May 25, 2018

SigFig Review: Is It Good?

This article contains references to products from our partners. We may receive compensation if you apply or shop through links in our content. You help support CreditDonkey by reading our website and using our links. (read more)

Are you looking for a portfolio manager that is technologically advanced and has low fees? It might seem impossible, but SigFig offers all of this and more. So what's the catch?

SigFig is the "middleman" between you and your advisor. It's not your traditional robo-advisor that you invest with directly. Instead, you give access to your brokerage account with Charles Schwab, Fidelity, or TD Ameritrade. (If you invest with a different broker, you'll have to move your assets over). You then have a managed account that SigFig handles for you while keeping you in the loop around-the-clock.

So while SigFig is "free" (read more below) and they handle your investments for you, there are some things you'll want to know before jumping on board.

How Does SigFig Work?

SigFig's goal is to help you invest better. They manage your account while keeping your funds with your existing broker, as long as it's one of the three partner brokers. If your money is elsewhere, or you have yet to choose a broker, SigFig will start your account with TD Ameritrade and manage your funds through them.

SigFig offers two different account options:

  • Portfolio Tracker: This free service tracks your existing portfolio. It does not manage the portfolio, but tracks it for you, no matter which brokerage you use. You'll answer a few brief questions to gauge your risk tolerance. The system then provides advice regarding your current portfolio and how you could make it better.

  • Managed Accounts: This is SigFig's bread and butter. They help you balance your portfolio while minimizing costs and diversifying the risk. You'll answer questions regarding your risk tolerance, income, invested assets, and age. The robo-advisor will create a recommended portfolio and manage it for you moving forward.

SigFig offers taxable accounts for both individual and joint accounts as well as IRAs, including Roth, Traditional, Rollover, SEP and SIMPLE IRAs.

What Are the Fees?

SigFig's fees are among the lowest in the industry. Aside from the free Portfolio Tracker, you can have the first $10,000 of your assets actively managed free of charge. SigFig does not charge a fee until your assets exceed $10,000, at which point you will pay 0.25% of your managed assets per year. SigFig pulls the fee on a monthly basis automatically from the cash balance on your account. They never pull money from an investment.

Is SigFig Worth It?
If you are a hands-off investor with your funds at Charles Schwab, TD Ameritrade, or Fidelity, SigFig offers a valuable service at low cost (especially if you have less than $10,000). Their management service offers continual optimization of your account. If you don't have time to optimize your own account or are trying to minimize your fees, it can be a valuable service.

If, however, you have an account elsewhere, it may not be worth it, as it will cost you to transfer your existing assets to a new broker. Add to that the 0.25% annual fee, and the costs could outweigh the benefits.

Using the App

SigFig has been named the top investment app for both Apple and Android devices. The app looks similar to what you see online, making it easy to manage your investments on-the-go. Whether you use the free Portfolio Tracker or you have managed assets, the app is user-friendly and helpful for investors on-the-go.

Is SigFig Safe?
Since SigFig doesn't take custody of your funds, your safety concerns should be with your chosen broker. All three brokers (Charles Schwab, TD Ameritrade, and Fidelity) carry SIPC coverage. This protects you against broker failure. It does not protect you against bad advice, failing stocks, or any type of market loss. SIPC offers coverage for accounts up to $500,000 with a maximum of $250,000 in cash.

Reasons We Like SigFig

© CreditDonkey

  • Small investors can have their assets managed for free. SigFig charges nothing for investors with less than $10,000 in assets. If you are just starting out, this can be a great way to maximize your investments and lower your fees.

  • They use tax-loss harvesting techniques. Tax-loss harvesting helps investors minimize their capital gains at tax time. If your account balance is $10,000 or higher, SigFig offers this service as well as other strategies to minimize tax consequences when rebalancing accounts. They also whitelist accounts, which holds onto existing investments if they are similar to the portfolio SigFig chose. This decreases capital gains and minimizes taxes that could result when starting a new portfolio.

  • They keep cash balances to a minimum. SigFig only leaves enough cash in your account to cover your monthly fees (if you have a balance higher than $10,000). Otherwise, a majority of your cash and new cash deposits are immediately invested.

  • They automatically reinvest dividends. As stated above, SigFig keeps your cash balance to a minimum. They enforce this by automatically reinvesting your dividends unless you tell them otherwise.

  • You have access to human advisors. Robo-advisors traditionally don't offer access to human advice. It's the point behind the "robo" part of the business. SigFig does offer human advice and it doesn't cost anything. You have to set up an appointment and you are limited to 15 minutes, though.

  • You can track 401(k) accounts or brokerage accounts outside of the partner brokers for free. The Portfolio Tracker is a great way to get advice on accounts SigFig won't manage, giving you third-party input on your hard-earned investments. It's a great way to track all of your investments in one place no matter how many different banks/brokers you use.

  • You won't pay commission or trade fees. SigFig doesn't charge any commission or trade fees. The only time you will pay either fee is if your current broker charges them. SigFig only purchases commission-free ETFs (primarily from Charles Schwab, iShares, and Vanguard). The average expense ratio on SigFig's chosen ETFs is between 0.7% and 0.15%.

  • SigFig automatically rebalances your account. Like its robo-advisor competitors, SigFig offers automated rebalancing. If your investments suddenly start skewing the wrong way, SigFig rebalances your portfolio to get it back to the proper allocation. They offer this service continually, which helps to minimize losses in the long run.

  • You can monitor your portfolio at any time and even on-the-go. If you are the type of person who likes 24-hour access to your portfolio no matter where you are, you'll love the SigFig app. The app provides all of the same information as the desktop version, making it easy to make changes or just see your portfolio in seconds.

  • You can have SigFig manage just a portion of your portfolio. Some investors only want a portion of their portfolio managed, and SigFig allows that. You just go into your account and choose which areas you want managed and which you want left alone.

  • You can change your risk tolerance at any time. If you ever get nervous about your portfolio or your circumstances change, you can change your risk tolerance quickly in the app or desktop program and SigFig will adjust accordingly.

Reasons You May Want to Look Elsewhere

  • You need at least $2,000 for an initial investment. If you are just starting out, $2,000 can seem pretty steep. Compared to its competitors, like Wealthfront, which requires only $500, the minimum initial investment can seem too high.

  • You must invest with one of the three partner brokers. If you have a brokerage account with someone other than TD Ameritrade, Fidelity, or Charles Schwab, you will have to change brokers. This could result in additional costs and time. SigFig does say that they minimize the costs by whitelisting, but it could be difficult to avoid costs altogether.

  • They have a small account selection. Your only options are taxable accounts (individual or joint) or IRAs. They do not offer 529 savings plans, 401(k)s, or any other investment or banking options.

How It Compares

SigFig vs Acorns: SigFig manages your assets of $2,000 and up. Acorns invests your spare change. While they are both robo-advisors, their similarities end right there.

 Acorns
 Visit Site
 

SigFig

Acorns

SPECIAL OFFER
Try Acorns Today! - Learn More

 

Benefits and Features

Stock Trading Part of service fee. Free for college students for 4 years. No add-on trading fees.
Annual FeeUnder $10,000 free, over $10,000 0.25%, but first $10,000 is still freeFree for college students; $1/mo for Acorns; $2/mo for Acorns + Acorns Later; $3/mo for Acorns + Acorns Later + Acorns Spend
Minimum Deposit
$2,000
$0
Phone Support
Yes
Yes
Live Chat Support
Yes
No
Email Support
Yes
Yes
Human Advisors
Yes
No
Assets Under Management
$119 Million
$528 Million
Tax Loss Harvesting
Yes
No
Goal Tracker
No
Yes
Automatic Deposits
Yes
Yes
Online Platform
Yes
Yes
iPhone App
Yes
Yes
Android App
Yes
Yes
Banking Acorns Spend checking account comes with a debit card and has no minimum balance requirement, no overdraft fees, and unlimited free or fee-reimbursed ATMs nationwide. $3/mo for Acorns + Acorns Later + Acorns Spend.
Mobile App 
Yes
Single Stock Diversification
No
No
Fractional Shares
No
Yes
Taxable Accounts
Yes
Yes
401k Plans
Yes
No
IRA Accounts
Yes
Yes
Roth IRA Accounts
Yes
Yes
SEP IRA Accounts
Yes
Yes
Trust Accounts
No
No
529 Plans
No
No
 Visit Site

Try Acorns Today!

Blank fields may indicate the information is not available, not applicable, or not known to CreditDonkey. Please visit the product website for details.

SigFig: Pricing information from published website as of 04/04/2018

Acorns: Pricing information from published website as of 04/04/2018

SigFig vs Betterment: SigFig and Betterment charge fees similar to those charged by SigFig if you invest more than $10,000. Betterment manages 401(k) accounts and SigFig doesn't. Both services rebalance your portfolio and offer the same type of accounts. Where Betterment shines is the minimum investment required - they don't require a minimum.

 

SigFig

Betterment

 

Benefits and Features

Annual FeeUnder $10,000 free, over $10,000 0.25%, but first $10,000 is still free0.25% for accounts under $100,000; 0.40% for accounts $100,000+
Minimum Deposit
$2,000
$0
Phone Support
Yes
Yes
Live Chat Support
Yes
No
Email Support
Yes
Yes
Human Advisors
Yes
Yes
Assets Under Management
$119 Million
$10 Billion
Tax Loss Harvesting
Yes
Yes
Goal Tracker
No
Yes
Automatic Deposits
Yes
Yes
Online Platform
Yes
Yes
iPhone App
Yes
Yes
Android App
Yes
Yes
Single Stock Diversification
No
No
Fractional Shares
No
Yes
Taxable Accounts
Yes
Yes
401k Plans
Yes
Yes
IRA Accounts
Yes
Yes
Roth IRA Accounts
Yes
Yes
SEP IRA Accounts
Yes
Yes
Trust Accounts
No
Yes
529 Plans
No
No

SigFig: Pricing information from published website as of 04/04/2018

Betterment: Pricing information from published website as of 04/04/2018

SigFig vs Wealthfront: Wealthfront has one distinct advantage over SigFig - the minimum balance. Wealthfront requires just $500 and charges the same 0.25% annual fee. Wealthfront also has more account options, including a 529 savings plan. Wealthfront, however, does not offer human advice like SigFig.

 

SigFig

Wealthfront

 

Benefits and Features

Annual FeeUnder $10,000 free, over $10,000 0.25%, but first $10,000 is still free
0.25%
Minimum Deposit
$2,000
$500
Phone Support
Yes
Yes
Live Chat Support
Yes
No
Email Support
Yes
Yes
Human Advisors
Yes
No
Assets Under Management
$119 Million
$10+ Billion
Tax Loss Harvesting
Yes
Yes
Goal Tracker
No
Yes
Automatic Deposits
Yes
Yes
Online Platform
Yes
Yes
iPhone App
Yes
Yes
Android App
Yes
Yes
Single Stock Diversification
No
Yes
Fractional Shares
No
No
Taxable Accounts
Yes
Yes
401k Plans
Yes
No
IRA Accounts
Yes
Yes
Roth IRA Accounts
Yes
Yes
SEP IRA Accounts
Yes
Yes
Trust Accounts
No
Yes
529 Plans
No
Yes

SigFig: Pricing information from published website as of 04/04/2018

Wealthfront: Pricing information from published website as of 04/04/2018

Bottom Line

Is SigFig right for you? If you already use one of the three preferred brokerages and you have less than $10,000 invested, it's a no-brainer because it costs nothing. If you have more than $10,000 invested or you are already with a different broker, you may want to look elsewhere as the fees could get rather high.

Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are author's alone. Please support CreditDonkey on our mission to help you make savvy decisions. Our free online service is made possible through financial relationships with some of the products and services mentioned on this site. We may receive compensation if you shop through links in our content.

More from CreditDonkey:

How to Invest Money

How to Invest Money


How to Invest in Stocks with Little Money


How to Save Money

More Articles in Reviews

    Ally Invest Coupon Codes

    Get Up to $3,500 Cash Bonus and Commission Free Trades for 90 Days

    Expires 11/30/2018
    TD Ameritrade

    Get 60 Days of Commission-Free Trading

    Expires 12/31/2018

Leave a comment about SigFig Review: Is It Good?

Name
Email (won't be published)


October
09
2018

Swell Investing Review

Are you looking for a robo-advisor with a socially conscious mind? You may have found it with Swell Investing. This robo-advisor promises socially responsible, hands-off investing. Does it deliver what it promises?

    Best Robo Advisor: Top Comparison List

    The best robo-advisor offers low management fees, low minimum investment requirements, and daily account monitoring. Read this list of top robo advisors before you invest.
More Articles in Investing Reviews







About CreditDonkey®
CreditDonkey is a stock broker comparison website. We publish data-driven analysis to help you save money & make savvy decisions.

Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed on this page are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.

†Advertiser Disclosure: Many of the card offers that appear on this site are from companies from which CreditDonkey receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). CreditDonkey does not include all companies or all offers that may be available in the marketplace.

*See the card issuer's online application for details about terms and conditions. Reasonable efforts are made to maintain accurate information. However, all information is presented without warranty. When you click on the "Apply Now" button you can review the terms and conditions on the card issuer's website.

CreditDonkey does not know your individual circumstances and provides information for general educational purposes only. CreditDonkey is not a substitute for, and should not be used as, professional legal, credit or financial advice. You should consult your own professional advisors for such advice.