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 Wealthfront 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. Both Betterment and Wealthfront share a rating of 4.50 stars.
Features are also important to compare when selecting a robo-advisor. Some robos do a much better job than others with technology. Both Betterment and Wealthfront offer tax-loss harvesting. To make sure you ready for retirement and will have enough money saved, running a calculator is required. Both Betterment and Wealthfront offer an advanced retirement calculator. Setting financial goals and tracking them is also a feature customers desire. Betterment alongside Wealthfront 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 and Wealthfront both offer external accounts analysis.
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. Betterment makes live chat support available to clients, while Wealthfront does not.
Overall, Betterment comes out on top with 4.50 stars over Wealthfront's 4.00 stars. And, as far as individual category awards go, Wealthfront posted awards Best in Class - Cost, 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.