Wealthfront and SigFig are well-regarded and distinct robo-advisor investment managers. Clients who choose Wealthfront actually invest with Wealthfront, whereas SigFig clients keep assets in existing Schwab, Fidelity or TD Ameritrade accounts and grant access to SigFig to manage their investments.
There are a few similarities, though. With both Wealthfront and SigFig, you’ll have automated management of your investment accounts based on your risk tolerance. This includes both rebalancing and tax-loss harvesting.
Wealthfront helps you build your investment portfolio from the ground up, while SigFig takes a look at your existing portfolios and provide investment advice from there.
Wealthfront is the more affordable in terms of minimum investment, with only $500 required to get started. SigFig clients will need at least $2,000 to open a managed portfolio. Once you have an account at either, you can expect to pay the same 0.25% AUM, with each offering a certain level of free investment management.
*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.
If you’re looking for free financial tools, you’re in luck: SigFig’s portfolio tracker and Wealthfront’s Path retirement planner are both offered for free. You’ll learn more in the deep dive below.
In today’s review, we’ll compare Wealthfront and SigFig to find out which robo-advisor offers the best investment management for you.
SigFig vs. Wealthfront — Top Features
|Overview||Robo advisor that manages investments held at TD Ameritrade, Charles Schwab, or Fidelity||Digital investment manager with opportunity to add ETFs and crypto funds.|
|Minimum Investment Amount||Free financial tools - No minimum|
Paid investment management - $2,000
|Path digital financial advisor - no minimum |
Cash account - no minimum
Paid investment management - $500
|Fee Structure||Portfolio tracker - $0.00|
$2,000 - $10,000 - $0.00
$10,000+ account value - 0.25% AUM
|Path digital financial advisor - $0.00 |
$500 - $5,000 - $0.00 (FREE management with this link)
$5,000+ account value - 0.25% AUM
|Top Features||Free portfolio tracker|
Management in existing accounts at TD Ameritrade, Charles Schwab, and Fidelity
Financial advisors for basic money questions
|Digital financial planner |
High yield cash account
Customize with individual ETFs including crypto funds.
|Investments||Low-fee ETFs from diverse asset classes||Low-fee ETFs from diverse asset classes |
Additional 200+ ETFS for added customization
|Promotions and Website||Free portfolio tracker|
First $10,000 managed for free
|Free Path Digital financial planner |
First $5,000 managed for free
- Wealthfront is great if you want to customize your investment portfolio with ETFs and crypto funds.
- SigFig is best if you have existing accounts at Fidelity, TD Ameritrade, and/or Charles Schwab.
- Wealthfront will be your best bet for college savings accounts.
- Clients who want free financial planning tools will like either robo, as will those who want their initial investments managed for free.
- Wealthfront is best if you have only $500 to invest.
What is SigFig?
SigFig is one of the oldest robo-advisors, founded in 2006 as a portfolio tracking tool. Today the firm serves individual investors and financial advisors as a low fee investment manager. SigFig is unique as the firm manages your assets while they remain in your Fidelity, Schwab or TD Ameritrade accounts. You give them discretionary authority to invest your assets in accord with your time line, risk tolerance and goals.
Like most robo advisors, SigFig rebalances your investments when they veer too far from your preferred stock versus bond allocation.
SigFig offers two levels of service, a free portfolio tracker, available to anyone and a paid investment management service. You’ll need $2,000 to use the paid investment management services. Investors with accounts at Schwab, TD Ameritrade or Fidelity seeking low cost investment management might investigate the platform.
SigFig Top Features
- Free portfolio tracker
- No need to move existing investment accounts from TD Ameritrade, Fidelity or Charles Schwab
- First $10,000 is managed for free
- Access to live financial advisors
- Low-cost and commission-free ETFs
What is Wealthfront?
Wealthfront is another legacy robo advisor, founded in 2008. Wealthfront’s latest news includes an agreement for UBS Bank to buy the firm. In another move to distinguish the all-digital robo Wealthfront recently added hundreds of ETFs and two crypto funds that users can add to their existing portfolios. Or, users can create new ones to be managed by Wealthfront.
Wealthfront also offers a high-yield cash account, that keeps all of your financial activities under one roof. With daily tax-loss harvesting and unique 529 College investment accounts, digitally savvy investors might consider this well-regarded investment manager.
Wealthfront Top Features
- Wealthfront Path, their free financial planning tool is the closest digital tool to a human financial advisor.
- Cryptocurrency options
- Low initial investment of $500
- Automated financial advice
- 529 college savings accounts available
- Daily tax-loss harvesting
- High-yield cash and portfolio line of credit available
SigFig vs. Wealthfront — Who Benefits?
If you’re hoping to keep your accounts invested with Fidelity, Schwab, or TD Ameritrade, SigFig will be very beneficial. You simply link your accounts to SigFig rather than transfer funds to another firm!
If you have children then you might prefer Wealthfront. Wealthfront offers 529 college accounts, which will appeal to parents as tuition prices continue to soar.
Those seeking a high yield cash account, with no minimum or fees might prefer SigFig. Borrowers looking for low interest rate loans can also find that service at Wealthfront.
If you like free services, both robo-advisors have something to offer. Both offer free account management to a certain extent — the first $5,000 invested at Wealthfront, and the first $10,000 invested at SigFig.
SigFig and Wealthfront also both offer free financial planning tools, such as Wealthfront’s Path advisor and SigFig’s portfolio tracker.
Smaller investors — those with at least $500 — will prefer Wealthfront. Those with slightly more to invest — at least $2,000 — could choose either. Larger investors may prefer something like Personal Capital, whose $100,000 minimum puts their services far out of reach for the majority of beginning investors.
Investor’s interested in customizing their investments, adding ETFs and crypto funds will lean towards Wealthfront.
ESG investors who prefer to invest with their values will also gravitate towards Wealthfront, as SIgFig lacks sustainable investment options.
If you want to chat with a human financial advisor, then SigFig fits the bill. Although Wealthfront’s digital Path advisor is a close second.
SigFig vs. Wealthfront — Fees and Minimums
Wealthfront and SigFig both offer fairly low fees.
If you’re looking for free investment management, though, you’ll have to look at an advisor like M1 Finance or SoFi.
SigFig Fees and Minimums
Anyone, regardless of financial situation, is eligible to use SigFig’s free financial tools. If you’d like an investment management account, you’ll need at least $2,000.
The first $10,000 is managed for free at SigFig. Additional assets will be managed at a rate of 0.25% AUM. That equals That’s a $2.50 management fee for each $1,000 above $10,000.
Wealthfront Fees and Minimums
Anyone can use Wealthfront’s Path advisor for free — no minimum balance required.
For a managed account, you’ll need to invest at least $500. Accounts are managed at a rate of 0.25% AUM, though your first $5,000 will be managed for free when you use the link below.
SigFig vs. Wealthfront — Deep Dive
These two robo-advisors have a lot of similarities, but there are some big differences. Which is the right addition to your personal finance tools? This deep dive might help you make that choice.
SigFig vs. Wealthfront — Human Financial Planners
Here’s one big difference between the two: you can’t talk to a human financial advisor with Wealthfront. Only SigFig offers clients access to financial advisors.
Since you’ll pay the same management fee no matter which of these robos you choose, the addition of human advisors might make SigFig the clear victor.
Still, Wealthfront isn’t leaving clients completely on their own. Wealthfront customer service representatives must have two or more years experience working in wealth management, retail banking, or another financial industry. Additionally, they must have Series 7 and Series 66 investment licenses within three years of employment. That’s a reasonable level of investment experience for most basic investing questions.
SigFig vs. Wealthfront — Investments
Both robo-advisors on this list will ensure you invest in diverse asset classes. Both draw primarily on Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs), though Wealthfront offers more diversity.
SigFig offers ETFs in asset classes such as U.S. stocks, U.S. bonds, developed market stocks, emerging market stocks, U.S. Treasury securities, and real estate.
|Asset Class||Fidelity||TD Ameritrade||Charles Schwab|
|Treasury Inflation Protected Security||TIP||TIP||SCHP|
|Emerging Market Bonds||EMB||PCY||PCY|
|US Municipal Bonds||MUB||MUB||TFI|
|Developed Market International Stock||IEFA||VEA||SCHF|
|Emerging Market International Stock||IEMG||VMO||SCHE|
Wealthfront stands out because they offer investment fund customization options. Like SigFig, Wealthfront also offers ETFs in asset classes such as: U.S. total stock market, government bonds, TIPs, and corporate bonds; foreign stock (developed and emerging markets) and bonds, and real estate in their core portfolios..
Wealthfront recently added over 200 ETFs and several crypto funds to their offer. Investors can pick and choose from the selection, add ETFs to their existing portfolio or create a new ETF portfolio on their own. The Wealthfront platform will manage all of your assets, those from Wealthfront designed portfolios and your customized creations.
|Investment Fund Category||Index Fund Ticker Symbol|
|US Total Stock Market||VTI and SCHB|
|Foreign Stock - Developed Market||VEA and SCHF|
|Foreign Stock - Emerging Market||VWO and IEMG|
|Dividend Appreciation Stock||VIG and SCHD|
|US Treasury Inflation Protected Bond (TIPs)||SCHP and VTIP|
|US Government Bond||BND and BIV|
|Municipal Bond||VTEB and TFI|
|US Corporate Bond||LQD|
|Foreign-Emerging Market Bond||EMB|
|Real Estate||VNQ and SCHH|
|Natural Resources (Energy)||XLE and VDE|
SigFig vs. Wealthfront — Free Tools
Both robo-advisors offer free financial planning tools that anyone can access — without funding an account! Wealthfront has a big of an advantage on this front, as they offer two free tools to clients and non-clients alike.
SigFig’s Portfolio Tracker
SigFig prides itself on its free portfolio tracker, which is designed to help every investor get a birds eye view of their investments. Though you won’t have the benefit of a financial advisor with this account, you will be able to see asset allocation, performance, and more all in one place. Not bad for something with no management fees!
You can manually enter data into the tracker, which can be slightly cumbersome depending on how many accounts you have! Or you can link your account to the portfolio and SigFig will automatically update the tracker as needed.
SigFig’s portfolio tracker is a leaner version of the free Personal Capital investment management tools.
Wealthfront’s Path Digital Financial Advisor
Path is a free financial planning tool that is available to anyone — even those who don’t invest through Wealthfront. Path is the closest digital investment advisory tool we’ve seen that is not a live advisor. Path is programmed to answer up to 10,000 money and financial management questions. There are no management fees associated with this tool.
Wealthfront’s Path planning tool doesn’t offer portfolio management exactly, but it does take a comprehensive look at your investment strategy across all linked financial accounts to determine whether you’re on track to meet your financial goals. The four main goals they include are homeownership, early retirement, time off for travel, and college savings.
Like SigFig, you can link accounts electronically or input data manually.
Wealthfront’s Free Home Planning Guide
This comprehensive guide helps would-be home owners learn about the many factors that go into buying a home. The guide covers topics like closing costs, HOA fees, property taxes, and even maintenance costs!
Tips include how to prepare for buying a home and how to set yourself up with an affordable mortgage. They also track trends in the mortgage industry and discuss how to decide when it’s better to wait than to buy a home.
SigFig vs. Wealthfront — Tax-Loss Harvesting
Both Wealthfront and SigFig offer tax-loss harvesting, which is a common feature among most robo-advisors. Wealthfront may have a slight edge here, though, as they offer daily tax-loss harvesting.
Tax-loss harvesting is appropriate for taxable, not retirement accounts. The service offsets taxable gains with losses to minimize your tax bill.
SigFig vs. Wealthfront — Account Types
Both of these robos offer retirement accounts, such as traditional, Roth, SEP, and rollover IRAs. SigFig also offers Simple IRAs.
Wealthfront and SigFig also both offer individual and joint taxable accounts.
However, Wealthfront stands out with their 529 college saving and trust accounts.
SigFig vs. Wealthfront — Cash Management
Wealthfront offers a high yield cash account, while SigFig doesn’t. This Wealthfront high-yield account cash account doesn’t require an investment minimum, and has FDIC insurance through partner banks of $2 million for individual accounts and $4 million for joint accounts – and doesn’t have any fees. You’ll need to deposit $1 to get started, but there are no additional requirements to maintain a free account.
SigFig does not offer cash accounts at this time.
SigFig vs. Wealthfront — Which is Best? The Takeaway
Wealthfront certainly checked the most boxes in the deep dive:
- They offer cash accounts for clients who’d like to keep their finances in one place.
- ETFs and cryptocurrency funds for added diversification.
- Daily tax-loss harvesting is more frequent than most other robo-advisors.
- Trusts and 529 accounts stand out among mostly IRA and taxable account offerings.
- Two free tools — Path for planning retirement and more, and the Home Planning Guide — are great tools for anyone looking to improve their financial situation.
- A high yield cash account and a portfolio line of credit.
However, there is one big drawback to Wealthfront: they don’t have certified financial planners available to talk to clients. If you’re looking for certified financial planners, you might want to consider a robo-advisor like Betterment. Although Wealthfront customers with basic money questions will be well-served by the licensed financial customer service representatives.
SigFig is a strong competitor with Wealthfront and also has a lot to offer:
- No need to move your funds held with brokerage firms like Fidelity, Schwab or TD Ameritrade.
- A SigFig financial advisor can help you if you need advice.
- The free portfolio tracking tool is a huge asset to investors, no matter where their portfolios are held.
Whichever option you choose, you’ll have quality financial management. Both robo-advisors help clients create a diversified portfolio. They determine asset allocation based on your risk tolerance, and their investment services, though they vary, come backed with years of experience.
Anyone can use the Path digital financial planner tool, whether they are a Wealthfront customer or not.
Compare – Wealthfront vs Betterment
|Overview||Goals-based digital investment manager. All clients have access to financial advisors for an additional fee and cash management.||Automated investment management robo-advisor with extra features.|
|Minimum Investment Amount||Digital-no minimum, $10 to invest|
|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
1% aum (crypto)
Fees decline for accounts over $2 million AUMDigital-0.25% AUM for accounts worth more than $20,000
- $4 per month for accounts worth less than $20,000
|0.25% AUM |
Free promotion (with this link)
|Top Features||Digital and live investment management with financial advisors-for additional fee. |
Socially-responsible, income and smart beta portfolios.
Cash management with high yields-through partner banks.
|Digital investment management. |
Free Path digital financial planner.
200+ ETFs and crypto funds for customization.
Daily tax loss harvesting.
High yield cash account-through partner banks.
|Promotions and Website||Free Betterment investment management promotion||FREE cash promotion (with this link)|
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Checking features for the Cash Account are subject to identity verification by Green Dot Bank. Debit Card is optional and must be requested. Wealthfront Cash Account Visa® Debit Card is issued by Green Dot Bank, Member FDIC, pursuant to a license from Visa U.S.A. Inc. Visa is a registered trademark of Visa International Service Association. Green Dot Bank operates under the following registered trade names: GO2bank, GoBank and Bonneville Bank. All of these registered trade names are used by, and refer to, a single FDIC-insured bank, Green Dot Bank. Deposits under any of these trade names are deposits with Green Dot Bank and are aggregated for deposit insurance coverage. Wealthfront products and services are not provided by Green Dot Bank. Green Dot is a registered trademark of Green Dot Corporation. ©2022 Green Dot Corporation. All rights reserved.
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Other eligibility requirements for mobile check deposit and to send a check may apply.
The cash balance in the Cash Account is swept to one or more banks (the “program banks”) where it earns a variable rate of interest and is eligible for FDIC insurance. FDIC insurance is not provided until the funds arrive at the program banks. FDIC insurance coverage is limited to $250,000 per qualified customer account per banking institution. Wealthfront uses more than one program bank to ensure FDIC coverage of up to $2 million for your cash deposits. For more information on FDIC insurance coverage, please visit www.FDIC.gov. Customers are responsible for monitoring their total assets at each of the program banks to determine the extent of available FDIC insurance coverage in accordance with FDIC rules. The deposits at program banks are not covered by SIPC.
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