Best Robo Advisors for Beginners in 2022

Best Robo Advisors for Beginners in 2022

Acorns, Betterment, and Sofi are just some of the best robo advisors for beginners looking to get started investing.

Best Robo Advisors for Beginners in 2022
Becca Stanek

Published Jan 3, 2022Updated Jan 28, 2022

Robo Advisor

Robo Advisor

Beginners

Beginners

Passive Income

Passive Income

In This Article

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Have you been considering trying out a robo advisor — or just investing in general — but haven't been sure where to look first? This list of the best robo advisors for beginners can help point you in the right direction. Working with a robo advisor can be a great way to break into the world of investing, and some of the best options for beginners have low minimums and fees as well as helpful extras, like educational content and easy-to-use goal-setting tools.

Choosing the best robo advisor for beginners

 Minimum investmentFeesFeatures offered
Acorns$0$3
  • Ability to invest with small amounts
  • Library of financial education content
  • Access to a checking account
Axos Invest$100.24%
  • Some personalization in portfolios
  • Invest based on short- and long-term goals
  • Savings and checking accounts available
Betterment$00.25%
  • Set goals and see when you'll met them
  • Track your progress
  • Integrated checking and savings offered
SoFi$0 ($5 to start investing)0%
  • Talk to a live advisor at no extra cost
  • Invest based on your specific goals
  • Access to extras like career coaching
Wealthfront$5000.25%
  • Option to sync outside accounts
  • Certified professionals available
  • Focus on tax-minimization

Acorns

  • No minimum investment
  • Option to invest your spare change
  • Access to library of articles on money basics

 

Acorns is a good way to get started if you're interested in trying out investing but don't have a lot of funds to work with just yet. That's because Acorns is an automated micro-investing platform that allows you to automatically invest your spare change (meaning it rounds up your purchases to the nearest dollar and then invests the difference), and also lets you set aside money from each of your paychecks. Your funds are then invested in exchange-traded funds (ETFs), with your exact asset allocation based on your risk tolerance.

There's no minimum investment requirement to get started with Acorns, though you do need to be aware of the $3 monthly fee, which can add up. However, the platform does offer some nice features for beginners, like a library of hundreds of articles on money basics and the chance to earn bonus investments when you shop at over 12,000 brands. Plus, you'll have access to a checking account that lets you receive your paycheck up to two days early with direct deposit.

Axos Invest

  • Portfolios take into account preferences for risk, returns and time horizon
  • Minimum investment of $10 required
  • Ability to plan for both short-term and long-term goals

 

With Axos Invest, you'll get a portfolio built for you based on your time horizon, tolerance for risk and desired investment returns. You'll need just $10 to get started. From there, you can start planning for goals both short- and long-term, whether you know your emergency fund needs some work or have a feeling your significant other is the one and wedding bells will be ringing sometime in the future.

Because Axos Invest is part of a larger financial company, you'll have the option to also get your banking needs met through Axos, with a number of checking and savings accounts available. The company also offers mortgages, personal loans and auto loans — in other words, if you're looking to set up financial shop all in one place, this could appeal to you. Keep in mind that Axos Invest charges a 0.24% annual fee.

Betterment

  • Set investment goals and track your progress
  • Get started with no minimum
  • Socially responsible portfolio options available

 

Betterment, one of the better-known robo-advisors in the space, is another solid choice for beginner investors. Again, you can get started with no minimum investment. Rather than a flat monthly fee, Betterment charges an annual fee of 0.25% of your assets under the platform's management.

Betterment offers a number of portfolio options that invest in low-cost ETFs, including the option of socially responsible investing portfolios if you're concerned about starting off your investing on the right foot by making a positive impact on the climate or socially. 

Beyond its investing offerings, Betterment can help you to set goals and then figure out how much you'll need to put aside and by when. You also can easily track your progress through the platform and then make any needed adjustments as you get your investing sea legs. Plus, you'll have access to checking and savings accounts, which can make staying on top of everything easier.

SoFi

  • No management fee
  • Access to live financial advisors
  • Extras like career coaching and discounts on other products

 

SoFi's automated investing service is another solid option for beginner investors, as you need no minimum amount to open an account and then just $5 to start investing. Even better, there are no management fees with SoFi, so you won't have those costs dragging you down as you're trying to get your portfolio off the ground.

A unique perk of SoFi is that you can speak to a financial advisor at no additional cost, whether you just have some questions you'd like to run as you get started or want someone to chat to about your financial goals. The platform can also help you formulate an appropriate investment strategy based on your goals, whether that's taking a trip you've been dreaming about or buying your first house. Plus, if you're early in your career, SoFi offers career advice and events that you may find helpful, as well as discounts on the company's other products.

Wealthfront

  • Minimum investment of $500 required
  • Access to CPAs, CFAs and CFPs
  • Tax-loss harvesting available

 

Wealthfront admittedly calls for the steepest minimum investment of any other robo advisor on this list at $500, but that's still a far cry from the minimum a live financial advisor may require. You'll pay an annual fee of 0.25% for this app that can help you centralize all of your finances in one place, as you can link your other accounts to Wealthfront to easily monitor your account activity, track your savings rate and check your projected net worth.

Once you answer just a few questions, Wealthfront will match you up with a personalized portfolio of diversified, low-cost index funds. Plus, beginners might be comforted to know that they'll have experts — including CPAs, CFAs and CFPs — on hand to answer any questions they may have. And while taxes might not be on your mind just yet since you're still at the start of your investing journey, your future self might be pleased to know that Wealthfront offers tax-loss harvesting, a strategy that can reduce the taxes you'll pay.

Frequently asked questions

Are robo advisors good for beginners?

Robo advisors can be a great way to dip your toe into investing. You'll have more guidance than a self-directed brokerage would offer you, and you won't face the higher minimums and fees you might with a financial advisor, making these digital platforms more accessible to those just starting out. Plus, as an investing newbie, you won't have to do a lot of work to figure out how to get started — the platform will help you figure out an asset allocation that's right for you, and many also offer educational resources along the way.

How much money should I put in a robo advisor?

To start investing with many robo advisors, you'll frequently need to meet a minimum investment, which may range from $5 to $500, or even higher. There are some robo advisors that don't require a minimum amount to get started. Once you meet the minimum threshold (if there is one) to begin investing, it's really up to you and your budget how much you should put into a robo advisor. Of course, the more you invest, the more you can reap the benefits of compound interest, but you'll also need to make sure your other financial priorities —like student loan payments and your emergency fund — don't fall to the wayside in favor of your portfolio.

How do I choose a robo advisor?

Before you start looking at all the robo advisors that are out there, first think about yourself and what you'd like to get out of working with a robo advisor. Once you have that list in mind — the services you'd like to get, the account options you want, the investment selection you'd prefer and whether you want any touchpoints with a human or feel comfortable working only digitally — you can start combing through your choices. 

You'll want to keep in mind the investment minimum and the fees as you consider your choices. The former matters because you want the robo advisor's threshold to be attainable for your budget, and the latter is critical because you don't want to be forking over too much of your hard-earned funds to hefty fees.

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