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 TD Ameritrade Essential 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. Both TD Ameritrade Essential Portfolios and Ally Invest Advisors are rated 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. TD Ameritrade Essential Portfolios makes tax-loss harvesting available to clients, while Ally Invest Advisors does not. To make sure you ready for retirement and will have enough money saved, running a calculator is required. TD Ameritrade Essential Portfolios offers an advanced retirement calculator while Ally Invest Advisors does not. Setting financial goals and tracking them is also a feature customers desire. Both TD Ameritrade Essential Portfolios and 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 TD Ameritrade Essential Portfolios and Ally Invest Advisors 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. TD Ameritrade Essential Portfolios alongside Ally Invest Advisors offer live chat support.
Overall, TD Ameritrade Essential Portfolios takes the upper hand with 4.50 stars over Ally Invest Advisors's 3.50 stars. And, as far as individual category awards go, TD Ameritrade Essential Portfolios was rated Best in Class - Investment Approach, while Ally Invest Advisors was rated none of these.