What are Robo Advisors and Which Ones Can I Use as a Non-Us Citizen?

Updated on April 4, 2024

At a Glance

  • A robo advisor is an online software that helps manage investment portfolios, serving as a digital substitute for financial advisors.
  • They use trading algorithms to make investment decisions and are affordable compared to human advisors.
  • While robo advisors can minimize tax losses and prevent emotional investing mistakes, some investors prefer human advisors for emotional support.
  • Fees for robo advisors include service fees and investment expenses, but many offer free trial periods.

Many non-U.S. citizens want to make investments, but do not know how. Now you have the chance to invest in software products called “robo advisors.” In this article, we are going to explain what robo advisors are and on top of that, we will give you various options on robo advisors as well as how you can invest using one.

What is a Robo Advisor?

A robo advisor is a new type of online software that can help you manage your investment portfolios. They were built for people who can’t afford to hire a financial advisor. They replace the financial advisor digitally and manage account services by trading algorithms rather than human input to actively buy and sell stocks and other assets. In addition, robo advisors make difficult investment decisions for people who don’t have an advanced understanding of how the market works.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Robo Advisor?

Compared to human financial advisors, robo advisors are cheap and offer services free of charge for clients. Apart from being cheap, they can help to minimize tax losses by implementing trading strategies that involve selling losing stocks and replacing them with similar stocks in the portfolio. One of the biggest benefits of using a robo advisor is to avoid costly investing mistakes. Investors make emotional decisions at market highs and market lows and based on gut feelings. Software does not make these kinds of mistakes. Another huge advantage is that they are easily accessible and you can simply log in online.

A problem with robo advisors is that sometimes it is easier for clients to simply talk to human financial advisors since human advisors can also deal with the emotional challenges of investing. For now, investors are still skeptical of robo advisors and a lot of millennials believe a robo advisor is more likely to lose.

What Fees are Involved When Using a Robo Advisor?

With robo advisors, you have to pay a service fee and expenses of the investments used. Some advisors offer fixed monthly rates between $15 to $200 per month depending on the size of your portfolio; some advisors offer fees as a percentage of your assets. Other fees you will have to pay are expenses associated with the investments used by the advisor, for example, mutual funds and exchange-traded funds. The good thing is that most of the robo advisors offer a free trial period, where you can see how everything works before you get charged.

The Best Robo Advisors for Your Investment

At the moment there are several robo advisor options on the market – here we have selected the top advisors for you. Some do require you to be a US citizen, but there are options open to everyone!

  1. Wealthfront

Wealthfront offers free management on the first $10,000 to $15,000 invested. Any individual over 18, who is a legal U.S. resident or a U.S. citizen (with a permanent U.S. address), and has a US social security number may open a Wealthfront account.

  1. Betterment

Betterment currently only operates in the United States and for regulatory reasons cannot accept international customers residing outside the United States. All customers must have a permanent U.S. address, a U.S. Social Security Number, and a checking account from a U.S. bank. Apart from that, they support residents in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. The company is the largest independent robo advisor and offers a powerful combination of goal-based tools, affordable management fees, and no account minimum.

  1. Vanguard Personal Advisor Services

Vanguard Personal Advisor Services advisor has a separate website for non-U.S. investors. Their account minimum is $50,000 and they provide low management fees for a hybrid advisor.

  1. Ellevest

This advisor markets itself to women and takes a goal-focused approach that factors in women’s lower incomes, lifetime earnings, and longer lifespans. With its $0 account minimum, competitive advisory fees (ranging from 0.25% – 0.5% of assets) and unlimited access to financial advisors, Ellevest is one of the most attractive robo advisors on the market. Ellevest is only able to provide investment advisory services to U.S. clients due to varying jurisdiction requirements. More specifically, Ellevest offers its services to any adult U.S. citizen (or U.S. Resident Foreign National) with a permanent U.S. residential address (not a P.O. Box) in the contiguous United States as well as Alaska and Hawaii. The person must also have a U.S. Social Security Number and a checking or savings account with a U.S. bank.

  1. Wealthsimple

Wealthsimple provides world-class and long-term investment management without high fees and account minimums associated with traditional investment managers. Their financial advisers are always available when you need them and they can help plan your financial milestones and answer questions you might have about potential risks or what sort of investment accounts you should have.

That wraps up the 5 best robo advisor options on the market right now! We hope this article has helped you understand what robo advisors are and which kind of robo advisors you can use as a non-U.S. citizen to invest! if you have any further questions or experiences you want to share on using a robo advisor please feel free to contact us. If you are ready to invest money, we wish you the best of luck creating your investment portfolio with a robo advisor! We hope you will gain some new experiences while investing. The future of investing looks good!

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Frank Gogol

I’m a firm believer that information is the key to financial freedom. On the Stilt Blog, I write about the complex topics — like finance, immigration, and technology — to help immigrants make the most of their lives in the U.S. Our content and brand have been featured in Forbes, TechCrunch, VentureBeat, and more.

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