3. Best online stock brokers

M1 Finance – Best for Automated Investing

What makes it great: M1 offers a suite of tools that are perfect for automated investors, including experts who want to maintain a specific portfolio and beginners who want a primarily hands-off experience. It is also notably fee-free for most investing needs outside of some investment-specific management fees.

The highlight of M1 is its portfolio experience, which is managed using an interface called Pies. You can choose an expert-curated Pie or customize your own. The system works to keep your portfolio balanced to that target allocation, including stocks and ETFs. It supports several popular account types and offers banking and lending products in addition to its flagship investment product.

Potential drawbacks: Some features are limited to M1 Plus program members, costing $125 per year. M1 Plus unlocks a second daily trade window (by default all trades go in one batch in the morning), smart transfer rules, and more favorable rates for banking and loan products. M1 Plus is required for custodial accounts. It only supports a limited set of investment assets, with no mutual funds, cryptocurrencies, or options.

Commissions and fees: M1 doesn’t charge any trading commissions or recurring account fees unless you opt-in for M1 Plus at $125 per year. There are some fees for less-common activities and inactive accounts with a balance of $20 or less.


  • Semi-automated investing with portfolio Pies
  • Choose expert-curated portfolios or customize your own
  • No commissions or ongoing fees for most accounts


  • $125 annual subscription is required to unlock all features
  • No mutual funds or cryptocurrencies

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