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Axos Managed Portfolios review 2022

Bankrate reporter Brian Baker covers investing and retirement. He has previous experience as an industry analyst at an investment firm. Baker is passionate about helping people make sense of complicated financial topics so that they can plan for their financial futures.

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Axos Invest Logo

Best For

  • Low annual management fee
  • Portfolio choices
  • New investors

Axos Managed Portfolios gives investors looking for low costs and plenty of portfolio options in a robo advisor a solid choice. An annual management fee of 0.24 percent combined with offering several funds at low expense ratios, puts Axos among the industry leaders in terms of cost. If you’re passionate about how your money is invested, there are more than 30 different asset classes available including socially responsible options and Blockchain-focused funds.

Investors just starting out will appreciate the account minimum of just $500 as well as the availability of fractional shares. Tax-loss harvesting and automatic portfolio rebalancing will help save you money on taxes and make sure allocations don’t get far from their optimal levels.

One glaring negative in the Axos offering is the lack of account types available. Only individual accounts, traditional and Roth IRAs are available. If you’re looking for robo advisors with more account options at similar costs to Axos, check out Wealthfront and SoFi Automated Investing.

Axos Invest at a glance

Star Rating

4
  • Cost: 4 of 5
  • Investments and Portfolios: 4.5 of 5
  • Account Types: 3 of 5
  • Features and Tools: 3.5 of 5
  • Customer Experience: 4.5 of 5
  • Account Minimum:
    $500
  • Management Fee:
    0.24 percent of assets annually
  • Portfolio Mix:
    10 core ETFs; over 30 asset classes available
  • Fund Expense Ratio:
    0.03 percent to 0.40 percent, but most are 0.12 percent or less
  • Account Types:
    Individual, traditional IRA, Roth IRA
  • Cash Management Account:
    Basic sweep account
  • Customer service:
    Phone and email 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET Monday - Friday
  • Tax Strategy:
    Tax-loss harvesting
  • Rebalancing:
    Yes
  • Tools:
    Calculators for annual fees, retirement savings and event-based planning tools.
  • Promotion:
    None

Pros: Where Axos Managed Portfolios stands out

Portfolio choices

Just like other robo advisors, Axos Managed Portfolios builds an optimal portfolio for you based on your answers to a handful of questions related to your investment goals. Individuals comfortable with some risk-taking and working toward long-term goals will have portfolios weighted more toward stocks, while more risk-averse investors focused on short-term goals will hold more fixed-income assets.

But Axos also allows investors to customize their portfolios to align with their personal interests, choosing from more than 30 different asset classes. There are traditional choices, such as U.S. and international stocks, as well as government and corporate bonds, that make up the bulk of core portfolios. But you’ll also have the option to invest in niche areas like blockchain technology, socially responsible companies and businesses led by women.

This level of customization is rare among robo advisors and gives something for Axos to hang its hat on. If you’re passionate about how your money is invested, Axos gives you plenty of options to choose from.

Fractional shares

Axos also offers fractional share investing on both new purchases and reinvested dividends, something not all robo advisors offer. This feature will be especially useful to new investors who may not have significant sums to invest yet. Fractional shares allow you to invest the full amount you’d like to, while not having to worry about purchasing full shares of the ETFs you’re buying.

Fractional shares help to keep your portfolio invested along your desired allocations, maintaining the appropriate weights across your different investments without having to wait until you have enough money to buy a full share.

Low costs

Axos also sets itself apart by charging one of the lowest annual management fees in the industry. Investors will pay a flat rate of 0.24 percent each year, which means you’ll pay $24 for every $10,000 you have invested. This annual fee comes in just below that of robo advisor leaders Betterment and Wealthfront, which each charge 0.25 percent for their basic service.

Keeping costs low is one of the most important things for investors to do because costs eat directly into the investment returns you ultimately earn. The annual management fee at a traditional financial advisor can be around 1 percent, making robo advisors an attractive alternative.

Investors who use robo advisors to build their portfolios will also pay fees for the ETFs that are used. High fund fees can sometimes dilute the benefit of a low annual management fee, but that’s not the case with Axos. Fees will vary based on the funds selected for your portfolios, but Axos uses many ETFs with expense ratios of 0.12 percent or less. Many Vanguard ETFs are available including the popular Vanguard Total Stock Market ETF (VTI), which comes with an annual fee of just 0.03 percent.

Tax-loss harvesting and rebalancing

Tax-loss harvesting and automatic portfolio rebalancing are becoming more and more of an industry standard, but it’s nice to see Axos offer these key features. Axos’ tax-loss harvesting feature automatically sells investments that have experienced losses and replaces them with similar ETFs, allowing your portfolio’s exposure to stay the same, while realizing a loss that will help lower your tax bill.

Axos will rebalance your portfolio when an ETF swings 5 percent or more from the desired allocation. Rather than just selling the ETF that has appreciated beyond its desired weighting, Axos will first use dividends and new deposits to increase the allocations to other funds in order to minimize the capital gains that are generated as a result of rebalancing.

Quick comparison of Robo-Advisor options:
Robo-Advisor Overall Rating Cost Rating Investments and Portfolios
Axos Invest logo
4 4.5 of 5
Acorns review 2022 logo Read Our Review
3.5 5 of 5
Betterment review 2022 logo Read Our Review
5 5 of 5
Ellevest review 2022 logo Read Our Review
4.5 5 of 5

Cons: Where Axos Managed Portfolios could improve

Account types available

While Axos has many features that put it alongside leading robo advisors, it is severely lacking in the number of account types it has available to investors. It currently offers individual accounts as well as traditional and Roth IRAs. Offering just three account types puts Axos near the bottom of the industry in this area and compares poorly with top robo advisors that offer seven or more different account types.

Axos would be wise to add additional account offerings such as joint accounts, SEP and SIMPLE IRAs, custodial accounts and education savings accounts.

Account fees

While Axos has low costs in terms of its annual management fee and the funds it uses to build portfolios, it does charge account fees for a few actions. You’ll pay a $40 fee for terminating an IRA and a $75 transfer-out fee. These fees may seem small, but if you have a small portfolio they can end up being more than what you pay in management and fund fees combined.

If you’re worried about potentially having to pay these fees, you might consider Fidelity or Wealthfront, where you won’t face any account fees.

Cash management account

While a robust cash management account isn’t a part of Axos Managed Portfolios, you can open one through Axos Bank. There, you can earn a competitive interest rate on your savings, but there are several requirements to reach the top rate level.

To earn the first 0.40 percent, you must enroll in direct deposit and funnel at least $1,500 per month into the account. To receive the next 0.30 percent, you must either enroll in Axos Personal Finance Manager or use its debit card at least 10 times each month. The next 0.40 percent comes from maintaining an average daily balance of $2,500 in your Axos Managed Portfolios account as well as in a self-directed trading account. The final 0.15 percent comes when you use your cash management account to make a mortgage, personal or auto loan payment.

If this all sounds complicated, that’s because it is. Other top robo advisors offer competitive cash management accounts without all the hoops to jump through.

Bottom line

Axos Managed Portfolios gives investors a solid robo advisor choice at a low cost. You’ll get a wide variety of portfolio choices through Axos’ customization options, with many ETFs available at expense ratios of 0.12 percent or less. The annual management fee of 0.24 percent is competitive with industry leaders like Betterment and Wealthfront.

New investors will appreciate that fractional shares are available on new purchases as well as reinvested dividends, making it easy to stay fully invested. Tax-loss harvesting and automatic portfolio rebalancing help you take advantage of tax savings and ensure your portfolio’s allocations don’t divert from their ideal weights.

However, you might be disappointed with the limited number of account types available, and the cash management account has several requirements to maximize your interest rate. If you’re looking for a low-cost robo advisor with more account options you might consider Wealthfront or SoFi Automated Investing.

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