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Best Managed Investment Accounts (compared)

George Sweeney, DipFA| Updated January 23rd, 2024

With so many options available to investors, finding the best managed investment accounts can sometimes feel like searching for a needle in a haystack. If you’re keen on investing but don’t want the hassle of choosing assets and monitoring everything yourself, a managed investment account can be an affordable alternative.

Gone are the days when you’d have to pay through the nose for an expertly managed portfolio. You don’t even have to sit down with a wealth manager or even pick up the phone and call; you can arrange this service right at your fingertips on your phone, tablet, or computer. 

In this article, we’ll run you through the best managed investment accounts available. We’ll explain what makes them valuable, the benefits, how they compare, and also if there are any drawbacks.

Best Managed Investment Accounts

eToro | Best for 0% commission on stocks and ETFs

Established in 2007, eToro is a fintech company that allows investors to invest in multiple assets safely. It also offers several managed ‘Smart Portfolios’ curated by eToro analysts with no management fees.
Disclaimer: eToro is a multi-asset investment platform. The value of your investments may go up or down. Your capital is at risk.

Interactive Brokers | Best for global mutual funds

Founded in the US, Interactive Brokers (IBKR) is one of the largest brokerage platforms in the world. It’s best known as a trading platform, but it also offers investors the option for managed accounts from the mutual fund marketplace or using ‘model portfolios’.

M1 Finance | Best for account options

M1 is an all-in-one finance app that allows you to save, spend, invest, and borrow. It offers a managed service through its ‘Pies” feature, which allows you to create your own portfolio of stock and ETFs or use ‘Expert Pies’.

Wealthfront | Best for personalised portfolios

With Wealthfront, you can invest in one of its expert-built portfolios based on your attitude towards risk. Once you’ve found the perfect portfolio, you can customise it or let the experts handle everything. It’s an excellent way to diversify and invest passively.

Betterment | Best for automated investing

A low-cost broker with a simple fee structure, Betterment offers investors the ability to use expert-built portfolios that are tax-efficient and optimised on an ongoing basis. For those who want even more support, there’s also the option to pay for a ‘Premium’ service that involves a team of advisors.

TD Ameritrade | Best for investment selection

Best-known for its zero-commission trading, TD Ameritrade offers a vast range of choices with low fees. For investors wanting a managed investment account, you can use mutual funds or opt for the automated investing service if you want a complete hands-off experience.

How the Best Managed Investment Accounts Compare

Broker Minimum Deposit Management fees Managed investment choice Commission for investing in the portfolios
eToro $500 $0 65 Smart Portfolios $0
Interactive Brokers $0 Depends on fund 48,000 mutual funds $14.95 or 3% of transaction (whichever is lower)
M1 Finance $100 $0 80 Expert pies $0
Wealthfront $500 0.25% 17 global asset classes $0
Betterment $0 $4/month (or 0.25% annually) 10 ready-made portfolios (+flexible option) $0
TD Ameritrade $5,000 for automated investing, $0 for mutual funds 0.3% for automated investing (minimum $75/year), mutual fund depends on choice 7 managed portfolios, 13,000 mutual funds 0%

Best Managed Investment Accounts Reviewed

#1 eToro

Best Managed Investment Accounts (compared) 1
Visit eToroBest Managed Investment Accounts (compared) 2

76% of retail CFD accounts lose money.

eToro at a glance

Managed investments availableSmart Portfolios
Fees0% commission (underlying transactions incur eToro’s spreads)
Minimum deposit$500
Number of managed options65
etoro smart portfolios

eToro was founded in 2007. It’s famous not only for allowing investors to buy and sell financial instruments but also for its social (copy) trading features. Today, it’s one of the most well-known social trading brokers, with over 30 million users worldwide.

However, most people don’t know that eToro also offers a range of Smart Portfolios managed by eToro’s expert analysts, and they cost nothing to buy or sell. There are over 65 portfolios to choose from, with themes ranging from ‘utilities’ to ‘AI revolution’ – and everything in between.

We think eToro is one of the best managed investment accounts available because it costs nothing to open and hold an account on the platform, and the fact that there are no management fees with the smart portfolios is hard to beat. The only downside is that you don’t get any guidance in picking your ready-made portfolios, and you’ll have to decide which investments you want.

Disclaimer: The value of your investments may go up or down. Your capital is at risk. Crypto assets are highly volatile and unregulated. No consumer protection. Tax on profits may apply

#2 Interactive Brokers

Best Managed Investment Accounts (compared) 3
Visit Interactive BrokersBest Managed Investment Accounts (compared) 2

Interactive Brokers at a glance

Managed investments availableMutual funds and model portfolios
Fees$14.95 or 3% of the transaction (whichever is lower) and 19,000+ free options
Minimum deposit$0
Number of managed options48,000+ mutual funds
interactive brokers mutual fund marketplace

Interactive Brokers was founded in 1978 and is one of the world’s largest investment brokerages. Interactive Brokers (IBKR) is listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange and has a proven history of reliability through all sorts of economic turmoil.

IBKR is a highly comprehensive brokerage platform with access to thousands of assets in global markets. We’ve selected Interactive Brokers as one of the best managed investment accounts because it offers an unparalleled selection of over 48,000 mutual funds from over 550 fund families, including Vanguard, Invesco, Schroders, and many more. 

For over 19,000 of these funds, there are no transaction costs. For the rest, the fee is 3% of the transaction or $14.95 (whichever is lower). Alongside the huge range of managed mutual funds, there’s also the option to create a model portfolio, although you might need a financial advisor to set this up. If you’d like to learn more, check out our full Interactive Brokers review.

#3 M1 Finance

M1 Finance
Visit M1 FinanceBest Managed Investment Accounts (compared) 2

M1 Finance at a glance

Managed investments availableMutual funds and model portfolios
Fees$0
Minimum deposit$100 ($500 for retirement accounts)
Number of managed options80 Expert pies
m1 finance homepage

M1 Finance is a pretty new investment platform and was founded in 2016 to shake up the portfolio management market. Although it lacks other options, we think it’s one of the best managed investment accounts available because it has extremely low fees and an excellent app.

On top of the ‘expert pies’, you can also create your own if you don’t want someone else managing your investments. Another reason M1 Finance is a top pick is that, alongside the managed investment accounts, you can keep all your finances under one roof if you want. 

It offers savings accounts, credit and checking cards, retirement accounts, cryptocurrency wallets, and even personal loans.

#4 Wealthfront

Best Managed Investment Accounts (compared) 6
Visit WealthfrontBest Managed Investment Accounts (compared) 2

Wealthfront at a glance

Managed investments availableManaged robo-advisor portfolios
Fees0.25% management fee
Minimum deposit$500
Number of managed optionsPersonalised portfolio from up to 17 global asset classes
wealthfront hompage

Wealthfront was founded in 2008 as a mutual fund analysis company but decided to pivot into asset management with an innovative tax-loss harvesting service. Today, the company offers a comprehensive service to investors and savers looking to invest in stocks, bonds, and funds. 

We selected Wealthfront as one of the best managed investment accounts because it offers a personalised robo-advisor service with a simple ongoing fee of 0.25%. The minimum deposit of $500 is slightly higher than with some other managed platforms, but it’s not unachievable for those investing long-term. 

The basic strategy behind Wealthfront’s managed investment accounts is using different types of index funds across a range of assets to help you build wealth. Along with the robo-advisor service, Wealthfront also allows you to invest in individual stocks with just $1 and zero commissions. The added option for a cash account that earns interest is great if you want to keep some funds aside as a hedge.

#5 Betterment

Best Managed Investment Accounts (compared) 8
Visit BettermentBest Managed Investment Accounts (compared) 2

Betterment at a glance

Managed investments availableAutomated robo-advisor portfolios
Fees0.25% annual management fee (or $4/month) 0.15% add-on for Premium upgrade
Minimum deposit$0
Number of managed options10 ready-made portfolios (and a flexible option)
betterment homepage

Betterment started in 2010 and has amassed over 800,000 customers with over $40 billion in assets under management. It offers a full suite of services, including robo-advisor investment portfolios, retirement accounts, and cash accounts (checking and saving).

In terms of its service, Betterment has a similar offering to Wealthfront. We picked Betterment as one of the best managed accounts available because it’s a great way to automate your investments while still maintaining some control.

If you don’t want to choose one of the pre-made portfolios, you have the option to customise one to your preferences. There’s no minimum deposit, and the ongoing fee of $4/month (changing to 0.25% once you hit $20,000 or set up $250/month recurring deposits) provides excellent value for such a well-rounded platform. You can even add unlimited financial guidance from a CFP when upgrading to Premium with a 0.15% add-on fee.

#6 TD Ameritrade

Best Managed Investment Accounts (compared) 10
Visit TD AmeritradeBest Managed Investment Accounts (compared) 2

TD Ameritrade at a glance

Managed investments availableAutomated robo-advisor portfolios and mutual funds
Fees0.3% annual management fee (minimum $75/year) for managed portfolios 0% commission for mutual funds
Minimum deposit$5,000 managed portfolio/$0 mutual funds
Number of managed options7 ready-made portfolios and 13,000 mutual funds
td ameritrade automated investing

TD Ameritrade is an online stock broker that’s been around since 2006 (although Ameritrade dates back to 1971). The brokerage was sold by TD Bank to Charles Schwab in 2020, and the transition is due to be completed this year. 

We picked TD Ameritrade as one of the best managed investment accounts because it provides decent value for managed portfolios with a reputable brand. It also offers a massive range of over 13,000 mutual funds with no commissions or minimum deposit. If you want to upgrade from funds and robo-advisor portfolios, you can invest in everything from stocks to cryptocurrency. 

The fees for TD Ameritrade aren’t the cheapest, and the $5,000 minimum deposit for a managed portfolio is much higher than some competitors. Nevertheless, it deserves a spot on this list as one of the best managed investment accounts available because of its top-notch service and quality reputation.

The Bottom Line on Managed Investment Accounts

The best managed investment account for you will depend on your investing style. Knowing whether you want the lowest fees, the biggest choice of investments or the slickest interface will help determine the right brokerage. 

Although it can cost a little more for a managed investment account, the fees you’ll pay are much lower than past charges for accessing expert management from skilled advisors. Here’s a quick summary of our top picks for the best managed investment accounts available:

Best Managed Investment Accounts

#1 eToro Best for 0% commission on stocks and ETFs
#2 Interactive Brokers Best for global mutual funds
#3 M1 Finance Best for account options
#4 Wealthfront Best for personalised portfolios
#5 Betterment Best for automated investing
#6 TD Ameritrade Best for investment selection

FAQs

Are managed investment accounts worth it?

They can be, but it depends on what you want from your investments. If you’re happy to pay a fee to let someone else manage things, they can be great. However, it’s often worth using a cheaper brokerage where possible. Otherwise, your profits will erode over time.

What is the best investment account to use?

This will depend on the type of investor you are and what your goals are. Whether you want to be actively involved or prefer a more passive approach will also help determine the best account for you. 

What is the best way to manage my investments?

Some people like a hands-on approach where you get to control everything yourself. But for others, that’s too much effort, and they’d rather pay an added fee to have investing experts take the reins. 

Which investment account has the highest return?

Unfortunately, there’s no clear winner for this. It depends on the timeframe you’re looking at. An investment account that’s performed well in the past year may have had terrible performance over the last 10 years and vice versa.

George Sweeney, DipFA
Contributor

George is a freelance writer and qualified financial advisor who focuses on educating others in personal finance and investing. His work has been featured on The Motley Fool, Finder, Freetrade, Yahoo Finance, MoneyMagpie, and Online Mortgage Advisor.‍

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