Glossary > Platform Score

Platform Score

The platform score is a computed score from 0 to 100 for investment platforms. The goal of the platform score is to highlight platforms that demonstrate continued support for helping people invest in the best positions for their situation.

Criteria Percent
Minafi Rating 25%
Usability 10%
Fees 25%
Company Age 10%
Access Methods (Web, iOS, Android) 10%
Shady Factor 10%
Total 100%

Minafi Rating – We’ll rank each platform on a scale of 1-5, with 0.5 increments. We’ll multiply that score by 5 to generate the percentage out of a possible 25. This is an overall takeaway of this platform with all things considered. A platform may have very high fees and a high rating if they prove them out. Likewise, a low-cost platform might have a low rating if it’s unusable.

Usability – How easy is this site to use on a scale of 1-10. A site can be amazing with everything perfect, but you never want to login you’re not going to want to invest.

Fees – How much you spend on fees has a massive impact on your long-term investing prospects. Your fees are based on how much you would pay for a diversified portfolio on a $1,000 portfolio, a $50,000 portfolio, a $100,000 portfolio, a $1,000,000 portfolio, and a $5,000,000 portfolio (summed up) each year compared to other platforms of the same type (Roboadvisors vs Roboadvisors, brokerages vs brokerages).

For example, at Vanguard, you would pay a $20 account fee for the $1,000 portfolio, but no account fee after that. You’d pay $0 on Vanguard mutual fund and ETF trades, but would have an average expense ratio of around 0.10%. That gives $21 + $100 + $1,000 = $1,121 in total fees.

We compare that number with other platforms to figure out their “percentile”. If they’re in the 100th percentile, then they have the lowest fees in their category and would get all 25%. If they have the highest fees, they’re in the 0th percentile and would get 0%.

One caveat here: You could pick individual stocks and have a much lower fee. This “diversified portfolio” includes:

  • A Total US Stock Market Index Fund.
  • A Total International Index Fund.
  • A Bond fund for the $100,000 and up portfolios.

For each, I’ll choose the lowest cost index fund that’s either: recommended by the platform, or that I can purchase through their exchange. For the $1,000 and $50,000 levels, I’ll select a Target-Date fund.

If the minimum for investing is less than one of these thresholds, then each other fee tier will be worth more points with the total still adding up to a possible 25%.

Company Age – Would you rather give all of your money to a company that was started yesterday or one that was started in 1982? This percentage compares the type of platform (self-guided, Robo advisor, advisor) with others of the same type for their age. The oldest company gets all 10 points, while the newest company would get 0 points. Companies in the middle get a percentage based on their order.

Access Methods (Web, iOS, Android, API) – 3 points for every platform this that you can access your account on up to a maximum of 10 points.

Shady Factor – Minafi’s score on a scale of 0 (most shady) to 10 (least shady) for this platform. This takes into account what each platform pushes for its users to recommend, the fees charged for these recommendations and an overall take on how much this platform is optimized to take your money.

What is a Good Rating?

Ratings are best compared with other platforms of the same type: Self guided funds, robo advisors and advisors.

Courses Mentioning Platform Score

Here are all 10 courses that mention Platform Score here on Minafi.

How to Make Money in the Stock Market

It's not about constantly monitoring the market and making trades. Learn how long-term investors grow their wealth without the need to constantly monitor them.

7 Lessons Basic about 1 hour

Investing Stocks Bonds
1 free
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Learn everything you need to know to invest for the rest of your life.

10 Lessons Basic about 3 hours 937 students

Investing Taxes Stocks Bonds
Free
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A deep dive into why the stock market is one of the easiest and safest investments you can make.

7 Lessons Basic about 2 hours

Investing Stocks
1 free
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Compound interest, diversification, fees and taxes make up the core pillars of a solid investing strategy.

7 Lessons Advanced about 1 hour

Investing Stocks Bonds Diversification Fees Taxes Compound Interest
1 free
How To Choose The Right Fund

Let's take everything we've learned and put it together. We'll analyze a number of funds and go through the process of how to narrow funds down to the one that's just right for you.

3 Lessons Intermediate 23 minutes

Investing Stocks Bonds Diversification Fees Taxes
Members Only
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Plan out what funds you'll invest in and in which accounts for maximized diversification and tax-efficiency.

6 Lessons Intermediate about 2 hours

Investing Stocks Bonds
1 free
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Open any accounts you need to invest and make your actual investments.

7 Lessons Advanced about 2 hours

Investing Stocks Bonds
4 free
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If you're currently investing with a financial advisor, managing your own money can save you a bunch over a lifetime.

3 Lessons Advanced about 2 hours

Investing Advisor
1 free
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Make a plan for how you'll invest your time going forward.

10 Lessons Intermediate about 3 hours 524 students

Financial Independence Mindfulness
6 free
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Create a plan for how you'll withdraw funds from your accounts.

8 Lessons Basic about 2 hours 1,175 students

Retirement Taxes Mindset
3 free

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Written by Adam on July 8, 2017.

Minimalism
Why You Think in the Mediums Of Your Message
Why You Think in the Mediums Of Your Message
Adam

Written by Adam on July 6, 2017. 1 comment.

Mindfulness
What Does Financial Independence Mean to Me? Is it Just About Quitting and Retiring?
What Does Financial Independence Mean to Me? Is it Just About Quitting and Retiring?
Adam

Written by Adam on July 4, 2017. 6 comments.

Financial Independence Personal
Which Investment Accounts Should I Use?
Which Investment Accounts Should I Use?
Adam

Written by Adam on July 2, 2017. 3 comments.

Financial Independence Investing
July 2017: Monthly Goals
July 2017: Monthly Goals
Adam

Written by Adam on July 1, 2017.

Goals Personal
Avoiding the Lifestyle Inflation Trap
Avoiding the Lifestyle Inflation Trap
Adam

Written by Adam on June 30, 2017.

Minimalism
June 2017: Monthly Goal Review
June 2017: Monthly Goal Review
Adam

Written by Adam on June 29, 2017.

Goals Personal
Improve Your Focus By Setting Monthly Goals
Improve Your Focus By Setting Monthly Goals
Adam

Written by Adam on June 28, 2017.

Mindfulness
5 Steps to Change Your Default Consumption Behavior
5 Steps to Change Your Default Consumption Behavior
Adam

Written by Adam on June 27, 2017. 2 comments.

Mindfulness Minimalism
Medium Journaling is Minimalism
Medium Journaling is Minimalism
Adam

Written by Adam on June 26, 2017.

Minimalism
Why Should I Invest Now? — How To Be Brave & Start Investing
Why Should I Invest Now? — How To Be Brave & Start Investing
Adam

Written by Adam on June 24, 2017.

Financial Independence Investing
What is Your Personal Mission?
What is Your Personal Mission?
Adam

Written by Adam on June 21, 2017.

Mindfulness
My 2016 Year in Review
My 2016 Year in Review
Adam

Written by Adam on January 1, 2017.

Personal
Tracking & Forecasting Expenses with Mint, Todoist and Google Sheets
Tracking & Forecasting Expenses with Mint, Todoist and Google Sheets
Adam

Written by Adam on October 9, 2016. 1 comment.

Financial Independence
Novelty
Novelty
Adam

Written by Adam on September 24, 2016.

Minimalism
What is Financial Independence?
What is Financial Independence?
Adam

Written by Adam on September 18, 2016.

Financial Independence
Practice Poverty
Practice Poverty
Adam

Written by Adam on September 12, 2016.

Mindfulness Minimalism
Want Streaks
Want Streaks
Adam

Written by Adam on August 21, 2016.

Minimalism
What’s Your Weekly Spending Distribution?
What’s Your Weekly Spending Distribution?
Adam

Written by Adam on August 18, 2016.

Financial Independence
Handling Blame
Handling Blame
Adam

Written by Adam on August 15, 2016.

Mindfulness
Newspaper Mindfulness Exercise
Newspaper Mindfulness Exercise
Adam

Written by Adam on August 12, 2016.

Mindfulness
Make Fewer Choices with Decision Minimalism
Make Fewer Choices with Decision Minimalism
Adam

Written by Adam on August 9, 2016.

Minimalism
How to Declutter: My Uncluttering Manifesto
How to Declutter: My Uncluttering Manifesto
Adam

Written by Adam on August 6, 2016.

Minimalism Personal
Investment Literacy: Understanding the Basic Concepts
Investment Literacy: Understanding the Basic Concepts
Adam

Written by Adam on August 6, 2016.

Financial Independence Investing
Write Your ‘Year in Review’ Post Now
Write Your ‘Year in Review’ Post Now
Adam

Written by Adam on July 31, 2016.

Goals Mindfulness
2015 Year In Review
2015 Year In Review
Adam

Written by Adam on January 1, 2016.

Personal
2014 Year In Review
2014 Year In Review
Adam

Written by Adam on January 1, 2015.

Personal
2013 Year In Review
2013 Year In Review
Adam

Written by Adam on January 1, 2014.

Personal
2012 Year in Review
2012 Year in Review
Adam

Written by Adam on January 1, 2013.

Personal
2011 Year in Review
2011 Year in Review
Adam

Written by Adam on January 1, 2012.

Personal
2010 Year in Review
2010 Year in Review
Adam

Written by Adam on January 1, 2011. 1 comment.

Personal
How Is This Site Built?
How Is This Site Built?
Adam

Written by Adam on April 1, 2019.

Meta
Where to Learn on Minafi
Where to Learn on Minafi
Adam

Written by Adam on March 27, 2019.

My Favorite Blogs
My Favorite Blogs
Adam

Written by Adam on March 27, 2019.

My Favorite Books
Adam

Written by Adam on November 3, 2019.

The Focused Investor Series
Adam

Written by Adam on November 4, 2018.

Recommendations: Tools I Use
Adam

Written by Adam on October 9, 2018.

Blog
Adam

Written by Adam on October 4, 2018.

Privacy Policy
Adam

Written by Adam on May 6, 2018.

Minafi Income & Expenses
Adam

Written by Adam on March 27, 2018.

Meta Personal
Minafi Vision & Mission
Adam

Written by Adam on March 26, 2018.

Goals Meta
Minafi Brand Assets
Adam

Written by Adam on September 6, 2017.

Meta
An Interactive Guide to Early Retirement and Financial Independence
An Interactive Guide to Early Retirement and Financial Independence
Adam

Written by Adam on September 2, 2017. 108 comments.

Financial Independence Interactive Investing
Thank You!
Adam

Written by Adam on August 15, 2017.

What I’m Doing Right Now
Adam

Written by Adam on August 13, 2017.

Advertiser Disclosure
Adam

Written by Adam on July 28, 2017.

Contact Me
Adam

Written by Adam on December 14, 2016.

7 Features From Minafi v2 I’m Excited to Announce!
7 Features From Minafi v2 I’m Excited to Announce!
Adam

Written by Adam on April 29, 2019. 2 comments.

Meta
Mint vs YNAB – Which Budgeting App is Right For You?
Mint vs YNAB – Which Budgeting App is Right For You?
Adam

Written by Adam on May 16, 2019. 12 comments.

Featured Personal Finance
April 2019 Investment, Goals and Spending Breakdown
April 2019 Investment, Goals and Spending Breakdown
Adam

Written by Adam on May 6, 2019. 6 comments.

Personal
The Last Gift My Mom Ever Gave Me
The Last Gift My Mom Ever Gave Me
Adam

Written by Adam on May 20, 2019. 4 comments.

Personal
Prevent Your Investments from Theft! Secure Your Vanguard Account with Yubikeys and Google Voice
Prevent Your Investments from Theft! Secure Your Vanguard Account with Yubikeys and Google Voice
Adam

Written by Adam on May 23, 2019. 1 comment.

Financial Independence Investing
A Day of FIRE – Expectation vs Reality
A Day of FIRE – Expectation vs Reality
Adam

Written by Adam on May 13, 2019. 8 comments.

Financial Independence Personal
Exponential Growth Calculator [solve for any variable]
Exponential Growth Calculator [solve for any variable]
Adam

Written by Adam on May 27, 2019.

Calculators Interactive Investing
May Goals, Investments and Spending – Running, Hiking and Enjoying Time Outside
May Goals, Investments and Spending – Running, Hiking and Enjoying Time Outside
Adam

Written by Adam on June 3, 2019. 2 comments.

Personal
Where Are You on the FIRE Spectrum?
Where Are You on the FIRE Spectrum?
Adam

Written by Adam on June 10, 2019. 6 comments.

Financial Independence
6 Thoughts After 6 Months of Early Retirement
6 Thoughts After 6 Months of Early Retirement
Adam

Written by Adam on June 17, 2019. 9 comments.

Financial Independence Personal
My Four Phases of Financial Independence
My Four Phases of Financial Independence
Adam

Written by Adam on June 24, 2019. 5 comments.

Investing Personal
Fernweh – A Longing for Travel and Places Unseen
Fernweh – A Longing for Travel and Places Unseen
Adam

Written by Adam on July 15, 2019. 6 comments.

Financial Independence Mindfulness
June 2019 Goals, Investments & Spending – Running, Camping, Focusing, Sleep No More
June 2019 Goals, Investments & Spending – Running, Camping, Focusing, Sleep No More
Adam

Written by Adam on July 8, 2019. 11 comments.

Personal
The 7 Most Common 401(k) Mistakes [and how to fix them]
The 7 Most Common 401(k) Mistakes [and how to fix them]
Adam

Written by Adam on July 22, 2019. 10 comments.

Investing
The Periodic Table of FIRE! [Interactive]
The Periodic Table of FIRE! [Interactive]
Adam

Written by Adam on July 29, 2019. 26 comments.

Featured Financial Independence Interactive
What is Your Rainy Day Project?
What is Your Rainy Day Project?
Adam

Written by Adam on August 19, 2019. 9 comments.

Financial Independence Mindfulness
An Interactive Guide to Portfolio Diversification
An Interactive Guide to Portfolio Diversification
Adam

Written by Adam on September 2, 2019. 1 comment.

Data Featured Interactive Investing
FinCon 2019 – Washington, D.C, Friends and Inspiration
FinCon 2019 – Washington, D.C, Friends and Inspiration
Adam

Written by Adam on September 7, 2019. 46 comments.

Personal
How A Basic Investing Mistake Cost Me $250,000 (and I Still Made it Twice)
How A Basic Investing Mistake Cost Me $250,000 (and I Still Made it Twice)
Adam

Written by Adam on September 30, 2019. 12 comments.

Investing Personal
Why I’m Glad I Didn’t Learn About FIRE in My 20s
Why I’m Glad I Didn’t Learn About FIRE in My 20s
Adam

Written by Adam on September 23, 2019. 7 comments.

Financial Independence Personal
Slow Minimalism
Slow Minimalism
Adam

Written by Adam on October 7, 2019. 12 comments.

Minimalism
Press, Podcast and Blog Appearances
Adam

Written by Adam on October 8, 2019.

Minafi 2019 Q3 Fall Investment Report
Minafi 2019 Q3 Fall Investment Report
Adam

Written by Adam on October 21, 2019. 8 comments.

Investing Personal
Why I Don’t Care About Free Stock Trades (And You Shouldn’t Either)
Why I Don’t Care About Free Stock Trades (And You Shouldn’t Either)
Adam

Written by Adam on October 29, 2019. 2 comments.

Investing
Why Invest – All
Adam

Written by Adam on November 11, 2019.

Welcome
Adam

Written by Adam on November 14, 2019.

A Look Back at My First Year of FIRE
A Look Back at My First Year of FIRE
Adam

Written by Adam on December 14, 2019. 26 comments.

Financial Independence Personal
Courses
Adam

Written by Adam on December 10, 2019.

January 2020 Theme: Focus
January 2020 Theme: Focus
Adam

Written by Adam on January 1, 2020. 4 comments.

Goals Personal
My 2019 Year in Review
My 2019 Year in Review
Adam

Written by Adam on December 31, 2019. 11 comments.

Personal
My Favorite 130 Books Read in 2019
My Favorite 130 Books Read in 2019
Adam

Written by Adam on January 20, 2020. 9 comments.

Personal
February 2020 Theme: Finish
February 2020 Theme: Finish
Adam

Written by Adam on February 1, 2020. 5 comments.

Goals Personal
Where Are You On the Financial Independence + Retirement Matrix?
Where Are You On the Financial Independence + Retirement Matrix?
Adam

Written by Adam on February 17, 2020. 11 comments.

Financial Independence
March 2020 Theme: Routine
March 2020 Theme: Routine
Adam

Written by Adam on March 1, 2020. 6 comments.

Goals Personal
Stoicism In the Time of a Market Virus
Stoicism In the Time of a Market Virus
Adam

Written by Adam on March 16, 2020. 5 comments.

Investing Mindfulness Personal Finance
21 Activities To Keep You Focused On Your Future [or to help during social distancing]
21 Activities To Keep You Focused On Your Future [or to help during social distancing]
Adam

Written by Adam on March 23, 2020. 7 comments.

Mindfulness
April 2020 Theme: Create
April 2020 Theme: Create
Adam

Written by Adam on April 1, 2020. 9 comments.

Personal
Does This Mean the End of the FIRE Movement? [Answer: No]
Does This Mean the End of the FIRE Movement? [Answer: No]
Adam

Written by Adam on April 13, 2020. 23 comments.

Financial Independence Investing Personal Taxes
May 2020 Theme: Work
May 2020 Theme: Work
Adam

Written by Adam on May 1, 2020. 12 comments.

Personal
Calculators & Interactive Articles
Adam

Written by Adam on May 4, 2020.

Investment Fees Calculator – Compute Advisor, Expense Ratio and Load Fees Over Time
Investment Fees Calculator – Compute Advisor, Expense Ratio and Load Fees Over Time
Adam

Written by Adam on May 13, 2020. 2 comments.

Calculators Investing
The Complete Guide to Withdrawing Funds Early From Your 401(k), IRA and Roth IRA
The Complete Guide to Withdrawing Funds Early From Your 401(k), IRA and Roth IRA
Adam

Written by Adam on June 29, 2020. 9 comments.

Investing Taxes
June 2020 Theme: Explore
June 2020 Theme: Explore
Adam

Written by Adam on June 2, 2020. 8 comments.

Goals Personal
Why the S&P 500 Is the Single Best Investment You Can Make
Adam

Written by Adam on June 7, 2020.

July 2020 Theme: Vision
July 2020 Theme: Vision
Adam

Written by Adam on July 5, 2020. 2 comments.

Goals Personal
7 Mindsets to Thrive in Financial Independence
7 Mindsets to Thrive in Financial Independence
Adam

Written by Adam on July 20, 2020. 3 comments.

Mindfulness Personal
Why You Should Create a Local Bucket List
Why You Should Create a Local Bucket List
Adam

Written by Adam on July 27, 2020. 9 comments.

Financial Independence Mindfulness Personal Travel
August 2020 Theme: Empty
August 2020 Theme: Empty
Adam

Written by Adam on August 9, 2020. 2 comments.

Goals Personal
“Won’t You be Bored?” Why Creatives Thrive in Financial Independence
“Won’t You be Bored?” Why Creatives Thrive in Financial Independence
Adam

Written by Adam on September 7, 2020. 7 comments.

Financial Independence Mindfulness
Which Accounts Should You Use to Invest for Retirement? [Interactive]
Which Accounts Should You Use to Invest for Retirement? [Interactive]
Adam

Written by Adam on September 21, 2020. 7 comments.

Calculators Interactive Investing Personal Finance
Retirement Simulator
Retirement Simulator
Adam

Written by Adam on September 27, 2020.

Calculators Interactive Investing
December 2020 Theme: Enjoy
December 2020 Theme: Enjoy
Adam

Written by Adam on December 1, 2020. 5 comments.

Goals Personal
Seven Takeaways from My Second Year of FIRE
Seven Takeaways from My Second Year of FIRE
Adam

Written by Adam on December 16, 2020. 30 comments.

Financial Independence Personal
My Goals For 2021
My Goals For 2021
Adam

Written by Adam on December 27, 2020. 4 comments.

Goals Personal
My 2020 Year in Review
My 2020 Year in Review
Adam

Written by Adam on December 31, 2020. 4 comments.

Personal
Fund Compare
Adam

Written by Adam on January 8, 2021.

Fund Compare Funds
Fund
Adam

Written by Adam on January 8, 2021.

Funds
FSKAX VS FZROX
Adam

Written by Adam on January 8, 2021.

Fund Compare Funds
Betterment vs Wealthfront Guide: Which is Right For You?
Betterment vs Wealthfront Guide: Which is Right For You?
Adam

Written by Adam on January 20, 2021.

Invest Invest Compare Investing
Betterment Fees
Adam

Written by Adam on January 23, 2021.

Invest Invest Fees