M1 Finance Investing Review, Plus Up to $4,375 Brokerage Bonus and $30 Referral Bonus

Update 1/6/21: They changed the brokerage bonus tiers, and also added a higher $3,500 $4,375 tier. Updated below. Bonus seems to be available in some cases to existing customers who transfer over new assets as well. Also referral bonus increased to $30/$30 through 2/28/21.  (ht reader Xatos)

Update 10/7/20: Brokerage bonuses have been increased by 25% (up to $3,250) for October. Hat tip to reader SamL

Update 9/1/20: Referral bonus back up to $20.

Update 5/1/20: Offer is back for the month of May. Though the referral bonus is down to $10 for each the referrer and the new customer (down from $20 in January).

[Below is a guest post from reader A M.]

M1 Finance Introduction

M1 Finance is an investing service with a unique approach: fractional share investing of a “pie” of stocks and/or ETFs (funds consisting of many stocks, like ticker VGT) of your choosing, for no fee. Think of it as making your very own ETF in a way, with no expense ratio (except if you add actual ETFs to it, which have their own expense ratios). M1 has been around for at least a year, and has a fairly active subreddit and a thorough help section with detailed articles on all of the things I will cover below. I’ll then explain the $100-$2,500 brokerage transfer bonus and the current $20 referral bonus for January 2020.

First, the pie. Your entire portfolio is considered your “pie.” When you set up your “pie,” you can break it up into “slices,” each of which you can allocate from taking up 1% all the way to 100% of total dollar value of your pie (you can have a maximum of 100 slices, then, and minimum of just 1). Each slice can be a stock or an ETF, and basically every stock and almost every ETF is available at the same expense ratio as you would find anywhere else (no additional fees from M1 finance). As a neat little feature, your slices can themselves be “pies” with those smaller pies having slices of their own. For instance: Your portfolio pie contains two “slices” that are actually pies called “CAR STOCKS” and “TECH STOCKS.” The “CAR STOCKS” slice can contain TSLA as well as, say, KARS, which is an ETF. Your “TECH STOCKS” one can also have any number of slices with either ETFs or stocks within it, allocated from 1% all the way up to 100%.

Importantly, your “pie” represents your target portfolio. When you schedule an investment into your pie, you invest into your “pie” as it’s set up by you at that very moment. You can change the pie and all of the slices within it at any time — this would mean you are just changing the target allocation of all the slices. It does NOT mean that you’d instantly be selling off any stocks — this only happens when you choose to “rebalance” one of your pies and both sell and buy to get all of the slices at your target allocations. If you increase the target allocation of TSLA, M1 will of course buy TSLA in the allocation you set for it. And, of course, if the value of TSLA rises and it consists of less of your pie than the target percent, M1 will buy more of it for you to bring it up to the target allocation. M1 shows via color-coded and differently sized slices what both your target pie and your current allocations look like in both the app and the website, both of which have essentially the same functionality.

The rest of the app is pretty straightforward as a sort of mix between a robo-advisor that can autoinvest for you during one set trading window daily at 9 AM and a Robinhood type pick and choose stocks and ETFs app. Poke around and it’s pretty easy to pick up how it all works. One note: If you intend to use a pie you make pie as a “slice” in your portfolio, then you make that pie beforehand in the “Research” tab under “My Pies” and then add it to your actual pie as a slice under the “Invest” tab.

For the help section with detailed articles, see: https://support.m1finance.com/hc/en-us. The subreddit is r/m1finance. Also see the full fee schedule here, notably a $20 fee for accounts with less than $20 in them which go inactive for 90 days.

Brokerage Bonus

Direct Link to offer | Higher Link (is this targeted?)

(updated 1/6/21)

The brokerage bonus essentially involves transferring your assets, starting at minimum of $20,000, over to M1. Here are the current bonus tiers, and of course do consider doing the referral bonus (see below) when opening for the brokerage bonus.
  • Get $50 for $10,000 – $20,000
  • Get $100 for $20,000 – $50,000
  • Get $200 for $50,000 – $100,000
  • Get $300 + M1 swag for $100,000 – $250,000
  • Get $625 + M1 swag for $250,000 – $500,000
  • Get $1,250 + Mq swag for $500,000 – $1,000,000
  • Get $3,125 + M1 swag for $1,000,000 – $2,000,000
  • Get $4,375 + M1 swag for $2,000,000+
Full instructions of what the transfer entails and the terms and conditions: https://support.m1finance.com/hc/en-us/articles/360036067694-Transfer-Promotion-earn-up-to-2500

Referral Bonus

Referral bonus is usually $10 for the new member and $10 for the referrer. To qualify for the bonus, referred family and friends must make an initial deposit of $100 for taxable accounts (or $500 for IRAs) within 30 days of signup, and not withdraw that initial deposit for 30 90 days.

Basic steps from the website for opening with referral:

  • Create an account using your friend’s unique referral link
  • Fund your account within 90 days of signing up
  • If you opened a retirement account, you must also open a non-retirement account to receive your referral credit.”
“Refer and earn” under your name in top right hand corner of M1 shows referrals you’ve made. All of the detailed terms can be found here.

Final Thoughts

Thanks to reader A M for submitting this guest post. We’ll add this to our list of brokerage bonuses. Feel free to comment below with your thoughts on M1 Finance. You can also leave and find referral links on this dedicated page by following the rules outlined there.

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Kent M
Kent M

My referral link for $30 bonus with a $100 non-retirement deposit:


Easy sign-up; easy money. Good luck!


Quick question for yall, so I signed up without a referral link, but I havent deposited any money yet? Could I apply the referral afterwards or is it too late? Any helps appreciated.


The higher deposit tiers ended on 2/28. It’s back down to the normal bonus tiers.

Does anyone think the higher tiers are coming back? (I want to find out what that M1 swag is)


Referral Bonus back down to $10


This uncreased offer is only for existing customers, see the feedback I got from M1 finance.

“The $625 amount was a 25% boost on the standard $500 bonus for users initiating their second ACAT into M1. The standard $500 promotion applies for first time transfers. This stipulation can be seen right above “Terms & Conditions” on the screenshot you provided.

We apologize for any confusion or miscommunication.

Thank you for being an M1 client. If there’s anything else we can help with, please let us know.

PS: Check out our Help Center, and you may find the answers you’re looking for in our tutorials.”


$100 fee to do ACATs transfer out of M1


Does anyone know if an ACAT transfer triggers the referral bonus?


Is this churnable?


Not recommended for long term use. They only trade once in the morning. A SPAC is rumored to be merging with an electric car company so I was planning on buying a few extra shares here. It would come in Tuesday morning, and who knows what the stock price will be then. Their make-your-own ETF model is intriguing though.


I’d argue that means it is great for long term use, but bad for short term use. You set up a portfolio and systematically rebalance as you buy more, which is what you do with long term investing. But it is certainly no good for day trading.


What is M1 Swag?


“Exclusive M1 swag includes a mug, a notebook, and stickers.”