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Wealthfront: The newbie investor’s BFF

Doing things “by the book” is usually considered a good thing, especially when you’re talking about money. Luckily for all of us, Wealthfront agrees.

That’s why it built a team of investment advisors who have written 16 books about investing between them – including some of the biggest titles in the business, like “A Random Walk Down Wall Street.”

I don’t know about you, but that’s who I want building the technology that manages my money.

How Wealthfront grows your money

Wealthfront is a robo-advisor, and one of the biggest ones in the business today. That means they offer everything you would expect of a robo-advisor: a low-cost, diversified portfolio that fits your life, without having to “know a guy” or spend hours managing your investments every day. (Yes, every day: You would be so surprised how often some people check their stock prices.)

They do all of this through their investment management software, which was built by a team of investing pros alongside some of Silicon Valley’s best engineers. All you have to do is sit back, enjoy their easy to use (and really well-designed) interface on your phone or your computer, and watch your money grow.

Invest in any account you want – even joint accounts

If you’re only vaguely aware of the difference between a Roth IRA and a 401(k), you can still invest with Wealthfront. They offer individual and joint investment accounts that help bolster your savings for long-term goals: think buying a house in ten years, or taking a year-long dream vacation.

If you are ready to take the plunge into tax-advantaged retirement accounts, you can do that too: Wealthfront can manage everything from a traditional IRA to an SEP IRA, if that’s what you need. (In case you were wondering, an SEP IRA is an IRA designed for the needs of small business owners.)

Pro tip: It’s never to early to start thinking about retirement, and those tax-advantaged accounts are hella lucrative.

Wealthfront takes action when it makes sense for you

Now sure, you don’t want to spend time managing your investments, but there are a few traditionally time-consuming activities that do help your money grow. Rebalancing your account, reinvesting your dividends and making sure you’re making the most tax-effective investment decisions are all things that used to take time, but would make – or save – you more money.

Wealthfront’s system does this all for you, automatically, and based on triggers that are specific to your account. If you had to pay a human being to do all that for you, your fees would be much higher than 1% per year. That’s the perk of having an expertly-designed algorithm handle it; robots are notoriously bad at salary negotiations.

Perfect for getting started

Every robo-advisor is going to have a lower fee structure than your typical, everyday investment advisor: that’s just the gig. However, there are some robo-advisors that are going to be cheaper than others, depending on how much money you want to invest.


If you’re a total beginner at investments, and you’re starting with only a few hundred dollars, Wealthfront is the perfect choice for you. They’ve got a $500 minimum account size, so there’s a bit of a barrier to entry, but once you’ve got that $500 invested, your first $10,000 is managed for free.

That’s right: no super-low-cost pitch here, or tiny-fee pitch. Wealthfront’s fee to manage your first $10,000 is literally $0.00.

If you’re working on building a small investment portfolio, I don’t think you’ll find a better deal than that.

Plus, all the warm fuzzies

Let’s be clear, not many of us have a million dollars lying around to set up a charitable foundation, but on the off chance you do, Wealthfront has a division that will manage up to $1,000,000 for free for non-profit organizations.

It likely doesn’t impact you directly, but man, talk about dispelling the myth that all finance companies are jerks, right? It turns out they aren’t all out to open dozens of accounts in your name to make more money.


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Header image: Shutterstock

*This piece is meant only to expand awareness of available financial tools and products and should not be considered an official endorsement of the product or its outcomes by GenFKD.

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