Folio Investing is one of many online brokerages growing in popularity. However, how does it stack up against the likes of Fidelity, Ally Invest or Merrill Edge?

The competition for robo advisors and online stock trading is in full swing. But, Folio has carved out a piece of the pie with its custom portfolio management and cost benefits.

Folio Investing review and products

What is Folio Investing?

Before you decide to sign up, it’s important to do your research. So, what is Folio Investing?

Folio is one of the most established online brokerages you can find. Specifically, it’s a subsidiary of FOLIOfn. It’s been around for some time after its original launch in 2000.

According to the company’s official website, Folio offers a “unique combination of patented innovations, a powerful platform, passion and determination to help investors reap the benefits of smarter investing.”

What sets Folio apart is its custom portfolio management products. In fact, it offers more than 160 “Ready-to-Go Folios” that are designed for almost any investment strategy you can think of. You can play it safe, take on more risk or choose a balanced portfolio that is more diversified.

Folio also provides fractional share investing, custom “build-it-yourself folios” and tax management tools to minimize your tax liability. The online brokerage offers two pricing plans that come with different costs and benefits.

Folio Products, Pricing and Benefits

Folio Investing offers two pricing options: The Folio Unlimited Plan and the Basic Plan. Each has its own set of benefits and drawbacks, though they are similar in some aspects.

The Unlimited Plan is its most popular product. Moreover, it comes with a free 60-day trial. The cost is $29 per month or $290 per year after the trial ends.

The Unlimited Plan offers commission-free trading during two daily trading windows. There’s a $3 charge for market, limit, stop and stop/limit orders. In addition, there’s no balance or investment minimums required.

The one fee covers all of your accounts. You can setup an unlimited amount of personal, retirement, custodial, revocable trust or joint accounts. With this plan, you have immediate access to the 160+ Ready-to-Go Folios and Build-Your-Own Folios.

The basic plan at Folio Investing charges $15 per quarter service fee if you make three or fewer trades in the preceding quarter. There’s also a $4 commission fee per window trade. The charge for market, limit, stop and stop/limit orders is $10 in comparison to the $3 charge for the Unlimited Plan.

Everything else is the same. You will have access to all of the portfolio and account options. And, there is no investment or balance minimums.

Folio and Its Competitors

In terms of custom portfolio management, Folio has as much experience as anyone. It was one of the first portfolio-based investing products on the internet. It doesn’t offer the tools and full-scale resources you may find at Fidelity or Ally Invest, so it’s hard to consider them in the same category.

Right now, its main competition is Betterment when it comes to portfolio investing. However, it does not have the experience or scale to compete with Folio at this moment.

Betterment provides fewer options at a lower rate. It’s best suited for new and inexperienced investors that are working with a smaller investing structure.

Motif Investing was once a close competitor that offered similar portfolio-based products with a $9.95 commission charge per portfolio. There weren’t any additional fees, but it was still lacking in comparison to Folio. In May of 2020, Motif shut down and all of its accounts were transferred to Folio.

Is Folio Investing Right for You?

Folio has some of the best flat-fee custom portfolios on the internet. However, which plan to pick will depend on the size of your portfolio.

If your portfolio is larger than $20,000, you may want to go with the Unlimited Plan. For less frequent traders, the basic plan is a perfect fit.

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The life of an investor has completely changed since the digital wave began. You don’t have to hire a personal broker any longer.

Anyone with a bit of money and a computer can begin investing within minutes. If you are in this group, Folio may be the right match for you. Folio Investing provides a unique product unlike other robo advisors available today.