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2019 Swell Investing App Review: Performance & Returns

Rachel Carey
Financial Guru
Updated: 6/2019
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Table of Contents

Update: Swell Investing is now closed. Please see our other article about the best investment apps currently available.

 

Introduction

While Swell Investing is looked at as a startup in the world of finance, their backer has quite a history in growing a company. That’s none other than Pacific Life which happens to be one of the leading insurance companies within the United States. The focus of Swell Investing is to give investors a solution when they truly care about where their money goes and if it helps make the world a better place.

Swell Investing Review

The real question is, does Swell Investing suit your needs?

In order to learn about anything, you must weight out its good things and bad things. Not to mention, you must make sure it’s suitable when your intention is to fulfill your investment needs. We broke it down for you below so that you can make a sound decision dependent upon your specific needs.

Just a friendly reminder, this is here for informational purposes only. If you need professional advice, feel free to contact the folks at Swell Investment or another investment broker that you choose.

Swell Investing Review

The Focus of Swell Investing

This is one of the unique traits of Swell Investing, and it doesn’t allow them to blend in with all the other investment firms that are busy copying each other’s way of business. Just check out the current coverage of Swell portfolios below. Seeing is believing.

Clean Water

The Flint water crisis is just one of many situations that demonstrates the importance of ensuring everyone has access to clean water. This also ensures a healthier world, which only makes it better for future generations. Some of the companies backed includes Albemarle Corp., Marietta Metals, Inc., and Parker-Hannifen Corp. In total there are 53 companies in the Swell Investing portfolio focused on providing the world with clean water.

Disease Eradication

As the world progresses, so does the demand for modernized medical technology tailored to the elimination/prevention of disease. You’ll find companies in the biomedical technology industry as well as the pharmaceutical industries are covered in this Swell portfolio. Leading companies currently in the portfolio includes, but shall not be limited to Abbott Labs, AbbVie, Inc., Becton Dickinson & Co., as well as 65 other companies. Everything is specifically targeting research and development of progressive disease eradication technology.

Green Tech

Reducing energy usage is the key factor with the Swell Investing green tech portfolio. With companies in the portfolio such as BorgWarner, Johnson Controls, and Tesla it’s no secret that Swell Investing has a strong selection. This is great for the investors who want to fuel a greener and more sustainable world now and in the future.

Healthy Living

Live longer, be healthier, and embrace happiness. Sounds like the life everyone wants to live, right? That’s probably why Swell Investing brought the healthy living portfolio to the table for their investors. The concentration of this portfolio ensures that it only includes companies in sectors such as fitness, food, and new technologies. It boasts a total of 64 companies which you can find by visiting the official Swell Investing website.

Renewable Energy

Implementing alternative energy sources is something that’s truly a breakthrough in modern technology. Using the earth’s natural resources to generate cleaner power is something that hits home for many. If this is something you’d like to help push forward into the world, the renewable energy portfolio over at Swell Investing will help you do exactly that. There is a total of 64 companies in the portfolio which includes industry leaders such as Analog Devices, Eaton Corp, and TransDigm Group.

Zero Waste

Reducing waste, the key to a greener world. And a better quality of life overall. Nothing could describe this portfolio and its ways any better. Only companies that concentrate on manufacturing products from recycled materials and waste companies that specialize in compost/recycling find their seat within this portfolio.

Who is Swell Investing for?

Those who demand socially responsible robo investing. While it’s not the only investment company, there’s still not even a handful of them around. Plus, the attitude and ways of Swell Investing makes them shine like a diamond. If you want to invest in bettering the world and progressing eco-friendly technologies, you’ll find that you share the same interest as the folks over at Swell.

The multitude of documentation, tips, and available support makes it a perfect choice regardless of your skill level as an investor. In another article we rated it as one of the best investment apps available. If you skipped over the last section that covered the various Swell portfolios, take the time and read it. You’ll quickly see whether it aligns with your overall investment goals or not.

Swell Investing Review

The Good & Bad of Swell Investing

In order to truly weigh out your investment options, it’s necessary to look at them in both positive and negative lights. Look at their weakness and the strength that keeps the wheels turning. Below we did exactly that with Swell Investing. Will they last or be tore apart?

The Good Side of Swell Investing

If a company does business right, they shine like a diamond in the rough. Just like Swell Investing has done below. See for yourself.

Access a simple way to invest online.

Technology has not only made the world of investing easier, but it has made it more profitable. Robotic trading is one of the ways it has done this. When opportunities peak through the surface, it can be harnessed instantly.

Choose between a retirement account or an individual account.

If you’re investing to relax in your years of retirement, you might want to opt for this type of account to take advantage of tax breaks and ensure it grows as expected. Not to mention, it will ensure that you have the funds to pay the bills once you’re done putting in your years of hard work. If you predict cashing out early, then an individual account will suit your needs.

Complicated charges and fees were left outside.

A lot of investment companies have all kinds of fees and charges they bill to their customers, but not Swell Investing. Instead you pay one fee for everything. Know what’s being reserved to pay the fee required by Swell and don’t get surprised by unexpected fees when you hit a win.

Easily add and delete holdings within each of your portfolios.

Thanks to the online interface for investors, it hasn’t been easier to keep track of all your holdings in one place. They have put in the work to make your life easy. Just login to your Swell Account and add/delete holdings as you wish. This help keep your investment portfolio refined and tailored to your overall strategy/style.

For beginning investors, the low price of $50 is a win.

Minimum amounts to invest have been known to reach $500 and onwards. With Swell Investing, they want to help as many investors as they can. Plus, they know if they do their investors right, more money will be invested through them rather than one of their competitors. As little as $50 is what you need to get started, even though it’s recommended to go $100 or more for the best outcome possible. Invest wisely.

Quarterly rebalancing keeps your investments on point.

While it’s not as often as certain robo-advisors, it still ensures they investigate the companies they have in their portfolios to ensure they still align with the goals in place for their investors. If they fall out of line and don’t suit the things that Swell seeks, they’re dropped like a bad habit. It ensures your money is only being used for companies who are truly socially-responsible. Now and in the future too.

Shareholder rights come to you.

Since you’re investing into stocks, you do have a say in the companies that you’ve invested in. A sketchy investment company won’t pass the shareholder’s rights onto you. It’s just another way that Swell ensures that they are seen doing nothing but good business.

Socially Responsible Strategy, Check.

For the socially-responsible investors, this is the sweet spot to invest. You get to support socially-responsible activities and brands while earning a return on your investment. If you want to feel good about where your money goes, look no further.

Stocks are the only form of investing over at Swell Investing.

Mutual funds and EFTs are a thing of the past. Not really, but they’re not offered over at Swell which ensures your money stays on the stock market. No more complicated strategies or funds, just stocks that give you a share as well as interest in the companies you maintain holdings with.

The secret recipe is the algorithm.

Swell is constantly on the hunt for emerging companies that align with their vision as one of the leading investment companies. The way they’ve done this is to automate certain things with the world of robo-trading. That’s just the start because they have humans come in to give the final approval and ensure it’s a sound option to add to their portfolios.

What’s Not So Good About Swell

Now this is what will make or break Swell Investing in our robo-investment review. Let’s see if the disadvantages are outweighed by the many advantages outline in the last section. Shall we?

A limited selection minimizes opportunities to diversify.

Since their focus as an investment company focuses on what the world needs to enhance and grow, there isn’t a huge variety like other investment companies who don’t have a focused vision. However, this could be a good thing for those looking to do specific things with their money to make the world a better place. It all depends on what you crave as an investor.

Dedicated advisors for 1-on-1 sessions aren’t available.

Unlike investment brokers who provide an advisor for each client, everything is robotic over at Swell. They do have articles and guides to help lead the way though. This is best for those who can wing it and self-educate themselves. Not for anyone who needs the help of a human advisor. You can contact their team via e-mail though.

Tax loss harvesting isn’t an option with Swell Investing.

While they do have quarterly rebalancing, they don’t have tax loss harvesting built into their algorithm which could lead to a higher tax bill. If you can stay on top of your investment and know what you owe the IRS, it’s great. If you need this factored in, you might choose another company that fits the bill.

The investments could either be volatile, or lucrative.

With such a narrow focus, there could be a higher risk of losing your money. However, there’s also a chance that this could be the key you need to open the door to a golden opportunity. It all depends on your outlook and whether you can afford to take the risk. Don’t spend the grocery money but invest it if you got it. There’s only one way to find out the outcome, by giving it a try.

You must pay for what you get with higher fees.

Swell Investing is a unique opportunity and backed by a major player in the insurance industry. But you do pay a little more than you would with another robo-advisor. At the time at writing this review, they hold a certain amount of your deposit to pay for fees which are at 0.75% of the amount you invest with them. If it appeals to you and you can afford it, this is a viable option but it’s not if you’re trying to find the cheapest way to invest your hard-earned cash.

Swell Investing Review

General Analysis of the Advantages/Disadvantages

Honestly in our opinion, Swell Investing stands out as one of the top robo-advisors in the financial industry as we know it. The advantages outweigh the disadvantages by far. It’s specifically an option for serious and self-driven individuals. It isn’t for anyone who needs a little coaching along the way as it’s a true robo-advisor rather than a one-on-one investment consultant.

Here’s why Swell stands out to low-budget investors.

It is indeed the top option for those who have little to invest. Having a dedicated advisor at your disposal can get more expensive. If you don’t need that, it’s time to save on costs and earn more on your investments by stepping into the world of robo-investing. Take a look.

Great information readily available on their website for investors.

They know that investing in stocks, especially with robo-investing, is something that can’t be picked up instantly. Their team has taken the time to load their website and blog down with useful information to guide investors through their journey. The self-driven investors out there are sure to appreciate this.

Robotic trading enhances the possibilities and increases the chance to win.

As it was explained earlier, not only can it help expose investment opportunities as they become available, but it ensures the main goal of investing is always met. Refining their portfolios regularly and weeding out those that no longer fit the standard is exactly how they do this. It’s this extra care that increases the odds in your favor.

While the fees may be high, the investment is low.

It is one of the lowest investment minimums currently in the industry. For as little as fifty bucks, you can start buying stocks. This price point is what truly makes it the most ideal option for economical investors seeking a stable solution that they can count on.

How does Swell Investing stand out against the competition?

In order to successfully see whether Swell stands above or behind their competitors, we broke down a comparison for you below. It contains 3 of the leading financial companies involved in the same type of investing that Swell deals with. Here’s what we learned.

Swell Investing VS Betterment

Originally coined as the “traditional robo-advisor” thanks to having no minimum investment amount, you’ll be set back 0.25% of the amount you use to invest. Unlike a lot of companies in this space, they’re not SRI exclusive. If SRI exclusivity is important, Swell is your best choice.

Swell Investing VS Motif

Motif utilizes a hybrid robo-advisor and focus on socially responsible companies just like Swell does. They charge 0.25% of your investment amount for the service. However, you better grab $1,000 if you plan on investing with them. You can create a custom portfolio as well.

Swell Investing VS OpenInvestment

Have $3,000 to invest and be ready to be hit a fee of 0.50% of your total investment to break ice with the folks over at OpenInvestment. They are dedicated to socially responsible investing just like Swell. They seem to be neck in neck with each other to be honest.

Is Swell Investing a legit company worth investing with?

They’re proud to show that they’re regulated by the Security Exchange Commission, giving them a strict set of regulations to follow while doing business. They also protect the investment funds up to $500,000 as a member of both FINRA and SIPC. It’s without a doubt that they’re legitimate and fully legal.

While licenses are great, our research didn’t stop there. We also considered stories from current and previous Swell investors. From what we saw, they have a good track record when it comes to running a clean business. We shouldn’t expect anything less, should we?

For more investment options, also take a look at Ally Invest by Ally Bank and Motif investing. For real estate investing, which is also a great opportunity, take a look at Fundrise

Rachel Carey

Rachel Carey

Financial Guru

Rachel is dedicated to helping individuals and families boost their budgets so they can enjoy the lifestyle they deserve. Rachel graduated with a degree in Family and Consumer Sciences. She’s a prolific finance writer, producing tons of articles on different aspects of personal and family budget management.

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