Before starting your investment career, it pays to have a clear idea about what you will invest in. There are many options on the market, but you obviously won’t be able to put a stake in them all. This brings us to another equally challenging aspect of the investment process; who to invest with.
There are many investment platforms out there, and finding the right one for your investments can be just as important as picking good investment opportunities in the first place. In our Axos Invest review, we’ll break down this investment platform and how it works.
Axos Invest offers two investment services; Axos Self-Directed Trading and Axos Managed Portfolios. Let’s take a look at them both.
Investment Expense Ratios: Average around 0.12%
- Account management fees are low
- Offers customizable portfolios
- Excellent investment planning tools
- Facilitates tax-loss harvesting
- Account selection is limited
- $500 minimum opening and ongoing account balance
- Joint or custodial accounts not available
Axos Invest Overview
Axos Financial, Inc. added digital wealth management to its portfolio when it acquired certain assets of WiseBanyan Holding, Inc. and its subsidiaries in 2018.
With a 0.24% management fee, Axos Invest Managed Portfolios are automated investment accounts offering portfolio customization features that most robo-advisors on the market cannot match.
This automated investment account is best suited for investors who prefer to operate on a hands-off basis, beginners, and those seeking long-term investments in personalized ETF portfolios that are professionally managed.
Axos lets its users manage their investments on both iOS and Android devices. Beyond the basic features, Axos managed portfolio account holders can also access quick deposits, IRA automation, and automatic portfolio rebalancing from their mobile devices.
Axos Invest Performance
The Axos managed accounts have some pros and cons that are worth mentioning.
First off, let’s talk about customizable investments. As with other automated investment advisors, managed portfolios operate on modern portfolio theory. Each investor answers a series of questions, and the answers to those questions help create their portfolio and risk score.
The result is a portfolio of exchange-traded funds, reflecting how much risk the investor would be willing to accept. Portfolio management is relatively inexpensive. Most robo-advisors offer financial advice and other financial services at a much cheaper rate than their human counterparts, at a value of about 0.25% to 0.30% of the assets managed.
Axos slightly one-ups those numbers, with Axos Invest fees coming in at 0.24%. It might not be much, but it saves more money, and that’s always a plus.
Axos portfolios are similar to the industry norm. Funds carry an average investment expense ratio of 0.12%, covering equities in the US, emerging, and international markets and various corporate, short-term, high-yield, and government-issued bonds. There are also real estate investment trusts and inflation-protected treasury securities.
The Portfolio Plus feature lets you customize portfolios at no additional cost. Investors can access up to 32 different investment types categorized by sector, which can be added or removed freely. These sectors range from digital security to consumer staples and even socially minded companies.
Additionally, the Axos Invest Managed Portfolios service enables goal-oriented investing by allowing clients to create milestones for their financial goals. Investors list their income, net worth, and goals, along with the time frame in which they want to accomplish them. Axos then calculates what steps they need to take to make it all happen.
Automated investing is another thing that Axos does well. With the Formulas feature, only available with taxable investment accounts, investors can direct additional financial resources toward their goals through a linked bank account.
With tax-loss harvesting, clients can reduce taxes on their investment gains, a feature all Axos Invest clients using a Managed Portfolios account can enjoy.
Despite all the praise we’ve given in our Axos Invest review so far, there are two downsides to be aware of. First off, the deposit minimum is very high. Many robo-advisors operate with $0 account minimums, but Axos will require you to have an opening and ongoing balance of $500 or more on your account.
Furthermore, customers using Managed Portfolios accounts can only operate individual taxable accounts and IRA account options: Traditional IRA and Roth IRA. Joint or custodial accounts are not available.
Axos Invest Managed Portfolios vs. Other Robo-Advisors
$0 (uses portfolio-specific minimums for rebalancing, though)
0.25% or 1% for crypto
ETFs, cryptocurrenciesVisit Site
Axos Self-Directed Trading
Axos investing options also include Self-Directed Trading, which allows independent trading in options, stocks, ETFs, and mutual funds without paying any commission. In addition to offering clients a trading option without commissions, this product comes with a $1 account minimum.
Not all trades are free, though. With a basic self-directed trading account, Axos Invest fees come in at $1 for every contract on options trades, which is much higher than other brokers charge. If you are after one of the over 10,000 no-load mutual funds offered by Axos Invest, the commission will be $9.95 per trade.
The Axos self-directed investing service is not limited to the basic self-trading plan. There is also a premium plan called Axos Elite that costs $10 a month. Axos Elite also comes with these features:
- The rate for margin trading is 5.5%, subject to change
- The fee for options is set at $0.80 per contract
- Access to research reports from TipRanks and stock quotes in real-time
- Trading is extended to 7 p.m. ET
Axos Self-Directed Trading provides users with access to low-cost portfolios. In addition, individual, joint, or retirement accounts can be opened. As can checking and savings accounts with Axos Bank.
With Self-Directed Trading, Axos caters to both active and passive investors. Just be aware that some trades come with high fees.
How Can Axos Be Improved?
Axos Invest undoubtedly operates a well-oiled machine for its clients, whether they opt for Managed Portfolios or Self-Directed Trading accounts, and regardless of the portfolios that the Axos Invest robo-advisor manages.
However, Axos Invest doesn’t provide access to any human advisory services with these two plans, focusing entirely on the robo-advisor niche.
While human advisors are much more expensive, having the option to hire some for consultation as part of the bonus features of Managed Portfolios or Self-Directed Trading accounts would have been welcome.
Another aspect that could benefit from improvements is customer service, which we’ll discuss more later. Axos Invest does not have any physical branches, so although there are plenty of options for virtual customer support, you cannot speak with agents face-to-face.
Axos Invest Account Types
Here’s a quick overview of the types of accounts that users can operate with Axos Invest:
- Roth IRA
- Traditional IRA
- Taxable (Individual and Joint)
The tradable assets available to users on Axos Invest include:
- Mutual Funds
Axos Invest Customer Support
Axos Invest offers customer support through secure messaging when you log in to your account and via email. There is no dedicated customer service number, but there are FAQ sections for both Managed Portfolios and Self-Directed Trading accounts.
Axos Invest Mobile App
Axos Invest’s accounts can be accessed through the Axos Bank mobile app. The app is available for iOS and Android devices.
Better Business Bureau Rating
The investment service is not accredited by the Better Business Bureau but has a C rating there. The staff at Axos Invest reviews all customer activity on its profile and has responded to all the published complaints, which shows a dedication to customer satisfaction.
The Bottom Line
If low-cost management combined with guidance for goal-oriented investing is what you’re looking for, then Axos Invest Managed Portfolios might just be your best bet. For investors who prefer a more hands-on approach, Axos Invest Self-Directed Trading does just the trick.
There are some downsides to Axos investing, such as a lack of in-person customer support and human advisors. Still, Axos reviews its accounts regularly, the automated robo-advisor is constantly being worked on, and the company provides excellent customer service through live chat and email.
How does Axos Invest make money?
Axos Invest charges a 0.24% management fee for Managed Portfolios. For self-trading accounts, Axos Invest charges $1 for every contract on options trades.
How do I close an Axos investment account?
Closing your Axos Invest account is easy. All you need to do is log in to your account and send customer support a secure message stating your intentions.
Is Axos Bank good?
Axos Bank is considered to have some of the best money market and online savings accounts in the business, including excellent robo-advisor solutions for investors. Check out our Axos Invest review above for more information.
What happens when I withdraw from an investment account?
Typically, withdrawing from your investment account doesn’t incur tax penalties. You may, however, have to pay capital gains taxes if you have earned money on your investments.