Our picks for
Our pick for
While Blooom is slightly different than the other robo-advisors on this list, they deserve a mention because they offer a unique and useful product. Blooom offers advice and guidance on investing in 401(k)s - a rare service among robo-advisors.
Summary of Best Robo-Advisors of February 2020
|Broker||Commissions||Promotion||Account Minimum||Learn More|
amount of assets managed for free
Up to 1 year
of free management with a qualifying deposit
Up to $750
cash bonus with qualifying deposit
TD Ameritrade Essential Portfolios
no promotion available at this time
SoFi Automated Investing
career counseling plus loan discounts with qualifying deposit
E*TRADE Core Portfolios
$100 to $2,500
cash credit with a qualifying deposit or transfer
Ally Invest Managed Portfolios
with Cash-Enhanced Managed Portfolio; 0.3% otherwise
No promotion available at this time
0.40% - 0.50%
amount of assets managed for free for one year
Schwab Intelligent Portfolios®
no promotion currently offered
no promotion available at this time
with code COOODE15
Last updated on February 11, 2020
To recap our selections...
NerdWallet's Best Robo-Advisors of February 2020
- Wealthfront: Best for Overall
- Betterment: Best for Overall
- Ellevest: Best for Overall
- TD Ameritrade Essential Portfolios: Best for Overall
- SoFi Automated Investing: Best for Overall
- E*TRADE Core Portfolios: Best for Overall
- Ally Invest Managed Portfolios: Best for Overall
- Fidelity Go: Best for Overall
- Wealthsimple: Best for Overall
- Schwab Intelligent Portfolios®: Best for Overall
- SigFig: Best for Overall
- Axos Invest: Best for Overall
- Blooom: Best for 401(k) management
Frequently asked questions
Robo-advisors automate investment management by using computer algorithms to build you a portfolio and manage your assets based on your goals and your tolerance for risk. Since portfolio management is handled by software rather than a human financial advisor, robo-advisors charge lower fees, which can translate to higher long-term returns for investors.
Robo-advisors use advanced software to handle many of the tasks that used to require expensive experts to manage. Services range from automatic rebalancing to tax optimization, and require little to no human interaction. A robo-advisor might be a good fit if you prefer to be largely hands-off with your investments and you don’t have the kind of complex financial situation that requires a direct relationship with a human financial advisor.
That said, many providers offer access to human advisors available for questions related to account management or long-term investment planning — though these services may cost more.
Here’s what you should consider:
- Management fees. This is what you’ll pay annually to have an account at a robo-advisor.
- Expense ratios. These are like management fees, only they’re paid not to the robo-advisor, but to the investments the robo-advisor uses. Mutual funds, index funds and exchange-traded funds all charge this annual fee to cover the costs of running the fund.
- Account types. Investment accounts fall into two general categories: Retirement accounts, such as IRAs and 401(k)s, that offer tax advantages while adhering to certain rules; and taxable accounts, where there are no specific tax advantages but also no limits on contributions or distributions.
- Investments. Most robo-advisors use low-cost index funds and ETFs.
- Rebalancing. Portfolios are fluid, and market fluctuations can cause the mix of investments you hold to get out of sync with your goals. Rebalancing brings that allocation back to its original mix.
- Access to human advisors. Many robo-advisors have merged computer-driven portfolio management with access to human financial advisors. Some services offer a dedicated advisor to individual clients; others offer only email or online chat with a team of advisors.