BEST OF

12 Best Robo-Advisors of January 2021

Andrea Coombes, Alana BensonDecember 22, 2020
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Robo-advisors are quickly becoming mainstream, which is good news for consumers who are looking for low-cost financial advice. The number of online advisors continues to swell, as does the range of services. Many now offer socially responsible investment portfolios, access to human financial advisors and comprehensive digital financial planning tools.

Bottom line: There’s now a low-cost advisor option for every type of investor. We’ve covered the best choices below.

Summary of Best Robo-Advisors of January 2021

Our picks for

Overall

SoFi Automated Investing

on SoFi Invest's website

SoFi Automated Investing

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
SoFi Automated Investing

Fees

0%

management fee

Account Minimum

$0

Promotion

Free

career counseling plus loan discounts with qualifying deposit

on SoFi Invest's website


Promotion

Free

career counseling plus loan discounts with qualifying deposit

Why we like it

SoFi Automated Investing is great for beginning, cost-conscious investors who favor a hands-off approach. Plus, as a customer, you could be eligible for bonuses on other SoFi products.

Pros

  • Broad range of low-cost investments.

  • Free management.

  • Automatic rebalancing.

  • Customer support.

  • Access to certified financial planners.

Cons

  • Limited account types.

  • No tax-loss harvesting.

Read Full Review
Vanguard Digital Advisor

on Vanguard's website

Vanguard Digital Advisor

4.0

NerdWallet rating 
Vanguard Digital Advisor

Fees

0.15%

per year (approximately)

Account Minimum

$3,000

Promotion

None

no promotion available at this time

on Vanguard's website


Promotion

None

no promotion available at this time

Why we like it

Vanguard Digital Advisor is an affordable robo-advisory service using several of Vanguard’s key ETFs to create a personalized retirement plan and portfolio for investors.

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 tools and account types as the program remains in pilot mode into 2021.

  • Limited portfolio options and customization.

  • No tax-loss harvesting for tax minimization.

Read Full Review
Betterment

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

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.

  • No account minimum and low fees.

  • Fractional shares mean all your cash is invested.

  • Robust goal-based tools.

Cons

  • No direct indexing.

Read Full Review
Wealthfront

on Wealthfront's website

Wealthfront

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Wealthfront

Fees

0.25%

management fee

Account Minimum

$500

Promotion

$5,000

amount of assets managed for free

on Wealthfront's website


Promotion

$5,000

amount of assets managed for free

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

  • First $5,000 managed free (NerdWallet promotion).

  • Low ETF expense ratios.

  • Daily tax-loss harvesting.

  • Automatic rebalancing.

Cons

  • No fractional shares.

  • No large-balance discounts.

Read Full Review
Ellevest

on Ellevest's website

Ellevest

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Ellevest

Fees

$1 - $9

per month

Account Minimum

$0

Promotion

2 months free

with promo code "nerdwallet"

on Ellevest's website


Promotion

2 months free

with promo code "nerdwallet"

Why we like it

This advisor markets itself to women and takes a goal-focused approach that factors in women’s lower incomes, lifetime earnings and longer lifespans. With its $0 account minimum, competitive membership fee and a la carte access to CFPs and coaches, Ellevest is an appealing choice for investors of any gender.

Pros

  • No account minimum.

  • Goal-focused investing approach.

  • Portfolio mix that factors women’s needs.

  • A la carte sessions with coaches and CFPs.

Cons

  • IRA access for Plus and Executive members only.

  • No tax-loss harvesting.

Read Full Review
Stash

on Stash's website

Stash

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
Stash

Fees

$1 - $9

per month

Account Minimum

$0

Promotion

Up to $510

cash credit to invest with qualifying deposit

on Stash's website


Promotion

Up to $510

cash credit to invest with qualifying deposit

Why we like it

Stash offers educational assistance that can save you money in the long run, by teaching you how to manage your portfolio. But once you’ve learned the basics, you may find you’re unlikely to get much more in exchange for Stash’s ongoing monthly fee.

Pros

  • Educational content and support.

  • Fractional shares.

  • Values-based investment offerings.

Cons

  • No investment management.

  • High ETF expense ratios.

Read Full Review

Our pick for

401(k) management

While Blooom is slightly different than the other robo-advisors on this list, the company deserves a mention for offering a unique and useful product: Blooom directly manages 401(k)s — a rare service among robo-advisors.

Blooom

on Blooom's website

Blooom

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
Blooom

Fees

$45 - $250

per year

Account Minimum

$0

Promotion

$10 off

with code REEETIRE

on Blooom's website


Promotion

$10 off

with code REEETIRE

Why we like it

Blooom brings much-needed investment management to employer-sponsored retirement plans like 401(k)s. Investors can also test drive the service with the company’s free analysis tool.

Pros

  • 401(k) management.

  • No account minimum.

  • Free analysis.

  • Access to financial advisors.

Cons

  • Limited risk tolerance assessment.

  • Aggressive asset allocation.

  • High costs for small account balances.

Read Full Review

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

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Disclosure: The author held no positions in the aforementioned securities at the time of publication.

Last updated on December 22, 2020

Methodology

NerdWallet's ratings for brokers and robo-advisors are weighted averages of several categories, including investment selection, customer support, account fees, account minimum, trading costs and more. Our survey of brokers and robo-advisors includes the largest U.S. providers by assets under management, plus notable and/or emerging players in the industry. Factors we consider, depending on the category, include advisory fees, branch access, user-facing technology, customer service and mobile features. The stars represent ratings from poor (one star) to excellent (five stars). Ratings are rounded to the nearest half-star.

To recap our selections...

NerdWallet's Best Robo-Advisors of January 2021

Frequently asked questions