Welcome to our 2017 Robo Advisor comparison guide! There is no doubt that Robo Advisors are becoming more popular each year. Contrary to popular belief, robo advisors are not only for beginners or small investors. Even seasoned investors are now using Robo Advisors to handle their investments, and that’s a fact.

Financial analysts are projecting that more people will be using Robo Advisors as more financial institutions and big banks are catching on and introducing their own versions of the service. Want proof? The total assets under management (AUM) by Robo Advisors have increased 68% annually, and total assets under the guidance of Robo Advisors are forecasted to reach $255 Billion by 2020.

The above graph shows the total amount of assets under the supervision of Robo Advisors. In 2012, total assets under the supervision of Robo Advisors were less than $5 Billion. After two years, Robo Advisors were handling $19 Billion worth of assets. With the rising popularity of Robo Advisors, it is estimated that total assets will reach $255 Billion by 2020 as more people sign up for the service.

Robo Advisors are not just a popular app on your smartphone. They can make a significant return on your investments. While some people tend to shy away from using an automated service because they better trust a human’s judgement, Robo Advisors have proven their value by consistently returning an equal or higher return compared to hiring an expensive human advisor.

If you want an in-depth report on the many individual Robo Advisor services online, you should consult our expert Robo Advisor reviews.

With new Robo Advisors popping up every month, we analyse and compare only the best ones in our detailed Robo Advisor comparison guide here. This will help you decide which Robo Advisor is the perfect fit for you, without having to sort through all the fluff.

Robo Advisor Minimum Deposit Comparison Chart

  • Betterment, Motif Investing, and Hedgeable have no minimum deposit limit.
  • Future Advisor also offers a pared-down service for any account balance and with no minimum deposit.
  • Personal Capital offers a free service, but the paid financial advisory service requires a minimum deposit of $25,000.
  • Wealthfront and TradeKing imposes an impressively low minimum deposit of $500.
  • Schwab and Zacks Advantage imposes a minimum deposit of $5,000.
  • The FutureAdvisor Premium service, which provides a more comprehensive array of automated investing features, has a minimum deposit of $10,000.
  • Vanguard Personal Advisor Services applies a more restrictive $50,000 minimum deposit.

Verdict

VerdictBased on the comparison chart, the robo advisors of Betterment, Motif Investing, and Hedgeable are perfect for small investors since there is no minimum deposit required to use the service.

The same can be said for Wealthfront and TradeKing since you can start using the service with a minimum deposit of $500.

What we call ‘medium-sized’ investors should look into the services of Schwab and Zacks Advantage since they both impose a $5,000 minimum. The premium version of Future Advisor‘s platform requires a $10,000 deposit, while Personal Capital imposes a $25,000 minimum deposit for the paid service. Vanguard is for big investors with more than $50,000 to invest.

Robo Advisor Fees Comparison

Wealthfront

Wealthfront

  • The first $15,000 in your account is managed for free
  • Amounts above $15,000 are charged a relatively low 0.25% fee
Betterment

Betterment

  • Digital Plan: 0.25%
  • Premium Plan: 0.40% (access to human advisors for life planning and advice on outside investments)
FutureAdvisor

FutureAdvisor

  • Retirement Advice and College Savings accounts are free
  • Automated Investment Management costs 0.50% annually
Vanguard

Vanguard (VPAS)

  • Annual management fee of 0.30%
  • 0.30% is the same regardless of account balance
Motif Investing

Motif Investing

  • No management or advisory fees
  • $9.95 to buy, sell, or rebalance a ‘Motif’
  • $4.95 to trade a stock
Zacks Advantage

Zacks Advantage

  • 0.50% for accounts worth $5,000 to $99,000
  • 0.35% for accounts worth $100,000 or more
Hedgeable

Hedgeable

  • Management fees or ‘wrapped fees’ are 0.75% to 0.30% depending on account balance
  • You pay lower fees if you have a larger account balance
TradeKing Advisors

TradeKing

  • Annual fee of 0.25%
  • $1/month if account balance is below $5,000
Schwab Intelligent Portfolios

Schwab

  • No management fees, advisory fees, or transaction costs
Personal Capital

Personal Capital

  • 0.89% for $1M or less
  • 0.79% for $1M to $3M
  • 0.69% for $3M to $5M
  • 0.59% for $5M to $10M
  • 0.49% for $10M or more

Verdict

Robo AdvisorFee StructureOur RatingVisit Site
Wealthfront First $15,000: Zero fees
Over $15k: Low 0.25% Fee
Visit Site
Read Review
Betterment Digital Plan: 0.25%
Premium Plan: 0.40%
Visit Site
Read Review
Schwab" Zero fees
Large cash allocation
Visit Site
Read Review
VerdictBased on our Robo Advisor fees comparison chart, it is easy to see that management fees will vary depending on the service.

Schwab will not charge or impose management fees or advisory fees, but the minimum deposit is $5,000.

Betterment offers no minimum deposit, but management fees are 0.25% for the Digital Plan and 0.40% for the Premium plan.

In the meantime, Vanguard Personal Advisor Services (VPAS) will impose a management fee of 0.30% for a minimum deposit of $50,000, while Wealthfront will charge an annual fee of 0.25% for accounts over $15,000 using our link (Wealthfront is a free service for accounts below the $15,000 threshold).

Comparing the Account Features of Robo Advisors

Whether you prefer automated investing or active trading, it is important to compare the account features of the most popular Robo Advisors online. Here is our comparison chart of the various account features that robo advisors have to offer.

Betterment

  • Portfolio rebalancing
  • Dividend reinvestment
  • Tax loss harvesting for accounts worth at least $50,000

Wealthfront

  • Automated rebalancing
  • Dividend reinvestment
  • Tax loss harvesting for all accounts & Direct Indexing for accounts over $100,000

Vanguard (VPAS)

  • Automatic rebalancing
  • NO automated tax loss harveting

Motif

  • NO dividend reimbursement
  • NO tax loss harvesting

Schwab

  • Asset allocation
  • Automated rebalancing
  • Tax loss harvesting to accounts worth $50,000 or more

FutureAdvisor

  • Automated rebalancing
  • Dividend reinvestment
  • Daily tax loss harvesting on all taxable accounts

Personal Capital

  • Automatic Rebalancing on all paid accounts
  • Tax loss harvesting
  • Smart indexing for accounts over $100,000

TradeKing

  • All acounts come with double insurance protection
  • NO tax loss harvesting

Zacks Advantage

  • Automated rebalancing with active management
  • Tax loss harvesting for accounts over $50,000

Hedgeable

  • Portfolio rebalancing
  • Tax loss harvesting

Verdict

VerdictIt is in regard to tax loss harvesting where the most notable comparisons can be made between the top Robo financial advisors.

Wealthfront, FutureAdvisor and Zacks Advantage offers tax loss harvesting to all investors using their services. This means that if you fulfil their respective deposit minimums, you will automatically benefit from the feature for all your taxable accounts.

Vanguard does not offer tax loss harvesting, but they offer client-by-client tax-planning strategies as part of their ethos of combining automated investing and personal advice.

Wealthfront also boasts a distinguishing feature in that they offer a Direct Indexing service for accounts worth more than $100,000, which essentially amounts to a more optimized version of tax loss harvesting.

Meanwhile, both Betterment and Schwab Intelligent Portfolios set a threshold balance amount of $50,000 before they begin providing their tax loss harvesting services.

We are hoping that our 2017 Robo Advisor comparison guide will give you an idea on what investing service is perfect for you. Get an in-depth look on the top Robo Advisors online by reading our comprehensive Robo Advisor reviews.