Axos Invest Self-Directed Trading review
Its pricing is fair, but its research tools are lackluster.
finder.com’s rating: 3.6 / 5.0
Axos offers self-directed trades and automated investing, but of these two services, its robo-advisor is better-equipped.
- Consider Axos if you’re seeking a fairly priced robo-advisor.
- Look elsewhere if you want access to a stock screener or charting tools.
|Options trades are expensive but its robo-advisor is fairly priced.|
|It offers access to stocks, ETFs, options and mutual funds.|
|Support can be quickly reached in three ways.|
|Apple users like the app but Android users complain of numerous bugs and login errors.|
|Research and tools|
|It’s missing a stock screener and charting tools.|
|No major outages reported but investors complain of mobile app glitches.|
To learn how our star ratings are calculated, read the methodology at the bottom of the page.
What I think about Axos
By adding self-directed investment accounts to its roster, Axos has made a solid play to cater to active traders. But it still has some work to do if it plans to poach any investors from the likes of Interactive Brokers or TD Ameritrade. And that’s because of its two investment services, its robo-advisor is the better-equipped option.
Let’s start with the good. In addition to its wealth of financial services, Axos Invest offers
- Active and passive investing options
- A well-equipped robo-advisor
- Commission-free stocks and ETFs
Now, let’s address the pitfalls. It pains me to say, but Axos’s research tools are underwhelming. And this is a big problem for active traders who require top-notch charting tools to execute trades. Plus, the platform charges $10 monthly to access margin trading and extended hours — features several of its competitors offer for free.
What investments does Axos offer?
Axos Invest offers access to stocks, ETFs, mutual funds and options contracts. Its parent company, Axos Bank, also offers a number of financial products and services, including checking accounts, savings accounts, money market accounts, business accounts, certificates of deposit, mortgages, personal loans and auto loans.
Axos is best for hands-off investors
Axos offers two distinct investment services: self-directed trades and a robo-advisor. Of these services, its robo-advisor takes the cake. This makes Axos ideal for:
- New investors. Robo-advisors are a practical way for newbies to learn more about the market.
- Hands-off investors. With unlimited, automated portfolio rebalancing, investors can rely on Axos to keep their investments in line.
Active traders seeking sophisticated screeners and charts may be frustrated by the platform’s lack of research tools. Plus, Axos’s options contracts are more expensive than most, so derivatives traders may want to give it a miss.
Axos’s fees are fair
Axos’s fees aren’t all that remarkable one way or the other. Stocks and ETFs are commission-free, but this is quickly becoming the industry standard. You’ll pay $1 per options contract at the basic service tier, which is pricier than the $0.65 per contract charged by Fidelity and TD Ameritrade. That said, Axos only asks for $9.95 per mutual fund trade while a number of its competitors charge $49.95.
What I don’t particularly like about Axos’s fee structure is the cost of an Elite Investing account. You’ll be charged $10 monthly for the service — which, granted, doesn’t seem like much — but all it gets you is a $0.20 discount on options trades and access to extended trading hours and market research. A number of Axos’s competitors, including Fidelity, TD Ameritrade and Webull, offer these perks for free.
The platform’s robo-advisor, Axos Managed Portfolios, takes $500 to get started and comes with a 0.24% management fee, putting it on par with major competitors Betterment and Wealthfront. And its $75 account transfer fee is pretty standard — most brokers charge the same amount.
|Self-Directed Trading||Axos Elite Investing|
|Minimum deposit to open||$0||$0|
|Stocks and ETFs trading fee||$0||$0|
|Options trading fee||$1 per contract||$0.80 per contract|
|Mutual funds trading fee||$9.95 per trade||$9.95 per trade|
|Account transfer fee||$75||$75|
How do I sign up?
The signup process begins on Axos’s website and can be completed in under 10 minutes.
- From Axos’s homepage, select Open an Account and New Customer.
- Review Axos’s Electronic Agreement and Disclosure Statement. Select Accept & Continue.
- Enter your full name, date of birth, Social Security number, email address and phone number.
- Choose the type of account you’d like to open, either an individual or a joint account.
- Select any account features you’d like, including Axos Elite, margin trading and options trading –– or skip this step.
- Enter your country of citizenship and your employment details.
- Input your residential address.
- Provide your income information and your level of investing expertise, as well as your primary goals
- Review your information and hit the Submit button.
- At least 18 years old
- Valid residential address
- Valid government-issued ID
- Minimum deposit of $500 for Axos Managed Portfolios
- Valid address
- Social Security number
- Employer’s name and address
- Bank login information
Axos’s research tools are mediocre — and expensive
Axos’s research tools may suffice for new investors, but they’re nothing to write home about. They’re also expensive.
To access its research tools, investors must bump up to the platform’s premium service tier, Axos Elite. The service costs $10 monthly, which may not break the bank, but most of Axos’s competitors offer these resources — and more — for free.
Axos Elite investors gain access to real-time market quotes, extended trading hours and TipRanks Market Research, which compiles analysts’ stock recommendations and trending stock data by sector. There’s no mention of stock screeners or charts — two tools that many experienced investors rely on to execute well-informed trades.
- Commission-free trades. Both stocks and ETFs are available commission-free.
- Range of services. Investors have access to self-directed and automated investment accounts as well as a wide range of banking products and services.
- Monthly fee. If you want access to Axos’s research tools, you’ll need to bump up to its Elite investing tier for $10 monthly.
- Minimum deposit. To access Axos’s robo-advisor, a minimum deposit of $500 is required.
- Limited research tools. Axos’s lack of stock screeners and charting tools could be a dealbreaker for experienced investors.
Is Axos legit?
Axos Bank was founded in 2000 and has commercial banking offices in San Diego, Las Vegas, Salt Lake City, Los Angeles and Kansas. It’s an accredited business with the Better Business Bureau and has a total of 203 complaints on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Most of the complaints are about its checking accounts and home loans.
Axos Invest is a member of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC), which protects securities for customers up to $500,000 or $250,000 for claims for cash. It’s also registered with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.
Axos reviews are mixed
Axos reviews — both of its investment services and of its parent company, Axos Bank — are mixed. Most of what I could find on Axos’s investment platform focused on its robo-advisor service, Axos Managed Portfolios.
And this makes sense: Its self-directed platform went live in 2021 and hasn’t received much feedback. Even its mobile app ratings are a reflection of its robo-advisor. Android users complain of bugs while Apple users praise the intuitive interface.
|Better Business Bureau||Rating: A+|
|Better Business Bureau||Accredited? Yes|
|BBB customer rating||1.08/5 based on 64 customer reviews|
|TrustScore||1.7/5 based on 23 customer reviews|
|Google Play app reviews||1.8/5 stars based on 519 customer reviews|
|Apple App Store app reviews||4.2/5 stars based on 224 customer reviews|
|Data last updated||February 2022|
Contact Axos support by phone or email
Axos support is available by:
- Phone. Call 888-585-4965 weekdays from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. PT.
- Email. Send an email to the team at email@example.com for a response within one to two business days.
Axos also has a live chat feature, but we were prompted to call to speak to a rep when we noted our question was regarding our self-directed trading account. So it appears Axos is unable to handle broker-related questions via its live chat.
Alternatives to Axos
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How we rate trading platforms
★★★★★ 5/5 — Excellent
★★★★★ 4/5 — Good
★★★★★ 3/5 — Average
★★★★★ 2/5 — Subpar
★★★★★ 1/5 — Poor
We analyze top online trading platforms and rate them one to five stars based on factors that are most important to you. These factors include fees, securities available for trade, customer support, customer feedback, platform resources and overall reliability.
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