September 22, 2023
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Tax-loss harvesting is a lovely factor. At its simplest, it is an funding technique the place you promote an funding at a loss with the aim of lowering your capital beneficial properties tax invoice. That is potential 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 without doubt one of the best methods to make the most of this money-smart, fully authorized investing technique.

Right here, we’ll speak about among the greatest robo-advisors that provide tax-loss harvesting and provide you with suggestions for choosing the right automated funding account.

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

Wealthfront — Greatest for Objectives-Based mostly Investing

Wealthfront Logo


  • Low administration charge
  • $500 account minimal
  • Each day tax-loss harvesting
  • Extremely customizable portfolios
  • Large number of funding sorts and asset classes


  • Customer support falls quick with no stay chat choice and cellphone help restricted to weekday enterprise hours

Greatest For: Newbie and intermediate buyers who will make the most of goal-planning instruments and progress-tracking options

Not Superb For: Buyers who need to maintain fractional shares in an automatic account

Charges: 0.25% advisory charge

Wealthfront does a whole lot of issues proper as a robo-advisor and stands out from the remainder of the pack for its rigorous strategy to determining and aligning together with your monetary objectives. It is also the most effective 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.

When you’re on the lookout for a robo-advisor that may provide help to meet your objectives whereas providing superior advantages like tax-loss harvesting, Wealthfront may very well be a great match. This is a superb alternative whether or not you are investing for the primary time or have just a few years behind you.

Learn our full evaluate.

Betterment — Greatest for Newbies

Betterment Logo


  • Low annual administration charge
  • No account minimal to get began
  • 12 distinctive portfolio choices to select from
  • Large number of funding sorts 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 not less than $20,000 to change to annual somewhat than month-to-month pricing

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

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

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

Betterment is a strong robo-advisor throughout, however we predict newbies and buyers preferring to simply sit again and go away their portfolios alone ought to recognize it most. This robo-advisor makes it straightforward 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 influence and local weather influence portfolios, 4 several types of crypto portfolios, and plenty of extra conventional ones, you may really feel like your investments are aligned together with your priorities.

Do not select Betterment if you’d 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 Web Price Monitoring

Private Capital is now Empower


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


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

Greatest For: Buyers with a number of retirement funding accounts who need full wealth administration help together with human advisory companies

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

Charges: 0.49% to 0.89% annual administration charge

When you’ve began specializing in rising your web price and also you need a platform with monetary planning options, Empower may very well be the robo-advisor for you. This robo-advisor emphasizes retirement investing and strategizing. And the Empower platform is extra complete than the typical 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 might not be the most suitable 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, Payment Analyzer, Financial savings Planner, and so on. — hyperlink with these accounts. To make the most of Empower, you need to sync as many accounts as potential.

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

>>> Discover out extra: Web Price Trackers: 7 Greatest Apps & Monitoring Companies

Schwab Clever Portfolios — Greatest Payment-Free

Charles Schwab wide logo


  • No annual administration charges
  • Optionally available human advisory companies (for a charge)


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

Greatest For: Buyers who need human advising and people seeking to save on their investing

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

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

Schwab Intelligent Portfolios would not cost administration charges, making it considered one of few robo-advisors that may be truly free. You can too pay for human advisory companies from a CFP.

However there are some downsides to this cheap platform. First, a taxable funding account must have a stability of not less than $50,000 to qualify for automated tax-loss harvesting with Schwab Clever Portfolios. That is increased than most robo-advisors. Additionally, there are solely three completely different funding methods accessible with Schwab — World, U.S.-focused, and Revenue 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: Buyers who need to take the reigns whereas customizing their portfolios to decide on the belongings they need

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

Charges: 0.24% advisory charge

Axos Bank provides nice Managed Portfolios for buyers who need tax-loss harvesting at an excellent lower cost level than a few of its most cost-effective rivals, Betterment and Wealthfront. With a administration charge 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 properly price it.

Within the background, Axos screens your portfolio and sells your investments at losses whereas changing them with related investments to scale 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 are not any further charges for tax-loss harvesting — that is included in your administration charge.

Learn our full evaluate.

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

There are a whole lot of issues to contemplate when selecting a robo-advisor. That will help you get began, listed below 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 typical monetary advisor and brokerage account, all of them cost numerous charges together with annual charges and typically month-to-month charges. Look under consideration administration charges whereas evaluating your choices.

>>> Discover out extra: The Precise Value 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 greatest when paired with quite a lot of funding choices. Select a platform that provides a mix of belongings for higher diversification.

When you’re okay with simply investing in ETFs, shares, and bonds, most robo-advisors will work. However when you’re concerned about different belongings like REITs and crypto, you might have fewer decisions.

Portfolio Varieties

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

Take into consideration your excellent funding portfolio when selecting a robo-advisor. Does it embody a well-diversified mixture of conventional investments? Shares in socially accountable or sustainable corporations? 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 mean you can be fully hands-off together with your investing and can do all the rebalancing and reinvesting for you. Some buyers like this whereas others need extra management.

If you wish to preserve some degree of involvement, select a robo-advisor that enables for self-direction. If you wish to be concerned as little as potential, 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 you must make investments. You will see minimums of $0 for some whereas others require you to speculate $10,000 or extra to get began.


It is at all times sensible to look right into a robo-advisor’s historic returns earlier than signing up. Though you may’t inform for positive how your portfolio might carry out by efficiency information, this can be a good approach to simply examine platforms. 


Some robo-advisors include skilled advisory companies 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.

Usually, corporations both supply a robo-advisor alone (or principally alone, like Betterment) or complete investing companies that may embody 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 entails promoting off belongings at a loss with the aim of lowering your present tax burden. By promoting some investments at a loss somewhat than hanging on to them, you may offset your taxable beneficial properties from different investments and reduce your total tax legal responsibility.

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

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

You possibly can carry ahead losses to an upcoming tax yr when you exceed the utmost allowable web loss in any given yr. In 2023, that is $3,000.

Be aware: Tax-loss harvesting defers taxes. You will nonetheless have to pay taxes on any investments that result in capital beneficial properties sooner or later.


Say you might have $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)

When you had been to solely promote ETF B, you’d pay taxes on a realized capital achieve of $5,000. However when 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 Good points

You possibly can offset long-term capital beneficial properties with long-term capital losses and short-term capital beneficial properties with short-term capital losses. Quick-term beneficial properties end result from gross sales of belongings you held for lower than a yr and long-term beneficial properties end result from gross sales of belongings you held for not less than a yr.

Quick-term capital beneficial properties are taxed on the identical charge as your bizarre earnings and long-term beneficial properties are taxed at between 0% and 20%.

>>> Discover out extra: What Are the Capital Good points Tax Brackets?

Which Investments Qualify?

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

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

  • ETFs
  • Shares
  • Mutual funds
  • Crypto

Limitations of Tax-Loss Harvesting

There shall be instances when tax-loss harvesting simply would not work or make a whole lot 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 extra money executing the trades than you may probably save. If you cannot reduce 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 motive to consider they will earn the next earnings subsequent yr. When you get ran into the next tax bracket after utilizing tax-loss harvesting, you could possibly truly find yourself paying extra taxes in your capital beneficial properties sooner or later. Yikes.

Additionally, you may solely declare as much as $3,000 per yr in capital losses as a single particular person or $1,500 per individual when you’re married.

Alternate options

There are different methods to scale back your capital beneficial properties tax burden moreover harvesting losses. You can too 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: Offset Capital Good points Tax on Your Investments

Wash Sale Rule

You may be questioning: Can you purchase an funding again after you’ve got bought it at a loss to offset capital beneficial properties? The reply is sure. However you might have 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 slicing their tax payments by “gaming the system.” Principally, you are not purported to promote an funding to scale back the capital beneficial properties 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 whenever 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.

When you set off the wash sale rule, you may’t use the loss that triggered it to offset your beneficial properties.

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 high quality. The very best robo-advisors use safeguards to keep away from wash gross sales.

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

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

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.

Nevertheless it’s rather a lot simpler and cheaper to have an algorithm to do it for you, and plenty of robo-advisors have the capability to do that extra recurrently than a human would.

A conventional monetary advisor would seemingly inform you to attend till the top of the yr or near it to begin tax-loss harvesting. It’s 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 yr.

However robo-advisors usually apply tax-loss harvesting strategies day by day or not less than on a way more common foundation. It is simpler and quicker for an algorithm to seek out alternatives to reap losses than for an individual, and these platforms use computerized rebalancing to repeatedly alter your portfolio.

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

Backside Line

Tax-loss harvesting is usually a incredible approach to cut back your tax invoice, however it may be a bit tough and time-consuming to drag off by yourself. Recruiting a robo-advisor to do that give you the results you want is a worthwhile determination for many buyers, particularly since these platforms supply many different advantages too like decrease charges, nice diversification, and low-maintenance investing.

Take a look at considered 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 consumer that applies for a Wealthfront Automated Investing Account via our hyperlinks. This creates an incentive that ends in a cloth battle of curiosity. InvestorJunkie shouldn’t be a Wealthfront Advisers consumer, and this can be a paid endorsement. Extra info is obtainable through our hyperlinks to Wealthfront Advisers.

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