M1 Finance Review 2024 - Stock Investing Automated

From portfolio customization to automated management, discover how M1 Finance is transforming the world of investing. Learn why this platform is a game-changer for beginners and experienced investors alike.

Picture this—Automated investing that not only simplifies your portfolio but also hands you the wheel to tailor your investment strategy.
M1 Finance
M1 Finance
★★★★☆ | 4.6 / 5
 
Beautiful Interface
Automated Portfolios
Beginner Friendly
Limited Trading Features
 
M1 Finance is a platform that blends the best of robo-advisors and online trading brokerages.
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With their unique 'Pie' investment portfolios, automated portfolio management, and a suite of integrated financial services, M1 combines the ease of modern technology with the tools necessary for getting the most out of your portfolio.
Whether you’re investing for yourself, saving for retirement, or opening an investment account for your children, M1 caters to a variety of needs, all under the umbrella of a single user-friendly experience.

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Key Takeaways

  • M1 Finance offers a customizable investing experience through its unique 'Pie' portfolios.
  • The platform combines automated investing with the flexibility of selecting individual stocks and ETFs.
  • M1 provides investment features for both new and experienced investors.
Try M1 Finance, and get a special sign-up bonus here.
Try M1 Finance, and get a special sign-up bonus here.

What Is M1 Finance?

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If you've ever wanted a mix of do-it-yourself investing and professional portfolio management, M1 Finance might just be what you're looking for.
Imagine being able to craft your investment portfolio with slices of stocks and exchange-traded funds (ETFs), just like pieces of a pie.
That's where M1's custom "pies" come into play, allowing you to mix and match over 6,000 stocks and ETFs to suit your financial goals.
You can start with a pre-built pie catering to various investment strategies or get creative by building your own.
Whether you're curious about tech stocks, eager to delve into index fund ETFs, or looking to spread out with a diverse investment portfolio, M1 Finance keeps it simple and automated.
Think of it as your personal robo-advisor with a twist—it's hands-off yet customizable.
The platform is well known for its intuitive interface, making it easy to use whether you're at your desk or on the go with its mobile app.

How Does M1 Finance Work?

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M1 Finance stands out as a hybrid between your hands-on investment app and an automated robo-advisor that does the heavy lifting when it comes to managing your portfolio.
Think of it as a DIY buffet where you can pick and choose your favorite stocks and ETFs, including fractional shares, to craft your personalized investment "Pie."
M1’s investment pies are a visual representation that makes investing intuitive and straightforward.
With access to thousands of stocks and ETFs at your fingertips, you're free to tailor your investments or rely on M1's pre-built Pies that align with different investment objectives.
With M1’s portfolio rebalancing feature, if one slice of your Pie outgrows the others, M1 automatically rebalances it, keeping your goals on track without you lifting a finger.

M1 Finance's Best Features

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User-Friendly Interface

Imagine a dashboard so intuitive that you feel like an investment pro from day one. M1 Finance's interfaces on both desktop and mobile are streamlined, presenting clear metrics and navigation that make managing your investments a breeze.

Commission-Free Trades

Think about growing your portfolio without annoying trading fees eating into your returns. M1 Finance lets you trade stocks and ETFs without any commission fees, which is ideal for keeping costs down.

Fractional Shares

M1 Finance lets you purchase fractional shares, making it possible to own a piece of big-name stocks with the amount of money you're comfortable investing.

Automatic Rebalancing

Your investment goals stay on track automatically with M1's dynamic one-click rebalancing. Whenever you deposit or withdraw cash, or when the markets shake things up, M1 adjusts your portfolio to align with your original strategy.

Smart Transfers

This neat feature streamlines how you move your money around. M1 Finance can automatically transfer your funds based on the rules you set, ensuring your money is always working for you.

M1 High-Yield Savings Account

Keeping your money in M1's savings account could fetch you higher interest rates compared to traditional banks. This feature integrates with your investment portfolio, keeping your money fluid for investing opportunities.

M1 Borrow

M1 gives you the flexibility to borrow against your investment portfolio at competitive rates. You can use up to 40% of your portfolio's value for anything from ramping up investments to taking care of unplanned expenses.

Custodial Accounts

Set up custodial accounts for your children with M1 Finance and the investment account automatically transfers to them once they come of age—(18-25, depending on your state).
Try M1 Finance, and get a special sign-up bonus here.
Try M1 Finance, and get a special sign-up bonus here.

User Experience

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When navigating M1 Finance you’ll notice a blend of automation with a personal touch. You'd expect managing your wealth to be a chore, but with M1, it feels more like piecing together your financial future—literally.
Their "Pies" feature lets you craft a portfolio as unique as your goals, peppered with a mix of stocks, ETFs, and even the option to add crypto.
Imagine having over 6,000 stocks and ETFs at your fingertips, and with one-click rebalancing, you're ensuring your investments are always aligned with your strategy.
Not just that, but should the need arise, M1 Borrow invites you to borrow against your portfolio, adding a layer of flexibility.
Now, if you're the kind who's always on the move, the M1 app for iOS and Android won't disappoint. It mirrors the desktop experience, so you can manage your investments without skipping a beat. The interface? It's crisp, clean, and designed with easy navigation in mind.

Investments Available

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Whether you're eyeing the stock market's leading stocks or the steady climb of ETFs, you'll find over 6,000 stocks and ETFs from the NYSE and NASDAQ to choose from.
If you're looking to diversify beyond the usual, M1 even offers a curated selection of Over-the-Counter (OTC) securities.
For those pricey stocks you’ve considering investing in, fractional shares can make them more reachable for your wallet.
It is important to note that when buying or selling stocks on M1, they have a morning trading window that streamlines all buy and sell orders once per day.
For M1 Plus members, you gain access to an additional afternoon trading window each day.

M1 Crypto

If the cryptocurrency landscape is where you want to plant your flag, M1 Finance also lets you add select crypto to your portfolio such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin.
M1’s Crypto integration makes it simple for you to mix traditional investments with digital assets all in one place.

Minimum Investment Required

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You can get started investing on M1 with just $100.
The minimum investment required to start investing on M1 Finance is $100 for individual brokerage, joint brokerage, custodial, and crypto accounts.
For retirement accounts such as Traditional IRAs and Roth IRAs, the minimum initial investment is $500.
Try M1 Finance, and get a special sign-up bonus here.
Try M1 Finance, and get a special sign-up bonus here.

Account Types

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Whether you're just starting or building on an existing portfolio, there's something for everyone.
Individual Brokerage Account: their core account that lets you invest in stocks, ETFs, crypto, and more.
Joint Brokerage Account: Investing with a partner? This account lets two people manage and own an investment portfolio together, perfect for shared financial goals.
Custodial Account: If you’re thinking of giving the gift of investment to a minor, this type of account lets an adult manage the young investor's portfolio until they come of age.
Retirement Accounts: M1 Finance offers several IRAs to help you prepare for your golden years:
  • Traditional IRA: Make contributions before taxes and pay taxes upon withdrawal in retirement, capturing potential tax savings now.
  • Roth IRA: With this account, you pay taxes on contributions upfront, but you can look forward to tax-free withdrawals on qualifying distributions.
  • SEP IRA: Self-employed or running a small business? This account is designed just for you, helping to build retirement savings with potentially higher contribution limits.
For those interested in managing investments for a larger purpose or legacy, M1’s Trust Accounts enable you to do just that, acting as a trustee.
And let's not overlook the M1 High-Yield Savings Account—an integrated savings account where your uninvested cash can grow with competitive interest rates while backed by FDIC insurance for peace of mind.

Is M1 Finance Safe?

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Yes, as a member of SIPC (Securities Investor Protection Corporation), M1 Finance is SIPC insured against brokerage failure. Securities in member's accounts are protected up to $500,000, including up to $250,000 for cash.
SIPC insurance is investor protection for investment brokerages.
Additionally, as a platform regulated by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), M1 Finance must follow strict regulations designed to protect investors, adding another level of security to your transactions.
The M1 High-Yield Savings Account is furnished by B2 Bank and is FDIC-insured for up to $5 million through B2 Bank's Insured Deposit Network Program.

Pricing and Plans

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M1 Finance offers commission-free trading of stocks and ETFs, meaning there are no charges for buying or selling these securities.
This makes M1 an ideal investing platform for new investors looking to grow a stock portfolio without pesky fees eating away at your returns.
If cryptocurrencies are your thing, there's no commission, but a fixed 1% fee from Apex Crypto is woven into your transaction price.
For those looking to get even more value out of M1 Finance, they also offer a premium membership called M1 Plus.

M1 Plus

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M1 Plus is a premium membership that costs $3 a month. It offers additional benefits such as a second trading window for stocks and ETFs, on-demand trading for crypto, and other perks and discounts.
Some of the key benefits include:
High-Yield Savings Account: M1 Plus members have access to the M1 High-Yield Savings Account, which offers an industry-leading 5.0% APY.
Cash Back Rewards: M1 Plus members can earn up to 10% cash back on purchases with 70+ brands included in the Owner's Rewards program, and 1.5% standard cash back on everything else.
Extended Trading Window: M1 Plus members have exclusive access to M1 Finance’s additional afternoon trading window, which begins at 3pm ET.
Discounted Borrowing Terms: M1 Plus members receive a 1.50% discount compared to non-Plus members on margin loans. M1 Borrow allows you to borrow up to 40% of your portfolio's value
Increased Daily Transfer Limits: M1 Plus members have a higher daily transfer limit of $50,000 compared to $10,000 for non-members.
Higher Reward Tiers with the Owner's Rewards Card by M1: As a M1 Plus member you can earn up to 10% cash back at select merchants and 1.5% back on all other purchases.
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If you’re not sure if M1 Plus is for you, a nice perk for M1 users is that you can test drive M1 Plus for free with a 3-month free trial.

M1 Owner's Rewards Card

The Owner's Rewards Card by M1 is a credit card that offers tiered cash-back rewards for purchases made with popular brands. The card is designed to integrate with your M1 portfolio, allowing you to grow your wealth long-term.
M1 Plus members can earn up to 10% cash back at over 70 popular brands and a solid 1.5% back on all other purchases.
The tiered rewards program includes grocery stores, travel companies, fuel brands, and restaurants, among many others.
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Any cash back you earn seamlessly flows into your M1 Invest account. This way, your everyday purchases actively contribute to your financial growth, turning spending into saving.
The card has no annual fee, but to get the highest rewards rates, you need to join the M1 Plus premium membership.
The Owner's Rewards Card by M1 is unique in that it rewards you for spending money with the companies you invest in.
This approach allows you to save on your purchases, support the businesses you have a financial stake in, and increase your ownership along the way.

Pros and Cons

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Pros

  • No Trading or Management Fees: M1 Finance does not charge fees for trading or account management, making it a cost-effective option for many investors.
  • Customizable Portfolios: M1 Finance allows you to create custom portfolios, or "Pies", with stocks, ETFs, and even cryptocurrencies. This gives you a high degree of control over your investments.
  • Automated Portfolio Management: Once you set your portfolio, M1 Finance automates the management of your investments, including rebalancing.
  • All-In-One Convenience: Juggling multiple accounts can be a headache. M1 serves up investing, borrowing, and banking all on one platter. Plus, if you need some cash, M1 Borrow offers margin loans with competitive rates, providing a source of liquidity for your long-term investments.

Cons

  • Limited Trading Capabilities: M1 Finance is not designed for active trading. It does not offer options trading or multiple trades per day, which may not suit active traders.
  • No Tax-Loss Harvesting: Unlike some robo-advisors, M1 Finance does not offer tax-loss harvesting, a strategy that can help reduce taxes on your investment gains.
  • Can’t Buy Bonds: M1 Finance does not offer the ability to buy bonds, which may be a disadvantage for investors looking to diversify their stock portfolios.

Who is M1 Finance Ideal For?

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Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced investor, M1 Finance is a good fit for investors who want to automate most of their investments, earn competitive interest rates on their uninvested cash, and have access to borrowing against your portfolio’s value all under one roof.
M1 is ideal for long-term investors who prefer a hands-off approach but still want control over customizing their portfolios.
The platform is especially suited for those who appreciate a clean and easy-to-use interface that allows you to create custom portfolios, or "Pies," with stocks, ETFs, and even cryptocurrencies.
The platform's automated portfolio management feature ensures that once you set your portfolio, M1 Finance automates the management of your investments, including rebalancing.

M1 Finance Alternatives

M1 is a versatile app for investors, but let's explore a few other players in the space.
Acorns: Acorns is a beginner-friendly investing app that invests your spare change, automates your investments, and offers pre-built and diversified expert portfolios.
Acorns: Acorns is a beginner-friendly investing app that invests your spare change, automates your investments, and offers pre-built and diversified expert portfolios.
Stash: Stash is a user-friendly investing app that offers Smart Portfolios, investing automation tools, and a cash back card that earns you stock rewards in real companies from your purchases.
Stash: Stash is a user-friendly investing app that offers Smart Portfolios, investing automation tools, and a cash back card that earns you stock rewards in real companies from your purchases.
SoFi Invest: SoFi Invest is an versatile investing app offering a variety of investment options, including stocks, ETFs, and even cryptocurrencies, allowing you to diversify your portfolio to suit your goals and risk tolerance.
SoFi Invest: SoFi Invest is an versatile investing app offering a variety of investment options, including stocks, ETFs, and even cryptocurrencies, allowing you to diversify your portfolio to suit your goals and risk tolerance.
Here’s a quick recap to keep things simple:
Platform
Features
Who it's for
M1 Finance
Smart portfolios, fractional shares
All investors
Acorns
Automated portfolios, beginner-friendly
Beginner investors
Stash
Automated tools, investing themes
Passive investors
SoFi Invest
Diversified portfolios, automated investing
Passive investors

Final Thoughts

Managing your investments with M1 Finance means you get a blend of automated investing with the flexibility to hand-pick your stock portfolio.
Its innovative investment method, where you can create "Slices" to devise a personalized "Pie," gives you a unique way to invest.
You're in the driver's seat, but with technology as your co-pilot, making sure you stay on course with your financial goals.
Try M1 Finance, and get a special sign-up bonus here.
Try M1 Finance, and get a special sign-up bonus here.

Frequently Asked Questions

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Is M1 Finance ideal for passive investing?
Definitely. If you want to set your investments and mostly forget them, M1 Finance might just be your ticket. With the platform's automated portfolio rebalancing, you can craft your financial "Pie" and let M1 adjust it to stay on course with your goals.
What are the most attractive features of M1 Finance for new investors?
Ease-of-use is the hallmark of M1 Finance for newbies. You can start with a low-cost investment strategy with no minimum balances and zero monthly fees. The Pie-based investment model makes it simple to allocate and manage your investments, so you won't feel overwhelmed.
Is M1 Finance ideal for dividend investors?
Yes, if you're keen on earning dividends, M1 Finance suits you nicely. They facilitate reinvestment of dividends back into your Pie, allowing your investment to compound and potentially grow faster.
What advantages does M1 Finance offer over its competitors such as Fidelity?
M1 Finance shines by offering a unique blend of automated investing with customizable Pies. This setup allows you to have more control over your investments than some traditional brokers, without drowning in complexity.
In comparison with Robinhood, what makes M1 Finance the preferred choice for investors?
While Robinhood appeals with its simple stock trading app, M1 Finance brings more to the table for those looking for a long-term, passive investment strategy. The Pie system, combined with automatic rebalancing, appeals to investors who want a portfolio that aligns precisely with their investment goals.