We spent over 100 hours testing robo-advisors, opening and funding an account with each robo to acquire a true client experience and find the best robo advisors
. In this comparison, we will compare Betterment vs Merrill Edge Guided Investing to see which robo-advisor is better.
First, let’s take a look at the fees of these two investment advisors. Cost is broken down into both the annual management fee charged each year as well as the expense ratios charged by the ETF holdings themselves. Betterment's score is 4.50 stars versus Merrill Edge Guided Investing's 3.00 stars.
Looking at both robo-advisors, we can also explore their features. Betterment makes tax-loss harvesting available to clients, while Merrill Edge Guided Investing does not. For running predictions on retirement, clients will want to use a retirement calculator. Betterment offers an advanced retirement calculator while Merrill Edge Guided Investing does not. Tracking personal financial goals can also be important. Betterment makes goal tracking available to clients, while Merrill Edge Guided Investing does not. Finally, the ability to import and aggregate third-party financial accounts for holistic analysis can be particularly useful. Betterment makes external accounts analysis available to clients, while Merrill Edge Guided Investing does not.
Lastly, tech savvy Millennials may find it valuable to have access to customer service through phone, email, and live chat. However, not every robo-advisor offers live chat support. Betterment and Merrill Edge Guided Investing both offer live chat support.
Overall, Betterment boasts 5.00 stars versus Merrill Edge Guided Investing's 3.00 stars. And, as far as individual category awards go, Merrill Edge Guided Investing was rated Best in Class - Customer Service, while Betterment was rated Best in Class - Cost, Best in Class - Investment Approach and Best in Class - Platforms & Tools.