I like the etf variety which Schwab's robo offers, and not found at Vanguard. If you are interested in a robo begin with the minimum amount and add to it over time. There is much to learn about market conditions from their portfolio buy and sells.
2 months ago
At the beginning of the year, I opened taxable robo accounts at all the (then 4) robo advisors: WiseBanyan, WealthFront, Betterment, and Shcwab's Intel Port. Recently Fidelity started one too. I took a quick glance at the Fido offer but wasn't impressed.
I like Schwab the best: $0 management fee, uses both fundamental & cap weight index ETFs, has biggest AUM of over $5B. You should know they use this platform to increase AUM for their fundamental index ETFs - and make money off of it - which is OK by me.
Next best are Betterment & Wealthfront (both large AUMs, but have management fee) but predominantly use Vanguard market-cap indexes. They are fine too if you are ok with a fraction on 1% management fee. I am a cheap-skate and want to avoid the management fee.
I would avoid WiseBanyan even though they are absolutely free, the overall service is not up to snuff and it appears to be fledgling at best with only a small asset base.
I have no issues with any of them in adding/removing money from the accounts. All are very easy to do business with.
I am considering closing out the accounts at WiseBanyan, Wealthfront and Betterment - and consolidate the funds into Schwab.
Don't forget Schwab doesn't charge a management fee...and there are ways to select your portfolio so cash is only 8% of the portfolio. They are going to lend your cash on margin to other investors and make money.. I am OK with it.
The most likeable thing with Schwab is they use both factor ETFs and market cap weighted ETFs...(they are probably the only robo that use factor ETFs).
I have been with Schwab for almost a year coming up end of this month - factor weighted equity performed twice as well as cap weighted equity...
about 2 months ago
No complaints. My money has been there since June 2015. There's been times where it outperformed the market and times when it underperformed the market, which will be true of any portfolio that is different than "the market". Having a background in finance, I can say the approach to portfolio building from any of these services is fundamentally sound. The only reason I went with Schwab over the others is because I already had an account there. I don't think I'll move other accounts there just because my personal preference to be personally involved in investing.
While there are plenty of internet warriors that will tell you Wealthfront/Betterment/Schwab is best and all the others are the devil, the practical differences are so minor as to be immaterial. Some will outperform others, but only time will tell which ones. Be aware that Betterment has better marketing than the rest. I strongly suspect Betterment pays much higher to commission rates to bloggers than Wealthfront. This isn't to say the product is better or worse. Just realize the blog recommendations are likely biased.
I strongly recommend any of these product (whichever suits your personal preference) if you're the type of person who wants to be hands-off in your investments.
Personal Capital does have a different approach than the others. Putting on my finance theory hat, Personal Capital has built an optimal individualized index fund. It's pretty cool. The only problem is that their service is the most expensive. And while it's theoretically superior, the price point is a pretty serious drawback.