Opening an investment account is daunting, especially with so many choices. We’ve done rigorous research and product testing to successfully rate Robo-advisors. SimpleMoneyLyfe’s evaluates Robo-advisors based on the following criteria:
Minimum Opening Balance: Select Robo-advisors require new customers to deposit a specific amount of money. The account minimum varies between rob-advisors and our analysts make sure you know what is required before you open an account.
Account Fees: Analysts evaluate how the Robo-advisor makes money. We’ll tell you whether the service is subscription, performance, or flat fee-based.
Diversification & Investment Strategy: Analysts evaluate whether the platform allows clients to customize and diversify their portfolios. We also dive deep into the Robo-advisors investment thesis, historical performance, and tradeable securities available.
Customer Support: We evaluate what customer support options are available for current clients. Robo-advisors receive favorable marks when it offers email, online chat, and 24/7 customer support services.
Mobile and Online Experience: This portion of the review process is when our analysts roll up their sleeves and test out the product. In most cases, this includes reviewing a demonstration or downloading the mobile application, and creating an account. Analysts test the durability, UX/UI, functionality, and resources available to clients.
Access to Human Advisors: Technology isn’t perfect. Analysts verify that customers can access human advisors, financial planners, tax experts, and other financial professionals. The more personalized services offered, the better.
Level of Automation: Robo-advisors are designed to help American’s invest passively. We review the level of automation offered to clients. A few questions we consider: Does the Robo-advisor support dollar-cost averaging? Can clients set up automatic (weekly, monthly, & annual) contributions?
Security: Robo-advisors manage your money and have access to personal information. Analysts verify compliance with appropriate regulations and review the security infrastructure.
Accounts Supported: Analysts review the type of accounts offered on the platform. Accounts we like to see support: Roth IRA, Traditional IRA, Taxable Accounts, 401(K), Trusts, Estate Plans, 529 Plans, and Health Saving Accounts.
The Robo-Advisor Rating and Review Process
The product team currently reviews over 11 Robo-advisors. The advisors we select and review have substantial assets under management, have large balance sheets and comply with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
Analysts utilize third-party sites and platforms to gauge industry reputation. These sites include Google Reviews, Better Business Bureau, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and Trustpilot. Moreover, analysts also collect data from the Robo-advisors website. When partnering with a select Robo-advisor analysts partake in product demonstrations. However, this is often unnecessary. Chances are someone on our team is a customer of the platform we are reviewing, so we easily get a behind-the-scenes view of the product in question. Our first-hand experience and rigorous product testing are what make SimpleMoneyLyfe different.
Scheduled Product and Information Updates
Analysts constantly update the content we publish. This ensures the criteria we are evaluating remain relevant, accurate, and fresh.
Robo-Advisor Review Team
The Robo-Advisor review team is made up of financial industry veterans. Some of our writers have previously served as private wealth managers and analysts at beloved financial institutions and firms. Additionally, a few members of our editorial team are licensed Chartered Financial Analysts and Certified Financial Planners. The investment and Robo-advisor review team has been featured in CNBC, WSJ, Nasdaq.com, Forbes, Business Insider, and MarketWatch. This industry experience and deep knowledge of the financial ecosystem ensure our reviews are objective, calculated, and concise. Read more about our editorial guidelines and the team that helps consumers make simple financial decisions.