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Financial Advice

The Best Robo-Advisors of 2023

Understand the ins and outs of digital advice and see our top picks.

Digital investment advice is booming. As access to these services has increased, so have investors' questions about their suitability, cost, and range of offerings.

Digital investing platforms, or robo-advisors, offer financial advice and limited human interaction. This combination of services is becoming increasingly appealing, thanks to Generation Z's ability and preference to handle its finances online, the pandemic-driven shift to virtual interactions with advisors, and increasing interest in novel assets like cryptocurrency.

In a report with my colleagues Alec Lucas, Dan Culloton, David Kathman, Drew Carter, Elizabeth Templeton, Gabriel Denis, and Lan Anh Tran, we took a closer look at what the top robo-advisors can (and can't) do and the type of investors who could benefit from using one. And if robo-advisors sound like a good fit, consider our list of top providers to better understand the options that could work for you.

You can also dive deeper into the details in the full research report.

What Is a Robo-Advisor?

Robo-advisors occupy a middle ground between a wealth manager and a do-it-yourself trading platform.

For example, robo-advisors use computer algorithms to provide low-cost asset allocation and build automated investor portfolios. They offer more specificity than the straightforward trade execution of a brokerage platform but not as much as the personalization you'd get from a living, breathing wealth manager.

Robo-advisors also offer financial goal planning at a basic level. That means more customization than you'd see from a brokerage platform but not as much as from a live financial advisor.

Are Robo-Advisors Worth It for You?

This semitailored approach can be a good fit for early- to midcareer investors who want to further their investment strategy but don't have the means, need, or interest to engage a traditional financial advisor.

This group of investors would benefit from robo-advisors that offer:

  • Lower fees. Perhaps the greatest appeal of robo-advisors is their substantially lower price tag for advice. Of the 20 providers we reviewed, the median advisory fee was 0.25%. Financial advisors tend to have advisory fees around 4 times that amount—about 1%—which is a greater burden on individuals investing less money.
  • Lower account minimums. These substantially reduce barriers of entry to investing. Five of the 20 robo-advisor platforms we reviewed have no account minimum (or close to zero) for their most basic services, and nearly every other provider has a minimum of $5,000 or less. On the other hand, research from Cerulli Associates shows that only 7% of financial advisors focus on serving individuals who invest less than $100,000.
  • Strategies to minimize taxes. Several robo-advisors we reviewed include the option to sell underperforming investments at a loss to offset taxes owed from other, higher-performing securities. This sophisticated strategy, known as tax-loss harvesting, speaks to the breadth of services and tax efficiency that these providers can offer at a lower price point.

The Drawbacks of Robo-Investing

If you’re still learning the basics about investing and are intimidated by making decisions independently (and looking to invest a good amount), it might be smart to work with a human advisor who can take the lead and guide you through the ins and outs of their decision-making.

Investors with larger, more complex portfolios could also benefit from the support of a traditional financial advisor. That’s especially true for complex matters like insurance and risk management, estate planning, and retirement drawdown strategies.

Other factors could also complicate a portfolio. For instance, if you have a family member with a disability, you could likely benefit from one-on-one guidance around a special-needs trust or ABLE account.

Who Are the Best Robo-Advisors?

Our assessment focused on the factors that most directly help investors reach their financial goals: fees, quality of portfolio construction and investment advice, and financial planning tools.

Robo-Advisor Assessments

Read on to see our take on the leading robo-advisors.

These are condensed versions of our assessments; you can explore the complete evaluations in our 2023 Robo-Advisor Landscape report. (We didn't evaluate Ellevest or J.P. Morgan Automated Investing because of potential conflicts of interest.)

Vanguard Digital Advisor

Vanguard Digital Advisor receives an overall evaluation of High, with a minimum investment of $3,000 and annual advisory fee of 0.15%.

Fee assumes a $15,000 account balance.
Advisory Fee for Premium Customers: Starting at 0.30%.
Data as of March 31, 2023.

Vanguard Digital Advisor and its hybrid sibling Vanguard Personal Advisor Services, which combines automation with human expertise, once again earn the top spot among the robo-advisors we surveyed. In fact, Vanguard has extended its lead through multiple enhancements.

In recent years, Vanguard has introduced environmental, social, and governance options, active equity and fixed-income funds, and a municipal-bond strategy. Tax-loss harvesting is now available to all advice clients, who also benefit from tax-efficient implementation, including a completion methodology that helps investors avoid realizing capital gains on existing holdings.

Vanguard's portfolio construction approach combines relative simplicity with customization. It offers more than 300 glide paths, based on an investor's needs, and updates the path annually as model inputs change.

Vanguard also offers an impressive array of planning tools, including outside account aggregation, custom goal planning, debt planning, a rainy-day tool, a healthcare estimator, and Medicare match. Clients with at least $50,000 can opt for the hybrid Personal Advisor Services offering for a 0.30% annual advisory fee (not including underlying fund fees) and have unlimited access to a pool of certified financial planners, who can further customize their portfolios around non-Vanguard fund holdings and individual stock ownership. Clients with higher asset levels are eligible for additional, more-customized planning services.

Vanguard isn't flawless. Some clients have complained about customer-service issues, and its "Invest for Amex by Vanguard" partnership has a higher pricing structure, which runs counter to Vanguard's generally rock-solid commitment to keeping pricing low and avoiding layered fees. This relatively minor issue aside, Vanguard continues to set the standard for low-cost digital financial advice.

Fidelity Go

Fidelity Go receives an overall evaluation of Above Average, with a minimum investment of $10 and no annual advisory fee

Fee assumes a $15,000 account balance.

Investors are automatically opted in to a 0.35% asset-based fee as soon as assets reach $25,000.
Data as of May 31, 2023.

Fidelity Go stands out for its simple, straightforward approach that draws on Fidelity's strong global research and asset-allocation team.

Fidelity uses information from a relatively thorough risk-tolerance questionnaire to map investors to a taxable or retirement-focused portfolio, and each portfolio includes seven different risk levels. The portfolios all focus on a short list of core asset classes; esoteric asset classes or ESG-focused strategies aren't part of the offer.

The service also offers ongoing support. Text alerts and other communications let customers know how they are progressing with their goals, as well as provide behavioral nudges to encourage long-term investing. Fidelity Go does not currently offer tax-loss harvesting.

All Fidelity Go participants have access to tools for spending and debt management, while those with balances above $25,000 also get unlimited advice and planning calls. Users can choose from a menu of coaching solutions focused on different topics, including retirement planning and budgeting. In contrast to Betterment and Schwab, not all its financial advisors hold the CFP designation, though most do.

Schwab Intelligent Portfolios

Schwab Intelligent Portfolios receives an overall evaluation of Above Average, with a minimum investment of $5,000 and no annual advisory fees

Fee assumes a $15,000 account balance.
Advisory Fee for Premium Customers: $300 one-time planning fee plus ongoing fees of $30 per month.
Data as of May 31, 2023.

Schwab's robo-advisor program narrowly misses greatness.

The portfolio-construction process has several strengths. It uses an extensive risk-tolerance questionnaire to match investors with portfolios designed for one of 12 risk levels. Plus, the portfolios provide comprehensive asset-class exposure, including both U.S. and international large- and small-cap stocks, gold, Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities, REITs, corporate bonds, mortgages, Treasuries, high-yield bonds, muni bonds, world bonds, and emerging-markets debt. And the underlying investments are solid, while Schwab's approach to constructing portfolios, rebalancing to limit risk, and managing tax considerations is thoughtful.

Despite the portfolios' strengths, excessive cash allocations are an Achilles' heel. Cash allocations range from 6% to 30% of assets depending on the portfolio's risk level. This cash buffer was a positive in 2022's bear market, but has led to lower returns over longer periods.

Even with cash yields having reached above 5% as of early June 2023, above-average cash allocations will likely lead to lower returns over time.

Schwab Intelligent Portfolios Premium suffers from the same cash issue but otherwise has considerable merit. Investors with at least $25,000 have unlimited access to a financial planner holding the CFP designation. The service offers comprehensive financial planning, including advice on mortgages, college savings, retirement savings, retirement income, and budgeting.

Even with this flaw, Schwab still ranks among the best robo-advisoroptions, especially for investors with enough assets to benefit from itscomprehensive advice on financial planning and retirement income.


Betterment receives an overall evaluation of Above Average, with no minimum investment and annual advisory fee of 0.32%.

Fee assumes a $15,000 account balance.

Betterment charges $4/month for accounts less than $20,000. However, that fee converts to 0.25% a number of ways, including with a $250/month automated deposit into a Betterment account at any balance.
Advisory Fee for Premium Customers: 0.40%.

Data as of May 31, 2023.

Betterment's array of services and value set it apart, but investors would be better served sticking to its core offering and avoiding its gimmicky extras like cryptocurrency.

Betterment is one of the few robo-providers that employs a glide path, which gradually adjusts the portfolio's asset mix to become more conservative over time. Portfolio construction is sensible and well-thought-out: The main Core Portfolios series offers a mix of low-cost ETFs with exposure to several major asset classes. Betterment also offers a range of other portfolios beyond its core offering.

Betterment has a wide range of services, especially given its below-average price tag. Advice is part of the offer, too, and investors who use multiple banking and investment accounts can get holistic help with retirement investing, goal planning, and prioritizing various accounts. Although on-demand access to an investment advisor is reserved for Betterment Premium, clients can also pay hourly for advice on specific situations, such as retirement planning, general financial advice, college savings, marriage planning, and other topics.

Investors should be aware Betterment was fined $9 million in April 2023 after the SEC found the firm had not disclosed tax-loss-harvesting program changes and coding errors that cost about 25,000 clients a combined $4 million from 2016-19. A long-running error in a robo's algorithms is concerning, as is the lack of disclosure here.

Still, Betterment offers robust core investment and financial planning options at reasonable costs, and its website gives investors plenty to read before they invest. It's a strong competitor, especially for investors looking for a clean, easy-to-use interface.


Wealthfront receives an overall evaluation of Above Average, with a minimum investment of $500 and annual advisory fee of 0.25%.

Fee assumes a $15,000 account balance.
Data as of May 31, 2023.

Wealthfront has many strengths, but some strategic shifts and questionable allocations hold it back.

One strength is its low cost. The quality of the underlying funds is also generally strong; the majority of funds used in Wealthfront's portfolios receive Morningstar Medalist Ratings of Gold or Silver. The service includes a thorough questionnaire that incorporates behavioral economics research to evaluate both risk tolerance and risk capacity.

Wealthfront also has taken a thoughtful approach to tax-loss harvesting by incorporating direct indexing, which enables it to harvest losses at the individual stock level. It embraces a "play to learn" philosophy that allows investors to buy and sell individual stocks but still encourages them to build diversified portfolios.

Wealthfront slots investors into a portfolio matching one of 20 risk levels and spanning three account types: taxable, retirement, and socially responsible investing. Customers also have access to financial planning tools for spending, savings, income growth, inflation, Social Security, taxes, college planning, and home equity.

Still, some of Wealthfront's strategies seem driven by popular but not necessarily prudent investment trends. Many of its portfolios are on the aggressive side, and Wealthfront allows investors to put up to 10% of their assets in cryptocurrency funds.

Wealthfront had previously agreed to be acquired by Swiss banking giant UBS, but the two firms have now mutually agreed to terminate their merger agreement.


SigFig receives an overall evaluation of Average, with a minimum investment of $2,000 and annual advisory fee of 0.25%.

Fee assumes a $15,000 account balance.
Data as of May 31, 2023.

SigFig is a lean offering that doesn't sport the same scale of resources as some of its competitors, but it checks most of the right boxes for a robo-advisor.

SigFig's management fee is reasonable, and the program is free for accounts with less than $10,000. It uses a suite of low-cost ETFs for its portfolios but does not waive or return fees on these holdings.

SigFig's portfolio construction approach is simple but sensible. Allocations are strategic and updated periodically depending on the market environment and SigFig's capital markets assumptions. They are generally reasonable, with equity allocations for taxable portfolios ranging from 26% to 90% of assets, depending on the risk level, and 13% to 85% for retirement portfolios. However, all tax-deferred portfolios include allocations to riskier asset classes, such as emerging-markets debt and REITs. In addition, the portfolios only rely on one broad index for U.S. stock exposure.

The service has some weaknesses. It doesn't provide advice for multiple investment goals and lacks more-dedicated educational resources that could help clients make SigFig their "one-stop shop." The privately held firm's focus on partnering with larger corporations like UBS and Wells Fargo raises questions about whether it will remain independent. SigFig's small size and limited revenue base could make it a more likely acquisition target than some of its peers.

U.S. Bancorp Automated Investor

U.S. Bancorp Automated Investor receives an overall evaluation of Average, with a minimum investment of $1,000 and annual advisory fee of 0.24%.

Fee assumes a $15,000 account balance.
Data as of May 31, 2023.

U.S. Bancorp Automated Investor is a straightforward offering that delivers on its simple promises.

Client portfolios are sorted into varying allocations of global equity and U.S. fixed-income ETFs according to goals and risk level, which is adequately granular.

Well-constructed portfolios stand out as the service's strong point. The service automatically applies glide paths for clients with a retirement or major purchase goal, a useful yet rare feature among most providers. This scales down the portfolio’s equity exposure as the end date approaches to limit risk and maximize capital preservation.

The portfolios' underlying funds consist of low-cost, third-party ETFs tracking sensible indexes, which provide access to a standard range of asset classes. Nontaxable and tax-efficient portfolios are well-diversified, and U.S. Bancorp does not put clients' assets in any gimmicky products or niche market areas.

U.S. Bancorp also provides automatic rebalancing and tax-loss harvesting. However, the service lacks some other core features such as retirement withdrawal advice or outside account aggregation that prevent it from being a one-stop shop for clients.

The service is currently only available to existing U.S. Bank customers, though the firm does plan to open the platform to nonbank customers in the near future.

SoFi Wealth

SoFi Wealth receives an overall evaluation of Average, with a minimum investment of $1 and no annual advisory fee.

Fee assumes a $15,000 account balance.
Data as of May 31, 2023.

While SoFi's access to financial planning and low cost of entry are attractive, the service has some questionable features that damp its appeal.

SoFi includes five different equity/fixed-income allocations according to a client's risk tolerance, but the firm's two proprietary ETFs are still used as the main equity exposure. SoFi has recently been waiving the annual fees for these ETFs, but if those waivers expire, their expense ratios would no longer be in line with SoFi's low-cost claims. In addition, these ETFs have an inherent growth bias that might not be suitable for a core equity allocation.

Originally a student loan refinancing service, SoFi has expanded into personal loans, mortgages, banking services, and insurance. As a result, the company's strategy for personal finance products seems focused on monetization through cross-selling as much as serving investment needs.

SoFi clients can access financial advisors by phone, virtual meetings, and electronic messages at no extra charge. SoFi also provides an online library of articles on a broad range of topics including goals, saving, investing, budgeting, debt repayment, home buying, and insurance. However, these articles also seem to double as marketing for its various personal finance services.


Acorns receives an overall evaluation of Average, with no minimum investment and annual advisory fees of 0.24%.

Fee assumes a $15,000 account balance.
Data as of May 31, 2023.

With no investment minimum and a straightforward investment approach, Acorns is easily accessible for beginning investors. But it doesn't quite live up to the hype.

It stands out for its focus on micro savings, with features that help investors round up spending on everyday purchases to build an investment balance. It also offers an "Earn Program" that provides rebates on purchases made through select companies. However, its subscription-based pricing model is relatively pricey given its target audience.

Acorns offers a small number of portfolios corresponding to different risk levels (five core portfolios and four SRI portfolios). Asset allocation is straightforward, and the quality of the underlying investments (mainly from iShares, Vanguard, J.P. Morgan, and Goldman Sachs) is above average. However, investors can now opt into a bitcoin ETF with up to 5% of portfolio assets or directly invest in stocks with up to 50% of their assets.

Acorns is also lacking in features. It offers automatic rebalancing but no tax-loss harvesting and few if any planning-related features. Some of the features it does have are suboptimal. For example, customers can set up an emergency fund, but it's a non-interest-bearing demand deposit. With other cash options now yielding 5% or more, this option is less appealing for cash savings.

Wells Fargo Intuitive Investor

Wells Fargo Intuitive Investor receives an overall evaluation of Average, with a minimum investment of $500 and annual advisory fee of 0.35%.

Fee assumes a $15,000 account balance.
Data as of May 31, 2023.

Wells Fargo Intuitive Investor is a middle-of-the-road offering that has seen some improvements over the past year.

While not as robust as some competitors, it's not a bad choice for existing Wells Fargo clients. The program's asset-based fee is relatively high, though they've lowered the investment minimum considerably.

Wells Fargo uses the proprietary portfolio management algorithm from SigFig for ongoing monitoring, rebalancing, and tax-loss harvesting. Investors can choose from Wells Fargo's nine investment portfolios based on their answers to a risk-tolerance questionnaire.

The portfolios are intended to be well-diversified, cost-effective, and supportive of a long-term investment philosophy that shies away from niche products. Portfolio allocations are reasonable, with minimal cash allocations and adequate exposure to major asset classes.

Access to a financial advisor and tax-loss harvesting is a clear advantage. Goal-oriented resources are intended to help investors stay on track, and the platform has made some efforts to offer educational content for beginning investors, but it doesn't offer anything more extensive such as investment calculators or methodology whitepapers.

Ally Invest

Ally Invest receives an overall evaluation of Below Average, with a minimum investment of $100 and annual advisory fee of 0.30%.

Fee assumes a $15,000 account balance.
Advisory Fee for Premium Customers: Between 0.75% and 0.85%.
Data as of May 31, 2023.

Ally Invest still has some attractive features for Ally Financial banking customers, but it has otherwise lost ground to rivals owing to a lack of new features.

Ally's experienced investment team has put together 32 portfolios that rely on inexpensive Vanguard and iShares ETFs and come in two basic types: Market Focused (2% cash allocation), which has an annual advisory fee, and Cash Enhanced (30% cash allocation), which has no advisory fee. Each type has a core, tax-optimized, and ESG version. Allocations within each version vary based on one's risk profile.

In May 2022, Ally launched a wealth management service. It includes access to a dedicated human advisor alongside the digital advisor for a tiered fee: 0.85% for a household's first $250,000 in assets, 0.80% for its next $750,000, and 0.75% for assets exceeding $1 million. Those fees, however, are steep compared with the premium offers of best-in-class rivals Betterment, Fidelity, and Vanguard.

Ally has a few other weaknesses to address. Tax-loss harvesting isn't yet an option, and investors can't aggregate outside accounts or plan for multiple goals. Investors are also defaulted into the Cash Enhanced portfolios, whose 30% cash allocation may earn a competitive rate relative to other high-yield savings accounts but will struggle to keep up with inflation.

Merrill Guided Investing

Merrill Guided Investing receives an overall evaluation of Below Average, with a minimum investment of $1,000 and annual advisory fee of 0.45%.

Fee assumes a $15,000 account balance.
Advisory Fee for Premium Customers: Between 0.70% and 0.85%.
Data as of May 31, 2023.

Merrill Guided Investing and its premium cousin Merrill Guided Investing with Advisor lack feature advantages that justify their higher price tags relative to more comprehensive robo-advisor offerings.

Portfolio construction is fairly standard, but there are a few sticking points. The firm offers five levels of risk tolerance, with tax-aware and taxable options as well as an ESG suite for each of these risk levels. However, the firm's risk-tolerance questionnaire is less detailed than most. Merrill tilts its portfolios—composed almost exclusively of low-cost ETFs—toward certain asset classes, such as value stocks, and away from others based on firmwide capital market assumptions. These active asset-class decisions add uncertainty as they could help or hurt in any given year.

Merrill Guided Investing with Advisor offers the additional option of investing in hybrid active/passive portfolios of the three options listed above that supplement certain asset-class exposures with actively managed funds. However, it is difficult to recommend the active options used as Merrill no longer allows nonclients to access these composite portfolios.

What sinks this offering is its dearth of additional features, especially when considering its high fee and its lack of integration with Bank of America's more extensive, and impressive, research and educational offerings on its brokerage platform. Features like tax-loss harvesting or integration of external accounts, which differentiate more compelling offerings, are not present here. Merrill Guided Investing with Advisor, too, is somewhat misleading, as it provides access only to Series 6 and Series 7 certified "financial consultants" rather than CFP-certified advisors; clients who want access to those must unenroll from this program and reenroll in one of Merrill's managed account or advisory relationship offerings.

Empower Wealth/Personal Capital Investing

Empower Personal Wealth receives an overall evaluation of Below Average, with a minimum investment of $100,000 and annual advisory fee of 0.89%.

Fee assumes a $15,000 account balance.
Advisory Fee for Premium Customers: Between 0.49% and 0.89%.
Data as of May 31, 2023.

Formerly the financial technology upstart Personal Capital, Empower Personal Wealth is now ensconced in a North American insurance and asset-management conglomerate. Though it arguably helped create the category, Empower now does not consider itself a robo-advisor but rather a comprehensive wealth manager that uses digital tools to reach and serve the mass affluent. The digital component of its services, however, makes it a hybrid offering that falls within the scope of this report.

Empower opted out of our robo-advisor survey, which limits the information available to what can be gleaned from public disclosures. It is hard to gauge the relative attractiveness of Empower Personal Wealth's offering without its survey results or an interview. Based on publicly available information, however, it offers a comprehensive range of services, albeit for a steep fee.

Those with less than $250,000 in assets can expect more-basic options—essentially ETF portfolios based on client goals and risk tolerance. Those with $250,000 to $1 million get more comprehensive advice, including a dedicated certified financial planner and customized portfolios that include individual securities. At higher levels of assets, the firm layers in private banking and estate planning. Individuals and families with more than $5 million can invest in private equity.

Marcus Invest

Marcus Invest receives an overall evaluation of Below Average, with a minimum investment of $5 and annual advisory fee of 0.25%.

Fee assumes a $15,000 account balance.
Data as of May 31, 2023.

Lowering fees was a plus, but transparency is lacking, and Goldman Sachs' retreat from its Marcus consumer platform in early 2023 leaves this offering well behind its competitors.

Clients can choose from three investment styles: core, ESG, and smart beta. Each style has the same asset-class allocations but uses different ETFs to populate the portfolios. Established Goldman Sachs teams design and execute the portfolios, which are based on investors' stated time horizons and risk tolerances. Once investors receive a recommended portfolio, they have the option to go with that portfolio or seek out a new recommendation.

Marcus Invest lacks features like financial planning advice and tax-loss harvesting that come with top robo-advisors, but poor portfolio transparency and the offering's viability are larger concerns. Goldman doesn't share allocation information with nonclients, which leaves would-be investors in the dark on issues such as how much may be allocated to emerging markets in different portfolios. Further, when Goldman splintered its consumer business in October 2022, it announced a strategic pivot away from its Marcus platform. In February 2023, the firm said it would sell off part of its personal-loan book. Robo-advice appears safe for now, but the retreat from a consumer-focused business raises some uncertainty for investors here.

Citi Wealth Builder

Citi Wealth Builder receives an overall evaluation of Below Average, with a minimum investment of $5,000 and annual advisory fee of 0.25%.

Fee assumes a $15,000 account balance.
Data as of May 31, 2023.

Citi Wealth Builder's limited range of planning-related services and the uncertainty owing to a recent change in leadership make it a less competitive player in the robo-advisor space.

Portfolio construction at Citi does not reflect the same level of consideration as competing offerings. The digital platform offers three categories of portfolios, including index-tracking portfolios,

sustainability-focused portfolios, and actively managed portfolios. Specific risk profiles are not disclosed, but clients are placed into one of five portfolios based on their investment preferences. The portfolios invest in stocks, bonds, and short-term investments, and clients must have a Citibank checking account to open an account. Citi does not provide further insight into its asset-allocation process or underlying funds, leading to a basic service that lacks transparency.

On the positive side, fees for this service are comparatively low and have come down recently. However, the fee waiver on the underlying strategies was removed, which could increase the offering's overall cost.

Clients can contact a financial coach at any point, but the service does not advertise financial planning capabilities and seems more service- than advice-oriented. Additionally, tax-loss harvesting is not available. Like other robo-advisors offered by banks, this service appears to be a small part of the wealth management universe and potentially a way to get clients in the door for other services.

E-Trade Core Portfolios

E-Trade Core Portfolios receives an overall evaluation of Below Average, with a minimum investment of $500 and annual advisory fee of 0.30%.

Fee assumes a $15,000 account balance.
Data as of May 31, 2023.

E-Trade Core Portfolios meets industry standards in some respects, but it lacks transparency.

The service's advisory fee is in line with most competitors', but it does not include the underlying ETFs' expense ratios. Because the firm doesn't divulge which ones it uses or their relative weightings, it is impossible to calculate total costs.

This lack of transparency also makes it difficult to ascertain the effectiveness of the firm's portfolio-construction methodology. Though E-Trade now relies on Morgan Stanley's considerable macro research capabilities for capital market assumptions on key asset classes, the investment team that builds the firm's portfolios hasn't changed. Though the firm states it employs mostly cheap, beta-focused ETFs from third-party providers, it's hard for potential investors to verify the claim without a full list of holdings.

The portfolio assignment process is also a mixed bag. After going through a short risk questionnaire, E-Trade assigns clients to one of six target risk portfolios, ranging from aggressive to conservative. It does not consider risk capacity or adjust client portfolios based on time horizon or investing goals.

E-Trade plans to add features, such as tax-loss harvesting, but the service still lacks other compelling features such as integrated goal-planning across a variety of internal and external accounts and a way to seek more comprehensive counsel from financial advisors

UBS Advice Advantage

UBS Advice Advantage receives an overall evaluation of Below Average, with a minimum investment of $5,000 and annual advisory fee of 0.75%.

Fee assumes a $15,000 account balance.
Data as of May 31, 2023.

UBS has been busy lately, but the Advice Advantage program remains an afterthought.

UBS' March 2023 acquisition of Credit Suisse poses a potential disruption to its global wealth management services, including this offering. A change in leadership at the top creates additional uncertainty, as UBS' new CEO has a different approach to the future of wealth management than his predecessor. And a failed acquisition of competing robo-advisor Wealthfront over the past year raises questions about how Advice Advantage fits into the larger UBS organization.

On top of this, hefty costs, steep account minimums, and poor transparency continue to be significant negatives for UBS Advice Advantage. The program's annual fee places this offering among the priciest robo-advisors we evaluated. Those fees are in addition to the expense ratios for the underlying funds used in the program, which are difficult to determine because UBS does not disclose which funds are used in the portfolios.

UBS Advice Advantage leverages SigFig's algorithm and offers investment advice, custody, trading/execution, and performance reporting. Investors can choose from five different portfolio risk levels based on a standard risk-tolerance questionnaire. Unfortunately, UBS does not publicly disclose which asset classes and underlying funds are used in the program.

On the positive side, UBS Advice Advantage includes access to financial advisors as well as portfolio diagnostics that incorporate outside holdings. However, it seems to play a secondary role within UBS' larger universe. With a disappointing amount of public information available, little credit can be given to this offering.


Titan receives an overall evaluation of Low, with a minimum investment of $500 and annual advisory fee of 0.495%.

Fee assumes a $15,000 account balance and a blended account with active and passive investments.
Data as of May 31, 2023.

Despite making several improvements, Titan remains the least attractive robo-advisor among those we evaluated because of its aggressive investment platform, narrow focus, and unproven management.

Though Titan has evolved its fee system for the better, its charges remain above average, and the underlying fees of some of the strategies in its client portfolios are very high. Titan styles itself as a lower-cost wealth manager for younger, tech-savvy up-and-coming investors who still cannot afford a private banker, but it is far from a low-cost option.

Increased diversification is laudable, but problematic inclusions in client portfolios remain. Available closed-end funds invest in esoteric asset classes, such as private credit and venture capital, that most investors do not need and would not miss. Titan's in-house strategies have mixed records, at best, and are concentrated and risky.

Titan plans to continue to develop its services, but it is not a holistic financial planner. It does not provide tax advice or manage its portfolios with regard for tax consequences, which means rebalancing portfolio allocations among its volatile equity and crypto strategies can result in big tax bills for clients investing in taxable accounts.

Titan uses client information to place them in aggressive, moderate, or conservative portfolios, distinguished by the percentage of assets each hedges. Titan uses technical signals to differentiate a hedge-worthy downturn from normal volatility, a notorious challenge even for investors who are not also trying to build and run a digital wealth management platform.


Ellevest was not evaluated. The provider has no minimum investment and an annual advisory fee of 0.36%.

Fee assumes a $15,000 account balance and a Plus subscription plan.
Advisory Fee for Premium Customers: Various coaching packages, which generally range from about $150 to $550 per session are available as a supplement to subscription-based packages.
Data as of May 31, 2023.

Ellevest's platform caters primarily to women, using a gender-based investing approach that factors in issues like income level, earnings curve, and life expectancy. The platform also offers educational materials on a range of investing and career topics.

Its basic offering, Ellevest Essential, gives users an individual taxable account. Ellevest also offers two other service tiers that have additional features, including retirement accounts and planning. Ellevest portfolios are made up of a mix of mostly low-cost ETFs and mutual funds that cover 16 asset classes. Clients can also choose to invest in Ellevest's Impact Portfolios, which invest in ESG and impact funds.

Morningstar did not assess Ellevest because of Morningstar's ownership stake in the firm.

J.P. Morgan Automated Investing

J.P. Morgan Automated Investing was not evaluated. The provider’s minimum investment is $500 and annual advisory fee is 0.35%.

Fee assumes a $15,000 account balance.
Advisory Fee for Premium Customers: 0.60%.
Data as of May 31, 2023.

J.P. Morgan Automated Investing uses a questionnaire to assess users' risk tolerance, goals, and time horizon. Its portfolios are composed of JPMorgan ETFs that cover eight asset classes. Despite charging account management fees on the higher end of the robo-advisor spectrum, J.P. Morgan Automated Investing doesn't offer additional services like tax-loss harvesting or financial planning tools.

The platform's integrated app may appeal to Chase users. It allows customers to access their bank, credit card, and investment information in one place.

Morningstar did not assess J.P. Morgan Automated Investing because some funds in which it invests track Morningstar indexes.

How We Analyzed Robo-Advisors

The Robo-Advisor Landscape report was designed to provide useful information to consumers before they sign up for a robo-advisor.

In the assessments, Morningstar's analysts prioritized low, transparent fees; a robust risk-tolerance questionnaire; logical mapping to portfolios; sound portfolio diversification that steers clear of questionable asset classes and investment tactics; and a broad range of planning-related features.

Morningstar scored robo-advisors on a five-point scale (High, Above Average, Average, Below Average, and Low) along with four dimensions: total price (30% weighting); the process used to select investments, construct portfolios, and match portfolios with investors (30%); the organization behind the digital platform (20%); and the breadth of services (20%). Morningstar weighted each category score and then summed it to arrive at an overall score, which was then used to rank the robo-advisors.

In our evaluation of each provider, we assumed a $15,000 account balance for ease of comparison and have noted providers whose fees decrease for higher investment amounts.

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For more information on the methodology, download the full report.

About the Author

Amy C. Arnott, CFA is a portfolio strategist for Morningstar.


Research authors: Drew Carter, Dan Culloton, Gabriel Denis, David Kathman, Alec Lucas, Elizabeth Templeton, Lan Anh Tran
Design editor: Nura Husseini-Yoon
Editors: Emelia Fredlick, Margaret Giles
Project manager: Connor Gallagher

These research authors and research contributors are employees of Morningstar Research Services LLC.

This content is not intended to be individualized investment advice, but rather to illustrate possible factors that can impact financial decisions. Investors should consider this information in the full context of their own financial decisions.

Read our editorial policy to learn more about our process.