M1 Finance Vs. Wealthfront – Which Investment Robo-Advisor Is Best?

Investment robo-advisors are becoming increasingly popular, with investors looking to automate their portfolios. M1 Finance and Wealthfront offer two of the most competitive services in the industry, but which one is best for individual investor’s needs? This article will compare both platforms on key criteria such as fees, user interface, portfolio offerings, account types offered and customer support, providing an analysis to help readers decide which investment robo-advisor suits them best.

The emergence of automated investing has revolutionized how people manage their investments. Robo-advisors provide a convenient way to build a diversified portfolio without having to pay high management fees or expending effort researching assets. Both M1 Finance and Wealthfront are well established players in this space that offer a range of features designed to appeal to different types of investors.

This article will therefore analyze each platform’s offering against various criteria including fees, user experience and accessibility. It will also look at additional features such as portfolio asset allocation models and customer service options available from both providers so that readers can make an informed decision about which robo-advisor best meets their requirements.


Overview Of Robo-Advisors

Robo-advisors are digital platforms that provide automated, algorithm-driven financial advice and portfolio management services. The primary benefit of using a robo-advisor is the cost savings over traditional human advisors who typically charge high fees for their services. Additionally, some robo-advisors allow users to access and manage investments from anywhere with an internet connection. This makes it easier for those who do not have the time or inclination to research investments on their own to still be in control of their finances.

Two leading companies in this space are m1 finance and Wealthfront. Both offer low fees, user-friendly interfaces, and comprehensive investment options. M1 Finance provides tax loss harvesting strategies as well as fractional shares which allows investors to invest any amount into stocks without being limited by share prices; Wealthfront offers goal setting tools such as retirement planning calculators and automatic rebalancing of portfolios when needed.


Features Comparison

Robo-advisors offer a range of features for investors, which can be compared to determine the best choice. In this section, a comparison between m1 Finance and Wealthfront is made to identify the superior robo-advisor.

First, m1 Finance offers several advantages. It has no account minimums or management fees, allowing users to start investing with minimal capital input. Furthermore, it provides its users with access to fractional shares and tax optimization strategies. Lastly, m1 incorporates easy portfolio diversification through prebuilt portfolios or individual stock selection from over 10 thousand ETFs and stocks.

Wealthfront also offers many benefits for its users. Its automated financial planning tools provide advice on retirement planning as well as funding goals such as buying a home or starting a business. Additionally, Wealthfront allows automatic transfers and deposits into investment accounts at any time in order to facilitate frequent contributions towards investments. Finally, Wealthfront’s Smart Beta feature uses machine learning technology to select optimal asset allocations tailored to each user’s risk tolerance level.

In conclusion, both m1 Finance and Wealthfront have considerable features that cater to different investor needs: while m1 excels in ease of use due to lack of account minimums and absence of management fees; Wealthfront stands out with its advanced automation capabilities aided by AI technology. Ultimately, the decision comes down to an individual’s particular preferences when selecting their preferred robo-advisor platform among these two options.


Cost Comparison

Costs associated with investing can vary, depending on the type of robo-advisor selected. M1 Finance and Wealthfront both offer different fees for their services. M1 charges no account management fee or trading commissions, while Wealthfront has a 0.25% annual advisory fee. Furthermore, M1 does not charge any inactivity fees but requires a minimum deposit of $100 to open an account; conversely, there is no initial deposit requirement for Wealthfront accounts but users must pay a $5 monthly fee if the balance falls below $500 within the given month.


Service M1 Finance Wealthfront 
Account Management Fee  None   0.25% Annual Advisory Fee
Trading Commission Fees None  None 
 Inactivity Fees None  $5 Monthly Fee Below $500 
Minimum Deposit Required  $100  None 


The cost comparison between M1 Finance and Wealthfront reveals that each platform offers distinct features at varying prices. Both platforms have their own advantages and disadvantages when it comes to costs related to their services. Therefore, investors should carefully assess which platform best suits their needs before making an investment decision.


User Experience

When comparing the user experience of m1 Finance and Wealthfront, there are several factors to consider. Both robo-advisors offer a mobile app that makes investing convenient for users on the go.

Users can access real-time account information, view their portfolio performance, check market updates, and make trades from the apps. However, there are differences in terms of features available on each platform:

  • M1 Finance offers free stock trading with no commissions or minimums as well as fractional share investing.
  • Wealthfront also has commission-free trading but does have an account minimum of $500 for taxable accounts and IRA accounts must be funded with at least $3,000. It also does not support fractional shares.
  • M1 provides automated dividend reinvestment whereas Wealthfront requires manual intervention to initiate this process.
  • Wealthfront has more sophisticated tax optimization strategies than M1 Finance including Tax-Loss Harvesting+ which is only available on higher tier plans.

In terms of usability, both platforms are relatively straightforward and intuitive compared to other investment services; however, those looking for detailed financial planning advice may benefit from a traditional advisor rather than either robo-alternative. Ultimately it will depend on the type of investor you are and your specific goals when deciding which one is best suited for your needs.


Security And Reliability

When it comes to security and reliability, both m1 Finance and Wealthfront offer strong services. Both firms use secure encryption measures for data protection, as well as two-factor authentication for added security. Additionally, the firms have each been registered with the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) since inception and are members of FINRA/SIPC. Thus, investors can be sure their accounts will remain safe when using either service.

In terms of system reliability, both platforms have generally performed robustly without any major outages or disruptions in recent memory. The systems are designed to operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week, making them highly reliable for users who may need access at any time of day. Furthermore, customer support staff is available round-the-clock to assist customers if they experience any issues or concerns while using either platform’s services or features. Overall, both m1 Finance and Wealthfront provide excellent levels of both security and reliability that should satisfy most investors’ needs.


Pros And Cons

M1 Finance and Wealthfront are two of the leading robo-advisors for investments. Both of these platforms offer a range of services that make it easier to manage finances and create wealth. When making an investment decision, potential users should consider both the pros and cons associated with each platform.

M1 Finance is well known for its efficient portfolio management tools. It offers a variety of customizable portfolios designed to help investors reach their goals in terms of risk tolerance, timeline, liquidity needs and other factors. Furthermore, M1 Finance charges no commissions or fees for trading securities, which makes it attractive for those who want to avoid high costs associated with traditional financial advisors and brokerage firms. Additionally, M1 Finance has an intuitive user interface that allows users to easily track performance over time.

Wealthfront also provides low cost investment options on multiple asset classes such as stocks, ETFs and real estate trusts. The platform features automated tax loss harvesting capabilities and advanced portfolio optimization techniques to maximize returns while managing risk appropriately. Wealthfront also offers access to human advisors via email or phone if needed, providing additional support when needed. However, some users may find the fee structure complex compared to M1’s flat fee model.

Ultimately, there is no one-size-fits all solution when choosing between M1 Finance and Wealthfront as a robo-advisor for investments; what works best will depend on individual circumstances like risk tolerance level and financial objectives. As always, research into different offerings from different providers can be beneficial when deciding how best to invest money using robo-advisors.



Robo-advisors are a great way for investors to manage their portfolios in an automated and cost effective manner. M1 Finance and Wealthfront offer two of the most popular options, each with its own pros and cons. By comparing the features, costs, user experience, security and reliability factors between these two services, it is possible to make an informed decision on which option is right for you.

M1 Finance offers users greater flexibility than Wealthfront when it comes to portfolio customization while having lower fees overall. Additionally, users have access to fractional shares allowing them to diversify their investments more easily without incurring additional expenses. On the other hand, Wealthfront has some unique features such as tax loss harvesting that can be beneficial depending on individual investor’s needs. Both robo-advisors provide excellent user experiences through intuitive web platforms and mobile apps along with advanced security protocols.

Scroll to Top