We spent over 100 hours testing robo-advisors, opening and funding an account with each robo to acquire a true client experience and find the best robo advisors
. In this comparison, we will compare Schwab Intelligent Portfolios vs Wealthfront to see which robo-advisor is better.
First, let’s take a look at the fees of these two investment advisors. Cost is broken down into both the annual management fee charged each year as well as the expense ratios charged by the ETF holdings themselves. Schwab Intelligent Portfolios received a rating of 5.00 stars over Wealthfront's 4.50 stars.
Looking at both robo-advisors, we can also explore their features. Schwab Intelligent Portfolios and Wealthfront both offer tax-loss harvesting. For running predictions on retirement, clients will want to use a retirement calculator. Wealthfront has an advanced retirement calculator, Schwab Intelligent Portfolios doesn't. Tracking personal financial goals can also be important. Schwab Intelligent Portfolios alongside Wealthfront offer goal tracking. Finally, the ability to import and aggregate third-party financial accounts for holistic analysis can be particularly useful. Wealthfront makes external accounts analysis available to clients, while Schwab Intelligent Portfolios does not.
Lastly, tech savvy Millennials may find it valuable to have access to customer service through phone, email, and live chat. However, not every robo-advisor offers live chat support. Schwab Intelligent Portfolios offers live chat support while Wealthfront does not.
Overall, Schwab Intelligent Portfolios takes the upper hand with 4.50 stars over Wealthfront's 4.00 stars. And, as far as individual category awards go, Wealthfront finished with awards Best in Class - Cost in 2017, while Schwab Intelligent Portfolios came up with Best in Class - Cost, Best in Class - Investment Approach and Best in Class - Platforms & Tools.