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M1 Finance $100 Brokerage Transfer Bonus

As noted in my post on best online brokers, my favorite option in the now-crowded “robo-advisor” category is now M1 Finance. Here’s a quick rundown of what makes them different:

  • Fully customizable. You pick your own ETF asset allocation “pie”. (You can add individual stocks too.) You can simply copy one of the many model portfolios out there, or tweak it as you like. You have full control! Here is my pie which I named the My Money Blog Portfolio.
  • No commissions. Free stock/ETF trades with a low $100 minimum account size for taxable accounts and a $500 minimum for retirement accounts.
  • No management fee. Most robo-advisors charge an annual management fee of 0.25% to 0.50% of assets (or force you to own something bad, like artificially low-interest cash).
  • Automatic rebalancing. M1 will rebalance your portfolio back to the target allocation for you automatically (for free). You don’t need to do any math or maintain any spreadsheets.
  • Fractional share ownership. For example, you can just set it to automatically invest $100 a month, and your full amount will be spread across multiple ETFs. Dollar-based transactions were one of the good things about buying a mutual fund, but it seems that ETFs are the future due to their lower costs and tax-efficient structure. Fractional shares solve this problem.

Short version: Free and DIY, of course I like it!

$100 account transfer bonus. Now through April 30th, they will give you a $100 cash bonus if you perform a brokerage account transfer of $20,000+ over to M1. Works with both taxable and IRA accounts. Via their post on account transfer myths, this bonus should basically cover the cost of any outgoing fee. The most common transfers come from Vanguard, Betterment, Wealthfront, Robinhood, E*Trade, TD Ameritrade, Fidelity and Schwab.

Here is a PDF with detailed transfer directions. Here are the main steps:

  • First, you’ll need to open a new M1 Finance account. For a smooth transfer, your M1 account type should match your current account type. For example, a Joint account should be transferred to a Joint account and a Roth IRA should be transferred to a Roth IRA. If you choose to change account type in a transfer, it will require additional paperwork.
  • Email them at “transfers@m1finance.com” with your most recent account statement and any additional instructions, including directions on which securities you do and do not want transferred.
  • Transfers typically take 7-10 days. The $100 bonus will appear in your M1 account on July 15.

Bottom line. M1 is a new brokerage account that acts like a free, customizable robo-advisor with automatic rebalancing into a target portfolio. I am trying them out with my 2019 IRA contribution. Right now, there is also a transfer bonus if you move $20,000+ over to them from another broker.

How Often Should You Cook at Home on Weeknights?

I subscribe to a NY Times e-mail newsletter called Five Weeknight Dishes, which sends – you guessed it – five weekly “fresh dinner ideas for busy people who want something great to eat”. However, one of the recent newsletters was titled How Often Should You Cook? and you might be surprised at the answer:

One question I’ve gotten a lot since I started writing this newsletter is how many nights I cook dinner during the workweek. The answer is not five.

I typically cook a meal from scratch on two weeknights, maybe three. You don’t need to do more than that! Pick at least one recipe that makes good leftovers, doubling or stretching them with eggs, vegetables, toast or grains if necessary. Or supplement with something else in the fridge or cabinet. Dinner can be a fun, crazy mishmash; photographers will not be showing up to document the meal.

As for the other nights: My partner cooks, or occasionally we order chicken parm or go out (luxuries of urban and suburban life), or eat our preferred brand of freezer pizza with a nice big salad.

There is no single “right” answer to this question, but I still found it reassuring. I used to try to cook close to 4-5 nights per week, but now it is also closer to 2-3 nights per week. Sometimes it feels good to eat something green (or otherwise colorful), fresh, and healthy. It always feels good to share a meal with family and friends. I get the same good, wholesome feeling when I eat something where I know exactly what went into my food. It feels like hitting the reset button, and I always find that it helps keep my weight down. Saving money is secondary, but still a welcome result.

Food delivery apps are making things so convenient now, but it’s usually not very good for my bank account nor my health.

Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard Review – 65,000 Bonus Miles

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Savings I Bonds May 2019 Interest Rate: 1.40% Inflation Rate

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The Lifestyle Secrets of Okinawan Centenarians

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Buying The Haystack: Sleeping Well Because I’ll Own The Winners

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Chase Freedom Unlimited Review – 3X Ultimate Rewards Points Per Dollar On Up To $20K In Spending During First Year

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