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 Schwab Intelligent Portfolios 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. Schwab Intelligent Portfolios's score is 5.00 stars versus Ally Invest Advisors's 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. Schwab Intelligent Portfolios has tax-loss harvesting, Ally Invest Advisors doesn't. To make sure you ready for retirement and will have enough money saved, running a calculator is required. Neither Schwab Intelligent Portfolios and Ally Invest Advisors offer an advanced retirement calculator. Setting financial goals and tracking them is also a feature customers desire. Schwab Intelligent Portfolios alongside Ally Invest Advisors 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. Neither broker offers 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. Schwab Intelligent Portfolios alongside Ally Invest Advisors offer live chat support.
Overall, Schwab Intelligent Portfolios comes out on top with 4.50 stars over Ally Invest Advisors's 3.50 stars. And, as far as individual category awards go, Schwab Intelligent Portfolios was rated Best in Class - Cost, Best in Class - Investment Approach and Best in Class - Platforms & Tools in 2017, while Ally Invest Advisors was rated none of these.