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 E*TRADE Core Portfolios vs TD Ameritrade Essential Portfolios 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. TD Ameritrade Essential Portfolios is a better option with a 4.00 star rating over E*TRADE Core Portfolios's 3.50 star rating.
Features are also important to compare when selecting a robo-advisor. Some robos do a much better job than others with technology. TD Ameritrade Essential Portfolios makes tax-loss harvesting available to clients, while E*TRADE Core Portfolios does not. To make sure you ready for retirement and will have enough money saved, running a calculator is required. TD Ameritrade Essential Portfolios makes an advanced retirement calculator available to clients, while E*TRADE Core Portfolios does not. Setting financial goals and tracking them is also a feature customers desire. TD Ameritrade Essential Portfolios offers goal tracking while E*TRADE Core Portfolios does not. Finally, syncing data from your other financial accounts (brokers, banks, etc) can open the door to deeper analysis of fees, holdings, and retirement planning. E*TRADE Core Portfolios nor TD Ameritrade Essential Portfolios offers 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. E*TRADE Core Portfolios alongside TD Ameritrade Essential Portfolios offer live chat support.
Overall, TD Ameritrade Essential Portfolios takes the upper hand with 4.50 stars over E*TRADE Core Portfolios's 3.00 stars. And, as far as individual category awards go, TD Ameritrade Essential Portfolios was rated Best in Class - Investment Approach, while E*TRADE Core Portfolios was rated none of these.