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Some investors avoid individual stocks because they are difficult to diversify and trading costs can eat into profits. M1 Finance allows clients to purchase fractional shares of over 6,000 options, so you can diversify investments of any size. In addition to its brokerage account, M1 also offers a Roth IRA and a Traditional IRA. Additionally, M1 charges no fees on trades, so all profits are yours to keep.

Pros

  • Open account with $100
  • Purchase fractional shares starting with a $1 minimum
  • Dynamic rebalancing
  • Includes checking account with no fees
  • Customers may borrow against portfolio
  • M1 Plus upgrade offers additional benefits for a monthly fee

Cons

  • Shares are sold during a trading window
  • Accounts with less than $20 and no activity may be charged a fee
  • No access to financial advisors
  • No online chat to speak with customer service

How Does M1 Finance Work?

M1 Finance allows investors to buy fractional shares and diversify their portfolios. The minimum deposit to open an M1 account is $100.

Investors can buy fractional shares of stock with as little as $1. Additionally, you can opt in for M1 Finance to automatically invest in your portfolio when your cash balance reaches $25.

Dynamic Rebalancing

As you continue to add money to your account, M1 Finance uses dynamic rebalancing. This means that future contributions are made to restore your account to the portfolio distribution you’ve set.

Lot Allocation Strategy

When it comes time to sell, M1 Invest uses a “lot allocation strategy” which it claims helps investors reduce taxes. According to M1, shares are sold in the following order to lower your tax liability:

  1. Losses to offset future gains
  2. Long-term gains
  3. Short-term gains

Referral Bonus

Once your account is funded, you can also refer your friends and earn $10 for each referral that opens an account.

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Stocks and ETFs

Whether you have an M1 Roth IRA, Traditional IRA or a brokerage account, you can invest in more than 6,000 stocks and funds to build your portfolio.

Automated Portfolios

If you don’t want to choose stocks or ETFs yourself, there are nearly 100 pre-designed portfolios to choose from. According to M1, these portfolios are designed to meet a range of financial goals, investment objectives and risk tolerances.

Trading Windows

M1 Finance makes all trades one or two times per day. M1 claims the morning and afternoon trade windows keep costs low for all clients. All changes requested before 10 a.m. Eastern are generally made the same business day during the morning trade window.

An afternoon trade window is for requests made between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Eastern. M1 Plus members may trade during either daily window. The M1 Plus members with $25,000 or more in their accounts may trade in both windows.

M1 Basic and M1 Plus

When you open an M1 Finance account, there are two account types to choose from: Basic and M1 Plus. Both accounts can use use intelligent automation to invest in a portfolio of stocks and ETFs for free, if you choose. However, the M1 Plus Account offers additional benefits that we examine below.

Basic M1 Account M1 Plus Account

Window

Morning trade window for free

Morning, afternoon, or both for free

Borrowing

3.50%

2.00%

Spend

  • No monthly fees
  • No interest
  • No cash back
  • 1 ATM reimbursement/mo
  • $125 annual fee
  • 1% interest
  • 1% cash back
  • 4 ATM reimbursements/mo

Additional Account Types

In addition to Basic and M1 Plus, you can choose from a variety of account types to meet your specific investment goals. These account types include:

  • Individual
  • Joint
  • Retirement
  • Trust

M1 Roth IRA and Other Retirement Accounts

If you want the benefit of tax-deferred retirement accounts, M1 Finance has you covered. Yes, you can open an M1 Roth IRA, Traditional IRA or SEP-IRA account.

M1 Finance Bonus

Although M1 only requires $100 to open an account, investors who have more money can qualify for M1 Finance’s introductory transfer bonus. The M1 bonus offers up to $2,500 when you transfer your investments from another brokerage account within 60 days. Here’s how the tiered bonus works:

M1 Bonus Transfer Amount

$250

$100,000 – $249,999.99

$500

$250,000 – $499,999.99

$1,000

$500,000 – $999,999.99

$2,500

more than $1 million

M1 Finance Fees

M1 Finance charges no fees for trading in stocks or ETFs. Additionally, there are no account management fees either.

Clients who upgrade to an M1 Plus Account are charged $125 per year. This annual fee provides a higher rate of interest on your checking account, 1% cash back on debit card purchases and reimburses up to four ATM fees per month. Additionally, you’ll receive a lower rate of interest on your line of credit from M1 Finance.

Most importantly, M1 Plus clients have additional trading windows to buy or sell their investments each day.

Benefits and Tools

Clients have more than just M1 Roth IRA, Traditional IRA or brokerage accounts to choose from with M1 Finance. Your account includes a checking account and the ability to borrow a portion of your investment account.

M1 Spend Checking Account

Your M1 Spend checking account can replace your existing checking account. You can direct deposit your paycheck, transfer money between accounts or make purchases with the complimentary ATM debit card.

The basic checking account has no annual fee and includes one covered ATM fee each month. It does not earn interest or cash back on debit card purchases.

When you upgrade to M1 Plus, your M1 Spend account also receives an upgrade. It will receive 1% APY on your balances and 1% cash back on debit card purchases. Plus, up to four foreign ATM charges are reimbursed each month. Keep in mind, that APY can change over time. So be sure to double check all APY offers.

All M1 Spend checking accounts integrate with your investment accounts, offer FDIC insurance up to $250,000 and have no minimum balance requirements

Borrow up to 35% of Your Account Value

You can borrow up to 35% of your portfolio’s value with a margin loan. The base rate is 3.5% for Basic M1 accounts and 2% for M1 Plus accounts. There is no paperwork, no payment schedule and you can borrow the money is less than 10 seconds. These margin loans can be used for anything, including paying off debt, a large expense or adding leverage to your portfolio.

Keep in mind that margin loan interest rates are variable, can be called if your portfolio value declines and can magnify losses if you buy additional investments.

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How to Open an M1 Finance Account

You can open your M1 Finance account online.

To start, you provide your email address and create a password.

Then you’ll create your “pie” of investments from the more than 6,000 stocks and professionally-designed portfolios. The investments are equally weighted initially, but you can adjust those percentages to your liking.

You’ll verify your identity through your phone and provide personal information including your Social Security Number and date of birth. M1 Finance also asks a short series of questions to create your financial and investment profile.

Then you’ll link your bank account automatically through Plaid or by manually entering your account and routing numbers. At that point, you’ll fund your account.

LH

Lee Huffman

Lee Huffman spent 18 years in banking and investments and now uses that insider knowledge to write about credit cards, travel, and other personal finance topics. Lee enjoys showing people how to travel more, spend less, and live better through the power of travel rewards. You can connect with him at BaldThoughts.com.