Originally founded as Wikinvest in 2007, SigFig was an early robo-advisor challenger to the traditional retail investing and financial advisor model. With $1.4 billion under management today, SigFig continues to grow its strong platform attracting investors who seek low costs, human advice, and hands-off portfolio management geared towards retirement savings.
SigFig complements portfolio management with account aggregation features to provide an even greater depth of holistic investment analysis. SigFig’s financial technology has also been leveraged by the largest financial institutions in the country such as Wells Fargo and Citizens Bank, which further highlights SigFig’s impact on the industry. Let’s dive deeper into SigFig to explore if this portfolio management offering is right for you.
- SigFig has excellent account aggregation and portfolio analysis features, allowing for better financial decisions.
- Investors with SigFig have unlimited access to human financial advisors.
- SigFig offers more than 25 low-cost, diversified portfolio options that are easy to understand.
Competitive 0.25% management fee, no fee on balances less than $10,000
Free, unlimited on-demand access to human financial advisors
Impactful portfolio analysis tools and account aggregation features
Free tax-loss harvesting
Account minimum of $2,000 is higher than competitor platforms
No socially conscious investment options
Limited goal planning, portfolio customization, and education resources
No cash management or savings accounts
|Fees||0.25% (no fees on first $10,000)|
|Goal Setting||Retirement, Home Ownership, Wealth Building|
|Available Assets||ETFs, REITs|
|Interest Paid on Cash Balances||0%|
|Customizable Portfolio||25+ Pre-Built Portfolio Options|
|View Portfolio before Funding||Yes|
|Customer Service||Phone, Email|
|Financial Advisor Available||Yes, Unlimited|
|External Account Sync/Consolidation||Yes|
|Mobile App||Android, iOS|
Getting started with SigFig is an easy process. You’ll begin onboarding by filling out a short questionnaire to share more about your financial situation, investment experience, risk preferences, and goals. The investment timeline prompt is somewhat limited as it is bucketed into three categories of Short (less than 5 years), Intermediate (5-10 years), and Long (more than 10 years), rather than giving you fine control of your specific timeline. Once this information is filled out, SigFig will recommend a portfolio solution for you. At this point, you’ll be able to view the portfolio details including asset classes, ETFs, and overall risk profile. There’s also an option to schedule a call with a financial advisor at no cost if you have further questions before getting started.
SigFig offers several account options on the platform including individual taxable, joint taxable, traditional individual retirement accounts (IRAs), simplified employee pension (SEP) IRAs, and Roth IRAs. To fund these accounts you can link your bank to seamlessly move money into the platform, but keep in mind there is a $2,000 minimum to start investing with SigFig.
While the portfolio strategy on your account is managed by SigFig, the underlying assets are held at one of three partner brokers: Charles Schwab, Fidelity, or TD Ameritrade. If you already have an existing account at any of these brokers, you have the option to simply grant SigFig authorization to manage these funds without transferring money out of the existing account.
A nice feature that SigFig provides is access to their free portfolio analysis tool if you aren’t ready to commit to opening an account. You have the option to link external 401(k), IRAs, and brokerage accounts. From there the analysis tool will give you a review of your asset allocation across all accounts.
The primary goal-setting tool with SigFig is built around retirement savings. By using your age, savings, and investment risk preferences, SigFig provides a range of potential outcomes based on historical market returns so you can see if you’re on track. The prompts to course-correct focus on closing the retirement savings gap by adjusting your portfolio allocation and suggesting how much to invest.
There are more limited features for other high-level planning goals such as large purchases and general wealth building, but otherwise, the goal-setting options are limited. While there are some general planning best practices interspersed throughout the site and on SigFig’s blog, this information lacks tools and calculators to make the guidance specific to your financial situation.
One of the standout features of SigFig’s offering is unlimited access to human financial guidance by appointment. Typically this option is only available for premium service users or high net-worth deposit levels at competing platforms, so SigFig’s decision to make human advice accessible to everyone highlights their commitment to democratizing financial guidance. That said, investors seeking more comprehensive money management features in addition to advice may find SigFig’s other account services lacking.
Money movement, auto deposits, and transfers are relatively straightforward to set up. Outside of this functionality, however, SigFig doesn’t offer margin accounts, debit or credit card options, bank accounts, or interest on cash balances. Users also can’t place individual orders for ETFs or force a rebalance to take place as this is all handled by the portfolio management algorithm. This limitation is intentional, of course, as SigFig focuses on an automated portfolio strategy for hands-off investors.
SigFig doesn’t offer cash management options or high yield savings accounts that similar robo-advisors commonly support. As a result, sweep features aren’t supported and no interest is paid on cash balances in your account. Dividends paid out in your portfolio remain as cash until a specified threshold is triggered to invest these funds.
SigFig follows a classic passive investment strategy based on modern portfolio theory. The portfolio construction consists of a blend of ETFs and REITs that can be adjusted on a sliding scale to match risk preferences and your account’s tax status. The allocations are well diversified across multiple asset classes and fund managers. Municipal bonds and replacement ETFs for tax-loss harvesting are also available for use in taxable accounts.
This portfolio methodology results in more than 25 investable portfolios (with taxable and non-taxable options for each) that you can select to use as your allocation. Dividends are held as cash to cover management fees, but reinvestment is automatic once an internal threshold is reached. While the portfolio construction matches a wide variety of investment goals, no further customizations are available. SigFig doesn’t offer a socially conscious portfolio option.
|Socially Responsible or ESG Options||No|
To keep your investments on track, SigFig applies rebalancing to your account so that your allocation doesn’t drift from its initial target by more than a few percent. This is screened for on a daily basis and applied once an internal threshold is triggered. Tax-loss harvesting has a similar methodology applied and is activated once sufficient realized losses are identified to cover trading activity between swapping out ETFs. Both features are handled by SigFig without an option to manually force either trading event so that your portfolio continues to align to the investment strategy at all times.
Alongside these features, SigFig has a robust portfolio analysis tool that includes the option to link external 401(K), IRA, and brokerage accounts to the platform so that you can get a more holistic view of your financial picture. The analysis highlights mismatched allocation strategies, opportunities to further diversify, and insights on how to better align your overall portfolio risk profile across all accounts to stay on track. While this analysis is very helpful, it’s important to note that SigFig can’t manage or implement changes for the investment strategy on external accounts that have been linked for aggregation purposes. You will have to take action yourself on any insights SigFig gives you on external accounts.
Key Portfolio Management Features
|Reporting Features||Tax Reporting, Statements, Performance, Tracking Graphs|
|External Account Syncing/Consolidation||Yes - 401(k), IRA, Brokerage (analysis only, excluded for portfolio construction)|
SigFig’s website is clean and user-friendly, allowing you to navigate seamlessly throughout the platform. There are numerous prompts to contact support or advisors via a chatbox on the bottom right of many site pages. The different sections of the site are clearly identifiable and aesthetically pleasing so you can quickly find what you’re looking for. Performance tools and graphs are also easy to understand.
The mobile experience is fully supported on both iOS and Android devices, providing a uniform experience across all digital platforms. Mobile functionality is just as robust as the desktop experience which allows you to thoroughly explore SigFig from the device of your choosing.
- Phone line: Available Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. ET, and Saturday 9 a.m. - 3 a.m.
- Hold time: under a minute
- Client support email
- Advisor phone consultations via appointment
- Detailed FAQ page
The three ways to directly contact SigFig are through their support phone line, email, and by scheduling an advisor call. The chatbot will prompt you to select either email or an advisor consultation. While the advice calls are unlimited based on advisor availability, you won’t be able to specifically request a Certified Financial Planner. If you’re looking to self-serve, SigFig has a very deep and well-written FAQ page that covers a wide variety of topics.
- Securities Investors Protection Corporation (SIPC) coverage
- No selling of personal financial data
- Currently, two-factor authentication isn’t implemented
SigFig’s platform is covered by the SIPC which insures your funds should SigFig become financially troubled. SigFig very clearly notes that they will not sell your personal financial data, a welcomed privacy initiative to protect you further. Your information is also covered by high-level 256-bit SSL encryption. However, two-factor authentication is not available at this time.
One area generally lacking at SigFig is education content. There is a blog that is occasionally updated with some general education and investment management content. There are also some videos on the site that walk through high-level portfolio management best practices. The limited education content aligns with investors who are looking to turn over the portfolio management and goal planning strategies with minimal need to get further involved.
Commissions and Fees
SigFig has a very competitive fee structure, charging no fees for amounts up to $10,000. Once you deposit more than this amount the management fee becomes 0.25% annually and there are no further fee reductions for larger account balances. The additional expense ratios for the ETFs within the portfolio are low. It is worth repeating that the annual management fee includes unlimited human advisor contact, which is a rare find in the industry.
|Management fees for $2,000 - $10,000||Free|
|Management fees for $10,001+||0.25%|
SigFig has a strong robo-advisor offering for investors seeking a focus on a streamlined portfolio management strategy, access to human advice, and account aggregation functionality that allows for users to take more control over their finances. In many ways, SigFig is best thought of as a bolt-on service that can be used by Charles Schwab, Fidelity, or TD Ameritrade customers to turn their accounts into robo-advisor accounts. This approach has resulted in SigFig running a slim offering in terms of education and other extras that its users can readily access through their existing brokerage account. SigFig is not looking to be your complete financial solution like some other robo-advisors. Instead, it is content to help you automate your existing investment accounts for a competitive price.
Sophisticated investors looking for in-depth customization features, socially conscious portfolios, or robust money management tools will find these options lacking at SigFig. Overall, though, SigFig is an excellent choice when looking for a simple, smart investment management solution.
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WealthManagement.com. "SigFig Branches Out, Defends Its Technology After UBS-Wealthfront Deal."
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