SoFi Invest vs. Wealthfront – Overview
This SoFi Invest vs Wealthfront review will equip you with the knowledge to evaluate each digital investment manager like a pro! Learn how to choose and why you can profit from a robo-advisor to manage your investments.
With 24/7 electronic access to your finances, algorithmic investment advice, and low-fee access to a myriad stocks and bonds, the appeal of robo-advisors is evident.
However, with everything moving online it can be easy to get overwhelmed. Your checking account may be at one bank, your investments in another, and your student loans at a third – you might feel like you need a personal assistant just to keep track of it all!
In response to this problem, more and more robo-advisors are beginning to offer other financial products on top of automatic investment advice.
Robos who offer loans or checking accounts in addition to retirement planning are great for those who want their financial life to be straight forward and in one place. If that describes you, read on – this SoFi Invest vs. Wealthfront review delves into two robo-advisors who offer more than just investment accounts.
*This article contains affiliate links to help pay for this website. That said, our reviews are held to the highest standards of honesty.
What is SoFi Invest?
SoFi stands for Social Finance and is best known as a student loan refinance company. Since their inception, however, SoFi has begun to offer many other financial products and services to well-qualified clients.
SoFi Invest is one of the company’s financial segments and includes the following investment options:
- Crypto Investing – Cryptocurrency trading platform.
- Stock Bits – Free stock market investing, similar to Robinhood and M1 Finance.
- Active Investing – This SoFi stock investing platform allows you to buy shares of stock or even partial shares and get started investing on your own, for free.
- Automated Investing – The SoFi robo-advisor invests your money in diversified exchange traded funds, or ETFs and manages it for you.
- SoFi ETFs – SoFi offers four ETFs: SoFi Select 500 (SFY), SoFi Next 500 (SFYX), SoFi 50 (SFYF) and SoFi Gig Economy (GIGE).
The SoFi Invest Automated Investing is the division that’s most similar to Wealthfront, with a complete computer-driven investing plan, in line with your goals and risk level.
While the Active Investing, and Stock Bits lets you customize your investments from a range of stocks, cryptocurrency, and ETFs. SoFi Invest offers fractional shares, just like other micro-investing app M1 Finance.
What is Wealthfront?
Wealthfront, which manages over $21 billion in assets, is a well-established robo-advisor. This makes Wealthfront the second largest independent robo-advisor on the market today. The all-digital Wealthfront manages your investing while considering:
- Your goals
- Your age
- Your risk tolerance
- The size of your current investment portfolio
The feature-rich Wealthfront is ideal for saving for college, with a 529 account, a home, retirement, a big remodel or any future financial goal you might have.
Wealthfront’s PATH advisor is an all-digital, automated investment management system. It doesn’t rely on human financial planners to get the job done, which can be seen as either a boon by the tech-savvy, or as a downside by those who prefer more hands-on financial advice.
SoFi Invest vs. Wealthfront – Top Features
|Overview||Goals-based digital investment manager with digital financial advice, cash management, and lending.||Free automated investment management robo-advisor platform with financial advisors. Active or passive account management available.|
|Minimum Investment Amount||$500||$1|
|Free Services||Free portfolio review and home buying guide||Free account management and access to financial professionals|
|Fee Structure||0.25% AUM||No account management fees.|
|Top Features||Automated, goal-based investment advisor. Daily tax-loss harvesting. Smart beta and risk parity investing. Individual stocks for large accounts. Cash management and borrow.||Investment management with live advisors. Access to SoFi member benefits and career planning. Cash management and lending.|
|Investment Funds||Low fee exchange traded funds from diverse asset classes. Individual stocks – for accounts over $100,000.||Diversified low-fee exchange traded index funds-ETFs. |
Stock bit – fractional shares of stock available through SoFi Active Investing.
|Accounts Available||Individual and joint investment accounts. Roth, traditional, SEP and rollover IRAs. Trusts. 529 college savings plan accounts.||Individual and joint taxable accounts. Roth, traditional, and SEP IRAs.|
|Contact & Investing Advice||Phone M–F 10 am–8 pm EST |
|Phone support M-F. Email support 7 days per week. Financial advisor access for all clients.|
|Promotions||Get first $5,000 managed for free with this link.||Free investment management at SoFI Automated Investing|
SoFi Invest Top Features:
- SoFi offers multiple financial products, so you can keep your finances under one main company
- Varied investing strategies, ranging from passive to active
- No fees for trading or account management
- Access to financial advisors
Wealthfront Top Features:
- Tax-loss harvesting available daily
- Loans and cash accounts available
- 529 Plan accounts
- Unique digital PATH financial planner
- Free portfolio review
SoFi Invest vs. Wealthfront – Who Benefits?
Any investor who is looking for a single financial company to manage their investments and other financial needs, such as loans, will benefit from both robo-advisors.
Wealthfront is a bit more basic at this time – this robo only offers loans and high-yield cash accounts – along with goal-based investment management.
SoFi, on the other hand, offers many other financial products. In addition to student loans and refinancing, SoFi offers mortgages, home improvement loans, insurance, spending accounts, and even small business financing.
If you’re looking for a fee-free investment manager, SoFi fits the bill.
If you want the opportunity for automated investing along with stock, fund and crypto investing, then SoFi is the best choice.
SoFi Invest offers fractional shares and micro investing. Stock bits offers fractional shares for investors who can’t or don’t want to pay full price for an expensive stock. This helps new investors get started more easily.
If you want human financial planners, you will also need to turn to SoFi. Though other robo-advisors offer human financial planners, SoFi is the only robo-advisor to do so without charging account management fees.
If you’re looking for a fully-automatic robo-advisor, you’ll love Wealthfront. In addition to their PATH financial advisor, Wealthfront also has “self-driving money” – a feature that is helping clients automate every penny.
Wealthfront also offers smart beta and risk parity investment strategies, for investors seeking an opportunity to outperform the market returns.
We like Wealthfront because it’s one of the oldest robo-advisors and is a proven company. Their investment board includes Burton Malkiel, one of the foremost investment minds today and author of “A Random Walk Down Wall Street”. (affiliate link) So their investment strategy has a lot of history and research behind it.
SoFi Invest vs. Wealthfront – Fees and Minimums
Minimums Winner: SoFi Invest is the definite winner here, with only $1 required for initial investments.
Fees Winner: There is a near-tie here. SoFi Invest is the winner for all sized accounts, as they do not charge account management fees or trading fees. Wealthfront clients can get their first $5,000 managed (affiliate link) for free but will pay for accounts over that amount.
SoFi Invest Fees and Minimums
SoFi Invest is one of the most affordable robo-advisors on the market. Initial investments can be as small as $1.
Additionally, SoFi does not charge clients trading fees or account management fees. This makes SoFi Invest one of the few free robo-advisors, though its $1 minimum arguably makes it the most competitive in this category.
M1 Finance is another free robo-advisor, though you’ll need $100 to get started.
Wealthfront Fees and Minimums
Wealthfront is still one of the more affordable robo-advisors, with a minimum investment requirement of only $500. Still, this puts Wealthfront out of reach of would-be investors who don’t have that much capital and might be better off choosing SoFi Invest or Betterment.
Your first $5,000 is managed free through Wealthfront. After that amount, the robo-advisor charges 0.25% AUM. Unlike Betterment, Wealthfront does not offer reduced account management fees on larger accounts.
SoFi Invest vs. Wealthfront – Robo Investing Deep Dive
SoFi Invest vs. Wealthfront – Human Financial Planners
Winner: SoFi Invest takes an easy win here, as Wealthfront does not offer human financial planners.
Wealthfront has used automated investment advice and algorithmic rebalancing since their inception, and they’re good at it! Unfortunately, that means that clients don’t have access to certified financial planners.
SoFi Invest does offer clients a chance to talk to human financial professionals. This is particularly impressive in light of their fee-free investment management fees.
SoFi Invest vs. Wealthfront – Tax-Loss Harvesting
Winner: It’s Wealthfront for the win here. SoFi does not offer tax-loss harvesting.
Wealthfront’s take on tax-loss harvesting can best be described as “the more often, the better!” Wealthfront relies on daily tax-loss harvesting, which they believe gives them an edge over other robo-advisors.
SoFi Invest, however, does not have tax-loss harvesting at this time.
Reminder: tax loss harvesting only applies to taxable accounts, not retirement accounts.
SoFi Invest vs. Wealthfront – Investments
Winner: While SoFi and Wealthfront both include a wide range of investment types, including real estate, Wealthfront is the winner in this category. SoFi’s options may be diverse, but they rely on speculative categories, such as cryptocurrency, as opposed to Wealthfront’s more tried-and-true investment options.
SoFi Invest Investments
- Real Estate
- High-Yield Bonds
- SoFi Select 500 ETF
- SoFi Next ETF
- SoFi 50 ETF
- SoFi Gig Economy ETF
- Small-Cap ETF
- Developed and Emerging Markets ETFs
- Total Bond Market ETF
- US Total Stock Market
- Foreign Stock – Developed Market
- Foreign Stock – Emerging Market
- Dividend Appreciation Stock
- US Treasury Inflation Protected Bond (TIPs)
- US Government Bond
- Municipal Bond
- US Corporate Bond
- Foreign-Emerging Market Bond
- Real Estate
- Natural Resources (Energy)
SoFi Invest vs. Wealthfront – Rebalancing
Winner: It’s a tie.
Both SoFi Invest and Wealthfront will rebalance your portfolio if your investments drift from your preferred asset mix.
For instance, if you want your portfolio to be a conservative 25% stocks and 75% bonds, but your investments change to a 20/80 or 30/70 allocation, the robo-advisor will automatically readjust your portfolio so it is back in alignment with your goals.
SoFi Invest vs. Wealthfront – Customer Support
Winner: It’s too close to call.
Both Wealthfront and SoFi Invest are dedicated to providing excellent customer support.
Non-customers can contact Wealthfront via email by using a form on their website. Wealthfront claims that all electronic questions will be answered within 24 hours. They are not clear, however, on what their phone hours are.
SoFi Invest’s hours vary based on what sort of help you need. They have different email and telephone lines available for general, home loan, money, and investment support, and the hours for these departments vary. That being said, you can usually expect to get in touch with someone any day of the week, from 5am to 7pm EST.
SoFi Invest vs. Wealthfront – Cash Management
Winner: It’s a tie.
No matter which of these two robo-advisors you pick, you’ll have access to a cash management account.
- Wealthfront’s cash account is a high-yield account. With no account fees and an interest rate of about 5x the national average, this is a great option.
- SoFi Invest also has a high-yield account. They’re slightly more appealing than Wealthfront because they claim to offer 6x the national interest rate, though you will need to have $500 in recurring direct deposits to earn this amount.
Wealthfront is the winner here, though! Wealthfront clients can open individual and join investment taxable accounts, plus: Roth, Traditional, SEP, and rollover IRAs, trusts, and 529 College Plans.
SoFi Invest has limited account types; this robo-advisor offers both automated and active account management. Clients can open individual or joint taxable accounts, or Roth, traditional, or SEP IRAs.
Yes, if you’re looking for a fee-free robo-advisor investment manager with access to active stock, crypto and fund investing too. SoFi is also worth it if you are a current SoFi customer.
Yes. Wealthfront has been around for a long time – in fact, it’s one of the oldest independent robo-advisors around, second only to Betterment.
Though there is always a risk that comes with investing, Wealthfront has worked to earn their clients’ trust over the years.
Which Robo Advisor is Best? The Takeaway
SoFi Invest takes the lead in many of our ranking categories and is the victor in this showdown.
The SoFi robo-advisor is jam-packed with features: clients have access to human financial professionals, can invest in fractional shares, receive frequent portfolio rebalancing, and can even open a host of other financial accounts.
If that wasn’t enough, SoFi Invest is also a fee-free robo-advisor and requires only $1 to get started. What’s not to love?
Even though Wealthfront can’t beat SoFi Invest in terms of fees, minimums, or access to human financial planners, this robo-advisor still has many redeeming features.
Wealthfront has been established as a robo-advisor for a longer amount of time, which has given the company ample time to fine-tune their automated investment program. Wealthfront also offers a single stock selling plan for investors with too much company stock. The firm also also offers direct indexing for larger accounts, which reduces costs!
We also love the diverse account types Wealthfront offers clients. If you’re looking for college savings or trusts, you’ll need to turn to Wealthfront over SoFi Invest.
Ultimately, the best robo-advisor is the one that fits your needs!
More Comparison Articles
- Betterment vs. Wealthfront vs. M1 Finance
- Wealthfront vs. Vanguard
- Betterment vs SoFi Invest
- Ally Invest vs Betterment vs Wealthfront
Disclosure: Please note that this article may contain affiliate links which means that – at zero cost to you – I might earn a commission if you sign up or buy through the affiliate link. That said, I never recommend anything I don’t believe is valuable.
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