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7 Best Robo-Advisors for Socially Conscious Investors of August 2022

These robo-advisors build socially conscious investment portfolios and manage them for you, so you can invest ethically without the effort.

Aug 1, 2022

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If you want to start investing but would prefer for your investment dollars to do some good in the world, you may want to consider working with a robo-advisor. Robo-advisors use computer algorithms to build and manage an investment portfolio for you, taking into account your investment time frame and risk tolerance. The below robo-advisors offer socially conscious portfolios, allowing you to not only invest in your future but in the future of the planet and society.

» New to this? Read up on the basics of socially responsible investing

Most of these robo-advisors choose their assets using the principles of ESG investing. ESG is a way to measure a company or investment’s environmental, social and governance impact. Research firms and advisors often use ESG scores as a way to grade sustainable investments.

Here are the details on some providers' portfolio offerings:

  • Betterment: Provides three impact portfolios to choose from: Broad Impact, Climate Impact and Social Impact.

  • Wealthfront: Offers a pre-made socially responsible portfolio. You can customize any portfolio with socially responsible ETFs.

  • Merrill Edge Guided Investing: Clients can invest in an ESG portfolio and request restrictions on certain ETFs.

  • Ally Invest: Offers a Socially Responsible Managed Portfolio option.

  • Marcus Invest: Goldman Sachs Impact portfolio includes ESG ETFs.

  • E-Trade: Gives access to a portfolio that includes an ESG ETF.

  • Axos Invest: Offers investments in themed areas such as clean energy and companies with a greater representation of women in senior leadership roles.

The bottom line: These robo-advisors can help you start investing in a socially conscious portfolio for no additional charge.

Best Robo-Advisors for Socially Conscious Investors

Betterment
Learn more

on Betterment's website

Betterment

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Betterment

Fees

0.25%

management fee

Account minimum

$0

Promotion

Up to 1 year

of free management with a qualifying deposit

Learn more

on Betterment's website


Promotion

Up to 1 year

of free management with a qualifying deposit

Why we like it

Betterment has maintained its status as the largest independent robo-advisor for a reason: The company offers a powerful combination of goal-based tools, affordable management fees and no account minimum.

Pros

  • Multiple portfolio options and customization.

  • Low account minimum and fees

  • Fractional shares mean all your cash is invested.

  • Robust goal-based tools.

Cons

  • No direct indexing.

Read Full Review
Wealthfront
Learn more

on Wealthfront's website

Wealthfront

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Wealthfront

Fees

0.25%

management fee

Account minimum

$500

Promotion

Get $50 customer bonus

when you fund your first taxable Investment Account

Learn more

on Wealthfront's website


Promotion

Get $50 customer bonus

when you fund your first taxable Investment Account

Why we like it

Wealthfront has built client trust by offering free management on the first $5,000 — with NerdWallet’s promotion — and the company’s stock-level tax-loss harvesting service really shines.

Pros

  • Get $50 customer bonus when you fund your first taxable Investment Account (NerdWallet promotion).

  • Low ETF expense ratios.

  • Daily tax-loss harvesting.

  • Automatic rebalancing.

Cons

  • No fractional shares.

  • No large-balance discounts.

Read Full Review
Ally Invest Robo Portfolios
Learn more

on Ally Invest's website

Ally Invest Robo Portfolios

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
Ally Invest Robo Portfolios

Fees

0.0%

with Cash-Enhanced Managed Portfolio; 0.3% otherwise

Account minimum

$100

Promotion

None

no promotion available at this time

Learn more

on Ally Invest's website


Promotion

None

no promotion available at this time

Why we like it

Ally Invest Robo Portfolios is best suited to retirement accounts or loyal Ally customers who want to house a managed account, a trading account and their bank accounts under one roof. The lack of tax-loss harvesting will be an issue for investors with taxable brokerage accounts.

Pros

  • Solid investment selection.

  • Integration for Ally bank and brokerage clients.

Cons

  • No tax-loss harvesting.

Read Full Review
E*TRADE Core Portfolios
Learn more

on E*TRADE's website

E*TRADE Core Portfolios

4.0

NerdWallet rating 
E*TRADE Core Portfolios

Fees

0.30%

management fee

Account minimum

$500

Promotion

None

no promotion available at this time

Learn more

on E*TRADE's website


Promotion

None

no promotion available at this time

Why we like it

If you’re after a robo-advisor portfolio with actively managed mutual funds, E*TRADE is a strong option. Otherwise, you may be able to get more for less from a competitor, particularly if you hold a high balance in a taxable account.

Pros

  • Extensive investor tools and educational resources.

  • Strong customer service.

  • Low investment-expense ratios.

  • Specialty portfolio options.

Cons

  • No tax-loss harvesting.

Read Full Review
Axos Managed Portfolios
Learn more

on Axos Invest's website

Axos Managed Portfolios

4.0

NerdWallet rating 
Axos Managed Portfolios

Fees

0.24%

management fee

Account minimum

$500

Promotion

None

no promotion available at this time

Learn more

on Axos Invest's website


Promotion

None

no promotion available at this time

Why we like it

Axos Invest stands out for the level of customization allowed by the service: The company allows investors to add or remove 32 investment types, including socially responsible investments.

Pros

  • Low account management costs.

  • Customizable portfolios.

  • Goal-based planning tools.

Cons

  • Limited account selection.

Read Full Review

Marcus Invest

4.0

NerdWallet rating 
Marcus Invest

Fees

0.25%

advisory fee

Account minimum

$0

Promotion

None

no promotion available at this time


Promotion

None

no promotion available at this time

Why we like it

Marcus Invest brings the investment expertise of Goldman Sachs to its robo-advisor offering for a 0.25% management fee. Marcus Invest has a higher investment minimum than most robo-advisors, but offers multiple investment strategies.

Pros

  • Impact and smart beta strategies.

  • Marcus also offers a high-yield savings account product.

Cons

  • No human advisor access.

  • No tax-loss harvesting.

Read Full Review

Want to compare more options? Here are our other top picks:

Last updated on August 1, 2022

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People often identify opening a savings account as their next money move.

Marcus by Goldman Sachs Online Savings Account

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
Marcus by Goldman Sachs Online Savings Account

APY

1.50%

With $0 min. balance for APY

at Marcus by Goldman Sachs, Member FDIC

Discover Bank Online Savings

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Discover Bank Online Savings

APY

1.50%

With $0 min. balance for APY

Bonus

$200

Requirements to qualify

at Discover Bank, Member FDIC

Barclays Online Savings Account

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
Barclays Online Savings Account

APY

1.65%

With $0 min. balance for APY

at Barclays, Member FDIC

Methodology

NerdWallet’s comprehensive review process evaluates and ranks the largest U.S. robo-advisors. Our aim is to provide an independent assessment of providers to help arm you with information to make sound, informed judgements on which ones will best meet your needs. We adhere to strict guidelines for editorial integrity.

We collect data directly from providers through detailed questionnaires, and conduct first-hand testing and observation through provider demonstrations. The questionnaire answers, combined with demonstrations, interviews of personnel at the providers and our specialists’ hands-on research, fuel our proprietary assessment process that scores each provider’s performance across more than 20 factors. The final output produces star ratings from poor (one star) to excellent (five stars). Ratings are rounded to the nearest half-star.

For more details about the categories considered when rating robo-advisors and our process, read our full methodology.

To recap our selections...

NerdWallet's Best Robo-Advisors for Socially Conscious Investors of August 2022

Frequently asked questions