Thanks to opening, funding, and spending over 100 hours testing accounts with eight different robo-advisors
, we know our robos inside and out. For this review, we will compare Betterment vs Ally Invest Advisors to see which robo-advisor is better.
When it comes to financial advice and selecting an automated advisor, the total annual cost charged is significant. Most sites just look at the annual account management charge assessed. For an accurate comparison, however, you also have to take into consideration the annual management fees (expense ratios) charged by the ETF holdings themselves. We included both. Betterment's score is 4.50 stars versus Ally Invest Advisors's 4.00 stars.
Features are also important to compare when selecting a robo-advisor. Some robos do a much better job than others with technology. Betterment makes tax-loss harvesting available to clients, while Ally Invest Advisors does not. To make sure you ready for retirement and will have enough money saved, running a calculator is required. Betterment has an advanced retirement calculator, Ally Invest Advisors doesn't. Setting financial goals and tracking them is also a feature customers desire. Both Betterment and Ally Invest Advisors offer goal tracking. Finally, syncing data from your other financial accounts (brokers, banks, etc) can open the door to deeper analysis of fees, holdings, and retirement planning. Betterment offers external accounts analysis while Ally Invest Advisors does not.
Lastly, some customers want access to customer service via web friendly methods such as live chat as a compliment to the standard phone and email options. Both Betterment and Ally Invest Advisors offer live chat support.
Overall, Betterment boasts 5.00 stars versus Ally Invest Advisors's 3.50 stars. And, as far as individual category awards go, Betterment posted awards Best in Class - Cost, Best in Class - Investment Approach and Best in Class - Platforms & Tools, while Ally Invest Advisors found itself with none of these.