In recent years, financial technology has succeeded in making investing more accessible to people of all financial backgrounds. If you are new to investing and don’t know where to start with purchasing stock and balancing portfolios, robo advisors present an excellent way to get into the market. Whether you have pennies or millions to invest, there is an option on our best robo advisor list that can meet your needs.
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Our 5 Picks for the Best Robo Advisor
- Betterment – Socially responsible investment option
- Wealthfront – Excellent tax management
- Wealthsimple – No account minimum
- Charles Schwab Intelligent Portfolios – No management fee
- SigFig – First $10,000 managed for free
Why These Are the Best Robo Advisors of 2020
Betterment is one of the very first robo advisors to hit the market and is consistently ranked ahead of its competitors. It provides a robust app that consumers find easy to use for managing accounts and setting goals. The company sets no account minimum and a qualifying deposit could earn you free portfolio management for a year. Thereafter, you pay only 0.25%. If you want additional accounts, such as retirement, checking and savings account, the company provides these as well.
Betterment often ranks as the best robo advisor because of its easy scalability of capital investment by allowing fractional share purchases. It also provides socially responsible investment options.
Wealthfront is a close frontrunner in the robo advisor market. In fact, though robo advisor fintech is new, the company’s CEO was a pioneer of passive investing. Wealthfront has a low account minimum of $500 and manages up to $5,000 in assets for free with some promotions. Thereafter, you pay a management fee of 0.25%. While it does not offer fractional share purchases, it does provide low ETF expense ratios, automatic portfolio rebalancing and daily tax-loss harvesting.
Parents often choose Wealthfront to access its 529 college savings plan. It also offers free financial tools that the general public can access without opening an investment account.
Wealthsimple considers Wealthfront its primary competitor for the best robo advisor spot. It brings benefits to the table that could sway many people looking to invest with Wealthfront. For example, it has no account minimum and manages up to $10,000 for free for one year. Wealthsimple has a slightly higher management fee of 0.4% to 0.5%, but it provides free portfolio analyses.
It offers three different plans, based on the investment amount. At more than half a million, investors get access to a team of investors. Like Betterment, it also offers socially responsible investment options.
Charles Schwab Intelligent Portfolios
Unlike our other picks for best robo advisor, Charles Schwab primarily operates as a traditional investment broker company. However, its Intelligent Portfolios branch offers automated investment options and matches customers with premade diversified portfolios. The data used for matching comes from questionnaires provided while setting up the account. It does have a much higher account minimum balance of $5,000, but investors pay no management fees or commission.
An interesting feature is that it sets a larger-than-normal cash investment aside, which is good news for risk-averse investors. However, some financial advisors criticize how this may affect ROI.
SigFig Automated Investing
SigFig provides an impressive app to help simplify the investing process. However, this last entry on our best robo advisor list is not for micro-investors. It has an account minimum of $2,000. The good news is that with some promotions, the company manages your first $10,000 for free. After this, you pay a 0.25% fee. It charges no commissions.
The best perk is that investors have unlimited access to financial counseling and career-building resources. It also has excellent tools for setting financial goals.
The Bottom Line – The Best Robo Advisor for you?
Robo advisors operate in a competitive market, which can make it difficult to shortlist the best. We made our choices based on ease of use, capital scalability and management fees. Betterment sets itself apart by topping out these perks and more. However, the other options provide solid offerings as well.
If you are new to investing and have less capital to put to work, Betterment and Wealthfront may better suit your needs. Investors with several thousand to invest should consider SigFig and Charles Schab. The best robo advisor for six-figure-plus-investors is Wealthsimple.
Markets can become volatile during elections, big company shutdowns, natural disasters and epidemics. Because of this, your ROI will dip and rise. Your annual ROI with robo advisors and other investment options may average around 10% per year.