Do you want to add cryptocurrencies to your investment portfolio and are looking for a reputable platform to help you ride the wave? Let’s look at what the newest app in the crypto trading market has to offer.
With a $1.05 trillion capitalization and used by over 20% of Americans, crypto has become a significant asset in the investment world. M1 Finance, Investopedia’s 2022 #1 robo-advisor for sophisticated investors, recently added crypto trading to its services due to strong consumer demand.
Before going into more M1 Finance and crypto details, let’s first understand cryptocurrency.
Cryptocurrency is a digital payment system that doesn’t rely on banks to verify transactions. It’s a peer-to-peer system that can enable anyone to send and receive payments, and it’s a decentralized exchange that uses blockchain technology.
Read on to know more about M1 Finance and cryptocurrency, how it works, what you can expect, its benefits, and its legitimacy.
M1 Finance – Brief Summary
An American financial services company founded in 2015, M1 Finance provides a combination of automated investing paired with expansive portfolio personalization to apace with borrowing and spending features.
The platform also provides a robo-advisory investment platform with brokerage accounts, digital checking accounts, and lines of credit. You can choose from over 80 pre-built portfolios called “pies” or build your own strategy.
The customizable portfolio platform is matched to experienced investors looking to automate their master plan while aligning to personal preferences, diversification goals, and risk appetite.
M1 Finance offers various types of accounts that will help you with your portfolios. The platform allows people with joint taxable brokerage accounts. Furthermore, they can also set up individual retirement accounts (IRAs) or obtain custodial trust accounts but with additional paperwork.
Whether you are investing for a short-term or long-term with M1 Finance, you can set up a taxable brokerage account. Aside from that, you can use M1 Finance’s concierge service to roll over your IRA, and you will have to set up a SEP IRA first and set up trust accounts.
M1 Finance also has a great record for being a low-cost platform. They charge no fees on investment management or trading, putting more dollars to work for you. You can also read our full M1 Finance review for more platform details.
M1 Finance and Crypto Investing
M1 Finance is a modern trader and holistic finance suite appropriate for younger, more tech-savvy audiences. It’s only natural that its users are eager to trade crypto seamlessly despite common perceptions of instability, as attested by an M1 Finance survey that identified crypto as the most requested asset addition.
Trading in crypto at M1 Finance, which is under M1 Digital LLC, a wholly separate affiliate of M1 Finance LLC, comes with a caveat that “neither are involved with the execution or custody of cryptocurrencies” and that cryptocurrencies are not FDIC or SIPC insured. Not exactly reassuring.
Cryptocurrency is still labeled unstable, and most people don’t understand why. That’s because the price of Bitcoin, the most popular crypto to date, fluctuates and is very volatile. It shifts due to supply and demand, investor and user sentiments, government regulations, and media coverage. In short, the stability of cryptocurrency relies on the economy.
However, while the market’s volatility may have affected potential investors, recent polls have shown a shift in the public’s opinion of crypto. Binance’s 2021 Global Crypto User Index indicated that 97% of 67,000 respondents consider cryptocurrency “a safe and viable way of earning an income through investing.”
M1 is a long-term investing platform and is not precisely for day trading. While many people hold crypto for the long term, crypto also lends itself to a short-term trading mindset. Thus, when M1 Finance announced that its platform users could add crypto as part of their investment strategy, it underscored that investors should create portfolios that fit their risk tolerance and manage their crypto a bit more closely.
Significant risk disclosure aside, here is where M1 Crypto’s unique features come into play, as the platform aims to make crypto trading customizable, easy, safe, and low-cost. Adding crypto and digital assets will surely be a game-changer for M1 Finance regarding expanding its user base. Now, let’s break it down with a discussion of M1 Crypto’s workings.
M1 Crypto Overview
Starting September 2022, crypto accounts can be accessed by M1 clients with a funded brokerage account. New users can open a Crypto Account at M1, and existing clients can add access to invest in cryptocurrencies to their current accounts. Thus, investors can implement and automate their investing strategies for multiple asset classes, such as crypto, stocks, and ETFs – all in a single M1 platform.
Crypto accounts come with all the automation M1 brokerage accounts provide, which includes auto investing, dynamic rebalancing, and investing schedules.
Clients can create their crypto portfolio in a matter of minutes through custom-built or pre-built M1 Expert Crypto Pies.
M1 Crypto provides secure crypto storage with the assets held in a separate custodial wallet powered by Apex Crypto and protected with military-grade 4096-bit encryption.
M1 Finance also assures that its new product will have a dedicated team of designers, engineers, and researchers.
M1 Plus members get more trading flexibility for crypto in the form of on-demand trading available 24/7 for up to 10 trades per calendar month. All M1 account holders can also enjoy two-weekend trade windows, which is especially beneficial for M1 Crypto because of the asset’s volatility.
Presently, ten cryptocurrencies are up for trading, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Cardano, Chainlink, and other large-market-capitalization coins.
Crypto accounts at M1 Finance can enjoy these features on top of the standard M1 services and benefits, including commission-free investing.
M1 Finance-Supported Funding Methods
After you have set up your account, you can start to fund your account and then start investing with a couple of supported funding methods.
M1 Finance’s funding method is via bank account, and with that, you can fund your account by transferring your money from an institution or rolling over an old 401(k) from a previous employer.
With your bank connected to your M1 Finance account, it lets you fund your account from the following sources:
- Roth IRA
- SEP IRA
- Checking account
- Savings account
Aside from that, you can also fund your M1 Finance account with a credit card or debit card. Unfortunately, there is no option to fund your account with PayPal currently.
Minimum Account Balance
M1 Finance will require a $100 minimum balance to open an account. Once you set up your account and give all the information needed, you are ready to start investing.
Besides, to open a retirement account, you need to deposit a minimum of $500. After making your first deposit, the platform will let you deposit any amount greater than $10.
M1 Fees And Pricing Structure
M1 Finance has no fee for opening a basic account. The company also follows the zero trading commission on stocks and ETFs that has become the industry standard for more online brokerage apps.
M1 Finance neither charges a markup fee on trade and portfolio management nor a commission on executed trades. Although there is a $100 minimum account balance requirement, retirement accounts come with a $500 minimum.
Furthermore, there are no international debit card fees on the M1 Plus account. However, you can expect to pay interest on margin loans of up to 3.5% for the basic account and 2% for the plus account.
There is also an international debit card fee ranging from 0.8% to 1% on purchases made through the basic account.
M1 Finance Pros & Cons
Let’s look at M1 Finance’s pros and cons to help you decide whether this is the right fit for you and your portfolio needs.
Pros Of M1 Finance:
- No fees when buying or selling shares on the platform.
- Users can mimic the portfolios of over 80 expert investors.
- Excellent educational resources for new investors.
- Provides automated investing with no additional costs for standard accounts.
- The app comes with fractional shares, ETFs, and individual stocks.
Cons Of M1 Finance:
- Inactive accounts are charged a $20 fee.
- Limited customer service solutions.
Is M1 Finance Ideal For First-Time Investors?
Yes, M1 Finance is an ideal platform for first-time investors. It also comes with a combination of customizable and automated trading and investing. The company has zero fees for portfolio management and provides the best tool for those looking to start investing.
M1 Finance claims its platform is built on a proprietary trading and investment system, which automates each customer’s trading performance, allowing investors to relax and let their money work.
M1 Finance is also made with an automatic accumulator that accomplishes morning trades automatically starting from 9:30 eastern time zone. If you missed the morning session, you could upgrade to the M1 Plus account for an annual charge of $125 to gain an additional noon trade aggregation time.
What Does The Future Look Like at M1 Finance?
With the M1 Finance progress and great results, there’s no doubt that it will last for years. There is also news about the firm reporting that it had more than $3 billion in assets under management with over half a million clients.
M1 Finance is also one of the top choices for all investors because it combines its features and services with automated investing and effective customization. They let their clients create a portfolio according to their wants and needs.
Aside from that, M1 Finance is also a top choice for many investors because they don’t charge any management, trading, or deposit/withdrawal fees if connected to a bank account.
The company also bears new and notable features like M1 Spend, which earns 1% cash back on every purchase, and M1 Plus, in which, if you avail, you have to pay $125 per year with inclusion perks such as 1% interest on the cash balance.
Other than that, it has lower interests in loans, M1 Borrow with a 3.5% interest on a line of credit with over $10,000 used for margins and smart transfers.
Is M1 Finance Safe?
Yes, M1 Finance is proud of its good reputation for safety, reliability, and trustworthiness among its members. They have the Better Business Bureau rating and recommendations.
M1 Finance is a registered financial brokerage firm with a license from United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).
M1 Finance has serious account security as the platform is created to meet industry security standards and uses advanced security protocols to protect users’ personal information. The platform also uses two-factor authentication and 4096-bit military-grade encryption that keeps data secure while it is being transferred or stored in the platform.
To Put It All Together – M1 Finance Crypto – Is It In Your Favor?
So, is crypto investing for you? The bottom line: crypto investing should be aligned with your investment goals and strategies.
Furthermore, M1 Crypto could be an excellent option if you believe in the long-term potential of crypto, blockchain technology, and digital assets and if you are already planning to diversify your investments to include crypto. You may also be successful in crypto if you are aware of your own risk tolerance and the variables in crypto, such as volatility, loss of principal, and regulation differences from your usual investments.
The addition of cryptocurrencies as an investment option at M1 Finance shows the company’s responsiveness to the expressed needs of its user base and more tech-savvy potential clients. Offering a more diversified portfolio also provides M1 users with more investment flexibility and a seamless, integrated way of crypto investing through popular M1 features, such as custom Pies and automated portfolio management.
M1 Finance is an excellent and special platform that is perfect for aspiring investors. Together with its amazing features, the growth of this platform has been through the roof, indicating that it offers investors what they want. M1 Finance is one of the outstanding platforms there is when it comes to your investments and portfolios.
Start your no-commission investing. Start investing in the future with M1 Crypto. Start with M1 Finance today!
Founder of Spark Nomad, Radical FIRE, Journalist
- Expertise: Personal finance and travel content
- Education: Bachelor of Economics at Radboud University, Master in Finance at Radboud University, Minor in Economics at Chapman University.
- Over 200 articles, essays, and short stories published across the web.
Experience: Marjolein Dilven is a journalist and founder of Spark Nomad, a travel platform, and Radical FIRE, a personal finance platform. Marjolein has a finance and economics background with a master’s in Finance. She has quit her job to travel the world, documenting her travels on Spark Nomad to help people plan their travels. Marjolein Dilven has written for publications like MSN, Associated Press, CNBC, Town News syndicate, and more.