M1 Finance – A Review

M1 Finance

This is the story about how I earn my title as a “Dividend Brother.” If you’ve been keeping up with my Trade Journal entries, you might be wondering, “Where are all of Joseph’s great dividend stocks?” The answer is they’ve been here all along, I just haven’t gotten around to writing about them until now. So, let me tell you about my dividend investing strategy, M1 Finance, and why you might consider using a similar strategy with this broker.

My Strategy

My investing strategy is pretty simple. I’m heavily invested in consistent and frequent dividend paying stocks and ETF’s. I chose this strategy because I’m a big believer in the magic of compounding interest. In my IRA I want consistent monthly income over major growth stocks. While I expect many of the stocks in my portfolio to also grow, that is just a bonus to my main goal.

My dividend stocks run the gamut from the some of the Aristocrats, to REIT’s, to foreign and emerging market high dividend yield ETF’s. To balance things out a little, I’m also invested in Vanguards Total Market Fund (VTI). But even VTI pays a bit of dividend as well.

M1 Finance: Pies

When it came to choosing a broker for my IRA (once I decided to leave Wells Fargo’s management services), I had a few criteria in mind.

  1. I wanted to be able to reinvest my earnings easily.
  2. Reinvestment needed to be automated.
  3. Commissions needed to be low as possible so I could keep more of my money. (M1 has zero commissions.)

After doing some research, I discovered M1 Finance, and I immediately knew I had found the right brokerage. M1 has a simple, easy to use, understandable approach to investing. It’s all about the pies!

Chart of M1 Pie

The investor chooses the various stocks, ETF’s, bonds, or commodities they want to invest in. Then, instead of buying shares, the investor determines what percentage of their capital they want to invest in each piece of the pie these various holdings make up.

The great thing is, a single slice of the main pie can me made up of a sub-pies! For example: my biggest slice above, “Dividend Stocks,” is actually made up of 22 sub-slices.

Chart of Dividend Stocks

While pies are the main feature of M1, you can also choose to buy and sell individual stocks and ETF’s. It’s not straightforward as a typical brokerage account. However, it works when you need to liquidate or add a very specific amount to a position. M1 also has Rebalance feature that automatically reallocates your capital in each position should they get too far out of alignment due to gains or losses.

Fractional Shares

One of my favorite features of M1 Finance is that they use fractional shares. That means even if I’m unable to afford to buy full shares in every company I want to be invested in, I can still participate. The other great thing about fractional shares is that every time I earn at least $10 in dividends, or when I contribute to my IRA, M1 will automatically reinvest that money evenly throughout the slices of my various pies. It becomes a steady trickle of compounding interest.


When I look at my activity page, it’s fun to see that every day or two, at least one of my holdings will pay a dividend. None of the amounts are huge, but they are steady. And they are growing! It can be your very own DRIP account without having to be invested in any single company.

If this review has sparked some interest in you, please visit M1 Finance and look around. After you’ve done your own research, like what you see, and want to sign up, I would appreciate it if you would consider using my referral link below. If you do, we will both receive $10. Please leave any questions or comments about M1, my dividend strategy, or anything else below. Thanks for reading!

2 thoughts on “M1 Finance – A Review”

  1. I like your strategy to focus on dividend stocks and ETFs. I am a long term investor that believes in compound interest over time too. Just got to stick to the plan during times like this. Eventually, in 5 to 10 years, this will look like an opportunity.

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