Betterment wins the award for Best Robo for First-Time Investors. With no investment minimum and a 0.25% annual fee, their digital-only product is a strong choice for first-time investors. Betterment’s single-goal financial planning tools make it easy for first-time investors to plan for future financial success. In addition, Betterment offers various financial planning packages that provide personal consultations with a financial planner on an as-needed basis, so users only have to pay for personalized professional help as they see fit. It is important to recognize that as a client’s assets grow, so do their financial planning and management needs. Betterment’s tiered service model is very attractive since an investor can always upgrade to the premium service levels as their needs grow, without having to change advisors. Betterment users can also open savings and checkings accounts with Betterment Everyday. Deposits in the savings account earn 2.04% and are FDIC insured up to $1M.
While SoFi does not have the best score in our ranking, they are an attractive option for first-time investors. With no account minimum, no management fees, and free access to career counseling and live financial advisors, SoFi Invest is very attractive to a cost-conscious first-time investor, regardless of account size. With SoFi’s primary business is built around consumer lending, SoFi sees investment management as an important financial service offering to strengthen its client relationships. Additionally, as many SoFi customers start their relationship by consolidating student loans, once debt is under control a next logical step is to begin saving and investing. In addition to lending and investment services, SoFi offers a free checking and high-interest savings account through SoFi Money and free budget tracking and planning with SoFi Relay, as well as various insurance offerings. With its wide breadth of financial services offered, SoFi is positioning itself as a comprehensive provider for all of its users’ financial needs.