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 Fidelity Go 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. Both Fidelity Go and TD Ameritrade Essential Portfolios are rated 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. TD Ameritrade Essential Portfolios has tax-loss harvesting, Fidelity Go doesn't. To make sure you ready for retirement and will have enough money saved, running a calculator is required. TD Ameritrade Essential Portfolios offers an advanced retirement calculator while Fidelity Go does not. Setting financial goals and tracking them is also a feature customers desire. Both Fidelity Go and TD Ameritrade Essential Portfolios 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. Fidelity Go has external accounts analysis, TD Ameritrade Essential Portfolios doesn't.
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. Fidelity Go and TD Ameritrade Essential Portfolios both offer live chat support.
Overall, TD Ameritrade Essential Portfolios boasts 4.50 stars versus Fidelity Go's 4.00 stars. And, as far as individual category awards go, TD Ameritrade Essential Portfolios was rated Best in Class - Investment Approach, Best in Class - Platforms & Tools and Best in Class - Customer Service, while Fidelity Go was rated none of these.