Welcome to our review of the best free Robo Advisors online in 2017. Not all investors have a high net worth, and that’s what makes Robo Advisors so special. These online tools are ideal for small investors and the average Joe. But there is a caveat: you need to choose the best service that is well-suited to your financial needs.
Not all Robo Advisors are the same, and they each offer a bewildering array of unique and interesting features to entice investors both big and small. Offering a free advisory service is one of them, and we will dedicate this page in dissecting the facts so we can present to you the best free Robo Advisors that you can try today.
We will classify the best free services in two categories: automated (hands-off) and non-automated (advisory). The reason for this is simple – some people prefer a more hands-off approach letting Robo Advisor to do all the work for them, while others either want to get their hands dirty, or simply want a service to advise them but not make any actual changes.
|Robo Advisor||Features||Investor's Rating||Visit Site|
| Free portfolio analysis|
Free retirement planner
Monitor your financial accounts
| Visit Site|
| Zero fees ever|
Many investment options
Large cash allocation
| Visit Site|
| Free allocation advice|
Works with existing accounts
Expensive paid plans
| Visit Site|
Best Free Non-Automated (Advisory) Robo Advisors
When we published our Personal Capital review, we were impressed with the free service that this company offers to investors. We also said that Personal Capital is one of the best Robo Advisors that offer free retirement planning services, budgeting, and 401(k) analyser. The service can also sync your mortgage and investment accounts even if you don’t opt for the paid service.
We have to concede that this service is best suited for high value investors (the paid service requires a minimum of $25,000 assets) but the equally good free service is simply too hard to ignore. The service is also accessible via a mobile app that you can download for free so you can view, monitor and make changes to your portfolio on the go. If you’re a hands-on type of investor, you’ll love this app. The interface is easy to understand, and first time users will find it easy to keep track of their investments even without using a laptop.
Perhaps one of the most endearing features of this service is the Personal Capital dashboard. As part of the free service, it lets you view all of your financial accounts in one central location. What this means is that you can view and monitor your portfolio balances, portfolio allocations, net worth and cash flow from your dashboard.
FutureAdvisor offers one of the best free services for DIY investors. If you are the type of investor who wants more control or involvement in managing your portfolio, you should definitely give them a try. They will manage your portfolio for free, but can also give you personalized recommendations on any investment account.
The service is also known for retirement planning and free college savings along with 401(k) management. FutureAdvisor will help you determine how much you should save for your kids’ college education, and it will also suggest the best accounts for your financial goals. The service will then monitor and rebalance your investments as your kid grows older, and will also pay attention to market fluctuations and make the necessary adjustments.
In our FutureAdvisor review, we praised this Robo Advisor for its great flexibility. The service can link all your current brokerage accounts, and even comes with a free tool that allows you to accept or reject recommendations they’ve made. There is no tax loss harvesting for free accounts, but it is available if you choose the FutureAdvisor Premium Service (with a minimum $10,000 account balance).
Best Free Automated (Hands-Off) Robo Advisors
In our comprehensive Wealthfront review, we found out that they are extremely simple and easy to use. In fact, Wealthfront offers one of the best automated services that you can find.
But you should keep in mind that this service is particularly geared towards hands-off investors, or those who don’t want to get too hands-on in the process.
Wealthfront traditionally offers a free service for account balances of up to $10,000, but if you use our referral link below, you can enjoy one of the best free Robo Advisory services for up to $15,000. That fact alone makes Wealthfront an ideal Robo Advisor for small investors, because the service will not charge management fees if your account balance is less than $15K.
The service is also offering a free portfolio review tool that can automatically evaluate your portfolio based on diversification, taxes, cash drags and fees. They also offers automatic rebalancing and automatic reinvestment along with daily tax loss harvesting. Not bad for a free service, if you ask us.
Schwab Intelligent Portfolios
Do you have zero experience as an investor? Schwab Intelligent Portfolios is worth a shot. Besides the fact that Schwab offers a brilliant fully automated service, they do not impose any management fees or transaction costs, ever. You read that right. No fees, no charges, no added costs.
However, Schwab will generally allocate a huge percentage of your money to cash. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it could hold back your portfolio’s potential. You should also pay close attention to the expense fees of your ETFs, as they will charge operating expenses based on the ETFs in your portfolio.
Schwab only offers tax loss harvesting for accounts worth more than $50,000 but it does offer excellent asset allocation strategies and automatic daily rebalancing. Best of all, they will give you the option to contact a human professional advisor round-the-clock. If you have any concerns regarding your portfolio, you can call a human advisor free of charge, no matter where you are. Now that is pretty impressive for a free Robo Advisor.
These are the best free Robo Advisors on the market in 2017. Read our comprehensive Robo Advisor reviews if you want to learn more about the different account and investment types offered by Robo Advisors online.
Finally, if you want more features and functionality than what free Robo Advisors have to offer – but aren’t ready to plunk down for the higher fees quite yet – then you better check out our guide to the Robo Advisors with the Lowest Fees.