Best M1 Finance Alternatives

Jeremy Biberdorf Image
Updated
Mar 01, 2024
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In today’s rapidly evolving financial market, M1 Finance has emerged as a major contender among online investment platforms. Renowned for its innovative approach, M1 Finance combines the features of traditional brokerage services with the ease and automation of modern robo-advisors. This fusion has attracted a broad spectrum of investors, from beginners seeking simplicity to seasoned traders looking for a more hands-off approach to portfolio management.

However, the one-size-fits-all approach rarely applies in the world of personal finance and investment. As investors' priorities shift and the market landscape undergoes continuous change, the need to explore alternative platforms grows stronger.

In this article, we cover the online investing platform niche, identifying and analyzing the best alternatives to M1 Finance.

What is M1 Finance?

M1 Finance is a distinctive online investment platform that blends the features of a traditional brokerage with automated robo-advisory services. Launched in 2015, M1 Finance allows users to create customized portfolios, or "pies," comprising various stocks and ETFs.

This customization, combined with automatic rebalancing and a user-friendly interface, makes M1 Finance an appealing choice for both novice and experienced investors. The platform's fee-free structure further enhances its attractiveness, particularly for long-term investors.

For a deeper dive into all things M1 Finance, I have a dedicated review of the platform.

Pros & Cons

Pros

Customized "Pies": Enables tailored investment portfolios.

Automated Rebalancing: Maintains desired asset allocation.

Zero Fees: No trading or management fees.

User-Friendly: Intuitive interface for all investor levels.

Comprehensive Financial Solution: Includes borrow and spend accounts.

Cons

Limited Investment Options: Fewer choices compared to some competitors.

No Human Advisors: Lacks personalized financial advice.

Single Daily Trading Window: Not suitable for active traders.

Basic Research Tools: Limited analytics and research capabilities.

Account Balance Requirement: Certain features require a minimum balance.

Why Seek Another Option?

Investors may look for alternatives to M1 Finance for various reasons, including the desire for platforms with broader trading options, access to human financial advisors, or a wider array of investment choices. Platforms offering multiple daily trading windows may appeal more to active traders, while others might seek more advanced research and analytics tools.

Choosing an alternative depends on individual financial goals, trading preferences, and desired platform features. For a more exhaustive list of alternative platforms and their features, check out my article covering the best micro investing apps.

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Quick Breakdown

Best Alternatives to M1 Finance


  • Best for those seeking both automated and active investing, along with financial advisory services.

  • Ideal for beginners looking for simple, automated investing and financial education.

  • Suitable for investors who value community engagement alongside commission-free trading.

Top Three M1 Finance Alternatives

Sofi Invest

4.5 stars
Fees $0
Best For Commission-free trading
Benefits
Overview
Company
  • Hybrid Investing: Combines active and automated options.

  • No Management Fees: Free automated investing.

  • Financial Planners: Access to advisors without extra cost.

  • Fractional Shares: Allows investment in smaller amounts.

  • Cryptocurrency Trading: Diverse investment options.

  • Integrated Services: Part of SoFi's broader financial offerings.

  • No Commission: Free stock and ETF trading.

  • Mobile-Friendly: Accessible platform for on-the-go trading.

SoFi Invest offers a unique blend of active and automated investing suitable for a diverse investor base. It stands out with zero management fees for automated investing and access to certified financial planners, providing a personalized investing experience. Its user-friendly interface caters to beginners, while its inclusion of cryptocurrency trading appeals to a broader audience.
Founded in 2011 in San Francisco, SoFi (Social Finance, Inc.) started as a student loan refinancing company and expanded into a comprehensive financial services provider. SoFi Invest, launched as part of its suite of services, demonstrates the company's commitment to accessible and innovative investment solutions.

Acorns

4.7 stars
Account Minimum $0
Best For Beginners
Benefits
Overview
Company
  • Micro-Investing: Rounding up spare change for investment.

  • Automated Management: Portfolio management based on user profiles.

  • No Minimum Balance: Easy start for beginners.

  • Retirement Accounts: Includes options like IRAs.

  • Family Plan: Investment accounts for children.

  • Mobile App: Convenient and user-friendly.

  • Educational Content: Helps users learn about investing.

  • Cashback Partnerships: Extra investment through purchases.

  • Promo: Get $5 Sign-Up Bonus!
Acorns provides a simple and automated way to start investing, ideal for individuals new to investing. The platform’s feature of rounding up daily purchases for investment makes saving effortless. Acorns also offers educational content, making it a great platform for learning while growing a portfolio.
Launched in 2014 in Irvine, California, Acorns is a pioneering micro-investing platform in the U.S. Its innovative approach has attracted a wide user base, especially appealing to beginners or those with limited initial capital.

Public.com

4.5 stars
Account Minimum $5
Best For Community engagement
Benefits
Overview
Company
  • Commission-Free Trading: No fees on trades.

  • No Minimum Deposit: Accessible to all investors.

  • Diverse Asset Types: Stocks, ETFs, crypto, and alternatives.

  • Educational Resources: Guides for comprehensive strategies.

  • Community Interaction: Social media aspect in investing.

  • Fractional Shares: Allows small investments.

  • User-Friendly Interface: Suitable for beginners.

  • Premium Subscription: Enhanced features for serious investors.

Public.com offers a modern twist to investing by blending social networking with trading. The platform supports commission-free trading across a variety of assets, including fractional shares. Its social features offer a unique aspect to investment, allowing users to interact and share insights.
Public.com, established in 2017 and headquartered in New York, has redefined the investing experience by integrating social elements. The platform caters to both new and experienced investors, offering an engaging and educational trading environment.

Final Thoughts

In choosing between M1 Finance and its competitors, investors must consider their individual financial goals and preferences. M1 Finance is ideal for those seeking a low-cost, customizable, and automated investing solution. If this sounds good to you, click here to get started with M1 Finance.

On the other hand, platforms like SoFi Invest offer a mix of automated and active investing with additional advisory services, Acorns suits beginner investors looking for an effortless start, and Public.com appeals to those who value a community-driven and interactive investment experience. Each platform has its unique strengths, and the best choice will align with the investor's specific needs and approach.

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Jeremy Biberdorf

About the Author:

Jeremy Biberdorf is the founder of Modest Money. He’s a father of 2 beautiful girls, a dog owner, a long-time online entrepreneur and an investing enthusiast.