Robo Advisors for Wealthy Investors in 2023
Robo-advisors are prominent players in investment management today and vary according to their services and the customers they target. Initially developed to guide younger, less experienced, passive investors who appreciate a technology-driven, hands-off approach to wealth building, robo-advisors have broadened to serve high net worth investors as well. Robo advisors for the wealthy make investment management easier with lower fees than traditional financial advisors.
As the robo advisory industry evolves, digital investment managers have added human advisors, tax loss harvesting, customizable portfolios, banking, lending and more to serve the needs of high net worth investors. By using mathematical algorithms to set and manage investment portfolios, digital investment services make investing accessible, affordable and automated. An added benefit of robo-advisors for high net worth individuals is that they can save them from making stupid mistakes, like selling after a market decline, and later buying in at the market peak.
Robo-advisors target investors with various goals, skills and budgets. Some robo-advisors target millennials, while others are for experienced investors looking to automate parts of their portfolios. They are no longer the domain of the small investor. The sophisticated wealthy investor will appreciate the robo-advisors that target high-net-worth investors.
*Disclosure: Please note that this article may contain affiliate links which means that – at zero cost to you – I might earn a commission if you sign up or buy through the affiliate link.
List of Robo Advisors for High Net Worth Individuals
- Empower – Best for Comprehensive Financial Planning
- Betterment – Best for Fee Conscious Investors
- Vanguard – Best for Customization
- Wealthfront – Best for Digitally Savvy Investors
- Ellevest – Best for Women
- Schwab – Best for the Mass Affluent
Top 6 Robo Advisors for the Wealthy and Mass-Affluent
1. Empower – Best for Comprehensive Wealth Planning
Empower is a financial management powerhouse offering two different services:
- Free software and financial tools for personal finance management including retirement planning, cash flow analysis, and net worth tracking.
- Empower Advisors is a comprehensive wealth manager with dedicated financial advisors, a reasonable advisory fee, tax and estate planning services.
Some of you may remember Empower as the former Personal Capital, which was acquired by retirement investing powerhouse Empower in July 202.
Pros and Cons for the High Net Worth Investor
Empower Advisors Pros
- Offers sector weighted allocations, different from other robo-advisors and reputed to guard against excessive portfolio risk and improve returns.
- Has fees that are competitive with traditional financial advisors.
- Provides opportunities for tax-loss harvesting.
- All advisors are Certified Financial Planners.
- Offers tax, estate planning and advanced financial guidance.
- Empower Advisors specifically aim to meet the needs of high-net-worth investors.
- Account minimum of $100,000 of investable assets to use the Empower Advisors service. Other robo-advisors for wealthy individuals offer lower entry points.
- It is uncertain whether sector weighted investing will outperform marked-weight asset allocation over the long term. Back-testing a theory is no guarantee for future performance.
- There are robo-advisors offering access to personal financial advisors with lower advisory fees.
Free financial management planning and tracking tools. These are phenomenal and available to anyone, whether they are a client, or not. Even if you don’t choose to have Empower manage your assets, you should check out their free investment management tools.
Empower Advisors features personal financial planning, tax optimization, dynamic portfolio allocation, rebalancing, and a high yield cash management.
The sector weight Smart Indexing is unique among robo-advisors and aims to achieve an even exposure to size, style, and economic sector. It means that investment portfolios are better diversified, and there might be increased return potential (learn more about Smart Indexing).
Visit Empower, check out the free tools, and learn more about the Personal Capital Advisors.
Minimums and Fees
Empower Wealth Management is available to high-net-worth clients with at least $100,000 to invest.
|First $1 million||0.89%|
|For clients that invest $1 million or more:|
|First $3 million||0.79%|
|Next $2 million||0.69%|
|Next $5 million||0.59%|
|Over $10 million||0.49%|
Even if you don’t choose Empower Advisors to manage your investments you can use their free tools including sophisticated retirement planning, net worth tracking, fees analyzer and more.
Types of Accounts
Empower offers individual and joint investment brokerage accounts. Other account types include Roth, traditional, SEP, and roll-over IRAs and trusts.
2. Betterment – Best for Fee Conscious Investors
Betterment, launched in 2010 and is one of the earliest digital wealth managers and offers an all-digital and a premium service, geared to the high-net-worth investor. Betterment now offers a checking and high yield cash account (through partner banks), access to crypto portfolios, and fee-based discrete financial planning packages for the digital customer who prefers an a la carte model of services. Betterment’s goal based investment management, makes it seamless to invest your funds for multiple goals, like retirement, home down payment and college savings. Betterment crypto provides investors the opportunity to invest in digital coins as well.
Their value-oriented portfolios are crafted to perform well during the current investment market.
The Betterment Premium service includes access to Certified Financial Planners for all clients, for an additional fee.
Pros and Cons for the High Net Worth Investor
- Fees, both advisory and fund management, are reasponably priced.
- Their investment strategy, supported by modern portfolio theory, strives to maximize investment returns for any risk tolerance level. They also offer income, smart beta, socially responsible and crypto portfolios.
- Betterment offers tax loss harvesting for taxable brokerage accounts to reduce taxes on investment income and capital gains taxes.
- Unlimited Certified Financial Planner access for all Betterment Premium clients is available for an additional fee.
- Betterment Advice Packages offer digital customers access to targeted low-fee financial planning sessions with human financial planners.
- They do not offer the option to buy individual stocks or etfs
- No access to real estate investment trusts (REITs).
Betterment is among the oldest robo-advisors, providing confidence that it will exist for the long term. The Betterment Premium 0.40% management fee, which includes financial advisor access, is significantly lower than the average 1.00% AUM fee charged by traditional financial advisors. That means that more of your money is invested and working for you.
Betterment also offers smart-beta portfolios for those interested in attempting to beat market returns.
The core investment portfolios include several “value” funds, which may result in higher long-term returns. Historically, “value” stocks have outperformed the S&P 500, over long periods of time. Although, from 2010 through 2020, this wasn’t the case, since 2022, value funds have been in favor. Betterment’s investing strategy is designed to minimize taxes and the investment committee selects funds with the best risk-adjusted returns for the lowest fee.
Premium customers benefit from a combination of algorithmic and human advice.
Minimums and Fees
There is no minimum investment amount to use Betterment Digital, although you’ll need $10 to begin investing. Digital clients can purchase Financial Advice Packages for reasonable fees. However, to have access to unlimited virtual meetings with a human financial advisor, you must use Betterment Premium, which requires a minimum of $100,000 in investable assets, and charges an additional fee.
- $4.00 per month for accounts worth less than $20,000
- 0.25% AUM for accounts worth more than $20,000 or with $250 per month auto deposit.
Premium: 0.40% AUM
- 1.0% AUM per month – plus trading fees for Digital clients
- 1.15% AUM – plus trading for Premium clients
Financial Advice Packages
Prices range from $299 to $399 per financial advice package
Cash accounts (through partner banks) do not charge management fees.
The current Betterment cash reserve interest rate is 4.50% APY.** The rate will vary, based upon market interest rates.
Types of Accounts
Betterment offers single and joint taxable brokerage accounts and Roth, traditional, rollover, and SEP IRAs. They also offer trust accounts.
the Betterment cash reserve account, available through partner banks, offers high yields and and is fee-free.
3. Vanguard Personal Advisor – Best for Investors Who Like to Customize Their Investments
Vanguard robo-advisors are part of the Vanguard Group which is among the largest mutual fund and ETF provider. The company offers two tiers of investment management, Vanguard Digital Advisor and Personal Advisor Services.
Vanguard Personal Advisor Services is for wealthier investors and includes access to human financial advisors who work with clients to craft an investment portfolio that aligns with your goals and investment style.
Pros and Cons of Vanguard Personal Advisor
- An algorithm-based investment portfolio created in concert with a human financial advisor.
- Active and/or passively managed funds. This means you and your advisor can include mutual funds and ETFs, predominantly sourced from the firm’s stable of highly regarded Vanguard funds.
- Access to the Vanguard slate of services.
- Among the lowest management fee robo-advisors – Personal Financial Advisors charges 0.30% AUM.
- Comparatively low minimum of $50,000 for wealthy investors. The minimum can include funds from all Vanguard accounts combined.
- Accounts invested mainly in Vanguard funds.
- Not the lowest fee robo-advisor with access to financial advisors. That would be SoFi Invest, with fee-free investment management and financial advisor access.
- Tax loss harvesting is not an automatic feature of Vanguard, and is done on a case-by-case basis.
Investors with portfolios of $500,000 and over are appointed a dedicated financial advisor who assists with all matters related to the investment account. Investors who have less than $500,000 invested don’t have access to a dedicated advisor but can virtually chat with Vanguard’s group of professional financial advisors. Additionally, along with your financial advisor, you can customize your portfolio with many passive and actively managed funds.
Vanguard also provides case-by-case tax-loss harvesting, and they allocate your assets to minimize your tax bill.
Minimums and Fees
To use Vanguard Personal Advisor Services, you need $50,000 to invest. While the Vanguard Digital offer requires a $3,000 minimum. The Vanguard Digital is a basic robo-advisor investment manager and only include two options, and all index fund portfolio or a combined index and actively managed funds portfolio, for a slightly higher management fee.
Fees are competitive for both the Digital and the Personal Advisor Services.
- Digital – 0.20% AUM for the index fund portfolio and 0.25% for the combined index and active fund prtfolio
- Personal Advisor Services – 0.30% AUM
Vanguard uses a sliding scale with a 0.30% AUM fee for assets up to $5 million. Fees decline for the the next $5 to $10 million management fee of 0.20% AUM and continue to decline with greater account values.
These fees are relatively low compared to those of other robo-advisors.
Types of Accounts
Vanguard Personal Advisor Services offers individual and joint investment accounts, Roth, traditional, SEP, and rollover IRAs, and trusts.
4. Wealthfront – Best for Digitally Savvy Investors
Another legacy robo-advisor, Wealthfront hits a home run with their new ETF customization options and their Path digital financial advisor. Although Wealthfront doesn’t advertise finance advisors, all of their customer service representatives are licensed. If you are computer savvy and don’t need a lot of investment hand holding, then Wealthfront’s diversified investment portfolios, access to hundreds of ETfs and several crypto funds, daily tax loss harvesting, high yield cash account, and lending might be a fit for you. Or, you could use Wealthfront for investment management, and hire a fee-only financial planner for complex financial questions.
Wealtlhfront also offers a professionally managed fixed income automated bond portfolio. This option is great for conservative investors, those nearing retirement and those who are seeking cash flow. Individual stock and ETF traders can also buy and sell fee-free.
Pros and Cons
- 529 account available for college saving
- Path digital financial planner is closest feature to a human advisor and designed to answer 10,000 distinct questions
- Direct indexing for accounts worth more than $100,000 helps target tax loss harvesting opportunities and might increase overall returns
- Daily tax loss harvesting
- High yield cash account (fee-free) and lending
- Additional ETFs and automated bond portfolio are great for diversification and portfolio customization
- No live financial advisors for ongoing investment guidance
- There are lower fee digital robo advisors available
The customization options are tough to beat at Wealthfront. Like all robo-advisors, you can access a diversified core portfolio of stock and bond ETFs. Wealthfront also offers a smart-beta portfolio for portfolios worth more than $500,000, for investors attempting to outperform a market capitalization model. The direct stock indexing for accounts worth more than $100,000 can also work to maximize overall investment returns.
Wealtlhfront recently added several hundred ETFs to their lineup including strategy, SRI and sector offers. You can add ETFs to an existing portfolio. Or clients can create their own ETF portfolio which Wealthfront will manage for them. Included in the new funds are several Grayscale cryptocurrency funds. The automated bond portfolio is a sound addition tot he platform.
Anyone can access the Path Digital Financial Advisor, whether you’re a Wealthfront client or not, by creating an account and linking your financial accounts You can find out if you’re on track for retirement and other financial goals.
New investors can sign up with this link for a cash bonus.
Minimums and Fees
The minimum account size is $500.
The investment management fee is 0.25% AUM.
There is no management fee for the high yield cash account or the stock and ETF trading accounts.
Wealthfront stands out with a 529 college savings account, rarely found among robo advisors. The additional available accounts will match up with nearly all competitors, individual and joint brokerage, Roth, Traditional, Rollover, and SEP IRAs, and trust accounts.
If you sign up with the link below, new investors will get a cash bonus.
5. Ellevest – Best for Women Investors
Ellevest is a robo-advisor specifically designed to meet the investing requirements of women. Sally Krawcheck, CEO made it her mission to empower women financially after realizing that the investing industry has historically operated in ways that focused more on men.
Investing is still predominantly the domain of white, middle class males. Don’t believe me? Just Google ‘best investors’ and see what comes up.
Anyhow, Ellevest worked with women to create an investing platform that offers the guidance they need along with conservative projections to consider women’s work histories and lifespans.
Pros and Cons of Ellevest
- It is a robo advisor created ‘by women, for women’ with realistic assumptions plugged into retirement and wealth creation calculators.
- Very low subscription based pricing with tiered service levels.
- No minimum initial investment amount, although certain amounts are needed to begin investing.
- Discounted financial planner and career coach meetings.
- High and ultra high net worth investors with $1 million+ assets gain access to a team of financial professionals for advanced wealth management services for tiered AUM fees.
- No tax loss harvesting
- If you need regular financial advice, you might prefer a robo advisor that includes unlimited advice like Betterment or Empower.
Ellevest has many exciting features, but two are especially important for women investors irrespective of their net worth. First, this robo-advisor uses a goal-oriented investment approach which, research shows, is especially important for women – women tend to invest for specific future goals. And second, the methodologies and projections used are dressed in layers of conservatism which ups the likelihood that your money will last for your life, and beyond. While doing this, the platform still uses Modern Portfolio Theory to maximize the expected returns at each risk level.
Another standout feature is that Ellevest impact investing portfolios prefer companies with women in leadership, higher sustainability and ethical standards, and companies that support women-owned businesses and those in need.
Ellevest has among the best educational portals of stand alone robo-advisors, which is important for women who may lack a strong investment background.
Minimums and Fees
There is no minimum investment amount required. To invest in specific portfolios, you’ll need from $1 to $240.
Plus account – $5 per month
Executive account – $9 per month
For an additional fee, Ellevest offers access to financial advisors and career coaches at discounted rates. We believe that it’s efficient to pay for only the advice that you need. The Executive plan which costs $108 per year, offers greater services and the highest discount of 50% off for sessions with the career and financial coaches. Wealthier investors are also provided access to private wealth management and a dedicated financial advisor.
Private Wealth Management is offered for investors with $1 million or more and tiered fees begin at 0.90% AUM and decline as asset levels increase.
Types of Accounts
Ellevest offers an individual taxable brokerage account. Roth, Traditional and SEP IRAs.
Robo-Advisors with Human Financial Planner Access
|Robo Advisor||Management Fee||Investment Minimum||Sign up|
|Digital: 0.25% of AUM for accounts worth more than $20,000 | $4.00 for accounts worth less than $20,000 | Premiun: 0.40% AUM||Digital None - $10 to start investing | Premium: $100,000||Sign up|
|zero for free tools - 0.89% - 0.49% AUM||zero for free tools - $100,000 for asset management||Sign up|
|0.25% of AUM ($10,000 managed for free)||$2,000||Sign up|
|Basic-None Premium-$30/month ($300 set up fee)||$5,000||Sign up|
|$5-$9 per month||None||Sign up|
6. Schwab – Best for Mass Affluent
Schwab offers two robo-advisors, Intelligent Portfolios and Intelligent Portfolios Premium, backed by the Charles Schwab brand. Both offers include broadly diversified investment portfolios, constructed with your goals and risk tolerance in mind. The minimum for the fee-free all digital Intelligent Portfolio is $5,000. While the Intelligent Portfolios Premium, which includes unlimited access to Certified Financial Planners (CFP), requires $25,000 and costs a low $30 per month, plus a one-time set up fee. The Intelligent Portfolios Premium is a bargain for the mass affluent users on their way to becoming high net worth investors.
Those looking for cash flow can select an Income portfolio from the Intelligent Portfolios.
Pros and Cons of Schwab Intelligent Portfolios
- Access to live CFP advisors for all Premium clients
- Premium requires low minimum investment amount relative to other robo-advisors for high-net-worth investors
- Diverse investment choices from a selection of 53 ETFs
- Fee-free investment management for Intelligent Portfolios digital clients
- Low subscription pricing for Premium users
- Branch access and 24/7 phone customer service
- All portfolios have an eight to ten percent cash allocation, which can slow growth during rising markets. (During market declines, the cash will curtail investment losses)
- Lacks the customization of some of the other robo advisors for the wealthy
Existing Schwab customers will appreciate the convenience of having some of all of your assets professionally managed for low or no fees. If you want access to advice, even the digital client can speak with highly trained customer service representatives and financial consultants by phone or at a branch. Access to Certified Financial Planners at this low price point is an advantage for cost conscious investors with complicated financial situations.
All Schwab customers can access the digital Schwab Plan, which guides you through a digital questionnaire and yields a complete financial plan.
The portfolios are among the most broadly diversified and include funds representing 20 asset classes. The broad diversification along with the required cash allocation are beneficial during volatile investment markets and temper your account declines.
Minimums and Fees
The digital Schwab Intelligent Portfolios requires a $5,000 investment minimum. The Schwab Intelligent Portfolios Premium requires a $25,000 minimum.
The digital Intelligent Portfolios levies no investment management fee.
The Intelligent Portfolios Premium charges $30 per month, regardless of account size. There’s also a $300 one time set up fee. The larger your account grows, the lower the management fee, expressed as a percent of your assets. For example, for a $100,000 you’ll pay 0.36% annually (excluding the one time set fee). While a $500,000 Premium account pays a low 0.072% investment management fee.
Types of Accounts
Schwab offers a strong lineup of account types. The types of accounts include Individual and joint taxable brokerage, Roth, Traditional, SEP, Simple and Rollover IRAs, and trusts.
6 Best Robo Advisors for High Net Worth Investors in 2023 at a Glance
Here are the six best robo-advisors for high-net-worth investors in 2023 compared along five key features, what is it best for, investment minimums, fees, types of account they offer and their standout feature.
|Best for…||Minimums||Fees – % of AUM||Accounts||Stands out for…|
|Empower Advisors||Access to advanced wealth management services||$100,000||Between 0.89% and 0.49%||Individual and joint taxable, Roth, traditional and rollover IRAs; trusts||Smart Indexing evening exposure to size, style, and economic sector.|
|Betterment||Income, smart beta, SRI and crypto investing||Betterment Premium $100,000|
Digital – $10
|Betterment Premium – 0.40% |
|Individual and joint taxable, Roth, traditional, SEP and rollover IRAs; trusts||Low fees and value funds. Financial advice of all, for added fee.|
|Vanguard Personal Advisor Services||Investors looking for automation with human touch||$50,000||Minimum 0.30%||Individual and joint taxable, Roth, traditional, SEP and rollover IRAs; trusts||Collaborative portfolio construction between advisor and client.|
|Ellevest||Women investors||No minimum||$5 or $9 per month. Additional fees apply for advanced services.||Individual and joint taxable, Roth, traditional, SEP and rollover IRAs||Low pricing, pay for what you need financial advice and career coaches.|
|Wealthfront||Digitally savvy investors seeking customization||$500||0.25%||Individual and joint taxable, Roth, traditional, and rollover IRAs; trusts; 529 college||Access to 100’s of ETFs and crypto funds for customizing portfolio, and automated bond portfolio.|
|Schwab||Mass affluent seeking diversified, low fee investment management||Premium $25,000|
|Premium-$30 per month + $300 set up||Individual and joint taxable brokerage, Roth, Traditional, SEP, Simple and Rollover IRAs, and trusts..||Broad diversification, excellent customer service, free digital financial plan for all.|
Best Robos for Wealthy Investors Wrap Up
We highlighted the key features and standout characteristics of the 6 best robo-advisors for high-net-worth investors in 2023. But, the best robo-advisor for you depends on your goals, your financial situation, and preference regarding financial advice. Consider fees, as those will minimize the dollars that go into the markets. Understand the robo advisory investment strategy and funds, and determine if they align with your own. Be careful if you’re using past performance to influence your choice. Markets are fickle, and a popular sector or investment style today, might be a losing approach tomorrow.
- Pros and Cons of Robo Advisors
- Betterment vs Vanguard
- Wealthfront vs Vanguard
- Betterment vs Wealthfront vs M1 Finance
- Elm Wealth Review with Victor Haghani – for the Ultra-High Net Worth
- Betterment Socially Responsible Investing Review
Disclosure: Please note that this article may contain affiliate links which means that – at zero cost to you – I might earn a commission if you sign up or buy through the affiliate link. That said, I never recommend anything I don’t believe is valuable
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