Fees and Deposit Limits9/10
Ease of Use8/10
Account Types and Services6/10
- Investors can be as active or passive as they want
- Very low costs overall
- A good middle-ground between automated investing and active trading
- No automated dividend reinvestment
- No built-in tax loss harvesting
- Requires more investor input for the best returns
Motif Investing Review 2017
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Motif Investing offers a unique type of service compared to other Robo Advisors. The service provides investors with the opportunity to invest in ‘Motifs’, which are essentially bundles of up to 30 stocks and ETFs.
Motif Investing presents a fascinating and unique service which will unquestionably appeal to many investors.
The service offers a variety of pre-made ‘Motifs’ which generally follow some sort of investment theme (such as “Cyber Security”, “Biotech” or “Precious Metals” for example,) but it also gives investors the chance to build their own. Motif Investing was conceived to ease the transition from a human advisor to an automated investment service. Our 2017 Motif Investing review will help you decide if this is the perfect automated investment tool for you.
Fees and Deposit Limits
We said at the beginning of this 2017 Motif Investing review that the service is a unique kind of Robo Advisor, so it should come as no surprise that deposit limits and fees are also prescribed in a different manner.
There is no minimum investment required to open an account with Motif Investing. But if you want to make a trade, you need to deposit $250. There are also no advisory or management fees, but you pay $9.95 if you wish to buy into a ‘Motif’. There is also a fixed transaction fee of $4.95 if you wish to make a trade (either altering the ‘Motif’ at the outset or buying and selling individual stocks and ETFs at a later date).
Those set fees do not change regardless of the amount of investment any customer commits to the service or to a particular ‘Motif’. Depending on how much trading an investor wishes to do, Motif Investing can be much cheaper than other automated investing services or Robo Advisors.
per Single Stock
We found that the service offered by Motif Investing is essentially a middle ground between automated investing services and active trading.
What this means in terms of flexibility is that investors are offered the choice of how far in either direction they would prefer to go. You can either choose between building your own ‘Motif’ or selecting a pre-constructed one, which are built by proferssionals. You can alter and trade within that ‘Motif’, or just let the Motif Investing service rebalance itself. When it comes to flexibility, Motif Investing stands out compared to other Robo Advisors.
Check out these videos for an overview of how Motif works:
Ease of Use
As a more active trading option, it would be fair to expect that Motif Investing will require more time and effort from an investor, and as such would rate poorly for ease of use. In some ways our Motif Investing review has found this to be true, but if you are a seasoned investor then you wouldn’t have any problems getting used to Motif Investing.
If you’re a beginner, you can simply choose one of the pre-constructed ‘Motifs´based on what you’d like to invest, or choose from one of their more stable “Commission-free Asset Allocation Models”. Simply set it, and forget it. Easy, right?
After signing up with Motif Investing, you can choose a pre-made ‘Motif’ and accept the recommended allocation and leave it alone. The system will also perform automated rebalancing on your portfolio.
Even if you choose to take advantage of the more active trading options of Motif Investing, the service is made easier still. The site is very user-friendly, with simple sliders to alter allocation weighting. This definitely makes life easier, even if you’re not a hands-on type of investor
Account Types and Services
The account types and the general investments used by Motif Investing are fairly unique. The service caters for taxable accounts, as well as traditional Roth and Rollover IRAs, and the ‘Motifs’ are collections of up to 30 stocks and ETFs.
What’s really interesting is the option to buy IPOs (Initial Public Offerings). For as little as $250, you can experience dollar-amount investing and commission-free trades while gaining access to the latest IPOs, including all the details you need to make a purchase.
Motif also offers Commission-Free Asset Allocation Models with no monthly fees. This service offers more control than the usual robo-advisory platform. The process is so simple that you don’t need the vast knowledge of a seasoned investor to get started.
This Robo Advisor also offers community-built Motifs, which are essentially bundles of stocks (or theme-based collections of securities) that are built from other members’ accounts. The member will earn commissions when customers purchase the ‘Motifs’ that they built.
In terms of account features, Motif Investing customers are given more freedom to trade and take control over their investments (for a fixed transaction fee) but you don’t get dividend reimbursement or any kind of tax loss harvesting feature – a feature which comes standard with other Robo Advisors.
Suitability for Different Investment Budgets
With no investment minimum required to opren an account and only $250 required to trade, those with the smallest of investments can get involved easily.
Meanwhile, the set fees for buying into a Motif and for trades are something which will certainly appeal to those with a greater budget. The fees are not dependent on the investment amount, and can work out much cheaper than a more usual percentage management fee.
Motif Investing presents a fascinating and unique service which will unquestionably appeal to many investors. We’re talking about investors who are looking for a way to easily and quickly get involved in some form of active trading, with the backing and the safety net of outside assistance and advice.
The Motif Investing Robo Advisor provides exactly that sort of guidance and assistance through its pre-made ‘Motifs’ and other helpful features. It does this while still offering investors the flexibility and control of being able to make trades on their own. Essentially then, our 2017 Motif Investing review would go as far as to describe this Robo Advisor as a worthy alternative to active trading.
Motif Investing has a charm all its own, but it certainly won’t appeal to investors who are looking for an automated investing service that can take all wealth management decisions and issues out of their hands.
The lack of features such as dividend reinvestment and tax loss harvesting means that Motif Investing lags behind other Robo Advisors in that respect, but it is a cheap and worthy alternative if you want to start investing with a small budget, or even a large one but are tired of traditional investment accounts.