There are a few robo advisors that offer a free service, and here’s where we dive into the details and suggest which free services are the best.
Not all investors have a high net worth, and that’s what makes Robo Advisors special. These online tools are ideal for small investors and the average Joe. But you need to choose the best free Robo Advisor that suits your financial needs.
Not all Robo Advisors are the same, and they each offer an array of unique and interesting features to entice investors. Offering a free advisory service is one of them, and we dedicate this page to dissecting the facts so we can present the best Robo Advisors with no fees that you can try today.
Types of Free Robo Advisors
Here’s where we classify the best free services in two categories: automated and non-automated.
The reason for this is simple – more seasoned investors may prefer a hands-on approach to investing and can make use of the non-automated services. But automated robo advisors may be better for new investors or those who simply don’t want to deal with the maintenance of managing their portfolios.
Best Free Automated Robo Advisors
Free Automated Investing
M1 Finance started in 2014 and quickly became the Robo Advisor of choice for both newbie and seasoned investors. The service comes with $0 trading and brokerage fees. It sounds too good to be true, even though it doesn’t include tax loss harvesting. Your account needs a minimum balance of $100 to begin trading, but that’s still one of the lowest minimums you’ll find.
You’ll also love the “pie” investment templates that only M1 Finance offers. Each slice of the pie represents your various investments. You can choose from many pre-built pies, or you can customize one of your own. Some people might look at this method as a bit gimmicky, but they’re missing the point. The pies make it easy to view the investment allocations with a single glance. The service also comes with a great smartphone app so you can check the status and change the allocations of your investments on the go.
Want more? Aside from $0 fees and $0 minimum balance, M1 Finance also comes with portfolios for socially-responsible investing. This free Robo advisor is ideal for all investors, big or small.
Investing on Autopilot
Wealthsimple was already one of the biggest and most established Robo Advisors in Canada before their entrance into the USA. Wealthsimple has no minimum deposit, and will manage the first $10,000 for free (using our link.) Wealthsimple offers two basic types of accounts depending on your account balance:
Wealthsimple Basic (0.5%) comes with free automatic rebalancing, dividend reinvestment, and automated deposits. Account balances over $100,000 get Wealthsimple Black, which comes with lower management fees (0.4%) and many premium features.
Wealthsimple is also a socially-responsible Robo Advisor that gives you the ability to invest in values-based companies. They are fully-automated and perfect for hands-off investors with large taxable accounts.
Give Wealthsimple a try using our link so you can start investing your $10,000 for free.
Schwab Intelligent Portfolios
Investing made easier
Do you have little experience as an investor? Schwab Intelligent Portfolios is worth a shot. Even though Schwab is a fully-automated service, they don’t impose any management fees or transaction costs, ever. You read that right. No fees, no charges.
What’s the catch? They generally allocate a large percentage of your money to cash. That’s not always a bad thing, but it might hold back your investment growth potential. You should also pay close attention to the fees on your ETFs, as the service will charge operating expenses based on the ETFs in your portfolio. Some investors would call that a hidden fee.
Schwab only offers tax loss harvesting for accounts worth more than $50,000 but it does offer excellent asset allocation strategies and automatic rebalancing. Best of all, they will give you the option to contact a human financial advisor round-the-clock. If you have any questions about your investment portfolio, you can call a human advisor free of charge, which is pretty impressive for a free Robo Advisor.
Best Free Non-Automated Robo Advisors
Get to Know Your Money
We’re very impressed with Personal Capital’s free service. We think they are one of the best no-fee Robo Advisors that offer free retirement planning, budgeting and a 401(k) analyser. They also sync all your mortgage and investment accounts for free.
Admittedly, their paid service is best suited for high-dollar investors, but the free service is too good to ignore. The service is also accessible via a free mobile app so you can view, monitor and make changes to your portfolio when you’re on the go. If you’re a hands-on type of investor, the app will do wonders for you. The interface is easy to understand, and first time users will find it easy to keep track of their investments without using a computer.
One of the best features of the service is the Personal Capital dashboard. It lets you view your financial accounts, portfolio balances, allocations, net worth and cash flow from one central dashboard, and all for free.
Help Your Money Make More Money
FutureAdvisor also offers one of the best free services for DIY investors. If you’re an investor who wants more control over managing your portfolio, you should give them a try. The service won’t actively manage your portfolio for free, but gives you personalized recommendations on all your investment accounts.
The service also offers retirement planning, free college savings, and 401(k) management. FutureAdvisor helps you determine how much you should save for your kids’ college education, and it suggests the best accounts for your financial goals. The service will then monitor and rebalance your investments as your kid grows older, and it pays attention to market fluctuations to make the adjustments when beneficial.
In our FutureAdvisor Review, we praised this no fee Robo Advisor for its flexibility. The service can link all your current brokerage accounts, and even comes with a free tool that allows you to accept or reject certain recommendations in your portfolio. There is no tax loss harvesting for free accounts, but it is available if you choose the Premium Service.
Those are the best free Robo Advisors on the market in 2020. Read our comprehensive robo advisor reviews if you want to learn more about the differences and comprehensive analysis of the best Robo Advisors online.
Any of these robo advisors are going to fit the bill for you if you’re looking for a free service. Just remember – the robo advisors listed under Automated all require an investment in their own account, whether you open a new investment account with them or transfer over an existing one. The ones listed under Non-Automated are more like personal finance dashboards – they look at your existing investment accounts. This service is free – if you want them to automatically manage your existing accounts, there is an annual fee involved.