Blooom is a robo advisor that helps manage your 401k, IRA, and other retirement plans. The service’s cost is reasonable and users can opt to pay a flat fee to use the platform. There is no account minimum to start, making it a good choice when it comes to retirement investment options. This review of Blooom aims to help you determine if the robo advisor platform is right for you.
Blooom Review: Overview
Blooom is a robo advisor that focuses on one section of the investment marketplace: retirement. The services that are offered are often overlooked by other investment management platforms and robo advisor services. Blooom can manage your employer-sponsored retirement plan, 401k, 403 b, 457, a thrift savings plan, 401 a, traditional IRA, and Roth IRA.
Investment management is important in today’s world, and saving for retirement is a must. Blooom offers free account analysis, account rebalancing, investment advice, and no account minimum to get started.
With reasonable costs and a one-time annual fee, the platform is a good way to manage savings for your retirement. If you need help with investment management and personal finance for your retirement, Bloom is the way to go when it comes to robo advisors.
Blooom Review: How Does Blooom Work?
Blooom works by offering a free analysis of your accounts. As a robo advisor, the service can help manage most retirement plans, including traditional and Roth IRAs. It can search your accounts for investment fees that are often included in a 401k or other employer-sponsored retirement plans and that may be higher than usual.
Analysis of Your 401k
Bloom analyzes your investment accounts to see where you could be saving money. It will assess any investment fees associated with your accounts and advise you on how to lower or eliminate those fees to make more money from your investment.
Blooom manages your 401k or other retirement accounts by creating a retirement portfolio based on your current age, your retirement age, and your risk tolerance. This helps the service to pick funds to invest in that are unique to your profile.
Blooom also offers a personalized portfolio by researching funds in your plan and picking optimal funds to invest in for your retirement plan. With some plans, the robo advisor can even place trades for you, making investment simple and hassle-free. Blooom’s main objective is to keep you on track with your retirement goals.
The platform offers other features as well, such as withdrawal alerts and activity alerts so that you can be aware of when a change is made. Additionally, access to financial advisors is offered, so that you can ask questions about your investment and get a response from a registered financial advisor. Priority advisor access is also available with some plans, which allows you to speak with an investment advisor anytime during normal business hours.
Another great feature of Blooom is that you can adjust your asset allocation. With this feature, Blooom handles asset allocation based on your retirement age and risk tolerance. Your investments are tailored to your financial needs and desires.
How To Sign Up For Blooom
To use Blooom, simply sign up online and answer a few questions about yourself. You will also need to link your account, whether that be a 401k, a Roth IRA, or another employer-sponsored retirement plan. You will then set up your Blooom account by providing an email address and password. Once you have logged into your retirement account, Bloom will complete the free analysis.
Blooom Review: Is Blooom Legit?
Blooom is legally required to work for your best interest. As a fiduciary it must follow certain guidelines when it comes to managing your retirement account. It also uses bank-level security encryption, so you can be sure that your information is safe. While Blooom does not offer SIPC insurance since it does not take full custody of your retirement account, your plan trustee does provide the needed coverage.
Blooom Review: What Does Blooom Include?
Blooom provides a few key things when it comes to managing personal finance for your investment accounts.
- 401 K Account Management
- IRA Account Management
- Automatic Rebalancing
Most importantly, Blooom provides 401k count management. It can help you not only create, but also manage your portfolio for your 401k and other retirement accounts. It is the only service on the market of its type. The service does not take over your account but instead works as an investment management tool, leaving you with total control.
Unlike some robo advisors, where employer consent is needed, you do not need your employer to give you the go-ahead to use Blooom’s services. Since the company operates by analyzing your 401k and other retirement accounts, it works with your existing employer-sponsored retirement account to choose funds that are in your best interest. The service can work with accounts that are located anywhere, making it a top choice when it comes to investment management services.
Blooom will also show you where you could be saving money, such as on investment fees you may not be aware of. Blooom shows you this in your free analysis when you first sign up for the platform.
When creating your portfolio, Blooom does not use individual stocks but instead focuses on mutual funds and ETF- based index funds to help grow your investment. The funds that are used are typically low-cost. One exception to stocks is your employer’s stock. Blooom does however recommend that your investment in the stock does not make up more than 10% of your overall portfolio.
IRA Account Management
Blooom also offers management for both traditional and Roth IRA accounts. You can use Blooom to manage only your IRA, or both your IRA and employer-sponsored retirement account.
With employer-sponsored retirement accounts, Blooom can work with accounts that are placed anywhere. However, with IRA accounts, the service only handles accounts that are with Fidelity, Charles Schwab, or Vanguard. You can also use self-directed investing, which allows Blooom to only manage only part of your account, while you handle the rest.
Blooom offers a free analysis of your retirement account. This helps you to not only see what other investments you can make, but works to keep your costs low. By researching your accounts and letting you know where you could be saving money, Blooom sets you up to make the most of your retirement investments.
Blooom will review your accounts about 95 days after the last assessment. If the account has not changed enough to allow for better optimization of your investments, Blooom keeps track of any shifts in your account until another account rebalance is needed. Rebalancing takes place anywhere from one and four times annually, depending on your investments.
Registered Investment Advisors
Blooom has advisors available to answer any questions you may have. With some plans, a registered investment advisor is on hand to speak with you about your account during normal business hours. While this is only available with certain plans, and you will need to subscribe to either the standard plan or the unlimited plan in order to get financial advice.
Blooom Review: Blooom Cancellation Policy
You can cancel your Blooom subscription at any time. The annual fee you pay will either be taken care of in one of two ways.
- You will be able to continue using the services until your subscription runs out
- You will be reimbursed a prorated amount for the amount of time you have been using the service.
Blooom Review: How Much Does Blooom Cost?
There are three different pricing tiers for Bloom.
The Essentials plan costs $ 95 per year, per account. It only includes a personalized portfolio and does not provide anything else. This is the bare-bones option that Bloom offers.
The standard tier costs $120 per year, per account. With the standard pricing plan, you will get:
- A personalized portfolio
- Auto optimization
- Withdrawal alerts
- Activity alerts
- Advisor access
This plan offers access to financial advisors. You can ask questions about your investments and get help with financial planning. You will get a response from a financial advisor within 2-4 business days.
The most inclusive plan offered is the unlimited plan, which comes with an annual fee of $250. The unlimited plan offers management of unlimited accounts. With this plan you will get:
- A personalized portfolio
- Auto optimization
- Withdrawal alerts
- Activity alerts
- Advisor access
- Priority advisor access
The priority advisor access in this plan allows you to speak with a registered financial advisor and receive independent financial advice at any time during normal business hours. This plan is best if you want help with your financial planning for your employer-sponsored plans, or your IRA.
Blooom Review: Pros & Cons
- No minimum initial investment – Your accounts do not need to have a minimum amount invested in them to use Blooom.
- It can manage your employer IRA plan that is anywhere – It does not matter who your plan is with, the platform works with any custodian to help manage your portfolio.
- Low cost compared to other robo advisors – Other robo advisors tend to charge more for their services. With the Unlimited Plan costing only $250 per year, if your accounts hold $100,000, you are only paying 25% to manage multiple accounts.
- Professional account management – Many people have retirement accounts but aren’t quite sure how to manage them. For a one-time annual management fee, Blooom will take care of managing your account for you.
- Asset allocation – Blooom tailors your asset allocation to your wants and needs, basing this on your retirement age and risk tolerance.
- No need for employer consent – Unlike with other management services, Blooom does not need your employer to give permission to use it since it is a self-selected service.
- Management of any type of retirement plan – All types of retirement plans can be managed with Blooom. Blooom works with your 401k, 403 b, 457, thrift savings plan, 401 a, traditional IRA, or Roth IRA.
- Personalized investment management – Blooom can manage part of your IRA, while you take control of the rest.
- IRAs must be with one of three custodians – If you use Blooom to manage your IRA account, it must be held with either Fidelity, Charles Schwab, or Vanguard.
- The service is for retirement accounts only – Blooom only manages retirement accounts and does not work with other types of investment options.
- The monthly fee is high for small accounts – For an account with only $5,000, the management fee is large versus your total assets.
- Blooom does not offer phone support – You must contact Blooom by either live chat or email, which can be inconvenient if you prefer to speak to someone directly.
Blooom Review: Is Blooom Right for Me?
If you struggle to manage your retirement investments, Blooom may very well be a good choice for you. Blooom handles the hard part of investing- figuring out which funds to invest in to best grow your portfolio. If you have a retirement account, whether that be a 401k, IRA, or both, Blooom can help you better reach your retirement goals. Bloom offers a good way to manage your retirement assets with a hands-off approach.
The major selling point of Blooom is that it offers a free 401k analysis, which is great for anyone who is not exactly sure if they are investing wisely. The free analysis is also great for seeing where you can improve your investment return by allowing you to see the fee structure on your accounts.
When it comes to individual retirement, Blooom offers a good service for most novice investors, especially those who need help managing their portfolio but do not wish to spend too much money.
You should, however, check to make sure your current 401k or other employer-sponsored retirement plan does not include similar services. If it does, Blooom may not be worth the added cost.
Blooom Reviews from Customers
Customers who use Blooom typically have good things to say about the service. However, Blooom is a relatively new company. There is not much data on the service available in the form of customer reviews. The online reputation of the company is good overall. There are only two complaints on the Better Business Bureau website which give Bloom a rating of A-.
Some Reddit users do report problems with Blooom, with one even mentioning that the management platform actually caused their profits to decline. Of course, investing can be a gamble and specific outcomes for some customers may be poor due to their set risk tolerance and account balances.
Final Review: Is Blooom Worth It?
Blooom is overall a good choice for hassle-free investing. When it comes to retirement, it is never too early to start saving. The fact that Blooom handles the difficult aspect of investing for retirement makes Bloom a good choice for many investors.
However, you should be aware that using Blooom for accounts with small balances might not be the best decision. This is simply because you would be spending a good percentage of your retirement savings just on account management. It may be more worthwhile to wait until you have more savings to start using Bloom.
In all, the service offers some very good features. Blooom is good at managing all types of employer-sponsored retirement plans, and even IRAs. Account alerts, access to financial advisors, asset allocation, rebalancing of assets, and overall portfolio management make Blooom a good choice when it comes to managing your retirement savings.