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TD Ameritrade Managed Account Review. TD Ameritrade Essential Portfolios Fees.

2020 TD Ameritrade Essential Portfolios review: managed account, robo advisor fees and minimums, cons and pros, investing options. Compare to Etrade, Ally Invest, Schwab.


TD Ameritrade offers automated portfolio service, which is named Essential Portfolios. Let's take a close look at it and see how the service compares to similar programs offered by the firm's rivals.

TD Ameritrade Essential Portfolios Cost and Minimum

Several major brokerage firms have rolled out automated account management packages, where a computer program buys and sells securities in customers' accounts. These so-called robo advisors have taken the human out of the equation, and so account management costs less. TD Ameritrade Essential Portfolios costs just 0.30% annually and requires only a $5,000 minimum deposit.

TD Ameritrade Essential Portfolios Review

TD Ameritrade Essential Portfolios Investment Options

The account service is operated by Amerivest Investment Management, LLC, an affiliated company of TD Ameritrade. The securities in the portfolio are low-cost ETF's, which are first selected by Morningstar. Amerivest reviews the funds a second time to verify that they are a good purchase. Amerivest states that using Morningstar's recommendations takes any bias out of the security selection process the broker might have.

All trades of exchange-traded funds in an Essential Portfolios account are free of charge. The account automatically rebalances itself when the software program decides an adjustment needs to be made.

TD Ameritrade cautions that robo advisory services may not be ideal for all investors in all situations. For example, investors who need tax advice or financial planning services may need a human advisor.

TD Ameritrade Essential Portfolios Review

How to Open an TD Ameritrade Robo Advisor Account

The application includes a questionnaire that will ask you for some important information that will help the computer program determine which investments are best for your financial situation. These questions include topics such as your liquid net worth, risk tolerance, and whether you plan to make withdrawals from the portfolio. The software will then calculate the expected annual volatility the portfolio is likely to experience. The worst and best 20-year returns are also predicted. The program will display the odds of reaching a certain account balance in 10 years. The next screen will show a pie chart of the recommended portfolio. This will be broken down into ETF categories, such as domestic equities or international fixed income. If you like what you see, proceed to the next screen where you will be shown a review of all the information you have entered. If everything looks correct, click on 'Open an Account' at the bottom of the screen.

TD Ameritrade Essential Portfolios Investing

Compare TD Ameritrade vs Etrade vs M1 Finance

E*Trade also has a robo advisory service. The broker charges the same as TD Ameritrade, a low 0.30%. A non-retirement account has a $10,000 minimum, while an IRA requires an initial deposit of at least $5,000. Like TD Ameritrade, E*Trade also uses non-proprietary ETF's, so the broker does not have any incentive to use specific funds.

M1 Finance offers investing with no fees or commissions. That's right - the broker charges nothing to invest with them.

A portfolio management service is also available at Ally Invest. However, the broker doesn't use the robo model and instead relies on actual human advisors. For investors who are comfortable with this old 20th-century method, the broker charges just 0.25% annually, which is actually less than the robo services analyzed in this article. The fee is billed monthly, and there is a $1 minimum charge. Ally Invest only requires a $500 opening deposit. Investors can also choose a feature called Risk Assist. With this addition, Ally Invest monitors the financial markets for any significant changes in stock or bond prices. If there is a decline in the stock market, the broker will sell stock ETF's and buy bond ETF's. The service costs an additional 0.25%.

Open M1 Finance Account

Open M1 Finance Account

TD Ameritrade Robo Advisor Review Summary

TD Ameritrade offers one of the best options for robo advising service on the market today. It is backed by one of the top investment companies in the industry with over 35 years of experience. It is definitely worth the try, especially for beginner investors.

TD Ameritrade has made a great attempt to enter the new world of robo advising. Other brokers rival its service, but not without reservations and concerns. Investors who try out the service but decide it's not for them can always go back to the old fashioned method with TD Ameritrade or Amerivest.

Open TD Ameritrade Account

Open TD Ameritrade Account