Axos Invest â€” formerly known as WiseBanyan â€” calls itself â€śthe worldâ€™s first free financial advisor.â€ť Whether it was first is open to interpretation; however, itâ€™s true that this robo-advisor charges no fees for its most basic investing package. Axos Invest does charge fees for additional functionality beyond the basics, however, such as tax loss harvesting and premium portfolio options.
There is a low barrier to entry with Axos Invest, which only requires $1 to begin investing and has no minimum balance requirements. Users can tailor portfolios for retirement investing or more short-term goals, like saving money to pay for college. The Axos Invest algorithm selects investments tailored to your goals from a pool of over 1,400 low-cost exchange-traded funds (ETFs) spanning a variety of asset classes and market sectors.
The simple investment platform doesnâ€™t overwhelm and is easy to navigate, which is good for first-timers. The user-friendly interface complements the scaled-down fee structure, which may be suited to the investor who would prefer to keep things simple.
Axos Invest is a good option for new investors or anyone looking for a low-cost way to invest and manage a portfolio online. There arenâ€™t a lot of account options, however you get access to a variety of low-fee ETFs. The site allows you to work toward specific milestones, such as retirement planning, building up a rainy day fund, or buying a home.
For investors who feel they need tax loss harvesting, understand that Axos Invest charges fees for this key feature. Anyone interested in including other types of investments in their portfolio or integrating advice for other kinds of accounts, such as 401(k)s, may want to try a more full-featured option.
|Amount minimum to open account|
|Account fees (annual, transfer, inactivity)||
|Tax loss harvesting|
|Tax loss harvesting detail||WiseBanyan offers a Tax Protection package that includes tax loss harvesting, selective trading and automated IRA deposits.|
|Offers fractional shares|
|Ease of use|
|Mobile app||iOS, Android|
|Customer support||Phone, Chat, Email|
If you have at least $1 to invest, you can open a personal investment account with Axos. Investors can choose from these account types:
Axos Invest also allows you to roll over a 401(k), 403(b) or another qualified retirement plan into an IRA. If you have an IRA at another financial institution, that can be transferred over to Axos Invest as well.
All of these account types can be opened and maintained with no management fees. When you create a basic Core Portfolio, you pay no:
The absence of management fees sets Axos Invest apart from the vast majority of its robo-advisor competitors. Note that SoFi Automated Investing is one of the only other robo-advisors that charges no management fees.
Core Portfolio investors will still need to pay expense ratios for the ETFs that comprise their portfolios. Axos says it intentionally selects low-cost funds for its portfolios. As of September 2019, expense ratios for Core Portfolio ETFs ranged from 0.03% at the low end to 0.67% at the high end. ETFs held included in Custom and Featured Portfolios, which are part of the Portfolio Plus package, top out slightly higher, at 0.90%.
Fees may also apply for certain services rendered by Apex Clearing, the clearing firm used by Axos Invest. For example, thereâ€™s a $10 fee to close an IRA account and youâ€™ll pay $50 for outgoing wire transfers to foreign banks.
Axos Invest charges varying monthly fees for its three premium packages: Tax Protection, Portfolio Plus and Fast Money:
The Tax Protection package is available to help minimize your tax liability on your investments using three different strategies: WiseHarvesting, Selective Trading and IRAutomation.
WiseHarvesting: This is Axos Investâ€™s tax loss harvesting feature, which is meant to help investors offset portfolio gains by selling certain assets at a loss in order to gain certain tax benefits. Being able to deduct losses can help balance out the taxes you might owe for the year on capital gains in your portfolio. WiseHarvesting works to harvest losses automatically on a daily basis, with no trading fees and wash sale protection built-in.
Selective Trading: This allows you to avoid wash sales when harvesting tax losses. A wash sale happens when you sell one stock to harvest a loss, then buy another substantially similar stock to replace it. In a nutshell, if the IRS views a loss harvesting transaction as a wash sale, you wonâ€™t be able to take advantage of the tax deduction for the loss.
IRAutomation: You can use this tool to choose an appropriate IRA, manage and maximize your annual contributions and/or manage the conversion process if youâ€™re switching from a traditional to a Roth account.
Portfolio Plus allows you to create Custom and/or Featured Portfolios using an expanded list of investments beyond whatâ€™s available with the Core Portfolio account. This add-on lets you address specific investment goals or simply broaden your horizons when it comes to diversification. Some of the additional securities you can invest in include real estate investment trusts (REITs), Treasury Inflation Protected Securities (TIPS) and municipal bonds. You can create an unlimited number of Custom Portfolios and modify them as needed.
Featured Portfolios are pre-designed portfolios created by the Axos Invest team. Theyâ€™re also customizable, since you can add or remove assets within a portfolio at any time.
Fast Money lets you schedule same-day deposits into your account, apply new deposits to your investments right away or create an automatic schedule for recurring deposits.
All investments carry risk and Axos Invest attempts to minimize that risk by insuring investor accounts. The robo-advisor is a member of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC), which protects securities customers of its members up to $500,000.
Axos Invest is a good option for a new investor or anyone looking for a low-cost way to invest and manage a portfolio online. Axos Invest offers automatic rebalancing and access to a significant number of low-fee ETFs. The robo-advisor allows you to work toward specific milestones, such as retirement planning, building up a rainy day fund, or buying a home or vehicle. Itâ€™s economical investing, without a lot of flashy bells and whistles.
That said, for someone looking specifically for tax loss harvesting, Axos Investâ€™s fees are comparable to other robo-advisors that include it in their service offerings. Anyone interested in including other types of investments in their portfolio, integrating advice for other kinds of accounts, not to mention access to advanced investment analysis or education tools, may want to try a more full-featured option.
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