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9 Best Robo-Advisors for Socially Conscious Investors of June 2024

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

Alana Benson
By Alana Benson 
Edited by Arielle O'Shea

Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This influences which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list of our partners and here's how we make money.


The investing information provided on this page is for educational purposes only. NerdWallet, Inc. does not offer advisory or brokerage services, nor does it recommend or advise investors to buy or sell particular stocks, securities or other investments.

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

All of these providers offer at least one managed socially responsible portfolio, and many offer multiple managed socially responsible portfolios.

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.

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


Why you can trust NerdWallet's picks: Our writers and editors together have more than 50 years of experience writing about finance, and follow strict guidelines to maintain editorial integrity. We do a deep, independent analysis of dozens of investment firms, sorting through the details to find and evaluate the information investors want when choosing an investing account. To see our full methodology and learn more about our process, read our criteria for evaluating robo-advisors.

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

All of these providers offer at least one managed socially responsible portfolio, and many offer multiple managed socially responsible portfolios.

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.

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


Why you can trust NerdWallet's picks: Our writers and editors together have more than 50 years of experience writing about finance, and follow strict guidelines to maintain editorial integrity. We do a deep, independent analysis of dozens of investment firms, sorting through the details to find and evaluate the information investors want when choosing an investing account. To see our full methodology and learn more about our process, read our criteria for evaluating robo-advisors.

Best Robo-Advisors for Socially Conscious Investors

NerdWallet rating 

5.0

/5

Reviewed in: Oct. 2023

Period considered: Aug. - Oct. 2023

Betterment
Learn more

on Betterment's website

AD

Paid non-client promotion

Fees

0.25%

with a balance over $20K or qualifying recurring deposit. Otherwise, $4/month.

Account minimum

$0

$10 to start

Promotion

None

no promotion available at this time

Pros

  • Multiple portfolio options, including customization.

  • Low account minimum and fees

  • Fractional shares allow all cash to be invested.

  • Robust goal-based tools.

  • Cryptocurrency portfolio available.

Cons

  • No direct indexing.

Why We Like It

Betterment offers a powerful combination of goal-based tools, affordable management fees and no account minimum. Betterment has a wide range of investments, including socially responsible and crypto portfolios, and offers paid access to financial advisors and excellent tax strategy.

NerdWallet rating 

5.0

/5

Reviewed in: Oct. 2023

Period considered: Aug. - Oct. 2023

Wealthfront
Learn more

on Wealthfront's website

AD

Paid non-client promotion

Fees

0.25%

management fee

Account minimum

$500

Promotion

Get a $50 customer bonus

when you fund your first taxable investment account

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.

  • DIY and automated investing options.

Cons

  • No human financial advisors.

Why We Like It

Wealthfront is our highest-scoring robo-advisor thanks to its blend of automated investment portfolios and DIY stock investing portfolios, its wide variety of account options, excellent tax strategy and low management fee. Wealthfront's only weak spots are its account minimum ($500) and its lack of access to human advisors.

Best Robo-Advisor for Low-Cost Investing 2024

NerdWallet rating 

4.8

/5

Reviewed in: Oct. 2023

Period considered: Aug. - Oct. 2023

Vanguard Digital Advisor
Learn more

on Vanguard's website

AD

Paid non-client promotion

Fees

0.15%

per year (approximately)

Account minimum

$3,000

Promotion

No advisory fees

your first 90 days of Vanguard Digital Advisor investment management (Enrollment requires a Vanguard account with a minimum of $3,000)

Pros

  • Access to Vanguard’s investing expertise and ETFs.

  • Low management fee relative to competitors.

  • Low investment expense ratios and no additional account fees.

Cons

  • Limited portfolio options and customization.

Why We Like It

Vanguard Digital Advisor is an affordable robo-advisory service that uses several of Vanguard’s key ETFs to create a personalized retirement plan and portfolio. But Vanguard Digital Advisor doesn't offer much portfolio customization or access to a human advisor.

NerdWallet rating 

4.7

/5

Reviewed in: Oct. 2023

Period considered: Aug. - Oct. 2023

Acorns
Learn more

on Acorns' website

AD

Paid non-client promotion

Fees

$3 - $5

per month

Account minimum

$0

Promotion

$10 Sign Up Bonus

Pros

  • Automatically invests spare change.

  • Cash back at select retailers.

  • Educational content available.

Cons

  • Monthly fees can be significant for small balances.

  • $35 per ETF to transfer funds to another broker.

Why We Like It

Acorns is known for its automatic roundups that make saving and investing easy. The downside? At small account balances, Acorns' fees ($3 to $9 per month) can cut into or completely wipe away investment returns. Acorns has great tools for kids at the most expensive tier, such as a bank account and debit card designed to help them learn about all things money. But Acorns has zero financial advisor access or tax tools and higher than average transfer fees.

NerdWallet rating 

4.7

/5

Reviewed in: Oct. 2023

Period considered: Aug. - Oct. 2023

Ellevest
Learn more

on Ellevest's website

AD

Paid non-client promotion

Fees

$12

per month

Account minimum

$0

Promotion

2 months free

with promo code "nerdwallet"

Pros

  • No account minimum.

  • Goal-focused investing approach.

  • Portfolio mix that factors women’s needs.

  • A la carte sessions with coaches and CFPs.

Cons

  • No tax-loss harvesting.

Why We Like It

Ellevest offers a single flat-fee plan which costs $12 a month — that's on the pricier end of robo-advisors. Clients get discounted access to professional financial planning, alongside free educational resources and the only investing platform that factors in women’s pay gaps, career breaks and longer lifespans. Ellevest does not include any banking options.

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

Last updated on June 1, 2024

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).

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

Frequently asked questions