September 28, 2023


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5 Greatest Robo-Advisors With Tax-Loss Harvesting

13 min read
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Tax-loss harvesting is a stupendous factor. At its simplest, it is an funding technique the place you promote an funding at a loss with the aim of decreasing your capital positive factors tax invoice. That is doable to do by yourself, with a monetary advisor, or with a robo-advisor.

Automated tax-loss harvesting with the assistance of a robo-advisor is likely one of the best methods to benefit from this money-smart, utterly authorized investing technique.

Right here, we’ll discuss among the finest robo-advisors that provide tax-loss harvesting and offer you ideas for selecting the correct automated funding account.

Greatest Robo-Advisors With Tax-Loss Harvesting at a Look

Wealthfront — Greatest for Targets-Primarily based Investing

Wealthfront Logo


  • Low administration payment
  • $500 account minimal
  • Day by day tax-loss harvesting
  • Extremely customizable portfolios
  • Large number of funding varieties and asset classes


  • Customer support falls brief with no reside chat choice and cellphone assist restricted to weekday enterprise hours

Greatest For: Newbie and intermediate buyers who will benefit from goal-planning instruments and progress-tracking options

Not Best For: Traders who need to maintain fractional shares in an automatic account

Charges: 0.25% advisory payment

Wealthfront does loads of issues proper as a robo-advisor and stands out from the remainder of the pack for its rigorous method to determining and aligning together with your monetary targets. It is also among the best for buyers who need to customise their asset allocation and even create a portfolio from scratch. However you do not have to do that, because the curated portfolios are terrific. Select the Basic Portfolio, Socially Accountable portfolio, or Direct Indexing portfolio.

In case you’re on the lookout for a robo-advisor that can assist you to meet your targets whereas providing superior advantages like tax-loss harvesting, Wealthfront could possibly be a great match. This is a superb alternative whether or not you are investing for the primary time or have a number of years behind you.

Learn our full evaluate.

Betterment — Greatest for Freshmen

Betterment Logo


  • Low annual administration payment
  • No account minimal to get began
  • 12 distinctive portfolio choices to select from
  • Large number of funding varieties and asset classes (together with crypto and fractional shares)


  • Third-party charges for crypto investing
  • Should make a month-to-month deposit of $250 or extra or have a stability of at the very least $20,000 to change to annual relatively than month-to-month pricing

Greatest For: Freshmen and buyers who need to have much less hands-on involvement

Not Best For: DIY buyers who need to select and handle their investments themselves

Charges: 0.25% annual administration payment for many portfolios (or $4 a month), 1% for crypto portfolios (plus buying and selling bills)

Betterment is a stable robo-advisor throughout, however we expect rookies and buyers preferring to only sit again and go away their portfolios alone ought to recognize it most. This robo-advisor makes it simple to get arrange, customise your investing, after which loosen up. And with 12 completely different portfolios to select from together with stand-out choices like social affect and local weather affect portfolios, 4 several types of crypto portfolios, and plenty of extra conventional ones, you’ll be able to really feel like your investments are aligned together with your priorities.

Do not select Betterment if you would like full management over your investments, however do select this robo-advisor if you wish to let automation do the heavy-lifting.

Learn our full evaluate.

Empower — Greatest for Internet Value Monitoring

Private Capital is now Empower


  • Entry to human advisors
  • Wealth administration instruments and options
  • Gives particular person securities


  • Larger administration payment than many different robo advisors
  • Very excessive $100,000 account minimal for wealth administration

Greatest For: Traders with a number of retirement funding accounts who need full wealth administration assist together with human advisory providers

Not Best For: Model-new buyers who haven’t began saving for retirement

Charges: 0.49% to 0.89% annual administration payment

In case you’ve began specializing in rising your internet price and also you desire a platform with monetary planning options, Empower could possibly be the robo-advisor for you. This robo-advisor emphasizes retirement investing and strategizing. And the Empower platform is extra complete than the common robo-advisor with instruments for planning, budgeting, advising, and extra. Plus, you may get human advising, which is much less widespread for automated accounts.

Though beginner-friendly, Empower will not be the best choice for many who haven’t began saving for retirement as a result of lots of its built-in instruments — together with a Retirement Planner, Charge Analyzer, Financial savings Planner, and many others. — hyperlink with these accounts. To benefit from Empower, you need to sync as many accounts as doable.

Learn our article: “I’ve Used Empower for 9 Years: What I Love & What Might Enhance

>>> Discover out extra: Internet Value Trackers: 7 Greatest Apps & Monitoring Companies

Schwab Clever Portfolios — Greatest Charge-Free

Charles Schwab wide logo


  • No annual administration charges
  • Non-compulsory human advisory providers (for a payment)


  • Excessive $5,000 account minimal
  • Restricted funding varieties with no socially accountable portfolio choice

Greatest For: Traders who need human advising and people trying to save on their investing

Not Best For: Traders on the lookout for a highly-customizable robo-advisor, buyers with much less cash to speculate

Charges: No annual administration charges, $300 setup payment and $30 a month after that for limitless entry to a licensed monetary planner (non-obligatory)

Schwab Intelligent Portfolios would not cost administration charges, making it certainly one of few robo-advisors that may be truly free. You may as well pay for human advisory providers from a CFP.

However there are some downsides to this cheap platform. First, a taxable funding account must have a stability of at the very least $50,000 to qualify for automated tax-loss harvesting with Schwab Clever Portfolios. That is larger than most robo-advisors. Additionally, there are solely three completely different funding methods obtainable with Schwab — World, U.S.-focused, and Earnings Targeted — making this selection extra restricted than others when it comes to diversification too.

Learn our full evaluate.

Axos Make investments — Greatest for Self-Directed Buying and selling

Axos wide logo


  • Low annual administration charges
  • $500 account minimal
  • Over 30 completely different asset lessons


  • No fractional shares or bonds

Greatest For: Traders who need to take the reigns whereas customizing their portfolios to decide on the belongings they need

Not Best For: New buyers who would like to have their portfolio constructed for them

Charges: 0.24% advisory payment

Axos Bank provides nice Managed Portfolios for buyers who need tax-loss harvesting at a good cheaper price level than a few of its least expensive rivals, Betterment and Wealthfront. With a administration payment of 0.24% and greater than 30 completely different asset lessons, plus the flexibility to decide on these asset lessons for your self and their allocations, this selection is nicely price it.

Within the background, Axos displays your portfolio and sells your investments at losses whereas changing them with related investments to cut back your tax invoice. And this platform comes with further advantages like the choice to exclude ETFs to keep away from triggering the wash sale rule. There aren’t any further charges for tax-loss harvesting — that is included in your administration payment.

Learn our full evaluate.

How To Select a Robo-Advisor for Tax-Loss Harvesting

There are loads of issues to think about when selecting a robo-advisor. That can assist you get began, listed here are among the most necessary options to concentrate to.


No robo-advisor is really free. Although lots of them have far fewer charges than the common monetary advisor and brokerage account, all of them cost varied charges together with annual charges and generally month-to-month charges. Look into consideration administration charges whereas evaluating your choices.

>>> Discover out extra: The Precise Price of Robo Advisors Charges — What Are the Annual Charges?

Funding Choices

The purpose of a robo-advisor is that you do not have to manually choose your investments and rebalance your portfolio, however this works finest when paired with quite a lot of funding choices. Select a platform that gives a mix of belongings for higher diversification.

In case you’re okay with simply investing in ETFs, shares, and bonds, most robo-advisors will work. However in the event you’re excited by different belongings like REITs and crypto, you’ve got fewer selections.

Portfolio Varieties

Your exact asset allocation goes to be decided by your danger tolerance and the way you reply setup questions when creating your account, however one of many greatest variations between robo-advisors is of their portfolios. No two platforms are precisely the identical.

Take into consideration your splendid funding portfolio when selecting a robo-advisor. Does it embrace a well-diversified mixture of conventional investments? Shares in socially accountable or sustainable firms? Shares of cutting-edge belongings like digital forex or tokens? See which preset portfolios can be found earlier than signing as much as make investments.


Most robo-advisors will let you be utterly hands-off together with your investing and can do the entire rebalancing and reinvesting for you. Some buyers like this whereas others need extra management.

If you wish to keep some stage of involvement, select a robo-advisor that enables for self-direction. If you wish to be concerned as little as doable, select one with nice customization and automatic options.


All robo-advisors have completely different minimal deposit and stability necessities to maintain an account. Select one primarily based on how a lot money it’s a must to make investments. You may see minimums of $0 for some whereas others require you to speculate $10,000 or extra to get began.


It is all the time sensible to look right into a robo-advisor’s historic returns earlier than signing up. Though you’ll be able to’t inform for positive how your portfolio could carry out by efficiency information, this can be a good approach to simply evaluate platforms. 


Some robo-advisors include skilled advisory providers constructed into the fee or the choice to buy these. If that is necessary to you, go for a robo-advisor with extra wealth administration options.

Typically, firms both provide a robo-advisor alone (or principally alone, like Betterment) or complete investing providers that may embrace a robo-advisor (like Schwab).

>>> Discover out extra: Understanding Monetary Advisor Charges

What Is Tax-Loss Harvesting?

Tax-loss harvesting is a tax-efficient investing technique that includes promoting off belongings at a loss with the aim of decreasing your present tax burden. By promoting some investments at a loss relatively than hanging on to them, you’ll be able to offset your taxable positive factors from different investments and reduce your general tax legal responsibility.

Traders could ultimately purchase again the identical belongings, exchange them with related choices, or transfer on to different alternatives.

With tax-loss harvesting, you could possibly scale back your taxable earnings and decrease your invoice. Generally, this implies a smaller capital achieve to pay taxes on or perhaps a internet loss, relying on the remainder of your portfolio’s efficiency.

You may carry ahead losses to an upcoming tax 12 months in the event you exceed the utmost allowable internet loss in any given 12 months. In 2023, that is $3,000.

Notice: Tax-loss harvesting defers taxes. You may nonetheless have to pay taxes on any investments that result in capital positive factors sooner or later.


Say you’ve got $20,000 invested in a single ETF (we’ll name it ETF A) and $15,000 invested in one other (ETF B). ETF A has depreciated in worth and is now price $18,000 whereas ETF B has appreciated in worth and is now price $20,000.

ETF A: $20,000 —> $18,000 (-$2,000)
ETF B: $15,000 —> $20,000 (+$5,000)

In case you had been to solely promote ETF B, you’d pay taxes on a realized capital achieve of $5,000. However in the event you had been to promote each ETFs, the $2,000 capital loss might assist offset the $5,000 achieve and also you’d solely pay taxes on a $3,000 capital achieve. 

Lengthy- and Quick-Time period Positive factors

You may offset long-term capital positive factors with long-term capital losses and short-term capital positive factors with short-term capital losses. Quick-term positive factors consequence from gross sales of belongings you held for lower than a 12 months and long-term positive factors consequence from gross sales of belongings you held for at the very least a 12 months.

Quick-term capital positive factors are taxed on the identical charge as your abnormal earnings and long-term positive factors are taxed at between 0% and 20%.

>>> Discover out extra: What Are the Capital Positive factors Tax Brackets?

Which Investments Qualify?

Tax-loss harvesting solely works with taxable accounts. This implies tax-advantaged funding accounts comparable to 401(okay)s and IRAs aren’t eligible. This is smart if you concentrate on it as a result of these accounts already carry tax advantages — investments right into a 401(okay) scale back your taxable earnings and funds in an IRA develop tax-deferred.

Taxable accounts that may be eligible for tax-loss harvesting embrace brokerage accounts and robo-advisor funding accounts. You may apply tax-loss harvesting methods to:

  • ETFs
  • Shares
  • Mutual funds
  • Crypto

Limitations of Tax-Loss Harvesting

There might be instances when tax-loss harvesting simply would not work or make loads of sense. And there is additionally a restrict on how a lot it can save you utilizing this technique.

For instance, tax-loss harvesting would not make sense if you are going to spend more cash executing the trades than you’ll be able to presumably save. If you cannot minimize your tax invoice by sufficient to simply make up for buying and selling charges, do not do it.

It additionally is not a great technique for buyers who’ve purpose to imagine they will earn the next earnings subsequent 12 months. In case you get ran into the next tax bracket after utilizing tax-loss harvesting, you possibly can truly find yourself paying extra taxes in your capital positive factors sooner or later. Yikes.

Additionally, you’ll be able to solely declare as much as $3,000 per 12 months in capital losses as a single particular person or $1,500 per individual in the event you’re married.


There are different methods to cut back your capital positive factors tax burden moreover harvesting losses. You may as well lower your tax legal responsibility by investing extra for retirement, holding onto investments to defer taxes, and selecting dividend shares to gather earnings with out having to promote.

>>> Discover out extra: Methods to Offset Capital Positive factors Tax on Your Investments

Wash Sale Rule

You is likely to be questioning: Can you purchase an funding again after you’ve got offered it at a loss to offset capital positive factors? The reply is sure. However you’ve got to concentrate on the wash sale rule.

The wash sale rule is a rule created by the IRS to forestall buyers from being shady about reducing their tax payments by “gaming the system.” Mainly, you are not alleged to promote an funding to cut back the capital positive factors taxes you owe after which flip round and purchase virtually the very same funding straight away. That is known as a wash sale and it is frowned upon.

A wash sale happens if you promote an funding for a loss and buy the identical or a “considerably similar” funding inside 30 days of the sale, earlier than or after.

In case you set off the wash sale rule, you’ll be able to’t use the loss that triggered it to offset your positive factors.

So how do you keep away from breaking this rule (and forfeiting the tax advantages)? Simply wait lengthy sufficient to interchange investments. So long as you are exterior of that 30-day window, you are effective. The most effective robo-advisors use safeguards to keep away from wash gross sales.

Tax-loss harvesting itself is permitted by the IRS, however there may be positively a proper method and a incorrect approach to do it. Do it proper and it can save you some cash; no hurt, no foul. Do it incorrect and you will not get the tax financial savings.

Monetary Advisors vs. Robo-Advisors vs. Neither: What is the Greatest Possibility?

You do not want a robo-advisor to make use of tax-loss harvesting funding methods. There are methods to do that by yourself and plenty of conventional monetary advisors help with this.

But it surely’s lots simpler and cheaper to have an algorithm to do it for you, and plenty of robo-advisors have the capability to do that extra frequently than a human would.

A conventional monetary advisor would possible inform you to attend till the tip of the 12 months or near it to begin tax-loss harvesting. It is because this can be a good alternative to rebalance your portfolio and you will have a transparent image of your wins and losses for the tax 12 months.

However robo-advisors usually apply tax-loss harvesting strategies each day or at the very least on a way more common foundation. It is simpler and sooner for an algorithm to seek out alternatives to reap losses than for an individual, and these platforms use automated rebalancing to repeatedly regulate your portfolio.

>>> Discover out extra: Robo Advisor vs. Monetary Advisor

Backside Line

Tax-loss harvesting is usually a incredible approach to scale back your tax invoice, however it may be a bit difficult and time-consuming to tug off by yourself. Recruiting a robo-advisor to do that be just right for you is a worthwhile choice for many buyers, particularly since these platforms provide many different advantages too like decrease charges, nice diversification, and low-maintenance investing.

Try certainly one of these robo-advisors to begin saving in your taxable funding accounts with common tax-loss harvesting.

InvestorJunkie receives money compensation from Wealthfront Advisers LLC (“Wealthfront Advisers”) for every new shopper that applies for a Wealthfront Automated Investing Account by way of our hyperlinks. This creates an incentive that leads to a cloth battle of curiosity. InvestorJunkie isn’t a Wealthfront Advisers shopper, and this can be a paid endorsement. Extra info is offered by way of our hyperlinks to Wealthfront Advisers.

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