TradeKing Goes Robo With TradeKing Advisors

TradeKing has long been one of the best, lowest-priced brokerages for DIY investors — and now those who want help picking their investments can join the party. The site’s new TradeKing Advisors service allows customers access to preplanned portfolios, and TradeKing to compete with robo-advisors such as Wealthfront and Betterment.

How does TradeKing Advisors work?

If you’d like to sign up with TradeKing Advisors, you must have at least $5,000 to invest. You’ll take a questionnaire about your risk tolerance and time horizon, and depending on your answers, TradeKing will set you up with a portfolio of ETFs and ETNs (exchange-traded funds and notes, respectively). Have less than $25,000 to invest, or a low risk tolerance? You’ll be placed in one of several possible Core portfolios. If you’re willing to invest more than $25,000, and want more aggressive growth, you’ll receive a Momentum portfolio. TradeKing will rebalance your portfolio when you make deposits or withdrawals, or if your positions shift from your tolerance preferences.

You won’t be charged commissions by TradeKing Advisors — just fees for the underlying securities and .25 to .5% of your assets under management. You may maintain multiple TradeKing Advisors accounts, of almost any account type, from taxable accounts to IRAs and LLCs.

You can learn more and sign up for TradeKing Advisors here.

How does TradeKing Advisors stack up against its competitors?

TradeKing Advisors is part of an increasingly crowded field. It shares many similarities with other robo-advisors and financial advice services such as Personal Capital, Wealthfront and Betterment — but some factors do set it apart.

  • TradeKing Advisors has accessible investment minimums. TradeKing Advisors’ Core portfolios have the same minimum ($5,000) as Wealthfront’s. Only Personal Capital — which offers human advisors — has a higher minimum ($100,000) than the Momentum portfolios.
  • TradeKing Advisors’ fees are about the norm. TradeKing Advisors customers pay .25% on Core portfolios and .5% on Momentum portfolios for any account size. Betterment’s range of fees tends lower, and Personal Capital’s tends higher, but both offer discounts to customers with higher balances. Wealthfront users pay a flat .25% if they have more than $10,000 invested — otherwise, the service is fee. However, all are significantly less expensive than getting in-person investment advice.
  • TradeKing Advisors has similar investment choices — but more account types. Your TradeKing Advisors portfolio will be invested in ETFs and ETNs, as it would be at many robo-advisors, though competitors Personal Capital and Wealthfront do offer individual stocks. That said, TradeKing Advisors offers accounts for businesses, unlike most robo-advisors.

Who should use TradeKing Advisors?

If you’re already a TradeKing customer and want more help investing, transitioning to a TradeKing Advisors portfolio is an easy choice. You may also want to switch to TradeKing Advisors if you’d like to open an unusual account, like an LLC, or want low-cost active management. And if you have a balance above $10,000, but less than $25,000, you’ll save on management fees at TradeKing Advisors, compared with many other sites.

TradeKing Advisors isn’t the best fit for everyone, though. If you’re just getting started and have a balance of $5,000 to $10,000, you can take advantage of similar services at Wealthfront for free. And if you want your 401(k) figured in to your investment plan, Personal Capital is a better bet.

Interested investors can learn more and sign up for TradeKing Advisors here.