Winner: Fidelity Go
We awarded the Best Robo for Performance at a Low Cost to the top-performing robos over the prior two-year period: Fidelity Go and WiseBanyan.
Fidelity Go is unique among robo advisors in that its 0.35% management fee is an all-in cost; all funds held by Fidelity Go come with zero internal operating expenses. Therefore, while robos like Vanguard and Wealthfront have lower management fees, Fidelity Go’s cost is right in-line with other leading providers when including the average weighted expense ratio of the funds held in our portfolios.
WiseBanyan placed second for Best Robo for Performance at a Low Cost. In addition to having the second-best performance, there is no management fee for investors in their most basic service plan for taxable accounts regardless of account size. In addition, WiseBanyan offers a la carte pricing for additional services like tax-loss harvesting. While taxable accounts carry no management fee, investors are required to purchase the tax-efficiency package in their IRA accounts at WiseBanyan. Even including this cost, WiseBanyan’s fee of 0.24% for its IRAs is on par with other inexpensive products. While Schwab also offers free management of taxable accounts at its lowest service level, WiseBanyan does not mandate a high cash balance in their models, which could hinder long-term performance.
The Robo Ranking™ is the only comprehensive ranking of robo advisors that accounts for not only the features and services, but also portfolio performance, sourced from real accounts tracked by Backend Benchmarking. The Robo Ranking™ goes well beyond performance and grades the robos across more than 45 specific metrics. We scored each robo on various high-level categories, such as features, financial planning, customer experience, access to live advisors, transparency and conflicts of interest, size and tenure, account minimums, costs, and performance. Each metric where we grade the robos is specific and unambiguous. See the full scoring rubric here.