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Bottom line: Wealthfront is best for hands-off investors who prefer automated portfolio management and want access to crypto trusts. Vanguard, however, serves a wider range of investors by offering both DIY and automated/managed accounts.

Wealthfront vs. Vanguard: The Biggest Differences

Wealthfront and Vanguard offer multiple investment choices and account types for retail investors. But while Vanguard is an online brokerage, with both DIY and automated investing, Wealthfront mainly provides automated portfolio management. Wealthfront does allow DIY trading for stocks, though, with its stock investment account.

You’ll pay less to set up an automated investing account at Wealthfront (it has a $500 minimum; Vanguard Digital Advisor and Vanguard Personal Advisor Services require $3,000 and $50,000, respectively), but your overall investment selection will be more limited compared to Vanguard’s. 

Vanguard is best for most types of investors, as it offers access to stocks, ETFs, options, mutual funds, and much more. If you’re a hands-off investor strictly in search of robo-advice, Wealthfront is the better choice. The platform also offers an investment type that Vanguard’s equivalent accounts don’t: crypto trusts.

Account types




Traditional IRA

Roth IRA


401(k) rollover

529 College Savings plan


Stock investment account

Account types

Individual and joint taxable accounts

Individual retirement accounts (IRAs)

Small business retirement plans

529 plans


Custodial accounts

Investment choices

Stocks, ETFs, index funds, and crypto trusts

Investment choices

Stocks, ETFs, options, bonds, mutual funds, and CDs

Account perks

Goal-based investing; crypto trust investments

Tax-loss harvesting, US direct indexing, risk parity, and smart beta strategies

Socially responsible investing and automated 529 College Savings plans available

High-yield cash account; portfolio lines of credit

Account perks

Self-directed investment accounts

Tax-efficient managed portfolios

Automated investing; margin trading

Automatic withdrawals

Investment research and analysis

Human advisors available?


Human advisors available?

Yes — unlimited access to financial advisors with Vanguard Personal Advisor Services account




Yes — Vanguard Digital Advisor and Vanguard Personal Advisor Services

Is Wealthfront Right for You?

Low fees; can customize your ETF allocation
Tax-loss harvesting, direct indexing, risk parity, and smart beta strategies available
Cash account lets you earn 0.85%; Wealthfront only lets you have an allocation of crypto trusts up to 10% of your portfolio to protect you against risk
Mobile app and investing and retirement tools



You need at least $100,000 to utilize additional investment strategies
No human advisor access


Wealthfront …read more

Source:: Business Insider


Wealthfront vs. Vanguard: Which Platform is Right for You?

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