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Investing

Invest for your future and your kid's college with this robo-advisor

Wealthfront users pay a low annual advisory fee and can get access to a 529 college savings plan.

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Simon Jarratt | Corbis | VCG

Many robo-advisors share common features: low-cost diversification, automatic rebalancing and the option to put your money into an IRA to save specifically for retirement.

But some of the best robo-advisors stand out for going above and beyond the usual offerings. Wealthfront does just that. Users pay a low 0.25% annual advisory fee and can also get access to a 529 college savings plan and an interest-earning checking account with debit card access.

Below, Select reviews the Wealthfront platform to give you all the details on its investment options, features and fees so you can decide if it's right for your money.

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Wealthfront review

Wealthfront

  • Minimum deposit and balance

    Minimum deposit and balance requirements may vary depending on the investment vehicle selected. $500 minimum deposit for investment accounts

  • Fees

    Fees may vary depending on the investment vehicle selected. Zero account, transfer, trading or commission fees (fund ratios may apply). Wealthfront annual management advisory fee is 0.25% of your account balance

  • Bonus

    Get $50 bonus when you fund your first taxable investment account

  • Investment vehicles

  • Investment options

    Stocks, bonds, ETFs and cash. Additional asset classes to your portfolio include real estate, natural resources and dividend stocks

  • Educational resources

    Offers free financial advice for college planning, retirement and homebuying

See our methodology, terms apply.

Pros

  • No trade or transfer fees
  • Good for automated investing
  • Picks investments based on user's risk tolerance and time until retirement
  • Offers a cash management checking account with a debit card
  • Tax-loss harvesting to reduce the taxes you pay: 
  • Fund your first taxable Investment Account and get a $50 bonus.

Cons

  • $500 minimum deposit
  • 0.25% management fee

Wealthfront investment options

Wealthfront invests in low-cost, globally diversified index funds, more specifically ETFs. Its diversified portfolios include stocks, bonds, real estate and ESGs. You can't buy and sell individual stock on Wealthfront.

When you sign up for a Wealthfront account, you'll fill out a questionnaire to determine your comfort level with taking on risk. Using your age, your financial situation and your attitude toward risk, Wealthfront will then assign a risk score that reflects your comfort zone. This is helpful in tailoring a portfolio for you.

Wealthfront's customers can also invest in traditional, Roth, SEP or Rollover IRAs, plus Wealthfront offers a 529 college savings plan.

Features

Wealthfront's advanced features include tax-loss harvesting that can help offset the advisory fee, a cash management checking account with a debit card and its 529 college savings plan, which robo-advisors don't traditionally offer. It also provides free financial advice for college planning, retirement and homebuying.

Wealthfront's app has good reviews. It's available to download for free in both the App Store (for iOS), where it has 4.8/5 stars, and on Google Play (for Android), where is has 4.6/5 stars at the time this article was written.

Fees

There is a $500 minimum deposit for investment accounts at Wealthfront. The annual management advisory fee is a low 0.25% of your account balance. So, if you have $5,000 invested with Wealthfront, you'll pay just $12.50.

Bottom line

Wealthfront is a solid robo-advisor option. It picks investments based on users' risk score (indicating their risk tolerance and time until retirement), plus it offers investing through IRAs and 529s.

If you don't want to be tied to a $500 minimum investing deposit, consider another popular robo-advisor Betterment. There's no minimum balance required, and the annual account fee is the same 0.25% of your fund balance. Plus, even though it's an automated service, users can get access to a real-life financial advisor. (Read our full Betterment review.)

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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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