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BEST OF

Best Robo-Advisors of June 2024

The best robo-advisors charge low portfolio management fees and offer a range of services, including tax strategies, access to human advisors and a variety of portfolio options.

Alana Benson
By Alana Benson 
Edited by Pamela de la Fuente

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.

What does a robo-advisor do?

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.

Low-cost financial advice and investment management are key components to building wealth, and robo-advisors can be an accessible way to get both.

Our deep, independent analysis of investment firms cuts through the details to find and evaluate the information investors want when choosing an investing account.

  • Over 60 investment account providers reviewed and rated by our expert Nerds.

  • More than 50 years of combined experience writing about finance and investing.

  • Hands-on testing of the account funding process, provider websites and investment platforms.

  • Dozens of objective ratings rubrics and strict guidelines to maintain editorial integrity.

To see our full methodology and learn more about our process, read our criteria for evaluating robo-advisors.

The number of robo-advisors has swelled in the last decade, as has the range of services. The best robo-advisors now offer socially responsible investment portfolios, access to human financial advisors for basic investment and financial planning questions, high-interest cash management or savings accounts and digital financial planning tools.

Bottom line: These services are an inexpensive way to get comprehensive investment management and financial planning guidance. If you're the type of investor who wants to outsource your portfolio, a robo-advisor like the ones below may be a good fit for you.

🤓Nerdy Tip

Robo-advisors can manage your investment account — including IRAs — for a fraction of the cost of a financial advisor. They can be a good choice for investors who want to be hands-off.

Best Robo-Advisors

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

NerdWallet rating 

4.6

/5

Reviewed in: Oct. 2023

Period considered: Aug. - Oct. 2023

Fidelity Go®
Learn more

on Fidelity's website

AD

Paid non-advisory client promotion

Fees

0% - 0.35%

management fee

Account minimum

$0

Promotion

None

no promotion available at this time

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)

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

NerdWallet rating 

4.9

/5

Reviewed in: Oct. 2023

Period considered: Aug. - Oct. 2023

SoFi Automated Investing
Learn more

on SoFi Invest's website

AD

Paid non-client promotion

Fees

0%

management fee

Account minimum

$0

Promotion

None

no promotion available at this time

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

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"

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

Compare more features

Compare the five top scoring robo-advisors by fee, customer service, financial advisor access and tax strategy. The "best" tax strategy score requires a provider offer direct indexing or other specialized tax strategies. A "great" score means they offer free tax-loss harvesting, "good" designates tax-loss harvesting with an additional fee or that it's only available at a certain balance, and "limited" means they have minimal tax strategy.

Fee

Customer service by phone

Financial advisor access

Tax strategy

Wealthfront

0.25%*

Monday thru Friday, 8:00 to 5:00 Pacific.

None

Great

Betterment

0.25%**

Monday thru Friday, 9:00 to 6:00. Eastern.

Access starting at $299

Best

SoFi

Free

Monday thru Thursday, 5:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Pacific. Friday thru Sunday, 5:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Free access to CFPs

Limited

Schwab

Free

24/7

None

Good

Vanguard

0.15%***

Monday thru Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern.

None

Great

*First $5,000 managed free for NerdWallet readers.

**On balances over $20,000 or if you set up recurring monthly deposits totaling $250 or more, otherwise, $4 per month.

***Actual fee will vary depending on the specific holdings in each enrolled account.

How do you open a robo-advisor account?

Opening a robo-advisor account is very similar to opening a brokerage account or bank account: You'll provide some personal information and then link an existing account from which you can transfer money to fund the new account. The primary difference is in most cases, robo-advisors will take you through an onboarding quiz to help determine how to invest your portfolio. These quizzes generally ask about your investment goals, risk tolerance and time horizon, and the robo-advisor will use your answers to build the most optimal portfolio for you.

How does a robo-advisor work?

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.

How do robo-advisors get paid?

Robo-advisors are paid through their account management fee. This is usually shown as a percentage, such as 0.25%. This means the fee is a percentage of the money that you invest. For example, if you put $1,000 into a robo-advisor investment account, and it charges a 0.25% fee, you'd pay $2.50 for that year's worth of investment management. If you put in $100,000 you'd pay $250. Both of those figures are significantly lower than what they would be if you worked with a traditional financial advisor.

Expense ratios are different from management fees: They are not paid to the robo-advisor, but to the people and institutions that manage the funds you're invested in.

Which robo-advisor is best?

The robo-advisors on this list all scored highly in our analysis and impressed our testers, so the best one for you will probably depend on your individual needs. However, the two robo-advisors with the top scores were Wealthfront and Betterment. Wealthfront stands out as a low-cost option with flexible, diversified investment portfolio choices. Betterment also has low fees, and we like that you can add on human advice if you need it. That being said, if cost is your bottom line, there are a few free options too.

What factors should I consider when picking the best robo-advisor for me?

Here’s what you'll want to look at:

Management fees. This is what you’ll pay annually to have an account at a robo-advisor. See our calculator below to help you analyze these.

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.

Last updated on May 14, 2024

Methodology

NerdWallet’s comprehensive review process evaluates and ranks the largest U.S. brokers and 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 providers and our processes, read our full broker ratings methodology and our full robo-advisor ratings methodology.