Betterment and Fidelity both offer robo-advisor services that match you to a set of recommended portfolios. But only one platform lets you step in and fine-tune your portfolio.
Which one is better?
Choose Betterment if you want to tweak a preset investment portfolio.
Choose Fidelity if you can invest at least $25,000 and prefer to work with a financial advisor, or if you’re an active trader.
Both Betterment and Fidelity offer investment portfolios with no minimum balance requirement to open an account. While Betterment has a more competitive advisory fee — 0.25% to Fidelity’s 0.35% — you’ll need deep pockets to access a financial adviser. Betterment’s premium plan has a $100,000 minimum investment to speak to a professional, but your annual fee shoots up to 0.4% on the premium plan.
On the other hand, Fidelity provides advisers with a $25,000 minimum investment — a lower threshold, but you pay for the service with a 0.5% advisory fee. And at this service tier, you’ll unlock tax benefits that come standard at Betterment.
On top of its robo-advisor service, Fidelity has a powerful trading platform for traders that want complete control over their investments. While Betterment allows you to customize your portfolio, it doesn’t have the robust tools and analytics that Fidelity does.
Betterment is an online financial advisor that makes investing easy by creating a portfolio just for you, based on your preferences and financial goals. It’s a solid choice for those new to investing.
Fidelity Investments is a platform catering to new and active traders. Its range of trading services span wealth management services, access to international markets and actively-managed ETFs. While it lacks access to crypto, forex and futures, it has almost everything else a trader needs to get up and running, including a hybrid advisor service that combines automated portfolio management with one-on-one financial coaching.
Minimum deposit to open
Tax benefits. Daily automatic scans that identify losses in your portfolio that you can sell to realize a capital loss, and potentially offset your taxes on capital gains and income.
Customizable portfolios. Choose from a collection of specially curated portfolios and change when you need to.
Automatic rebalancing. Your risk level stays the same because your portfolio rebalances daily, so it’s always within 3% of its target ratios or 5% if you have mutual funds — even when you deposit or withdraw cash.
No minimum deposit. No minimum balance to get started on its Betterment Digital account. But its higher service tier requires a minimum balance of $100,000.
Competitive advisory fee. Betterment charges an annual fee of 0.25% for its standard portfolios.
Tax-saving strategies. Fidelity’s tiered portfolio system offers tax-savvy techniques, including tax-loss harvesting, to help you sell a security that has declined in value, for accounts with a $50,000 minimum investment.
Commission-free trades. $0 online trades on stocks and ETFs.
24/7 support. Continuous customer service with the option to share your screen with an agent. And over 100 Fidelity branches for in-person assistance.
Access precious metals. Buy gold, silver and palladium bullion and coins to diversify your portfolio.
Versatile platform. Investors can customize its desktop platform to leverage its advanced charting tools.
Financial advisors. All portfolio accounts, except Fidelity Go, have access to financial advisors to help steer your investment decisions.
No direct indexing. Although Betterment implements tax-loss harvesting strategies to help reduce your tax exposure, it doesn’t offer direct indexing.
Limited investment products. Assets are limited to stocks and bond ETFs.
No active trading. Betterment is a robo-advisor with no options for active trading.
Expensive robo-advisor. Fidelity’s annual advisory fee that starts at 0.35% for its robo-advisor portfolios is higher than some of its competitors.
No control of portfolio investments. Fidelity’s robo-advisor autonomously oversees your investments. Although you can place some restrictions on how they manage your account, you can’t choose to buy or sell specific investments or customize your investment strategy.
No futures, forex or crypto. Investors can trade all the standard securities except futures, forex and crypto.
Tools and research
Financial planning. After answering a few questions, Betterment will make several personalized portfolio recommendations based on your financial goals, risk tolerance and how much you have to invest.
Certified financial planners. Sign up for the premium plan to get one-on-one advice from a financial adviser. One-time advice packages are also available.
Educational resources. Betterment’s series of free financial articles and interactive tools help its customers plan for the future.
Financial planning. Answer a few questions to get a personalized investment strategy suggestion. Fidelity’s team of investment professionals will manage your funds and make adjustments as needed to help you reach your financial goals.
Dashboards. See a snapshot of your positions on your daily dashboard and use your stock dashboard to access detailed stock info and technical analysis.
Advanced charting. State-of-the-art charting tools with real-time data and analytics to identify potential trading opportunities.
Equity summary score. Pull stock ratings from well-known analysts and research firms, including Zack’s Investment and Ford Equity Research, into one digestible score.
Customizable trading platform. Design a trading layout across multiple monitors with personalized shortcuts and hotkeys on its desktop software.
Education. Fidelity offers in-depth courses, videos and webinars on how to use its research tools.
Reputation and customer reviews
Reviews are mostly negative.
Customers praise its tax-saving feature.
Customers complain about how long it takes to withdraw money from their accounts.
Reviews are mixed.
Customers praise its user-friendly platform and extensive research tools.
Customers complain about having to verify their identity to unfreeze their accounts and sudden account closures.
Apple App Store reviews
Google Play Store reviews
Phone. Call 646-600-8263
Email. Send a request to Betterment’s customer service Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m
Live chat: Available Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET.
Phone. Call 800-972-2155.
Email. Fill out a secure online form on Fidelity’s website for a response from the team within 48 hours.
Live chat. Visit the Contact Us page on the Fidelity website to chat with the Virtual Assistant.
Betterment and Fidelity offer similar robo-advisor services. But Betterment gives you the reins on your portfolio and lets you adjust the weights of individual asset classes, making it a good option if you want to customize your portfolio.
On the other hand, Fidelity is pretty strict about making sure your investment strategy matches your profile. If you want ultimate control over your investments, consider ditching the robo-advisor altogether and start trading on Fidelity’s platform.
Kimberly Ellis is a writer at Finder. She hails from New York City with a BA from Queens College and a New York State teaching certificate. After teaching in both public and private schools, Kimberly decided to take the world by storm and dive into the media industry — where she covers everything from home loans and investing to K–12 education and shopping. She’s also an aspiring polyglot, always in a book and forever on the hunt for the perfect classic red lipstick.
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