterment is a better choice.

MarketRiders is for the ‘DIY’ investor although they do offer the managed version. Betterment’s fees are much lower (0.25% of assets under management).

Betterment uses the Modern Portfolio Theory like MarketRiders, and Betterment focuses on your goals and risk timeline. Like MarketRiders, Betterment rebalances your portfolio when it gets off course.

Betterment has a threshold of 5%. In other words, they rebalance your portfolio anytime it differs more than 5% from your current allocations. Betterment also rebalances your portfolio anytime you deposit or withdraw funds.

Current Promotions

MarketRiders has a 30-day free trial.

Worth It or a Scam?

MarketRiders is not a scam and is worth it for the DIY investor. If you want to manage your own portfolio but could use the advice of a professional, it’s the best of both worlds. At just $14.95 a month, it’s a great way to get the advice you need without paying the higher prices of human advisors.

While there are other fees involved, the majority of the costs fall under the monthly fee. MarketRiders is a great transition for the investor who wants to branch off on his/her own but who isn’t quite ready to do it all alone.

Summary

The platform is great for the DIYer who wants to be in charge of his/her investments. MarketRiders provides the advice, but it’s up to you to make the investments. It’s the best of both worlds, giving you the freedom you desire.

If you’re thinking about becoming a DIY investor, it’s time to check out MarketRiders. They are the best platform available that allows you to manage your accounts yourself while providing advice at the same time.

Robo Chooser

Use the following Quiz and find out which robo advisor is best for you.

 

If you have any questions, please comment below.

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Reviews

TD Ameritrade | Essential vs Selective Portfolios | Review 2022

TD Ameritrade is one of the most well-known brokers available today and their offerings just keep getting better. Today they offer two programs – the Essentials Portfolios and Selective Portfolios platform.

Both platforms have the robust TD Ameritrade name, but the similarities end there.

  • The Essentials Portfolio is your traditional robo-advisor and is great for those looking for ‘the essentials’ or the basics of a robo-advisor without getting overwhelmed.
  • The Selective Portfolio is for investors looking for a more personalized approach. They offer human insight and a bit more personalized service with a wider selection of investments available.
Essential Portfolios
Selective Portfolios
Account Minimum
$5000 (or $500 when you set up recurring deposits)
$25,000.
Management Fee
0.30%
The management fee varies from 0.55% to 0.90% depending on the portfolio.
Portfolio
Morningstar-built, small portfolios of around 8 ETFs.
Custom
Rebalancing
Tax Loss Harvesting
Fractional Shares
Human Advice
Smart Beta
Automatic Deposits
401(k) Assistance
SRI
Best for
Investors who are looking for a low cost, goal-oriented robo advisor
Advanced investors who are looking for an actively managed portfolio with professional investment advice.
Supported Accounts
Individual and joint, Roth, traditional, SEP, SIMPLE & rollover IRAs. Trusts. Solo 401(k)s & Solo Roth 401(k)s. Corporate & business accounts. UGMA/UTMA.
 Individual and joint, Roth, traditional, SEP, SIMPLE & rollover IRAs. Trusts. Solo 401(k)s & Solo Roth 401(k)s. Corporate & business accounts. UGMA/UTMA.
Summary
Ameritrade offers a fair-priced robo advisor for beginner investors without trading fees.
This selective plan is geared towards the sophisticated investors, the portfolios have more variety and you can speak to financial professionals on the phone or even in person.
Essential Portfolios
Account Minimum
$5000 (or $500 when you set up recurring deposits)
Management Fee
0.30%
Portfolio
Morningstar-built, small portfolios of around 8 ETFs.
Rebalancing
Tax Loss Harvesting
Fractional Shares
Human Advice
Smart Beta
Automatic Deposits
401(k) Assistance
SRI
Best for
Investors who are looking for a low cost, goal-oriented robo advisor
Supported Accounts
Individual and joint, Roth, traditional, SEP, SIMPLE & rollover IRAs. Trusts. Solo 401(k)s & Solo Roth 401(k)s. Corporate & business accounts. UGMA/UTMA.
Summary
Ameritrade offers a fair-priced robo advisor for beginner investors without trading fees.
Selective Portfolios
Account Minimum
$25,000.
Management Fee
The management fee varies from 0.55% to 0.90% depending on the portfolio.
Portfolio
Custom
Rebalancing
Tax Loss Harvesting
Fractional Shares
Human Advice
Smart Beta
Automatic Deposits
401(k) Assistance
SRI
Best for
Advanced investors who are looking for an actively managed portfolio with professional investment advice.
Supported Accounts
 Individual and joint, Roth, traditional, SEP, SIMPLE & rollover IRAs. Trusts. Solo 401(k)s & Solo Roth 401(k)s. Corporate & business accounts. UGMA/UTMA.
Summary
This selective plan is geared towards the sophisticated investors, the portfolios have more variety and you can speak to financial professionals on the phone or even in person.

What is TD Ameritrade?

TD Ameritrade has been in business for the last 40 years, helping investors make the most of their portfolios. Today, TD Ameritrade has more than 11 million clients and $1 trillion in assets. They average 500,000 trades a day, which makes them quite the big dog in the investment business.

How does it work?

Account opening

Essentials Portfolio – Investors need a minimum of $500 to open a TD Ameritrade account if they opt for direct deposits of at least $500 a month, otherwise, the minimum is $5,000. Like most robo-advisors, you’ll encounter a questionnaire that asks about your risk tolerance and timeline to create your portfolio. The Essentials Portfolio has 5 portfolio options for you to choose from.

Selective Portfolio – Investors need at least $25,000 to open a TD Ameritrade Selective Portfolio. The onboarding process is a bit more complex, but you can do it online or call 1-866-551-6917.

Deposit and withdrawal

Like most brokerages, you link your ‘funding’ account to your TD Ameritrade brokerage account, whether Essentials or Selective. You may set up direct deposit or transfer and contribute regularly to your brokerage account (recommended if you want the lower initial deposit requirement) or make manual deposits.

Withdrawals work in the same manner. You can request withdrawal to your linked account. If you have the cash in your portfolio, TD Ameritrade transfers it quickly. If they must settle a portion of your portfolio to meet your request, it can take up to a week to receive funds.

Interface

The interface is user-friendly, giving investors 24/7 access to their accounts. You can log in to change your goals or timelines at any time. Being able to track your investments, see your progress, and ask questions is helpful for any investor whether they use the Essential or Selective portfolio.

Trading options

TD Ameritrade offers the largest selection of account options including:

  • Individual or joint taxable account
  • Traditional retirement account
  • Roth retirement account
  • SEP IRA
  • SIMPLE IRA
  • Rollover IRA
  • Trusts
  • Solo 401(K)
  • Roth Solo 401(K)
  • Business accounts

What can you trade?

Essentials – The Essentials platform focuses on ETFs. Each portfolio is Morningstar built and includes approximately 8 ETFs. TD offers 5 portfolios including a socially responsible portfolio.

Selective – TD offers a handful of portfolios based on your timeline and goals. For example, the Core Portfolio consists of mutual funds and/or ETFs covering a wide span of investments. The Supplemental Income Portfolio places more emphasis on fixed income securities and fewer equities.

Costs

The Essentials Portfolio costs 0.3% of assets under management.

The Selective Portfolio costs vary based on the amount invested and the portfolio chosen but usually average around 0.55% – 0.9%.

Additional features

Cash account

You may have a cash balance, but TD Ameritrade doesn’t offer any type of cash management services with either service.

Human advisors

Essential Portfolio – You have access to a team of advisors who can answer your questions and help you make investment decisions.

Selective Portfolio – You get more professional insights with the Selective Portfolio. It’s a mix of technology and human advisor, giving you the best of both worlds. You may work with a financial consultant or make your own decisions based on the advice provided by the platform.

Customer service

TD Ameritrade offers customer service via email and live chat Monday – Friday 7:30 AM – 7:00 PM ET. Selective Portfolio investors may have access to phone customer service as well.

Research

TD Ameritrade offers robust research options powered by Morningstar as well as other third-party providers.

Education

TD Ameritrade offers a wide range of educational opportunities including webcasts, market news, and full-blown curriculum opportunities.

Video

TD Ameritrade Pros and Cons

PROs
Essential Portfolios are built using Morningstar recommendations - Rather than using their own funds (they don’t have any). This gives you access to greater investment opportunities without feeling pressured to buy the robo-advisor’s own funds.
CONs
High account minimums – Both portfolios require a rather high minimum deposit of $5,000 and $25,000 respectively. The only exception is if you set up an automatic deposit of at least $500, you can open an Essentials Portfolio with just $500.
Relatively low management fee – The Essentials Portfolio management fee is lower than many other ‘big names’ like Fidelity or Merrill Edge. While it’s slightly higher than Betterment or Wealthfront, TD offers more benefits.
Small number of assets in each portfolio – Most robo-advisors fill portfolios with 10 or more assets, but TD keeps it to the basics with 8 or fewer assets in each portfolio. This makes diversifying a little harder.
The option for a socially responsible portfolio – Most robo-advisors don’t have a socially responsible portfolio option. TD offers the portfolio for every investment range whether conservative, moderate growth or aggressive.
Selective Portfolio is more complicated - Even though they walk you through each step, the Selective Portfolio is a bit more complex and may take some time to get used to.
Almost any account option is available – Most robo-advisors offer a taxable or IRA account and that’s it. TD offers the largest selection for anyone in just about any financial situation including the self-employed.
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Human insights with Selective Portfolios – If you have $25,000 to invest, you get the best of both worlds with the Selective Portfolio combining both human (professional) advice with an automated platform.
-
Monitoring and rebalancing – Both portfolio options include automatic monitoring and rebalancing. You can watch your account but you don’t have to because you know TD has your back and will reallocate your portfolio as necessary.
-
Free tax-loss harvesting – Both portfolios offer tax-loss harvesting. This means they’ll sell certain investments at a loss to offset a large capital gain. This lowers your tax liability while allowing you to enjoy the capital gains on your investments.
-
PROs
Essential Portfolios are built using Morningstar recommendations - Rather than using their own funds (they don’t have any). This gives you access to greater investment opportunities without feeling pressured to buy the robo-advisor’s own funds.
Relatively low management fee – The Essentials Portfolio management fee is lower than many other ‘big names’ like Fidelity or Merrill Edge. While it’s slightly higher than Betterment or Wealthfront, TD offers more benefits.
The option for a socially responsible portfolio – Most robo-advisors don’t have a socially responsible portfolio option. TD offers the portfolio for every investment range whether conservative, moderate growth or aggressive.
Almost any account option is available – Most robo-advisors offer a taxable or IRA account and that’s it. TD offers the largest selection for anyone in just about any financial situation including the self-employed.
Human insights with Selective Portfolios – If you have $25,000 to invest, you get the best of both worlds with the Selective Portfolio combining both human (professional) advice with an automated platform.
Monitoring and rebalancing – Both portfolio options include automatic monitoring and rebalancing. You can watch your account but you don’t have to because you know TD has your back and will reallocate your portfolio as necessary.
Free tax-loss harvesting – Both portfolios offer tax-loss harvesting. This means they’ll sell certain investments at a loss to offset a large capital gain. This lowers your tax liability while allowing you to enjoy the capital gains on your investments.
CONs
High account minimums – Both portfolios require a rather high minimum deposit of $5,000 and $25,000 respectively. The only exception is if you set up an automatic deposit of at least $500, you can open an Essentials Portfolio with just $500.
Small number of assets in each portfolio – Most robo-advisors fill portfolios with 10 or more assets, but TD keeps it to the basics with 8 or fewer assets in each portfolio. This makes diversifying a little harder.
Selective Portfolio is more complicated - Even though they walk you through each step, the Selective Portfolio is a bit more complex and may take some time to get used to.
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FAQ

Is TD Ameritrade good for beginners?

Beginners should start with TD Ameritrade’s Essentials Portfolio. As the name suggests, they stick to the essentials. They don’t confuse you with a crazy number of investments or choices. With 5 portfolios to choose from and only 8 assets in each, it’s easy to get the hang of investing, while TD Ameritrade does the heavy lifting. Check out all the best robos for beginners in this post.

What are TD Ameritrade’s ETF expense ratios?

All ETFs have expense ratios. This money doesn’t go to TD Ameritrade, though. The 0.3% of assets under management or (0.5 – 0.99% for Selective) are the only fees TD Ameritrade collects. If you trade ETFs, expect to pay 0.06 – 0.07% for regular portfolios and 0.10 – 0.17% for socially responsible portfolios.

How often does TD Ameritrade rebalance accounts?

All TD Ameritrade accounts are rebalanced annually, but they also rebalance on an as-needed basis. If you make deposits or withdrawals, for example, they’ll need to rebalance. They also rebalance when the market takes a turn (for better or worse).

Is onboarding difficult?

TD Ameritrade makes onboarding easy for both Essential and Selective portfolios. After answering the questions, they recommend a portfolio. You are free to go through the various options, though, choosing the one you think is right for you. It’s usually best to stick with TD’s choice, though.

How much money can tax-loss harvesting save?

TD Ameritrade offers free tax-loss harvesting, which is a huge benefit. They say they can save investors up to $3,000 in tax liability by using this practice when you sell off an asset with high capital gains.

How many socially responsible portfolios does TD Ameritrade have?

TD Ameritrade has an impressive 5 portfolios to choose from if you are socially-minded. You can choose the portfolio that aligns with your beliefs so your investments and beliefs align.

How are Selective Portfolio investment fees calculated?

Unlike the Essentials Portfolio, the Selective Portfolio’s management fees depend on the amount invested and chosen portfolio. Investors know the fees before choosing an investment.

How does TD Ameritrade make money?

TD Ameritrade makes money on the fees they charge for each portfolio. They don’t charge commissions for the trades, and any fees you pay for ETF or mutual fund management goes to the fund manager, not TD Ameritrade.

Alternatives

TD Ameritrade vs Interactive Brokers

Interactive Brokers is good for active and passive investors looking for a larger investment selection. Investors may trade stocks, bonds, and ETFs like most robo-advisors.

You may also trade options, futures, forex, and metals, though. IB offers 4,300 no-load fee mutual funds, but their platform is a bit harder to navigate compared to TD Ameritrade. IB charges a flat fee, versus a percentage of assets under management.

TD Ameritrade vs Webull

Webull, like most robo-advisors offers commission-free trades. Webull targets technical investors though.

If you’re into technical research and want to know the ins and outs of each investment, Webull is your platform. Webull offers extensive research and educational opportunities and offers margin trading and after-hours trading.

TD Ameritrade vs Etoro

Etoro is for the advanced investor looking for different investment options, especially cryptocurrency. Etoro doesn’t have an account minimum and has zero commissions. Etoro is also for the social investor – one who likes to know what other investors are doing and will copy or mimic their investments. If cryptocurrencies were something you were interested in, Etoro is the right platform.

TD Ameritrade vs RobinHood

Robinhood was the first robo-advisor to offer commission-free trades, but many have quickly followed suit. Robinhood trades all assets including stocks, ETFs, options, and cryptocurrency.

It is a basic platform, which is great for beginners. Since you don’t need an account minimum, anyone can start investing, getting a feel for how it works even with a minimal deposit.

Current Promotions

Account minimum of only $500 when setting up recurring deposits (essential portfolios)

Worth It or a Scam?

TD Ameritrade is as legitimate as they come. It’s a household name and with its two robo-advisor offerings, there is something for everyone.

Whether you’re a beginner and want a simple portfolio with 8 or fewer assets that are easy to manage or an experienced investor looking for a more robust experience, possibly managing your investments on your own, there’s something for you.

Summary

If you’re looking for a reputable robo-advisor with simple options and yet robust educational and research opportunities, TD Ameritrade is a great option.

You’ll get the best of all worlds, low fees, exceptional investments, and the guidance you desire whether complete hand-holding or a bit of DIY with guidance.

Robo Chooser

Use the following Quiz and find out which robo advisor is best for you.

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Learn

M1 Finance Smart Transfers – How do they Work?

If you’re an M1 Plus Member, you get many great benefits that standard M1 investors don’t get and now this includes the exciting benefit of using M1’s latest feature – Smart Transfers.

* This article is about M1s Smart Transfers. If you’re new to investing and are here because you are thinking about signing up with M1 Finance, make sure to check out our in-depth review first.

Up until now, M1 relied on scheduled or manual transfers. For example, you could set up a transfer from checking to your Invest account weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly.

Many investors set up transfers to coincide with their pay dates. You could also manually transfer funds if you found yourself with extra funds or just wanted to invest a little more. This was always a ‘one-time’ deal, though and it took a lot of effort.

You had to manually make the transfer happen. Not that it was the end of the world, but with all the busyness going on today, many investors overlooked perfectly good money they could be investing or transferring to their M1 Spend Plus checking, earning 1% APY rather than sitting idle. Money sitting doing nothing is like throwing earnings out the window.

M1 Smart Transfers changes all of this and more. Now you don’t have to rely on remembering to transfer funds or waiting for the ‘scheduled transfers’ to occur.

Smart Transfers sets up rules that make it easy to automatically transfer your funds.

You don’t have to worry about forgetting, overlooking the opportunity, or not knowing how to handle the transfer.

Here’s how it works.

What are Smart Transfers?

Smart Transfers, otherwise known as cash sweeps, are rules you set up to sweep cash either into your investment account or back into your Spend account based on your rules.

The sweeps focus on ‘overbalances’ and refers to money in your investment account that’s sitting idle (dividend payments or sell payment proceeds) or money sitting in your checking account (Spend) that you don’t need there.

You set the rules and M1 does the rest, putting an end to idle money.

Set up the Rule

First, you set up the ‘rule.’ Choose an account, either your M1 Spend Plus account or Invest account to start. Now set a cash balance that you need in the account.

Example

Let’s look at the Spend account. Let’s say it’s your emergency fund and you need at least $1,000 in there at all times to bail you out of a sudden emergency. $1,000 is then your ‘trigger.’ You set the rule that any money above $1,000 is transferred to your Invest account.

Now anytime you are even $1 over $1,000 in your Spend account, the money immediately gets invested. You don’t have to do anything either.

There’s no more ‘I forgot’ or ‘I didn’t have time’ excuses. The transfer happens without you lifting a finger.

You can set up the rule the other way around too.

Using your Invest account, you can say, any excess money sitting in your Invest account that’s not invested, should transfer to your M1 Spend account to earn the 1% APY offered on this account.

The rule you set up is ongoing – not a one-time deal. If you have the $1,000 threshold in your Spend account, every time your account has more than $1,000, M1 will transfer the funds automatically. It’s a no-brainer.

Rules for the Invest Account

It’s important to clear a few things up about transfers from the Invest account to your Spend account.

First, M1 will only transfer cash. If you don’t have idle cash, no transfer will take place. In other words, M1 won’t sell securities to transfer cash over. The rule only applies to the uninvested money you may have sitting around, which commonly occurs from dividend payments if you don’t have them automatically reinvested or when you sell securities and don’t reinvest the cash.

How to Set up M1 Transfers

Setting up M1 transfers is incredibly easy.

Start by going to the transfers tab and click ‘Move Money.’ You’ll be presented with a list of options – choose ‘Smart Transfers.’ Now choose ‘Spend Overbalance’ or ‘Invest Cash Overbalance.’

You then choose the ‘trigger balance’ and the account to send it to. If you’re setting a rule for your Spend account, you’d enter $1,000 and Invest account. This sets up the rule to send Spend overbalances to your Invest account.

Click ‘Create Smart Transfer’ and you’re done. You don’t have to set the rule up again unless you want to change the parameters.

You can edit Smart Transfers at any time. Just click on the Smart Transfer you want to edit and click ‘edit.’ Make any changes on the screen that you want – just like you did when you set it up, and click ‘Update.’

Pausing Smart Transfers

You can pause Smart Transfers at any time. Go into the transfer you want to pause and toggle off the button for ‘Enable Smart Transfer.’ This pauses it indefinitely until you toggle it back on.

If you decide you don’t want the rule any longer, click on ‘edit’ like you would to change it, but rather than changing the information, click ‘delete.’

The Perks of M1 Plus

If you haven’t jumped at the chance to be an M1 Plus member yet, check out the amazing benefits in addition to Smart Transfers:

  • Afternoon trade window – Standard M1 customers may only trade during the morning trade window. M1 Plus members, however, may conduct afternoon trades, which occur at 3 PM ET.
  • Earn cash back – M1 Plus members receive 1% cashback on all debit card purchases. You’ll receive the cashback on the 10th of the month following the month you made the purchases.
  • Earn interest – M1 Plus members earn interest (1.0% APY) on the final day of each month on their balances in M1 Spend.
  • Lower loan interest rates – M1 Plus members receive a 1.5% lower rate from the standard M1 Borrow rate.

M1 Finance is a Great Option for Traders

Whether you’re a new or experienced investor, M1 Finance offers incredible benefits for traders. With commission-free trades and a hands-on approach, M1 is great for the trader learning the ropes to handle his/her investments without a robo-advisor.

Speaking of trading, check out our comparison of Robinhood and M1 Finance to find out which app we recommend for trading.

M1 offers pre-built portfolios making it easy to choose your investments or you can build your own portfolio, which they call pies. You decide how you want to invest and M1 does the rest. It’s a great tool for any investor who doesn’t rely on heavy research or tools but just wants the ability to invest with a hands-on approach.

Why you Should Use Smart Transfers

It may seem unnecessary to use Smart Transfers, especially if you already have automated transfers set up, but there are benefits.

You set up automated transfers based on your pay dates. But what if something changes? Maybe you get a bonus or receive a monetary gift or a large tax refund. Suddenly you have more cash in your Spend account. Chances are if you leave it there, you’ll spend it, right?

If you set up a rule to automatically transfer the funds beyond a specific dollar amount, though, the temptation to spend isn’t there anymore because M1 will invest the money as you set up in the rule.

Even if you would have transferred the funds eventually, every day costs you money. If you have the rule set up to transfer the money right away, you may invest a few days, weeks, or even months sooner because who knows when you would have gotten around to it.

The more time your money is in the market, the better your chances of greater returns. It may not sound like much, especially if it’s only a few days, but it all adds up – sometimes to thousands of dollars when you look at the big picture.

Smart Transfers, as the name suggests, are also smart. If your balance dips below your threshold, you don’t have to do anything. It won’t transfer funds until you reach and go beyond your threshold again.

Let’s say you had an emergency and you dipped into your Spend account. You now have $500 rather than $1,000. M1 won’t transfer any funds to your Invest account until you replenish the account back to $1,000 and then it will only invest the excess.

There’s More to Come

M1 Finance has also said ‘they aren’t done yet.’ Smart Transfers aren’t fully complete, which means there are more surprises coming your way.

Their hint was this – ‘imagine stringing together a chain of Smart Transfers.’ While we aren’t sure what they’re up to yet, it’s intriguing to know they still have more goodies up their sleeve to make investing with M1 even more enticing.

Conclusion

If you haven’t tried M1 Smart Transfers yet, now is the time! With its new release, more investors are bound to check out M1 and how it works. Smart Transfers is something most brokers don’t have, giving M1 the leg up on the competition.

If you’re tired of forgetting to make transfers or not knowing when it’s okay to transfer funds to your Invest account or the other way around, take advantage of technology and Smart Transfers.

Best for DIY
Account Minimum
$100
Management Fee
0.00%
Portfolio
The user can create portfolios which consist of low-cost ETFs or individual stocks
Account Types
Individual and joint taxable accounts; traditional, Roth and rollover IRAs, trusts and even business accounts.
Rebalancing
Tax Loss Harvesting
Fractional Shares
Automatic Deposits
SRI
Human Advice
Best for
DIY Investors. If you are enthusiastic about getting your feet wet in the investing world, M1 Finance is the robo advisor of your choice
Summary
M1 Finance is the best choice for self-directed investors that want to pick from existing portfolios or customize their own.
Best for DIY
Account Minimum
$100
Management Fee
0.00%
Portfolio
The user can create portfolios which consist of low-cost ETFs or individual stocks
Account Types
Individual and joint taxable accounts; traditional, Roth and rollover IRAs, trusts and even business accounts.
Rebalancing
Tax Loss Harvesting
Fractional Shares
Automatic Deposits
SRI
Human Advice
Best for
DIY Investors. If you are enthusiastic about getting your feet wet in the investing world, M1 Finance is the robo advisor of your choice
Summary
M1 Finance is the best choice for self-directed investors that want to pick from existing portfolios or customize their own.

 

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Betterment vs Ellevest – Which is Better?

Betterment vs Ellevest – it’s a common debate amongst investors.

In this article I’ll compare both, share the pros and cons, and who would be best suited for each.

About Betterment

logo of bettermentBetterment is the largest independent robo-advisor and is also one of the first to arrive in the market.

Betterment offers two services – Betterment Digital which has no minimum investment requirement and Betterment Premium, which has a higher minimum balance requirement of $100,000 and higher fees, but offers more, including access to a human advisor.

About Ellevest

Ellevest-best-for-womenEllevest is a robo-advisor geared toward women. It was founded by women, it’s run by women, and it focuses on women, but anyone can invest there, even men. They charge monthly fees rather than a percentage of assets under management and have three tiers to choose from.

Ellevest uses the goal-focused approach and they don’t require a minimum balance. Ellevest doesn’t offer access to a human advisor even in their highest tier program, but you can purchase human advisor services a la carte.

Best Service
logo of betterment
Great for Women
Ellevest-best-for-women
Account Minimum
The Digital Plan has no account minimum. The Premium Plan starts at $100,000.
The Digital Plan has no account minimum. The Premium Plan starts at $50,000.
Management Fee
0.25% for Digital and 0.40% for Premium
Digital: 0.25% Premium: 0.50%
Portfolio
ETFs from about 12 asset classes. The user can choose between a recommendation or decide the percentage of portfolio in each investment.
Depending on the portfolio you choose, the mix will include 20 to 27 ETFs. Just like with Betterment, customization is possible.
Account Types
Individual and joint taxable accounts; traditional, Roth and rollover and SEP IRAs, trusts and even business accounts.
Taxable brokerage accounts, Traditional, Roth, and SEP IRAs, 401(k)
Rebalancing
Tax Loss Harvesting
Fractional Shares
Automatic Deposits
SRI
Human Advice
Best for
Investors who are looking for hands-off, "set it and forget it" type of robo advisor with low fees.
Investors who want a goal based investing platform with the option to contact certified financial advisors and career coaches.
Best Service
logo of betterment
Account Minimum
The Digital Plan has no account minimum. The Premium Plan starts at $100,000.
Management Fee
0.25% for Digital and 0.40% for Premium
Portfolio
ETFs from about 12 asset classes. The user can choose between a recommendation or decide the percentage of portfolio in each investment.
Account Types
Individual and joint taxable accounts; traditional, Roth and rollover and SEP IRAs, trusts and even business accounts.
Rebalancing
Tax Loss Harvesting
Fractional Shares
Automatic Deposits
SRI
Human Advice
Best for
Investors who are looking for hands-off, "set it and forget it" type of robo advisor with low fees.
Great for Women
Ellevest-best-for-women
Account Minimum
The Digital Plan has no account minimum. The Premium Plan starts at $50,000.
Management Fee
Digital: 0.25% Premium: 0.50%
Portfolio
Depending on the portfolio you choose, the mix will include 20 to 27 ETFs. Just like with Betterment, customization is possible.
Account Types
Taxable brokerage accounts, Traditional, Roth, and SEP IRAs, 401(k)
Rebalancing
Tax Loss Harvesting
Fractional Shares
Automatic Deposits
SRI
Human Advice
Best for
Investors who want a goal based investing platform with the option to contact certified financial advisors and career coaches.

What do they have in common?

  • Both have a program that doesn’t require a minimum balance.
  • You can open a taxable or retirement account at either robo-advisor (but no joint accounts at Ellevest)
  • Both platforms work on a goals-based investment philosophy
  • Both companies invest in ETFs
  • Betterment and Ellevest both automatically rebalance your portfolio
  • Both platforms have a viable mobile app
  • Both brokerages operate as a fiduciary

How are they different?

Betterment looks at your finances from a holistic point of view. They look at your entire financial profile and zero in on specific goals, such as buying a house or having a baby. Betterment offers personalized plans to help you achieve your goals, and they offer plenty of education along the way.

Ellevest focuses on women investors. It has a unique focus on women’s issues including the wage gap, longer life expectancies, and time off to raise children. Ellevest doesn’t offer joint accounts, so if you planned on opening an account with your spouse, you’d have to look elsewhere.

In-depth comparison – 10 distinctions

1. Goal Setting

Both Betterment and Ellevest focus heavily on goals.

Betterment makes it easy to set and meet goals. You can monitor each goal on its own, and can add new goals as often as you want. You can easily track your progress on their dashboard. They alert you right away if you are off-base and offers solutions (larger deposits) to rectify the issue. Betterment is great for young investors just starting out that may need those reminders to invest more money and more frequently. Betterment does take into account your other financial accounts to fully plan your goals.

Ellevest is also goal-focused, however, the number of goals you can set depend on your chosen plan. The basic plan at $1 a month allows one goal and its top plan allows up to six goals. You can set up goals for just about anything including saving for a house, retirement, or opening your own business. Ellevest focuses on gender-specific salary differences and life expectancies to manage your goals.

2. Retirement Planning

Betterment does a great job at retirement planning. They focus on aggressive investments during your younger years and more conservative portfolios as you age. If you link your external accounts, you’ll get a more holistic view of your retirement funds with Betterment versus Ellevest.

Ellevest focuses on long-term life expectancies and invests for retirement accordingly. If you sign up for Ellevest Plus, you’ll get advice on IRAs and 401Ks. Ellevest also offers a la carte services with retirement specialists and career specialists to further your retirement goals.

3. Account Types

Betterment and Ellevest offer the same account types you find at most robo-advisors. Like I said above, though, Ellevest doesn’t offer joint accounts. Betterment does offer a few more account options, though.

Both brokerages offer:

  • Individual taxable accounts
  • IRAs
  • Roth IRAs
  • SEP IRAs

In addition, Betterment offers support for inherited IRA accounts and trust accounts.

  • Inherited IRA accounts
  • Trust accounts

4. Features and Accessibility

Betterment and Ellevest both have basic accounts with no minimum balance requirement and premium accounts with higher balance requirements and more features.

Both firms offer access to human advisors, but at different costs and both offer portfolio reallocation. Betterment requires you to have $100,000 under management. You pay a higher fee, but have access to access to a team of financial advisors – you get unlimited access on this plan.

Betterment also offers many financial planning tools, all of which are free. Plenty of flexibility when creating portfolios and goals and a platform that sees you through any changes, decisions, or questions.

Ellevest’s features depend on the chosen subscription. If you pay for the higher tier for retirement planning, you get higher discounts on advice from a human advisor. The discounts range from 20 percent to 50 percent on the highest tier. Ellevest’s platform is focused on women, including their salary and investment needs.

5. Fees

Betterment uses the assets under management strategy, charging 0.25% of assets under management under $100,000 and 0.4% of assets under management over $100,000. If you have more than $2 million invested, they offer discounted rates.

Betterment Fees

Digital Plan
Premium Plan
Account Minimum
$0
$100,000
Annual Fee
0.25%
0.40%
Automated portfolio
Fractional shares investing
Rebalancing
Tax loss harvesting
Basic Support
Proactive account management
Advice on outside investments
Unlimited access to financial experts
Digital Plan
Account Minimum
$0
Annual Fee
0.25%
Automated portfolio
Fractional shares investing
Rebalancing
Tax loss harvesting
Basic Support
Proactive account management
Advice on outside investments
Unlimited access to financial experts
Premium Plan
Account Minimum
$100,000
Annual Fee
0.40%
Automated portfolio
Fractional shares investing
Rebalancing
Tax loss harvesting
Basic Support
Proactive account management
Advice on outside investments
Unlimited access to financial experts

Ellevest Fees

Ellevest uses a subscription-based model:

  • $1 a month for one non-retirement goal
  • $5 a month for a retirement goal
  • $9 a month for up to 6 goals including a retirement goal

6. Minimum Deposit

Neither Betterment or Ellevest require a minimum deposit unless you want to use Betterment Premium for access to financial advisors, then you need $100,000 invested.

7. Portfolios

Both Betterment and Ellevest use the Modern Portfolio Theory which focuses on:

  • Diversification
  • Buy and hold
  • Risk tolerance
  • Goal timelines
  • Aggressive vs conservative investing

Betterment has the following portfolios:

Ellevest has both diversified and socially responsible portfolios as well, but they emphasize their impact or socially responsible portfolios.

8. Tax Loss Harvesting

Betterment offers standard tax-loss harvesting, selling off losses to offset the capital gains, and lowering tax liabilities.

Ellevest doesn’t do tax-loss harvesting, but uses a tax minimization strategy that helps rebalance tax liabilities in a similar fashion to tax-loss harvesting.

9. Security

Both Betterment and Ellevest take security seriously using 256-bit SSL encryption. They both also carry SIPC insurance and two-factor authentication.

10. Customer Service

Betterment offers email and phone customer service 9 AM – 6 PM on weekdays. Ellevest offers email customer service but typically respond quickly during business hours.

Betterment Pros and Cons

PROs
Perfect for easy, hands-off investing – Once you have set your goals you can lean back and let Betterment do the rest.
CONs
Difficult to cancel the account – Betterment makes it paperwork heavy to leave them.
Rebalancing and Daily tax-loss harvesting – Minimize your tax liabilities with daily tax-loss harvesting, selling off your losses to offset your gains
Encourages you to invest your emergency fund – Most financial experts recommend keeping your emergency fund liquid, but Betterment recommends a specific portfolio that is on the aggressive side and could put your emergency fund at risk.
Offers a variety of tools – Betterment helps you plan your financial future by making smart financial decisions with your investments and regular accounts too.
-
No minimum deposit – You don’t need any money to open an account, but even better is the low $100,000 minimum for Betterment Premium which offers access to professional financial advisors.
-
Low management fees – Betterment charges just 0.25% for less than $100,000 and 0.40% for over $100,000
-
PROs
Perfect for easy, hands-off investing – Once you have set your goals you can lean back and let Betterment do the rest.
Rebalancing and Daily tax-loss harvesting – Minimize your tax liabilities with daily tax-loss harvesting, selling off your losses to offset your gains
Offers a variety of tools – Betterment helps you plan your financial future by making smart financial decisions with your investments and regular accounts too.
No minimum deposit – You don’t need any money to open an account, but even better is the low $100,000 minimum for Betterment Premium which offers access to professional financial advisors.
Low management fees – Betterment charges just 0.25% for less than $100,000 and 0.40% for over $100,000
CONs
Difficult to cancel the account – Betterment makes it paperwork heavy to leave them.
Encourages you to invest your emergency fund – Most financial experts recommend keeping your emergency fund liquid, but Betterment recommends a specific portfolio that is on the aggressive side and could put your emergency fund at risk.
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Ellevest Pros and Cons

PROs
A platform that focuses on women and their investment needs – In my search for robo-advisors that specifically target women, Ellevest came out on top. Founded by women, the program takes into consideration the income gap, longer lifespan, and savings issues women face today.
CONs
No joint accounts – If you want to open an investment account with your spouse or someone close to you, joint accounts aren’t an option at Ellevest. In this case Betterment may be the best alternative.
Low account minimum – Women don’t need any money to open an account. Of course, you need money to make money, but not having a minimum balance requirement makes it easy for any woman to start investing.
Not much say in your portfolio – If you want control over what your money gets invested in
Relatively low fees – The 0.25% - 0.5% account balance fees are minimal compared to many other robo-advisors. While there are other miscellaneous fees depending on what assets you trade, there are always fees to trade assets and Ellevest keeps them as low as possible.
No tax loss harvesting – If you’re a wealthy investor, the lack of tax loss harvesting can cost you a lot money in tax liabilities
Focuses on goals – Rather than just setting up an investment account and hoping for the best, Ellevest creates portfolios for each goal you have. For example, if you’re saving for a house and retirement, you’ll have two portfolios and can see where you stand with each goal at any time.
-
No IRA transfer frees – Transfer over your IRA to Ellevest for no charge. Your current IRA firm may charge a fee, though, so always check with them too.
-
Automatic rebalancing – Ellevest will automatically rebalance your portfolio only if it veers way off the chosen goal’s path. This usually happens if there are large dips in the market or your monthly contributions change significantly.
-
Ellevest is a fiduciary – This means that Ellevest must watch out for your best interests and not their own profits. Ellevest must be transparent in how they handle your money and communicate with you about any changes.
-
PROs
A platform that focuses on women and their investment needs – In my search for robo-advisors that specifically target women, Ellevest came out on top. Founded by women, the program takes into consideration the income gap, longer lifespan, and savings issues women face today.
Low account minimum – Women don’t need any money to open an account. Of course, you need money to make money, but not having a minimum balance requirement makes it easy for any woman to start investing.
Relatively low fees – The 0.25% - 0.5% account balance fees are minimal compared to many other robo-advisors. While there are other miscellaneous fees depending on what assets you trade, there are always fees to trade assets and Ellevest keeps them as low as possible.
Focuses on goals – Rather than just setting up an investment account and hoping for the best, Ellevest creates portfolios for each goal you have. For example, if you’re saving for a house and retirement, you’ll have two portfolios and can see where you stand with each goal at any time.
No IRA transfer frees – Transfer over your IRA to Ellevest for no charge. Your current IRA firm may charge a fee, though, so always check with them too.
Automatic rebalancing – Ellevest will automatically rebalance your portfolio only if it veers way off the chosen goal’s path. This usually happens if there are large dips in the market or your monthly contributions change significantly.
Ellevest is a fiduciary – This means that Ellevest must watch out for your best interests and not their own profits. Ellevest must be transparent in how they handle your money and communicate with you about any changes.
CONs
No joint accounts – If you want to open an investment account with your spouse or someone close to you, joint accounts aren’t an option at Ellevest. In this case Betterment may be the best alternative.
Not much say in your portfolio – If you want control over what your money gets invested in
No tax loss harvesting – If you’re a wealthy investor, the lack of tax loss harvesting can cost you a lot money in tax liabilities
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-
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Which is best? My Pick

Betterment is better for goal planning and overall retirement savings. They offer a holistic view of all accounts, allow as many goals as you want, and have low fees. It’s easy for anyone to get started, even beginners.

Ellevest is mostly for women.

While anyone can invest there, the research, education, and all marketing is for women. The pricing is different and you have to pay extra for human advisor services. Ellevest uses a slightly more aggressive investment approach too, which isn’t great for beginners.

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Coronavirus and Robo-Advisors – How’d They Do?

Robo-advisors were put to the test these last six months. As the pandemic spread and hurt the economy, the stock market fell quickly and robo-advisors had to bear the heavy burden of re-allocating portfolios, not to mention trying to stay afloat.

In fact, robo-advisors saw more cash coming in and out than they’ve ever seen before.

They’ve also seen an incredible increase in new sign-ups. Since robo-advisors are fairly new since the last economic crisis of 2008, it’s interesting to see how they’ve performed.

3 Reasons why Robo-Advisors did so well

Experts don’t agree on the reasons, but some of the consensus includes:

1. Most Robo-Advisors use goal-based investing.

They take into consideration an investor’s risk tolerance, timeline, and intended financial goals. As an investor nears his goal, robo-advisors naturally choose conservative investments to reduce the risk of loss.

More conservative investments mean a lower risk of loss even during an economic downturn. While there’s a healthy mix of investors close to their goals and those not so close, robo-advisors found a way to ride the storm, helping investors through it.

2. Robo-Advisors offer allocation shifts

Many investors immediately pull out of the market when investments go south. It makes sense why they would do it, but it’s the worst thing they could do. Investors using a robo-advisor are less likely to do so because of the automated re-allocation.

If anything, robo-advisors reallocated to less risky investments for the time being, such as bond ETFs and then switched investors back to stock ETFs once the market rebounded. Investors staying in the market, but reallocating temporarily played a role in robo-advisors’ success.

3. Frequent Communication

If there’s one thing all investors needed during the pandemic it’s communication. That can be hard with a robo-advisor since most communication is digital, but many advisors offer alternatives including live chat, email, support, and even phone support.

What did Robo-Advisors Do?

Robo-advisors typically buy-and-hold. One of the main benefits of using one is the limited emotional investing you can do. When you do DIY investing, it’s human nature to pull out of the market when it takes a nosedive like it did in February/March of this year.

Robo-advisors don’t encourage that and actually make it hard to pull out for that very reason. Most robos use long-term passive investment strategies, which meant most portfolios were left alone, or if they were affected, have since bounced back.

Which Robo-Advisors did Good?

As you probably guessed, some robo-advisors did good while others had a rougher time through the pandemic, but most remained open.

TD Ameritrade’s Essential Portfolios, for example, was able to get most of the market’s upswing rather than downswing. They have a large focus on fixed-income securities which didn’t see the same downfall as equities, so that helped offset the risk.

Charles Schwab Intelligent Portfolios, on the other hand, had the opposite issue. They were on the market’s downside. This is because Schwab Intelligent Portfolios focus heavily on international emerging markets, which are much riskier than fixed-income assets.

Many robos focused heavily on tax-loss harvesting throughout this time, and Betterment advisors stated most phone calls and inquiries they received were about this issue. Investors wanted to know how to offset their tax liabilities during such a volatile time.

Does this mean rebalancing trades won’t happen?

They will, it may just take time. Most robo-advisors didn’t buy into the ‘sell now’ phenomenon and rather are waiting to see what happens.

During a downturn, most investors sell equities and buy fixed-income assets for the stability and lower risk of loss. The trading volume wasn’t nearly as high as one would think during the pandemic, though.

The most important thing robo-advisors did, whether human or computer, was to avoid emotional investing. Even reallocating portfolios wasn’t necessary at this point, but it may become apparent down the road.

How Could Robo-Advisors do Better?

Robo-advisors did a great job getting through the worst of the pandemic, but moving forward, many firms may implement more support to help investors during times of crisis, such as the pandemic.

Offering more life-planning services may help investors feel better prepared and less likely to pull out of the equities market. Helping clients realize the importance of emergency funds and how to cut expenses is crucial. While it may seem simple to jump right into your portfolio and cash out your investments, it’s the worst decision long-term.

The right robo-advisor will help you see through the hard times. Even if you have to reallocate your portfolio, it’s better than selling your investments and realizing a serious loss, not to mention tax liabilities.

Set yourself up for the future by choosing the robo-advisor that aligns with your beliefs and who will help you through the pandemic should it or something similar occur again.

Robo Chooser

Use the following Quiz and find out which robo advisor is best for you.

 

If you have any questions, please comment below.

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Investing 101 – Asset classes

Before you invest, it’s important to understand your choices, how they work, and how to determine which asset classes are right for you.

Traditional beginning investors stick with stocks and bonds, but there are many other investments available today that if you’re willing to take the risk, are at your disposal.

What are the 3 Asset Classes?

The 3 traditional asset clases.

Traditional asset classes are the investments that first come to mind when you think about investing. But what are the 3 traditional asset classes? The answer is

  • Stocks
  • Bonds
  • Cash

When we say cash, we mean cash at home (under your mattress) and cash in a high-yield account, such as a money market or CD. Cash should earn at least a fixed interest rate while it sits uninvested.

When you own stocks, you have ownership in a company. You can buy common or preferred stock. Common stock gives you voting rights at shareholder meetings (if you choose to do so). Preferred stock doesn’t include voting rights, but you have a higher priority on payouts. Stock prices vary daily and sometimes several times a day. The idea is to ‘buy low and sell high,’ but of course, that doesn’t always happen.

If you invest in bonds, you invest in a company’s debt. You are the ‘bank’ or the person lending the money. The company pays you back interest at a fixed interest rate. Most bonds are with government entities or corporations and carry little risk, but there’s always a risk of default, especially if you invest in junk bonds.

What are the 4 Asset Classes?

We already discussed the 3 asset classes above, as they are the traditional assets. However, today, experts agree that there is a 4th asset class – real estate. This asset class also includes tangible assets – any physical assets you can touch and invest in fall into this 4th category. So we have:

  • Stocks
  • Bonds
  • Cash
  • Real estate

Investing in real estate is possible in a few ways:

  • Buy a property and hold it – Traditional real estate investing means you buy a property, fix it up, and rent it out. You use the rent to cover the mortgage (if applicable) and make a profit off the monthly cash flow.
  • Buy a fixer-upper – You can buy a property at below market value, pay to fix it up, and then sell it for a quick profit. Investors usually do this within 6 months or less.
  • Invest in real estate investment trusts – If you don’t want to physically own property, you can invest in REITs which provide funds to property managers and investors to invest in real estate. You earn a prorated amount of the earnings based on the type of investment (equity or debt).

What are the 7 Asset Classes?

If you want to take the asset classes even further, there are 7 total asset classes. In addition to stocks, bonds, cash (money market), and real estate, there are international emerging markets, commodities, and foreign currency. To sum it up we have:

  • Stocks
  • Bonds
  • Cash
  • Real estate
  • International markets
  • Commodities
  • Foreign Currencies

Riskiest Assets vs Safest Assets

If you invest, you take a risk, otherwise, it wouldn’t be investing – it would be saving. But within investments, there are safe and risky investments.

Safe Assets

If there’s such a thing as safe assets, cash, money market, and some bonds fall into this category. Bonds do carry some risk depending on if they’re government bonds or otherwise. There’s always a risk of default, but it’s not high. Other safe ‘investments’ include CDs and treasury bill investments.

Risky Assets

Risky assets are any asset that has a risk of a total loss, such as stocks, commodities, mutual funds, and index funds. Commodities, real estate, emerging markets, and foreign currency all have high risks too.

What to Invest in?

You have many options when you invest, so how do you know what to invest in? It comes down to your risk tolerance. Are you looking for growth or stability? Do you want an active role in investing or passive?

These are just a few questions to ask yourself as you choose your investments. Here is one key idea to consider.

Growth vs Value

Growth investors look for companies with strong earnings or better-than-average earnings. These companies are expected to keep delivering high earnings, but of course, there’s no guarantee.

Growth stocks include two types of companies:

  • Established companies – Companies with a history of high returns who are expected to continue with these earnings are good for growth investments
  • Emerging companies – Some companies come out of the starting gates rearing for success, with a high potential for earnings

Characteristics of Growth Funds

Growth funds have the following characteristics:

  • Higher initial prices – Investors put more into these investments, but expect much higher earnings as the company grows
  • Historical growth records – Growth companies have a history of high earnings levels even during economic downturns
  • High risk – Growth companies’ stock prices could fall at any point due to negative news or other unprecedented issues

Characteristics of Value Funds

Value funds are the opposite of growth funds. They don’t have the growth expectation, but rather remain stable.

  • Lower initial prices – Value funds have stable or lower prices than growth stocks because investors know that even if the company’s stock falls, it will bounce back
  • Lower prices than competitors – Value companies often have even lower stock prices than their competitors because of temporary issues that caused investors to pull out and react to negative issues going on with the company, but the prices usually bounce back
  • Lower risk – All stocks carry some risk, but value stocks are good for buy-and-hold investors because they usually hold their value or return to it

So which do you choose? Is growth or value better?

There’s no way to predict which is better 100%, as each investor has different needs/wants. Growth stocks typically do well when interest rates fall and earnings increase. But when the economy does poorly, growth companies are the first to suffer.

Value stocks are often more cyclical. They do well when the economy recovers because of their low prices, but take the longest to increase in value.

The right strategy for most investors is to diversify between the two.

Don’t put all your eggs in one basket – invest a little bit in each type instead.

4 Steps to Choose the Right Investments

So how do you set up the right portfolio? While there’s no tried-and-true or 100% foolproof way, the following steps may help minimize your risk.

1. Decide on asset class mix

Choose your asset class mix. We don’t recommend choosing only one. Again, diversify your investments. If you invest in stocks, put a portion of your assets in bonds too. You can even keep a small portion in cash or a money market. You’ll earn a little interest and have no risk of a loss.

If you choose higher-risk assets, such as commodities or real estate, really diversify. Figure out your risk tolerance and what you can stand to lose. Choose your asset class accordingly. If you choose commodities or real estate, balance out the risk with bonds or cash. You could even balance it out with stocks – as one asset class usually does well while the other struggles.

In other words, don’t put all your money into one investment class. It’s not worth the risk.

If you don’t offset your risk, you could lose it all and that’s not something anyone wants.

2. Decide on passive or active investing approach

Next, decide what type of role you want in your investments. Do you want a hands-on role? Do you want to choose your investments, manage the portfolio, and reallocate it as it shifts away from your goals?

Some investors prefer this type of investing. They like having control and knowing where their money is – they don’t like the unexpectedness of automated reallocation which many robo-advisors offer.

Typically, experienced investors take an active approach, and new investors or experienced investors that don’t want the stress take a more passive role.

Passive investors may invest in two ways:

  • Choose your investments and let the advisor do the rest. You don’t have to worry about reallocating your portfolio or even watching the market.
  • Let the advisor choose everything including your portfolio mix based on your answers regarding risk tolerance and your financial goals.

3. Know the different fees

Before you invest, determine the cost. All advisors charge fees, even if they have 0% management fee, you’ll pay a fee somewhere down the road.

Ask about management fees, commission fees, and any miscellaneous fees brokers may charge. Miscellaneous fees may include statement fees, transfer fees, withdrawal fees, and wire fees. Read all about hidden fees here.

Most advisors charge a management fee which is a percentage of your assets under management. For example, many robo-advisors charge 0.25% of assets under management. Some advisors charge this monthly, others charge it quarterly or annually.

4. Understand your Tax Liabilities

Some advisors help minimize your tax liabilities, which honestly, should be a goal when you’re investing. If you have too many capital gains, the taxes eat away at your profits. Advisors that offer tax-loss harvesting help offset your tax liabilities by selling certain investments at a loss. The loss offsets your capital gains which decreases your tax liability.

While it seems strange to want to sell an asset at a loss, the loss is often less than the tax liability, making it worth it.

Asset classes and Robo Advisors

Beginning investors often choose robo-advisors for their versatility and low costs. You get the advice of a professional advisor, but via a computer program. Some robo-advisors even offer human support, giving you the best of both worlds.

If you’re thinking of using a robo-advisor, it’s important to know what they invest in and how you choose your investments.

What do Robos Invest in?

Robo-advisors often invest in ETFs and index funds. These are hand-picked investments that mimic the S&P 500s returns. ETFs and index funds have fund managers and charge what they call expense ratios to cover the cost of managing them, but they offer a lower risk level because they are already diversified.

Some robo-advisors invest directly in stocks or bonds, and others invest in mutual funds. Watch out for mutual fund investments, though, as they often cost much more because of the management that’s involved since mutual funds are actively managed.

Conclusion

Do your research and soul searching before you invest. How much can you stand to lose and still sleep at night? How close are you to retirement?

If you have a low-risk tolerance, stick to bonds, cash, and possibly ETFs. If you have a growth mindset and don’t mind taking risks, stocks, mutual funds, commodities, and real estate investments are great options too.

Robo Chooser

Use the following Quiz and find out which robo advisor is best for you.

 

If you have any questions, please comment below.

Categories
Reviews

Folio Investing – Is it legit? Review 2022

Do you have an investment strategy or do you wish someone would tell you how and where to invest?

Folio Investing provides just what you need whether you know where you want to invest and in what allocations or you want someone to do it for you.

Check out my review to see if Folio Investing is worth it or not.

What is Folio Investing?

Folio Investing is a robo-advisor with a twist. You can choose the traditional premade folios, like most robo-advisors offer or you can create a custom folio.

You also have the option to choose a Ready-to-Go Folio and customize it. Folio emphasizes long-term investing with diversified assets in as many as 100 securities.

Self-directed Investors
Account Minimum
$0
Management Fee
$29 monthly for unlimited transactions
Portfolio
Customizable, up to 100 different securities. ETFs, mutual funds and stocks
Rebalancing
Tax Loss Harvesting
Fractional Shares
Automatic deposits
Smart Beta
SRI
401(k) Assistance
Human Advice
Account Types
Individual, Joint, Custodial, Trust, Business, Roth, Traditional, Rollover, Simple and SEP-IRA
Best for
Self-directed investors who want a hands on approach and say in their investment.
Summary
Folio Investing allows you to customize your own folios. You do however also have the option to invest in a variety of pre-made folios. There is also an option to exclude certain securities to make your portfolio 100% socially responsible.
Self-directed Investors
Account Minimum
$0
Management Fee
$29 monthly for unlimited transactions
Portfolio
Customizable, up to 100 different securities. ETFs, mutual funds and stocks
Rebalancing
Tax Loss Harvesting
Fractional Shares
Automatic deposits
Smart Beta
SRI
401(k) Assistance
Human Advice
Account Types
Individual, Joint, Custodial, Trust, Business, Roth, Traditional, Rollover, Simple and SEP-IRA
Best for
Self-directed investors who want a hands on approach and say in their investment.
Summary
Folio Investing allows you to customize your own folios. You do however also have the option to invest in a variety of pre-made folios. There is also an option to exclude certain securities to make your portfolio 100% socially responsible.

How does it work?

Account opening

Opening an account at Folio is simple. There is no minimum deposit requirement and each investor creates a ‘folio’ or portfolio. You provide your personal identifying information, link your bank account, and answer questions about your risk profile and goals. Folio then sets up ‘folios’ for you.

Folio’s ‘folios’ are baskets of securities or portfolios.

Each folio may contain from 1 to 100 securities and include fractional shares. You may have as many folios as you want/can afford. If you prefer Ready to Go Folios, you have more than 100 baskets to choose from. If you customize your folio, you also choose the weight of each asset – whether you equally weight all assets or customize each asset’s weight.

Deposit and withdrawal

Once you open an account, transferring money is simple. Open the Transfers page on your dashboard and select deposit. Follow the on-screen instructions, but you can deposit funds via electronic transfer, check, wire, direct deposit, or your bank’s Bill Pay service.

Withdrawals work the same way. Select Transfers from your dashboard and then withdrawals. You can withdraw funds via electronic transfer, check, or wire transfer. Only account owners with an account manager or owner titles may withdraw funds. Folio allows users with ‘Account Detail Viewer’ status to view your account, but they cannot make changes including withdrawals.

Interface

Folio’s platform helps you determine the type of investor you are and then gives you choices. Whether you create custom folios or use the Ready to Go Folios, they help you through the process. The interface is easy to use for any investor.

Its interface is a bit antiquated, so don’t expect anything out of the ordinary or very modern. It does its job and that’s it.

Accounts

Investors may open any type of investment account including individual and joint taxable accounts, custodial and trust accounts, retirement accounts including traditional and Roth IRAs, and Simple/SEP IRAs.

Costs

Folio Investing has a Basic and an Unlimited Plan:

Basic plan

$15 per quarter for each funded account that makes less than 3 trades per quarter.

The Basic Plan includes:

  • Unlimited taxable and retirement accounts
  • Unlimited folios, with each folio containing 1 to 100 assets
  • Access to the Ready to Go Portfolios
  • $4 for each window trade (per security)
  • No required account balance
  • $10 fee for market, stop, limit, or stop-limit orders

Unlimited plan

$29 a month or $290 per year.

The Unlimited Plan includes:

  • Unlimited taxable and retirement accounts
  • Unlimited folios, with each folio containing 1 to 100 assets
  • Access to Ready to Go Portfolios
  • Up to 2,000 trades with no commissions in two daily window trades
  • $0.50 for each additional security trade
  • No required account balance
  • $3 for market, stop, limit, or stop-limit orders

Folio also charges some ‘special fees’:

  • $100 full transfer out to another broker
  • $20 per check withdrawal
  • $12.50 per paper copy statement
  • $45 per broker-assisted trade (via telephone)
  • $25 per year IRA custodial fee
  • $15 per quarter for balances left over after account closed

Folio’s mutual funds are no-load mutual funds. But they may have fees that the mutual fund company deducts right from the fund assets.

Additional features

Cash account

Folio offers a Cash Sweep program which ‘sweeps’ your uninvested cash into an FDIC insured interest-bearing account. The interest rates aren’t anything to get excited about – they match the interest rate you’d receive in your local bank’s checking account, but it’s better than leaving the cash not earning any interest.

The Cash Sweep program has tiered interest rates, though. The more cash you ‘sweep’ the higher the interest rate. This shouldn’t be an incentive to have cash, but if it happens, you know it can early a little interest. The Cash Sweep program provides access to check-writing and automated cash transfers.

You also have the option to ‘invest’ in FDIC PLUS, Folio’s highest-tier cash program. You invest your cash and earn money-market like rates.

Human advisors

Folio does offer broker-assisted trades, but at $45 a trade, you’re better off learning how to manage the trades yourself.

Customer service

Folio offers customer service via phone, email, or online chat. Customer service reps are available weekdays 7 AM – 9 PM ET; weekends 8 AM – 4 PM ET.

Research

Folio uses QuoteMedia for its stock research. You can view quotes, charts, financial analyses, and historical data.

Window Trading

Folio offers window trading, which could be good or bad, depending on how the market goes. Window trading means they only trade at certain times of the day. Basic members have one window and unlimited members have two. This means when the trade executes, it may or may not trade at the price that triggered the sale.

Virtual trading account

You can open a free watch account to test the waters before you invest with Folio. You trade ‘fake money’ in real-time to see how you’d do. You can have up to 10 watch folios to try out your own portfolios or to mimic a professional investor’s portfolio without risking your money.

Folio Investing Pros and Cons

PROs
You can buy fractional shares - This decreases the amount of cash drag because you don’t have to buy a full share.
CONs
Even though it’s flat-rate pricing, it can get pretty expensive – ... and there are cheaper robo-advisors available.
Folio has more than 100 Ready to Go Folios ready for you to choose from – Including Target Date RTGs, Low Volatility RTGs, Bond RTGs, and Strategy RTGs among many others.
Window trading could delay a trade by several hours, which could ruin your trading strategy.
You can customize any RTG – ... or start your own folio from scratch.
You make most of the trading decisions yourself without the help of an advisor.
Tax optimization – Folio plays ‘tax football’ which is a strategy to determine which securities to sell to lower your tax liability.
-
Flat-free pricing - You don’t have to worry about excessive commissions on certain trades.
-
Folio offers automated portfolio rebalancing.
-
You get a free 60-day trial if you sign up for the unlimited plan.
-
PROs
You can buy fractional shares - This decreases the amount of cash drag because you don’t have to buy a full share.
Folio has more than 100 Ready to Go Folios ready for you to choose from – Including Target Date RTGs, Low Volatility RTGs, Bond RTGs, and Strategy RTGs among many others.
You can customize any RTG – ... or start your own folio from scratch.
Tax optimization – Folio plays ‘tax football’ which is a strategy to determine which securities to sell to lower your tax liability.
Flat-free pricing - You don’t have to worry about excessive commissions on certain trades.
Folio offers automated portfolio rebalancing.
You get a free 60-day trial if you sign up for the unlimited plan.
CONs
Even though it’s flat-rate pricing, it can get pretty expensive – ... and there are cheaper robo-advisors available.
Window trading could delay a trade by several hours, which could ruin your trading strategy.
You make most of the trading decisions yourself without the help of an advisor.
-
-
-
-

FAQ

Does Folio Investing trade bonds?

Yes and no. Folio trades bonds in fixed-income ETFs, but they don’t trade individual bonds. If you want conservative investments, you can choose one of the Ready to Go Folios made for conservative investing but that has a decent amount of diversification.

Do you have to sign up for the Cash Sweep option?

No, Folio Investing automatically enrolls every investor in the Cash Sweep program. They’ll hold your funds in their FDIC insured account or into a partner FDIC insured bank. The accounts have extended FDIC insurance, covering deposits in the millions. If you want a higher interest rate or better returns, consider the FDIC Plus Sweep program.

Is there a required minimum balance for Folio Investing?

No, investors with any amount of money may invest at Folio. You don’t need a minimum or maximum for trading either. You invest with the amount you have, and can even buy/trade fractional shares if you want.

How do you create your own folio?

If you don’t like any of the Ready to Go Folios or you want to try your hand at investing, click ‘Add New Folio’ on your account page and follow the on-screen instructions. You can construct your entire portfolio or take an RTG Folio and customize it to your liking.

What can you trade?

Investors can trade stocks, ETFs, and mutual funds. You can buy in fractional shares or whole shares and include as many as 100 investments in one folio. If you want to trade crypto you’re probably better off with a robo advisor like RobinHood.

Did Folio buy Motif?

Yes. As of May 20, 2020, Motif closed down and sold its accounts to Folio. All Motif investors automatically were enrolled in Folio’s unlimited investing plan.

What is a Ready-to-Go Folio?

A Ready-to-Go Folio is a pre-built portfolio. They are great for beginning investors or those that want a passive investment. With as many as 100 securities in one folio, it’s a great way to diversify without the work. You can even customize an RTG if you want to remove/replace a few securities.

How is Folio investing different from mutual funds?

Mutual funds are investments in a variety of companies managed by an account advisor. You don’t own the underlying securities, but a piece of the securities with mutual funds. With Folio, you own the securities themselves and can buy/sell them as needed. With mutual funds, you’re at the mercy of the investment manager’s decisions.

How does Folio Investing make money?

Folio Investing makes money in many ways, starting with their monthly or quarterly fees. They also charge commission fees and have margin accounts, which they earn interest on when investors borrow to trade.

Alternatives

Folio Investing vs M1 Finance

m1financeFolio Investing and M1 are very similar in the fact that they both allow custom investments and encourage independent choices versus automated robo-advisors that choose investments for you.

M1 has lower margin rates and doesn’t offer mutual funds, whereas Folio does offer mutual funds, but doesn’t encourage them. M1’s dashboard is a bit more intuitive and modern, whereas Folio’s is a bit ‘old school.’

Folio Investing vs RobinHood

Robinhood has been around for a while now. It was the pioneer of the free-commission trades. Granted, they aren’t the only one that offers free commissions, but they have a lot of trading options including stocks, options, ETFs, and cryptocurrency. Robinhood is completely hands-off.

Once you answer the platform’s questions, Robinhood chooses a portfolio for you, manages it, and reallocates it as needed. Robinhood is great for millennials or anyone who prefers to trade on their mobile phone.

Current Promotions

First 60 days off for unlimited plan.

Folio Investing – Worth It or a Scam?

Folio Investing focuses on diversification. If you have a hard time diversifying or don’t know where to invest, it’s a great option. According to Folio Investing, investors lose as much as 50 percent of their potential lifetime earnings by not diversifying, making Folio a great option for those who’d rather not lose such potential.

Summary

Folio Investing offers the best of both worlds. They’ll invest for you, allowing you to just sit back and passively earn. They offer customization of a Ready-to-Go portfolio, allowing you to get some hand-holding while customizing your portfolio or completely starting your portfolio from scratch.

It’s great for beginning and experienced investors and is a great way to minimize taxes and maximize your investments. The fees are a bit on the higher end, however the flat fee model also allows for more transparency.

If you are still undecided, use the following tool to find out which robo best fits your investing needs:

Robo Chooser

Use the following Quiz and find out which robo advisor is best for you.

If you have any questions, please comment below.

Categories
Learn

Robos with most Asset Under Management

According to this statistic the combined asset under management of robo advisors will hit the $1 billion dollar mark in early 2022.

By 2024 it is expected to reach $2.49 billion (!)

As you can see robo-advisors are quickly becoming more and more popular. But who are the big players in this industry? Who is managing the most amount of money?

Comparison Table (Updated 2021)

Please note that this info is gathered from different online sources and I can by no means guarantee its accuracy. This should purely serve for entertainment purposes.

Asset under management
Users
-
Vanguard Personal Advisors
$161 billion
?
Betterment
$40.7 billion
500,000
Schwab
$22 billion
360,000
Wealthfront
$21 billion
400,000
Personal Capital
$12.3 billion
22,000
Asset under management
Vanguard Personal Advisors
$161 billion
Betterment
$40.7 billion
Schwab
$22 billion
Wealthfront
$21 billion
Personal Capital
$12.3 billion
Users
Vanguard Personal Advisors
?
Betterment
500,000
Schwab
360,000
Wealthfront
400,000
Personal Capital
22,000
-
Vanguard Personal Advisors
Betterment
Schwab
Wealthfront
Personal Capital

Here’s something to consider: in the previous year there was an estimated 50% growth in the robo-advisor’s AUM number. Industry experts predict that this this number will continue to increase dramatically.

Now let’s take a look at the 5 biggest players in the robo-advisor space so you can decide if any of these could be a good fit for you.

1. Vanguard

Vanguard is the biggest name in investments as well as the new robo-advisor industry. There are two robo-advisor options that clients can choose from:

  • Vanguard Personal Advisor Services and
  • Vanguard Digital Advisor.

These are the two unique options that we will take a closer look at.

Vanguard Personal Advisor Services

This option combines the human touch with a real financial advisor offering guidance and computerized investment management.

It starts with a financial expert working with a client to create the best investment portfolio. They will also manage and rebalance it as necessary to meet the individual needs and financial situation of each client. It’s important to know that this option does require a minimum account balance of $50,000. This may be a high entry barrier for some, the amount is partly justified by the excellent human advise you get with this service.

Additionally, you will get charged a 0.30% AUM fee as well as other commissions and fees. This all depends on the specific investments that you choose. If your account has less than $500,000 invested, you will have a team of advisors to work with. If you have more than that, you get your own dedicated financial planner that works closely with you.

Retirement Investors
Account Minimum
$50,000
Management Fee
0.30% (charged quarterly)
Portfolio
Vanguard chooses funds from the over 100 Vanguard mutual funds and ETFs according to your investment goals.
Account Types
Individual, Joint, Roth, traditional, SEP, Simple and rollover IRAs. Trusts.
Rebalancing
Tax Loss Harvesting
Fractional Shares
Smart Beta
Automatic Deposits
SRI
401(k) Assistance
Human Advice
Best for
Vanguard is perfect for retirement investors who are in need of human assistance.
Summary
Vanguard offers personalized portfolios that are built with the assistance of a human financial planner. Accounts over $500,000 get a dedicated advisor
Retirement Investors
Account Minimum
$50,000
Management Fee
0.30% (charged quarterly)
Portfolio
Vanguard chooses funds from the over 100 Vanguard mutual funds and ETFs according to your investment goals.
Account Types
Individual, Joint, Roth, traditional, SEP, Simple and rollover IRAs. Trusts.
Rebalancing
Tax Loss Harvesting
Fractional Shares
Smart Beta
Automatic Deposits
SRI
401(k) Assistance
Human Advice
Best for
Vanguard is perfect for retirement investors who are in need of human assistance.
Summary
Vanguard offers personalized portfolios that are built with the assistance of a human financial planner. Accounts over $500,000 get a dedicated advisor

Vanguard Digital Advisor

This options is your standard robo-advisor that offers the same rebalancing and other benefits as other platforms. Here’s what makes this option different from the others:

  • Use of Vanguard’s low-fee exchange traded funds (ETFs)
  • Low investment management fee of 0.15%
  • Access to Vanguard, an already established and reputable investment brand.
  • Other new features coming soon such as debt management assistance and emergency fund.

2. Betterment

logo of bettermentWhile Betterment offers a variety of similar benefits as other robo-advisors, what makes it really stand out is innovative approach to customer service.

First of all, you can text any questions that you have to a real human advisor whenever you need to. It’s innovative approach has led this platform to become one of the leaders in robo-investing. Not only does it offer easy access to human financial planners, you also have socially responsible investment options.

What’s better than all of that? Betterment doesn’t settle and is constantly working to improve. They consistently release new and innovative financial products. Their priority is offering better service to their clients. Some of their products include:

  • Low-cost financial planning packages, a la carte
  • High yield savings account
  • Goldman Sachs Smart Beta portfolio

Another great reason why Betterment is a good option is because there’s no account minimum if you use the digital plan. Here is a look at their charges:

  • Charge 0.25% AUM on accounts that are valued up to $2 million. (Digital Plan)
  • Charges fall to 0.15% AUM on accounts valued over this amount. (Digital Plan)
  • Premium plan does require over $100,000 minimum investment
  • Charge 0.40% AUM on accounts under $2 million. (Premium Plan)
  • Charges fall to 0.30% on accounts valued over $2 million. (Premium Plan)

When you sign up for their premium plan, you also gain access to certified financial planners.

Best service
logo of betterment
Account Minimum
$0 for Betterment Digital and $100,000 for Betterment Premium
Management fee
0.25% for Digital and 0.40% for Premium
Portfolio
ETFs from about 12 asset classes. The user can choose between a recommendation or decide the percentage of portfolio in each investment.
Rebalancing
Tax Loss Harvesting
Frational Shares
Human Advice
Smart Beta
401(k) Assistance
SRI
Automatic Deposits
Supported Accounts
Individual and joint accounts. Roth, traditional, SEP and rollover IRAs. Trusts. 401(k) plans. (Betterment for Business) Non-profit.
Best for
Investors who are looking for hands-off, "set it and forget it" type of robo advisor with low fees.
Summary
Betterment uses a goal-based investment approach. The portfolio consists mainly of low fee ETFs. The service is great, it is easy to use and very beginner friendly. It is also the largest independent robo-advisor. The premium allows for in-depth investment advice and unlimited access to certified financial planners. The only downside is that fees increase once you hit $100,000.
Best service
logo of betterment
Account Minimum
$0 for Betterment Digital and $100,000 for Betterment Premium
Management fee
0.25% for Digital and 0.40% for Premium
Portfolio
ETFs from about 12 asset classes. The user can choose between a recommendation or decide the percentage of portfolio in each investment.
Rebalancing
Tax Loss Harvesting
Frational Shares
Human Advice
Smart Beta
401(k) Assistance
SRI
Automatic Deposits
Supported Accounts
Individual and joint accounts. Roth, traditional, SEP and rollover IRAs. Trusts. 401(k) plans. (Betterment for Business) Non-profit.
Best for
Investors who are looking for hands-off, "set it and forget it" type of robo advisor with low fees.
Summary
Betterment uses a goal-based investment approach. The portfolio consists mainly of low fee ETFs. The service is great, it is easy to use and very beginner friendly. It is also the largest independent robo-advisor. The premium allows for in-depth investment advice and unlimited access to certified financial planners. The only downside is that fees increase once you hit $100,000.

3. Schwab

Schwab is one of the biggest names in investment. Their robo advisor Schwab Intelligent Portfolios was among the top performers back in 2017. In 2019, this robo-advisor managed $40.7 billion in AUM.

One of the things that makes this platform stand out is there’s a portfolio option with no management fees. Their basic Schwab Intelligent Portfolios option has zero management fees, making it an ideal choice. However, you do need a minimum $5,000 balance if you want to open an account with this platform. As is standard with the big robo-advisors, you get rebalancing and tax harvesting features.

Now you may be wondering how this service makes money without these fees. Schwab gets management fees from their own ETFs as well as other 3rd party funds that they recommend to clients. You can find investment opportunities with IRAs, 401k retirement plans, taxable accounts, trusts, and 401k rollover.

In addition to these services, investors can get more personalized services through the premium platform. The Schwab Intelligent Portfolios Premium offers users a variety of services, such as:

  • Unlimited consultations with real human financial planners
  • Comprehensive financial plans
  • Interactive online planning tools.

To access extra services, you need to meet specific criteria like:

  • $30 per month subscription
  • One time $300 planning fee
  • $25,000 AUM

Additionally, you can visit any physical branch to ask any questions that you may have.

Great Usability
Account Minimum
$5000
Mangement Fee
0.00%
Portfolio
53 ETFs covering as many as 20 asset classes. A lot of customization possible.
Rebalancing
Tax Loss Harvesting
Automatic deposits
Fractional Shares
Smart Beta
SRI
401(k) Assistance
Human Advice
Account Types
Individual, Joint, Roth, traditional & rollover IRAs and Trusts.
Best for
Investors with a little bit more to spend who are just starting out and want to have access to a human financial planner.
Great Usability
Account Minimum
$5000
Mangement Fee
0.00%
Portfolio
53 ETFs covering as many as 20 asset classes. A lot of customization possible.
Rebalancing
Tax Loss Harvesting
Automatic deposits
Fractional Shares
Smart Beta
SRI
401(k) Assistance
Human Advice
Account Types
Individual, Joint, Roth, traditional & rollover IRAs and Trusts.
Best for
Investors with a little bit more to spend who are just starting out and want to have access to a human financial planner.

4. Wealthfront

wealthfront-best-for-low-feesOne of the reasons why Wealthfront is a great option to consider is because it is considered to be the low-cost leader in the industry.

When you trust them, you get a lot of benefits such as low fees and great research. You also get index matching that is based on your individual risk profile. At Wealthfront, you will find direct indexing and daily tax-harvesting as well as automatic rebalancing. As of 2021, the AUM of Wealthfront was $21 billion.

Now, what does this mean for you? The tools that Wealthfront offers can let you see exactly what you need to save and invest for your future. These tools can also show you how any potential life changes can affect your financial situation. We like how this platform offers you a comprehensive picture for financial planning and can help you answer any financial questions without the need of actually talking to a traditional financial planner.

If you have an account that has less than $5,000, you get this service for free. For accounts that are valued over $5,000, Wealthfront does charge a 0.25% AUM.

As is common with other similar robo-advisors, this platform invests its client’s funds in various exchange-traded funds. These funds track 11 of the major asset classes and you can get access to multiple types of accounts. If you have a larger account, you can also have the opportunity to invest in various individual stocks or access direct indexing.

In addition to these services, you can also get cash management solutions and lending options with this platform. One of the best things that we love is that Wealthfront has one of the most comprehensive financial tools available that you can get today.

Best for low fees
wealthfront-best-for-low-fees
Account Minimum
$500
Management fee
0.25%
Portfolio
ETFs from 11 different asset classes
Rebalancing
Tax Loss Harvesting
Frational Shares
Automatic deposits
Smart Beta
SRI
Human Advice
401(k) Assistance
Account Types
Individual, Joint, Roth, traditional, SEP & rollover IRAs. Trusts and 529.
Best for
Investors who are looking for a low-cost, hands-off investing approach. The service is completely software-based so if you are looking for a dedicated human advisor it would be better to look elsewhere.
Summary
Wealthfronts portfolio consists of ETFs with very low expense ratios. It stands out not only due to its low fees but also due to their "Path Algorithm". The Algorithm will help you keep track on your goals.
Best for low fees
wealthfront-best-for-low-fees
Account Minimum
$500
Management fee
0.25%
Portfolio
ETFs from 11 different asset classes
Rebalancing
Tax Loss Harvesting
Frational Shares
Automatic deposits
Smart Beta
SRI
Human Advice
401(k) Assistance
Account Types
Individual, Joint, Roth, traditional, SEP & rollover IRAs. Trusts and 529.
Best for
Investors who are looking for a low-cost, hands-off investing approach. The service is completely software-based so if you are looking for a dedicated human advisor it would be better to look elsewhere.
Summary
Wealthfronts portfolio consists of ETFs with very low expense ratios. It stands out not only due to its low fees but also due to their "Path Algorithm". The Algorithm will help you keep track on your goals.

5. Personal Capital

Another option that we like is Personal Capital. This platform has about $12.3 billion AUM as of 2021. What makes this platform great is that it is an automated investment manager that has a free option for users. Personal Capital’s free money management software gives its users a total view of your financial picture in a single, convenient location.

When looking at your dashboard, you can view all your income, debt, investments, and bills in one place. Those are only a few things that you can see all in one place. You can link your bank accounts to the website, giving a more accurate picture of your financial situation. The site will take this information and offer valuable financial advice.

With the free retirement planner, you can test out a variety of scenarios that help you see if your assets and income can hold up to those situations.

As if this wasn’t enough for you, you can get basic services completely free. You could also pay extra for the Personal Capital Advisors, a highly comprehensive automated investment advisory service staffed with dedicated financial planners. There are some stipulations to this paid service. You do need to have at least $100,000 in your account.

The approach used by Personal Capital is quite unique. It uses sector-based asset allocation as well as access to individual stocks. This platform also offers the usual tax-harvesting and rebalancing. If you have managed accounts, you also have a certified financial planner working with you.

However, PC also has a stellar robo-advisor that has been performing well. For wealthier investors, you can access a high-yield cash account and various other services. The dashboard and basic features are free, but you will have to pay .89% in fees for accounts up to $1 million. Should your portfolio grow beyond this, these fees will decline.

High-net-worth
Account Minimum
The account minimum is $100,000. This will give you access to the free management tools.
Management Fee
The management fee for accounts between $1,000,0000-$3,000,000 is 0.89%. Once the account reaches $10,000,000 the fee will drop to 0.49%.
Portfolio
Customized for each client
Rebalancing
Tax Loss Harvesting
Fractional Shares
Automatic deposits
Smart Beta