SigFig Review 2020: Pros, Cons and How It Compares

SigFig offers low management fees, free financial counseling and free management of the first $10,000 invested, but its $2,000 account minimum is higher than many competitors.

Kevin VoigtJanuary 2, 2020

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Our Take

4.5

NerdWallet rating 

The bottom line: SigFig offers automated investing with low management fees — including no fee for the first $10,000 invested — as well as free, unlimited meetings with financial advisors and innovative portfolio tracking tools.

SigFig

SigFig

Fees

0.25%

management fee

Account Minimum

$2,000

Promotion

First $10,000

managed free

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Low management fee.

  • Robust goal-based tools.

  • Unlimited access to financial advisors.

Cons

  • $2,000 minimum investment.

  • No cash management or savings account.

Compare to Other Advisors

Wealthfront
Betterment
Fees

0.25%

management fee

Fees

0.25%

management fee

Account Minimum

$500

Account Minimum

$0

Promotion

$5,000

amount of assets managed for free

Promotion

Up to 1 year

of free management with a qualifying deposit

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Full Review

SigFig is a strong choice among robo-advisors for low-cost portfolio management: The company charges a competitive 0.25%, with free management on the first $10,000. SigFig's $2,000 minimum investment is higher than that of many competitors, but its offer of unlimited free financial counseling is a rare perk typically found only with premium automated investing providers and online financial planning services.

SigFig is best for:

  • Hands-off investors.

  • Free management on small balances.

  • Automatic rebalancing.

  • Access to a financial advisor.

SigFig at a glance

Account minimum

$2,000

Account management fee

0.25% (first $10,000 managed for free).

Investment expense ratios

Average 0.15%.

Account fees (annual, transfer, closing)

None.

Portfolio mix

27 ETFs from 9 asset classes.

Accounts supported

  • Individual and joint non-retirement accounts.

  • Roth, traditional, SEP and rollover IRAs.

  • Trust, custodial and corporate accounts.

  • Trusts.

Tax strategy

Free tax-loss harvesting on all accounts.

Automatic rebalancing

Free on all accounts.

Human advisor option

Unlimited access to financial advisors for all customers.

Tools

Portfolio management and goal tracking tools. Mobile app available for iOS and Android.

Bank account/cash management account

Not offered.

Customer support options (includes website transparency)

Phone support Monday - Friday 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Eastern. Email and chat support.

Promotion

First $10,000 managed for free.

Where SigFig shines

Management fees: One distinction to note: Unlike other robo-advisors that work directly with individual investors, SigFig is a sort of add-on where you plug your existing, third-party brokerage account into its Asset Manager service. (SigFig is partnered with three brokerages: Charles Schwab, Fidelity and TD Ameritrade. If your money is there, it stays there. If you're invested elsewhere, or are new to investing and want to start with SigFig, it will open a managed account for you with TD Ameritrade.)

Low cost is the name of the game for automated investing, and SigFig’s fees are among the lowest. The first $10,000 invested is managed for free. After that threshold, SigFig charges a 0.25% fee. That fee is competitive with top robo-advisors like Wealthfront — which offers free management on the first $5,000 for NerdWallet readers — and Betterment.

Like all robo-advisors, SigFig keeps costs low by leaning on exchange-traded funds, which are cheaper to purchase and sell than traditional mutual funds. SigFig pulls from 27 ETFs from nine asset classes, a wide selection. SigFig also keeps costs down by not charging for transfers, closing, trading or tax-loss harvesting, as well as by offering free automatic rebalancing and dividend reinvestment.

Tools and analysis: In addition to its asset-management service, SigFig has a Portfolio Tracker system that lets you sync outside accounts — like a 401(k), IRA or brokerage — to keep track of your balances and receive advice.

After a short questionnaire assessing risk tolerance, Portfolio Tracker assesses your portfolio. The tool checks your stock and bond split and its geographic diversification across domestic, foreign and emerging markets. Portfolio Tracker also analyzes fees you’re paying on your investments to assess your “cash drag” — and whether that excess cash could be put to work in the market.

SigFig’s backend technology has captured the eye of Wells Fargo, UBS and Citizens Bank, all of which have partnered with SigFig to power their own robo-advisor offerings. For SigFig customers, it’s comforting to know these well-known brands like what’s under the hood.

Free access to financial advisors: The robo-advisor industry was built on the successful bet that consumers would trust their investment planning to advanced algorithms. But some consumers still like talking to people, especially when a lot of money is involved. Many robo-advisors now offer a mix of human advice with automated portfolio management, but you can end up paying more with higher fees or account minimums.

Not SigFig, which makes financial advisors available for free consultations by appointment. Wealthfront doesn't offer a comparable service; Betterment Premium has unlimited calls with financial advisors but charges a 0.40% management fee and has a $100,000 account minimum for the service.

Where SigFig falls short

Account minimum: SigFig’s 0.25% management fee may be in line with our top-ranked robo-advisors, but at $2,000 the account minimum is higher than what many competitors require.

No savings or cash management account: While competitors have launched high-yield cash management or savings accounts for clients, SigFig has no comparable offering.

Is SigFig right for you?

SigFig offers investors a strong choice for low-cost, automated investing. Its management fees are competitive with best-in-class rivals, as are many of its services. Unlimited access to financial advisors is a perk many competitors don't match, especially at the same cost. The $2,000 account minimum may be too much for some to start, but overall SigFig is among the best robo-advisors on the market.