U.S. Bank Automated Investor Review — Is This Robo-Advisor Right for You?
It’s not uncommon for big-name banks to have a robo-advisor arm nowadays. U.S. Bank is no different: their robo-advisor, Automated Investor, offers low cost investments with all the benefits of the best robo-advisors. The Automated Investor falls under the U.S. Bancorp Investments division which also offers additional banking and wealth management services.
This US Bank Automated Investor Review takes you through some of the major highlights of the U.S. Bank Robo-Advisor, from its top features to the nitty-gritty details.
*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.
U.S.Bancorp Automated Investor Review
Name: U.S.Bancorp Automated Investor Review
Description: Typical robo-advisor with access to financial professionals.
Ease of Use
Tool & Resources
- US Bank customers
- Investors seeking financial guidance and managed investing
- Low fees
- Tax-loss harvesting
- Access to financial education and advisors
- $1,000 minimum might be high for beginners
- Only one goal per account
What is U.S. Bank Automated Investor?
In many ways, the U.S. Bancorp Investments robo-advisor functions just like any other robo: it offers online investing and account management for a small management fee.
Advisory fees cover portfolio creation, based on clients’ investment goals and risk tolerance, automatic rebalancing and access to financial advisors via telephone.
Clients can open both retirement accounts and more traditional investment accounts. These accounts invest in low-fee ETFs from a variety of fund families.
U.S. Bancorp Investments is a member of both FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority) and SIPC (Securities Investor Protection Corporation), so investors can rest easy knowing that the company is properly insured.
Features at a Glance
|Features||US Bank Automated Investor|
Automated investment advisor with financial consultants for all.
|Top Features||Human financial professionals |
|Fee Structure||0.24% AUM|
|Investment Funds||ETFs from Vanguard, SPDR, iShares, and Schwab|
|Contact & Investing Advice||Phone or email. |
Phone contact available with financial consultants.
Who is the U.S. Bank Robo-Advisor Best For?
- Clients who already have an account at U.S. Bank or U.S. Bancorp Investments. In fact, this is a requirement!
- Beginning investors who want automatic portfolio rebalancing and investment management.
- Those who are looking for a financial advisor and a robo-advisor in one, for a low management fee.
|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|
|None (with 30% cash) - 0.30% (without cash allocation)||$100||Sign up|
Automated Investments is a robo-advisor, which means that technology guides the investment process. Financial experts’ knowledge backs the robo-advisor algorithms.
Clients set a goal for their account, but if they desire more than one goal, they’ll need a separate account for each goal. We find this feature cumbersome. A few other competitors offer multiple goals within the same account.
The investment philosophy behind U.S. Bank Automated Investments is based on five key factors:
- Research and evaluation of exchange traded funds or ETFs
- Analysis of market conditions and market fluctuations by strategists
- Client’s time horizon and financial goals
- Client’s risk tolerance
- Tax-efficient strategies
Automated Investments rebalances accounts to keep assets in line with clients’ goals and needs. They will also adjust clients’ individual investment strategy if they change their risk tolerance or time horizon.
U.S. Bank Automated Investor includes ETFs from some of the more common asset classes. Well regarded fund families provide the low-fee ETFs.
- SPDR Porfolio Aggregate Bond – SPAB | Vanguard Total Bond Market – BND
- Vanguard Tax-exempt Bond – VTEB | iShares National Muni Bond – MUB
- iShares iBoxx High Yield Corporate Bond – HYG | SPDR Bloomberg Barclays High Yield Bond – JNK
- The SPDR Portfolio S&P 500 – SPLG | Schwab 1000 – SCHK
- Vanguard Extended Market – VXF | iShares Russell Mid-cap – IWR
- SPDR Portfolio Developed World ex-US – SPDW | Vanguard FTSE Developed Markets – VEA
- iShares Core MSCI Emerging Markets – IEMG | iShares MSCI Emerging Markets – EEM
- Schwab U.S. REIT – SCHH | Vanguard Real Estate – VNQ
The primary and alternate ETFs are diversified and have low investment expense ratios. The asset classes encompass global and U.S. stock ETFs- and U.S. bond funds. The real estate fund adds additional diversification.
Although you can’t customize your portfolio, when you transfer your account into the robo-advisor, you may designate up to 10% of your portfolio to remain “locked” and not sold.
Those seeking more customization, might consider adding a self-directed investment account as well.
U.S. Bank Automated Investor Drill Down
Automated Investor charges a flat management fee of 0.24% AUM. They do not charge any additional fees for buying or selling securities.
This is a fair annual management fee, and is in line with the fees charged by many other robo-advisors and below many who offer access to financial advisors.
$1,000. This management fee is lower than Schwab Intelligent Portfolio’s $5,000 but much higher than the zero minimum investment amount 9with $10 to begin investing) at Betterment.
The Automated Investor arm of U.S. Bancorp Investments offers tax-loss harvesting for taxable accounts. Tax-loss harvesting helps clients keep potentially hefty tax bills on capital gains low by selling some investments at a loss to minimize capital gains taxes. Taxable accounts also have access to tax-exempt municipal bond ETFs.
Customer Reviews and Service
Many customers seem quite happy with U.S. Bank in general. Clients seemed pleased with their experiences interacting with the bank, which is promising. Of course, Automated Investment clients will primarily use online banking to interact with the firm; still, it is helpful to know that in-person interactions tend to be positive.
While clients can reach customer service and financial advisors by phone. U.S. Bank, also has more than 2,000 branch locations across 26 states.
User Experience — Sign-Up Process
Clients need to have an account at U.S. Bancorp Investments or U.S. Bank. Once this account is established, clients can create an Automated Investor account.
The sign-up process is similar to most robo advice platforms. You choose a financial goal — one per account — and respond to a questionnaire that will help the robo determine your risk tolerance. Clients can also use a tool to help them envision their projected growth based on a few investment scenarios. Those who want to invest for more than one goal, can open separate accounts for each goal. This is a drawback to an otherwise solid offer.
Access to Human Financial Advice
When you open an Automated Investor account, you have access to the same financial advisors available to traditional U.S. Bancorp Investments clients. We found nine financial advisors available on the platform, and none of them held a Certified Financial Planning (CFP), or Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation, the most highly regarded. In contrast, Betterment and Personal Capital both offer CFP access for their premium clients. This suggests that users with complex financial situations might need help from more highly credentialed advisors.
Like other robo-advisors, the investment advisory services are automated and guided by advanced computer software. Although, it is a plus to have access to human financial advisors for answers to basic investing questions by phone.
Robo-Advisors with Human Financial Planner Access
|Robo Advisor||Management Fee||Investment Minimum||Sign up|
|Digital: 0.25% of AUM for accounts worth more than $20,000 | $4.00 for accounts worth less than $20,000 | Premiun: 0.40% AUM||Digital None - $10 to start investing | Premium: $100,000||Sign up|
|zero for free tools - 0.89% - 0.49% AUM||zero for free tools - $100,000 for asset management||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|
|$5-$9 per month||None||Sign up|
US Bank is a major financial institution, and thus it’s expected that the firm employs top level security. Although specific details were difficult to uncover.
U.S. Bank provides tips and tricks for clients who want to be sure their online information is secure. Clients can read about fraud prevention and mobile security, as well as learn how to report suspicious activity and conduct “first aid” if they are victims of identity theft. There’s also a section on the bank’s security page about how they protect your private information.
There is a U.S. Bancorp Investments app available for iOS and Android. The US Bank robo advisor lacks a dedicated app. The investment accounts are integrated into the main app where you can view account details. In general, reviews are quite good. In general, we prefer mobile apps that are dedicated to the robo advisor.
The U.S. Bank website has extensive educational content in the Financial I.Q. section, ideal for investors interested in improving their financial literacy and investment information. There are scores of articles and a partnership with the Everfi financial literacy corporation that offers a range of courses that span Investing, retirement, small business, personal finance and more.
U.S. Bank Robo-Advisor Pros and Cons
- Automatic rebalancing and tax-loss harvesting.
- 0.24% AUM fees are reasonable for a robo advisor with access to financial consultants.
- Access to human financial professionals.
- Transparent fee structure.
- Clients need to have an existing account at U.S. Bancorp Investments or with U.S. Bank.
- Many of the investment advisers lack the CFP credentials.
- No dedicated U.S. Bancorp Automated Investor app.
- Only one goal per account.
Automated Investor FAQ
Does U.S. Bank offer Roth IRAs?
Yes, U.S. Bank’s Automated Investor offers Roth IRAs as one of its available investment accounts. Traditional and SEP IRAs are also available.
What is U.S. Bank Automated Investor?
This robo-advisor is an automated investment advisory account through U.S. Bancorp Investments. Clients can open and fund an investment portfolio, then the robo-advisor algorithms take over! They conduct portfolio management and oversee your investments automatically, which results in lower management fees than those charged at traditional investment
Does U.S. Bank have an investment app?
Yes, they do. The Automated Investor features are integrated into the general U.S. Bank Mobile Banking app.
U.S. Bank Robo-Advisor Wrap Up
Overall, the Automated Investor offering from U.S. Bank is a solid robo advisory service. Clients can expect all of the classic offerings of a robo-advisor: asset allocation that is automatically rebalanced as needed, potential tax advantages through tax-loss harvesting, and a variety of ETFs.
On top of it all, Automated Investor offers these accounts for clients a $1,000 minimum investment and an account management fee of 0.24%, changed quarterly.
The lack of a dedicated mobile app and the high minimum could be a problem for some investors.
Clients must also have existing accounts at U.S. Bank or U.S. Bancorp in order to open an Automated Investor account. While this may not be an issue for too many clients, some may not want to have additional accounts just to access these investment management services.
If these downsides aren’t deal breakers for you, U.S. Bank offers a quality robo-advisor for a reasonable annual advisory fee.
Comparison — U.S. Bank Automated Investor vs. Wealthfront
|Features||Wealthfront||US Bank Automated Investor|
|Overview||Goals-based robo advisor investment manager with digital financial advice and customization with ETFs and cryptocurrency.||Automated investment management robo-advisor with financial advisors.|
|Minimum Investment Amount||$500||$1,000|
|Free Services||$5,000 managed for free (click the link)|| |
Free personal finance and investing information
|Fee Structure||0.25% AUM|| |
|Top Features||Daily tax-loss harvesting|
Smart beta and risk parity investing
Add ETFs and cryptocurrency
Cash management and borrow
|Tax-loss harvesting |
Access to US Bank services
|Investment Funds||Low fee ETFs from diverse asset classes|
100's of ETFs for customization
|Low fee ETFs from diverse asset classes|
|Contact & Investing Advice||Phone M–F 10 am–8 pm EST |
|Phone support and email|
|Promotions||Get first $5,000 managed for free with this link.||N/A|
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Betterment was reviewed on June 17, 2023 and data and information for this review is from the January 2022 through June 2023 period.
We currently review 31 robo-advisors. All Robo-Advisor Reviews are ranked and rated based upon the entire pool of digital and hybrid investment platforms. The ranking system is not designed to provide favorable or unfavorable responses. The Ranking uses a one through five star system. The four criteria and index to ranking criteria:
- Fees – Robo advisory fees range from free to 1% of AUM. Lower fees receive higher rankings, while higher fees are awarded lower rankings. In general, fees are considered in contrast with other robo-advisors as well as within the sphere of traditional financial advisors.
- Investment Choices – Investment choices range from four funds on up to more than twenty fund choices. Investment choices also span various investment strategy portfolios and access to ETFs and stocks. Robo advisors with greater fund and strategy choices receive higher rankings. Those with fewer options receive lower scores.
- Ease of Use – This category covers the User Experience or UX. Platforms with clear menu items and easy access to the platform features receive higher marks than more obtuse websites and those which are more difficult to navigate.
- Tools and Resources – Platforms with richly populated “Frequently Asked Questions”, Educational articles, Videos, Calculators, and Tools receive the highest marks.
Investors should use the ranking system in conjunction with the written review and their own assessment of the robo advisor’s website to make their own investment management provider decisions.
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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