There are discount brokerages, and there are truly discount brokerages.
You Invest by J.P. Morgan is among the latter. Not because it’s bare-bones or devoid of any of the useful tools and features DIY investors need to stay on top of the market, but because it’s really inexpensive. You Invest clients with prior Chase Bank relationships may never pay commission on stock or exchange-traded fund (ETF) trades placed on the platform.
Even if you don’t have an account with Chase Bank, you’ll pay less to trade stocks here than at virtually any other major brokerage, and you’ll avoid paying commissions on your first 100 trades the first year your account is open.
You Invest has a reasonably priced managed investing option too, even if it’s not a suitable replacement for high-asset investors seeking truly bespoke advice and management.
Bottom line: If you’re looking for a low-cost trading or managed investing option that delivers everything you need to build a diversified portfolio and nothing you don’t, You Invest by J.P. Morgan is worth considering. Here’s what you need to know about its capabilities, advantages, disadvantages, and overall suitability.
Platforms and Plans
You Invest by J.P. Morgan has two distinct platforms: a low-cost DIY brokerage option and a reasonably priced, hands-off managed investment option.
Both platforms allow for individual taxable accounts, tax-advantaged accounts (IRAs), and three types of taxable joint accounts: joint tenants with rights of survivorship, joint tenants-in-common (ideal for non-coupled joint account holders), and joint with community property (available in community property states only).
Here’s the skinny on You Invest Trade and You Invest Portfolios.
You Invest Trade
You Invest Trade is You Invest’s low-cost DIY brokerage platform. It offers unlimited commission-free stock and ETF trades with no account opening minimums and no balance requirements. While options trades are commission-free, You Invest does charge a $0.65 fee per contract.
Available Self-Directed Investment Products
You Invest Trade offers access to four investment products:
- Stocks. You Invest Trade customers can purchase U.S.-listed and over-the-counter stocks priced at $5 per share and over. You can’t buy exchange-listed or over-the-counter stocks priced at under $5 per share.
- ETFs. You Invest Trade offers access to dozens of U.S.-listed ETFs, covering a range of sectors, asset classes, indexes, and investing objectives. These instruments generally carry expenses and fees that You Invest can’t control.
- Mutual Funds. You Invest Trade offers access to mutual funds with and without transaction fees. Like ETFs, mutual funds may carry expenses and fees that You Invest can’t control.
- Fixed Income. You Invest’s fixed-income products include government and corporate bonds.
Portfolio Builder is a hybrid investment option for You Invest Trade customers who don’t want or need to open a separate You Invest Portfolios account. However, the two aren’t identical. Portfolio Builder is a hybrid option that provides portfolio-building guidance, not full-on investment management.
To get started with Portfolio Builder, you’ll need to answer some basic questions about your risk tolerance, investing goals, and time horizon. Portfolio Builder then creates a custom portfolio allocation with stocks and ETFs available on the You Invest platform. You can choose to execute Portfolio Builder’s recommendations on your own or have the software do so on your behalf.
Portfolio Builder accounts require a $2,500 minimum balance.
You Invest Portfolios
You Invest Portfolios is You Invest’s managed investing option. For a flat fee of 0.35% of assets under management, You Invest’s algorithm-driven robo-advisor software builds and manages diversified portfolios based on your objectives and risk tolerance.
Like Portfolio Builder, You Invest Portfolios starts by asking you a few basic questions about your time horizon, investing goals, and risk tolerance. It then creates the semi-customized asset allocation that best fits your answers, and it periodically rebalances the portfolio as market moves erode the initial allocation. Portfolios accounts only include stocks and ETFs. You can’t add mutual funds or fixed-income instruments here. However, some ETFs may be composed largely or entirely of fixed-income instruments or track fixed-income indexes.
You Invest Portfolios requires a minimum account opening balance of $500.
Here’s why You Invest by J.P. Morgan might be right for you:
- No Need to Have an Existing Chase Bank Account. Anyone can open a You Invest account. You don’t need to be an existing Chase Bank or credit card customer to get started.
- You Invest Trade Charges No Commissions for Stock or ETF Trades. All You Invest Trade clients qualify for unlimited free stock and ETF trades, resulting in extremely low costs for self-directed investing. Options are commission-free as well, though a $0.65 fee per contract does apply.
- No Minimum to Open a Trade Account. There’s no minimum opening deposit required for a new You Invest Trade account. That’s great news for first-time investors without much starting capital.
- Reasonable Management Fees for Portfolios. You Invest Portfolios charges a flat annual management fee: 0.35% of assets under management, regardless of portfolio size or allocation. That’s in line with other highly ranked automated investing platforms and significantly lower than the cost of a full-service human investment manager.
- Multiple Joint Account Types. You Invest offers three different types of joint accounts, including a tenants-in-common structure designed for unrelated or uncoupled account holders who don’t want their fellow owners to inherit their share of the account at their death.
- Hybrid Investment Option. You Invest Trade’s Portfolio Builder feature is a hybrid investment option that offers professional guidance without the ongoing management fee. If you’re confident enough to place trades on your own, but you want a second opinion from someone who knows more than you, Portfolio Builder is right up your alley.
- IRAs Available. You Invest offers traditional and Roth IRAs, making it a great place to kickstart your retirement investing plans.
Consider these disadvantages before opening a You Invest by J.P. Morgan account:
- No Tier Discounts for Higher-Asset Portfolios Accounts. Unlike some automated investment management platforms and most full-service human advisors, You Invest Portfolios doesn’t offer tier discounts for higher-asset Portfolios accounts. Since Portfolios’ standard fee isn’t outrageous, that isn’t a dealbreaker, but it would be nice for clients with the means to bring substantial investable assets to the table to get a break for doing so.
- Purchases of Stocks Priced Under $5 Per Share Are Prohibited. You Invest doesn’t permit purchases of exchange-listed or over-the-counter stocks priced under $5 per share. While low-priced stocks (sometimes known as “penny stocks”) are generally considered riskier than stocks that consistently trade at $5 per share and above, they can further legitimate investing aims and may have a place in a well-balanced portfolio.
You Invest by J.P. Morgan is a versatile, low-frills platform for self-directed investors, hands-off types, and those seeking a blend of professional guidance and DIY flexibility. With unusually low commissions and reasonable management fees, it’s a strong choice for price-sensitive investors, too.
The groups that aren’t so well-served by You Invest are sophisticated investors and high-frequency day traders, who simply won’t find the sorts of execution-oriented tools they need to practice their craft effectively.