M1 Finance Alternatives

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Contributor, Benzinga
December 11, 2023

An increasingly popular brokerage service, M1 Finance falls under a category known as robo-advisors. Essentially, robo-advisors use algorithms to help guide your platform to profitability. This facilitates the core advantage of hands-free investing, allowing you to live your life while advanced computer technology does the busy work of portfolio management.

On the surface, M1 Finance appears the most appropriate for beginner investors. Indeed, many new to Wall Street elect M1 for its fuss-free approach. However, even advanced traders could choose to allocate funds in an M1 account. Because an algorithm pulls the weight, you eliminate emotions and personal biases from your decisions.

Interested in a new robo-advisor? Take a look at our list of M1 Finance alternatives.

Best M1 Finance Alternatives

For those who are seeking a hands-free approach to their investment strategies, you will find it difficult to top M1 Finance. With its unique take of pie investing, you are able to remove the intimidation factor from the capital markets. As well, you have the confidence of investing alongside 80 Wall Street expert portfolios.

The drawback, however, is that M1 Finance doesn’t provide as comprehensive of a platform as its rival brokerages. Also, you may prefer greater control over your money, along with trading tactics. If you’re looking for something more hands-on, here are some alternatives to consider.

Best for No Commissions: Moomoo

Moomoo is an intuitive investment and trading platform with easy-to-use and professional tools, data, and insights that equal a pro-level trading experience for all traders, no matter their level of expertise. 

When you open a brokerage account with Moomoo Financial Inc, features will include:

  • Real-time Level 2 stock and options market data for funded accounts
  • Advanced technical indicators 
  • Unique charting tools
  • Advanced options orders
  • Full extended trading hours from 4 AM to 8 PM EST 
  • Multi-market quoting
  • Low fees, $0 commission on U.S. Stocks and ETFs plus $0 equity options contract fees
  • 5.1% APY in the Cash sweep program and a 3.0% boost for qualified customers

Users can reach out to the Moomoo customer support team by phone during trading hours or via email. FAQs in the Help Center can also answer specific questions.

The site and app also helps users learn with a nice educational offering and a community with more than 20 million users worldwide.


  • Commission-free trading 
  • A competitive 6.8% margin rate
  • 5.1% APY in the Cash Sweep program for new and qualified customers
  • Free Level 2 data for funded brokerage accounts
  • Advanced charting tools with 100+ indicators, 37+ drawing tools and 20 candle patterns
  • Extended trading hours for all users and 24/7 chat support
  • No minimum deposit to open an  account


  • No fractional stocks or crypto
  • No support for mutual funds or retirement accounts

Best for Accessibility: E*TRADE

One of the most popular trading platforms with a long history, investors continue to use E*TRADE for its comprehensive services. Its interface is intuitive enough to guide newcomers while offering advanced traders a plethora of tools that facilitate knowledge-based and data-driven transactions. Further, E*TRADE provides access to market analysis and educational materials, making it a comprehensive choice.

What really stands out for E*TRADE, though, is its excellent customer service. Help is only a phone call, email or live chat away. Better yet, it’s available 24/7. You can also go to one of the company’s 30 branches, with financial consultants ready to answer your burning questions.


  • You get a competitive APY on cash in your account
  • You can use the platform to build or transition your portfolio


  • You may want more advanced trading tools

Best for Satisfaction: Robinhood

Before the pandemic, many financial experts worried that millennials were not investing their wealth to the same degree as prior generations at the same age level. However, the present crisis changed all that as millions of workers found themselves operating from home. Naturally, this facilitated extra free time — time they spent on Robinhood trading stocks.

Perhaps the most pivotal reason that Robinhood appeals to younger generations is its relevance. Rather than deploying stuffy concepts and language, this platform features a “gamified” interface, bringing the fun factor that is all but nonexistent in many other brokerages. While gamified trading apps do have their critics, they also introduced valuable investment concepts to a generation that really wasn’t listening until now.


  • The gamified portion of the site can help anyone get into investing
  • You can use the platform to save money and learn about investing


  • You may be wary because the platform has stopped and started trading to counteract current events

Best for Cryptocurrencies: Webull

Similar to other recent investing platforms, Webull caters to the young crowd — specifically, to the mobile-1st generation who grew up knowing nothing but digitalization technologies. However, Webull is also fundamentally grounded, offering benefits associated with traditional brokerages such as 24/7 phone and email customer support.

But the standout attribute — especially if you’re interested in alternative investments — is Webull’s access to cryptocurrencies. Again, this is one of those controversial sectors because of the underlying volatility. However, cryptocurrencies (unlike stocks) features round-the-clock trading. This really connects with younger folks, who may not operate by the standard 9-to-5 lifestyle that older generations have grown accustomed to.


  • Webull is a good place to get started or even manage a large portfolio
  • 24/7 customer support helps you stay on top of your account and resolve any issues you might have


  • Webull may not offer you the unique assets and tools you are looking for

What is M1 Finance?

Aside from its robo-advisor algorithms, what makes M1 Finance appealing to a broad audience is its “pie investing.” Pies are a mixture of different stocks and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) that cover various sectors. You can craft your own pie or select from “Expert Pies” — portfolio allocations that investment gurus have developed.

While M1 Finance certainly has a reputation as a beginner’s investment portfolio, the platform really appeals to those who prefer delegating the process of money management to another entity. Also, some folks just don’t care for the mechanics of investing and would rather spend their time on pursuits meaningful to them.

Why M1 Finance Might Not be Right for You

Obviously, not everyone has the same attitude about money management. For those who prefer to know the ins and outs of their portfolios, M1 Finance may not be the most appropriate platform.

In addition, a drawback for M1 is that it doesn’t offer the greatest library of investment selections. For instance, if you want to trade options, forex or cryptocurrencies, you’re out of luck. Naturally, rookie investors who progress in their investing endeavors will want to explore the speculative side of this business. They may find M1’s platform restricting.

Finally, an oddity with M1 is that it lacks advanced transactional tools such as limit orders. Instead, this platform exclusively uses market orders or conducting buy/sell orders at the current market price instead of a specific one. Certainly, this will turn off advanced traders.

M1 Fits With Your Trading Tools

Robo-advisors have their place and indeed may expand their footprint. Thanks to platforms like M1 Finance, investors can grow their money automatically while attending to their personal and professional endeavors. While everyone should invest, not all have the temerity to watch over their portfolio like a hawk.

Then again, many do. Therefore, M1 Finance — as brilliant as the platform is — does not represent a one-size-fits-all solution. Investors who want greater control with their trades or who know exactly which sectors they want to invest in should consider viable alternatives that fit their needs.

Frequently Asked Questions


Is Acorns like M1 finance?


Acorns offers five different portfolios based off your risk tolerance while M1 finance offers mostly ETFs and stocks.


Can you retire using M1 Finance?


You can invest for the future with M1 Finance, but the platform does not offer retirement-specific accounts.


Is M1 Finance designed for advisory accounts?


Advisory accounts can be opened on M1 Finance, but remember that you should reach out to the platform for help if you need to combine several accounts in one place.

About Joshua Enomoto

His distinct writing style of distilling convoluted data into relatable and compelling narratives has earned him recognition among several investment-related publications.