Round Review – An Investment App With Human Managers

round review

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Round is an investment app with a twist. Unlike many other investment apps that automate investment management, Round relies on real human investors to manage your money.

By using a professional investment team to manage your money, instead of computers, Round claims to provide you with better returns.

It is easy to make small weekly contributions to your investment accounts automatically using Round so your nest-egg principal grows steadily over time.

And with a team that has $10 billion of investing experience and counting, Round is a welcome alternative for investors concerned about the purely automated approach used by most robo-advisors.

Round Investment App

ROUND SPOTLIGHT
round logo

InvestorMint Rating

4.5 out of 5 stars

  • Human Investors Manage Money
  • Custom Tailored Portfolios
  • Affordable Investment Management

via Round secure site

Round Investments App: Strategy

When you invest your money with Round (InvestRound.com), your custom built portfolio is diversified with over 2,500 underlying assets.

If the idea of a plain vanilla, diversified portfolio offered by the vast majority of robo-advisors doesn’t whet your appetite, Round may be a good alternative.

Although Round is a newcomer, it already ranks among the very best investment apps because of its unique portfolio management approach. Arguably it stands alone by relying on human managers to use discretion when allocating money.

When markets are risky and seemingly overvalued, Round can move money to less risky assets whereas a regular robo-advisor may be more constrained.

While Round portfolios are invested in stocks and bonds, they also feature alternative debt, which is an asset class few ordinary investors can select, as well as cryptocurrencies.

Investment AreasDescription
Alternative Debt
  • Corporate debt
  • Mortgage debt
  • Auto debt
Value Stocks
  • Stocks trading at prices below fair value
Growth Stocks
  • Stocks with higher growth expectations than the general market
Bank Loans
  • Loans to companies issued by banks and traded in financial markets
High Yield Debt
  • Corporate borrowings that pay high interest to lenders
Hedges
  • Investments designed to reduce risk of major portfolio loss
Bonds
Real Estate
  • Real estate investments in companies that own, operate, and finance property holdings
Large Company Stocks
Small Company Stocks
  • Small companies by market capitalization with the potential to grow
Emerging Markets
  • Investments in companies that are based overseas in emerging economies
Cryptocurrencies
  • Coming soon, investments in cryptocurrencies like ethereum, litecoin, and bitcoin.

Round Performance Returns

According to Round, the returns earned by its human-led investment method outperformed the performance of other investment apps over a ten year period by 3% annually, net of fees.

round 10yr return comparison

These returns are based on hypothetical, back-tested simulations, so the usual disclosures apply that past performance doesn’t necessarily translate to the future.

Impressively, Round outperformed its competition in spite of charging higher fees of 1% compared to 0.25% by robo-advisors.

These results represent Round’s most aggressive portfolio allocation and compare the results to the most aggressive portfolio allocation of robo-advisor competitors.

One major difference between Round and its robo-advisor rivals is that the digital advisors use passive exchange-traded funds primarily whereas Round combines ETFs and mutual funds to construct portfolios.

Round Review: Fees & Expenses

Invest Round management fees are expected to be 1% after it launches fully.

For accounts with balances below $1,200, a monthly charge of $1 is applied.

If you invest $3,000, the annual fee would be $30 which translates to a monthly charge of $2.50.

Robo-advisors and investment apps like Round also pass on expense ratio charges to clients.

While management fees and expense ratios can hurt overall returns in the long run, InvestRound claims that it could still save you money because your money is invested on a discretionary basis versus a computer algorithm.

Weekly ContributionRoundOther Investment AppsSavings Account*
$25$19,560$17,605$13,041
$50$39,120$35,211$26,081
$100$78,239$70,422$52,163
$200$156,478$140,844$104,326
$500$391,196$352,109$260,814

*The Savings Account amounts shown represent the national savings rate calculated by the FDIC as a simple average of rates paid by all insured depository institutions and branches for which data are available at the time of the calculation.

The returns are net of a 1% fee charged by Round and 0.25% charged by robo-advisors.

Where Round Shines

round build portfolioWhere Round earns top marks is its highly intuitive and easy-to-use mobile interface. It’s a breeze to connect your bank accounts and deposit funds.

But more than an investing portal in the palm of your hand, Round shines when it comes to helping you target your financial goals.

round review portfolio

You can get started with as little as $50.

Whether saving to buy a home, preparing for a bigger family, building a retirement nest-egg, putting money aside for a wedding, or taking a trip, Round helps you to keep better financial track.

You can also view your portfolio allocation in a polished interface that leaves you with no doubts about where your money is invested.

Round Pros and Cons

Round ProsRound Cons
Performance Returns: Based on back-tested simulation returns, Round has superior returns than many robo-advisor investment apps.Fees: Compared to many investment apps that feature digital advice only, Round expects to charge a higher annual management fee of 1%.
Minimum Account Balance: As long as you deposit at least $50, you can get started with Round.New Investment App: Round is a new investment app so it still has to prove that its human-led investment method performs better over time.
Diversified, Tailored Portfolios: Round portfolios are diversified across 2,500 securities and are tailor-made to you.Limited Account Selection: Unlike leading robo-advisors, Round doesn’t support a wide range of account types like trusts and partnerships.
In-App & Newsletter Updates: When you sign up to Round, you will receive regular updates both in-app and via email.
Human Led Investment Team: Round relies on a human-led investment team who can modify portfolio allocations depending on market risk levels.
Cryptocurrencies & Hedges: Round includes cryptocurrencies and hedging strategies in its portfolios to manage risk better.

Invest Round FAQ

Can you use a credit card to fund your Round account?

No, you are only permitted to fund your Round account with a checking or savings account.

What is the minimum account size or deposit?

The minimum account size is $50.

How secure is Round?

Round uses bank-level security, featuring 256-bit encryption and HTTPS Secure Socket Layer certificates. Your social security number and bank / login information is not stored by Round.

Is Round Safe?

Your investments are covered up to $500,000 through the Securities Investors Protection Corporation (SIPC). Your money is held in a brokerage account in your own name at Round’s custodian bank, Apex Clearing, which has supplemental insurance through Lloyds of London.

Round Investments Team

round team ron rojany

Ron Rojany

round team saul cohen

Saul Cohen

Round was founded by Saul Cohen and Ron Rojany.

Saul Cohen worked at Guggenheim Partners, where he was part of a portfolio management team that managed billions of dollars.

He’s an award-winning investor for hedge fund and mutual fund strategies.

And he previously worked in investment banking with a focus on financial derivatives.

Ron Rojany was previously a software engineer at a big data marketing company called Bridg.

He’s also headed up product development for a health tech company that built hardware and software.

Round Investments Review Summary

The Round investment app stands alone as the only to feature human portfolio managers – most investment apps are run by computers!

Investors who prefer the idea of real people with extensive investment experience overseeing how their money is allocated should seriously consider Round.

Both conservative investors seeking diversification and risk-seeking investors seeking exposure to alternative asset classes like cryptocurrencies are provided tailor-made portfolios.

Although Round charges higher fees, it also claims superior performance returns over the past decade.

The bottom line is that while Round is a newcomer, it may be a good fit for you if you prefer the idea of human investment managers overseeing your portfolio, even if it means paying a premium for the potential to earn more.

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