robo-advisors

The best robo-advisors of 2021

Robo-advisors are technology-based investment platforms that provide fully automated online investing. Simply take out your mobile, tablet, or laptop and answer a few questions about your priorities, risk tolerance, and time horizon and you can use one to start investing your money. There is, or will be, a robo-advisor suitable for almost every investor.

Instead of investing it all in one investment, robo-advisors build a diversified portfolio of ETFs. Diversification decreases risk and can potentially improve returns, according to comprehensive studies.

Which robo advisor is best for you depends on your current portfolio, your investment goals, whether you want access to a financial advisor, and whether your primary focus is on retirement. To compile our list of the best robo advisors, we took into account all of these variables, as well as fees and features. Here’s our picks for the best robo-advisors of 2021.

1) Betterment

Betterment

Betterment is best for investors who are just starting out, retired investors making withdrawals, conservative investors, investors who want to talk to an actual person and investors who want to bank and invest in one place. This is not a product for the do-it-yourself investor; with this robo advisor program, you can expect to “set it and forget it.”

    • Annual fee: 0.25%
    • Minimum to invest: $0
    • Promotion: Up to 1 year of free management
2) Wealthfront

Wealthfront’s origins can be traced back to 2008, when it started as a mutual fund consulting firm. It also provides insurance, savings, and lending services. As your portfolio expands, the firm’s robo advisor provides more features. Wealthfront was the first robo advisor to offer free personalized financial planning to its clients, in 2018. Wealthfront is suitable for investors who want to bank and invest all in one place.

  • Annual fee: 0.25%
  • Minimum to invest: $500
  • Promotion: First $5000 managed for free
3) SigFig

SigFig

Founded in 2006, SigFig provides automated investing with low management fees, including no charge for the first $10,000 invested, as well as open, unrestricted meetings with financial advisors and cutting-edge portfolio monitoring software. SigFig also provides a free monitoring dashboard where you can monitor your retirement funds and receive investment updates.

  • Annual fee: 0.25%
  • Minimum to invest: $2000
  • Promotion: First $10000 managed for free
4) Ellevest

Launched in 2017, Ellevest’s service is targeted toward women, but the company’s low fees and a la carte access to financial advisors would appeal to all investors. Ellevest achieves success by attempting to close gender money disparities. It employs a proprietary algorithm to measure financial aim goals customized to each client’s gender. The $1 tier includes an investment portfolio, access to education, and certain banking features. Higher tiers include goal-based preparation as well as reduced fees for meetings with financial advisors and executive coaches.

  • Fee: $1-$9 per month depending on service tier
  • Minimum to invest: $0
  • Promotion: 2 months free
5) Vanguard Digital Advisor

Vanguard Digital Advisor

 

Vanguard runs some of the largest mutual funds and exchange-traded funds in the world and is largely responsible for the current wave in low-cost, passive investing. (Many of the robo-advisers listed here construct their portfolios primarily with Vanguard ETFs.)

Vanguard Digital Advisor is a low-cost robo-advisory service that generates a customized retirement plan and portfolio for investors using some of Vanguard’s primary ETFs.

  • Annual fee: 0.15%
  • Minimum to invest: $3000
  • Promotion: No advisory fee for the first 90 days if you enroll by April 30, 2021
6) M1 Finance

M1 Finance offers the best of both worlds, a streamlined robo-advisor platform as well as the ability to pick your own individual stocks. Purchase a pre-made portfolio, build your own, or combine the two. Portfolios may be built with low-cost ETFs, individual stocks, fractional shares, or a combination of the three. There are no trading fees, and there are no fees for deposits or withdrawals. M1 Finance is an excellent choice for first-time investors because it can teach you how to create a portfolio yourself.

  • Fees: None
  • Minimum to invest: $100 ($500 for retirement accounts)
7) Acorns

Acorns

Acorns is an app-based robo-advisor that allows you to spend as little as $5 a month. You can sign up for as little as $1 a month and invest as much as you like. You’ll only have five portfolio options, but they’re adequate for first-time investors. The flexibility and ease-of-use are ideal for new investors or those with limited resources. Simply connect your credit or debit card to an account, and all payments will be rounded up to the nearest dollar. The spare change is automatically transferred to your account and invested in an ETF portfolio tailored to your needs. You will receive cash back in the form of bonus investments. Customers of Acorns receive $5-$25 a month in investments simply by using their card to purchase groceries, gas, and other products.

  • Fees: $1 per month (for accounts under $5,000), 0.25% of annual account balance (for accounts higher than $5,000)
  • Minimum to invest: None
8) Personal Capital

Personal Capital’s investment management service, launched in 2009, is a hybrid robo/human advisor experience: investors receive award-winning online resources to gain deep insights into their investments, as well as personal attention from licensed financial advisors. Personal Capital has a free app that allows you to access daily summaries of your spending, net worth, and investment portfolio. It can also help you determine if you’re on track for retirement.

Personal Capital is appropriate for individuals who can carry the $100,000 or more required to open an account. Based on your balance, the firm offers three tiers:

  • Investment Services: $100,000 to $200,000
  • Wealth Management: $200,000.01 to $1,000,000
  • Private Client: More than $1 million

Most robo-advisors are concerned with acquiring wealth; Personal Capital assumes you already have it.

  • Annual fee: 0.89% for first $1 million
  • Minimum to invest: $100,000
9) SoFiSoFi

SoFi was established in 2011 as a student lender, and it has since attracted over 1 million customers through its product line, with over $50 billion in supported loans. SoFi is suitable for first-time, low-cost buyers who want a hands-off approach. SoFi’s services are geared toward younger, fee-conscious customers, allowing it to charge no fees and require a $1 account minimum. This package also includes ATM withdrawals, a debit card, check-writing, and a 1.6 percent yield on a SoFi Money cash management account linked to its robo offering.

  • Annual fee: None
  • Minimum to invest: $0

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