I’ve been using M1 Finance for over a year and wanted to share my experience in a review. In this M1 Finance review I’ll be sharing my experience using M1 Finance, why I like using it, and the pros and cons I’ve encountered.
What Is M1 Finance?
M1 Finance started as an investment platform but their tagline now is M1 Finance: The Finance Super App™.
You can now invest, borrow, and spend your money in one easy-to-use platform. They continue to add new features each year like the upcoming credit card. The goal at M1 Finance is to have all of your financial needs taken care of in one place.
M1 blends the best of financial technology providing personalization and automation so you can make your own money moves easily. It is designed for long term investors who want a simple design with powerful automation. M1 has been very clear that they are focused on long term investors not day traders.
M1 Finance is regulated and safe to use. Your investments are covered under Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC) in case of the firm’s insolvency or misconduct. You can feel secure that your M1 Finance investment account is covered.
Feel free to read more about the details of SIPC insurance here.
For all the details behind M1 Finance you can look them up on FINRA’s Broker Check.
M1 Finance Features
There are multiple sections or features at M1 Finance:
M1 Invest is the investment portion of M1. It’s designed for self-directed investors who want to make their own investment decisions.
The easy-to-use tools let you develop your own strategy and then take advantage of the automation built into the platform. You can build a custom portfolio or choose from an expert designed portfolio to get started.
With M1 Invest you can purchase fractional shares of stocks and ETFs. This is one of the best features of the app and makes it ideal for new investors without much money to invest.
The automation built into the M1 “pies” function keeps your portfolio on track and up to date with your desired allocation by dynamic rebalancing. You can set it once and they take care of the rest.
With M1 Borrow you can get a loan through M1 with a low rate. You are able to borrow against your investments with a flexible line of credit at a very low rate. The current rates for borrowing through M1 borrow are 2% at the time of this review.
This type of loan is using margin against your investment portfolio at M1 Finance. You can get this line of credit for up to 35% of your portfolio’s balance. There is no application or payment schedule and the loan is very easy to get.
The interest on M1 Borrow accumulates for each day that you use your portfolio line of credit. You receive a bill at the end of each month and you pay for the line of credit borrowed. There is no minimum monthly loan repayment and you have flexibility with how you pay back the principal.
On the Spend side of M1 is a 1$ APY checking account. This checking account inside M1 allows you to earn multiple times the national average APY for a checking account.
The M1 Spend checking account comes with a debit card you can use anywhere Visa is accepted. You can also send checks when needed. You can send the physical checks without ever using a pen or writing out the check personally.
Having the M1 spend account open allows you to transfer money and direct deposit into M1. Then you can easily move money into investments.
The M1 Owner’s Rewards Credit Card was announced in July 2021.
It offers up to 10% cash back on certain brands that you’ve invested in. If you invest in what you buy it may be worth getting the credit card to get cash back from brands you buy from often.
The credit card is only available to M1 Plus members.
Some of the benefits listed for these features are only available with an M1 Plus account. Otherwise they are not available or will cost more for a regular account.
What Is M1 Plus?
M1 Plus is the paid version of an M1 Finance account that gives you extra benefits. It is currently $125 per year but the first year is free.
Here are the benefits offers with a M1 Plus account:
M1 Invest Benefits
M1 Plus Borrow Benefits
- 2% rate
- $5,000 minimum balance
M1 Plus Spend Benefits
- Digital checking included
- 1% APY
- 1% cash back
- 4 monthly ATM fees reimbursed
- All international fees reimbursed
- 5 debit card design options
- NEW: Send checks.
These are the benefits you will receive if you upgrade from M1 Basic to M1 Plus.
M1 Finance Account Types
M1 Finance currently offers multiple account types for investing:
- Individual taxable brokerage account
- Joint taxable brokerage account
- Traditional IRA
- Roth IRA
- Sep IRA
- Custodial accounts
You can sign up with any of these account types.
M1 Finance Pros
There are some great things about using M1:
- Free investing with no fees
- Lots of customization options
- Automation for set it and forget it investing
- Can buy fractional shares
- Dedicated dividend dashboard reporting
- Intuitive pie interface
- Very good rates on borrowing and checking
- Research tools and info in app and website
- Helpful customer service with great solutions
M1 Finance Cons
Unfortunately there are also some downsides:
- Customer support can be slow at times
- No advanced order options
- No crypto or options or forex
- Only one trading window per day without M1 Plus (2 windows)
Depending on what you want to use M1 Finance for and your needs you may or may not care about these pros and cons.
M1 Finance Bonuses
M1 Finance offers many bonuses for people signing up to use their services.
There is almost always a M1 Referral Bonus. These bonuses have ranged from $10 – $50 bonus when someone signs up and opens a new account through a referral link. It changes every few months so double check to see how much they offer at the moment.
They have also offered rollover bonuses. If you rollover an account to M1 Finance from another platform you could get up to $4,000 for their summer transfer bonus.
You can check out there current bonuses and promotions on the website.
If you want to open an account now and get the bonus for singing up, you can watch the video below on how to sign up for an M1 Finance account.
My Experience Using M1
I’ve been using M1 for over a year and have been very happy with my experience.
What I Use M1 For
I use M1 Finance for two key things:
- Investing (M1 Invest)
- Saving money (M1 Spend)
I use it for these two things right now because it provides the best experience of any investing app I’ve tried so far.
I have not used the borrow function and do not yet have the credit card.
My M1 Review
M1 Finance is great for medium to long term investors who want a easy to use platform. M1 makes investing quick, simple, fun and free. All of those align with my investing strategy and values which is why I love to recommend it!
The platform is not for day traders or those who like to make quick decisions and change their strategy often. If you are impulsive and want to make quick moves then M1 will not be the platform for you.
M1 has removed so many barriers to traditional investing. It’s made investing more accessible than ever with the lack of fees and fractional shares.
That’s all due to the founder’s vision. From the start he has said he believes “everyone’s money should be working harder for them.” It’s no wonder M1 has become the leader of investing platforms that are simple, easy, and free yet powerful enough to provide amazing solutions to seasoned investors.
I hope this M1 Finance review was helpful to you! If you’d like to support my work feel free to do one of the follow:
Mary is the founder of Pennies Not Perfection where she shares her journey to build wealth through online income. She quit her day job in 2021 after she paid off her debt and doubled her 9-5 salary.
Mary's favorite free financial tool is Personal Capital. She uses their free tools to track net worth and work toward to financial freedom.