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The mobile application arena has exploded with applications for nearly any kind of skill or service imaginable, including financial services. These days, smartphone users think nothing of pulling out their phones and ordering groceries, paying a credit card bill, checking the weather, or even investing in stocks with just a few taps on the phone screen. One area of mobile management that some are not yet familiar with is “robo-advisors.” This refers to low-cost financial advice designed to help you build and manage a financial portfolio, usually for only a small percentage of what an in-person financial advisor would cost.
Robo-advisors can help you plan out a portfolio based on a variety of factors, such as companies that practice sustainable or socially responsible business practices, if this is important to you. No matter what your needs are, chances are there is a robo-advisor out there who can help. If you are trying to decide, for example, between M1 Finance vs SoFi Invest or SoFi Invest vs Betterment, the various features might be confusing. Let us have a look at three such services, and see if one of these meets your financial needs.
Selecting a Service
The robo-advisor company you choose will depend a lot on your own needs and financial situation. Here are some companies to think about:
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M1 Finance is a simple and straightforward investing service that pairs automated investing with the ability to customize portfolios in a number of ways. M1’s main strength is its array of 60 pre-built portfolios, geared towards a particular goal or outcome, which also allows for some customization. It has an overall low cost and no fee trading platform, although it has limited financial calculators and no tax loss harvesting. Users must maintain a minimum of $100 in the account, and customer service is available via phone, email, and chat options. M1 Finance’s main strengths are its goal planning strategy and its digital banking and credit card options. M1 lets you buy most stocks, but it doesn’t let you invest in mutual funds or cryptocurrencies.
SoFi offers a wide range of ETFs and free management options for those building an initial investment portfolio. This includes free access to financial advisors and career counselors, which makes this company a good choice for young and beginning investors. It also offers automatic rebalancing and access to a large array of low-cost investments, but does not offer tax-loss harvesting, and the number of account types is limited. There are no extra fees for advisory or administrative services, and users can choose from 10 pre-made portfolios composed of low-cost EFTs.
Betterment is a company that offers wonderful low-fee investment options, geared towards new investors, by offering portfolios built around bonds, as well as socially responsible focused portfolios. It is easy to set up and allows for goal setting and tracking. A debit card is provided in addition to tax-harvesting, and there is no minimum investment required for the account.On the other hand, it does not offer margin or borrowing, there is no individual stock option, and there is no live customer service on the weekends. Setting up an account is fairly easy and straightforward, and some goals are pre-set on accounts include retirement planning, education, and safety net accounts. Customization is available to Core investors, or those with more experience.
The companies listed here are just a few of the new low-cost or free brokerages designed to serve new and younger investors who prefer to conduct business on their smartphones but may require financial advice in the process.You must select the best service based on your own needs and comfort levels, as well as the specific services offered by each. So-Fi tends to have more features for a variety of accounts, while M1 is focused more on actual investing. Betterment is best for new investors who want to take a more hands-off approach. Hopefully this M1 Finance vs SoFi Invest and SoFi Invest vs Betterment comparisons have given you the tools you need to choose your robo-advisor service wisely!
1. Can I use these businesses’ services through their websites, or do I need a mobile app?
These companies work best through their mobile apps, but all three offer web access as well.
2. Do any of these services offer cryptocurrency trading?
SoFi offers trading of some of the more major cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin and Ethereum.
3. Do any of these services offer automated investing?
All three offer some level of automated investing based on the parameters the user sets.
Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any of the companies mentioned and has not been endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are author's alone
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