M1 Finance Review – Is This Investing App Worth Using?

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By Theo Madsen

Last Updated

M1 Finance Review

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M1 Finance Review

  • Ease of Use
  • Quality
  • Value
4.7

Summary

M1 Finance is a finance app and stock broker designed to help users manage their investments. M1 Finance offers commission-free trading on stocks and ETFs with no account management fee. Additionally, this app also offers pre-made portfolios, a checking account, a rewards credit card, and more. Read our complete M1 Finance review to learn more about this app before you download.

Pros

  • Commission-free stock and ETF investing
  • Offers traditional, Roth, and SEP IRAs
  • Dynamic rebalancing to keep your portfolio on track
  • Borrow up to 40% of the value of your traditional brokerage account
  • Rewards credit card with up to 10% back

Cons

  • Does not allow you to execute spot trades
  • Difficult to invest a specific amount in a single asset

About M1 Finance

M1 Finance bills itself as a finance super app. It offers commission-free trading on stocks and ETFs as well as pre-made portfolios that you can invest in. M1 Finance also lets you borrow against your investing account and offers a checking account and rewards credit card. Best of all, M1 Finance has no account management fees.

So, is this platform right for you? Our M1 Finance review will cover everything you need to know.  

M1 Finance Homepage

M1 Finance Pricing

M1 Finance offers commission-free trading on stocks and ETFs, and there is no account management fee.

You can subscribe to M1 Plus, a premium service, for $125 per year. The fee is waived for the first year. M1 Plus offers a reduced interest rate for borrowing, waives the $95 annual fee for the M1 Finance credit card, and eliminates international fees for debit card transactions.

M1 Finance requires a minimum deposit of $100 to open a traditional brokerage account or $500 to open a retirement account. After your initial deposit, you can make a minimum deposit of $10 at a time.

What Can You Invest in with M1 Finance?

M1 Finance enables you to invest in US stocks and ETFs. The platform supports fractional investing from as little as $1.

M1 Finance also has curated portfolios, or what it calls “pies.” Each pie includes 10-20 stocks and ETFs that follow a theme. Some of the themes include women- and Black-led companies, aggressive or conservative investing, and sustainable investing.

M1 Finance Expert Pie

When creating a portfolio in M1 Finance, you can use any combination of individual stocks, ETFs, and curated pies. All investments are commission-free.

Account Types

M1 Finance offers traditional brokerage accounts and traditional, Roth, and SEP IRAs. If you have M1 Plus, you can also open a custodial account. M1 Finance offers 401(k) rollovers into an IRA.

How Does Investing with M1 Finance Work?

What’s unique about M1 Finance is that you don’t enter trades in terms of the number of shares you want to buy. Rather, you create a portfolio and decide how you want to allocate your investment among any number of stocks, ETFs, or expert pies in terms of percentages. M1 Finance will automatically divide up your initial deposit to match your desired allocation.

M1 Finance Portfolio

As you add money to your investment account in the future, M1 Finance applies what it calls dynamic rebalancing. This means that your deposit isn’t evenly divided among the assets in your portfolio, but rather is split up so that it pushes your portfolio back towards your optimal allocation. This keeps your portfolio allocation on track, but it also means that you’ll be investing more heavily in the underperforming assets in your portfolio.

You can make changes to your portfolio allocation at any time. If you increase or reduce the percentage of a holding in your portfolio, M1 Finance will use dynamic rebalancing to achieve the new allocation over time rather than immediately buy or sell shares. If you remove a holding from your portfolio entirely, M1 Finance will sell the shares immediately and reinvest the proceeds in the rest of your portfolio.

M1 Finance Rebalancing

Helpfully, M1 Finance does allow you to override dynamic rebalancing. You can choose to manually rebalance your portfolio at any time. You can also opt to keep a certain amount of cash in your portfolio rather than invest it. Finally, M1 Finance allows you to enter individual buy or sell orders, which are prioritized ahead of automated trades.

It’s important to note that M1 Finance does not allow you to place spot trades. All orders across the platform are aggregated and executed at the same time each morning (starting at 9:30am Eastern). The price you receive for a stock or ETF is the quoted price during M1 Finance’s execution window, so you won’t know your exact cost ahead of time. M1 Plus users with a balance of more than $25,000 in a single account get access to a second trade window in the afternoon, which starts at 3:00pm.

Recurring Deposits

M1 Finance makes it easy to set up one-time or recurring deposits. You can schedule deposits weekly, biweekly, or monthly and customize the day on which deposits occur.

M1 Finance Deposits

If you have multiple M1 Finance accounts, you can also set up custom rules to move cash between accounts. This is especially helpful if you want to transfer money from a traditional brokerage account to a retirement account.

M1 Borrow

Another unique feature that M1 Finance offers is the ability to borrow funds using your investment account as collateral. To qualify for M1 Borrow, you must have a traditional brokerage account with a balance of at least $2,000. You can borrow up to 40% of your portfolio’s value at a rate of 3.75% APR (or 2.25% APR for M1 Plus subscribers).

The borrowing feature is extremely flexible in nature. You can use the funds to invest in a short-term opportunity on M1 Finance or pull cash out of your account to pay for everyday expenses. You can also use M1 Finance’s custom transfer rules to automatically pay back your loan.

However, keep in mind when borrowing that you could receive a margin call if the value of your portfolio drops. 

M1 Finance Checking and Credit Card

M1 Finance offers a checking account with no annual fee and no minimum balance. It comes with a debit card and one ATM fee reimbursement per month. There is a fee of 0.8%-1% for international transactions.

The platform also has a Visa rewards credit card that offers 1.5% cashback on every purchase and up to 10% back at a variety of S&P 500-listed companies. The card comes with a $95 annual fee.

M1 Finance Credit Card

M1 Plus

M1 Plus is M1 Finance’s premium subscription. It costs $125 per year, but benefits include no annual fee for the M1 Finance credit card (worth $95). In addition, the fee is waived for the first year.

M1 Plus users also get 1% APY interest, four ATM fee reimbursements per month, and no international transaction fees with the M1 Finance checking account. M1 Plus also offers access to the afternoon trading window and the ability to open a custodial investing account.

What Type of Investor is M1 Finance Best For?

M1 Finance brings together a lot of different strands in investing and personal finance. With this platform, you can invest in stocks and ETFs commission-free through a traditional or retirement investing account. The curated pies are an extra benefit, as they make it easy to invest in specific themes. You can also borrow up to 40% of your account’s value on margin and use it either for trading or as a personal loan.

On top of these features, M1 Finance offers a checking account and attractive rewards credit card. If you can make use of M1 Finance’s checking account and credit card, M1 Plus is worth exploring. The $125 annual subscription can easily pay for itself by waiving the $95 credit card annual fee and offering 1% interest on funds in your checking account. 

Very few other platforms offer such a wide range of features. You can find combined investment and checking accounts at some robo-advisors, but these platforms typically don’t enable you to invest in individual stocks and ETFs.

All that said, it’s important to keep in mind that M1 Finance is not designed for trading. All trade orders are executed during preset windows, and there is no way to enter a spot trade. In addition, it’s somewhat difficult to invest a specific amount in a company rather than investing in a whole portfolio. So, M1 Finance cannot replace a traditional brokerage when it comes to active investing. 

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Theo Madsen

Theo has been actively trading the forex markets since 2013. Over the past five years, he has gained experience trading currencies, stocks, options, and futures. Theo's trading experience led him to test out over one hundred different trading services and he shares his insights in reviews to help other traders.