For our 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 is a better option with a 4.50 star rating over TD Ameritrade Essential Portfolios's 4.00 star rating.
Exploring both robo-advisor feature sets, we can also find differences. TD Ameritrade Essential Portfolios alongside Wealthfront offer tax-loss harvesting. For running calculations on being ready for retirement, clients will want a retirement calculator. TD Ameritrade Essential Portfolios and Wealthfront both offer an advanced retirement calculator. Some customers like to monitor their personal financial goals. TD Ameritrade Essential Portfolios alongside Wealthfront 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, Wealthfront takes the upper hand with 5.00 stars over TD Ameritrade Essential Portfolios's 4.50 stars. And, as far as individual category awards go, Wealthfront was rated Best in Class - Cost, Best in Class - Investment Approach and Best in Class - Platforms & Tools, while TD Ameritrade Essential Portfolios was rated Best in Class - Investment Approach.