For our Robo-Advisor Review we assessed, rated, and ranked eight different firms. Instead of relying on website information and marketing materials as most editorials do, we opened and funded an account with each robo-advisor
to acquire a true client experience. Here, we will compare Merrill Edge Guided Investing vs TD Ameritrade Essential Portfolios to see which robo-advisor is best.
To start our comparison, we will take a look at the annual fees for both services. Cost is broken down into two separate buckets: the annual management fee charged for having an account and the annual fee charged for holding each ETF in the portfolio. TD Ameritrade Essential Portfolios's score is 4.00 stars versus Merrill Edge Guided Investing's 3.00 stars.
Exploring both robo-advisor feature sets, we can also find differences. TD Ameritrade Essential Portfolios makes tax-loss harvesting available to clients, while Merrill Edge Guided Investing does not. For running calculations on being ready for retirement, clients will want a retirement calculator. TD Ameritrade Essential Portfolios offers an advanced retirement calculator while Merrill Edge Guided Investing does not. Some customers like to monitor their personal financial goals. TD Ameritrade Essential Portfolios has goal tracking, Merrill Edge Guided Investing doesn't. Finally, an attractive feature includes providing deeper account analysis thanks to the ability to import and aggregate third-party financial accounts. Neither Merrill Edge Guided Investing and TD Ameritrade Essential Portfolios offer external accounts analysis.
Lastly, more web savvy customers may find it valuable to have access to customer service through phone, email, and live chat. However, not every robo provides live chat support as an option. Both Merrill Edge Guided Investing and TD Ameritrade Essential Portfolios offer live chat support.
Overall, TD Ameritrade Essential Portfolios boasts 4.50 stars versus Merrill Edge Guided Investing's 4.00 stars. And, as far as individual category awards go, TD Ameritrade Essential Portfolios posted awards Best in Class - Investment Approach, Best in Class - Platforms & Tools and Best in Class - Customer Service, while Merrill Edge Guided Investing found itself with Best in Class - Customer Service.