Blooom Review

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Your retirement account is likely where you keep most of your investments. As a result, using a robo-advisor to help manage your portfolio can ensure you have the best asset allocation for your investment goals.

Blooom can review your portfolio for free, recommend a personalized investment strategy and provide financial advice.

Here is a closer look at how the service can help you invest for retirement.

Blooom Review
4.1
Overall Rating

Summary

Blooom offers free portfolio analysis for your workplace retirement plans and IRAs. You can receive personalized fund recommendations, automatic rebalancing and financial advisor access.

  • Features and tools

    4

  • Investment options

    4.5

  • Pricing

    4

  • Ease of use

    4

  • Supported accounts

    4

Pros

  • Free portfolio analysis
  • Personalized asset allocation
  • No minimum account balance

Cons

  • Only supports retirement accounts
  • No phone-based advisor support
  • High fees for small balances

What is Blooom?

Blooom is a robo-advisor that can help you manage your workplace retirement plans (i.e., 401k, 403b and TSP) and individual retirement accounts (IRAs). 

The platform follows the fiduciary standard and recommends assets that best fit your investment strategy. You pay a fixed annual fee, and the service doesn’t receive commissions by recommending specific investments.

Unlike many automated investing platforms, Blooom links to most online brokerages to optimize your retirement strategy.

Some of the platform features include:

  • Free portfolio analysis
  • Personalized asset allocation
  • Automatic portfolio rebalancing
  • Unlimited financial advisor access

You can start the process by linking your retirement accounts and estimating your monthly expenses in retirement. After that, you choose one of three plans and pay a yearly fee.

Depending on which plan you choose, you can manually rebalance your portfolio or have the service automatically place trades when rebalancing is necessary.

The service can fully manage most workplace 401k accounts for several brokerages. Blooom can recommend funds for IRAs at many brokerages but only fully manages IRAs at Fidelity

Currently, Blooom doesn’t manage taxable brokerage accounts. 

Who is Blooom For?

You should consider Blooom to help build a diversified retirement account portfolio for your risk tolerance and planned retirement age. The automatic portfolio rebalancing and financial advisor features can also be valuable.

One advantage of this service is that you won’t have to move your assets to another brokerage to receive personalized recommendations. 

With Blooom, you will receive brokerage-specific recommendations. Depending on your retirement account type, Blooom can also automatically place trades when a rebalance is necessary.

As Blooom only supports retirement accounts, all investment recommendations are for a long-term investment horizon. Therefore, you won’t receive short-term trading recommendations that time the market.

How Does Blooom Work?

Here is a closer look at how Blooom can personalize your retirement investing strategy.

View All Your Retirement Accounts

The first step is linking your various retirement accounts. It only takes a few minutes to connect and analyze your accounts.

Linking your accounts is free, and you can decide later which accounts you want Blooom to monitor with a premium plan.

You can view these account details:

  • Current account balance
  • Stock-to-bond allocation
  • Asset allocation
  • Fund expense ratios

Unfortunately, you won’t be able to view your individual holdings unless you choose a paid plan. 

Being able to see all of your investment accounts in one place can make it easier to determine if you’ll be able to afford retirement by your desired retirement age. 

Choose Your Retirement Goals

As you create your account, Blooom has you share how you need help planning for retirement. 

Here are four questions the platform can help you answer:

  • Am I saving enough?
  • When can I retire?
  • How much can I save?
  • Is my 401k or IRA optimized?

Sharing your investing needs can help the company recommend the tools and improvements to achieve your goals. 

Find Investment Opportunities

After analyzing your accounts, Blooom will look for improvements. If you have multiple accounts, you might see the service recommending a different number of improvements for each.

There are three factors the service may try to improve:

  • Risk: Is your stock and bonds mixture too aggressive or conservative? 
  • Diversification: Are your assets spread across various investment types?
  • Fees: Can you invest in similar funds with lower expense ratios?

In addition to these factors, the company will also look at your company stock and uninvested cash positions. For example, Blooom recommends having a maximum 10% allocation to your employer stock.

Optimize Your Retirement

If you want to receive personalized investment recommendations or have Blooom automatically place trades, you must choose a paid plan. 

All three plans offer personalized fund recommendations to help you achieve the target asset allocation for your risk tolerance. 

Depending on which plan you choose, you can have Blooom fully manage your account. This way, you’re not responsible for rebalancing.

If you opt for DIY portfolio management, you will need to buy and sell shares to realign your asset allocation manually.

Risk Tolerance

You can take a short quiz so Blooom can recommend a risk tolerance that ranges somewhere between very conservative and very aggressive. There are seven different tolerance levels.

Your estimated retirement age also influences your asset allocation. In general, the service seems to be more aggressive than other robo-advisors.

For example, a very conservative strategy for somebody in their mid-30s with 30 years until retirement may have a 78% stock and 22% bond allocation. 

Other platforms may recommend this asset allocation when you have a moderate risk tolerance.

Another example for young professionals is a moderately aggressive portfolio allocation of 98% stocks and 2% bonds. 

Most brokerages may only recommend a portfolio near 100% stocks for people in their early 20s and younger.

Your recommended portfolio allocation reduces its stock allocation as you near retirement.

Stay On Track

The platform will analyze your portfolio every 95 days after a rebalance. If another rebalance is necessary, you will receive trade recommendations to correct portfolio drift.

Blooom offers several tools to provide ongoing support, including access to financial advisors and financial calculators.

Some of the financial calculators include:

  • 401k contribution calculator
  • 401k rollover analysis
  • Spending calculator

In addition, each premium plan offers one year of coverage. 

You can rebalance as necessary and receive updated recommendations as frequently as every 95 days.

For IRA accounts, Fidelity IRAs can have Blooom automatically place trades when excessive position drift occurs.

Retirees may also appreciate the withdrawal alerts that update your portfolio balance and may adjust your investment strategy.

Blooom Features

These features can make your retirement planning easier.

Account Types

Blooom is able to help manage various account types.

Here are the retirement accounts the platform can help with:

  • 401k
  • 401a
  • 403b
  • 457
  • TSP
  • Traditional IRA
  • Roth IRA
  • SEP IRA
  • Nondeductible IRA
  • Spousal IRA
  • Simple IRA
  • Self-directed IRA

Being able to link just about any retirement account you open or your employer provides makes it easy to use Blooom to see your entire financial picture. 

It’s possible for Blooom to fully manage most company-sponsored plans regardless of the provider. However, it can only manage IRAs at Fidelity. 

Since each retirement account is for one purpose, family accounts are not supported. As a result, you and your spouse will need to each create separate Blooom accounts to calculate the correct risk tolerance and retirement age.

Personalized Portfolios

You will receive personalized recommendations of funds that your online brokerage offers for your asset allocation.

The recommendations can differ if you use multiple brokerages because each platform and retirement plan may offer different investment options.

These three factors play into the investment recommendation process:

  • Risk
  • Diversification
  • Fees 

Blooom is a fiduciary and will consider as many funds as possible to provide the best investment options for your situation. 

However, that doesn’t mean the service will always recommend a product with the lowest fund fee if its investment strategy is a better fit. 

It’s possible to hold individual stocks and positions of employer stock. Blooom can adjust your asset allocation so your total portfolio is only 10% company stocks.

You can hold more than 10% in individual stocks, but Blooom may not provide an ideal allocation. 

While this maximum target allocation may be a frustration, one consolation is that other advisory services may have you sell these holdings and only hold index funds.

Advisor Access

Another reason to consider using Blooom is for its unlimited financial advisor access without a minimum balance requirement.

You can ask the advisory team a variety of questions and get personalized advice.

Some of the financial events you need help with include:

  • Saving for retirement
  • Retirement withdrawal strategies
  • Getting married
  • Starting a family
  • Sending a child to college
  • Changing jobs 

One limitation of this feature is that you can only communicate by email or live chat. Other platforms may offer phone and online video sessions.

This service comes with two top-tier plans. Your plan option determines how you communicate with your advisor.

The plans include:

  • Standard: Email-only and response times can take 2-3 business days
  • Unlimited: Email and live chat

You can complete an online form before speaking with an advisor to pinpoint the areas you need advice. This allows the advisor to research your questions before your meeting time.

Withdrawal Alerts

Standard and Unlimited plan users can receive withdrawal alerts by text message when Blooom notices a retirement plan distribution. 

This feature can help you spot account fraud and unauthorized transactions. 

While Blooom can automatically place trades, the service cannot withdraw funds. 

Blooom Fees

You will pay a flat annual fee as a one-time charge when choosing one of the three paid plans. Here is a closer look at the features each plan provides.

Free

The Free plan costs $0 per year but only provides a portfolio analysis. You can see the proposed asset allocations and stock-to-bond ratios for your risk tolerance and retirement age.

The financial calculators are also free to use.

This is the default plan option for all new users. After linking your retirement accounts, you can decide which accounts you want Blooom to optimize.

DIY

The DIY plan costs $45 per year per account. So, for example, you will pay $90 annually if you enroll two accounts.

This account only offers personalized fund recommendations.

You won’t receive these features:

  • Automatic trades
  • Advisor access
  • Withdrawal alerts

If you’re comfortable with rebalancing your own portfolio, the DIY plan can be your best option. 

Manual rebalancing requires more effort, but the process can be easier as Blooom provides the investment recommendations and target allocations.

You might also choose this plan if you only have non-Fidelity IRAs as the service can only fully manage workplace accounts and Fidelity IRAs.

Standard

The Standard plan costs $120 per year per account. 

It can be cheaper than the upper-tier Unlimited plan if you only have one or two accounts to manage. Otherwise, the Unlimited plan is more affordable at a flat $250 per year.

You receive these benefits:

  • Personalized recommendations
  • Automatic trades
  • Withdrawal alerts
  • Email-only advisor access

It’s still possible to manually adjust your portfolio if you activate the auto-trading feature. However, Blooom may undo your changes at the next adjustment as you cannot override their buy and sell orders. 

Unlimited

The Unlimited plan costs $250 per year regardless of how many accounts you have.

This plan can be the best option if you have at least three accounts and want automated trades and advisor access. 

Unlimited plan benefits include all of the Standard plan features plus live chat advisor access. Live chat sessions are available during normal business hours Monday through Friday.

Even if you only have one account, you might pick this plan to have live chat access despite the higher annual fee.

FAQs

Do you have additional questions about using Blooom? Here are several more insights about the platform.

Is Blooom safe to use?

Yes. Blooom can be as safe to use as other advisory services.

The site uses 256-bit encryption and secure servers to keep your information safe.

Keep in mind that there is risk with any investment tool you use, and there is no guarantee you won’t lose money. All portfolios are subject to ordinary stock market losses.

How do I sign up for Blooom?

You can join Blooom online for free. After creating your account and selecting your risk tolerance, you can link your retirement accounts for a free portfolio analysis.

Your employer may also offer this service as an employee benefit or discount.

What customer service options does Blooom offer?

You can get live chat support Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mountain Standard Time. 

Email support is also available, but it can take up to three business days to receive a response.

Is it easy to cancel Blooom?

You cancel or unlink accounts in your online profile and by contacting customer support.

Unfortunately, you won’t receive a refund for the remaining months of your annual plan.

Summary

Blooom makes it easy to get personalized recommendations for your employer-sponsored retirement plans and IRAs regardless of your account balance. 

Automatic portfolio rebalancing and financial advisor access also make it possible to use this service for long-term financial planning. You can even manage your own portfolio with the DIY plan.

Additionally, the flat annual fee can be cheaper than paying a percentage-based advisory fee for large account balances.

However, other platforms might be better if you want to invest small amounts of money or prefer hands-on advisor support beyond live chat or email sessions.