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Which Is The Best Modern Investing Platform: M1 Finance Or Betterment?

Online platforms that provide automated investing services and digital resources with minimal fees are called robo advisors. With minimal effort, robo advisors help investors create and manage a diversified portfolio.

Above the surface, not all robo-advisors are the same. It’s important to research and find the one that’s right for you.

M1 Finance and Betterment offer investors a completely different experience than anyone else.

To help you pick the right platform, we picked apart Betterment and M1 Finance from their prices to their features and portfolio options. Betterment and M1 Finance offer great value for investors looking to save on fees and build a smart portfolio.

M1 Finance vs Betterment: The Basics

There is a breakdown of what M1 and Betterment have to offer. The comparison between M1 and Betterment can give you an idea of which one is right for you.

M1 Finance Betterment
Account Minimum $0; $100 to invest $0
Management Fees No fees .25% annual fee for digital plan; .40% annual fee for premium plan
Promotions Up to $2500 cash bonus Up to 12 months free service
Accounts Supported Roth, Traditional, SEP IRA; individual and joint brokerage accounts; IRA rollovers; trust accounts; checking Roth, Traditional, SEP, Inherited IRA; individual and joint brokerage accounts; trust accounts; checking; savings
Portfolios Fully customize your portfolio down to individual stocks, or choose from a variety of expert pies Automated portfolio based on your risk level, goals and investing timeline
Customer Service Support form; online resources; phone support Monday-Friday, 9:30 a.m.- 4:00 p.m. ET Email; online resources; phone support Monday-Friday, 9:00 a.m.- 6:00 p.m. ET
Automated Rebalancing Included Included
Tax-loss Harvesting Unavailable Included
Access to Human Advisors Unavailable Included
Invest with M1 Finance Invest with Betterment

Overview of M1 Finance and Betterment

About M1 Finance

M1 Finance is based in Chicago, Illinois. M1 Finance has an automated investing platform that is designed to help investors reach their financial goals.

M1 was designed to give you with automated investing that still puts you in the driver’s seat.

With M1 Finance, you can either build your own portfolio with the stocks and ETFs available, or you can use one of M1’s dozens of carefully selected portfolios for a less hands-on experience. M1 Finance offers an easy to use platform with no account minimums or commission, making it a great option for beginners.

Pick a theme for your investments or get more involved and pick your own investments. You can more closely align your investments to your values with this approach.

You don’t have to limit yourself to just one portfolio. Diversification can increase the potential of higher returns. M1 makes it easy to create dozens of portfolios. M1 allows you to quickly build and manage a diversified, low-cost portfolio.

While benefiting from not having to worry about high fees, you get to take the lead with your investments when you invest with M1. You can start investing with just a few clicks, thanks to M1’s user-friendly platform.

You can use the M1 app on your phone or tablets, or you can use the desktop version. You can manage your finances on a larger screen with the desktop version.

About Betterment

Betterment was one of the first robo-advisors to hit the market. Betterment has become a leader in the digital wealth management space, providing investors with access to low-cost, personalized investment advice.

Over the last decade, it has been one of the best investing platforms with over $22 billion of assets under management. Its user-friendly interface makes it easy to set up accounts.

Betterment uses an algorithm to manage your investments, like M1, but there is a level of live advising available. Betterment is more affordable than a traditional financial advisor.

Betterment works well for everyone, from beginners with a few hundred dollars to pros with hundreds of thousands of dollars. Betterment provides helpful advice on the best way to build your portfolio and manage risk for any investor regardless of their experience level.

Betterment can help you reach your investing goals.

Betterment will invest in the most likely to help you reach your financial goals once you fund your account. Betterment can help you make the best financial decisions.

You can manage your investments online with Betterment, or you can download the mobile app. Betterment is a convenient way to manage your investments.


M1 Finance offers investors a completely free service, which is more expensive than Betterment. M1 Finance has a wide variety of portfolio options for investors to choose from.

M1 has a minimum balance requirement to begin investing, while Betterment does not. Customers can start investing with Betterment without having to worry about meeting the minimum balance requirement.

Here is a quick look at the fees for each service. It’s important to note that the fees and services may change over time, so it’s worth taking a look every once in a while to make sure you’re getting the best value.

M1 Finance Fees

  • M1 doesn’t charge commission fees, meaning you can trade for free. M1 is an attractive option for traders who want to keep their trading costs low.
  • The platform does not charge any advising or management fees. It has an easy to use online dashboard for managing your account.
  • The company is upfront with a few fees. We want you to be aware of all the fees so that you can plan your budget. There is a charge for requesting paper copies. If you have a balance of less than $20, there is a fee for being inactive for 90 days. If you transfer funds into the account, you can avoid the inactivity fee.

Some regulatory fees may be seen for the funds themselves, but this is standard industry-wide. Refer to the prospectus of the fund to learn more about the regulatory fees.

M1 has low expense ratios, keeping the fees to a minimum. The M1 platform is designed to give investors an efficient and cost-effective way to manage their finances.


Betterment comes with annual fees, but it doesn’t charge anything for withdrawals or deposits. Betterment provides high-quality services, and these fees are usually well worth the cost.

You get to pick from two plans with Betterment:

  1. Betterment’s base plan does not have a minimum balance. It comes with tax strategies. It has an easy-to-use dashboard to help you monitor your portfolio performance.
  2. There is a $100,000 minimum balance requirement for the premium plan. It has enhanced features such as exclusive access to financial advisors and discounts on certain banking services. It comes with all of the features of the digital plan, as well as financial advising for milestones throughout life and investments outside of Betterment. A team of financial advisors will help you make the most of your money.

It is possible to pay for additional consultation on specific investing topics. People who want to gain a deeper understanding of investing can benefit from this.

Winner: M1 Finance with its fee-free service.

Minimum Deposits

M1 Finance requires you to invest at least $500 in your retirement accounts.

There is no minimum deposit required for Betterment’s digital plan. Even if you don’t have a lot of money to invest, it’s a great way to start.

Winner: Tie. Betterment has no minimum deposit requirements, but M1’s requirements are low. If you’re not investing any money, you won’t benefit from either service.


M1 Finance and Betterment have opening bonuses. M1 Finance and Betterment offer a variety of automated investing options.

Betterment waives account management fees, while M1 rewards new investors with cash. Betterment can help investors make the most of their investments.

There is a closer look at how these promotions work. Customers can get the best value with these promotions.

M1 Finance Promotion

M1 Finance will reward you with up to $2,500 if you transfer your account to the platform within 60 days. When you open a M1 Finance account, there will be no trading fees or management fees.

  • There is a bonus when you transfer a large amount of money to M1. If you transfer a balance of $100,000 to your M1 account, you’ll get a $250 bonus.
  • There is a $500 bonus when you transfer more than $250,000 to M1. In addition to the $500 bonus, you will receive a small annual percentage yield on your money.
  • There is a $1,000 bonus when you transfer more than $500,000 to M1. If you transfer the account within 90 days, M1 will give you a $1,000 bonus.
  • Transfer a $1 million account to M1 and you will get a $2,500 bonus. You will be invited to M1’s private client event.

Betterment Promotion

If you make an initial deposit that meets Betterment’s criteria within 45 days of opening your account, Betterment will give you up to a year of fee-free services.

  • You can get 1 month of free services when you deposit between $15,000 and $99,999. You will receive a monthly statement showing the balance of your account, as well as any additional services that you may be eligible for during the free trial period.
  • You can get 6 months of free services if you deposit $100,000 to $249,999. This offer includes access to exclusive events.
  • You can get a year of free services if you deposit $250,000 or more. You will receive preferential rates on future services.
Winner: M1 Finance with its cash bonus. Betterment offers free months, which is already baked into M1 Finance with its fee-free service.


It is difficult to pick a winner between M1 and Betterment. M1 and Betterment offer a variety of features that can help investors meet their individual goals, so it’s important for each investor to evaluate which platform best suits their needs.

The two platforms offer a completely different experience. It’s important to understand the differences between the two in order to pick the one that’s best for you. It depends on what you want to get out of the app. Do some research to find out which app works best for you.

M1 Finance vs Betterment: Shared Features

As a refresher, here are a few features you get with both M1 Finance and Betterment:

  • Both M1 and Betterment offer commission-free trades and keep their fees low. M1 and Betterment make it easy to manage your investments.
  • Each app shifts your allocations to keep your investments on track. Automatic rebalancing helps ensure that your investments are in line with your goals.
  • Depending on how much you invest, you could benefit from M1 or Betterment’s new account promotions. New account bonuses are a great way to jump start your investment portfolio.
  • M1 and Betterment have a wide range of account types. The account type that best meets your needs is what you can choose.
  • Both apps let you build an ethical portfolio that considers not just the financial repercussions, but also the social and environmental impact of your investments.
  • Betterment and M1 allow you to invest in fractional shares of individual stocks, ideal for new investors on a budget. Investing in fractional shares is a cost-effective way to invest in the stock market.
  • Both Betterment and M1 Finance offer educational resources. The educational resources can help investors understand the basics of investing, as well as more advanced topics like asset allocation and portfolio rebalancing.

M1 and Betterment have some great features. M1 and Betterment have features that make investing more accessible and give users more control over their finances.

M1 Finance Standout Features

  • M1 Finance gives you the power to design your own portfolio and invest actively. You can invest in what you believe in and create a portfolio tailored to your goals with M1 Finance. The right fit for some active investors is M1, which is all about growth. M1 is an ideal platform for those looking to build their wealth over the long-term, without having to worry about individual goals.
  • M1’s portfolios are referred to as pies. The pies are tailored to the investor’s financial goals. There are over 80 professionally built pies that you could choose from. There’s something for everyone in the selection of pies.
  • If your account balance permits, you can take out a line of credit using one of your investment accounts, at a far lower cost than an Unsecured loan. It’s important that you only borrow what you can afford to repay.
  • M1 Finance has a fee structure that makes it stand out. M1 does not charge a penny for its services, and it is very transparent about its fees.

Betterment Standout Features

  • Betterment assesses your goals, risk tolerance, and investing preferences, creating a tailor-made investment strategy based on you. INRDeals INRDeals INRDeals INRDeals INRDeals INRDeals INRDeals INRDeals INRDeals INRDeals INRDeals INRDeals INRDeals INRDeals INRDeals INRDeals INRDeals INRDeals INRDeals INRDeals INRDeals INRDeals INRDeals INRDeals INRDeals INRDeals INRDeals INRDeals INRDeals INRDeals INRDeals INRDeals INRDeals INRDeals INRDeals INRDeals INRDeals INRDeals INRDeals INRDeals INRDeals INRDeals INRDeals INRDeals INRDeals INRDeals INRDeals INRDeals INRDeals INRDeals INRDeals INRDeals INRDeals INRDeals INRDeals INRDeals INRDeals INRDeals Living breathing advisors are included. No matter how complex your financial goals are, this online platform can help you reach them. You can let the app work for you if you work with Betterment to establish your goals. Betterment’s automated approach helps ensure that you are on track to reach your goal, all while requiring minimal effort from you.
  • Betterment has a low fee if you want to upgrade your services and get financial advice. With the premium option, you can access personalized advice tailored to your financial goals and have peace of mind knowing that you’re in good hands.
  • Betterment gives you access to both a checking and a high-yield savings account, making it a handy one-stop shop for investing and banking. Betterment’s checking and savings accounts are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and offer competitive interest rates, giving you peace of mind that your money is safe and secure.
  • Betterment offers tax-loss harvesting, selling off assets with losses and replacing them with comparable ones to keep you on track for your goals. If you have capital gains during the year, tax-loss harvesting can help offset them.
Winner: Tie. Both Betterment and M1 Finance are great products with fundamentally the same great features. If one of the stand-out features is important to you, that will help tilt the scales.


While both platforms integrate Modern Portfolio Theory (MPT), M1 Finance and Betterment have different approaches to portfolios.

M1 Finance Portfolios

M1 has portfolios that are all about personalization. M1 works with you to design a portfolio that fits your needs and goals. You can either build your own portfolios from scratch or invest in pre-made portfolios designed by experts. You can make sure your investments are tailored to your goals by doing this.

It is completely free either way. Why don’t you give it a try? More seasoned investors can build their own portfolios on their own, and new investors can benefit from M1’s expert pies. Regardless of your investment level, the dashboard makes it easy to navigate the features of M1’s platform.

When you build your own portfolio, you can invest in exchange traded funds, individual stocks, or a combination of the two, with fractional shares on offer. Creating a portfolio with fractional shares allows you to invest in a wide range of assets, allowing you to spread out your risk and maximize potential returns.

You still have a lot of variety with expert pies. The possibilities are endless if you create your own custom pie.

Many of the portfolio strategies are goals-based. The goals-based strategies are designed to meet specific investment objectives. You can invest in some of the expert pies. The categories include stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and exchange traded funds.

  • Risk-based investing
  • Target retirement date
  • Hedge fund followers
  • Income earners
  • Industries/sectors
  • Stocks & bonds
  • Socially responsible
  • Hedge fund followers
  • Trinity portfolios from Cambria Investments

Specialty pies are centered around blue chip stocks. You can reduce the risk of investing in individual stocks with the help of specialized pies.

You have the option to change the number of times your portfolio is rebalanced. You can stay on top of changes in the market and make sure your investments are working for you.

M1 does use a tax loss strategy. It is possible to reduce the amount of events that occur by automatically adjusting portfolios.

Betterment Portfolios

Betterment shows in the platform’s portfolio strategy that it is suited to passive investors who are focused on specific investing goals. Betterment’s portfolio strategy is designed to help investors reach their financial goals.

When you get a Betterment account will prompt you to answer questions to determine your risk level, goals, and investing timelines. Betterment will design a portfolio for you based on your needs and preferences.

Betterment will build your portfolio by investing in up to 13 asset classes. Betterment will use modern portfolio theory to maximize returns.

Betterment allocates your portfolio based on the individual stocks and ETFs you choose. Betterment’s portfolio allocations are designed to help you reach your financial goals.

Betterment comes with the benefit of tax loss harvesting if your account gets off target. Betterment gives access to financial advisors who can give you personalized advice on how to reach your goals.

Winner: M1 Finance with their fully customizable portfolios: from individual stocks to expert pies. If you prefer to be completely hands-off, however, Betterment is better geared for you.

Human Advising

Both Betterment and M1 Finance offer online and over the phone customer support.

Betterment is the better choice if you want one-on-one financial advising. Betterment is a great choice for people who want a hands-on approach to managing their finances.

M1 has online resources that are useful, but they don’t give you access to financial advisors. M1 may not be the best option for those who need more personalized advice.

Betterment has a premium account that includes unlimited financial consulting. Betterment’s premium account gives access to certified financial experts who can provide personalized advice on how to achieve your financial goals.

Regardless of your account level, you can pay a fee for consulting with a financial advisor. If you need personalized advice or don’t know how to manage your investments, a financial advisor can help.

Winner: Betterment. M1 Finance doesn’t offer you access to financial advisors.

User Experience

You can’t go wrong with Betterment or M1 Finance. It is important to evaluate which platform is best for your needs, as each platform offers slightly different options.

Both apps are easy to use. They are the perfect choice for anyone looking for an easy way to stay organized because of the intuitive user interface.

They make managing your account easy. They provide great customer service and are easy to navigate.

M1 and Betterment have both been highly reviewed in the app store. Both platforms offer a lot of options and tools to help users manage their finances efficiently and effectively.

Winner: Tie. You’ll have an easy time navigating either product, and both are available on desktop or mobile.

M1 Finance vs Betterment: Which App Is Right for You?

M1 Finance and Betterment are two low-cost, user-friendly, and well-reviewed services that topped my list of the best automated investment platforms. For investors who are looking for an easy and affordable way to invest in the stock market, both services are great.

It’s a matter of preference, which one is right for you. It’s important to find an option that works for you and your lifestyle.

M1 is the clear winner if you want a truly free app and don’t need guidance from a financial advisor. M1 is a great option for people who want to manage their finances without paying additional fees.

If you want to play an active role in directing your accounts, it is a better pick. It’s easy to manage your accounts and achieve your financial goals with an intuitive interface.

Betterment is second to none if you want an investment strategy tailored to your goals. It can help you make the right financial decisions.

Betterment allows you to sit back and relax while you invest. It offers a range of smart, automated strategies that are designed to meet your individual goals.

You will be able to grow your investments quickly and easily with whichever app you choose. You can find an app that suits your needs with multiple options.

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