SigFig vs Betterment – Which Robo Advisor Is Best For You?

SigFig and Betterment each have access to financial advisors. SigFig has a free investment tracker, available for anyone. Betterment has crypto, ESG and income portfolios. Learn which is best for you.
SigFig vs Betterment

SigFig vs. Betterment — Overview

With automated portfolio management becoming more popular, choosing between the many robo-advisors available today might be difficult. Yet choosing the right financial advisor — automated or otherwise — is one of the most important things you can do to improve your personal finance situation. SigFig and Betterment are two of the robo advisors with financial planners. In this review you’ll learn the features, pros and cons of each platform and decide which is best for you.

TD Ameritrade was acquired by Schwab in 2019. In 2022, all TD Ameritrade accounts will begin transfer to Schwab.

*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.

Top Features

FeaturesSigFigBetterment
OverviewRobo advisor that manages investments held at TD Ameritrade, Charles Schwab, or FidelityGoal based robo advisor with financial advisors, strategy portfolios and crypto
Minimum Investment AmountFree financial tools - No minimum
Paid investment management - $2,000
Digital - No minimum 
Premium - $100,000
Fee StructurePortfolio tracker - $0.00
$10,000+ account value - 0.25% AUM 
$2,000 - $10,000 - $0.00
Digital - 0.25% AUM
Premium - 0.40% AUM
Top Features Free portfolio tracker
Management in existing accounts at TD Ameritrade, Charles Schwab, and Fidelity
Financial advisors for basic money questions
Digital and live investment management with CFP advisors
Socially-responsible, income, tech-enhanced, crypto and smart beta portfolios
Cash management
InvestmentsLow-fee ETFs from diverse asset classesLow-fee ETFs from diverse asset classes
Crypto
Tech, ESG, income focused strategies
Promotions and WebsiteFree portfolio tracker
First $10,000 managed for free
Visit website
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Refer a friend promotion

Quick Overview

  • SigFig is for you if you want to keep your current investments at Fidelity, TD Ameritrade, or Charles Schwab.
  • Betterment is for you if you want to take advantage of the $0 account minimum.
  • Cost conscious, small investors with $2,000 might prefer SigFig as they charge $0 account fees on your first $10,000.
  • Those interested in cryptocurrency will want to go with Betterment.
  • Both offer access to financial advisors.

What is SigFig?

SigFig is a unique robo-advisor. Instead of offering its own platform for its managed portfolios, SigFig serves as a portfolio tracker and management system for accounts held elsewhere. Currently, they provide investment management for portfolios held at Charles Schwab, TD Ameritrade and Fidelity. This is great for investors that don’t want to transfer their assets to an outside custodian.

Users complete a risk, financial goals and timeline questionnaire. Your responses will determine the composition and risk level of the portfolio, with more conservative investors owning more cash and fixed investments and younger more aggressive investors owning a greater allocation to stock ETFs. When percentage allocations deviate from your target, the platform automatically rebalances the assets to keep it in line with your preferences. After linking your investment account to SigFig, the investment management is performed by them, no need to transfer your investments.

Anyone can link their accounts and use SigFig’s free tracker to see how their investments are performing across different brokerages. This free service, which does not include any financial advice or portfolio management, is similar to the portfolio tracker offered by Personal Capital.

SigFig is worth a look for clients of Schwab, TD Ameritrade or Fidelity looking for a digital investment manager, with financial advisor access and investment portfolio tracking. Investors get the first $10,000 managed for free, a bonus for cost-conscious investors who have the required $2,000 minimum in their account. All paid clients have access to a financial consultant to discuss their financial goals.

SigFig Top Features

  • Unlimited human financial advisors
  • No need to move investments between brokerages; Charles Schwab, TD Ameritrade, and Fidelity portfolios are supported
  • Tax-loss harvesting
  • Free portfolio tracking tools
  • Free account management for accounts under $10,000

What is Betterment?

Betterment is the largest independent robo-advisor on the market and excellent for goal-based saving and investing. It is also one of the earliest robo-advisors. Like most digital investment advisors users complete an initial risk, goals, and time period questionnaire. The answers will drive the portfolio selection. When assets deviate from the desired percentages, the platform automatically rebalances to keep you on track.

Not content to rest on its laurels, Betterment continues to innovate and improve. Most recently, Betterment acquired cryptocurrency firm Makara. This means that cryptocurrency offerings will soon be joining a host of other features offered by Betterment.

Betterment is known for it’s goal planning features with the opportunity to invest and save for multiple goals. The dashboard also shows you if you’re on track to meet your goals and offers suggestions on how to improve when you’re off-track.

Betterment Digital is the all digital investment platform with no minimum amount required. The low-cost financial advice packages are accessible to provide guidance for specific planning questions. While Betterment Premium requires $100,000 and offers unlimited financial advisor access. All clients can access to certified financial planners, socially-responsible investing, smart beta portfolios and an innovative technology portfolio.

Betterment Top Features

  • Socially-Responsible Investments
  • Smart Beta Portfolios
  • Human financial advisors
  • Tax-loss harvesting
  • Reasonable fees and no minimum investment for Betterment Digital
  • Cash Reserve-high yield cash and Checking
  • Cryptocurrency — coming soon!

RoboAdvisorPros readers promotion: Use the link below to access FREE investment management offer.

SigFig vs. Betterment — Who Benefits?

SigFig is a good option for investors who have their brokerage accounts at TD Ameritrade, Fidelity, or Charles Schwab. Such clients can get investment advice for these accounts without moving their portfolios to a new firm. Although, Schwab and Fidelity offer their own robo advisors, while TD Ameritrade’s offer has been replaced by Schwab’s digital advice solutions.

Betterment is the way to go if you have a low initial investment. Betterment Digital doesn’t have any account minimum, so it’s great for beginners!

If you have between $2,000-$10,000 to invest, SigFig is a great option. They do not charge account management fees on your first $10,000, after which you’ll pay 0.25% of asset value, the same as with Betterment.

If you’re looking for cryptocurrency, Betterment is also the way to go. Their recent acquisition of Makara means that crypto offerings are on their way.

Those who want financial advisors will be happy with either service.

Those seeking ESG-sustainable portfolios, smart beta factor portfolios and cash management, will opt for Betterment, as SigFig lacks those features.

betterment dashboard

SigFig vs. Betterment — Fees and Minimums

SigFig Fees and Minimums

There are no account management fees or investment minimums for clients who want to use the free financial planning tools.

For account management, SigFig’s minimum investment requirement is $2,000. You receive free management on your first $10,000; after that, you’ll pay 0.25% AUM.

Betterment Fees and Minimums

Betterment has two tiers: Betterment Digital and Betterment Premium.

The Digital plan does not have an investment minimum and costs 0.25% AUM.

Betterment Premium has a minimum requirement of $100,000. The fee for this tier is 0.40% AUM and features unlimited sessions with a financial planner.

One nice thing about Betterment is that if your account is valued over $2 million, your account fees will drop: Digital fees will decrease to 0.15% AUM, while Premium charges fall to 0.30%.

SigFig vs. Betterment — Deep Dive

What else sets these two options apart? There are a few things you need to know before deciding between Betterment and SigFig.

Betterment and SigFig — Human Financial Planners

Both robo advisory services offer digital and hybrid advice, but the accessibility at each is distinct. You can work with human advisors with either of these options.

At Betterment Digital, consumers can pay from $299 to $399 for an Advice Package with a Certified Financial Planner (CFP). Topics include financial check up, retirement planning, marriage planning, college planning and more.

Betterment Premium clients have unlimited CFP access.

All paying SigFig users can contact a financial consultant for basic platform and money questions.

SigFig vs. Betterment — Tax-Loss Harvesting

Both Betterment and SigFig offer tax-loss harvesting. This isn’t very surprising, however; many robo-advisors currently offer some version of tax-loss harvesting to their clients. Tax-loss harvesting is a strategy for taxable accounts that uses losses to offset gains, thereby reducing your total tax bill. Ultimately, this saves you money.

SigFig vs. Betterment — Investments

Betterment and SigFig both offer a standard array of exchange traded funds as part of their investment strategy.

SigFig Investments

Your investment portfolio consists of ETFs from asset classes such as U.S. and international stocks and bonds, U.S. treasury securities and real estate.

Asset ClassFidelityTD AmeritradeCharles Schwab
Treasury Inflation Protected SecurityTIPTIPSCHP
US BondsAGGAGGSCHZ
Short-Term TreasuriesSHYSHYSCHO
Emerging Market BondsEMBPCYPCY
US Municipal BondsMUBMUBTFI
US EquityITOTVTISCHB
Developed Market International StockIEFAVEASCHF
Emerging Market International StockIEMGVMOSCHE
Real EstateFRELVNQSCHH

SigFig lacks the customization available at the Betterment portfolios.

SigFig Growth Portfolio for younger investors & those more comfortable with greater risk.

Betterment Investments

Betterment offers a wider range of investment strategies and assets. An investment portfolio with Betterment will be made up of ETFs consisting of U.S. and international stock and bond ETFs including international emerging and developed market bonds. You’ll also find value leaning stock funds, shown to outperform during longer periods.

SectorTicker
U.S. Total Stock MarketVTI, SCHB, ITOT
U. S. Large-Cap ValueIVTV. SCHV, IVE
U.S. Mid-Cap ValueVOE, IWS, IJJ
U. S. Small-Cap ValueVBR, IWN, IJS
International -Developed MarketVEA, SCHF, IEFA
International - Emerging MarketVWO, IEMG, SCHE
SectorTicker
U.S. High Quality BndsAGG, BND
U.S. Municipal BondsMUB, TFI
U.S. Inflation-Protected BondsVTIP
U.S. High-YIeld Corporate BondsHYLB, JNK, HYG
U.S. Short-Term Treasury BondsSHV
US Short-Term Investment-Grade BondsNEAR
International Developed Market BondsBNDX
International Emerging Market BondsEMB, VWOB, PCY

Users seeking strategy and factor investing will appreciate the socially responsible – ESG investing, innovative technology, and smart beta options as well. Makara’s crypto investments will be available soon.

SigFig vs. Betterment — Socially Responsible Investing

Out of the two, only Betterment offers SRI options.

The Betterment SRI portfolio strategy can replace the Core portfolio and increases investments in companies that fulfill SRI criteria. There are three SRI options including Broad Impact, Climate and Social Impact.

SigFig vs. Betterment — Account Types

The platforms are comparable with regard to account types.

Betterment offers a wide variety of taxable accounts as well as retirement accounts (Traditional, Roth, SEP and rollover IRAs). You can also open a trust with Betterment.

SigFig accounts are comparable, offering both taxable accounts and IRA accounts (Traditional, Roth, SEP and rollover). SigFig can also manage your trust account.

Neither platform offers custodial or 529 college savings accounts.

Betterment vs. SigFig — Other Services

In addition to portfolio management for existing brokerage accounts at TD Ameritrade, Fidelity, and Charles Schwab, SigFig also offers a portfolio tracker. SigFig lacks any sort of cash management option, although investors can open cash accounts at Schwab or Fidelity.

Betterment, on the other hand, has a lot of other services available. These services include:

  • Cash reserve – A fee-free high yield savings account insured up to $1 million.
  • Checking account – A fee-free checking account with Visa debit card.
  • Retirement planner.

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SigFig vs. Betterment — Which is Best? The Takeaway

When we look at the basic features, these two robo-advisors are fairly similar. Both offer access to a human financial advisor, although Betterment Digital customers need to pay a small fee for additional financial advise, and SigFig has consultants built into the fee. Each platform charges a reasonable management fee of 0.25% AUM. While these are low fees compared to traditional financial advisors, they’re certainly not the cheapest robo-advisors available.

Another commonality between Betterment and SigFig is that they use your risk tolerance, financial goals, and investment timeline to create a personalized, diversified portfolio. Like all robo advisors, when your investments veer from their target asset allocations, the portfolios are rebalanced back to their original percentages. Each platform also offers tax-loss harvesting.

Still, there are some major differences between the two robo-advisors.

You’ll need a bit more capital for investment management by SigFig. A $2,000 minimum will get you started, and your first $10,000 will be managed for free.

Consider SoFi for no minimum, fee-free investment management.

Additionally, if you already invest with Charles Schwab, Fidelity, or TD Ameritrade, then SigFig might be the best choice. You won’t need to move your assets to another brokerage, which saves you time and hassle.

If you’re looking for an investment account that also has access to other types of bank accounts, you’ll need to go with Betterment. The same goes for clients who want cryptocurrency or SRI options.

Betterment is also more accessible for smaller, beginner investors, with no minimum required.

Ultimately, your choice depends upon your specific preferences and financial needs.

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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.

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