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M1 Finance review

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A robo-advisor that puts you in the driver’s seat with fully-customizable portfolios.

M1 Financestrikes a balance between automated investing and personalization, making it a good fit for hands-on, long-term investors. But the platform has one trading window, so it’s not ideal for active traders.

$0

Stock trade fee

0%

Annual fee

$100

Minimum deposit to open

Details

Available asset typesStocks,ETFs
Account typesRetirement,Robo-Advisor,Individual,Joint,Trust,401(k)

Expert review

Cassidy Horton

Review by


Cassidy Horton is a writer for Finder, specializing in banking and investments. She has a Bachelor of Science in Public Relations and a Master of Business Administration from Georgia Southern University. Cassidy enjoys educating people about financial services, exploring the Pacific Northwest and watching endless reruns of The Office.

Expert review

M1 Finance is ideal for long-term investors who want the guidance of a robo-advisor but the freedom to change things up. This platform has zero fees or commissions, plus it comes with unusual features like fractional shares and dynamic rebalancing.

But M1 Finance doesn’t help you set and track goals like other robo-advising platforms. Even if you decide on the automated investing option, you’ll need to have an idea of what you want to invest in before you start. If you’re brand new to investing and need extra guidance, M1 Finance may not be for you.

How does M1 Finance work?

M1 Finance portfolios are made up of three or more individual “pies,” which act as the building blocks of your portfolio or your allocations of securities.

You can build a custom pie by choosing your own stocks and ETFs. Or you can choose a prebuilt, expert pie that’s based on a stated objective like responsible investing, retirement planning or earning income.

Once you select at least three pies, you give each a target weight for a total of 100%. For example, if you have four pies in your portfolio, you could make them each weigh 25%. If one allocation is more important than the others, you could assign it a higher weight.

Once you’ve built your portfolio, simply fund your account to start investing. From there, M1 Finance will automatically reinvest funds as they’re deposited into your account.

M1 Finance fees

While M1 Finance is free, it does have a paid membership plan for investors who want access to extra perks.

PlansYearly feeFeatures
M1 StandardFree
  • Unlimited free trades
  • Dynamic rebalancing
  • Fractional shares
  • Custom and expert portfolios
  • One daily trading window
  • Free checking account
M1 Plus$125Everything in M1 Standard, plus:

  • Two daily trading windows
  • 0.25% discount on borrowed funds
  • Free checking account that earns 1% APY and 1% cash back on debit card purchases

What are the benefits of M1 Finance?

Like most robo-advisors, M1 Finance offers standard features like automated investing, expert-built portfolios and advanced features like:

  • Customizable portfolios. Unlike other robo-advisors that make you choose from a list of prebuilt portfolios, M1 Finance lets you customize everything.
  • No minimum deposit. Open your account with as little as $100.
  • Fractional shares. This is one of the only robo-advisors that lets you purchase fractional shares.
  • Dynamic rebalancing. As you deposit cash into your investment account, M1 Finance will automatically buy more of the underweighted items in your portfolio.
  • Zero commissions. M1 Finance doesn’t charge any fees or commissions for using its platform.
  • Several account types. M1 Finance offers individual, joint, retirement and trust accounts.

What to watch out for?

M1 Finance has these potential drawbacks to watch out for:

  • No tax-loss harvesting. Unlike other robo-advisors, this one doesn’t help you offset taxes by selling securities that have experienced a loss.
  • Limited security options. M1 Finance only offers stocks and ETFs, so you won’t find any mutual funds or options.
  • Small trading windows. M1 Finance only executes trades once or twice a day depending on your membership level.
  • Limited customer service. The only way to chat with customer service is through email or phone, which is limited to weekdays from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. ET.
  • Lack of financial goals. Most robo-advisors help you determine your risk tolerance and timeline based on a series of goals-based questions, but M1 Finance doesn’t.

If you’re looking for a robo-advisor that recommends a portfolio based on your goals and risk tolerance, keep shopping around for options.

Compare with other robo-advisors

Name Product Minimum deposit to open Available asset types Annual fee
Betterment
$0
Stocks,Mutual funds,ETFs,Real estate
0.25% on balances up to $99,999

0.4% on balances of $100,000+
Betterment's automatic investment site aims to improve your returns and support good financial habits with passive investing and financial planning support.
Acorns
$0
Stocks,Bonds,ETFs
$1 per month
Invest your spare change. Anyone can grow wealth.
Blooom
Stocks
$10 per month
After an analysis, Blooom will place the trades within your 401k, 403b, 401a, 457 or TSP plan account for a low flat fee.
SoFi automated investing
$1
ETFs
0%
Put your money to work. Pay zero SoFi management fees.
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M1 Finance reviews and complaints

As of January 2020, M1 Finance has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) based on its internal criteria like financial stability and years in business.

Many customers find M1 Finance‘s lack of customer service options a bit frustrating as it can take a few days to hear back from someone. Others agree M1 Finance isn’t for active trading, stating that the platform is “really centered around putting your investing on autopilot.”

How do I get started?

Follow these six steps to open an M1 Finance account:

  1. Go to the official M1 Finance website and click Get Started.
  2. Enter your email, create your password and click Sign Up Now.
  3. Confirm your email address and click Continue.
  4. Choose which pies you want to use in your portfolio and click Continue.
  5. Assign a percentage weight to each of your pies and click Continue.
  6. Follow the steps to verify your identity and fund your account.

Eligibility

M1 Finance has these eligibility requirements:

  • At least 18 years old
  • US citizen or resident
  • US residential address
  • Social Security number
  • Government-issued ID
  • External bank account

Required information

You’ll need the following information when you open your account:

  • Legal name
  • Mailing address
  • Social Security number
  • Government-issued ID number
  • Login information for external bank

M1 Finance customer service

There are two ways to contact M1 customer service:

  • Fill out the request form on its website
  • Call 312-600-2883 weekdays from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. ET.

Frequently asked questions

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