Robo-advisor services have been one of the biggest investment innovations of the past decade. And it’s easy to see why; you turn your portfolio over to an automated, online investment service that provides complete investment management at a ridiculously low fee. Once you do, all you need to do is add funds to your account, and the robo-advisor handles everything for you.
While that’s a popular concept among many new and small investors, it’s gaining traction with high-net-worth investors as well. If you fit into that category, you owe it to yourself to take a close look at robo-advisors.
Here are eight of the best robo-advisors for high-net-worth investors.
Just because you’re a high-net-worth investor doesn’t mean you’re into high maintenance investing. That’s the basic idea behind using robo-advisors for high-net-worth investors.
It makes perfect sense, too. Many high-net-worth investors turn their money over to traditional, human-guided investment advisors for what is essentially the same service. They’ll even pay somewhere between 1% and 2% of their portfolio value each year for the privilege.
But what if you could get the same level of investment management at only a fraction of the advisory fee?
You can. We’re talking 0.25% on average, and some robo-advisors have no fee at all. Meanwhile, others are adding limited or full advice from financial advisors.
With that said, let’s move on to the eight best robo-advisors for high-net-worth investors:
Best for: Best all-around robo-advisor for high-net-worth investors.
Why Charles Schwab Intelligent Portfolios is a good robo-advisor for high-net-worth investors: It was a tough choice, but Charles Schwab Intelligent Portfolios came up as our top robo-advisor for high-net-worth investors. The robo-advisor itself shines with no advisory fee on the basic account, and portfolio allocations in no fewer than 20 asset classes.
And since Charles Schwab Intelligent Portfolios is part of Charles Schwab, one of the top investment brokers in the world, you can have self-directed investing—in just about any asset you choose—while maintaining a portion of your portfolio in the robo-advisor. Add in award-winning 24/7 customer service, complete with hundreds of local branch offices, and you’ve got the top robo-advisor for high-net-worth investors.
Why Charles Schwab Intelligent Portfolios is the right choice for high-net-worth investors:
What may hold Charles Schwab Intelligent Portfolios back:
Best for: Low-cost robo-advisor with option to add personal financial advice.
Why Vanguard Digital Advisor is a good robo-advisor for high-net-worth investors: Vanguard Digital Advisor is a new entry to the robo-advisor space, which might be a problem if it were offered by anyone other than Vanguard. As the world’s largest provider of mutual funds, and the second largest source of exchange traded funds (ETFs), Vanguard is one of the top investment firms in the world. It makes us wonder why they didn’t roll out a robo-advisor much sooner.
But they have now, and it features one of the lowest advisory fees in the industry and use of some of the lowest-cost ETFs available. That’s confirmed by the fact that Vanguard funds are included in most competitors’ robo-advisor portfolios, as well as those managed by traditional investment advisories.
But if you want to add a personal financial advisor to the mix, you can do so with Vanguard Personal Advisor Services. It provides personal financial advice at a fraction of the cost of traditional investment advisories.
Why Vanguard Digital Advisor is the right choice for high-net-worth investors:
What may hold Vanguard Digital Advisor back:
Best for: Human-guided wealth management at half the price.
Why Personal Capital is a good robo-advisor for high-net-worth investors: Personal Capital is less of a robo-advisor and more of a hybrid between automated and human-guided investing. That makes it much more closely related to traditional investment advisories. And that’s what you’ll get, including access to live personal financial advisors. With a minimum account balance of $100,000, you’ll have access to financial advisors. But with $200,000 or more, you’ll have a dedicated personal financial advisor. And it all comes at a much lower fee structure than what you will pay for traditional investment advisories.
What’s more, Personal Capital can provide management of your entire investment portfolio. That includes both taxable and retirement accounts. They also have an account aggregator, where you can assemble all your financial accounts—including loans and credit cards—on the same platform. That will give you a 360° view of your entire financial life.
Why Personal Capital is the right choice for high-net-worth investors:
What may hold Personal Capital back:
Best for: Fee-free investing, with access to certified financial planners—also free.
Why SoFi Automated Investing is a good robo-advisor for high-net-worth investors: Though SoFi Automated Investing primarily targets younger investors, particularly those with student loan debts to refinance, it’s also an excellent choice for high-net-worth investors. You can have both taxable accounts and retirement accounts managed through the service, completely free of charge. And if that isn’t enough, you’ll also have access to certified financial planners—also at no cost.
But SoFi doesn’t stop there. Along with the SoFi Automated Investing robo-advisor, they also offer SoFi Active Investing. Though the platform is fairly new and provides limited investment options, it gives you the ability to engage in self-directed investing in addition to the managed option. And the way SoFi has been advancing in recent years, look for the self-directed program to match up favorably with some of the top brokerages in the industry.
Why SoFi Automated Investing is the right choice for high-net-worth investors:
What may hold SoFi Automated Investing back:
Best for: Robo-advisor and self-directed trading on one of the top brokerage platforms in the industry.
Why Fidelity Go is a good robo-advisor for high-net-worth investors: Fidelity Go rates a high ranking on any “best for” robo-advisor list for the simple fact it’s provided by Fidelity. As one of the biggest and most highly rated investment brokers in the world, it provides you with a wealth of options. That includes the ability to take advantage of self-directed investing through a Fidelity brokerage account, if you want to include that with your robo-advisor holdings.
But what keeps Fidelity Go out of the top three is their fee structure. At 0.35% for account balances of $50,000 and up, it’s one of the higher advisory fees in the robo-advisor space. But if you can get past that, Fidelity Go is a solid option for high-net-worth investors.
Why Fidelity Go is the right choice for high-net-worth investors:
What may hold Fidelity Go back:
Best for: Automated portfolio management where you choose the investments.
Why M1 Finance Expert Pies is a good robo-advisor for high-net-worth investors: We can honestly say M1 Finance Expert Pies is a truly unique product among robo-advisors. It’s a robo-advisor for sure, providing ongoing management of your portfolios, including regular rebalancing. But what makes this robo special is that it gives you the ability to choose your own investments.
Choose your own investments? In a robo-advisor? The concept is revolutionary; it seems at odds with the basic idea of robo-advisors in general. But it’s this characteristic that makes M1 Finance Expert Pies stand out from the crowd. They dared take a chance that at least some investors would prefer to choose their own investments, and then have them managed, robo-advisor style.
What’s with the “pies” concept? This is another unique feature of M1 Finance Expert Pies. Pies are mini portfolios, composed of up to 100 ETFs and individual stocks (which is yet another unique quality about this robo!). You can choose the securities held in a pie or select from one of 80 pre-built pies available on the platform. You can even construct an unlimited number of pies. And each and every one of them will be managed for you, free of charge!
M1 Finance Expert Pies is the go-to choice if you like the robo-advisor concept but prefer to choose your own investments.
Why M1 Finance Expert Pies is the right choice for high-net-worth investors:
What may hold M1 Finance Expert Pies back:
Best for: Low cost, hands-off investment management with advanced tax-loss harvesting on taxable investment accounts.
Why Wealthfront is a good robo-advisor for high-net-worth investors: Wealthfront is one of the largest and oldest independent robo-advisors in the industry, and also one of the most innovative. They provide the usual robo-advisor services, including portfolio creation, periodic rebalancing, and dividend reinvesting. But their strength is in their advanced tax-loss harvesting strategies for high-balance taxable investment accounts. They use individual stocks, along with ETFs, in the construction of your portfolio, to provide greater tax-loss harvesting capabilities.
They also excel on the banking side. That starts with a high-yield cash account, currently paying 0.35% on all balances. You can hold up to $1 million in FDIC-insured accounts. Wealthfront also offers a no-fee checking account, complete with a Visa debit card and a portfolio line of credit. You can borrow up to 30% of your account value whenever you need it, and at very attractive interest rates.
Why Wealthfront is the right choice for high-net-worth investors:
What may hold Wealthfront back:
Best for: Low cost, hands-off investment management.
Why Betterment is a good robo-advisor for high-net-worth investors: Betterment is the original—as in, first—robo-advisor, and Wealthfront’s primary competitor. The two services are very similar, including their banking services with high-yield savings for uninvested cash, and a no-fee checking account with a Visa debit card. The annual advisory fee is also the same, at 0.25%.
But Betterment does offer access to live financial advisors with their Premium plan. It requires a minimum account balance of $100,000, and a higher fee at 0.40%. But it’s an opportunity to have your portfolio managed by a robo-advisor, but also with advice from live advisors.
Why Betterment is the right choice for high-net-worth investors:
What may hold Betterment back:
If you’re already using a traditional investment advisor service to manage your portfolio—at 1% to 2% per year—you owe it to yourself to take a close look at robo-advisors. They can provide essentially the same investment management services for a small fraction of the annual fee.
Think about how that will improve the performance of your investments. High fees lower your return on investment. Low fees also lower your return, but not nearly as much. That’s what robo-advisors offer.
Sure, you may give up a few conversations with your financial advisor each year. But the higher returns you’ll get with the lower fee structure will probably give you plenty of spare cash to pay a fee-only financial advisor.
Investigate the robo-advisors above, and give them some deep consideration.