In August 2019, Grove announced they were acquired by Wealthfront.
All existing Grove customers were transferred to Facet Wealth, which is another hybrid financial planning service.
This review is no longer valid as Wealthfront discontinued all of Grove's services. However, we maintain it to educate consumers who may be looking for similar products and services.
Are you looking for a financial planner but don't know where to start? Or maybe you don't think you have enough money to actually need a financial planner? Well, that's where Grove comes in - and in our Grove review, we break down how they are changing the financial planning game.
Grove offers low cost, comprehensive financial planning services, but geared towards young professionals who want a person to help them but aren't millionaires (yet).
- Low cost, comprehensive financial planning services
- Includes investments services that are free for assets under $100,000
- Great for young professionals who don't want to use a robo-advisor
Who Is Grove?
Grove (Grove Advisors LLC) was founded in February 2018 by Chris Hutchins, who left Google Ventures to start the company. The first round led a $2.1 million seed round with participation from Lowercase Capital, SV Angel, BoxGroup, and others. Grove is based in San Francisco, CA.
Grove offers two main services: financial planning and investment advice. It is considered a cross between pure, low-cost robo-advisors, and high-cost human financial planners.
Grove is for the young professional who wants more from financial planning than simply filling out a few questions and getting an automated response (i.e., robo-advisors) and who doesn’t want to pay high fees.
What Do They Offer?
Grove offers comprehensive financial planning. While some financial planners focus on investing, Grove goes further, covering the following areas:
- Insurance and estate plan review
- Allocating money
- Equity exercising
- Employer benefits
- Buying a home
- Starting a family
- How much and where to save
- Actionable to-dos
- Long-term projections
Grove is like a one-stop shop for your financial planning and investment advice. The following outlines how it works.
1. Get Matched
When you sign up with Grove, you’ll fill out a profile and be paired with a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional who fits your situation. This will be your dedicated financial planner going forward.
Additionally, you’ll sync as many of your financial institutions with Grove as possible. This allows Grove to view a more complete picture of your financial life. With that information, Grove can make better recommendations.
2. Strategy Session
Once the initial setup is done, your financial advisor will review your profile and goals. This step starts the build-out of your financial plan, which can take two to four weeks to prepare.
3. The Deep Dive
With your financial plan complete, your advisor goes over it in detail with you. Knowing your goals, your advisor is able to plot a path from where you are today to where you want to be tomorrow.
You’ll receive 15 to 25 personalized recommendations that will help you work toward your goals. Your advisor also runs 1,000 market scenarios that estimate how your finances could change.
4. Stay on Track
Accountability is a big part of working with a financial planner. Your advisor will check your spending habits and goal progress to make sure you’re on track.
5. Ongoing Updates
If something should happen that interrupts your current financial plan, your advisor will work with you to adjust the plan and realign goals.
Steps two and three are part of your two-hour annual strategy session, where you work with your advisor. Your advisor also reviews your outlook and goals every three months in case any adjustments to your financial plan are needed.
If at any point you have a question, such as what to do with your tax refund or elections for open enrollment, you can email Grove.
You can view your financial plan through the Grove website.
The second service Grove offers is Grove Invest (https://hellogrove.com/invest). Grove Invest is only available to current Grove members. Grove Invest is the investment advisory side of Grove. Grove already knows your financial plan, which allows them to make informed investment decisions.
Grove Invest uses a diversified strategy to reduce risk. They also take advantage of tax-loss harvesting and choose investments with low management fees.
Are There Any Fees?
Yes. Grove charges $65/month plus a one-time setup fee of $560.
Grove Invest is free for accounts with $100,000 or less in assets. There is a 0.25% annual fee for accounts with more than $100,000 in assets. There are no commissions.
How Do I Open an Account?
You can sign up online by clicking here.
Is My Money Safe?
Yes — Grove uses SSL encryption on its website and app.
Grove also has a full money-back policy. If you aren’t satisfied with the advice you’re getting at any time, Grove will refund your fees for the last 100 days.
Is It Worth It?
With some larger firms that offer low-cost human financial planners, you might find that you’re speaking with someone different every time you call. With Grove, you are always working with the same person. This can be advantageous since you’ll always be working with someone who knows your history and goals.
Grove starts with a two hour planning session when a new member joins, but there is no limit on how often they can reach out throughout the year as things change with their goals and/or finances.
For those who want more in-depth discussions, Grove’s model may not work. For example, if you have a complex estate and run multiple businesses, requiring more time from a financial advisor, you may be best off paying more for a traditional financial advisor.
- Commissions and Fees - 60
- Customer Service - 90
- Ease of Use - 90
- Tools and Resources - 90
- Personalization - 90
Robert Farrington is America’s Millennial Money Expert® and America’s Student Loan Debt Expert™, and the founder of The College Investor, a personal finance site dedicated to helping millennials escape student loan debt to start investing and building wealth for the future. You can learn more about him here.
He regularly writes about investing, student loan debt, and general personal finance topics geared towards anyone wanting to earn more, get out of debt, and start building wealth for the future.
He has been quoted in major publications including the New York Times, Washington Post, Fox, ABC, NBC, and more. He is also a regular contributor to Forbes.