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Douugh, a fintech budgeting app, launches a new robo-advisor feature

Douugh Wealth allows users to choose between six types of portfolios curated by investment experts.

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Photo: Joe Gerace
Select’s editorial team works independently to review financial products and write articles we think our readers will find useful. We earn a commission from affiliate partners on many offers, but not all offers on Select are from affiliate partners.

When it comes to investing and budgeting, it can be difficult to know where to start. You might want to start saving with a specific goal in mind, like setting aside money for a vacation to Europe, or budgeting with the intention of being more conscious about your expenses and savings.

There are a lot of apps and services out there that help you budget, like Mint and Personal Capital, and others that make it easy to invest like Robinhood and Wealthfront.

However Douugh, an Australian financial technology company, intends to help you reach those financial goals with the ease of using just one app. While Mint is is a budgeting app and Wealthfront is a robo-advisor app, Douugh promises to provide users with both. Douugh also owns Goodments, a $0 commission trading platform.

With Douugh's new robo-advisor feature that launched today, known as Douugh Wealth, you'll have access to curated investment portfolios as well as Douugh's core platform which includes a checking account and accompanying debit card. There are no management fees for using the robo-advisor feature but Douugh will cost you $4.99 a month, plus you'll be charged a withdrawal fee of $0.50.

"It's all too easy for people to go onto these platforms and blow their money on crypto or single stock trading on Tesla and all these meme stocks... we want to be the first sort of responsible, financial super app in that we're not we're not building a platform for you to gamble or speculate with," Andy Taylor, Douugh CEO said. "We're helping you save and build a plan for the long term."

When you use Douugh Wealth, you'll have your choice between two types of investment portfolios: The Core Series and the Sustainable Series, according to Tom Culver, Douugh global head of wealth. Depending on your level of risk, you can choose a conservative, moderate or aggressive portfolio from the Core Series or Sustainable Series.

The Sustainable Series is a set of socially responsible investments focused on green energy and that avoid investing in tobacco, fur, the military or weapons. For consumers not interested in social impact investing, you can opt for the Core Series which Culver describes as 'tech focused and future focused'. These portfolios are managed by a group of in-house investment experts.

While Douugh Wealth is a new addition to the app, you'll also have access to the original platform which includes a debit card and checking account. There is no minimum deposit required for the checking account and it has no overdraft fees.

You also won't get any interest on money you put in your Douugh checking account, so if you're looking to save a lot of cash, it's best to either invest it in one of their portfolios or place your money in a separate high-yield savings account.

Some of the special features offered on Douugh's original platform are automatic spending categorization, which can be used for budgeting, and virtual 'jars', which allocate money towards savings, bills, a rainy day fund or a jar that you create.

By connecting your other checking accounts and credit cards to the app, Douugh sorts through your transactions (from up to two years ago) and uses artificial intelligence to understand your fixed expenses. It then allocates money towards the different 'jars'.

The rainy day fund is meant to help people save for unexpected expenses. It sets an automatic target at $1,000. The bills jar is for automated payments from everything from your Netflix payment to your rent payments. Lastly, your savings jar can be used for your specific financial goals, like saving for a house, car or vacation.

Wealthfront and Betterment offer similar services, providing consumers with access to diversified investment portfolios comprised of ETFs and index funds. Both offer different portfolios based on your level of risk tolerance. Wealthfront does, however, require a minimum $500 deposit for your investment account and charges an annual advisory fee. Betterment also charges a management fee for its investment account, but there's no minimum balance.

And if you're interested in holding a checking account with either robo-advisor, Betterment and Wealthfront also provide the ability to bank through their platform. Your cash deposits will earn interest with each company, unlike Douugh's bank account.

Douugh is meant for consumers who want to consolidate all of their financial information into one app, including investing. With Douugh Wealth, investing is meant to be easier and more accessible by allowing consumers to choose between investment portfolios that have been curated by experts, and it'll only cost you $5 a month.

Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the Select editorial staff’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any third party.
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