The title already gives a clue on whether Wealthfront is available or not in Europe. Yeah, you guessed it, Wealthfront is not available in Europe. At the “Help Center” on their website, you will find the following statement: “We currently require all Wealthfront clients to have a U.S. social security number, a permanent U.S. residential address, and currently reside in the U.S. due to financial regulations. We cannot support clients residing outside of the U.S.(…)”.
On top of that, they have no current plans to expand internationally. It’s’ a pity, we know… But there are some solid alternatives! Keep on reading. We’ve’ got you covered!
What is Wealthfront?
You are likely to have been searching for Wealthfront on Google, so we will give you a quick insight into why this platform has brought so much excitement in the U.S.
Wealthfront is a U.S.-based fintech start-up created by venture capitalist Andy Rachleff, who is currently the company’s CEO. Wealthfront is described as a Robo-Advisor, and it was even ranked as the #1 Robo-Advisor 2023 by Investopedia! Nonetheless, their services include a wide range of products, such as:
- Banking: It allows you to earn an annual percentage yield (APY) of 4.55% on your cash balance, get cash from 19.000 ATMs, and pay bills with your debit card (VISA);
- Investing: A pure passive approach is used in your investments. Essentially, your money is put to work automatically while keeping costs low (only 0.25%/annually) and taxes low;
- Borrowing: An option to add leverage to your investments (up to 30% of your investment account) and use it as a simple line of credit for expenses with interest rates starting from 7.40%;
- Planning: A more personalized approach to your particular needs. Incredibly easy to be your guide in your homeownership, early retirement, among other life steps.
Wealthfront Alternatives in Europe
In Europe, there is no platform where you can have all those features. So, your best option is to do a deep dive through other fintech that, in aggregate, may help you achieve your investment goals.
A Robo-Advisor with multiple portfolio options and customization. The service is fully automated and even offers tax-loss harvesting (tax efficiency). It charges a maximum management fee of 0.41%/year. Access to a human advisor is available for amounts above €100,000. The website is in Spanish and English.
It provides a free AutoInvest & Pies feature where you can construct different pies and pre-define your target weight for each asset you include in the Pies (only stocks and ETFs). You may rebalance your positions in a single tap, schedule automatic deposits and use fractional shares to invest in stocks with high single shares prices (think of Amazon, for instance). New users also get one free share of up to €100 by using the code IITW. Read our Trading 212 AutoInvest & Pies review here.
Disclaimer: 76% of retail CFD accounts lose money when trading with this provider.
Is it safe to invest through these companies?
Yes, it is! All the investment platforms in this article are regulated and/or registered by top-tier regulators like the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the U.K and the National Securities Market Commission (CNMV) in Spain. Under these shields, all clients, independently of their country of origin, are protected up to £85,000 and €100,000 on their financial assets by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) and the Investor Compensation Scheme (Fogain), respectively. Therefore, in the unfortunate event of bankruptcy, your money should be safeguarded.
Despite their recent activity, we have seen that they could withstand the massive spike in volatility that occurred, especially in March and April of 2020 due to Covid-19. We hadn’t seen that market instability since 2007-08, during the global financial crisis, so it gives us good comfort to know that none of those apps suddenly crashed as it happened with Robinhood (more info here), a US-based peer of Wealthfront.
Are you still scratching your head?
At the end of the day, everything will depend on your specific case (profile, preferences, objectives,…) and on the importance you give to every single factor involved.
In general, it is crucial always to be aware of the fee charged, make sure that they are regulated (or registered) by top-tier institutions, know the asset classes it allows you to get exposure to (equities, fixed income,…), know how responsive the customer service is, among other factors.
Explore the websites and decide for yourself!
A reminder that the above should not be construed as investment advice and should be considered information only. Investors should do their own research and diligence about the services and opportunities best suited for their risk, returns, and impact strategy.
Hope we helped, and leave your comments below.