M1 Finance Review

By: Heather Hanks Feb. 03, 2020

M1 Finance is a smart money management tool that can help you take control of your money. The app is designed for the intelligent investor. It offers personalized advice for your finance needs. You can use it to invest, borrow, spend, and more. Most of the features are free. However, you can upgrade to a higher tier version of the app for even more investing power.

M1 Finance allows you to benefit from more efficient transfers, free investments, fractional shares, and lower cost loans. It offers a three-in-one platform for you to do all of your financial work. You’ll also earn money for each friend you refer to the app. Check out our M1 Finance review below to see if this app is right for you.

What is M1 Finance?

M1 Finance is a money management app brought to you by a team of experienced, investment-driven people. The company was founded by Brian, who was always serious about investing money but didn’t like doing it with the tools currently available. The company believes that the financial industry is outdated and that there is a better way to manage personal finances. The team’s goal is to benefit their customers by permanently changing the financial industry.

The app offers personalized features and tools that are easy to use so that you can get control of your financial future. You’ll enjoy an automated and integrated platform that allows you to invest, borrow, and bank all in one space. This platform allows you to put your money to optimal use so that it can reach its full potential. M1 Finance partners with trustworthy partners. They ensure that your personal information is always secure. They promise to operate through transparency, openness, and honesty when it comes to their services and policies.

What does M1 Finance offer?

You can download the M1 Finance app for free. However, there is an upgraded version of M1 Finance called M1 Plus that offers even more benefits, but it will cost you $125 per year. Both services offer an M1 Finance investment account. You’ll get features such as unlimited free trades, dynamic rebuilding, custom portfolios, and fractional shares. Other features that are free with both accounts include expert portfolios, investing schedules, and built-in tax efficiency.

M1 Plus allows you to take advantage of two trade windows per day while the free account only allows for one. Both accounts offer a flexible line of trade for you to borrow from. There is a minimum portfolio requirement of $10,000 to qualify for this feature. The base rate for the free version of the app is 3.5% while the M1 Plus rate is 3.25%. Both versions offer flexible payback options and no impact on credit. Checking accounts are also included in both versions. You’ll get a debit card with both versions.

Here is a breakdown of the three primary services M1 Finance offers:

Investing

M1 Finance allows you to build a portfolio of EFTs and stocks for free. They provide the tools you need so that you can invest the way you want. You can also choose from more than 80 expert portfolios if you don’t want to build one yourself. The app allows you to own EFTs and stocks no matter what the share price is through fractional shares. It ensures a simpler process to invest your money so that you get the most out of it. You can sync your trades with investing schedules to keep your portfolio on the right track. You’ll never have to manually trade again.

Borrow

The M1 Finance platform allows you to borrow from a flexible portfolio line of credit with low rates. You can borrow once your M1 portfolio reaches a value of $10,000. Access your funds through the app with no paperwork involved. You can also use the funds for whatever you want and pick your repayment schedule. M1 Finance allows you to borrow up to 35% of your invested portfolio at 3.50% interest (3.25% if you’re using M1 Plus).

Spend

M1 offers a free checking account that you can link to a debit card. M1 Plus members will enjoy a tungsten card. All other cards are plastic. You’ll be able to set up direct deposits and money transfers. This feature works well with the invest and borrow options. You can access your loans and move them into investments easily.

How does M1 Finance Work?

M1 Finance works by combining all of your investing, banking, and borrowing needs into one platform. The app allows you to build an investment portfolio for free. It tracks your activity and uses this information to take action. You can schedule weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly deposits to make sure you’re always invested in a manner that works for you. Pick the ETFs and stocks you want to invest in and set target amounts for each one. The app uses intelligent automation and fractional shares to invest your money.

Fractional shares refer to the equity in a security less than one full share. The app will split each of your shares into 1/100,000th of a share. This allows you to trade exact amounts based on your portfolio targets. Intelligent automation is designed to maintain your custom investment portfolio. It uses a proprietary trading system that is based on your Pie-based portfolio to align all of your trading activity. This means you will never have to make any trades manually.

This information is determined according to your target allocations. It’s designed to help you earn the most from your money. You can also use the app to access a flexible portfolio line of credit as soon as your value reaches $10,000. You can use this money however you want. You’ll get a M1 Spend checking account that allows you to pay back your loan on your own schedule. Use it to make direct deposits and automatically invest on your terms.

m1 Finance app

Here’s are some important features about M1 Borrow:

  • You can borrow up to 35% of your invested portfolio with 3.50% interest rate or 3.25% if you are a M1 Plus member.
  • To qualify, you must have a taxable brokerage account with $10,000 or more. IRA accounts do not qualify.
  • You will be automatically enrolled in the borrow feature when your portfolio reaches $10,000 in value. You will instantly be given a line of credit and there is no need to apply.
  • You are not obligated to use this line of credit. You will only need to pay back whatever you borrow. You will not be charged for anything that you do not borrow!
  • When you request an amount to borrow, you can have it deposited into your M1 account or another bank account.
  • The interest rate might be tax deductible (check with your tax advisor).
  • Interest is charged at the end of the month. You can deduct this amount from your cash balance.
  • You can choose how to pay your amount back. There is no set repayment plan. If you cannot make a payment, M1 will sell from your portfolio to make up the difference.

Other Notable Features of M1 Finance: The Pie

M1 Finance offers personalized accounts to fit your needs. Choose from individual, joint, IRA, or trust accounts. Individual accounts are ideal for basic investing needs. Opt for a joint account if you want to include your spouse, relative, or partner. IRA accounts are available so that you can invest with SEP, traditional, and roth IRAs. You can also use a M1 Finance trust account to manage your trust investments. The app offers a pie-based interface to view your entire portfolio known as “the Pie”.

You can pick from the following pies:

Basic investing pies

this includes a diversified portfolio based on your risk tolerance

Hedge fund professionals

this pie lets you mimic investment methods from some of the world’s top hedge fund managers and experts

Responsible investing

this pie is ideal for those interested in social responsible investing

Specialized industries and sectors

this piece allows you to invest in specific areas

Planning for retirement pies

use this pie to help plan for your retirement date

Income-based pies

these pies are based on your income returns and dividends

Stocks and bonds

invest in a portfolio that includes two EFTs that are centered on stocks and bonds

Others

you can find additional pies based on your financial goals

To build your pie, you’ll need to follow a few easy steps. Here’s how it works:

1

Pick an investment and add it to your chart.

Each pie “slice” represents one investment.

2

Select the target weight for each one of your slices. This number will be represented as a percentage. It indicates how much of that particular slice corresponds with the rest of your portfolio.

3

Add funds to your pie. Money will automatically be added to your investments. These are set to align with your target asset allocation.

4

View your portfolio performance anytime! Each slice will grow or shrink depending on how well it’s doing. Slices that are not doing well will even out and return to their target as long as you continue to fund your portfolio. You can edit, add, or remove your slices anytime!

M1 Finance: Pros and Cons

The M1 Finance app is a three-in-one platform to help you get the most out of your money. It’s a great option for those who do not have much time to spend managing their portfolio. The app will make regularly scheduled payments to your portfolio. You can manage your investments anytime. However, there is no chat technical support or financial advisors available. You might need to do some research on EFTs and fractional shares if you’re new to this area. The app will charge if you aren’t active after 90 days. Here are other notable pros and cons to consider.

M1 Finance PROS

  • You can trade fractional shares at no cost
  • The app manages your portfolio based on your financial actions
  • You can build a flexible portfolio building or choose from more than 80 expert portfolios
  • Pie-chart graphics makes it easy to see how your portfolio is doing
  • You can manage, edit, add, or remove shares anytime
  • Once your portfolio value hits $10,000, you can borrow money
  • You’ll get a free checking account
  • Borrowing is flexible and you only pay for what you use
  • You can have the money you borrow deposited into your M1 Finance account or another bank account
  • Joint or individual accounts are available
  • Investment accounts are insured by the SIPC and checking accounts are insured by FDIC insurance
  • M1 Finance is free to use (M1 Plus member will be charged $125 per year
  • Interest rates are low at 3.50% for free members and 3.35% for M1 Plus users
  • There is no set repayment plan; you choose how much you pay back and when
  • You’ll receive a discounted interest rate by becoming a M1 Plus member
  • You can place individual stock or EFT orders

M1 Finance CONS

  • M1 Finance does not offer tax-loss harvesting. It also does not recognize outside holdings. You can not be an active trader to sign up for M1 Finance. Also, there are no mutual funds available. You can only buy stocks and EFTs.
  • You will be charged a fee if your account is less than $20 and there has been no trading activity for 90 days
  • Currently, there is no online chat or financial advice offered for technical support

How to get M1 Finance App

You can download the M1 Finance app for free by going to the App store or Google Play. You will need to sign up for an account by entering your email address and a password. Once you create an account, you’ll be allowed to build a pie and get started. The app does not have a risk assessment questionnaire.

Build your own pie or choose one of the expert pies made up of individual stocks and EFTs. Expert pies are located at the bottom of the app. Next, you can pick three items and customize your slices. Your first pie will be saved and you can use it to invest. Check out the video on the website to show you how it works. Lastly, you will need to enter your personal information, including your bank account information.

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CreditNervana promises to keep our information as accurate and up-to-date as possible. However, you should always consult a financial advisor for specific questions about personal or business finances and investment opportunities, especially if you are looking in your area. Working with a trained professional who is familiar with your case is a safe and guaranteed way to make the best investment decision possible. Please review our terms and conditions before making any decision based on the information we provide. Financial institutions are constantly changing. Because of this, it’s a good idea to cross check the information you read here with any company you are considering working with.

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