Zack Miller
Zack MillerHost of fintech podcast, Tearsheet.co

What's the best robo-adviser?

Investment robo-adviser. Automated portfolio management using software.
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7 recommended
  1. 21
    Betterment

    We manage your investments so you don't have to.

    Personally, I've been using Betterment since they were in beta. It's so good I've never had a reason to look elsewhere. I also appreciate that it consistently has been getting better. I auto deposit and don't really think about it. Wealthfront seems great too. I'm not sure that there are really any differentiating features between the two of them. I'll probably try it as well eventually. But no reason to yet.
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    Graham Campbell
    Graham Campbell4🚀 new ventures, faster · Written
    I would also recommend Betterment. However, I would qualify that by saying that it's very difficult to rank robo-advisers (or more specifically, tech-enabled actively-managed, investment funds that charge a management fee) at this point in the game on the measure of the quality of financial returns - simply because these apps have not been on the market long enough to generate sufficient long-term return data required to evaluate their effectiveness at generating long-term capital gains (their intended value proposition). That said, the functionality, user experience & design of Betterment is pretty stellar. Here's why: • The Onboarding Questionaire - this helps Betterment tailor your experience & suggested strategies to match best practices for someone in your financial situation & with your financial goals. • AutoDeposits - the ability to set up recurring transfers from your bank account into your Betterment accounts makes saving automatic & simple, and less subject to one's ability to remember to deposit into his/her savings or to irrationality that may steer one off his/her original savings plan. • Separate fund buckets - the ability to allocate your investments between a Retirement account (for retirement of course), a Safety Net (in the event you are laid off, or otherwise need some financial backup for a rainy day), Roth IRA, and Traditional IRA, allows one to set multiple investment strategies to match the purposes of the different sub-accounts (eg. heavier allocation into Stocks for the Retirement account for a young user vs. a heavier allocation into Bonds for the Safety Net account, or for users who are closer to retirement and desire security over larger upside. • Portfolio Allocation - the ability to change the relative % of your portfolio that goes into Stocks (generally riskier) vs. Bonds (general considered safer) allows one to invest according to one's own risk preference & goals for each of the sub-accounts . • Tax optimization guidance - I believe Betterment works hard to make sure your investments are done in a way that keeps taxes on your gains at a minimum For these reasons, I've been giving Betterment a try since about August 2015 (I think I'm up 7.7% since that time, time-weighted, which I can't complain about. It really depends what you are looking for in a robo-adviser. There is no "silver bullet" robo-adviser that I'm aware of that is going to satisfy all your personal financial needs (managed fund investing, individual stock investing, passive index fund investing, portfolio assessment & allocation, and budgeting, etc.) But Betterment seems pretty effective so far at helping users save for retirement & rainy days in a way that matches their stage in life and risk appetite.
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  2. 19
    Wealthfront

    Automated, low cost investment service

    Kunal Bhatia
    Kunal Bhatia50Co-founder & Design Lead @SlidesUp · Written
    I use both Betterment and Wealthfront because I wanted to try them out. Initially, Betterment had the better interface. However, Wealthfront has been catching up. With the recent addition of Path by Wealthfront, you can now see they're catching up with interactive tools to visualize your financial health. Anecdotally, my Betterment portfolio has consistently beaten my Wealthfront portfolio by 2% overall. Both are set up similarly (Risk 9.0 on Wealthfront, and 90/10 for Betterment).
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  3. 10
    Nutmeg

    Online Investment Management

    James McGlade
    James McGladeFounder of Growth Alliance · Written
    Intelligent investing (for non-Americans)
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  4. Atit Danak
    Atit DanakProblem Solver. Xtreme Sports Rookie. · Written
    Currently, with limited access, the product has wonderful UX. In-built algorithm is focused on compounding and is designed to build a portfolio with small regular contributions.
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  5. Zack Miller
    Zack MillerHost of fintech podcast, Tearsheet.co · Written
    More sophisticated investment strategies compared to most plain-vanilla robos
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  6. Zack Miller
    Zack MillerHost of fintech podcast, Tearsheet.co · Written
    Hard to beat free, especially in a commoditized market like roboadvice.
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  7. 1
    Personal Capital

    All your accounts, All in one place.

    Zack Miller
    Zack MillerHost of fintech podcast, Tearsheet.co · Written
    Hybrid approach with real advisers with a web interface and automated strategies
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