For our 2017 Robo-Advisor Review we assessed, rated, and ranked eight different firms. Instead of relying on website information and marketing materials as most editorials do, we opened and funded an account with each robo-advisor
to acquire a true client experience. Here, we will compare Betterment vs TD Ameritrade Essential Portfolios to see which robo-advisor is best.
To start our comparison, we will take a look at the annual fees for both services. Cost is broken down into two separate buckets: the annual management fee charged for having an account and the annual fee charged for holding each ETF in the portfolio. Betterment received a rating of 4.50 stars over TD Ameritrade Essential Portfolios's 4.00 stars.
Exploring both robo-advisor feature sets, we can also find differences. Betterment makes tax-loss harvesting available to clients, while TD Ameritrade Essential Portfolios does not. For running calculations on being ready for retirement, clients will want a retirement calculator. Betterment has an advanced retirement calculator, TD Ameritrade Essential Portfolios doesn't. Some customers like to monitor their personal financial goals. Betterment alongside TD Ameritrade Essential Portfolios offer goal tracking. Finally, an attractive feature includes providing deeper account analysis thanks to the ability to import and aggregate third-party financial accounts. Betterment has external accounts analysis, TD Ameritrade Essential Portfolios doesn't.
Lastly, more web savvy customers may find it valuable to have access to customer service through phone, email, and live chat. However, not every robo provides live chat support as an option. Betterment alongside TD Ameritrade Essential Portfolios offer live chat support.
Overall, both Betterment and TD Ameritrade Essential Portfolios are rated 4.50 stars. And, as far as individual category awards go, TD Ameritrade Essential Portfolios posted awards Best in Class - Investment Approach, Best in Class - Platforms & Tools and Best in Class - Customer Service in 2017, while Betterment found itself with Best in Class - Cost, Best in Class - Investment Approach, Best in Class - Platforms & Tools and Best in Class - Customer Service.