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 is a better option with a 4.50 star rating over E*TRADE Adaptive Portfolio'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. Wealthfront makes tax-loss harvesting available to clients, 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 has live chat support, Wealthfront doesn't.
Overall, Wealthfront boasts 4.00 stars versus E*TRADE Adaptive Portfolio's 3.00 stars. And, as far as individual category awards go, Wealthfront finished with awards Best in Class - Cost in 2017, while E*TRADE Adaptive Portfolio came up with none of these.