It’s exciting when a new robo-advisor hits the market, and Marcus Invest is no exception. This Marcus Invest review covers the Goldman Sachs’ robo-advisor arm, which is designed to give average folks – not just the uber wealthy – access to Goldman Sachs’ financial wisdom.
Marcus Invest appeared on the market in early 2021. The robo-advisor is part of Goldman Sachs, which has an operating track record since 1869.
- What is Marcus Invest?
- Features at a Glance
- Who is the Marcus Invest Robo-Advisor Best For?
- Marcus Invest Drill Down
- Investing Strategy
- Pros and Cons
- Marcus Invest Review Wrap Up
*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.
Marcus Invest Review
Ease of Use
Tool & Resources
Marcus Invest robo-advisor is best for:
- Goldman Sachs clients
- Investors seeking broad diversification
- A trusted brand
- Nearly 15 diversified asset classes
- Tax-minimization strategy
- Core, ESG, and Smart Beta strategies
- No financial advisors
- Limited track record
- Lower fee alternatives available
About Goldman Sachs
Goldman Sachs is a global financial company that serves individuals, major corporations, and everyone in between. Their products span investment banking, securities, wealth management and consumer banking. The company was previously known as a banker and financial manager to the affluent.
Marcus Invest invites the average investor into the Goldman family.
- Value. Customers are front and center, and Marcus Invest’s products are designed to meet their financial needs.
- Transparency. You’ll always know what fees to expect.
- Simplicity. Marcus Invest aims to be straightforward and intuitive.
In this Marcus Invest review, you’ll learn why this new robo-advisor is already a strong contender on the market, who benefits from their services, pros, cons, and much more.
What is Marcus Invest?
Marcus Invest is an automated robo-advisor available through the Goldman Sachs Marcus portal. This robo was designed to meet the needs of mainstream investors who might not have enough money to invest in the Goldman Sachs products. It is quite a coup for the average investor to receive advice from the premier Goldman brand.
As an automated robo-advisor, clients of Marcus Invest can expect all the bells and whistles that come standard with other robo-advisors, including:
- Automatically generated portfolio recommendations based on your risk tolerance and timeline.
- Diverse stock and bond ETF offerings – the platform really shines with a standout selection of diversified asset classes including value stock funds and international real estate.
- Automatic portfolio rebalancing on a periodic basis. This feature keeps your investments in line with the asset allocation you specify, with certain percenages in stock, bond, and alternative funds.
- Tax minimization features.
Other Marcus products, rolled out for the average consumer include banking with high yield cash solutions, lending, and educational articles and resources.
Features at a Glance
Digital investment management robo-advisor offered by Goldman Sachs.
|Top Features||13 diversified ETFs. |
Low fee ETFs.
Socially responsible and smart beta portfolios.
|Fee Structure||0.35% AUM|
|Accounts Available|| |
Individual and joint taxable brokerage accounts
|Investment Funds||Low-fee, index-based ETFs, including value stock and municipal bond funds in taxable accounts|
|Contact & Investing Advice|| |
Monday - Friday 8 am – 10 pm ET and Saturday - Sunday from 9 am – 7 pm ET
Who is the Marcus Invest Robo-Advisor Best For?
With so many robo-advisors from which to choose, you need to assess which robo is the best choice for you. To help you make the best decision, consider what you need from an automated platform like types of accounts, diversification, access to human advice or not, pricing, and more.
Marcus is best for:
- Those seeking a simple product backed by a financial giant. Goldman Sachs has over 150 years of experience in the financial industry; this is a huge boon to customers who want to pay low fees but still have access to quality financial services.
- Someone with at least $1,000 to invest. This minimum amount is less than the robo-advisor options at Vanguard.
- The investor looking for diversified investment options. Marcus Invest offers a diverse set of stock and bond ETFs, including some Goldman Sachs ETFs. We like the nod to value-based funds. Although, you won’t find cryptocurrency investments here.
- Investors who don’t mind the absence of a human financial planner. Alternately, stand-alone robo Betterment offers clients access to human financial planners for reasonable fees. And beginners get financial advisors and free investment management at SoFi Invest Automated Investing.
- The investor who cares about the economic and social impact of their investing. Marcus Invest offers a socially-conscious portfolio to limit funding harmful industries and companies.
- Someone interested in trying to beat the market with smart beta choices.
Marcus Invest Drill Down
Marcus Invest charges an account management fee of 0.35%, which is equivalent to $3.50 per year on accounts valued at $1,000. This is a tiny amount higher than other digital platforms like Schwab, Wealthfront, Ellevest, M1 Finance, and SigFig.
As is common with most funds, the underlying ETFs typically have low fund management fees. However, they do offer a money-saving feature: if clients pay any fees to purchase Goldman Sachs ETFs, those fees are applied toward the monthly account management fee for your Marcus Invest portfolio.
The Marcus Invest average ETF expense ratios are quite reasonable for each strategy:
- 0.05-0.16% for Goldman Sachs Core
- 0.11-0.19% for Goldman Sachs Impact
- 0.15-0.17% for Goldman Sachs Smart Beta
We are pleased with the low ETF expense ratios, which slightly offset the 0.35% management cost.
The minimum required is $1,000. This is a fairly reasonable minimum balance when compared to other larger robo-advisors; Vanguard requires $3,000 for their basic account and Schwab Intelligent portfolios requires $5,000. Still, there are many low- or no-minimum robo-advisors on the market like Betterment, Wealthfront, and M1 Finance.
Marcus Invest offers a tax minimization strategy that includes, tax-free municipal bonds in taxable accounts, and selling strategically to minimize payments to Uncle Sam. They refer to their strategy as a “tax-lot relief methodology.” Whenever your portfolio is rebalanced or you make changes to your allocation, Marcus strategically sells off assets in order of lowest tax burden. This helps lower your overall tax bill.
Although not a strict tax-loss harvesting approach, the attention to tax efficiency will benefit their clients.
Lowest Fee Robo-Advisors
|Robo Advisor||Management Fee||Investment Minimum||Sign up|
|0.25% of AUM||None||Sign up|
|0.25% of AUM ($5,000 managed for free)||$500||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|
Customer Reviews and Service
Marcus Invest offers fairly limited customer service hours via telephone: Monday-Friday, 9:00-6:30 ET. Users can obtain help through the FAQ and email contact as well. Customers across both the iOS and Android apps seem happy with the family of Marcus offerings and the apps themselves, barring a few technical issues with the Android app loading properly. Other financial websites, like Business Insider, also rank Marcus Invest highly. Factors that positively affect their rating include their account minimums, rebalancing, and expense ratios; on the other hand, the lack of human advisors is an issue for some would-be clients.
User Experience – Sign-Up Process
When you sign up for an account, you are asked the following questions:
- Whether you’re able to save any money after paying monthly expenses.
- Whether you have enough savings to cover livinexpenses for three months.
- How long you plan to keep your money invested in your account.
- The percent amount of loss (in the portfolios value) you can afford in any given year.
- How you would adjust your portfolio’s risk level if a global market downturn occurred.
The last two questions get at your comfort with risk or declines in account value.
Finally, your’re asked to choose one of the three investment strategies:
- Goldman Sachs Core, which tracks market benchmarks rather than striving to beat the market.
- Goldman Sachs Impact, which is a socially conscious robo-advisor for those who want to avoid doing social or environmental harm with their investments.
- Goldman Sachs Smart Beta, a strategy that offers the potential of higher gains over time.
Retirement account clients have access to the Core and Impact portfolios only.
After choosing a strategy, clients receive a portfolio with recommended stock and bond fund allocations.
Next, enter your personal information and fund your account!
Access to Human Financial Advice
Unfortunately, Marcus Invest does not offer human financial planners as part of their offerings. This is likely in an effort to keep account management fees low, though we see many other robo-advisors, like Ellevest, managing to offer human financial advice while still keeping fees low.
Marcus Invest takes security so seriously that they have an entire Security Center page available for clients! This page includes advice for protecting yourself online, but also covers company-specific security measures. These measures include SSL encryption, multi-factor authentication, and firewalls.
Additional security measures include FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority) and SIPC (Securities Investor Protection Corporation) memberships. There are always risks that come with investing; however, FINRA ensures that you clients receive the appropriate disclosures and information required to make informed investment decisions.
While your investments could lose their value entirely, SIPC ensures that if Goldman Sachs goes bankrupt, your assets are protected.
Goldman Sachs offers a Marcus app for all of their Marcus products, including Marcus Invest, savings accounts, and loans. This app is available on iOS and Android. The invest services on the app include:
- Sign up.
- Portfolio construction.
- Educational features.
- Account dashboard access.
The app also offers Marcus Insights which includes smart tools for money management. We like that you can link external accounts to visualize and track finances in one place. Although you won’t find the indepth investment tracking, analysis and management like offered at Personal Capital.
The app concerns include some loading issues on the Google Play android version.
Marcus Invest offers three different investment strategies for individual and joint investment accounts, and two for retirement accounts. Retirement accounts like IRAs lack access to the Smart Beta option. These are well researched portfolios created by the company’s experienced Investment Strategy Group professionals.
The company adheres to the belief that a thoughtful portfolio is one that is globally diversified, fits the client’s risk tolerance, and will navigate ups and downs in the market. We like the 13 diversified asset classes which include access to value stocks, high yield bonds, and international real estate, less frequently found on competitor platforms.
“We use factor-based asset allocation and risk analytics to understand different sources of returns, so your portfolio’s assets can work together to help maximize returns while balancing risk over time.”Marcus Invest
Goldman Sachs Core
The Core portfolio is diversified and uses primarily market-cap index tracking ETFs. This portfolio is great for those who want to track market benchmarks, but aren’t concerned with trying to beat the market. This is the standard strategy most digiral platforms emply. Although Marcus is distinct with it’s stable of uniquely diversified funds. The Goldman Sachs roboo-advisor sees this as “an efficient strategy with risk mitigation factors in place.”
Goldman Sachs Impact
The Impact portfolio is appropriate for those who want to make environmentally and/or socially beneficial investments. These ETFs, which are, of course, highly diversified, strive to meet Environment, Social, and Governance (ESG) criteria. That means that some sectors, such as fossil fuels, will be excluded from your portfolio whenever possible. However, the company doesn’t guarantee that all investments in this portfolio will be ESG ETFs; they might choose non-ESG ETFs if those would be better for your portfolio.
Goldman Sachs Smart Beta
The Smart Beta portfolio strives to “modestly outperform the market” by weighing ETF valuation and quality, among other factors. Using a rules-based approach to selecting companies, Smart Beta portfolios are more strategy-based than the other investment strategies; however, this investment strategy remains part of the overall automated robo-advisor structure, so you won’t have active management strategies here.
Smart beta are strategies that are based upon factor research that has shown outperformance or “alpha” of certain investment styles over general stock market returns. These factors might include small capitalilzation and value stocks.
We like the access to 13 distinct asset classes. The asset class selections are based upon sound investing data and research.
US Stocks including small and large cap value, international Stocks including developed and emerging markets, and investment grade, high yield, and municipal bonds, and US and International Real Estate Securities.
Here’s a list of all asset classes represented in Marcus Invest portfolios:
- US investment grade short term bonds
- US investment grade municipal bonds
- US investment grade bonds
- US high yield bonds
- US large capitalization stocks
- international developed market stocks
- US small capitalization stocks
- Emerging market stocks
- US large capitalization value stocks
- US small capitalization value stocks
- US real estate
- International real estate
The website does a great job of offering a brief explanation for each asset class and how it benefits the users goals.
Yes, Marcus Invest is worth it for many investors. Goldman Sachs is an investing powerhouse, so choosing a robo-advisor that is backed by such a financial giant might be a wise decision, especially for existing customers. That being said, you can get some of the same features through more economical robo-advisors. For example, Wealthfront and Fidelity Go both offer lower initial investments and lower or comparable fees; they also offer the same account types, with Wealthfront offering a few extra options.
Marcus Invest puts a lot of effort into keeping your account safe. Using multi-factor authentication, encryption, and firewalls, Marcus Invest safeguards your data to the greatest extent possible. Of course there is risk involved with any investment, so remember that safety in investments doesn’t mean that your account will never decrease in value.
Marcus by Goldman Sachs has a few different products. Their savings accounts are FDIC insured up to $250,000. Marcus Invest, however, is SPIC insured. This means that while your portfolio can still lose value due to market fluctuations, you won’t lose all of your assets in the case that the company closes or goes bankrupt.
Pros and Cons
- Backed by Goldman Sachs, which has many years of experience in investing.
- Multiple investment strategies that help clients find an approach that fits their values and preferences.
- Diverse asset classes.
- Transparent fee structure.
- Easy and intuitive sign-up process.
- Monday through Sunday customer service.
- No human financial advisors.
- 0.35% account management fee is a bit higher than other robo-advisors who offer access to human financial planners.
- The product has a limited track record.
Marcus Invest Review Wrap Up
Overall, this digital investment manager offers many promising features. This robo-advisor, is affordable and accessible to the everyday investor and comes through on its promises. It offers all the components we’ve come to love about robo-advisors, like automatic rebalancing and portfolio monitoring. The sign-up process is easy and shows you exactly how your investments are allocated before you even enter any personal information. Finally, they do this all for a fairly affordable account management fee.
The investors who might best appreciate Marcus Invest are those who want access to prestigious Goldman Sachs investment management, have at least $1,000, and are seeking both market matching, and access to socially responsible and smart beta portfolios.
Consider other alternatives if you prefer human financial planner access or fit in the high net worth category.
lot of bells and whistles. Personal Capital’s $100,000 minimum investment and higher account management fees may seem off putting, but their host of services, from Certified Financial Planners to personalized financial plans and cash management might be more appealing for wealthier investors. While Vanguard Personal Advisors only charges 0.30% asset management fee and offers a combined human and robo advisory platform. This option requires a $50,000 minimum.
If you don’t want to pay for a fairly basic automated investment portfolio. M1 Finance is a free alternative. M1 is not backed by a powerhouse like Goldman Sachs, but it does offer ETF-based portfolios that are easily customized. Like Marcus Invest, M1 Finance also offers additional financial products so you can keep everything under one roof.
There are a lot of good features included in the platform.
With three distinct investment strategies and moderate account management fees, Marcus Invest offers something for most investors. If you prefer an automated, ETF-based robo-advisor we wouldn’t hesitate investing with Marcus.
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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.
Barbara A. Friedberg has an account with M1 Finance.
*For M1 Plus customers