4 out of 5 stars
via Wealthfront secure site
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Wealthfront offers automated investment management that features low fees and a relatively high level of customization. It is aimed at millennial investors who are looking to build wealth and plan for retirement.
Wealthfront shines not only on cost but on tax impact too. Among robo-advisors, it is arguably the best when it comes to optimizing for after-tax income.
Fidelity Go is the robo-advisor arm of Fidelity and pitches itself as the “affordable money management” solution.
Here we compare Wealthfront vs Fidelity Go. Both are low-cost robo-advisors but which is best?
Fidelity Go vs Wealthfront QuickView
Wealthfront is unabashedly focused on serving passive investors. Unlike some rivals, such as Betterment and Personal Capital, who provide human advice as an option, Wealthfront is a fully automated, pure robo-advisor.
For a low fee, you get access to automated investment management and a world-class planning tool – Path.
Got more than $100,000 to invest? Wealthfront offers a proprietary mutual fund, called its Wealthfront Risk Parity Fund. Clients are permitted to deposit no more than 20% of their investments into the fund as it aims to produce higher risk-adjusted returns.
4 out of 5 stars
via Fidelity secure site
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Fidelity Go appears to be slightly more expensive than Wealthfront at first glance. Its fees are a smidge higher initially, it would seem. But upon closer examination it turns out that Fidelity Go may actually be the cheaper option.
That’s because Fidelity’s robo-advisor solution includes mutual fund expense ratios in the overall fee. Your money is allocated to a variety of mutual funds that are overseen by a team of professionals.
Whereas most robo-advisors and financial advisors in general will separate advisory fees and expense ratios, leading to a potentially confusing calculation, Fidelity keeps it simple and bundles them both into one overall charge.
Your timeline, goals and other variables will determine which fund your money will be placed in. You can track the progress of your investments through an online dashboard, and changes can be made to your portfolio as events warrant. For example, if you decide you want to change your allocation at any time to more suitable investment options that’s possible too.
Wealthfront charges a fee of 0.25% of your balance at the end of each month as well as expense ratios that range from 0.08% to 0.16%.
There are no fees charged to transfer money or to withdraw money out of your account.
Furthermore, there are no commissions charged outside of the advisory fee. While you need at least $500 to invest, you will not be penalized for failing to maintain a minimum balance.
Fidelity Go Fees
Fidelity Go charges a fee of 0.35% on your balance.
You will also be assessed any fees or other expenses related to creating and maintaining your fund.
However, these fees and expenses may be refunded in some cases. This is because Fidelity does periodically receive reimbursement from the government for costs incurred maintaining its core mutual fund.
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Fidelity Go Investment Minimum
There is no minimum balance needed to open or maintain a Fidelity Go account. However, your money will not be invested in any of the funds offered by Fidelity Go unless you have an account balance of $10 or higher.
If your balance is under $10, the money is placed in a variety of alternative investments, and there is no fee for having a balance of less than $10.
Wealthfront Investment Minimum
To invest with Wealthfront, you need an account balance of at least $500.
You can fund your account by transferring money from your bank or by transferring existing investments from your current broker.
Wealthfront Account Types
If you have an existing 401(k), it can be rolled over into a Wealthfront IRA.
Traditional, Roth and SEP IRA accounts are available to best fit your needs. The SEP IRA is for those who own their own business or have self-employment income that they want to save for retirement.
Individual, joint and trust accounts are also available for those who are looking to meet financial goals outside of retirement.
Wealthfront also supports trusts and 529 college savings plans.
Fidelity Go Account Types
Fidelity Go allows a person to create either a taxable individual or joint account.
You can also choose to create either a new IRA or one using funds rolled over from another existing account.
This platform allows you to pick between IRAs that are funded with pretax or after-tax funds.
Wealthfront Tax Strategy
Wealthfront uses tax-harvesting to help you keep more of your money, which can then be reinvested into your portfolio.
This technique involves selling assets that have lost money and replacing them with assets that have a similar profile.
While everyone will benefit from tax-harvesting, Wealthfront offers more sophisticated levels of service as your account balance grows to $100,000 or more.
Fidelity Go Tax Strategy
The Fidelity Go platform does not engage in tax-harvesting or any other strategies to actively limit how much you pay in taxes. However, the bonds that are held within a given fund could offer a variety of tax advantages.
You can contact customer support prior to opening an account to determine the tax consequences of a given fund choice.
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Human Advice vs Digital Advice
While both Wealthfront and Fidelity Go offer a variety of online and phone support features, neither service provides you with a financial advisor.
However, both services offer advice from financial professionals who can help you create a portfolio that best meets your needs.
Resources are available on each site that can help you learn more about how to create your portfolio or learn more about investing in a general sense.
If you would like the support of a dedicated financial advisor or two, Personal Capital is your best bet.
|PERSONAL CAPITAL SPOTLIGHT
4.5 out of 5 stars
via Personal Capital secure site
Tools and Calculators
Fidelity Go Tools
Fidelity Go offers the ability to manage your account online on a 24/7 basis. If you don’t want to manage your accounts, a team of professionals will do so for you.
As market conditions change, your portfolio will be rebalanced to maximize your returns and lower your risk.
You will also get access to calculators that help you determine what type of IRA or other retirement accounts to have and how much you should contribute.
Wealthfront has a variety of features that you can make use of such as the PassivePlus tax-harvesting tool.
If you have an account balance of at least $100,000, you can get tax-harvesting at a stock level, which can further reduce your tax bill.
Furthermore, you can get access to the Smart Beta feature that uses predictive tools to keep your portfolio protected in a variety of market conditions. The planning experience tool allows you to determine if you are ready to buy a home, retire or meet any of your other financial goals.
Wealthfront Asset Classes
If you invest with Wealthfront, you’ll be able to put your money in a variety of different asset classes.
Other asset class options include real estate, natural resources and dividend stocks.
Fidelity Go Asset Classes
Mutual funds created by Fidelity Go offer a mix of domestic and foreign stocks.
They also have a combination of bonds and other short-term investments.
Most bond funds will include municipal bonds whether the account is taxable or not.
Customer Support Comparison
Wealthfront offers multiple ways to get in touch with their customer support team.
If you don’t have an account, you can browse their article and video library, and you can also send a form message directly from the company website. If you do have an account, you can contact support by phone.
Fidelity Go has a frequently asked questions section on its website that goes into detail regarding how to create an account, what is included in a given fund and how to fund your account.
You can also choose to contact support through an online live chat or by phone.
Mobile App Comparison
The Wealthfront app allows you to manage your account right from your smartphone whether you have an Android or Apple device.
The app itself is available from the Apple Store as well as from the Google Play store.
For your security, the app can be locked with a swipe of your finger or by creating a PIN number. It is updated on a regular basis to make it more secure and to add more features, and it is one of the highest rated apps in the automated investing space.
By downloading the Fidelity app, you will gain access to your Fidelity Go account and all the other tools that Fidelity has to offer.
It is also considered one of the best apps on the market and is designed to be user-friendly.
You can download it for smartphones and tablets that have both Android and iOS operating systems.
Which Robo Advisor
Is Best For You?
For most investors, Wealthfront will offer the most value for their money.
Although Wealthfront requires a larger initial deposit, the fact that it allows you to invest in a greater number of asset classes makes it easier to create a more diversified portfolio.
Plus, the presence of a robust suite of tax-harvesting tools helps you keep more of your money. That allows for a greater after-tax return on your investment, which increases your chances of meeting your financial goals.
While Wealthfront is likely the best tool for most investors looking to grow their portfolios in a passive manner, Fidelity Go has its appeal as well.
If you already have an account through Fidelity or are looking for an interface that is simple to use and understand, Fidelity Go could be the tool for you.
However, if you are looking for robust tools and features, a quality app and quality customer support, Wealthfront is the service to use.
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