Titan Review 2021: Pros, Cons and How It Compares

Titan offers a distinctive strategy for investment management, but doesn't have some of the perks offered by other firms.
Alana BensonOct 5, 2021

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Our Take

3.5

NerdWallet rating 

The bottom line: Titan aims to bring all investors the kind of investment management that's typically offered only to the wealthy, with actively managed stock portfolios. Compared with hedge funds and similar offerings, the 1% fee is low. But investors who want tax strategy, access to financial advisors or other features may want to look elsewhere.

Titan

on Titan's website

on Titan's website

Fees

1%

for balances of $10,000 or more ($5/month for lower balances)

Account Minimum

$100

Promotion

None

no promotion available at this time

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Low account minimum.
  • Offers low-cost hedge-fund strategy.
  • Crypto management available.

Cons

  • Customer service not available by phone.
  • No tax strategy.

Compare to Other Advisors

Titan
SoFi Automated Investing
Vanguard Digital Advisor
NerdWallet rating 
NerdWallet rating 
NerdWallet rating 
Fees

1%

for balances of $10,000 or more ($5/month for lower balances)

Fees

0%

management fee

Fees

0.15%

per year (approximately)

Account Minimum

$100

Account Minimum

$0

Account Minimum

$0

Promotion

None

no promotion available at this time

Promotion

Free

career counseling plus loan discounts with qualifying deposit

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)

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Become a NerdWallet member, and we’ll send you tailored articles we think you’ll love.

Full Review

Where Titan shines

Hedge fund-like strategy: Titan should not be thought of as a typical robo-advisor: The service is not designed to build you a diversified portfolio. Instead, Titan specializes in picking specific stocks in a hedge fund-like strategy. This strategy can involve a high amount of risk, which should be taken into consideration.

$100 minimum: Titan offers a low account minimum of $100, especially given the strategy, and charges a 1% annual fee on balances of $10,000 or more.

Crypto: Titan gives investors access to crypto management.

Where Titan falls short

No additional services: Titan offers stock-focused investment management — but that’s about it. Other investment management firms include features such as access to financial advisors, banking services, goal setting, socially responsible investment portfolios and intentional tax strategies. And many of them charge less than the 1% Titan charges.


Titan is best for:

  • Investors who want an actively managed stock portfolio.

  • Investors who want Wall Street-level intel and access to hedge-fund like strategies at a low minimum.

Titan at a glance

Account minimum

$100 minimum for Titan Flagship and Titan Crypto. $10,000 minimum for Titan Opportunities and Titan Offshore.

Account management fee

Account balance of $10,000 or more: Annual fee of 1% charged monthly.

Account balance of less than $10,000: $5 per month.

Note: Normally a 1% annual fee would earn one star, but because hedge funds often charge 2%, we adjusted our typical grading to account for Titan's unique strategy.

Investment expense ratios

0.90% to 0.95%. Expense ratios only apply to inverse ETFs used in Titan's hedging strategy.

Because of Titan’s specific strategy, we did not grade their expense ratios.

Account fees

  • Outgoing transfers: $75.

  • IRA termination fee: $60.

Portfolio mix

Domestic U.S. stocks, international stocks and crypto assets. Inverse ETFs are occasionally used as part of Titan's hedging strategy.

Titan's strategy is very different than most robo-advisors as they are not seeking to build well-diversified portfolios. Titan's strategy may be more risky than most and should be considered carefully.

Socially responsible portfolio options

None.

Accounts supported

  • Taxable accounts.

  • Traditional, Roth and inherited/beneficiary IRAs.

Titan also accepts 401(k), 403(b) and IRA rollovers.

Tax strategy

All-stock portfolios can naturally isolate individual investments and harvest losses.

Automatic rebalancing

Yes, typically quarterly.

Human advisor option

None, though investors can contact the investor relations team through the app for questions about the investment strategies.

Bank account/cash management account option

None.

Customer support options (includes how easy it is to find key details on the website)

The Titan customer service team will respond to chat and email messages Monday through Friday 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Eastern.

More details about Titan's ratings

Account minimum: 4 out of 5 stars

Titan uses four investment strategies with minimums starting at just $100 for Titan Flagship and Titan Crypto. The Titan Opportunities and the Titan Offshore strategies have a significantly higher minimum of $10,000.

Account management fee: 3 out of 5 stars

Clients with more than $10,000 are charged an annual fee of 1%. Clients with less than $10,000 pay $5 a month.

The $5 monthly fee may sound low, but with lower account balances, the amount you’re paying may actually be a much higher percentage of your assets. For example, if you’re paying $5 a month (or $60 a year) for asset management on a $500 balance, you’re paying 12%. If you have $6,000 managed, you’ll pay 1%. Anything between $6,000 and $10,000 will be less than the 1% fee Titan charges on balances of $10,000 or more.

To compare, many robo-advisors charge 0.25% per year regardless of account balance, though the investment strategies of those advisors are typically passive rather than Titan's active approach.

» Want more options? Check out the best robo-advisors

Investment expense ratios: Not rated

Even though Titan’s portfolios are made up of stocks, the company occasionally uses inverse ETFs as part of its hedging strategy. These ETFs carry expense ratios between 0.90% and 0.95%. Those fees are quite high compared to other robo-advisors that typically employ ETFs as the main part of their portfolio strategy. But Titan only uses those ETFs to serve as possible protection from an extended market downturn, so you won’t pay expense ratios on the bulk of your portfolio. In contrast, if a robo-advisor charges a 0.25% management fee, expense ratios can make your total cost closer to 0.35%. Because of Titan’s specific strategy, we did not grade their investment expense ratios.

Account fees: 2.5 out of 5 stars

Titan’s fees include $75 for outgoing ACAT transfers (per account) and a $60 IRA termination fee. Those fees aren’t outrageous, but they are higher than many other providers we review.

Portfolio mix: 4 out of 5 stars

Unlike a typical robo-advisor, Titan does not offer fund-focused portfolios. Instead, Titan features four different investment strategies: Titan Flagship, Titan Opportunities, Titan Offshore and Titan Crypto. Flagship, Opportunities and Offshore hold 15 to 25 stocks. Crypto holds around five to 10 crypto assets. Occasionally inverse ETFs are included.

Inverse ETFs attempt to “short” the market by betting against an index. They can also be used to hedge against risk in your portfolio. For example, in March 2020, Titan shorted the market with a small portion of clients’ capital ahead of the COVID-related crash.

Titan’s strategy is to win, and to win big. According to The Fourth Quarter 2020 Robo Report, Titan delivered a total return of 44.42% in 2020. In comparison, the report says the average robo-advisor returned 14.90% on their equity holdings that year. If you had $10,000 managed by Titan during 2020, you would have paid $100 in fees, but you also would have made a $4,442 return, netting you a total of $4,342. Had you worked with the average robo-advisor, you would have returned $1,490 before paying advisor fees.

That said, Titan’s portfolios carry a lot of risk, and that risk doesn’t always pay off. Investing in a smaller number of stocks and crypto can be riskier than investing in a handful of broad-market index funds or ETFs, which can hold hundreds of different stocks within a single investment.

Titan's four strategies are outlined in more detail below:

Titan Flagship

Titan Opportunities

Titan Offshore

Titan Crypto

Account minimums

$100.

$10,000.

$10,000.

$100.

Portfolio focus

Large cap, U.S.-focused.

Small and mid cap, U.S.-focused.

International-focused.

Cryptocurrencies with minimal correlation to equities.

Socially responsible portfolio options: 1 out of 5 stars

Titan does not offer a socially responsible portfolio option. If sustainable investing is important to you, you may want to consider other options.

» Explore NerdWallet’s picks for the best robo-advisors for socially conscious investors

Accounts supported: 4 out of 5 stars

Titan offers taxable accounts and traditional, Roth, and inherited/beneficiary IRAs. You can roll over an existing individual account, IRA, 401(k) or 403(b) account into an account with Titan, but accounts must be held at Titan's custodial partner Apex.

Tax strategy: 4 out of 5 stars

Titan does not offer a tax strategy per se, but Titan’s all-stock portfolio is essentially direct indexing, minus the index. Direct indexing refers to buying individual stocks to isolate tax harvesting opportunities. Titan's portfolios do this naturally.

Automatic rebalancing: 4 out of 5 stars

For Titan’s three equity strategies (Flagship, Opportunities and Offshore), accounts are rebalanced quarterly. For their newer strategy, Titan Crypto, Titan says that they will be rebalancing closer to a monthly cadence. All rebalancing with Titan is free.

Human advisor option: 1 out of 5 stars

While Titan does not give clients access to a financial advisor, the service does offer investors a window into the decision-making process behind their portfolios with videos and live updates. These “courtside seats,” as they call it, help investors understand how global events affect stocks in your portfolio and why Titan may or may not jump on board with new IPOs.

» Curious about other options? Explore the best financial advisors

You can also message the investor relations team through the app with any questions you may have about the investment decisions the team has made, but the team cannot give you personalized financial advice.

Savings account/cash management options: 1 out of 5 stars

Titan does not offer any kind of banking options. Offering savings or checking products has become fairly standard for robo-advisors, and integrated banking makes it easy for investors to see a full picture of their finances in one place.

Customer support options: 2.5 out of 5 stars

Titan’s customer service is limited, offering only chat and email during weekday business hours. Many other providers offer phone service to clients.

Is Titan right for you?

If you're interested in access to a hedge-fund like strategy, Titan’s strategy may work well for you. If you think you may need financial planning help, banking or tax assistance you may want to think about working with a more well-rounded robo-advisor or a financial advisor. Titan’s portfolios also have a lot of risk. Stocks and cryptocurrencies are high-risk investments, and Titan’s ambitious claims are not a guarantee.

How do we review robo-advisors?

NerdWallet’s comprehensive review process evaluates and ranks the largest U.S. robo-advisors by assets under management, along with emerging industry players, using a multifaceted and iterative approach. 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.

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RATING FACTORS

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Each factor can involve evaluating various sub-factors. For instance, when gauging the investment selections offered by robo-advisors, 80% of the score is based on the potential for diversification (how well-diversified a resulting portfolio of investments could be) combined with the availability of specialty portfolios and level of customization for investors. Expense ratios form an additional 10% of the score, and low or no management fee the remaining 10%.

FACTOR WEIGHTINGS

The weighting of each factor is based on our team’s assessment of which features are the most important to consumers and which ones impact the consumer experience in the most meaningful way. The factors considered, and how those factors are weighted, change depending upon the category of providers reviewed.

INFORMATION UPDATES

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on Titan's website