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Updated on Monday, March 25, 2019
Folio Investing was one of the first companies to head into online brokering, according to the company. While others were still working with paper, Folio propelled investors to the internet.
Compared to the competition, their flat-fee pricing is enticing to users who might not be well-versed in the online brokerage realm. Their management tools are easy to understand, but don’t come looking for a one-stop shop for your investing. Features are sparse when it comes to in-depth analysis, which might make you look elsewhere for your investing needs.
Who should consider Folio Investing?
As one of the first companies to introduce online investing as an option, Folio has a long history in internet years. The company launched in 2000, though some may be scared off by the company’s relatively young age when compared to more established competitors.
If you’re new to the world of online investing, Folio is a great opportunity for you to learn the basics and grow your knowledge. If you’re only investing in a few different Stocks, you need help, and Folio guides you in the right direction.
Folio Investing fees and features
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Strengths of Folio Investing
Flat fee: Other brokerages charge a percentage of your investments. Folio charges one flat rate of $29 every month on the unlimited plan. If you’re on the basic plan, it’s $15 every quarter.
While there are charges for other services, such as an IRA Custodial fee, you’re only charged for something that isn’t covered in the flat fee.
No minimum balance: For newer investors who might not have a ton of cash saved up, this is a great gateway into Folio. Other online brokers may require a minimum balance, which can be a turnoff if you know the value of investing but don’t have as much as you need for a specific company.
Unlimited accounts: Whether you’re into individual, retirement or business accounts, you can choose as many as you’d like. You can also add your joint and Trust accounts here.
Tax Football: This is Folio’s patented investment tool that’s the company’s version of tax-loss harvesting. You can sell certain investments that aren’t getting you the results you want and minimize your tax loss.
Drawbacks of Folio Investing
Limited investment types: Folio Investing only offers Stocks, ETFs and Mutual funds options. You don’t have access to things like penny Stocks, Futures / commodities or other types of investments. This is probably fine for beginner investors, but for anyone who is looking for other types of investments, you won’t get that here.
No college accounts: While Folio’s accounts list is long — even including business options! — there are some that are noticeably missing. The lack of a 529 Plan or other educational savings account might be a turnoff if you’re looking for ways to invest in a child’s education.
No apps: If you like the idea of accessing your investments wherever you are, you may have trouble doing that with Folio. There are no phone or tablet apps for on-the-go access.
Is Folio Investing safe?
Folio accounts are FDIC- and SIPC-insured, which protects the securities in your account. This is a good baseline if you’re unsure what happens to your money in case the firm folds.
While all forms of investing carries some amount of risk, Folio doesn’t assure users that their money is protected should there be a data leak or another security breach. Some other online investment companies clearly state the lengths they go to in order to secure your information and money.
If you’re looking for a simple investing setup with one flat rate, Folio is a great option for your investment needs. It’s an easy tool that allows you to set up as many accounts as you’d like with no account minimum. It’s enticing for a reason: It’s not complicated and takes little effort. This is valuable for newbie investors or those who don’t have a lot of experience hand-picking their investment choices.
But Folio is limited in some areas, such as only offering Stocks, Mutual funds and ETFs. The lack of other securities is a turnoff to hardcore traders. While there are a good amount of ways that investors can make sure their portfolios are giving them the most amount of return, it might not be enough for more advanced investors. If you’re hoping for more in-depth features, like deeper insights or analysis tools, you might want to look elsewhere.
The “Find a Financial Advisor” links contained in this article will direct you to webpages devoted to MagnifyMoney Advisor (“MMA”). After completing a brief questionnaire, you will be matched with certain financial advisers who participate in MMA’s referral program, which may or may not include the investment advisers discussed.