Wealthfront vs Fidelity Go 2020 – Which Robo-Advisor is For You?

wealthfront vs fidelity go logo

Where do you turn when you’re looking for a robo-advisor with medium to low account management fees and a low investment minimum? The good news—and the bad news—is that there are a lot of robo-advisors with low fees  and minimums.

We’re here to help you make sense of your options. Today we’re putting Wealthfront and Fidelity Go head to head so that you can determine which robo-advisor meets your financial needs.

Wealthfront vs. Fidelity Go – Overview

Wealthfront is one of the premier robo-advisors and offers clients quite a few investment options. In addition to the traditional retirement accounts, Wealthfront clients can also invest in 529 college savings accounts and high yield cash accounts.

Beyond offering varied account types, Wealthfront takes great care to understand their investors. The Wealthfront sign-up process is among the most comprehensive. The Path digital financial advisor within the Wealthfront platform is designed to mirror a human financial advisor’s questions. Your risk tolerance, goals, and financial situation are accounted for before your portfolio is created.

We also like Wealthfront’s high yield cash account with debit card and free ATM withdrawals.

Wealthfront also offers a Risk Parity fund

Fidelity Go allows for flexible investment management. Fidelity Go offers more investment options than Wealthfront. Investors can choose automated investing or professional management for a portion of their portfolio. Actively managed portfolios have the chance of outperforming the market, though they do come with risks. Balancing a portfolio that combines passive and active management might be the winning strategy!

*This article contains affiliate links to help pay for this website. That said, our reviews are held to the highest standards of honesty.

Wealthfront vs. Fidelity Go Comparison – Top Features

FeaturesWealthfrontFidelity Go
OverviewA goals based automated investment advisor with superior digital financial advisor.Automated investment management robo-advisor with access to actively managed funds and Fidelity Investment Company services.
Minimum Investment Amount$500Zero - $10 to begin investing.
Fee Structure0.25% of AUMUp to $10,000-free investment management. $10,000 to $49,999 - $3 per month. Over $50,000 - 0.35% aum
Top FeaturesGoal-based ETF investment portfolio. PATH digital financial advisor. Tax-loss harvesting. Risk Parity and Smart Beta portfolios. College planning and 529 accounts available.Offers both ETFs and mutual funds. Target tracking helps you to reach your goals. Annual portfolio review. Part of the Fidelity Investment company.
Accounts AvailableIndividual and joint investment accounts. Roth, traditional, SEP and rollover IRAs. Trusts. 529 college savings plan accounts. Single and joint taxable investment accounts. Roth, traditional, and rollover IRAs.
Investment FundsLow fee, diversified stock and bond ETFs. Fidelity Go offers fee-free Fidelity Flex mutual funds.
Free ServicesFree portfolio review and home buying guide.N/A
PromotionsFirst $5,000 managed for free if you click on this link.N/A
Contact & Investing AdvicePhone M–F 10 am–8 pm ET
Email-24/7
Phone 24/7
Live Chat (offline) 8 am - 8 PM EST Monday - Friday

Wealthfront top features:

  • Daily tax-loss harvesting
  • Path financial planner – a comprehensive digital financial advisor
  • 529 college savings accounts
  • Direct indexing for larger accounts
  • High yield cash management account
  • Borrow against your investments

Fidelity Go top features:

  • Predictions for likelihood of achieving target goals
  • Automated suggestions for reaching financial goals
  • Short-term investments available
  • Only $10 required to start investing
  • Offers fee-free index mutual funds

Wealthfront vs. Fidelity Go – Who Benefits?

Fidelity Go

Fidelity Go is best for new and smaller investors.

Investors who want their robo-advisor to be connected to a larger family of investment services would benefit from working with Fidelity Go.

If you want your robo to include fee-free passively managed index funds, then Fidelity Go is the best option. Although, Wealthfront offers greater diversification within their investment portfolios.

Fidelity Go is part of a full service financial management company which offers services such as life insurance, wealth management, and retirement services.

Fidelity Go would also benefit investors who like more frequent check-ins. On their website, Fidelity Go states that investors can expect summary emails and check-ins to ensure they are investing with your most up-to-date information possible.

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Wealthfront

Wealthfront is best for new to experienced investors seeking smart digital investment management with a variety of strategies and diverse investmetns.

Investors seeking tax-loss harvesting will benefit from Wealthfront.  Additionally, Wealthfront offers daily tax-loss harvesting for investors.

Wealthfront also offers a greater, more diverse selection of investments and strategies.

Wealthfront’s .25% investment management fee is also lower than Fidelity Go’s management fee for larger accounts. Although Fidelity does offer free investment management for accounts valued under $10,000. This contrasts with Wealthfront’s free investment management for accounts valued at $5,000 or less.

Wealthfront’s high yield cash account is enticing for investors seeking higher yields for short term cash.

Wealthfront also offers a free portfolio review, which incorporates all of your investment accounts – not just those at Wealthfront.

When choosing between Fidelity or Wealthfront, it’s always best to consider your own financial needs.

Wealthfront vs. Fidelity—Fees and Minimums

Minimums Winner: Fidelity Go doesn’t have a minimum. Although you’ll need $10 to get started investing.

Fees Winner: This is a close one, with Wealthfront a notch in front with the 0.25% management fee and first $5,000 managed for FREE.

Wealthfront

Wealthfront requires a minimum initial investment of $500—a relatively low minimum.

While no-minimum investment robo-advisors do exist, in the grand scheme of things a $500 minimum investment amount is affordable.

Wealthfront is also middle of the road in terms of their management fees: .25% AUM. This fee puts them in line with other heavy hitters like Betterment and SigFig.

Fidelity Go

On the other hand, investors who don’t have $500 handy or want to test the robo-advisor market with a smaller initial investment will love Fidelity Go. You can get started with no minimum investment with this robo-advisor!

Fidelity Go’s fee structure is great for small investors with up to $10,000-free investment management.

The monthly fee structure or $3.00, applies to investors with $10,000 to $49,999. For investors with a $10,000 portfolio, the $36 annual fee, charged monthly is equivalent to an 0.36% annual management fee – which is on the higer end, for robo-advisors.

If your investment portfolio reaches $45,000, then the $3.00 per month charge is a very low 0.08% of assets under management. So, whether the $3.00 per month is a good deal or not, depends on the amount of your investments.

With over $50,000 you’ll pay 0.35% aum, which is in the moderate to high range for the basic robo-advisors.

There are many, more comprehensive robo-advisors including Wealthfront, that charge lower investment management fees.

wealthfront mobile

Wealthfront vs. Fidelity Go – Deep Dive

Wealthfront and Fidelity Go are relatively affordable, with low (or no!) minimum investment requirements and fees well below those charged by traditional financial planners. So what really sets the two apart?

Wealthfront vs. Fidelity—Performance Awards

Fidelity Go performed better than Wealthfront during the first few months of 2019, earning second place in two categories (growth and balance) while Wealthfront took third in a single category (income).

Take these numbers with a grain of salt, as robo-advisor performance can fluctuate just as much as any other investment option out there. However, the fact that both robo-advisors have been ranked a top performer for multiple years shows they’re doing something right.

Wealthfront vs. Fidelity—Retirement Planning

Winner: Wealthfront

In 2017, Wealthfront rolled out the Path Financial Planner, an in-depth retirement planning tool. This tool links your existing accounts to determine your current financial situation. It then looks at your goals, your financial choices, and factors outside of your control (like inflation and social security) and determines whether you are on the path to success.

If that isn’t enough, Path also helps investors allocate their savings across all platforms. This includes accounts held outside of Wealthfront.

Like many other robo-advisors, Fidelity Go manages and monitors your portfolio to ensure that your allocations and risk stay in line with your goals; however, they don’t have the sort of comprehensive retirement tool that Wealthfront does.

Wealthfront vs. Fidelity—Tax Loss Harvesting

Winner: Wealthfront

Many robo-advisors offer tax-loss harvesting, though not all. Fidelity Go is in the latter category.

The Fidelity Go robo-advisor does not offer it.

This leaves Wealthfront as the clear victor in this category—if tax-loss harvesting is something you are interested in! Just remenber, that tax-loss harvesting only matters for taxable accounts, since IRA and other retirement accounts are not taxed while the investments are owned within the account. And, Roth IRA distributions aren’t taxed either if they meet certain conditions.

Wealthfront believes that their daily tax-loss harvesting is more beneficial than the TLH offered less-frequently by competitors.

Wealthfront vs. Fidelity – Investments

Winner: Wealthfront wins with greater diversification along with, smart beta and risk parity funds.

Fidelity Go Investments

Fidelity Go offers fee-free Fidelity Flex mutual funds. Like most robo-advisors, after a completing a quick questionnaire, you’ll receive a sample investment portfolio with stock and bond funds in a mix that fits with your risk level and time horizon.

“In selecting mutual funds for Fidelity Go® accounts, Strategic Advisers LLC may look at multiple factors, including but not limited to investment philosophy (whether the funds are actively or passively managed), risk and return characteristics (how closely the security tracks an underlying index), assets under management, and tax efficiency. The Fidelity Flex® mutual Funds or number of Flex Funds in which your account invests may change over time depending on the investment strategy you select.”

~Fidelity Go Website

The portfolios range from conservative to aggressive.

Following are sample Fidelity Flex Funds, which do not have fund management fees:

SectorFidelity Investment FundTicker Symbol
U.S. Large-Cap StocksFidelity Flex 500 IndexFDFIX
U.S. Mid-Cap StocksFidelity Flex Mid-Cap Index FundFLAPX
U.S. Small-Cap StocksFidelity Flex Small-Cap Index FundFLXSX
Foreign StocksFidelity Flex International Index FundFITFX
Municipal BondsFidelity Flex Municipal Income FundFUENX
Short-Term Municipal BondsFidelity Flex Cons. Income Municipal Bond FundFUEMX
Short-Term CashFidelity Government Cash ReservesFDRXX

If you’d like part of your investments managed by the Fidelity Go robo-advisor and another portion managed with a financial advisor, you might consider Fidelity’s Portfolio Advisory Services for those with greater than $50,000.

Fidelity does not disclose the full number of funds available through the robo-advisor before signing up.

Wealthfront

Wealthfront offers a variety of stock and bond exchange traded funds (ETFs).

Wealthfront stock funds cover the U.S. and international markets including both developed and emerging markets as well as a dividend appreciation ETF. The bond ETFs span government, treasury inflation protected bonds, U.S. corporate bonds, a foreign emerging markets bond fund and municipal bonds for those with a taxable account in a high tax bracket.

The final two sector funds cover the U.S. real estate sector and Energy Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLE), an energy or natural resources fund.

For accounts valued at more than $100,000 Wealthfront replaces the domestic ETF with individual stocks, reducing fund expense ratios.

Wealthfront investment funds include:

Investment Fund CategoryIndex Fund Ticker Symbol
US Total Stock MarketVTI and SCHB
Foreign Stock - Developed MarketVEA and SCHF
Foreign Stock - Emerging MarketVWO and IEMG
Dividend Appreciation Stock VIG and SCHD
US Treasury Inflation Protected Bond (TIPs)SCHP and VTIP
US Government BondBND and BIV
Municipal BondVTEB and TFI
US Corporate BondLQD
Foreign-Emerging Market BondEMB
Real Estate VNQ and SCHH
Natural Resources (Energy)XLE and VDE

Additionally, Wealthfront offers a RIsk Parity Fund that attempts to minimize downside risk.

Wealthfront also offers a Smart Beta fund that attempts to outperform the market.

FAQ

Is Fidelity Go worth it?

Yes. If you’re seeking low fee investment management and a reputable financial company than Fidelity Go is a good robo-advisor. The key to choosing a robo-advisor is always to match up what you are seeking with the offerings of company. If you’re seeking low fee investment management, with reasonable low fees affiliated with a major firm then Fidelity Go is worth it.

Is Wealthfront Safe?

Yes. Wealthfront uses bank-grade security and employs state of the art data protection. Wealthfront high yield cash account insures deposits up to $1,000,000 by the FDIC – Federal Deoposit Insurance Corporation.

Wealthfront vs. Fidelity Go – The Takeaway

Since Wealthfront’s business is only robo investing, it does it very well. Add on cash management, tax-loss harvesting, borrowing options and one of the best digital only Financial Planning questionnaires, overall, we prefer Wealthfront.

Although, Wealthfront has a higher initial investment requirement, which can put it out of reach of some beginning investors. That being said, at only $500 the Wealthfront minimum investment is still low. Coupled with their .25% AUM fee, Wealthfront is an affordable option.

Wealthfront’s benefits also include more diverse investment options than those at Fidelity. Wealthfront is also a good match for wealthier investors seeking the opportunity for single stock index investing, which reduces overall fees.

If you want a 529 College Planning account, then Wealthfront is for you. Actually, Wealthfront has many more types of accounts than Fidelity Go.

Fidelity Go is more accessible for first-time investors with no minimum investment requirement, and first $10,000 managed for free. The Fidelity Flexero management fee mutual funds are also enticing.

Fidelity Go is most appropriate for small, new investors or those seeking the benefits of investing with a large financial firm.

Fidelity Go also has the Fidelity branch network, which might be helpful for in person questions.

It’s a close contest between Wealthfront vs Fidelity Go.

Choose Wealthfront if you are seeking:

  • Tax loss harvesting
  • Superb digital financial planner – with detailed risk assessment
  • More diversified investments
  • Greater types of accounts, including 529 college accounts
  • Single stock investing for higher net worth customers
  • Lower fees for larger accounts

Choose Fidelity Go if you are:

  • An existing small investor with Fidelity
  • Want access to all of the services and physical branches that Fidelity offers
  • If you’re a larger investor seeking managed accounts and/or the ability to trade, all within one platform

Whether you choose Fidelity, Wealthfront or another robo-advisor, the best advice for building wealth is to begin investing today, for the long term!

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