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The only thing better than a robo-advisor who charges 0.25% is one that doesn’t charge anything at all! Here are a few of our favorite no-fee robo-advisors.
For the average person, creating and managing their own investment portfolio can seem a bit daunting. After all, there is a lot to consider, much at risk, and one big mistake today could mean serious money lost in the future.

One way to mitigate that risk and improve your investing results is by utilizing a robo-advisor. These platforms can not only guide and educate you, but also automate your portfolio along the way. And with a no-management-fee robo-advisor, you’ll enjoy all of this without unnecessary fees.

Why You Need a Robo-Advisor

If you’re a fan of passive investing (and honestly, who wouldn’t be?), you are likely considering–or already using–a robo-advisor. These automated investment platforms not only simplify the process of saving for the future, but also help manage your portfolio over time.

One the best things about robo-advisors, especially when compared to traditional financial advisors, is the cost. While an advisor will typically charge around 1% of your assets under management (AUM) in fees–though some charge double that!–robo-advisors are closer to 0.25-0.50% instead.

The difference between 25-50 basis points and 100 might not sound like much now. Over decades of investing, though, and as your portfolio continues to build, this could mean tens of thousands of dollars in lost growth over time.

Most robo-advisors provide comprehensive services for investors, to include resource-rich websites, easy platforms, automatic portfolio rebalancing, assistance with things like tax loss harvesting, and even options for consulting with a human advisor, if needed. This makes them an excellent alternative for investors, especially those with an average or moderate net worth who don’t have complicated investments.

No Management Fee Robo-Advisors

The only thing better than a robo-advisor who charges 0.25% is one who doesn’t charge anything at all.

Sound too good to be true? Fortunately, it’s not: there are a number of robo-advisors on the market today that charge no management fees for investors. Their platforms are often feature-rich, too, helping you save money while also optimizing your investments’ growth. After all, every dollar you save in fees is a dollar more that you can invest and grow.

Here are a few of our favorite no-fee robo-advisors today, and what each one offers to investment customers.

M1 Finance

Here at Dough Roller, we refer to M1 Finance as a “robo-advisor with a twist.” That’s because this platform combines portfolio automation–like you’ve come to expect from robo-advisors–with traditional brokerage services.

Want to buy a specific stock or ETF? Want to automate your investing and portfolio rebalancing? You can do it all with M1 Finance.

  • Fees: $0
  • Minimum investment: $100 minimum to invest and a $500 minimum for retirement accounts)
  • Automatic portfolio rebalancing: Yes
  • Portfolio customization options: Yes
  • Automated contributions: Yes
  • Tax loss harvesting: Automatic
  • Accounts supported: IRAs (traditional, Roth, SEP, rollover), trusts, individual and joint taxable accounts
  • Invest in individual stocks? Yes
  • Optional products/services: “Pie investing” asset allocation approach, the ability to borrow against your portfolio, and fractional shares/cash investing

Read more: M1 Finance Review

Betterment

With Betterment, you’ll enjoy a wide range of services and features from the original robo-advisor. While their two standard robo-advisor options do have management fees, Betterment is currently running a promo where you can get a year of service for free. If you deposit between $15,000 and $99,999, you’ll get one month free; deposit $100,000 to $249,999 for six months free; and get one year free after depositing $250,000 or more.

  • Fees: With their Digital package, you’ll pay 0.25%
  • Minimum investment: None
  • Automatic portfolio rebalancing: Yes
  • Portfolio customization options: Only for accounts with $100,000+
  • Automated contributions: Yes
  • Tax loss harvesting: Automatic
  • Accounts supported: IRAs, trusts, individual and joint taxable accounts
  • Invest in individual stocks? No
  • Optional products/services: You can choose from socially responsible investment portfolios, have the option to chat with a certified financial planner (for a fee), and they even offer competitive checking/cash reserve account options.

Read more: Betterment Review

Schwab Intelligent Portfolios

Charles Schwab is already a long-trusted name in the financial world. Their Intelligent Portfolio robo-advisory, though, seeks to change the game by offering a product that is free from fees. You will avoid paying anything for portfolio management, commissions, and even account service fees–all you’ll need to worry about are the fees charged directly from your chosen ETFs.

  • Fees: $0
  • Minimum investment: $5,000
  • Automatic portfolio rebalancing: Yes
  • Portfolio customization options: Yes
  • Automated contributions: Yes
  • Tax loss harvesting: Free for accounts with $500,000+
  • Accounts supported: IRAs (traditional, Roth, rollover), trusts, individual and joint taxable accounts, custodial accounts
  • Invest in individual stocks? Yes
  • Optional products/services: 24/7 customer service and brick-and-mortar branch access; accounts can hold REITs and commodities/cash within your portfolio

Ally Invest Managed Portfolios

You probably already know Ally for their banking products and maybe even their brokerage services. With Ally Invest Managed Portfolios, though, you can take automatic portfolio management to the next level with no fees, a low deposit minimum, and a hands-off approach to growing your money.

  • Fees: None
  • Minimum investment: $100
  • Automatic portfolio rebalancing: Yes
  • Portfolio customization options: Yes, either choose the portfolio that Ally creates for you or customize it until you’re comfortable
  • Automated contributions: Yes
  • Tax loss harvesting: Not offered
  • Accounts supported: IRAs (traditional, Roth, rollover), trusts, individual and joint taxable accounts, custodial
  • Invest in individual stocks? No
  • Optional products/services: Four portfolio options to choose from, personalized for you by real human specialists (though you can customize to suit your preferences); cash earns a competitive rate while waiting to be invested.

Read more: Ally Invest Review

Other Options

While there are many robo-advisors with no management fees, they can sometimes limit investors with the features and services offered. If you decide that you need just a bit more for your portfolio–but still want to save money on fees–there are a few great, low-cost options available.

These include robo-advisors such as Personal Capital, Fidelity Go, WealthFront, and even the super-easy round-up investment app, Acorns.

Related: Best Robo Advisors

Final Thoughts

As an investor, you have many options for managing your portfolio. You could choose to hire a financial advisor, go the DIY investing route, or, of course, look into a middle-ground option like a robo-advisor.

These platforms typically offer competitive services, low (or no) fees, and extensive online resources so you can learn along the way. While robo-advisors can be a bit more limited than traditional advisors, the savings are usually worth it for the average investor.

If you choose to go the robo-advisor route, be sure to look into your options for platforms that charge no management fees, such as the ones mentioned above. These will not only help you better manage your portfolio, but will also save you quite a bit of money along the way.

Also Read: Robo Advisors–The Pros and Cons

Article comments

1 comment
John A says:

M1 does NOT have automatic tax loss harvesting. They do not sell anything without your explicit instructions. When you do sell, they will select the shares to sell in a tax-efficient manner. However, you can’t tell how many shares you are holding with a paper loss; you have to log into the Apex website to see tax lot information. When I do harvesting, I figure out the dollar amount of losing shares in Apex, give a sell order in M1 for that dollar amount, and a buy order for the other security. You can also skip the last step and M1 will buy to get closer to your desired allocation. However, if you are selling a security that is already at a lower than desired allocation, the system will want to buy it back (or not do the sale), so it’s safer to be explicit about the buy and sell transactions. You will also want to probably lower the desired percentage so that the next new money doesn’t go into that security and give you a wash sale. If the entire allocation of that security is at a loss, you can just set the desired percentage to 0%, but that doesn’t happen so much any more with older appreciated securities in my portfolio.