|

SigFig 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.

About our Review Process

Bankrate reviews brokers and robo-advisors based on how well they’re able to help consumers achieve their financial goals. Here’s how Bankrate makes money.

SigFig Logo

Best For

  • Cost-conscious investors
  • Human advisors
  • Low fund fees

SigFig Managed Accounts offers a decent option for investors looking for a low-cost robo-advisor. You’ll pay a management fee in line with industry leaders and won’t get nicked on annoying account fees. Fund expenses are also reasonable, which will help keep the overall expense ratio around 0.40 percent or less. You’ll also have unlimited access to investment advisors to help with more complicated questions or to just walk you through the investment process. But SigFig lacks some key features like a robust cash management account and fractional shares. You’ll also need $2,000 to get started with an account, which is above the norm for robo-advisors. 

Investors interested in a top cash management account might consider Wealthfront, while those looking to get started with small amounts to invest should check out Acorns or Stash.

SigFig at a glance

Star Rating

3.5
  • Cost: 4.5 of 5
  • Investments and Portfolios: 3.5 of 5
  • Account Types: 3 of 5
  • Features and Tools: 3 of 5
  • Customer Experience: 3.5 of 5
  • Account Minimum:
    $2,000
  • Management Fee:
    Free for first $10,000, 0.25 percent after that
  • Account fees:
    None
  • Portfolio Mix:
    23 ETFs overall, portfolios hold 8 funds each
  • Fund Expense Ratio:
    0.07 percent - 0.15 percent
  • Account Types:
    Individual, joint and custodial accounts; traditional IRAs, Roth IRAs, SEP IRAs
  • Cash Management Account:
    None
  • Customer service:
    Email/phone availability during market hours
  • Tax Strategy:
    Tax-loss harvesting
  • Rebalancing:
    Yes
  • Tools:
    Basic goal/portfolio tracker
  • Promotion:
    None

Pros: Where SigFig stand out

Management and account fees

SigFig customers will be able to take advantage of one of the best aspects of investing with a robo-advisor: low management fees relative to traditional financial advisors. SigFig doesn’t charge you any management fee on the first $10,000 in your account and it’s just 0.25 percent annually after that, in line with industry leaders like Betterment and Wealthfront. 

You also won’t get dinged with annoying account fees for things like inactivity, terminating an IRA or transferring your account. These fees ultimately eat into your return as an investor, so eliminating them altogether is a great feature and consistent with SigFig’s low-cost approach. 

Many other robo-advisors come with fees that can run over $100 combined for various actions.

Fund expenses

SigFig also earns high marks for having low-fee ETFs in its portfolios. Robo-advisors generally come with two types of recurring fees: an annual management fee that goes to the robo-advisor itself, and the annual expenses for the ETFs used to build portfolios. Both fees eat into your returns, but people sometimes forget about the fees associated with the ETFs. 

SigFig uses a group of 23 ETFs to build portfolios and ultimately includes eight in each one. Annual fees range from 0.07 percent to 0.15 percent for the ETFs, which puts it close to industry leaders. Vanguard Digital Advisor, known for being a low-cost champion, uses ETFs with expense ratios of 0.03 percent to 0.08 percent. 

Portfolio management

The 23 ETFs SigFig offers is more than what most robo-advisors use to build portfolios, with many relying on fewer than 10. Having these additional ETFs available makes it easier to build a portfolio that fits with your specific needs and investment goals. 

You’ll also receive features that have become more common among robo-advisors like automatic rebalancing and tax-loss harvesting. Rebalancing your portfolio when allocations drift is an important part of managing risk and SigFig will handle it without you having to think about it. And by implementing tax-loss harvesting, you’ll be able to use investment losses strategically to reduce your overall tax bill. 

Human advisor access

One major bonus that SigFig offers is unlimited access to investment advisors. Once you reach $10,000 in assets, you’ll be able to schedule an appointment online or over the phone and get all your questions answered by a professional. Speaking to an actual human expert is becoming more and more rare in our increasingly digital world. There are some questions that are better handled by a human than an online chat robot.

While there are some other robo-advisors that offer access to human advisors, that can sometimes come at a higher tier of service. Both Betterment and Schwab Intelligent Portfolios provide access to financial advisors at their premium service tiers, which also come with higher annual fees. SigFig offers access to clients for no additional charge.

Quick comparison of Robo-Advisor options:
Robo-Advisor Overall Rating Cost Rating Investments and Portfolios
SigFig logo
4.5 3.5 of 5
Betterment review 2022 logo Read Our Review
5 5 of 5
SoFi Automated Investing review 2022 logo Read Our Review
5 3 of 5
Wealthfront review 2022 logo Read Our Review
5 4 of 5

Cons: Where SigFig could improve

No cash management account

Leading robo-advisors have made cash management accounts a major part of their overall offering. So the fact that SigFig doesn’t offer one at all is a significant shortcoming. Instead, your cash is held in a money-market fund.

Cash management accounts at leading robo-advisors come with several key features such as bill pay, check deposit and writing, and a debit card with access to thousands of ATMs across the country. You’ll also typically earn an interest rate above what is offered through traditional savings accounts. Wealthfront and Stash are two options to consider if a strong cash management account is an important feature for you. 

No fractional shares

Many investors who are most interested in using a robo-advisor are just starting out and may not have large sums of money to invest. Fractional shares can be a great way for new investors to make sure their full deposit is invested without any leftover money sitting in cash. 

But SigFig doesn’t offer fractional shares as part of its service. This means that if you invest $2,000, the full amount may not be invested because you couldn’t purchase another full share of an ETF. The leftover money is held in a money market fund, where it will earn lower returns. The lack of fractional shares means investors could end up missing out on higher returns than they would at another robo-advisor where these smaller than whole shares are available.

Educational material

SigFig offers almost no educational content on its website despite offering a service that targets new investors. Investing can be intimidating for many people, particularly those who are new to the space. Adding basic explainers and information about how different types of investments work could be a real boost to SigFig’s offering. Investors interested in a more robust educational platform might consider Fidelity Go, which comes with all of Fidelity’s tools and educational resources. 

Account minimum

SigFig’s account minimum of $2,000 is a bit steep compared to leading robo-advisors. Betterment’s service comes with no account minimum and Wealthfront will let you get started with $500. Acorns and Stash, which have gained a following by offering micro-investing, will build a portfolio for you for just a $5 investment. Robo-advisors tend to appeal more to younger investors and requiring $2,000 to get going might be a hurdle for some. 

Bottom line

SigFig gets a lot right with its robo-advisor offering. While some features are missing that would put it in the upper tier of the industry, it handles the basics well at a reasonable price. 

  • Low fees. SigFig comes in near the low-end of the industry when looking at fees of all kinds. Both the annual management fee and fund expenses are low, which help more of your money stay with you. You’ll also avoid those pesky account fees for transfers and IRA terminations.
  • Access to human advisors. Being able to ask your questions to a professional for no additional charge is a nice feature that isn’t common across the industry. Those that do offer access to human advisors often restrict it to clients in higher service tiers, which comes with additional fees. 

If you’re looking for a robo-advisor that offers the complete package, including features like cash management accounts and fractional shares, consider Wealthfront or Betterment. Those looking for rock-bottom fees should check out SoFi Automated Investing or Vanguard Digital Advisor. 

How we make money

Bankrate is an independent, advertising-supported publisher and comparison service. Bankrate is compensated in exchange for featured placement of sponsored products and services, or your clicking on links posted on this website. This compensation may impact how, where and in what order products appear. Bankrate does not include all companies or all available products.