Been a user for ~1 year. Solid choice for my use case as a "set and forget" robo-advisor with a recurring monthly deposit. They have other features I haven't tried, including the connected accounts dashboard. The interface is nice and user-friendly but I'm not a heavy user. The free tier of 10k in fee-free (shameless plug: use this link http://wlth.fr/1LFMHjg for an extra 5k free) is great option for smaller accounts, making it cheaper than Betterment when getting started.
Other notes: I have harvested a couple hundred dollars in tax-losses even with my smallish account. I'm looking forward to getting that back during tax season. Hoping that the process is simple
I'm moving my money out of Wealthfront, not because it's bad, but because it's not for me. It depends on how interested you are in micro-managing your asset class allocations. If you just want to plop down some money and forget about it, WF is fine. Especially if you have less than $15k.
Reasons I'm leaving:
No way to take into account my holdings outside of WF. I have a Fidelity 401k with limited low-fee options, which means I have a lot of stocks and bonds there. I'd like to have more REITs and dividend stocks in my Roth IRA to compensate, because it's more tax-advantageous to put those taxable gains in a non-taxable account, but WF can't do that.
Tax loss harvesting, the "big feature" WF offers for taxable accounts, is not as big a benefit as their marketing materials claim. I can't put a figure on it but I suspect it starts out lower than their best case scenario and gets worse the longer the account matures. How can you harvest losses on a handful of ETFs that are all up from where you bought them 10 years ago?
Tax loss harvesting also generates a lot of paperwork at tax time due to all the trades. Granted this should be a tax preparer's problem but I'm stubborn and keep doing my own taxes. It can also step on the toes of my non-WF accounts like the 401k if there's any overlap, resulting in a hard-to-detect wash sale since the 401k isn't going to sell any assets for decades unless I roll it over.
Their "direct indexing", which buys 100 or more stocks that make up an index and does tax loss harvesting against that is a much more interesting feature but that requires $100k which is 2-3 years away for me, and I'd rather be putting that money into maxing my 401k first anyway. It also would generate several orders of magnitude more of the aforementioned paperwork. I would probably have to buy a GainsKeeper subscription just to keep track of all the trades going on and make sure I'm not accidentally cheating the IRS.
Tax loss harvesting and direct indexing are useless for tax-advantaged retirement accounts, so WF is basically charging 0.25% just to buy ETFs for you. Vanguard will do this for free.
Reasons you might want to use Wealthfront anyway:
You put your money in and forget about it. Nothing to worry about, no ongoing choices to make. If you get glass-eyed and slack-jawed at a list of mutual funds, this is a significant benefit.
0.25% is really quite a small fee. I have $60k in my taxable account and the fee is currently $10/month. It's a small fraction of even a worst-case long term market growth figure.
Reasons why you could use Vanguard and still be just as happy:
If you have $1000 you can buy into a "target retirement date" fund, and get pretty much exactly the same thing with no fees at all.
I've been using Wealthfront for the past ~8 months and I am pretty satisfied with it. I'm impressed with the loss harvesting function. I signed up via a referral link so I have $15,000 managed for free. I don't plan on putting more than $15,000 in this portfolio, thus never triggering the management fee.
I'd use Wealthfront for learning purposes, I don't think it's worth the 0,25% fee beyond that.
My father gifted me a Fidelity account that once held my UTMA account. You can trade Fidelity ETFs, iShares ETFs, and Blackrock ETFs commission-free with Fidelity. Vanguard is also a great option for low fee ETFs.
I have a wealthfront account and a vanguard account. When i first started investing i used wealthfront and i'm happy with that choice. They give you a solidly diversified portfolio and prevent you from making a bunch of beginners mistakes. Also, FWIW the wealthfront website is really nice.
I learned a lot, weirdly, just by watching wealthfront passively invest and balance my account. This kind of regular maintenance and emotionless behavior is basically what you want to replicate if/when move to Vanguard.
Wealthfront charges no fee on balances below 10k so it's a good way to get started. Personally, now that i've exceeded 10k I'm moving to Vanguard. I've been reading a lot about investing and feel ready to take more DIY approach.
Wealthfront has been underperforming other robo-advisors because they have a larger allocation in international stocks, more specifically emerging markets such as Brazil, Russia, India, Taiwan, and China) and international stocks have been underperforming US stocks in the last few years. Keep in mind that international stocks can outperform US stocks in the coming years so it's hard to know whether or not having a larger allocation of international stocks is smart.
If you look at the performance data for 2017, Wealthfront's seems to match the performance of the other robo-advisors. I use Wealthfront as well and would just stick to it.