Emperor Investments Review: Not Your Ordinary Robo-Advisor

 

There are a lot of robo-advisors out there. And they all do their best to prove that they’re different. But, if we’re being honest, most follow the same general approach. Not so with Emperor Investments. They’ve created a robo-advisor service that really is set apart from the crowd.

While most robo-advisors invest in ETFs or mutual funds*, Emperor Investments uses pure-stock portfolios. Their computer algorithms create a list of potential stocks, which are then vetted by human experts.

Their personalized stock portfolios are invested in dividend-paying stocks that provide passive income. Emperor Investments charges a 0.60% annual fee on their accounts. Since they don’t invest in ETFs of index funds, Emperor Investments portfolios don’t come with any hidden expense ratios. To get started with Emperor Investments, you’ll need to make a minimum deposit of $500.

What is Emperor Investments?

Emperor Investments is a robo-advisor that takes a different approach to build their portfolios. While most robo-advisors invest their clients’ money in ETFs or mutual funds, Emperor Investments portfolios are composed completely of hand-picked stocks. Emperor Investments favors stocks that pay out a regular dividend in addition to potential growth.

When stocks pay dividends, Emperor Investments can automatically reinvest them into your portfolio. Like other robo-advisors, Emperors Investments provides goal-setting technology and automatic rebalancing on all their accounts. Let’s dig a little deeper into how Emperor Investments works.

How Does Emperor Investments Work?

Most robo-advisors use algorithms to create custom portfolios that match your risk profile. Emperor Investments uses technology as well. But, in their case, their algorithms identify stocks that have value and have a history of paying consistant dividends.

But the screening process doesn’t end there. Once their algorithms have identified good companies that can be purchased at a fair price, their human experts vet each stock before it can become part of their “Dream Team” of companies.

Emperor Investments Price: 0.6% annual fee Automated investing designed to earn passive income while you enjoy your life. Buy Now Emperor Investments We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

Emperor Investments Portfolios

Emperor Investments believes that their two-step screening approach is one of the things that separates them from their competitors. Ogi, head of marketing at Emperor Investments said, “Every other robo-advisor uses ETFs. We actually pick stocks to build portfolios.”

The specific stocks that will be included in your portfolio will depend completely on your preferences and goal. Emperor Investments emphasizes that every customer will receive a personalized portfolio.

Emperor Investments

Performance

A pure-stock portfolio sounds good on the surface. But can it outperform the portfolios that are offered by other robo-advisors? Emperor Investments says yes and you can view historical performance on their website.;

Also, keep in mind, that stock-heavy portfolios will perform better during years that the market is rolling. But, on down years, they could be hit harder than portfolios that include some bonds.

Emperor Investments believes that a buy-and-hold investing strategy is best. And they also point out that dividend stocks can help provide stable income during down years. Both those things are true. But, until more information becomes available, the jury is still out on how Emperor Investments portfolios will perform in comparison to traditional robo-advisors that use an asset allocation model.

Get started with Emperor Investments here.

How Much Does it Cost to Use Emperor Investments?

Emperor Investments charges an annual fee of 0.6% of your investment portfolio. Before you start comparing their fee to other robo-advisors, it’s important to understand that their pure-stock approach makes it difficult to compare apples to apples.

With most robo-advisors, you’ll pay the management fee plus the expense ratio of the ETF that your money is invested in. The ETF expense ratio is a “hidden cost” that you may not think about because it doesn’t get as much attention.

But because of Emperor Investments’ pure-stock approach, you’ll have no hidden ETF or fund cost. Emperor Investments prides themselves in their transparent pricing. And they say that when both costs are taken into account, they often turn out to be the more affordable choice.

Emperor Investments Review

Emperor Investments bases their “0.44% hidden fees” number on the average ETF fee. However, it’s important to point out that some of the best robo-advisors offer much more affordable funds and ETFs.

For instance, all of Betterment’s ETFs have an expense ratio below 0.15%. Wealthfront’s offerings all have an expense ratio below 0.16%. And the average expense ratio on a Vanguard index fund is 0.10%.

If you believe in Emperor Investments methodology, the 0.6% annual fee could well be worth the cost. But if you’re looking for pure affordability, there are better options.

How to Invest Money with Emperor Investments

To get started with Emperor Investments, you’ll fill out a quick questionnaire. The questionnaire will ask your age, income, and how long you plan to hold your investments.

Emperor Investments Review

Emperor Investments Review

You’ll also answer a few questions about your financial goals. Once you’ve given Emperor Investments your personal information, you’ll create your account.

Get started with Emperor Investments here.

Creating Your First Goal

Once you’ve opened your account, you’ll need to create a goal. You can create one or multiple goals, depending on your preferences. If you put “retirement” as your goal, Emperor Investments will nudge you to open a retirement account. Otherwise, you can stick with an individual account.

As you’re creating your first goal, you’ll choose your risk level. And you’ll also be able to select whether you do or don’t want to reinvest your dividends.

Then, Emperor Investments will show a list of stocks that they recommend for you based on the information you provided. If you like what you see, you’ll click “complete your goal.” And just like that, you’ve created your first goal.

Funding Your Account

Once you’ve completed your goal, you’ll need to link your bank account. You can do that one of two ways. If you use online banking, you can use your login credentials. If not, you can type in your account info manually.

Once your bank account has been linked, you can make your first contribution. You can set up recurring contributions as well. Note that Emperor Investments requires a $500 minimum investment.

That’s it! Emperor Investments estimates that the entire process should only take about 10 minutes.

Can You Take Your Money Out of Emperor Investments?

Yes, you can withdraw money from your Emperor Investments account at any time.

Simply hover over your username and select “Withdraw” from the drop-down menu. Then simply tell Emperor Investments how much money you’d like to withdraw.

Emperor Investments says that customers should allow seven business days for funds to arrive.

Is Emperor Investments FDIC Insured?

Any cash that is held with Emperor Investments in a bank sweep account is FDIC insured. All other cash and securities are secured by SIPC insurance. SIPC coverage is the industry standard and includes coverage of up to $500,000.

In addition to SIPC coverage, Emperor Investments provides supplemental insurance coverage to all their customers, purchased through Lloyds of London. The supplemental insurance policy covers up to $10 million per customer. In short, your money is very safe with Emperor Investments.

Keep in mind, SIPC insurance does not cover you against market losses. It covers you in case Emperor Investments goes out of business and you can’t get your money out.

Is Emperor Investments Right for You?

Emperor Investments could be a good choice if you prefer stock investments over mutual funds.

Are you a Warren Buffet junkie? Do you believe wholeheartedly in value investing and the buy-and-hold approach? If so, Emperor Investments might be the robo-advisor you’ve been waiting for.

Emperor Investments could also be a good fit for anyone who’s a fan of dividend stock investing. But if you’re a firm believer in the index fund or ETF approach, Emperor Investments isn’t the robo-advisor for you.

Get started with Emperor Investments today.

Emperor Investments vs. Betterment

Betterment Digital charges a 0.25% annual fee and only chooses ETFs that come with an expense ratio of 0.15% or below. That means, at most, you’ll pay 0.40% to invest with Betterment. That’s 0.20% lower than the 0.60% annual fee that Emperor Investments charges their customers.

If your account is above $100,000, you can pay 0.40% for Betterment Premium, which includes access to CFPs. When you add in the ETF expense ratios, that brings your maximum annual cost to 0.55%, which is only a smidgen below what Emperor Investments charges. However, its important to point out Emperor Investments does not provide access to CFPs.

When it comes to investments, you won’t be able to invest in stocks with Betterment. They only offer ETF portfolios. But Betterment does offer socially responsible investing portfolios, which is something that Emperor Investments doesn’t offer as of yet.

As mentioned earlier, Emperor Investments requires an initial investment of at least $500, while Betterment Digital has no account minimum.

Read our full review of Betterment.

Emperor Investments vs. Wealthfront

Unlike Betterment, Wealthfront has only one pricing tier. Regardless of account size, Wealthfront charges a 0.25% annual fee.

Like Betterment, Wealthfront will invest your money in low-cost ETFs, with expense ratios that range from 0.07 to 0.16%. So, at most, you’ll be paying 0.41% per year for Wealthfront’s services. That’s 0.19% lower than what you’ll pay at Emperor Investments.

As with Betterment, there’s no way to invest in individual stocks with Wealthfront. And Wealthfront doesn’t technically offer socially responsible funds either. But you can tell Wealthfront companies that you’d like to remove from your portfolio through their Stock-level Tax-Loss Harvesting and Smart Beta.

Neither Wealthfront nor Emperor Investments provide access to CFPs and both have $500 account minimums.

Related: Betterment vs. Wealthfront: Which is the Better Robo-Advisor?

Emperor Investments vs. Vanguard

Vanguard is often thought of as the “do it yourself” brokerage. But they offer a robo-advisor service too. It’s called Vanguard Personal Advisor Services. It comes with a 0.30% annual fee and unlimited access to CFPs.

You technically can invest in individual stocks with Vanguard, but they won’t create custom stock portfolios like Emperor Investments. Instead, their advisors will typically encourage you to invest in one of their low-cost index funds. And if socially responsible investing is important to you, you can do that with Vanguard through their ESG funds.

Unfortunately, the biggest downside with Vanguard Personal Advisor Services is its account minimum. You’ll need at least $50,000 in order to use the service.

If you don’t have that large of an account, you can still invest with Vanguard. You just won’t be able to take advantage of their robo-advisor service. But if you have less than $50,000 to invest and you’re looking for a robo-advisor that allows you to invest in stocks, Emperor Investments may be your best choice.

Quick Recap: What’s to Love About Emperor Investments

Emperor Investments makes it easy to build a personalized portfolio of high-quality stocks that pay a dividend. Human advisors that create custom stock portfolios often charge high fees and have high account minimums.

But with a $500 account minimum and a reasonable 0.60% annual fee, Emperor Investments has lowered the barrier to entry. If the idea of a pure-stock portfolio appeals to you, you may want to give Emperor Investments a try.

Do you have experience with Emperor Investments? If so, what has been your experience?

Emperor Investments Price: 0.6% annual fee Automated investing designed to earn passive income while you enjoy your life. Buy Now Emperor Investments We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

*Mutual Funds and Exchange Traded Funds (ETF’s) are sold by prospectus. Please consider the investment objectives, risks, charges, and expenses carefully before investing. The prospectus, which contains this and other information about the investment company, can be obtained from the Fund Company or your financial professional. Be sure to read the prospectus carefully before deciding whether to invest.

Emperor Investments Review: Not Your Ordinary Robo-Advisor

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  1. Personal Capital also uses individual stocks for the equity portion of their portfolios, but they do not focus on dividend stocks.