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Magnifi is an investment brokerage and search tool that offers a unique method of searching for new investments. Magnifi search works a lot like Google’s search engine, where you can type in an investment idea in natural language. Then Magnifi hunts down the most relevant results. You can also open an account and buy investments through Magnifi. Or take your research to your home brokerage to buy your investments there.
What Is Magnifi?
Magnifi is an online investment platform with three main features. First is a search engine that helps you find stocks and funds using natural language. Second is an investment brokerage service where you can buy and hold investments directly with Magnifi. And third, it offers managed portfolios, with Magnifi’s managers choosing investments for you around a specific theme.
The service focuses on its novel approach to searching for investments. For example, you could type in something like “agriculture ETF.” The search engine produces a list of potential agriculture ETF investments. It shows high-level financial details about those investments and model portfolios containing agriculture. It also offers suggestions for similar searches. And you can buy the asset in Magnifi or use the information to do more research at your preferred brokerage.
What Does It Offer?
Magnifi works as an investment research tool, investment brokerage and investment manager. Any investor can use the investment search engine free, which may be a helpful complement to your investment research strategy.
The research tool is free for individual inventors. Professionals and those with advanced needs may want to upgrade to the premium version. The premium upgrade requires a $500 per month subscription fee.
Magnifi isn’t a robust financial platform designed for managing your entire investment portfolio. It’s best used in addition to other investment accounts.
Main Magnifi Features
- Investment search: Front and center is the easy to use investment search engine. Search for a type of company or fund using natural language. Then Magnifi figures out what you mean. The Premium subscription, designed for financial advisors, costs $500 per month.
- Brokerage account: Magnifi users can sign up for a brokerage account without fees charged directly by Magnifi, though the custodian may charge activity fees. If you already have an external brokerage account, you may be able to sync your account and manage your portfolio through Magnifi.
- Managed portfolios: If you buy into any of Magnifi’s actively managed portfolios, you pay a 0.23% annual fee. This is a reasonable fee for an actively managed portfolio but more than you would pay for a low-cost passive index fund.
- Advisor features: Financial advisors and professional portfolio managers can use Magnifi to create personalized client portfolios managed through connections with major custodians.
How Does Magnifi Work?
The investment search tools allow you to search for investments by theme, category or type. Once you’ve picked an investment you like, you can add it to a shopping cart to purchase it.
It’s important to note that Magnifi has a relationship with certain investment companies. It earns a revenue share when sending Magnifi clients to invest. This is a conflict of interest, though Magnifi is transparent about these relationships. For example, the ARK Invest fund above is listed as a sponsored fund.
Once you add investments to your cart, compare them and decide which to buy. Magnifi doesn’t give you a ton of detail on each investment with the free account. But it gives you enough to help guide your decisions and help you narrow down the best options around a particular theme.
With an account held at Magnifi, you can buy investments right there. Or if you connect to an external brokerage account, you may be able to make purchases through Magnifi instead of jumping over to your brokerage to enter the trade.
Who Is Magnifi Best For?
The free version of Magnifi is useful for nearly any investor. If you’re looking for a stock screener that’s easy to use and works more like Google than a traditional investment tool, you’ll likely enjoy adding Magnifi to your toolbox. With no cost, there’s almost nothing to lose searching for investments by theme at Magnifi.
Magnifi Premium is pricey at $500 per month. That makes it suitable for professional investment advisors, investment businesses, family offices and full-time investors. But most individual investors won’t want to spend that much on any investment tool.
Fees & Limits
The basic account at Magnifi is free. The custodian, Apex Clearing, charges fees for certain activities in a Magnifi brokerage account. And Premium users pay the monthly subscription fee.
Magnifi Premium costs $500 per month. This price point is clearly geared toward professional advisors and asset managers.
If you opt to invest in Magnifi managed portfolios, you pay a 0.23% annual fee. Magnifi automatically deducts this from your account. This is roughly in line with low-cost robo advisor accounts elsewhere. But it’s more than you would directly pay for a low-cost fund.
How Do I Open an Account?
Opening an account at Magnifi is a quick and easy process. It took me less than five minutes to complete the simple forms.
You can use the search tools instantly when you’re done creating your account. But after completing the full application for a brokerage account, you have to wait for a manual account review before you can begin investing.
How’s the Customer Service?
Customer service is available only through email. And responses are not instant. Also, help resources on the site are minimal. So Magnifi is best for users who are somewhat familiar with online investing and can do most of their investing using self-service tools.
Is Magnifi Safe?
Magnifi uses standard website security for investments. You shouldn’t worry too much about security if you keep your username and password safe and follow good online security habits.
The company behind Magnifi is a registered broker-dealer in compliance with SEC regulations. Apex Clearing, the firm behind Magnifi brokerage accounts, is well reputed and popular with digital brokerages.
Overall, you are as safe with Magnifi as with any online brokerage.
Free investment research tool: The main investment search tools are free for individual investors.
Financial advising resources: Financial advisors can create customized portfolios and manage accounts through several outside brokerages.
Manage external investments: Investors can connect to external brokerage accounts for portfolio analysis and investment management.
Minimal help resources: There’s not a lot of info on the site about pricing or help with using its tools and systems. You’re mostly on your own to figure things out.
Revenue share agreements: Magnifi receives compensation from certain funds for sending customer dollars their way. And we generally recommend investors avoid this conflict of interest when choosing a financial advisor.
- Morningstar: Morningstar Premium offers members access to in-depth analysis on virtually all U.S. investment funds. It’s a solid resource for researching potential investments and keeping up with what’s going on in your portfolio.
- Motley Fool: Motley Fool is a stock recommendation service where human investment professionals pick stocks to help you build an ideal portfolio.
- Zack’s Investment Research: Zack’s is a large investment analysis service. You may already know Zack’s ratings and reports from your existing brokerage account. Zack’s and Zack’s Premium accounts help you screen and research stocks with more depth.
- Stock Rover: Stock Rover is a robust stock screening and comparison tool that includes access to research reports and detailed analysis on stocks, funds and your overall portfolio.
- Atom Finance: Atom Finance is an investment research platform designed for active investors. It includes screeners, investor documents and presentations, portfolio tracking and tools for detailed financial analysis.
Bottom line — Is It Worth It?
With zero cost to get started, there’s no harm signing up for a basic account at Magnifi to give it a try. You could find it’s your new favorite investment tool. The upgraded Magnifi Premium may be worth consideration for advisors and professionals but it isn’t right for most individuals.
If you’re curious about how the stock screener works, sign up with Magnifi for free and investigate your favorite investment themes.