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Frec review 2024: Pros, cons and fees

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Frec
Stock trade fee
$0
Minimum deposit
$20,000
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Our verdict

Automated, direct index investing with tax-efficient strategies, but you’ll need at least $20,000 to start.

Consider Frec if you want a low-cost, direct indexing platform with automatic tax-loss harvesting, self-managed stocks, a Treasury account to earn a higher interest on your cash and the ability to get a portfolio line of credit. Invest directly in the S&P 500 or the S&P 500 Information Technology indices for a 0.10% annual fee. Then, customize the index by adding or excluding stocks or sectors. You’ll need a minimum of $20,000 to start indexing, but this is on the low end compared to other direct indexing platforms. Trade individual stocks and ETFs with fractional shares, but cash deposits require a $100 minimum. Look elsewhere if you want a robo-advisor that offers automated exchange-traded fund (ETF) investing or a direct indexing platform that offers more index-based strategies.

Best for: Investors who want low-cost direct indexing.

Pros

  • Low-cost direct indexing
  • Automatic tax-loss harvesting
  • Invest in individual stocks and ETFs
  • Earn a high yield on your cash with a Treasury account
  • Access a portfolio line of credit

Cons

  • No mobile app
  • Limited to two direct indexing strategies

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Frec is best for tax-minded investors looking for a low-cost direct indexing platform

Frec offers a competitive, low-cost solution for investors interested in direct indexing. With two index-based strategies to choose from, Frec steps in as a potentially worthwhile platform for investors looking to take advantage of direct indexing’s many benefits. Its automatic tax-saving strategies let you harvest more losses than with traditional ETF-focused robo-advisors, and its annual fee undercuts many other direct indexing platforms.

What you can trade on Frec

  • Direct indexing
  • Stocks
  • ETFs
  • Exchange-traded notes (ETNs)
  • Money market funds (Treasury account)

Account types available with Frec

  • Individual margin brokerage account
  • Trust margin brokerage account
  • Business margin brokerage account

Where Frec shines

Frec stands out for its low annual fees and reasonable minimum investment compared to other direct indexing platforms. At an annual fee of 0.10% — similar to S&P 500 index funds — Frec comes in below Fidelity’s, Charles Schwab’s and Wealthfront’s direct indexing products. Take a look.

ProviderAnnual feeMinimum investment
Frec0.10%$20,000
Fidelity Managed FidFolios0.50%$5,000
Schwab Personalized Indexing0.40%$100,000
Wealthfront Direct Indexing Portfolio0.25%$100,000

Beyond cost, Frec makes it easy to sign up and start investing. Its application is painless, its platform modern and user-friendly. Meanwhile, its click-to-invest approach makes index customization and individual stock and ETF investing a breeze. You can exclude up to two sectors when direct indexing into the S&P 500 and add or exclude up to 10 stocks from your chosen index. Frec automatically checks for daily tax loss harvesting opportunities.

Plus, Frec lets you trade individual stocks and ETFs and offers a portfolio line of credit. For the uninvested cash in your account, you’ll find a Treasury portfolio of money market funds that pay a competitive interest rate — 5.01% as of March 21, 2024.

What is direct indexing?

Direct indexing is an investing strategy that involves investing directly in the individual stocks within a given index instead of investing in an index indirectly through an exchange-traded fund (ETF) or mutual fund. You own the underlying stock of the index instead of a fund tracking the index. This lets investors bypass fund management fees and gives investors a greater level of customization and control. Direct indexing also lets investors harvest tax losses at an individual security level and potentially lower their tax bills even further than tax-loss harvesting at the fund level.

Where Frec falls short

Frec only offers access to the S&P 500 or the S&P 500 Information Technology indices. To compare, Schwab offers four index-based strategies and Fidelity offers three. If you want international indexing options or an index of small US companies, look elsewhere.

Frec also doesn’t have a mobile app, which is a must in today’s mobile-focused age. The company says it’s working to launch one, but until then, it’s one of the platform’s major drawbacks.

Frec’s available investments

Frec offers the following investments:

  • Two direct indexing strategies. The S&P 500 and the S&P 500 Information Technology indices.
  • Individual stock, ETF and ETN investing. According to Frec, it offers trading of most mega-cap, large-cap, and mid-cap stocks, as well as ETFs, ETNs, and American depository receipts (ADRs) traded on major US exchanges.
  • Money market funds. Frec’s treasury portfolio currently invests in the Schwab US Treasury Money Fund (SNSXX) and the Invesco Premier US Government Money Portfolio (FUGXX).

Frec’s fees

Minimum investment for direct indexing$20,000
Minimum investment for self-managed stocks$100
Direct Indexing annual fee0.10%
Treasury annual fee (Frec’s published Treasury interest rate is shown with this deduction included)0.20%
Self-managed portfolio trade feesUS-listed stocks, ETFs, ETNs and ADRs: $0

Mutual funds: $20 per trade

Portfolio line of credit6.33*
Wire transfer (domestic)$25
Returned check, ACH or stop wire transfer fees$30
Outgoing account transfer fee$75 for full and partial account transfers

*Margin interest rate accurate as of March 20, 2024

Is Frec legit?

Yes, Frec is a legitimate company and is a registered broker-dealer and investment advisor. Frec was founded in 2021, is based out of San Francisco and is backed by investors from companies like Google, Meta, Brex and Greylock.

Frec’s platform is modern and easy to use

Frec offers a modern investing platform that’s aesthetically appealing, intuitive and concise.
From your account dashboard, review account details, track your harvested tax losses and monitor your portfolio’s performance at a glance. Transfer funds and trade with just a few taps.
Some of the features you’ll find on Frec include:

  • Basic charts for individual stock and ETF investing
  • Volume and open and close prices
  • Simple buy and sell functions with market orders and limit orders
  • Simple index customization

Dashboard view
Frec overview

Trading view

Frec trading

Direct indexing view

Frec direct index

Frec’s app

As of March 21, 2024, Frec doesn’t have a mobile app.

Frec’s app store reviews

Google Play app reviewsNo mobile app as of March 20, 2024
Apple App Store app reviewsNo mobile app as of March 20, 2024

Frec’s customer support

Connect with Frec support in two ways:

  • 30-minute scheduled Zoom call
  • Email

How to open an account with Frec

  1. Go to Frec’s website and select Get started to begin the application process.
  2. Enter your email and password and select Continue. Then, choose your account type.
  3. Enter personal information, such as your name, address, phone number, Social Security number, citizenship status and date of birth. Select Continue.
  4. Add a trusted contact and enter your employment information.
  5. Complete your investment profile and answer federal disclosure questions before reviewing and accepting the terms and conditions.
  6. Select Create account to complete your application.

Eligibility and required information

  • Full name
  • US residential address (or military address)
  • Date of birth
  • Social Security number
  • Citizenship status
  • Employment information
  • Financial objectives
  • Other financial information

How safe is Frec?

Frec is a registered broker-dealer and investment advisor regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). Frec is also a fiduciary, so it’s legally bound to act in your best interest.

It encrypts sensitive information and uses measures like two-factor authentication and auto-logout for additional security. The company’s transactional safety processes are also regularly audited by third parties.

Frequently asked questions

What is a stock index fund?

An index fund is a mutual fund or exchange-traded fund that aims to mirror the return of a particular market index, such as the S&P 500, by investing in the stocks of companies included in the index.

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Matt Finder

Editor, Investments

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