Compare robo-advisors

Which automated adviser is the best option to manage your investments?

Science-fiction writers have long been predicting that robots will take over the world, and those predictions could soon come true in the lucrative investment advice market.

Recent years have seen the emergence of digital financial advisers — known as robo-advisors — which take advantage of modern technology to offer low-cost investment management services. In this guide we explain how robo-advisors work and how you can compare the services offered by different providers.

Our top pick: Ally Invest Managed Portfolios

  • No advisory fees
  • Low-cost, diversified ETFs
  • Get started with a minimum investment of $100

Our top pick: Ally Invest Managed Portfolios

No advisory fees for automated investing that's professionally managed. Now with a Socially Responsible Investing portfolio option.

  • 24/7 support
  • Intelligent tools
  • Invest in stocks, bonds and ETFs
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Compare robo-advisors today

Name Product Minimum deposit to open Available asset types Annual fee
$100
Stocks
Bonds
ETFs
Cash
0%
No advisory fees for automated investing that's professionally managed. Now with a Socially Responsible Investing portfolio option.
$100
ETFs
0%
Put your money to work. Pay zero SoFi management fees.
$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.
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.
$10
Bonds
0%
Earn a 5% fixed return on bonds that support American small businesses.
$0
Stocks
Bonds
ETFs
$1 per month
Invest your spare change. Anyone can grow wealth.

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Robo-advisors we’ve reviewed

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Futureadvisor logo
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wealthsimple

What is a robo-advisor?

A robo-advisor uses complex algorithms and technology to perform many of the same services as a traditional financial adviser. These digital advisers can provide financial plans to consumers and automatically manage their investments.

Digital advice services are based more on building and maintaining a portfolio than providing strategic advice, so there will still be a place for traditional financial advisers in the future – in fact, the advantages the technology presents could be very useful tools for financial advisers.
Humans vs. robots: Which adviser is better?

How does a robo-advisor work?

Unlike a traditional financial adviser, a robo-advisor isn’t influenced by emotion when making trades — it relies solely on algorithms and mathematical models to determine the right asset allocations for investors. They’re also much cheaper, with robo advice available for as little as one-tenth of the cost of receiving advice the old-fashioned way.

But how does the service match you up with a portfolio?

  • Details. Provide your investment goals, investment timeframe and appetite for risk so it can assess which portfolio you’ll be most comfortable with.
  • Review. The robo-advisor generates a recommended investment portfolio, which is usually based on exchange traded funds (ETFs). Review the portfolio and its terms and conditions to ensure you fully understand the risks of investing.
  • Invest. Once you’ve invested, the robo-advisor manages your portfolio and rebalances it whenever necessary to ensure it remains in line with your risk tolerance levels.

The rise of robo advice

The robo advice revolution started in the US a few years ago, and since then companies such as Betterment, FutureAdvisor and Wealthfront have enjoyed enormous success. Both Betterment and Wealthfront each manage more several billion dollars worth of customer assets, with the market expected to continue to rapidly expand in coming years.

In fact, research by KPMG has predicted that by the year 2020, robo-advisors will manage around $2.2 trillion worth of assets. We’ve profiled and compared the established players below, with several more providers expected to launch their own robo advice services in the next 12 months.

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Other services

Big banks like TD and Charles Schwab have also moved into the robo advice sector. To align with portfolios that best suit your needs, you’re typically screened questions about your current financial situation and future goals before being provided with tailored advice and assessment.

How do I sign up to a robo advice service?

The signup process differs between robo-advisors, but you’ll generally need to follow these steps:

  1. Provide your name, contact details and proof of identity.
  2. Complete a questionnaire regarding your investment timeframe and your tolerance for withstanding market fluctuations.
  3. The robo-advisor generates a recommended investment portfolio.
  4. If you’re happy with the portfolio, you can proceed with the recommended strategy.
  5. Provide your bank account details to fund the investment.
  6. The robo-advisor invests your money in the chosen portfolio, monitors the account and then makes adjustments to satisfy your tolerance for risk.

Robo advice may change the face of wealth management around the world by offering a more affordable way for you to look after your investments. However, make sure you compare the benefits and features of the different robo-advisors before choosing the right service for you.

Alternative investment classes

  • High interest savings accounts
  • Share trading

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