Technology has made it possible for more and more people to begin investing on their own. However, even some DIY investors want a little help managing their portfolios. Unfortunately, many money managers aren’t willing to help the little guys. You need huge amounts of assets to even be considered. Until now.
With the interest in investing growing, and with technology bringing investment opportunities to the people, there are managers willing to work with you. Here are four investment management resources that can provide you with portfolio guidance, without breaking the bank:
- Betterment.com: This site is all about the simple approach to investing. You choose your risk tolerance, and Betterment manages your portfolio on your behalf. Depending on your balance, you pay 0.15%, 0.25%, or 0.35% each year. The higher your balance, the lower your fees. You can agree to invest at least $100 a month, or you need to invest $10,000. Miranda has a detailed Betterment review over at Planting Money Seeds.
- Covestor.com: You can choose a style of investment, following a certain strategy, or mimicking the style of a specific adviser. You do need $10,000 to get started. Fees range between 0.5% and 2.0% a year.
- LearnVest.com: This is a site tailored toward women, but anyone can use it. You don’t need a minimum investment. You can get a complete picture of your finances, and even receive advice on how to move forward. For $599, you can get a five-year plan that includes asset allocation, as well as consultation with an actual adviser.
- PersonalCapital.com: This web site is an account aggregator. You can manage your money, including your investments, from this site. There is no need for a minimum investment. However, if you want some personalized advice, you can receive that help. If you want portfolio management, fees are up to 0.95% a year. When you have assets of $100,000, you can receive personal financial advice.
It’s important to understand that, with most of these options, you are going to receive automated financial advice. With Personal Capital, for example, you can receive some personalized help, but it will be with the help of an algorithm. Until you reach the asset threshold, you won’t actually have an assigned adviser. With Betterment, your portfolio is adjusted automatically, according to your risk tolerance, and with Covestor, you decide on a general strategy, and your portfolio is automatically managed according to that strategy.
This can still be helpful to you, though. If you don’t have time to tweak your portfolio, these types of web sites can help you. Betterment, for example, automatically rebalances your portfolio periodically, and when your asset allocation strays by 5%.
For most people with simple investing needs, and who are starting small, these types of investing sites can be very helpful. You can get a handle on your portfolio, and automate your investments so that your money is working on your behalf, without a lot of involvement from you. Another benefit to this system is that it can help keep you from doing too much with your investments and making mistakes in a panic.
You do have to be aware of investment risk, though. There is always the risk of loss. Do some research, and look at the track record from these sites. Then, you can make a more informed decision about what might work best for you.
Tom Drake writes for Financial Highway and MapleMoney. Whenever he’s not working on his online endeavors, he’s either doing his “real job” as a financial analyst or spending time with his two boys.