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Which Platform Ought to You Select?


Jun 16, 2022

Wealthfront vs. Vanguard: The most important variations

Wealthfront and Vanguard supply a number of funding selections and account sorts for retail buyers. However whereas Vanguard is an

on-line brokerage

, with each DIY and automatic investing, Wealthfront solely offers automated portfolio administration.

You will pay much less to arrange an automatic investing account at Wealthfront (it has a $500 minimal; Vanguard Digital Advisor and Vanguard Private Advisor Providers require $3,000 and $50,000, respectively), however your general funding choice will likely be extra restricted in comparison with Vanguard’s. 

Vanguard is finest for many forms of buyers, because it provides entry to shares, ETFs, choices, mutual funds, and way more. If you happen to’re a hands-off investor strictly in the hunt for robo-advice, Wealthfront is the higher selection. The account additionally provides an funding kind that Vanguard’s equal accounts do not: crypto trusts.

Is Wealthfront best for you?

Wealthfront is an automatic investing platform (aka “robo-advisor“) providing particular person and joint funding accounts, IRAs, 529 plans, trusts, and money accounts.

It stands out from different standard automated accounts as a result of its funding choice is made up of extra than simply ETFs; Wealthfront additionally provides crypto trusts (e.g., the Grayscale Bitcoin Belief [GBTC] and the Grayscale Ethereum Belief [ETHE]) and index funds. And it employs a number of methods — together with tax-loss harvesting, US Direct Indexing, Threat Parity Funds, and Sensible Beta investing — to construct wealth for its customers.

Have in mind, nevertheless, that you’re going to want a minimal stability of $100,000 to make use of US direct indexing (previously often known as stock-level tax-loss harvesting) and danger parity. You will want a minimum of $500,000 for good beta methods. Wealthfront says good beta goals to extend your returns by weighting your portfolio’s investments extra strategically.

With tax-loss harvesting, the


goals to reduce taxes you owe by capturing losses in your portfolio. The identical goes for its US direct indexing technique, besides this technique strives to seize losses on shares inside an index, based on Wealthfront. The danger parity fund, nevertheless, strictly goals to extend your risk-adjusted returns.

Funding Varieties

ETFs, index funds, and crypto trusts

Funding Varieties

ETFs, index funds, and crypto trusts


  • Low annual price for funding accounts; crypto belief investments accessible
  • Tax-loss harvesting, portfolio strains of credit score, 529 school financial savings plans accessible
  • Money account
  • Cellular app and investing and retirement instruments


  • You want a minimum of $100,000 to make the most of extra funding methods
  • No human advisor entry

Learn Our Evaluate
Learn Our Evaluate A looong arrow, pointing proper

Extra Data

  • Think about it if: You are balancing a number of objectives and need to streamline your funds.

Is Vanguard best for you?

Relationship again to 1975, Vanguard is a web-based brokerage with particular person and joint accounts, automated investing accounts and managed portfolios, trusts, custodial accounts, IRAs, and way more.

In contrast to Wealthfront, Vanguard provides an enormous number of self-directed funding accounts. Which means that you will make the buying and selling selections on your account, versus these utilizing robo-advisors. 

The web brokerage additionally provides commission-free shares, ETFs, and choices, and also you need not meet a minimal account measurement requirement to commerce with a self-directed account. You will primarily run under consideration minimums for Vanguard’s automated and advisor-guided accounts, Vanguard Digital Advisor and Vanguard Private Advisor Providers.

Account Minimal

$0 ($3,000 for Vanguard Digital Advisor; $50,000 for Vanguard Private Advisor Providers)


0% (0.20% to 0.30% for professionally managed portfolios)

Funding Varieties

Shares, ETFs, choices, bonds, mutual funds, and CDs

Account Minimal

$0 ($3,000 for Vanguard Digital Advisor; $50,000 for Vanguard Private Advisor Providers)


0% (0.20% to 0.30% for professionally managed portfolios)

Funding Varieties

Shares, ETFs, choices, bonds, mutual funds, and CDs


  • Fee-free shares, ETFs, and choices
  • Brokerage, automated, and advisor-managed accounts accessible
  • Hundreds of low-cost mutual funds
  • A number of sources with skilled evaluation and market insights
  • A number of retirement accounts and companies for retirement plan contributors


  • Larger choices contract price than different low cost brokerages (Vanguard costs $1 per choices contract)
  • No separate buying and selling platforms for superior merchants; no fractional shares
  • No cryptocurrencies

Learn Our Evaluate
Learn Our Evaluate A looong arrow, pointing proper

Extra Data

  • Promotion: None right now.
  • App retailer ranking: 4.7 iOS/ 1.8 Android
  • Think about it if: You are a long-term centered investor searching for entry to a wide range of account sorts and funding selections.

Wealthfront vs. Vanguard — Incessantly requested questions (FAQ)

Is Vanguard higher than Wealthfront?

Vanguard provides each a wider vary of funding sorts and accounts than Wealthfront. Plus, its product choice consists of each self-directed funding accounts and automatic or advisor-guided accounts. It is a greater possibility for a lot of buyers.

Wealthfront, however, most accurately fits robo-forward buyers who need to construct wealth by way of automated investing accounts. As well as (and since Wealthfront is solely designed for robo-advice), you’ll make the most of tax-loss harvesting, direct indexing methods, crypto investments, and way more.

The only option for you depends upon your investing objectives and preferences. 

Is Wealthfront well worth the price?

That depends upon what you are searching for. If you need the choice to put money into property like ETFs, index funds, and crypto trusts (and you do not thoughts its $500 minimal and 0.25% price), Wealthfront is a aggressive selection. The platform additionally offers tax-loss harvesting, direct indexing, and way more.

Prices additionally embrace its fund charges which vary from 0.06% to 0.13%. Rates of interest for portfolio strains of credit score (this product permits you to borrow as much as 30% of your funding account) span from 3.15% to 4.40%.

If you happen to’re planning on saving on your kid’s schooling prices, you may open up its automated 529 plan. Charges for these accounts might be as excessive as 0.46%, however you will get tax-free withdrawals within the course of.

Are you able to lose cash with Wealthfront?

Sure. Like all funding platform that gives investments, no safety you buy is resistant to market fluctuations and


How a lot cash do it’s worthwhile to open a Vanguard account?

You need not meet a minimal to open a Vanguard self-directed brokerage account. On the subject of automated investing, although, you will want a minimum of $3,000 for Vanguard Digital Advisor and a minimal of $50,000 for Vanguard Private Advisor Providers.

Is Vanguard good for newbies?

Each accounts are nice choices for newbies or those that do not need to commerce with out the insights of an skilled. The primary, Vanguard Digital Advisor, invests your cash right into a diversified mix of Vanguard ETFs. Expense ratios symbolize the extra annual charges funds cost buyers, and Vanguard’s ETFs have a median 0.6%

expense ratio

. As well as, this account has a $3,000 account minimal and 0.20% annual price.

Vanguard Private Advisor Providers, however, combines automated portfolio administration with one-on-one advisor steerage. The account offers you entry to a Vanguard


advisor, and it has a $50,000 minimal and 0.30% annual price.

On the retirement facet, Vanguard one-ups Wealthfront. Wealthfront solely provides conventional IRAs, Roth IRAs, and SEP IRAs. Vanguard provides these accounts along with SIMPLE IRAs, particular person 401(okay)s, and a number of All-in-One retirement funds.

Plus, it has a number of sources — similar to an investor schooling library and “Information & Views” hub — that assist newcomers and newbies get acclimated to investing.

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