Wealthfront: Robo Fund Advisor Reviews

Wealthfront is one of the best-known names in the world of Robo Advisors. It has a particular emphasis on accounts that are taxable, but can also be used efficiently with IRAs. Like Betterment and others, Wealthfront invests your money in ETF index funds and allocates it automatically using Modern Portfolio Theory.

Wealthfront’s website and advertising partners have plenty to say about why Wealthfront should be your first choice over its rivals — you can avoid ETF fees if you invest over $100,000, and it’s currently the largest Robo Advisor on the internet. But what do its customers actually think of it? We looked beyond the advertisers to check out what people on the ground, on forums such as Bogleheads and Fatwallet.com, thought of this option.

Funding the accounts, unsurprisingly, seems to be easy enough. Customers agreed that getting funds into Wealthfront was a simple process.It was particularly interesting because of its focus on tax loss harvesting. One customer points out that while WiseBanyan says they are going to start offering this soon, it hasn’t yet come to fruition. In the meantime, although Wealthfront is charging a fee that WiseBanyan is not, they are offering an additional service that’s of value to many.

Is Wealthfront worth 0.25% per year?

One of the major points of discussion is the simple question: “Is WF worth 0.25% per year?” This was asked on many forums, and users were happy to give their points of view. For this fee, WF provides constant rebalancing and tax loss harvesting — which, of course, you could do yourself, but it’s fairly safe to say that those using a RoboAdvisor don’t want to take care of their entire portfolio alone. The community seems divided on the issue, with it ultimately coming down to how confident you feel about your ability to do these things yourself.

There are some other services emerging who will actually rebalance your accounts for free, but they don’t have Wealthfront’s history of good investment, nor its focus on taxable accounts. If you have a personal interest in this area of your investments, It may be for you. As one commenter pointed out, “it depends on what you value and what you’re looking for.”

(continued in part 2)