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 Ally Invest Advisors 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. Ally Invest Advisors's score is 4.00 stars versus Merrill Edge Guided Investing's 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. Neither Merrill Edge Guided Investing and Ally Invest Advisors offer tax-loss harvesting. To make sure you ready for retirement and will have enough money saved, running a calculator is required. Merrill Edge Guided Investing nor Ally Invest Advisors offers an advanced retirement calculator. Setting financial goals and tracking them is also a feature customers desire. Ally Invest Advisors 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. Merrill Edge Guided Investing makes external accounts analysis available to clients, while Ally Invest Advisors 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. Merrill Edge Guided Investing alongside Ally Invest Advisors offer live chat support.
Overall, Merrill Edge Guided Investing comes out on top with 4.00 stars over Ally Invest Advisors's 3.50 stars. And, as far as individual category awards go, Merrill Edge Guided Investing was rated Best in Class - Customer Service in 2017, while Ally Invest Advisors was rated none of these.