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Alternatives to Northwestern Mutual
Explore comparable wealth management services with these four platform alternatives
Northwestern Mutual offers one-on-one access to financial advisers that can help streamline and automate your investment journey. But the service isn’t for everyone — its fee structure is unclear and you need a portfolio of at least $25,000 to get started. Compare your investment service options with these four Northwestern Mutual alternatives.
Northwestern Mutual alternatives
This investment platform offers up a unique combination of savings accounts, financial tools and wealth management services, but high portfolio minimums make it prohibitive.
- Consider switching to Personal Capital: you’d prefer a platform with human advisers and transparent management fees.
- Best for: passive investors with well-established portfolios.
To be fair, Personal Capital won’t be the right fit for everyone. You need a sizable portfolio of at least $100,000 to qualify for its wealth management services. And while its fee structure is clear, it’s not exactly the most competitive on the market — lower rates can be found with robo-advisors like Betterment and SoFi.
- Management fee: 0.49% to 0.89%
- Account types: Individual, traditional IRA, Roth IRA, SEP IRA
- Asset types. Stocks, ETFs
- Account minimum: $100,000
Gain access to one-on-one investment support with a financial adviser for a flat annual fee based on your investment needs.
- Consider switching to Facet Wealth if: you prefer flat-rate portfolio management guided by human advisers.
- Best for: passive investors with existing portfolios.
Facet Wealth specializes in advisory services — it doesn’t actually offer investment accounts. Instead, it helps investors with their existing portfolios as long as they’re willing to pay the cost of the service: $480 per year for access to a dedicated financial adviser and $800 per year for investment management services.
- Management fee: $480 annually
- Account types: N/A
- Asset types. N/A
- Account minimum: $0
As one of the largest and best-equipped brokerages in the US, TD Ameritrade has plenty to offer both passive and active investors alike.
- Consider switching to TD Ameritrade if:you’re interested in exploring active trades.
- Best for: investors seeking flexible options for their investment needs.
TD Ameritrade has a little something for everyone: a robo-advisor for portfolios of $500 or more and wealth management services for portfolios of at least $25,000. Its management fees scale based on the size of your portfolio, with its most competitive rates reserved for investors with portfolios over $250,000.
- Management fee: 0.30% to 0.90%
- Account types: Individual, joint, trust, traditional IRA, Roth IRA, SEP IRA, 529 plans, Coverdell ESA
- Asset types. Stocks, bonds, ETFs, mutual funds, options, futures, forex
- Account minimum: $500 for TD Ameritrade’s robo-advisor, $25,000 for its portfolio management services
This well-rounded robo-advisor offers competitive rates and no account minimums, so even those new to the game are welcome to sign up.
- Consider switching to Betterment if:you’re interested in entrusting your portfolio to a digital adviser.
- Best for: passive investors seeking a low-cost robo-advisor.
Betterment is one of the better-equipped robo-advisors on the market. It offers a solid lineup of account options, tax-loss harvesting, automatic rebalancing and fractional shares.
- Management fee: 0.25%
- Account types: Individual, joint, traditional IRA, Roth IRA, Rollover IRA, SEP IRA
- Asset types. Stocks, ETFs
- Account minimum: $0
Pros and cons of Northwestern Mutual
Northwestern Mutual’s financial planning has its perks, but there are several significant drawbacks to consider.
- Dedicated human advisers. This platform’s wealth management service connects investors with one-on-one support from dedicated financial advisers.
- Account variety. Northwestern Mutual’s advisers can help you manage a variety of investment accounts, including IRAs, 401(k)s and 529 plans.
- Lack of transparency. Northwestern Mutual states that its fees are negotiated on a client-by-client basis — so you won’t know how much you’ll pay for its services until you’re well into the application process.
- High minimum. To open an investment advisory account through Northwestern Mutual, you’ll need a portfolio of at least $25,000.
How to transfer your brokerage account
Ready to switch it up? The account transfer process will depend on which platform you plan to move to. For information specific to the Northwestern Mutual account transfer process, reach out to a rep during business hours and ask about applicable fees and next steps.
Here’s a look at the typical process:
- Contact your new broker to inform them of the transfer and provide them with your Northwestern Mutual account number.
- Complete any required transfer paperwork from your new broker. For accounts under $250,000, you may be asked to notarize your signature. For accounts over $250,000, you may be asked for a medallion signature guarantee.
- Submit your transfer paperwork to your existing broker.
The account transfer process typically takes between seven and 10 business days.
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