How do I Change my Address?
How do I Change my Password?
Am I ready to Invest?
Many early and would be investors ask themselves this question as they dive into the dizzying world of personal finance – and they should! It’s easy to get excited about the potential rewards of investing, without thinking of the potential risks: loss, illiquid assets, and complexity. To answer this question for yourself, we recommend the personal financial waterfall approach.
This simple-to-use roadmap shows you the important steps on the way to financial independence: short-term saving, paying off debt, long-term saving, and finally investing. The first stage is having a savings safety net of 3-6 months from which you can cover your living costs should life take an unexpected turn. The second stage is maximizing your employer 401k to get the most out of contribution matching. The third is paying down your high-interest debts on things such as credit cards. Once you have reached the fourth stage your finances will be in pretty good shape, and you are ready for further investing such as an IRA or an individual investment account with OpenInvest.
How are my assets held?
How much does it cost?
We charge a 0.5% annual fee of assets managed, which is divided up into monthly installments. Unlike other services, there are no underlying fund expense ratios or transaction fees. Our fee is less than 1/2 a traditional investment advisor, and 1/4 to 1/5th of comparable ‘green’ mutual funds. All transactions costs and the underlying expense of any ETF’s we use are covered by our fee. We will even reimburse you if your current account charges you for moving your IRA or assets over to OpenInvest.
OpenInvest is all about, well, being open. We charge one, low, transparency fee – that’s it.
How is OpenInvest different from other robo-advisors like Wealthfront or Betterment?
OpenInvest is one of the growing population of robo advisors, offering comprehensive investment planning at low-cost thanks to automation. But OpenInvest is the only robo advisor that offers you a fully diversified and customized portfolio that reflects your values. While other robo advisors will buy you into a pre-set portfolio that may fit some of your goals and values, OpenInvest allows you to invest or divest from a company, giving you the power to customize your portfolio.
What issues do you currently support?
OpenInvest has more than 10 “themes” which you can mix and match to customize your portfolio to your values. These themes both screen out bad practices and favor companies who are leaders on the issue at hand. Our themes range from fighting climate change to supporting gender equality, and many more. You can see all of them on our issues page.
We also have a number of themes that are unique to OpenInvest and you won’t find anywhere else, such as the ability to divest from Donald Trump, include companies doing the most to help refugees, and/or favor companies who do the most to stop human rights violations or human trafficking in their supply chains.
Finally, you can also individually include or exclude companies to fine-tune to your personal values. And you can make changes anytime!
If you have suggestions for a new screen or would like to ask about a custom solution, please contact us.
Can you manage my IRA for me?
Can OpenInvest manage my 401K?
Where is my money held?
The standard way that investment accounts are handled when you work with a financial advisor (like OpenInvest or most others) is as follows:
1. Registered Investment Advisor (that’s us) ->
2. Broker-Dealer (implements transactions) ->
3. Custodian (holds your money and clears trades)
The reason for this is because each party has a complex job and its own set of regulatory licenses.
OpenInvest is an SEC licensed investment advisor. We are the folks you primarily interact with and build a relationship with, and we are legally bound (not to mention morally) to serve your best interests. But we never actually touch your money. We simply advise you. And when you tell us your preferences or add or remove money, we tell the broker-dealer to implement specific trades according to our instructions.
Tradier Brokerages is our FINRA-member fully compliant brokerage partner with whom you will officially have an account on the back-end. During signup you will receive some emails directly from Tradier notifying you of things like account approval. You can always log in to your OpenInvest account to see the status of your account and any next steps.
Tradier passes the money to Apex Clearing, an SIPC-insured clearing house who actually “custodies” your assets. Apex is a large, highly established investment house who manages billions of dollars in assets, including those of a number of major hedge funds. OpenInvest can never add or withdraw money – only you can do that. So even if we were to go “poof” into thin air (not going to happen), your money would just be sitting there in an account at Apex for you to access.
Do I need a human money manager?
We often get asked what's a robo-advisor and why should I use one? Now I'll admit the term robo-advisor doesn't sound very warm and fuzzy, but far from being cold or complicated online advisors use technology to help you invest better and easier. Now before the advent of online advisors, the standard option was to use a human money manager and here's how that works. After a lot of small-talk, a human advisor will ask you the same basic questions about your age, your income, when you want to retire, and then they place you into the pre-set investment model that there's an industry consensus around. But it's the high fees from a human advisor that can secretly add up to hundreds of thousands of dollars over the course of your lifetime and really make the difference around when you can retire. Even worse some money managers may place you into underperforming funds from which they receive kickbacks. Now online advisors implement the same optimal broad-based diversified market portfolio but at the lowest cost and with systems that you can trust. The difference in fees is what really can add up to our performance in the long term open invest then adds additional customizations for further enhancements and to match your ethical values to empower you and give you peace of mind and of course we're always here to help.
Different people have different desires when it comes to financial planning. Some folks want a person to talk to regularly. Many are happy with quality online services, which is increasingly the case.
Human money managers (after much small talk) will ask you your age, risk tolerance, and how much you want to invest. After that, they plug you in to a pre-set portfolio called the “Cap M” model. The industry is largely standardized around this pre-set model, and a computer can do this all for you in a few seconds. You typically only start receiving custom solutions from money managers once you have over ~US $5 million to invest.
The thing with humans is that they need to get paid, which comes out of your pocket. The typically charge a significant percentage of assets or returns (1% or more annually), which can secretly add up to hundreds of thousands of dollars over the course of your lifetime. Even worse, money managers may place you into underperforming funds from which they receive commissions. According to Bloomberg Business News, a new working paper by business school professors at the University of Chicago and University of Michigan found that corrupt practices among money managers are endemic. “Corruption is everywhere, not just small firms. It is pervasive,” said Amit Seru, a finance professor at the University of Chicago. “This is eye-opening and suggests not only that some firms have a high tolerance for misconduct on the part of their employees, but that their very business model is to attract the broker who can generate high revenue at the cost of repetitive disciplinary violations.” This includes some of the world’s largest and most established money managers.
Whether you look to humans or the internet, there is broad consensus is that you should hold the Cap M model: the market portfolio, with a split of stocks and bonds based on your age and risk tolerance. Online advisors like OpenInvest can do this for you at the lowest cost, with systems you can trust; and that difference in fees is what really adds up to outperformance over the long-term. OpenInvest adds customization and ethical strategy recommendations for further enhancements and peace of mind.
What is a brokerage account?
How do you protect my information?
We take security very seriously. We utilize 256-bit encryption monitored 24/7. Assets are held with an FINRA-member broker with SIPC federal insurance up to $500,000.
Multi-factored authentication is enabled for all online services we use. This ensures that our accounts cannot be compromised with access to our passwords alone. We do not access external accounts unless it can be done via a secure channel.
All internal servers are locked down by IP and port to ensure reduced visibility to external attackers. Sensitive information, like bank account information and social security numbers are all encrypted at rest.
All entry points to our servers require secure access. If you try to access our site via http, you will always be redirected to https. You will be logged out from our site after a period of inactivity.
Trades issued to our brokers can only be performed through a locked-down virtual machine. Access activity on this machine is logged and can be terminated externally. As with all of our accounts, an additional external security device is required.
Since good security is an ongoing process, we regularly review our security protocols. All system passwords are stored in an offline password management system. This system allows us to generate strong, random, and unique passwords, and also reminds us to regularly rotate passwords.
How do I know my investments are secure?
Your investments are yours, and OpenInvest is never able to touch your money. Your funds are held at our brokerage partners, who are FINRA and SIPC members, which protects securities customers of its members up to $500,000 (including $250,000 for claims for cash). You will be able to log in and view, trade, or withdraw funds from your portfolio at any time, either through our site or directly with our broker if you prefer. To learn more, see: Where is my money held?
We employ a third-party administrator to reconcile user’s accounts and an accounting firm to conduct regular surprise audits on all of our assets. We also have a compliance partner to help ensure that we adhere to applicable laws and regulations.
You will always have control over your portfolio, but we have also set aside capital to allow us to fully manage any handoff of portfolios if it becomes necessary for any reason.
What is the Security Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC)?
The SIPC is a nonprofit membership corporation that was created by federal statute in 1970. SIPC protects customers of SIPC-member broker-dealers if the firm fails financially. Coverage is up to $500,000 per customer for all accounts at the same institution, including a $250,000 limit for cash. You can read more about SIPC.