Robo-Advisors for Automatic Investing
Investing may seem complicated at first glance, but no one needs an expensive investment professional to get started. Robo-advisors make investing accessible to everyone, and their low fees and low or no minimum balances mean you can begin with only a few dollars.
At its core, a robo-advisor is an online, automated portfolio management service. They are much cheaper than traditional, human advisors because they run on computer algorithms to manage investments. These lower costs can lead to higher returns for investors.
Here are some of the most popular robo-advisors right now:
|$0Min Investment||0.15-0.35%Fees||Sign Up More Details|
OverviewBetterment automates your investing strategy based on criteria you establish. State your risk level and let Betterment take care of the rest. Betterment is currently the robo advisor with the most assets under management.
|$25,000Min Investment||0.49-0.89%Fees||Sign Up More Details|
OverviewPersonal Capital is a free budgeting tool that allows anyone to track their income, expenses, and investments all from one place. They also offer premium investment services to investors willing to invest a minimum of $25,000.
|$5Min Investment||$1/month up to $5,000; 0.25% annually after $5,000Fees||Sign Up More Details|
OverviewThe Stash app makes it easy to start investing with just $5. This robo advisor was built to educate new investors while helping them begin their journey as an investor. A sleek and easy-to-use app, Stash gets you investing in as little as 5 minutes.
|$500Min Investment||0-0.25%Fees||Sign Up More Details|
OverviewWealthfront focuses on beginning investors. Their easy-to-use platform lets anyone start investing in 10 minutes.
|$0Min Investment||$1/month up to $5,000; 0.25% annually after $5,000Fees||Sign Up More Details|
OverviewEvery time you make a purchase, Acorns will "round-up" that purchase to the next dollar amount and invest the difference. Use Acorns to turn your spending into saving.
|$100Min Investment||0.35%Fees||Sign Up More Details|
OverviewM1 Finance makes it easy to split your investments across multiple "pies" to keep your money diversified. Pick the types of investments you want to target, and M1 Finance will automatically spread your future investments across these funds.
|$0Min Investment||0-0.50%Fees||Sign Up More Details|
OverviewWealthsimple makes investing your wealth simple. Their easy to use platform is built on the Modern Portfolio Theory -- and they also offer a socially conscious investment fund. When you invest $100,000 or more with Wealthsimple you receive valuable perks and membership benefits -- such as free airline lounge access.
|$0Min Investment||0%*Fees||Sign Up More Details|
OverviewThe first free investing service, WiseBanyan's goal is to make investing available to everyone. Invest as little as $1 to begin your journey.
|$0Min Investment||0.3-0.75%Fees||Sign Up More Details|
OverviewHedgeable is the robo advisor for millenials. In addition to traditional stock investments, Hedgeable offers access to many unique investment strategies -- such as buying Bitcoin, investing in socially conscious ventures, and financing startups. Between their mix of conservative and more creative investment opportunities, Hedgeable offers many unique ways to grow your wealth.
|$0Min Investment||0.50%Fees||Sign Up More Details|
OverviewFutureAdvisor goes beyond other robo advisors by offering their clients free 401k advice for funds that are invested elsewhere. This makes their 0.5% management fee fantastic -- as it also gives you access to their financial advisors for advice regarding your employer retirement accounts.
Most robo-advisors will charge a small fee to manage investments, but these fees are more cost effective generally than human advisors. Some robo-advisors will even reduce their fee as your portfolio grows, so the more you invest, the lower your fee percentage becomes. Others will apply no fee on an initial balance and only begin charging after the portfolio reaches a certain level, which can be great for people just getting started with investing. Similarly, most robo-advisors have small or $0 minimum opening balances, so any new investors can begin with a small monetary commitment.
Most portfolios you’ll hold with a robo-advisor will include funds (collections of similar stocks and bonds). This helps your portfolio stay diversified and track the entire stock market, instead of the performance of only a few companies. Some robo-advisors do let you customize a portfolio based on certain criteria, such as reaching a minimum portfolio size, but the recommended funds are a great place to start and may be sufficient for most investors.
With all that said, how does a robo-advisor actually manage your money? Well, after you link up a bank account and make whatever portfolio selections are available, the platform will automatically invest your money into its selected funds, rebalance the investments as needed over time, track activity so it’s easy to include in your tax returns, and even more. They will automatically deposit money for you after each paycheck, if you’d like, let you know how close you are to meeting goals, and provide plenty of helpful suggestions on how to develop your personal finance knowledge.
There are plenty of benefits to robo-advisors, whether you’re a newer investor starting out, someone who doesn’t want to spend much time managing investments, or someone who wants a simple yet well-diversified portfolio without huge fees. While they may not suit people with complex financial situations or highly specific investing goals, for most investors looking to increase returns and lower costs, robo-advisors make a good match.