M1 Finance is an online brokerage offering a hybrid self-directed and Robo-like platform with intelligent tools, expert portfolios, and a DIY approach for the buy-and-hold investor.
Are you looking for a customizable and automated way to invest your money?
What is M1 Finance?
M1 Finance is a free finance app allowing you to invest, borrow, and spend in one platform. The app has no minimum balance requirement or trading fees.
With M1 Finance, you can create a portfolio “Pie” containing low-cost ETFs, individual stocks, or a mixture of both. The Pie lets you customize and manage your portfolio or you can copy the investment plan of 80 expert-curated Pies.
If you’re the type who wants guidance and control over your investments, then M1 Finance is the investment app for you. It’s simple to use and offers a good balance of personal customization and expert advice through Pies.
How Does M1 Finance Work?
M1 Finance is a comprehensive investing platform helping you invest, borrow, and spend your money. Through the app, you can do the following:
- Buy and sell individual stocks and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) for free. (Invest)
- Borrow against your investments with a portfolio line of credit. (Borrow)
- Manage cash with an integrated checking account and debit card. (Spend)
- Customize and automate your investing on a schedule including copying expert Pies.
The mission that drives M1 Finance is giving you a hands-free investment strategy for long-term investors.
Accounts Offered by M1 Finance Offer
- General investing: Open an individual taxable account, including a joint account with a spouse, relative or domestic partner.
- Retirement accounts: Invest into traditional, Roth, and SEP IRAs. (M1 Retire)
- Trust accounts: Use revocable and irrevocable trusts authorized to invest in securities.
- Custodial accounts: Invest on behalf of a child for their wealth. (M1+)
Features & Benefits
- Minimum Balance: $0. But you can start with a $100 minimum investment.
- Customization: Build a custom portfolio of the stocks and funds you want or choose from more than 80 expert portfolios.
- Automation: Utilize the M1 Finance proprietary trading system to automate all of your trading activity.
- Automatic Rebalancing: Keep your portfolio on track with Dynamic Rebalancing.
- Fractional shares: Own stocks and ETFs, regardless of share price, with fractional shares.
- Auto-Invest: Setup and enable automatic deposits for consistent investment.
- Research tools: Learn about the companies you invest in but is not investment advice.
- Tax minimization: Helps choose shares with the lowest tax basis, but not tax-loss harvesting.
M1 Finance Client Success team is available on days when the U.S. stock market is trading, which is usually Monday-Friday. You can contact support via chat, email, and phone.
What are M1 Finance Pies?
M1 Finance’s Investment Pie is an intuitive user interface to make building and managing a portfolio easier. Choose from more than 6,000 stocks and funds to build a custom Pie or select from nearly 80 expert Pies. The curated Pies are designed to meet different financial goals, risk tolerance, and investment objectives like plans for retirement.
The M1 Finance expert Pies uses modern portfolio theory (MPT) for optimal and diversified portfolios. The goal is a mix of assets to maximize returns while minimizing risks.
- Must be 18+ years old
- Current US residential address
- US phone number
- United States citizen or permanent residents (green card holders)
M1 Finance does not charge commissions or markup on any trades.
- Trading fee: $0
- Platform fee: $0
M1 charges no management fees, but miscellaneous fees may apply for additional services including requests for paper statements or inactivity fees.
- M1 Basic: $0 (free with access to Invest, Borrow, and Spend)
- M1 Plus: $125 annual subscription fee (free for the first year).
What is M1 Plus?
The M1 Plus is a premium upgrade that offers:
- Investing flexibility with morning or afternoon trading windows,
- Borrow at 2% margin loans against your portfolio,
- Custodial account for any child in your life,
- 1% APY checking account,
- 1% cashback on qualifying debit card purchases,
- Credit card rewards.
Who is it best for?
M1 Finance is not for people who need financial advisors. In fact, M1 states they are also not a Robo-advisor and do not place trades for you. They use the Auto Invest settings to make trades in your investment accounts.
It truly is a good option for passive investors focused on long-term gains, not short-term traders. Day traders, you’ll need to go elsewhere.
M1 Finance Review
M1 Finance is a legit company and popular service. It’s rated 4.6 out of 5 stars by users on the App Store.
In our M1 Finance review, we learned it’s a great app for the DIY investor who wants more control and some guidance. You get a robust investment platform with no management fees, trading fees, and access to investment pies like responsible investing.
Keep in mind there are some limitations such as no tax-loss harvesting, no access to mutual funds,
Whether you’re new to investing or an experienced investor, M1 Finance has a lot to offer. With many free services, no minimum balance, commission-free trades, you can’t go wrong trying out the app.
Pros and Cons
- No trading fees, zero commissions, and no asset management fees.
- DIY with guidance.
- 80 expert Pies ready.
- Trade fractional shares.
- Trades are not in real-time.
- Not set up for linking investments with goals.
How to start an M1 Finance account
The time needed: 5 minutes.
Step-by-Step to opening an investing account
- Get started
- Create an account by clicking on the link here.
- Enter your information
- Provide your first and last name, social security number, and address.
- Link your external bank account.
- Fund with a link bank account.
M1 Finance Alternatives
Remember you have options when it comes to investment platforms. For Robo-advisors, check out Betterment. Want access to a human advisor to speak to about your investment goals, learn more about Personal Capital.