M1 Finance Review 2019
M1 Finance is a smart and innovative money management platform that is easy to use for investing, borrowing and spending. The platform may be limited for those who want more control over their online trading.
M1 Finance Review 2019, Pros & Cons
- Strict regulation
- Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC)
- Automated portfolios
- Innovative all-in-one trading platform
- US clients only
- Restricted leverage
- No MetaTrader platform
- No forex, CFD or crypto trading
- No online payment processors
In this detailed M1 Finance review, our online broker research team have covered some of the most important aspects for you to consider when choosing the best broker for your online trading needs.
M1 Finance is not ranked in our best forex brokers, best cfd brokers, best crypto brokers or best online brokers categories. You can use our free broker comparison tool to compare online brokers including M1 Finance.
M1 Finance Review: Summary
M1 Finance is an automated investing platform offering no fees and headquartered in Chicago, Illinois. Founded in 2015, they are primarily a robo-advisor and registered with the SEC and FINRA.
M1 Finance is an all in one money management platform that helps clients control different aspects of their finances. Clients can create customised portfolios according to their own preferences or choose from 80+ expertly designed portfolios. In addition, clients can borrow and spend as they deem suitable. M1 uses fractional shares.
M1 Finance incorporates a pie-based interface that is geared towards making building and managing a portfolio as easy and intuitive as possible. There are more than 6,000 stocks and funds to choose from to build customised pies or select from nearly 100 pre-made custom expert pies that have been specifically designed to meet different financial goals and investment objectives of investors.
M1 Finance Review: Regulation
M1 Finance LLC is registered in the United States with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The SEC is an independent federal government agency responsible for protecting investors.
They are also a member of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC) scheme.
FINRA enables investors and firms to participate in the market with confidence by safeguarding its integrity. It is a non-governmental organisation that regulates member brokerage firms and exchange markets.
The SIPC is an investor protection scheme established in order to protect clients against the loss of cash and securities in case the broker cannot fulfil their financial obligations. The SIPC protection is limited to $500,000 with a $250,000 limit for cash.
M1 Finance Review: Countries
Only US citizens and permanent residents over the age of 18 with a current US mailing address can apply to open M1 Finance brokerage account. Some M1 Finance broker features and products mentioned within this M1 Finance review may not be available to traders from specific countries due to legal restrictions.
M1 Finance Review: Trading Platforms
M1 Finance offer the free M1 Smart Money Management all in one platform from where clients can seamlessly invest, borrow and spend to take control of and personalise their finances. The platform is intuitive and easy to use.
M1 use dynamic pie charts to help you easily visualise and manage your investments, so you always know what and how much you own of each. Users can review performance and check progress anytime, anywhere. Up-to-date important news articles for investments is included.
There is also M1 Plus which is a paid upgrade ($125 per year) that has some additional benefits including lower borrowing rates, an additional day trading window, cashback and more.
M1 Smart Money Management Features:
- Invest: Create your own portfolio with your choice of stocks and ETFs. M1 Finance uses fractional shares and intelligent automation to invest your money according to your target allocations
- Borrow: Borrow a flexible portfolio line of credit at competitive rates with a $10,000 investment. With M1 Borrow, you can borrow up to 35 percent of your portfolio and pay back on your schedule
- Spend: Move money between investments instantly with an M1 checking account and debit card. Clients can set up direct deposits, pay bills, and spend
M1 Finance Review: Trading Tools & Education
The M1 Finance platform is a useful tool within itself containing most of the functionality and features needed to manage your portfolio. The educational materials offered are limited although there is a blog which has some very useful articles related to their services and investing in general. M1 Finance does not provide the usual analysis tools that you will find with many other online trading brokers.
M1 Finance Review: Trading Instruments
M1 Finance offer trading on stocks, ETFs and funds. You can create your own custom portfolio or choose from over 80+ expert portfolios. Along with the vast choice of securities, they also offer automation with robo-advisors.
M1 Finance Review: Trading Accounts & Fees
M1 Finance have a choice of different accounts to cater to different investor need, ranging from general investing accounts to IRA accounts. A minimum account balance of $100 is required to get started with M1 Finance. Once the $100 account minimum has been reached, deposits can be any amount greater than $10. Retirement accounts have an initial investment requirement of $500.
- Individual: Your own account for general investing needs
- Joint: Joint account with a relative, spouse, or domestic partner
- Retirement: Invest in your future with Traditional, Roth, and SEP IRAs
- Trust: Manage trust investments
M1 Finance accounts have no trading commissions or management fees. However, whilst M1’s core services are free, some services outside of normal course of use will have a fee. You should ensure that you read, understand and accept all of the fees involved on the official M1 Finance website before you open an account with them.
As broker fees can vary and change, there may be additional fees that are not listed in this M1 Finance review. It is imperative to ensure that you check and understand all of the latest information on the official M1 Finance website before opening a brokerage account.
M1 Finance Review: Customer Service
The M1 Finance customer service is limited to email only. This can be very frustrating for clients who would prefer to speak to a member of the support team directly over the phone or live webchat. Hopefully they expand their customer service in the not so distant future. That being said, there is a comprehensive support area on the official M1 Finance website that can provide instant answers to a variety of questions covering different topics such as accounts, investing and more.
M1 Finance Review: Deposit & Withdrawal
To start investing with M1 Finance you will need to connect your bank and make your first deposit. You can do this easily by selecting the “funding” option from within the app. It is also possible to setup recurring deposits. It would be beneficial if they offered alternative online methods for funding such as PayPal, Skrill, Neteller, etc.
M1 Finance Review: Account Opening
Only US clients can apply for an M1 Finance account. There is a short online form to complete where you will need to choose your account type and provide personal information that may be used for verification via third-parties.
You will also need to provide proof of identification (passport, driver license, etc) and proof of address (utility bill, bank statement, etc). Make sure that you carefully read all of the terms, conditions and disclaimers which you will need to agree with if you are to proceed.
During normal business hours, your account should be opened almost immediately. Overnight or on the weekends, your account will be opened by the next business day. Some accounts can be flagged for further review and can therefore take up to 5 days to open.
M1 Finance Review: Conclusion
M1 Finance is an intuitive all in one tool for managing money and investing in customised or pre-build portfolios. They charge no trading fees but the automated aspect of the platform may not be suitable for those who prefer to have more control over individual investments. They do not offer forex, CFD or cryptocurrency trading whilst the trading platforms and analysis tools are very limited.
All investing involves risk, including the risk of losing the money you invest, and past performance does not guarantee future performance. Borrowing on margin can add to these risks, and you should learn more before borrowing. Nothing in this informational site is an offer, solicitation of an offer, or advice to buy or sell any security and you are encouraged to consult your personal investment, legal, and tax advisors.