For our 2017 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 TD Ameritrade Essential Portfolios vs Wealthfront 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. Wealthfront's score is 4.50 stars versus TD Ameritrade Essential Portfolios's 4.00 stars.
Exploring both robo-advisor feature sets, we can also find differences. Wealthfront has tax-loss harvesting, TD Ameritrade Essential Portfolios doesn't. For running calculations on being ready for retirement, clients will want a retirement calculator. Wealthfront offers an advanced retirement calculator while TD Ameritrade Essential Portfolios does not. Some customers like to monitor their personal financial goals. TD Ameritrade Essential Portfolios and Wealthfront both offer goal tracking. Finally, an attractive feature includes providing deeper account analysis thanks to the ability to import and aggregate third-party financial accounts. Wealthfront offers external accounts analysis while TD Ameritrade Essential Portfolios does not.
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. TD Ameritrade Essential Portfolios makes live chat support available to clients, while Wealthfront does not.
Overall, TD Ameritrade Essential Portfolios comes out on top with 4.50 stars over Wealthfront's 4.00 stars. And, as far as individual category awards go, Wealthfront posted awards Best in Class - Cost in 2017, while TD Ameritrade Essential Portfolios found itself with Best in Class - Investment Approach, Best in Class - Platforms & Tools and Best in Class - Customer Service.