Motif Investing Review – Exclusive Motif Review Comments10 Comments


Hey everyone, Josh here again for this weeks Friday finance review! Today, I’m going to bring it back to the beginning of the finance reviews column with a review about an investing service. Today, we’re going to discuss the Motif Investing option. I haven’t seen too much chatter online about this company, but what I have seen has proven to be pretty interesting. They offer baskets or “Motifs” of up to 30 different ETFs in a system that reminds me a lot of, yet is far different. So, let’s jump right into it!

Motif Investing Short Review

Motif Investing Pros – Choosing the stocks that you want to put your money into is simple. They have a wide range of what they call “Motifs” or baskets of stocks that you can choose based on a theme. One thing I really like is that you can leave it alone and keep the Motif as is, or you can customize it by taking out the stocks that you feel are too risky or making changes to allocation of funds from one portion of the bucket to the next. Motif Investing also provides a very simple platform structure that’s easy to comprehend, even for the most novice internet based investors! Currently they are running a promo where you get $150 free when you open a new account!

Motif Investing Cons – One thing I don’t like about Motif Investing is that it can get a little expensive if you later want to adjust which stocks are in your motif frequently. A beginner could get carried away swapping in and out several stocks weekly while the commission charges add up. Of course this is only a problem if you don’t have much money invested.

Motif Investing Overall – Motif Investing is a great option for the indecisive investor that is happy with basket based investment plans. Their minimum balance requirements and fees are incredibly competitive and they make choosing stock baskets, or Motifs pretty simple. As with any option, this is not an option for everyone, especially those who would like to create customized profile with wide ranges of stocks from different themes. However, if you like the idea of theme based investing, or are new to the processes involved in online investing, this is a great option for you!

Motif Investing Long Review

When it comes to investing, one of the first things any seasoned investor will ask with regard to a broker or platform is, “What are the fees?”. That being said, lets start there! Motif Investing offers incredibly competitive fees. First off, to buy or sell any Motif will cost $9.95. That’s not on a per trade basis, it’s on a per “Motif” basis which can include up to 30 different ETFs at once. You do have the option however to buy or sell individual stocks within your Motif. That will run you $4.95 per trade. When we look at that in comparison to per trade fees on most other platforms, it’s easy to see that this is a highly competitive fee structure.

Another thing you may want to know is how much money it costs to start an account? In reality, we don’t all have tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars to invest. Even if we do, most of us would rather test the waters with a small amount before jumping in completely. That being said, you can start an account with an initial investment of $250.00.

Next, lets talk about what makes them unique, their Motifs. Motif Investing is a basket based investment solution. This means that you will choose a basket based on a theme with multiple stocks instead of choosing stocks one by one. This is like the basket investing we see at Betterment(read my review of Betterment here!). What Motif Investing has over Betterment is two things. First, they have several different “Motifs” that you can choose from with themes that vary greatly while betterment only has one main basket. Also, Motif Investing offers the ability to really customize your Motifs, something that Betterment simply doesn’t provide.

Being able to customize your Motifs is a pretty important thing. After all, you may not be comfortable with the risk you will need to take to keep 30 different stocks in tact. Plus, allocation is one of the biggest aspects of investing. If you’re not able to control the allocation of your funds, you may lose in the long run. In this platform, you have the opportunity to not only remove a stock completely from a Motif, but you also have the ability to customize the allocation of funds that a Motif receives.

Finally, the Motif Investing platform is among the easiest to understand in the market today. It’s got such a simple design that, even if you’ve never used a computer before, as long as someone showed you the basics of using a mouse, keyboard and internet browser, you’d be able to effectively invest your money with their platforms. I often talk about ease of use, and not all platforms are so user friendly. However, when it comes to Motif Investing, you can be sure that this one is!

My Final Thoughts Of Motif Investing

Overall, Motif Investing is a great company. They’ve got a huge client base for a reason! However, as with any other investment option, this one’s not for everyone. If you’re very picky about your stocks and you enjoy the process of choosing them one by one, this isn’t going to be the option for you. However, if you are looking for a way to invest for your first time that’s very easy to understand, or you’d rather choose set baskets of stocks instead of combing the market for individual gems, Motif Investing may just be your best bet!

Motif Review

Rating: 4.5 / 5
Motif ratingMotif ratingMotif ratingMotif ratingMotif rating

Motif Reviewed by Clarkgym on .

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By : Josh Rodriguez | 18 Oct 2013
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10 thoughts on “Motif Investing Review – Exclusive Motif Review

  1. Benjamin

    Liked your thoughts. You can create your own motif from scratch, however. You just pick up to thirty stocks and allocate their focus in your motif. I wish they allowed OTC stocks. Maybe soon. I believe if someone buys your motif, they’ll give you a small commission. But you aren’t limited to just the company’s list of Motifs.

    1. Joshua Rodriguez

      Hey Benjamin, thanks for adding that in. I didn’t know that feature was available. Also, it’s neat that if someone purchases your Motif, you get a small commission. I’m going to look into that further. Thanks for stopping by!

  2. MoneyAhoy

    It sounds interesting…. I’m not sure what I feel about obfuscating things to much though when it comes to investing. I like the idea of easily being able to diversify, but it seems a little difficult to understand what you actually own…

  3. Sherri Lewis

    Thank you for all of that information. I honestly haven’t ever considered investing before, because I have never had any extra to invest. I do like that you could give it a try without laying out a huge amount of money…

  4. Scott

    There are two big questions I have – first one. What happens with the dividends/splits etc. If I have 30 stocks in a motif that all get dividends when/how are those credited? Secondly there is some sort of charge to “auto rebalancing” the motifs every quarter. I’ve seen $9.95… but nobody seems to say exactly what that is.

  5. Cocoaaddict

    Thank you for your nice review!
    One thing that I didn’t understand about this article is that you commented that trading commission of motif is a bit high. However, it seems that after initial purchasing of a stock, subsequent trades are only $4.95 which seems lower than ScottTrade and most other online brokers (around $7). Am I missing something?


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