While no investment option is completely risk-free, robo-advisors have been on the market for quite a while now and are developing a reputation for being as good as, if not better than, their human counterparts. Each robo-advisor has some unique features, of course, so how do you choose which robo-advisor is right for you? Today we’re going to help by comparing two high-quality robo-advisors: Betterment vs Fidelity Go.
*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.
Betterment vs Fidelity—Overview
What is Betterment?
Founded in 2008, Betterment is one of the most well-known robo-advisors on the market. Continuously innovating, Betterment also offers all users access to financial advisors, for reasonable additional fees.
Betterment is the largest free-standing robo-advisor, not affiliated with a major investment company.
Betterment is a goals-based robo-advisor, which means it takes client goals— such as marriage, retirement, or a large purchase— into consideration when it creates portfolio allocations. However, Betterment offers much more than the typical, run-of-the-mill investment manageament options. This robo-advisor offers smart-beta portfolios and socially-responsible investments in addition to more traditional portfolio options, making it a good fit for many different investment styles.
For those interested in Cryptocurrency investing, Betterment also offers digital coin cryptocurrency portfolios.
What is Fidelity Go?
Fidelity Go is a member of Fidelity Investments, a long-standing financial firm. This is a draw for investors who are wary of using stand-alone robo-advisors.
Wondering what kind of account is Fidelity Go? It is a robo-advisor or automated investment manager. The Fidelity robo invests your money in passively managed fee free investment mutual funds.
Along with computerized investment management the Fidelity Go robo-advisor includes an annual strategic review.
Fidelity Go offers fee-free investment management for accounts worth up to $25,000 and financial coaches for all with greater than $25,000 for a reasonable 0.30% AUM fee.
Fidelity also offers managed accounts for wealthier investors seeking financial advisor access.
Betterment vs. Fidelity Go—Top Features
Betterment vs Fidelity Go
|Overview||A goals based automated investment advisor. Offers a variety of human financial planning options, for an additional fee.||Automated investment management robo-advisor platform with access to fee-free Fidelity Flex mutual funds. Financial coaches for accounts worth more than $25,000.|
|Top Features||Goal-based investment management. Tax-loss harvesting. SRI, smart beta, income portfolios and crypto. Human financial advisor access available for additional fee.||Part of the Fidelity Investments family, giving you access to all that the company offers. Automated investment management. Annual Strategic Review. Fee-free investment management for accounts worth $25,000 or less.|
|Free Services||Free investment management promotion||Free investment management up to $25,000|
|Fee Structure||Digital: |
$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 (includes financial advisor access)
1% aum (crypto)
Fees decline for accounts over $2 million AUM
|Up to $25,000 free investment management. |
Over $25,000 - 0.35% aum. (includes financial advisor access)
|Accounts Available||Single + joint taxable brokerage. Roth, traditional, rollover + SEP IRA. Trust.||Single + joint taxable brokerage accounts; Traditional, Roth + rollover IRAs. HSA. (not eligible for coaching)|
|Investment Funds||Low-cost, commission-free ETF from diverse asset classes. Smart beta, income, socially responsible and crypto portfolios available.||Fee-free Fidelity Flex mutual funds from basic asset classes.|
|Contact & Investing Advice||Phone M-F and Email-24/7. Financial advisor access||Phone and Live Chat 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET, M-F |
Financial Coaches for those with more than $25,000
|Minimum Investment Amount||Digital - No minimum investment amount required, $10 to begin investing.|
Premium - $100,000.
|There is no minimum investment amount required, $10 to begin investing.|
Betterment Top Features
- Socially-Responsible Investing
- Smart-Beta Portfolios
- Human financial planners for an additional fee
- Crypto portfolios
- Retirement guide calculator
- Tax-loss harvesting
Fidelity Go Top Features
- Member of the Fidelity Investments family
- Annual strategic review
- No-fee Fidelity flex index funds
- First $25,000 managed for free
- Financial coaches for clients with more than $25,000
Betterment vs. Fidelity Go—Who Benefits?
Betterment is the third largest robo-advisor after Vanguard and Schwab. Betterment is best for new to advanced investors.
Betterment Digital is suitable for all levels of investors with it’s diverse portfolio options, opportunity to access financial planning packages, for additional fees. High net worth investors can also opt for Betterment Premium with financial advisors and other benefits. Betterment has many options for investors, including Smart-Beta portfolios for those strive to beat the market. Betterment also offers socially responsible, income only and crypto portfolios. Betterment claims more account types and more diverse portfolios.
While Fidelity Go is more affordable for smaller account holders with less than $25,000. Fidelity Go is more affordable for those with more than $25,000.
Those seeking unlimited financial advisor meetings, Fidelity’s $25,000 minimum and 0.30% AUM fee is lower than the $100,000 minimum and 0.40% AUM fee at Betterment premium.
Those with more than $25,000 seeking an all digital platform, will gravitate towards Betterment or Wealthfront, both with 0.25% AUM fees.
Clients who want their money passively managed by a bigger financial firm will benefit from Fidelity. Investors seeking a robo-advisor and self-directed investment account under one roof might lean towards Fidelity Go.
Betterment vs. Fidelity Go—Fees and Minimums
Winner: Betterment and Fidelity are tied for account minimums. Both offer zero account minimums. Fidelity Go wins for overall lowest fees, with fee-free management for accounts up to $25,000.
Betterment Fees and Minimums
- $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.
- Betterment Digital- No minimum, $10 to begin investing.
- Betterment Premium – $100,000 minimum.
Fidelity Fees and Minimums
Fidelity Go fees:
- Up to $25,000 – zero account management fees
- $25,000+ – 0.35% AUM – includes half hour meetings with financial coaches.
Fidelity Go minimums:
- Fidelity Go Digital- No minimum, $10 to begin investing.
- Fidelity Go with coaching – $25,000 minimum
Fidelity Go is comparable to Betterment in that it does not have a minimum balance requirement, but requires $10 to begin investing.
Realistically, the fees are low at both Fidelity Go and Betterment, so be sure to investigate other features to select the best robo advisor for you.
Betterment vs. Fidelity Go—Deep Dive and Unique Features
Betterment vs. Fidelity Go—Human Financial Planners
Winner: It’s a tie.
Betterment Digital provides access to low-fee financial planning packages. This is a win for those seeking guidance for discrete financial questions like is my portfolio on track or how to save for college. For an affordable robo-advisor, Betterment boasts high-end access to human financial planners for addition fee.
All Betterment Premium clients have access to licensed certified financial planners (CFP). Premium requires a $100,000 minimum and charges 0.40% AUM fee.
Betterment digital clients can also pay for additional one-on-one guidance with human financial planners through the a la carte services.
Fidelity Go offers all clients with accounts worth more than $25,000 access to unlimited half hour financial coaching appointments. Through the Fidelity branch and phone network, financial consultants are available for brief questions as well.
In the Fidelity vs Betterment financial advisor comparison there is financial consultant access at both platforms. Smaller investors will gravitate towards Betterment for the a la carte financial advice packages. Those with between $25,000 and $100,000 will choose Fidelity for access to financial coaches.
Those with more than $100,000 might consider either Fidelity Go or Betterment.
Betterment vs. Fidelity Go—Tax-Loss Harvesting
Tax-loss harvesting is almost a given for robo-advisors, but Fidelity breaks away from this trend. Fidelity Go does not offer tax-loss harvesting on their accounts, instead choosing to offer IRAs as their sole tax-advantaged accounts.
Betterment, on the other hand, does offer tax-loss harvesting which reduces payments to the IRS, in taxable investment accounts. TLH can reduce taxes for those with taxable brokerage accounts by offsetting taxable gains with losses. This strategy for minimizing loss is not foolproof, but it does give Betterment the upper hand in this category.
Betterment vs. Fidelity Go—Investments and Portfolios
Both robo-advisors offer a solid mix of investment options. However, Betterment has a greater selection of investment funds with more diversity.
- US. Total Stock Market
- US. Large-Cap Value
- US. Mid-Cap Value
- US. Small-Cap value
- International- Developed Market
- International- Emerging Market
Bond/Fixed Income Allocation:
- US. High Quality Bonds
- US. Municipal Bonds
- US. Inflation-Protected Bonds
- US. High-Yield Corporate Bonds
- US. Short-Term Treasury Bonds
- US. Short-Term Investment-Grade Bonds
- International Developed Market Bonds
- International Emerging Market Bonds
Betterment also offers specialty portfolios including:
- Smart Beta
- Income Portfolios
Fidelity Go has introduced Fidelity Flex Funds, which are fee-free index mutual funds.
Fidelity Go Flex Funds, Bond and Cash Allocations:
- US. Large-Cap Stocks
- US. Mid-Cap Stocks
- US. Small-Cap Stocks
- Foreign Stocks
- Municipal Bonds
- Short-Term Municipal Bonds
- Short-Term Cash
Betterment vs. Fidelity Go—Account Types
Betterment handily beats Fidelity Go when it comes to the list of account types. And, Betterment recently launched checking, high yield savings accounts with fee free debit cards and ATM access. Read more about the Betterment Checking and Betterment Cash Reserve products, through partner banks.
The only saving grace in the Fidelity and Betterment account type competition is that investors can access multiple account types in a separately managed Fidelity account including cash management options. Although these accounts are not included in the Fidelity Go digital advisor.
Betterment account types:
- Individual taxable accounts
- Joint taxable accounts
- Traditional, Roth, and Rollover IRA accounts
- SEP IRA accounts (for the self-employed and small businesses)
- Trust accounts
- High-interest savings accounts
- Checking account
Fidelity Go account types:
- Individual taxable accounts
- Joint taxable accounts
- Traditional, Roth and Rollover IRA accounts
- HSA (not available for coaching)
Betterment vs. Fidelity Go – Retirement Planning
In the Fidelity Go vs Betterment contest, both platforms offer resources to assess the likelihood of reaching your retirement goals.
But, Betterment enables users to connect outside accounts to the Betterment platform, which can yield more accurate planning data.
For that reason, Betterment wins the retirement planning race.
Although, if you’re interested in retirement planning, we recommend the Empower cash, budgeting, retirement and investment management dashboard. You can’t beat the price and the breath of reports is outstanding. You can sign up here for the free toolkit.
Betterment vs. Fidelity Go -Security
Winner: It’s a tie.
If you’re worried about institutional failure and losing your money, Fidelity Go and Betterment both offers SIPC insurance up to $500,000 and a customer guarantees against unauthorized activity.
The Fidelity vs Betterment security contest is a tie. You can rest assured that your money will be equally safe at either company. Both use the highest levels of encryption and security protocols.
Betterment offers the strongest available browser encryption, secure servers, and two-factor authentication. Betterment runs frequent hacker checks and audits of software and systems. All Betterment emails are secure and address you by name. And all Betterment employees pass a criminal background check.
Fidelity Go Security
Fidelity security is top priority. The firm safeguards your account with encryption, firewalls, secure email and 24/7 system surveillance. Fidelity also offers 2-factor authentication and money transfer lockdown which blocks your account from unauthorized withdrawals.
Of course, there is no protection from the normal ups and downs of asset prices. That’s a normal part of investing.
Is Betterment better than Fidelity?
The ultimate answer depends upon what you are seeking in a financial manager. We like Betterment Digitals access to fee-based Financial Advice packages and broader investment choices. Although, Fidelity Go provides fee-free investment management for accounts worth less than $25,000.
Is Fidelity Go a good idea?
Fidelity Go is a sound digital investment manager. Investing with a robo advisor, like Fidelity Go or Betterment is a wise idea if you want to build wealth for your future. Just remember, that investing is only appropriate with money that you aren’t likely to need for the next few years. That’s because investment values can go up and down in the short term.
Which is better, Vanguard or Fidelity?
We like both robo advisors, Vanguard Digital and Fidelity Go. For small investors Fidelity Go is best. If you want access to both passive index fund investing and active management, Vanguard Digital is better. If you don’t have the $3,000 investment minimum, required by Vanguard Digital, then Fidelity Go is the best option. For self-directed investors, the Fidelity platform is better than Vanguard.
Betterment vs. Fidelity Go—Which is Best? The Takeaway
These robo-advisors are difficult to compare, because they both offer great value for their price points. The best robo advisor is the one that will meet your needs.
Betterment is best for:
- Beginning to advanced investors.
- Small investors who want access to human financial advisors for additional fees.
- Investors seeking diverse asset classes and investment styles.
- Investors who want cash management, through partner banks.
- Those seeking crypto portfolios.
Fidelity Go is best for:
- Investors with less than $25,000 seeking fee-free investment management. Although Schwab Intelligent Portfolios offers greater investment diversity and fee free investment management for all investors.
- Existing Fidelity customers.
- Investors seeking a robo-advisor that is part of a large financial firm with branch access.
- Investors with $25,000 seeking low fee investment management and financial coaching.
The fees and minimums for Betterment vs. Fidelity are comparable overall. Both have no minimum and $10 to begin investing. At the lowest account value, Fidelity Go offers free account management for investors with less than $25,000. Larger investors will pay lower management fees at Fidelity.
Small investors and bargain-seekers will go with Fidelity Go. Those seeking more diverse portfolio choices, tax-loss harvesting and financial advisors for all, for added fees will choose Betterment.
There’s no “best robo advisor,” there’s only a best robo advisor for you. Betterment’s financial advisor access is a compelling feature.
Read the complete Betterment Review
Read the complete Fidelity Go Review
More Comparison Articles
- Betterment vs. Ellevest
- Empower vs. Betterment
- Wealthfront vs. Fidelity Go
- Fidelity vs Vanguard
- Betterment vs Axos Invest
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.