Robo Advisor ReviewsTwine

Twine Robo-Advisor Review – Get Started Investing Now

Twine Review – Designed for the New Investor

The Twine robo-advisor cuts through the digital landscape with a clean interface and easy-to-invest approach. Twine is John Hancock’s new savings and investment app. With 156 under it’s belt, John Hancock is here to help the newbie dive into the investing and money management pool. And, they make it simple!

Designed for the new investor, Twine is built for investing, money management and savings goals.

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First, Twine learns about your financial situation and your goals.

Next, the app discovers how much risk you’re comfortable with. Risk in investing means, how much of a drop in value you can stand, without going off the deep end and selling all of your investment funds. Then the Twine robo-advisor designs an investment portfolio that fits with your goals, risk tolerance and timeline.

Twine Robo-Advisor - Features at a Glance

OverviewAutomated investment management robo-advisor platform for new investors
Minimum Investment AmountNo minimum for cash account. $100 balance required for investment accounts.
Fee Structure0.60% of assets under management
Top FeaturesMade for easy investing with alone or with a partner. Twine offers a variety of bond ETFs as well as U.S. and international stock funds.
Free ServicesNone
Contact & Investing AdviceAvailable by email 24/7 or phone
Investment FundsLow-cost index stock and bond ETFs. Includes funds from Vanguard, iShares, SPDR, and Powershares.
Accounts AvailableIndividual or joint investment brokerage accounts

What Differentiates Twine Robo-Advisor From Competitors

Target Market

Twine targets new investors, just getting started. Their website is simply designed and the educational focus is ideal for newbies.

Investment Management

Your money is managed by a John Hancock investment management team. Their expertise includes managing over $100 billion globally. The management team assists with research, asset allocation and fund selection.

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Paired Investing

Saving for a vacation with a friend or with your spouse for a new car – easily set up Twine for joint saving and investing. With multiple goals, you can invest with a partner for one goal, and on your own for another.

Free Cash Saving

If a goal is around the corner, it’s best to keep the money in cash, instead of the more volatile stock and bond markets. Twine doesn’t charge any fees on your cash and offers a current competitive 0.80% interest rate.

Who Benefits from Twine Robo-Advisor

Newbie investors that are just getting started are eased into the complex investment world with a simple platform and ready answers to most investing questions.

If you’re looking for a way to save and invest together, Twine is designed to do just that.

Twine robo-advisor

Twine Robo-Advisor Drill Down

Twine is a money investment manager for those just getting started.

Your responses to the quick robo-advisor questions help determine your asset allocation or percentages invested in cash, bond funds or stock funds.

You’ll be invested in conservative, moderate or aggressive investment portfolios.

Cash is for short term goals and your emergency fund.

Twine Conservative portfolios:

The conservative portfolio is created to keep capital losses to a minimum. Conservative accounts are typically invested in greater amounts of cash and fixed bond funds. The conservative portfolios generate more stable yearly returns.

Over time, a conservative portfolio will likely offer a lower return, with less volatility than a more aggressive one.

If you’re within five years of your goal, then a conservative portfolio is right for you. It will hold roughly 94% or more in cash and bond funds. This portfolio only owns 6% stock funds.

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If this describes you, then a conservative portfolio might be appropriate:

• My household liquid net worth or annual income is <$50K.
• I am extremely cautious towards financial risk.
• I have no or limited investing experience.


Moderate portfolios:

A moderate portfolio is great if you have at least 10 to 15 years until your goal. This portfolio is for investors who can stomach some volatility or ups and downs in their annual returns. In exchange for a greater percentage of stock funds, moderate investors might experience higher returns than conservative investors.

A moderate portfolio consists of 55 to 70% stock ETFs, with higher stock percentages for years farther from goals. The remainder is invested in bond and money market (cash) funds.

Aggressive portfolios:

Aggressive portfolios hold a greater proportion of stock funds and lesser amounts of bond funds and cash. If your goals are 15+ years away, are younger and are comfortable with your investment values bouncing around a bit, then an aggressive portfolio might be for you.

On average, an aggressive portfolio consists of roughly 80% stock ETFs with the remainder in bond and money market funds.

According to the Twine website, “Aggressive portfolios annual returns may be somewhat more volatile than those in Twine ‘conservative’ or ‘moderate’ portfolios, but are still likely to be far less volatile than annual returns in most broad equity market investment funds.”

If you agree with these statements, then an aggressive portfolio might suit you:

• My household liquid net worth OR annual income is >$200K.
• I am a high financial risk taker.
• I have extensive investing experience.

Twine carefully lowers  the allocation to riskier stock funds declines as the investor gets closer to his or her goal. In general, Twine’s investment portfolio’s are more conservatively structured than many other robo-advisors.

Investors can access the Twine robo-advisor from the web or  and app (iOs only, android coming soon).You can invest from a mobile  device or on the web.

Twine Robo-Advisor Exchange Traded Funds

Twine robo-advisor exchange traded funds

All investment funds sport low expense ratios.

You’ll notice two stock market funds, one U.S. and the other with exposure to international companies.

Twine gives you broad exposure to a variety of types of fixed or bond funds including TIPs, inflation protected bonds and high yield ETFs.

Signing Up for Twine

In order to sign up for Twine you must be over the age of 18, and be either a US citizen or a U.S. resident alien.

You can sign up on the web or on an app-based device like a phone or tablet. Currently the Twine app is available for iOs with android coming soon.

Twine uses a four-step sign-up process:

• Goal Setup
• Create Account
• Link Bank
• Confirm Details

Choose from one of six goals; emergency fund, general savings, children, vacation, new home or large purchase. Don’t worry if you have other goals, there’s a custom option for any other goal.

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You can choose Twine for one or two, if you want to save and invest jointly.

Next, choose how much you want to save for your goal. Decide upon the target amount, how much you’ll invest (or save) monthly as well as your partners monthly contribution.

The app provides the anticipated goal completion date.

You can choose an individual or joint investment brokerage account.

Twine allows you to set up multiple accounts for various goals.

Twine Management Fees and Investment Minimums

You can open an account with any amount. As soon as your balance hits $100, you’re able to begin investing.

If you prefer to keep your account in cash, that’s okay too. You’ll receive interest payments and won’t be charged investment management fees until you begin investing.

For goals in invested accounts, the annual fee is 0.60% of the average daily balance, charged monthly, at the end of the month. For a monthly balance of $500, you’ll pay $0.25 per month.

According to the Twine website, “Twine’s Program Fee covers investment advice, the ongoing management of the Program Accounts assets, as well as trade execution, clearance, settlement and custodial services provided by Apex Clearing Corporation. The Program Fee does not cover the expenses of the ETFs in which we invest your balance, including commission and other transaction-related charges ETFs incur.”

Twine Robo-Advisor Pros and Cons

Twine Pros

  • Twine is simple to use.
  • Twine offers accessible investing educational content.
  • The cash option is great for emergencies and short term goals.
  • Their selection of bond ETFs is superb and broader than many competitors.
  • Twine’s conservative glidepath (asset allocation percentages in relation to time until goal) is less risky than competitors’ and suitable for new and cautious investors.

Twine Cons

Twine’s management fee is on the high end of comparable robo-advisors. Wisebanyan and M1 Finance offer their services for free. Betterment and Wealthfront charge only 0.25%, less than half of Twine’s fee.

Twine lacks the opportunity to open retirement accounts, trust accounts or various accounts other than individual and joint brokerage accounts.

Twine only offers two stock ETFs. Investors seeking greater stock fund diversification might look at another robo-adviosr.

Twine Robo-Advisor Review Wrap Up

For new investors, looking for an easy way to start investing, Twine fits the bill. Additionally, if you want to save for a specific goal with a friend or partner, Twine works. Our main reservation is the fee. There are other robo-advisors with lower fee structures. Additionally, if you are seeking greater diversification, there are other digital investment advisors offering access to more funds with greater diversification.

Click here to go directly to the Twine website.

Updated; September 1, 2018

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Barbara A. Friedberg, MBA, MS

Barbara A. Friedberg, MBA, MS

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