Best if you want
Wealthfront’s easy-to-use user interface is a great choice for investors looking for an automated investment platform with low fees. Since Wealthfront does not offer access to a human advisor, it’s ideal for people that are comfortable with a completely automated investment account.
Wealthfront’s user-friendly website offers investors access to great planning tools that are helpful for both experienced and novice investors alike. Because these tools are integrated directly into the website’s user interface, they’re easier to access than similar tools offered by other brokers. Since Welathfront takes care of choosing your investment options and rebalancing your portfolio, it’s often referred to as a “set-it-and-forget-it” portfolio, ideal for someone who isn’t looking to actively manage their retirement accounts.
Most automated accounts charge what’s known as an “advisory” or “management fee” to manage your portfolio for you. This fee is usually expressed as a percentage of your assets that’s paid each year (e.g. 0.50% per annum).
Wealthfront is no different and offers its wealth management services for 0.25% per year (e.g. $25 for a $10,000 account).
What you can invest in
When you set up your account with Wealthfront, they’ll ask you a series of questions about your financial situation and preferences. This is known as a “risk-tolerance questionnaire” and is a common starting point when a portfolio is created for you.
Based on your answers and how much risk you’re willing to take, Wealthfront will create a portfolio for you. They’ll invest your money in a combination of “asset classes”like equities (stocks), fixed income (bonds), and international investments. Like other roboadvisors, they tend to invest your money in exchange-traded funds (ETFs) that allow you to efficiently get access to these asset classes.
Wealthfront’s platform can help you invest for goals other than just retirement. The platform offers general brokerage, education savings, and cash accounts as well. Wealthfront offers a high yield, FDIC insured cash account which can help you save generally with no advisory fee.
Like some other digital advisors, Wealthfront doesn’t allow you to really modify the portfolio they create for you. In addition, they don’t offer access to a human advisor, so it’s ideal for people that are comfortable with a completely automated investment account.
Wealthfront offers a great digitally managed IRA at a low cost. Their commitment to keeping investors well informed without overwhelming them with the details make them a great option for “set-it-and-forget-it” investors.