Stocks
ETF
72/100
Rating
M1 Finance Stocks
*****
Go to M1 Finance Stocks
Highlights
  • Straightforward and simple website
  • Commission-free trading
  • Automated trading system
74/100
Rating
M1 Finance ETF
*****
Go to M1 Finance ETF
Highlights
  • Minimal ETF trading fees
  • Tailor-made ETFs available
  • Free trading account

M1 Finance USA Review & Rating 2021

Is M1 Finance Scam Or Legit?

M1 Finance is an online financial services company that has its main base of operations situated in Chicago, Illinois. M1 Finance has established themselves since the company’s inception in 2015. While still essentially in its infancy in the financial sector, M1 Finance has done exceptionally well in growing its client base with a well-curated website. The broker currently offers three different products which we will get into in more detail with our M1 Finance review.

Our M1 Finance review aims to assess the different facets that make the whole of the broker, as well as the different accounts and products they offer. Furthermore, we will be taking a look at how you can make your deposits with the broker, how easy it is to make withdrawals, the different M1 Finance open account options and how they protect the funds you have invested into your portfolio. With that being said, let’s get into the finer details of what makes M1 Finance tick.

M1 Finance Pro and Con
  • Charges zero broker fees or commissions
  • No trading fees or asset management fees
  • You can open your account with no money
  • No online live chat capabilities
  • Does not accommodate active traders
  • No mutual funds available

M1 Finance New Customer Offer

Our M1 Finance USA review has found that there is not much in the way of a new customer offer per se when you sign up with the broker. If you have signed up to the broker of your own volition then there is strictly speaking no new customer offer. However, if you were referred to the site by a friend or family member you are eligible for a $10 new customer offer. Once you have chosen from the M1 Finance open account options you will then be able to claim the $10 bonus should you have been referred to the site and have used their referral link.

So as you can see the offer is by no means mind-blowing but it is at least something. Many brokers don’t offer you any form of a new customer offer. So at least in this regard, there is some incentive to be referred to the site by a friend or family member. If you are perhaps looking for a broker with a more enticing new customer offer you may want to go to our SoFi Invest review and SogoTrade review.

Usability, Look & Feel of M1 Finance

How a broker’s website functions is an integral part of a user’s experience with them. If the site is unappealing, difficult to navigate and lacks any intuitive element then users may not feel the need to join such a site. Our M1 Finance review found that when you first enter the site you notice that it has a rather simplistic feel to it. The actual aesthetic of the site is somewhat underwhelming and could definitely do with some touching up.

However, when you use the site you will quickly come to find that the overall usability and ease of access is acceptable. The site gives you no problems while trying to navigate to the information you need. The dropdown menus are well organised and make understanding what the broker has to offer convenient. Aside from the drop-down menus at the top of the homepage, there is also ample information located at the bottom of the page that gives you all the necessary information on the broker itself and their terms of use and the various educational elements on how to use their products. Furthermore, navigating to the M1 Finance open account options is also a breeze.

Overall, while the site may not have an extravagant look to it, it makes up for it where it matters – in the actual usability of the site. As such, we believe they have done enough to earn praise for the sites overall navigability and crisp interface.

M1 Finance Open Account Options

Opening an account with M1 Finance is solely restricted to US citizens or those holding a green card. Even those with a long term visa in the US may not open an M1 Finance account. You will be required to provide personal information such as proof of address, an I.D number etc. Our M1 Finance review has taken the time to find out what M1 Finance open account options are available.

M1 Finance Basic Account

The basic M1 Finance open account option entitles you to use the sites intelligent automation to make investments for you. You also won’t have to invest any money when opening this account. Furthermore, the borrowing interest rate is a low 3.5% which we think is more than fair. However, you can only access a line of credit once you have $10000 in your account.

M1 Finance Plus Account

The M1 Finance open account Plus option is essentially just the premium version of the previous account but it does require you to sign up for $125. With this account, you will receive borrowing interest rates of as low as 2% which can go as low as 1,5%. Furthermore, you receive 1% cashback when you spend on this account.

Brokerage Accounts

The brokerage M1 Finance open account option is also appealing in its own right. You have the choice between an individual brokerage account or a joint brokerage account. The individual brokerage account means that you as the individual have sole control over your account. You may buy and sell stocks, bonds, ETFs and other investment types.

The joint brokerage M1 Finance open account option would see you have equal ownership of your account with another person. These types of accounts are usually applicable for couples or parents. You may even just want to manage the account for an elderly family member.

Trust Accounts

You may be interested in opening up a trust account with M1 Finance, in which case you would need to set it up via the broker’s paper account opening process. They will send you the necessary forms to fill out and once you have done so you will then be able to manage your account in the same way that you would manage a standard M1 Finance taxable brokerage account.

Overall, the account options are fairly standard if not a little short on a few options. However, the M1 accounts you can open are great for low-interest rates when you take a line of credit from the broker.

M1 Finance Trading Platforms

The current M1 Finance trading platforms are strictly for US citizens to make use of. Aside from that, the M1 Finance offers its clients the standard web trading platform as well as a mobile version of the site. Our M1 Finance review has taken the time to analyze both the mobile and website platform to find out how convenient and efficient they are.

Website Based Platform

As we have previously mentioned in our usability section, the website platform is accessible, easy to navigate and efficient. Further still, it is intuitive in meeting your information demands on the site. Borrowing, investing and spending are all easy to execute on the site and there are no misleading menus or links that make your life difficult. Overall, the website based platform is definitely the strongest facet of the broker’s site as it makes everything as clear and accessible as possible for its users.

Mobile Trading Platform

Our M1 Finance review has come to find that the overall consensus on the broker’s mobile app appears to be average at best. However, we investigated the mobile platform ourselves and found that the app reflected the same accessibility and efficiency as the website based platform. Furthermore, we found that you could do all the things you can do on the website platform from opening and funding your account, to altering the way you allocate your pies.

Overall, the platforms on offer at M1 Finance are simple, yet effective. Most of what you can achieve on the website platform you can do on the mobile app. This makes investing and trading all the more easy as you can do it on the go during the course of a busy day! If you want to get a feel for what other platforms are out there, it may be worth checking out our Stash review.

Payments

While M1 Finance does not specifically state that you need to fund your account, you will be wanting to start somewhere in terms of your investment. Getting your payment method set up is the next step after your opening your account with the broker. Our M1 Finance review has taken a look at how you can make your first deposit and how to make a withdrawal on the site. Again, it should be noted that payments can only be made by US citizens or green card carriers.

Deposits

M1 Finance review USA has found that the only real option to make your deposits is also subsequently, one of the most common forms of payments. The broker suggests that you link your bank account to your M1 Finance account. To make your first deposit you will need to go to the “invest” button under the menu tab for “how it works’ at the top of the page. Once you have done so, you will connect via PLAID by searching for the name of your banking institution whereby you will input your online banking details. These deposits can only be made from American banks by American citizens.

Should the bank that you use not appear in the list of banks on the site you will need to enter the details manually which will include the name of the bank, account type, and your account and routing numbers. Within 2-3 business days, you will receive micro-deposits to verify your bank account. After you have completed this process making your first deposit is easy. You can also set up a recurring deposit by simply selecting the “deposit” button on the main page and set your own recurring deposit schedule. You then need to choose the amount that you wish to deposit on the schedule regularly. Select submit and you have set up your recurring deposit.

Withdrawals

Making a withdrawal with M1 Finance is very straightforward. All that is required of you is to navigate to the ‘funding” tab near the top of the website homepage. You will then be taken to a new page where you need to click on “withdraw’. Enter the amount you wish to take out of your account, submit, and you have completed your withdrawal.

A recurring withdrawal can also be set up should you so choose. In very much the same process as a recurring deposit.

Customer Service

Having a quality customer service keeps your clientele happy and feeling as though they are genuinely being looked after. This is not new information but it remains an important fact when it comes to any business. Our M1 Finance review has taken the time to analyze how helpful and efficient the broker’s customer service is and how you might contact them on a daily basis.

As it stands it would appear that M1 Finance only has two means for official customer support which is limited to email and phone. As we noted in our pros and cons, the lack of a live webchat with a member of the customer support staff is disappointing, to say the least. You can also seemingly contact them via Facebook messenger. Should you wish to get in contact via email their address is [email protected] Furthermore, you can reach the customer support team via their telephone number which is (312) 600-2883.

Overall, the customer support appears to function adequately but again, it is not a great look that the broker does not have a live web chat as most people prefer the simplicity and convenience of such a form of contact.

Regulation & Deposit Protection

It is absolutely crucial that a broker you decide to use is above board in terms of its regulations and security. You need not fret over the safety of using M1 Finance, as the broker is regulated by all the necessary financial bodies. Our M1 Finance review has revealed that the broker is registered with all the fundamental financial agencies. Namely, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) which is a federal government agency. Furthermore, they are also a member of the Financial Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and the Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC). It is important that the M1 Finance opinions here are positive, as the regulation of the broker and the protection of your investment funds is of paramount importance.

In terms of protecting their client’s deposits and funds that are already in their accounts, the SIPC will protect clients in the case that M1 Finance cannot afford to fulfil their financial commitment. The SIPC will cover clients up to $500,000 and up to  $250,000 in cash.

As you can see, there is no real concern here in use the M1 Finance platforms as they are covered from every angle.

Additional Offers

There is currently only one promotion that US clients can make use of. There is the referral program that we mentioned earlier, whereby if you refer a friend or family member to the M1 Finance site and they use your referral link you are eligible to claim $10. You will be able to claim this bonus once the friend you have referred has completed the sign-up process and have funded their account.

M1 Finance Stocks

Trade Offers

M1 Finance has curated a streamlined website for its clients that keeps its offerings simple and to the point. M1 Finance smart investing is a well-rounded offering that allows you to grow your portfolio through algorithmic automation of your pie. We will discuss the ins and outs of what the pie is and how it works in this section. In our M1 Finance review, we will go through what smart investing entails, what the costs are and how it works.

Once you have completed the process of your M1 Finance open account, you will then be given the option to customize your portfolio. The major positive element here is that you do not need to fund your account immediately in order to start customizing your portfolio. You will, of course, ultimately need to invest funds in order to make strides with your account and its profitability. Furthermore, there are no related costs when it comes to opening your account, depositing funds or investing. M1 Finance scrapped any requirement to pay fees on your investments, commissions on trades or any platform usage fees. This is a big draw for new users as these funds they save can be put towards purchasing new shares. With that being said, let’s take a look at how you to customize your portfolio and create your investment pie.

Investment Pie

If you are unfamiliar with what a pie entails in investments, it is simply the distribution of assets and holdings. The pie is the foundation of your investment portfolio on M1 finance and is used to balance and your various selections of investments.

You are able to select and curate your own pie with different stocks and ETFs on M1 Finance. However, if you are fairly new to investing and do not feel confident in doing so, you can choose from 80 different expert portfolios on the site. You can tweak your preselected investment pie by reallocating some of your investment categories.

Automated Rebalancing & Auto Investing

M1 Finance has an automated rebalancing system in place that will help to keep your portfolio from becoming too top-heavy or underweight on one particular slice of your pie (asset). Essentially, if you have 4 slices on your pie and one of them has dropped in value but the other 3 have risen in value, the automated rebalancing will purchase more of the underperforming stock to balance out the portfolio. In this regard, it keeps your portfolio in line with your initial preference for your pie allocation.

You can, of course, do this manually should you want to have more say in the way your cash and increased share value is distributed amongst your pie.

M1 Finance also gives you the option to auto-invest your cash should your cash balance ever exceed $25. Once it does exceed this amount, the auto-invest option will redistribute this cash into your portfolio. The broker gives you complete control over this in the sense that you can set a specific limit on the amount you want reinvesting. For example, should you deposit $500 into your cash account and you set your limit for auto-investing to $250, you will be left with $250 untouched in your cash account.

In the same case as the automated rebalancing, you can of course completely turn off this setting should you wish to have full manual control over all of your investments and redistribution into your portfolio.

Fractional Shares

A fractional share in simple terms is merely a segment of a total share. So if the share is out of your price range you can purchase a fraction of that share to suit your financial limitations. M1 Finance has given its clients the option to do this with their investments. The beauty of fractional shares in this regard is that you will never have even a small sum of money in your account going to waste, as it can be reinvested into fractional shares at the exact proportion of the money you have remaining.

This is a quality feature of the M1 Finance platform as it feels more inclusive for everybody. You do not need to be an investment tycoon in order to build your portfolio. This way, you grow at your own pace while utilising the full value of every penny you decide to invest.

What You Can Invest In

When it comes to the diversity of the M1 Finance investment markets, our review has come to find that it is relatively modest in comparison to other brokers. Not only is there no real option for trading in commodities but the investments you can choose to make are quite limited. That being said, there are still plenty of appealing options on the site for you to add to your portfolio.

Some of the investment categories you can make your selections from include:

  • General investing
  • Retirement investing
  • Sector-specific investing
  • Bonds
  • Stocks
  • Hedge fund-based investing
  • Socially responsible investing

As you can see the list of investment options is not staggering but it covers most of the bases. If you are perhaps someone who is looking for more diverse investment options or more trading options, you may want to check out Merrill Edge review or Robinhood review.

M1 Finance Smart Investing Conclusion

While M1 Finance may be lacking in trading commodities and diversity in investment options, they have still put together an incredibly intuitive platform. The automated rebalancing of a user’s portfolios makes life very easy and still gives you control over tweaking your preferences. Furthermore, the auto-investing option is a great way for you to avoid any minor human errors and also saves you time on the more menial changes you might have otherwise had to make yourself. Overall, the investment product on offer from M1 Finance is great for novice and more experienced investors alike. American citizens should be well pleased with the investment offering at M1 Finance.

M1 Finance ETF

M1 Finance ETFs

Looking for the best ETF broker in USA? M1 Finance features software with intelligent automation that gives you a straightforward way to enjoy ETF trading. You’ll get the power to set your own ETF trading strategy, and M1 Finance will automate the whole process so that you can build your portfolio and watch it grow. Each ETF will feature a selection of expertly picked mutual funds and stocks. With an M1 Finance account, you’ll never have to input your own trades manually, which is great for those who have no prior trading experience.

Trading Costs

One of the biggest reasons why you may want to consider M1 Finance for your ETF trading is that there are no trading fees. Plus we should note that M1 Finance will have no hidden asset management fees either. To set up a free account with M1 Finance, you’ll need to deposit at least $100. While an M1 Finance account is free, it’s important to note that a fee may be charged if you hold less than $20 in your account and you have had no trading activity over the past 90 days.

Exchange & Trading

M1 Finance features over 6,000 stocks and funds. You can either build your own investment ‘pie’ out these, or you can pick one of the tailor-made ETFs. These can be found among the so-called ‘expert pies’ that feature allocations of securities created by the M1 Finance team. The brand has a lengthy pdf document that details how their ETFs are built. Here you’ll get to see a range of ETF investment options such as the Vanguard Long-term Corporate Bond ETF and the SPDR Barclays Short Term Corp BD ETF.

Product Summary & Conclusion

M1 Finance has put together a no-nonsense software package that makes ETF trading easy. With barely any fees, it represents a great option for anybody with an interest in ETF trading.

Overall Conclusion

And that brings us to the conclusion of our M1 Finance review. M1 Finance has provided its users with an efficient and well-rounded platform that focuses primarily on investments. But more than that, it also gives its users the opportunity to learn more about investing with its host of different educational articles and glossaries.

Moreover, the customer service appears to run smoothly, as the broker seemingly cares about its clients’ needs and wants. There is an okay selection of additional offers but quite frankly we hope they improve this in the future to reward their users more. They could also stand to increase the M1 Finance open account options but as it stands it still offers new and existing clients enough of a selection.

The real selling point though is the fact that there are zero fees on any of your transactions with M1 Finance, including management fees, trading fees and commission fees. The site is very easy to use and offers great navigability with a crisp user interface. Overall, we feel that M1 Finance is certainly lacking in a few facets of their platform but not to the point of dire concern. What they do, they do well and they are certainly worth trying out! We hope you have found our M1 Finance USA review informative.

Looking for more reviews and guides? Be sure to check out our best stock broker in USA and best crypto broker in USA guides.

72/100
Rating
M1 Finance Stocks
*****
Go to M1 Finance Stocks
Highlights
  • Straightforward and simple website
  • Commission-free trading
  • Automated trading system
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