Top 10 Best Robo Advisors, Reviewed for 2020

Discover what robo advisors are, how they work, and a list of the best robo advisors you can use to invest your money in 2020.

Robo advisors have become incredibly popular investment platforms since they first appeared on the scene around a decade ago. Especially younger investors from the millennial generation, often choose automated investment services over hiring an independent financial advisor when it comes to managing their money.

Discover what robo advisors are, how they work, and a list of the best robo advisors you can use to invest your money in 2020.

Best Robo Advisors

What is a Robo Advisor?


A robo advisor is a digital investment platform that uses an automated, algorithm-based approach to building investment portfolios on behalf of its customers with little to no human intervention.

Robo advisors enable investors – especially new or inexperienced ones – to invest their money in a simple, automated, and hassle-free manner, and at a low cost.

Independent financial advisors and traditional investment companies have historically charged high fees for their investment services, and those high fees are not necessarily merited by portfolio returns. Therefore, investors – especially from the millennial generation – are happy to have algorithms determine their portfolios as opposed to costly human financial planners.

Robo advisors typically invest their users’ funds in a diversified portfolio composed of low-cost index tracker ETFs, which means they can charge lower fees than many of its traditional peers. Moreover, robo advisors are generally digital-only and mobile-friendly, making them very appealing to millennials and generation Z who grew up using mobile apps to manage their daily lives.

The first digital wealth management platforms that adopted the term “robo advisor” were Betterment and Wealthfront, which both launched in the wake of the global financial crisis in 2008. Today, there are dozens of robo advisors in the US and globally, as this new type of automated investing has become the norm for many investors.

How to Get Started With a Robo Advisor


Signing up for a robo advisor account only takes minutes and is done online or via the provider’s mobile app. While the specifics in the signup process differ from company to company, the general steps are as follows:

  1. Access the provider’s website or download the app
  2. Register using your email address and a password
  3. Fill in personal details to complete your account registration
  4. Answer a questionnaire that will determine things such as your investment goals, risk tolerance, 
  5. Fund your account via a wire transfer
  6. Deposit funds into your prescribed portfolio

And that’s it! The account setup process only takes minutes, and once your wire transfer has arrived, you’re all set to start your investment journey.

Robo Advisors vs. Personal Financial Advisors


The emergence of digital-first robo advice platforms has put the entire personal financial advisor model into question. Why should anyone pay more for financial advice from a human if an algorithm can effectively do the same job for less? Before we go into that, let’s look at the similarities and differences between robo advisors and personal financial advisors.

Robo AdvisorPersonal Financial Advisor
AccessibilityHighLow
CostLowHigh
DigitalYesSometimes
PersonalizationMediumHigh

For investors who are at the beginning of the investment journey or for individuals with only a small amount of investment capital, it arguably makes more sense to choose a robo advisor over a human financial advisor. They are more accessible, charge much lower fees, and automatically build and manage investment portfolios on behalf of the investor.

For more experienced investors looking for particular investment exposure or for individuals who want answers to specific money management questions, hiring a personal financial advisor may still be worth the higher fees.

Best Robo Advisors


We have composed a list of the best robo advisors you can use to manage your investments in 2020. Below, you will find ten of the most popular providers in the US. 

ProviderBest ForTrustpilot Rating
AcornsSmall savers3.4
BettermentFirst-time investors3.7
EllevestFemale investorsn.a.
Personal CapitalHuman touch4.4
SoFiZero-fee investing3.8
StashSmall savers4.0
WealthfrontFirst-time investors3.4
WealthSimpleFirst-time investors4.4
Charles SchwabZero-fee investing3.4
SigFigFirst-time investors3.7

Acorns

Acorns

Acorns is a market-leading micro-investing app that enables individuals who only have a small amount of capital to invest in starting their investment journey.

The robo advisor’s standout feature is that it allows its users to connect their bank cards to automatically round up purchases and invest that money into a low-cost, diversified ETF portfolio. Additionally, Acorns offers a mobile checking account, a debit card, and retirement planning.

  • Minimum Investment: $0
  • Fees: $1 – $3 per month
  • Trustpilot Rating: 3.4
  • Best for: Small savers

Betterment

Betterment

Betterment is a pioneer in the robo advisor market and has managed to maintain its market-leading status for over a decade thanks to its simplicity and low fees.

The New York-based digital investment services provider enables individuals to invest in low-cost, automated ETF portfolios specifically tailored to each investor.

  • Minimum Investment: $0
  • Fees: 0.25% per annum
  • Trustpilot Rating: 3.7
  • Best for: First-time investors

Ellevest

Ellevest is the world’s first robo advisor targeted explicitly at female investors. Research has shown that women invest differently than men, and that is Ellevest’s focus.

The New York-based investment manager creates personalized portfolios for each investor based on their investment goals and risk tolerance.

  • Minimum Investment: $0
  • Fees: 0.25% per annum
  • Trustpilot Rating: n.a
  • Best for: Female investors

Personal Capital

Personal Capital

Personal Capital is a digital wealth management and financial planning platform that offers both human and robo advice for individuals looking for assistance with their money management.

The California-based financial services provider charges a comparatively low fee of 0.89% for its services, but it does come with a $100,000 minimum investment requirement, which may be a hurdle for some.

  • Minimum Investment: $100,000
  • Fees: 0.89% per annum
  • Trustpilot Rating: 4.4
  • Best for: Human touch

SigFig

SigFig

SigFig is a classic robo advisor platform that enables investors to invest in custom-made ETF portfolios in a completely automated manner.

The California-based robo advisor builds tax-efficient, low-cost portfolios and manages them on behalf of its users for a low annual fee of 0.25%.

  • Minimum Investment: $2,000
  • Fees: 0.25%
  • Trustpilot Rating: 3.7
  • Best for: First-time investors

SoFi

SoFi

SoFi is a next-generation investment platform that offers a wide range of services from private student loans and small business refinancing to online banking and financial investing.

The California-based provider’s automated investing platform enables anyone to invest in the financial market at zero cost via SoFi-managed personalized investment portfolios.

  • Minimum Investment: $0
  • Fees: 0%
  • Trustpilot Rating: 3.8
  • Best for: Zero-fee investing

Stash

Stash

Stash started out as a micro-investing app to help young investors with little available capital to get their foot in the door of the financial markets.

Its roundup feature, which automatically rounds up spare change from purchases to add it into an investment portfolio, remains one of the robo advisor’s standout features. Additionally, Stash also offers mobile banking, a debit card, and retirement planning.

  • Minimum Investment: $0
  • Fees: $1 – $9 per month
  • Trustpilot Rating: 4.0
  • Best for: Small savers

Schwab Intelligent Portfolios

Charles-Schwab

Schwab Intelligent Portfolios is the robo advice offering of leading investment services provider Charles Schwab.

Despite its relatively high minimum investment requirement of $5,000, Charles Schwab’s robo advisor stands out for its zero-fee model and its 24/7 live customer service.

  • Minimum Investment: $5,000
  • Fees: 0%
  • Trustpilot Rating: 3.4
  • Best for: Zero-fee investing

Wealthfront

Wealthfront

Wealthfront is another pioneer in the robo advice market that stands out for its simplicity and low fees.

The California-based digital investment service provider enables investors to invest in diversified, ETF-based portfolios in a fully-automated and hassle-free manner at a low cost.

  • Minimum Investment: $500
  • Fees: 0.25% per annum
  • Trustpilot Rating: 3.4
  • Best for: First-time investors

WealthSimple

WealthSimple

WealthSimple is a robo advisor that focuses on empowering millennials to start investing by offering a simple and easy-to-use digital investment app.

The Toronto-headquartered investment manager builds low-cost, ETF-based portfolios for people who prefer a simple, hands-off approach to investing in the financial markets.

  • Minimum Investment: $0
  • Fees: 0.4% – 0.5% per annum
  • Trustpilot Rating: 4.4
  • Best for: First-time investors

Are Robo Advisors Worth It?


Robo advisors provide an excellent avenue for inexperienced investors to dip their toes into the financial markets without requiring the necessary know-how to construct an investment portfolio tailored to their investment goals and risk profile. Robo advisors handle all of that for you, and for a much lower fee than a traditional financial advisor.Unless you are an experienced investor with very specific investment needs, using robo advice platforms to automate your investment portfolio is probably a good idea. Moreover, if you are entirely new to investing, it is probably the best way to get started.

What’s Next?


If you want to get started with a robo advisor but still want to be able to speak to a human about your investments, sign up to Personal Capital today!

The Takeaway

bAnks.com Logo

Unless you are an experienced investor with very specific investment needs, using robo advice platforms to automate your investment portfolio is probably a good idea. Moreover, if you are entirely new to investing, it is probably the best way to get started.

You may also like