Managing investments, especially when you want to invest sustainably and effortlessly, is no cakewalk. Fortunately, there’s a trend of robo-advisors that can entirely automate the investment process for you. Making SRI (Socially Responsible Investing) and ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) investments has never been easier than doing it with the help of sustainable robo-advisors.
Robo-advisors are online platforms that provide you with algorithm-driven, automated financial planning services. These digital investing machines conduct online surveys to discuss clients’ financial status and future objectives. They then use that information to give advice and automatically invest their money or assets to make the best possible returns.
One significant advantage of working with robo-advisors is that they are cost-effective alternatives to human financial advisors. Most online advisors charge a flat annual fee of a client’s account balance which is relatively less than a human financial advisor’s fee.
So, if you’re an investor and looking to invest in SRI and ESG, all you need to do is open an account with a reliable and suitable robo-advisor platform. Since there are several sustainable robo-advisors online, it can be difficult for you to choose one. But, no worries!
To help you make your investment process easy and quick, we have compiled a list of the best robo-advisors for socially responsible investing and ESG investing.
As well-known socially responsible investment advisors, these robo-advisors are committed to making the investing process quick and hassle-free.
Table of Contents
- Best-Of by Category
- Best Robo-Advisors for Sustainable Investing
- 1. Betterment
- 2. Personal Capital
- 3. Wealthfront
- 4. Wealthsimple
- 5. Ellevest
- 6. EarthFolio
- 7. M1 Finance
- 8. Acorns
- 9. Marcus Invest
- 10. Ally Invest Robo Portfolios
- 11. Sustainfolio
- 12. OpenInvest
- 13. Polaris Portfolios
- Choose The Right Robo-Advisor to Begin Your Investment Journey
Best-Of by Category
|Best For Sustainability
|Best For Cash Back
|Best For Custom Portfolio
|Best For Hands-off Investing
Best Robo-Advisors for Sustainable Investing
Let’s talk about these sustainable robo-advisors to help you choose one.
Launched in 2008, Betterment is one of the largest and most well-known robo-advisors in the investment world. This is an excellent automated investing option for people who want to invest in something big, for example, retirement or a home down payment.
Betterment robo-advisor gives you the advice, inspiration, and tools required to become a better and successful investor.
As there’s no minimum deposit requirement, Betterment is the best robo-advisor for all investors, regardless of their bank balance and experience.
The platform includes two plans: Betterment Digital and Betterment Premium. The annual fee of Betterment Digital is 0.25%, and Betterment Premium is 0.40% of the total account balance.
For instance, if you invest $5,000 with Betterment, you’ll have to pay $12.50 for the Digital plan and $20 for the Betterment plan.
Overall, with Betterment robo-advisor, you don’t have to compromise your performance expectations, values, or budget.
Like what you are hearing? Read our full Betterment review.
Betterment Investment Details:
● Minimum Investment: None.
● Annual Management Fees: 0.25% for the Digital plan.
0.40% for the Premium plan.
No additional charges for SRI investing.
● Supported Account Types: Trust Accounts; Traditional IRA (Individual Retirement Account), Roth IRA, SEP-IRA; Individual & Joint Taxable Accounts.
See Related: Impact Investing Apps
Personal Capital is a hybrid platform that provides the support of both robo-advisors and human professionals. With a huge account minimum ($100,000) and management fee (0.89%), this robo-advisor service is not for newbies or people with low budgets.
But, the best part is that you get the ongoing assistance of a human financial advisor. Being the industry’s expert, a professional human advisor can help you with your complex financial needs, including managing your portfolio for stock option ownership.
Additionally, Personal Capital uses multiple layers of security to keep each client’s confidential information private and secure. Like what you are hearing? Read our full Personal Capital review.
Personal Capital Investment Details:
● Minimum Investment: $100,000.
● Annual Management Fees: 0.89% for balances between $100,000 and $200,000.
0.49% for portfolios above $1 million.
No additional charge for SRI.
● Available Account Types: Taxable Brokerage Accounts and Retirement Accounts
See Related: History of Impact Investing
Wealthfront is another fastest-growing robo-advisor. This investment platform provides online financial services with very little human assistance. As Wealthfront offers completely automated services, this platform is best for investors looking to make as few as possible financial decisions.
Like most sustainable robo-advisors, Wealthfront recommends a tax-efficient, low-cost portfolio of index funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) that match clients’ risk tolerance and financial goals.
Wealthfront takes the automation process one step ahead with its Self-Driving Money feature. This service automatically issues your paychecks to cover your bills and investment goals.
In addition to managing investment, Wealthfront also offers free financial planning and short-term cash management. Furthermore, you need to set up an account to use Wealthfront’s socially responsible investing and ESG investing options.
Wealthfront Investment Details:
● Minimum Investment: $500 to open an account.
$100,00 to use additional investment strategies.
● Annual Management Fees: 0.25%.
● Available Account Types: Individual & Joint Taxable Accounts; Trust Accounts; Roth, Traditional, SEP, and Rollover IRAs.
See Related: Best Socially Responsible Banks
Wealthsimple is another leading SRI or ESG robo-advisor in the investment world. A combination of great value on large accounts, low fees on accounts with less balance, straightforward pricing, and overall usability, all these perks make this automated investing platform the best robo-advisor.
Wealthsimple offers three investment plans, including Basic (up to $100,000 in deposit), Black ($100,000 to $500,000 in deposits), and Generation (above $500,000 in deposits).
This sustainable robo-advisor uses Modern Portfolio Theory to design clients’ portfolios, a tried-and-tested way to grow your money over a long period.
Overall, if you’re looking for a robo-advisor with direct access to a human financial advisor, free portfolio analysis, socially responsible investment options, and low management fees, then Wealthsimple can be an attractive choice.
Wealthsimple Investment Details:
● Minimum Investment: $0.
● Annual Management Fees: 0.5% on balances $99,999 and less.
0.4% on balances above $100,000.
● Available Account Types: Registered Retirement Savings Plan Accounts (RRSPA); Non-Registered Personal Accounts; Tax-Free Savings Accounts (TFSA).
See Related: Best Fidelity ESG Funds to Invest
Founded in 2014, Ellevest is a woman-owned online investment platform specially designed to decrease the investing margin between men and women.
This SRI & ESG robo-advisor is the best pick for investors looking for help getting started with investing and saving for retirement or other objectives.
Ellevest includes three membership tiers, such as Ellevest Essential, Ellevest Plus, and Ellevest Executive. Ranging from $1 per month to $9 per month, this tiered structure offers varying perks at every level.
One major point of Ellevest is that an Essential member cannot open retirement accounts, like IRAs, with this robo-advisor. One will have to upgrade to a Plus or Executive plan to get access to this service. Also, Ellevest doesn’t provide access to human financial advisors. However, you can get access to financial coaches through this online platform for an extra fee.
Ellevest Investment Details:
● Minimum Investment: $0.
● Management Fees: Essential: $1 per month.
Plus: $5 per month.
Executive: $9 per month.
● Supported Account Types: For Essential Members: Individual Taxable Accounts; Plus & Executive Members: Individual Taxable Account and Roth, Traditional, and SEP IRAs.
See Related: What is Sustainable Investing
EarthFolio is another sustainable robo-advisor with millions in assets. Founded in 2000, this is the longest-running online investment service on this list. Unlike other sustainable robo-advisors, this investment platform suggests portfolios based on their clients’ risk tolerance.
EarthFolio offers two portfolio options, as Core Portfolio and Fossil Free Portfolio. The Core Portfolio selects funds with high ESG ratings, and Fossil Free Portfolio lets clients completely divest from fossil fuels, such as natural gas, oil, and coal.
One needs to have at least $25,000 in the account to start their investment journey with Earthfolio. Not just this, but they also need to maintain the same amount at all times. If at any time the amount goes below this minimum limit, the account holder will get charged.
Also, EarthFolio provides all its clients with direct access to a professional human advisor through email and phone for no additional charges.
Moreover, if you invest $500,000+ with Earthfolio, they will arrange a dedicated fiduciary advisor for you through their private wealth management business. Also, you will get additional advantages, like Individual Stocks, Tax-Free Income, and Custom Impact Themes.
Overall, as one of the best robo-advisors for socially responsible investing and ESG investing, Earthfolio is a good option for investors ready to pay more.
Like what you are hearing? Read our full Earthfolio review for more details on this investment platform.
Earthfolio Investment Details:
● Minimum Investment: $25,000.
● Annual Management Fees: 0.50% of the total account balance.
● Supported Account Types: Trust Accounts; Individual & Joint Taxable Accounts; Traditional, Rollover, Roth, and SEP IRAs.
See Related: ESG Investing Trends
7. M1 Finance
M1 Finance is a hybrid robo-advisor that provides clients with customizable, automated investing accounts at no cost. Launched in 2015, this online investment service has quickly become a top automated investment option among investors.
The platform is ideal for investors with intermediate investment skills who don’t need full-time assistance but still want someone who can manage their investments for them. M1 Finance includes two service tiers: M1 Basic and M1 Plus. M1 Basic account charges no management fees, and all trades are made once every day in the morning.
On the other side, the M1 Plus account charges $125 per year (free for the first year). It provides a second-afternoon trading window with fee-free ATM withdrawals, lower margin borrowing rates, and other additional benefits.
Overall, M1 Finance can be an excellent option for investors interested in cash management, balancing investing, and bringing everything under one roof.
M1 Investment Details:
● Minimum Investment: $100 for taxable accounts.
$500 for retirement accounts.
● Annual Management Fees: None.
● Supported Account Types: Traditional, Roth, SEP IRAs; Individual & Joint Investment Accounts; Trust Accounts; Custodial Accounts (M1 Plus); and 401(k) Rollovers.
See Related: Best Socially Responsible Mutual Funds to Invest in
Acorns is another attractive robo-advisor option that takes the concept of hassle-free investing to the next stage by automatically investing their clients’ spare change.
This platform is based on the idea of saving spare change. Acorns robo-advisor rounds up all your debit and credit card purchases to an approx value and invests the change into a portfolio of ETFs. Acorns could be an excellent choice for new and young investors. College students can also benefit from this online investing platform.
As this service automates everything from start to finish, it eliminates the fear of forgetting to transfer money. Unlike most sustainable robo-advisors that charge management fees based on total account balance, Acorns applies a flat monthly fee.
Since its target clients are new investors, Acorns Lite is the cheapest plan for this robo-advisor which costs $1 per month. Overall, Acorns is best for investors struggling to save or looking to automate their investment strategies to the greatest extent possible.
Like what you are hearing? Read our full Acorns review.
Acorns Investment Details:
● Account Minimum: $0.
$5 to start investing.
● Account Management Fees: $1/month for Lite.
$3/month for personal accounts.
$5/month for family accounts.
● Supported Account Types: Roth, Traditional, and SEP IRAs; Individual & Joint Taxable Investment Accounts; 401k Rollovers; and Custodial Investment Accounts.
See Related: Key ESG Principles to Know
Marcus Invest was launched by Goldman Sachs, a top investment bank, in early 2021. Named after Marcus Goldman (one of the bank’s founders), this robo-advisor service offers three investing strategies; a Core portfolio, an Impact portfolio, and a Smart Beta portfolio.
The Goldman Sachs Core strategy is for investors who prefer an index investing approach. The impact strategy is designed for people who favor sustainable business practices and avoid social and environmental harm.
Furthermore, the Smart Beta strategy is ideal for investors who prefer taking more and more risks to generate higher returns. This investing strategy is applicable for taxable investment accounts, not individual retirement accounts.
Additionally, Marcus Invest provides a range of perks, including automatic rebalancing. The service monitors clients’ portfolios every day just to help them stay aligned with their needs and financial goals.
Marcus Invest is best for new investors, existing Marcus customers, and Impact & Smart beta portfolios. Setting up an investment account with Marcus Invest is very easy; create one today to avail the benefits of this unique robo-advisor.
Marcus Investment Details:
● Minimum Investment: $1,000.
● Management Fees: 0.35%.
● Supported Account Types: 401k Rollovers; Individual & Joint Investment Accounts; Traditional, Roth, and SEP IRAs.
See Related: Best Socially Responsible Financial Advisors
Ally Invest Robo Portfolios is an Ally Bank-affiliated automated investing platform. This robo-advisor investing service keeps 30% of clients’ cash aside to protect them against the market’s unpredictable risks.
The minimum investment of $100 makes this service accessible to all investors and offers several benefits with low or no fees.
Ally Invest Robo Portfolios includes two account options: cash-enhanced account and market-focused account. The cash-enhanced option charges no management fee and is ideal for conservative investors.
The service invests 70% of your account’s value in a portfolio of ETFs and keeps the remaining 30% in an account similar to a high-yield savings account. In comparison, the market-focused portfolio charges a 0.30% annual advisory fee and invests around 98% of your account’s amount.
Ally Invest is valuable for investors looking to take the guesswork out of their investments and begin their investment journey with a minimum balance. It is also for people who seek competitive fees.
Ally Invest Robo Portfolios Investing Details:
● Account Minimum: $100.
● Annual Management Fees: 0% for the Cash-Enhanced Managed Portfolio
0.30% for Market-Focused Managed Portfolio
● Supported Account Types: Individual & Joint Investment Accounts; Traditional & Roth IRAs; Custodial Accounts.
See Related: How ESG Holder Activism Can Help Spur Change
SustainFolio is another technology-based investment platform specially designed for people who want to integrate into their portfolios digitally. The robo-advisor enables its customers to create a portfolio depending on their risk tolerance and financial goals.
The sole focus of Sustainfolio is sustainable investing, which means they are committed to ethical and simple stocks. Each portfolio this platform invests in is analyzed for ESG criteria and altered according to your tolerance to risk.
Overall, Sustainfolio is a robo-advisor with minimal features, limited customer support, and no access to human financial advisors. However, this robo-advisor is focused on sustainability and exclusively investing in ESG funds.
Sustainfolio Investing Details:
● Account Minimum: $5,000.
● Annual Management Fees: 0.50%
● Supported Account Types: Individual Investment Accounts; Traditional & Roth IRAs; Custodial or Corporate Investment Accounts.
See Related: How to Implement an ESG Integration Framework
OpenInvest is another interesting robo-advisor with an ethical twist. Like other robo-investing platforms, this robo-advisor allows you to create an investment account managed by a digital machine. But unlike other robo-advisors, which do a survey to invest your funds into one of the existing portfolios.
OpenInvest enables you to fully customize your portfolio and invest only in companies that you find valuable and match your ethical standards.
OpenInvest can be an ideal option for investors looking for a robo-advisor with low management fees and who want a little more control over their investments.
With tax-loss harvesting and low account management fees, this robo-investing platform can be an excellent choice for your long-term investment needs.
OpenInvest Investing Details:
● Account Minimum: $3,000.
● Annual Management Fees: 0.50%
● Supported Account Types: Individual & Joint Investment Accounts; Trust Accounts; Traditional & Roth IRAs.
Polaris Portfolios is a fully automated and easy-to-use robo-advisor, making it a perfect option for hands-off investors. Though this investment service is entirely automated, it offers a personalized approach by allowing clients to choose their investment goals.
This robo-investing platform is also known for providing value-based portfolios. It will allow you to put your funds into socially responsible endeavors and green companies that focus on positive social impact and sustainability.
As the platform charges zero transaction, rebalancing, and trading fees, you can open multiple investment accounts with Polaris Portfolios.
Polaris Portfolios Investing Details:
● Account Minimum: None.
● Annual Management Fees: 0.95%.
● Supported Account Types: Taxable and Non-Taxable Accounts; Individual & Joint Investment Accounts; Individual Retirement Accounts.
See Related: Ethical Dividend Stocks to Invest in Today
Choose The Right Robo-Advisor to Begin Your Investment Journey
It’s no surprise that robo-advisors have swept the investment industry. These are some of the best robo-advisors for socially responsible investing and ESG investing.
As your reliable socially responsible investment advisors, we hope these above-mentioned sustainable robo-advisors can help you give a good start on your investment journey.
If you want impressive returns on your investment activities, consider working with one of these robo-advisors. A sustainable robo-advisor will not only make your investment process convenient but will also promote better investment planning, greater energy efficiency, minimal human presence, and a healthy environment.
So, browse all these sustainable robo-advisors thoroughly, determine your investment plan, and pick any that meets your goals.
Kyle Kroeger, esteemed Purdue University alum and accomplished finance professional, brings a decade of invaluable experience from diverse finance roles in both small and large firms. An astute investor himself, Kyle adeptly navigates the spheres of corporate and client-side finance, always guiding with a principal investor’s sharp acumen.
Hailing from a lineage of industrious Midwestern entrepreneurs and creatives, his business instincts are deeply ingrained. This background fuels his entrepreneurial spirit and underpins his commitment to responsible investment. As the Founder and Owner of The Impact Investor, Kyle fervently advocates for increased awareness of ethically invested funds, empowering individuals to make judicious investment decisions.
Striving to marry financial prudence with positive societal impact, Kyle imparts practical strategies for saving and investing, underlined by a robust ethos of conscientious capitalism. His ambition transcends personal gain, aiming instead to spark transformative global change through the power of responsible investment.
When not immersed in the world of finance, he’s continually captivated by the cultural richness of new cities, relishing the opportunity to learn from diverse societies. This passion for travel is eloquently documented on his site, ViaTravelers.com, where you can delve into his unique experiences via his author profile.