Spoiler alert: still very happy with it :)
THEO first popped onto my radar early this year. I wrote about it here, talked about opening an account here, and followed up here, here, here, and here.
I'm still a big fan of the service. It is by far the best of the five robo-advisors I looked into. THEO's fees are too high, they won't (can't?) take US citizens, but other than those two points I have no complaints or suggestions for THEO.
So why do I like it so much?
First, and perhaps most important, the service. Their sign-up process is incredibly easy, every time I contact them I get a helpful, friendly, and professional reply in short order, the website is simple and clear, and they provide all the services you could hope for:
- building a diversified portfolio of low cost ETFs
- tax-loss harvesting
- kakutei kouza (tax-reporting account)
- transferring money in and out for free
- no charges other than the annual fee
There have been several upgrades/improvements over the year, the biggest of which was the option of seeing your investments in yen (the initial default) and dollars (the actual currency they are held in).
This is really significant as the strong yen earlier this year has made returns in yen look terrible for most of the year, something that flipped this month as the dollar soared against the yen.
So how is it looking so far?
Well, I opened the account in March and funded it with 105,000 yen. Since then I have added 20,000 yen twice a month and a one-off deposit of 200,000 yen in September.
In yen terms it now looks like this:
And in dollar terms like this:
They have also been doing tax-loss harvesting on the account so that it is currently showing a loss for the year, which can be used to write off future profits:
Now, I think just looking at the numbers in this post (18% return!) would be a mistake. It is clearly a one-off due to the favourable exchange rate right now. A month ago this post would have looked very different.
However, THEO could be a great fit for a lot of people. Once you set up the account (which is fairly painless) you really don't have to do anything apart from remember to transfer some money across every so often.
I transfer money twice a month (on payday and the day I pay my credit card bills) and check my balance once a month (to update my net worth spreadsheet) and that is all I have to do. In fact, checking the balance would be optional for non personal finance geeks :)
I'll continue to use the service and report back here if things change.
Anyone else using THEO? Did I miss anything or get something wrong?