Investing in the stock market has never been easier. With the advancement of technology as well as fully online brokerages, people from all income levels can easily invest in stocks. In the 2020s, robo-advisors are a dime-a-dozen, and stocks have gone all the way up to the moon and are now heading to Mars. Robo-advisors are great tools for novice investors brand new to stocks.
How do you know which robo-advisors are best for you? Maybe you are the passive investor or you are a Motley Fool Stock Advisor guru that dabbles in single stock investing. Whatever your investment strategies are, there is a robo-advisor that has been niched away specifically for you. Read on to learn about the top 5 robo-advisors and learn how they can grow your investments!
Betterment is arguably the top amongst the robo-advisors currently on the market. They are driven by tech to make your money work for you. Betterment helps you make an investment plan to achieve all your financial goals. Betterment offers all the investment accounts you will ever need, including:
- Spend – Betterment’s checking account. Use it like a normal checking account. You get a debit card and can set up direct deposits.
- Save – Betterment’s answer to high-yield savings accounts with 8X the national average APY! Your Save account is also eligible for up to $1 million in FDIC insurance, wow!
- Invest – Betterment’s brokerage account. This is the account where you buy stocks and bonds.
- Retire – Betterments’ traditional IRA, Roth IRA, rollover IRA, and 401(k) plan options. Includes a retirement advice feature too.
Betterment’s capability of having multiple accounts is a fantastic option for users that want to have all their money with one company. This avoids having to wait days for transfers and the dreaded transfer fees. Check out this Betterment review if you want to learn more about it before signing up.
Betterment has low fees which makes it attractive to any customer: 0.25% for a standard account (0.4% for a premium account) and no account balance minimum.
Betterment Investing Options
You set your stock/bond allocations (for example 60/40 stock/bonds) and auto-deposits and forget it. Betterment does the rest, including rebalancing your portfolio and automatic tax-loss harvesting.
Betterments Invest account options are limited however, you can only choose an investment allocation that is a mix of 13 different asset classes. Betterment is a great option if you want to do as little work as possible in investing.
M1 Finance is another one of the top robo-advisors, and they do things much differently than Betterment. M1 Finance allows you to invest in single stocks! You can even purchase fractional shares.
Their most useful and unique tool is their customizable “Pie” Portfolio tools. This tool allows M1 investors to do the following:
- Build a diversified portfolio or pie with many single stock picks
- Assign percentages to every stock pick within the “pie”
- Make routine investments in the “pie”
With each “pie” purchase a user makes, they buy fractional shares of every stock within the pie at the assigned percentages. So, if you would like to make a tech “pie” of Amazon, Apple, Alphabet (Google), and Tesla all at 25%, you can do that and only make a single investment into your “pie”. Nifty right?
It especially comes in handy if you want to invest in 20-50 or more companies in a single “pie”. I am sure all this talk of pies is making you want to stop by a bakery, but check out M1 finance first! They have zero fees and only a minimum $100 initial investment.
Blooom is yet another unique robo-advisor, and not just because of the extra ‘o’. It is the only robo-advisor fully equipped to manage retirement accounts, including 401(k) accounts. Blooom works in tandem with Vanguard and Fidelity, so if your retirement accounts are not held by these service providers, Bloom is not for you.
Once you are a Blooom subscriber, it will fully analyze all your retirement accounts and invest in the lowest-cost ETFs (exchange-traded funds). There is no account minimum balance, however, there are subscription costs:
- Unlimited: $250 per year
- Standard: $120 per year
- Essential: $45 per year
If you do not want to do the legwork of researching the best retirement investment options, let Bloom help and do the work for you.
Acorns allows its users to invest “spare” change through automatic round-ups. First, you open an account, pick an investment portfolio type option ranging from “conservative” to “aggressive”, and lastly link all your debit and credit cards. Investing spare change is a great way to save money for future purchases.
Acorns takes care of the rest by rounding up every single transaction and investing it directly into your portfolio choice. Besides this unique type of brokerage account, Acorns also has the following account options:
- Acorns Later – an IRA vehicle (traditional, SEP, and Roth options)
- Acorns Spend – a checking account
- Acorns Early – a UTMA/UGMA account parents can use for their children’s savings and is also a great way to teach kids investing.
If you are an extremely passive investor, Acorns should be your creme de la creme robo-advisor and allow you the least investment work out of any option.
Take a look at this Acorns vs Betterment IRA comparison if you are considering either for your retirement account.
There are many robo-advisors to choose from, we only touched the tip of the iceberg with the top 4. Other great robo-advisors include SoFi Automated Investments, Wealthfront, Vanguard Digital Advisors, SigFig, and Schwab Intelligent Portfolios just to name a few. Using any robo-advisor routinely is a perfect investing habit for great growth.
If you are interested in investing in the stock market, robo-advisors are useful tools to serve you. There are many options available for you to choose from and depending on your specific wants, needs, and desires there is bound to be one or more that will work for you. Do not limit yourself to just one robo-advisor- feel free to explore and use all options that interest you!