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 Merrill Edge Guided Investing vs Personal Capital 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 Merrill Edge Guided Investing and Personal Capital are rated 3.00 stars.
Features are also important to compare when selecting a robo-advisor. Some robos do a much better job than others with technology. Personal Capital offers tax-loss harvesting while Merrill Edge Guided Investing does not. To make sure you ready for retirement and will have enough money saved, running a calculator is required. Personal Capital makes an advanced retirement calculator available to clients, while Merrill Edge Guided Investing does not. Setting financial goals and tracking them is also a feature customers desire. Personal Capital has goal tracking, Merrill Edge Guided Investing doesn't. Finally, syncing data from your other financial accounts (brokers, banks, etc) can open the door to deeper analysis of fees, holdings, and retirement planning. Both Merrill Edge Guided Investing and Personal Capital 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. Merrill Edge Guided Investing has live chat support, Personal Capital doesn't.
Overall, Personal Capital boasts 4.50 stars versus Merrill Edge Guided Investing's 4.00 stars. And, as far as individual category awards go, Merrill Edge Guided Investing was rated Best in Class - Customer Service in 2017, while Personal Capital was rated none of these.