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 Adaptive Portfolio 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. Wealthfront's score is 4.50 stars versus E*TRADE Adaptive Portfolio's 3.50 stars.
Features are also important to compare when selecting a robo-advisor. Some robos do a much better job than others with technology. Wealthfront offers tax-loss harvesting while E*TRADE Adaptive Portfolio does not. To make sure you ready for retirement and will have enough money saved, running a calculator is required. Wealthfront has an advanced retirement calculator, E*TRADE Adaptive Portfolio doesn't. Setting financial goals and tracking them is also a feature customers desire. Wealthfront makes goal tracking available to clients, while E*TRADE Adaptive Portfolio 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. Wealthfront makes external accounts analysis available to clients, while E*TRADE Adaptive Portfolio 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. E*TRADE Adaptive Portfolio offers live chat support while Wealthfront does not.
Overall, Wealthfront comes out on top with 4.00 stars over E*TRADE Adaptive Portfolio's 3.00 stars. And, as far as individual category awards go, Wealthfront was rated Best in Class - Cost, while E*TRADE Adaptive Portfolio was rated none of these.