You’re an optimizer. You know exactly which credit card to use for each purchase in order to get the most points. You read a few Yelp reviews before deciding where you’ll have dinner (or these days, order takeout). And you probably spend a lot of time and effort checking the balance in your various financial accounts and moving money around to make sure it’s all in the right place. You make sure you have enough in checking to pay your bills, but you’re also careful not to hold too much in cash lest you miss out on returns. You know it’s important to save and invest for your future, but managing it all isn’t easy. In fact, it’s such a hassle that you might not monitor your accounts as closely as you should.

Now, you can let Autopilot do it. Autopilot is Wealthfront’s free service that automates your savings strategy – you can think of it as your financial assistant. Say goodbye to monitoring multiple accounts and setting up numerous transfers. Just tell Autopilot how much to keep in cash and it’ll automatically save or invest the rest. You’ll stay in full control of your finances and enjoy peace of mind knowing your money is exactly where you want it.

How does it work?

Like a meticulous assistant, Autopilot takes care of the details so you can focus on the big picture. If you already have a Wealthfront Account, you’ll be prompted to set up Autopilot when you open the app. Getting started is easy.

  1. Choose an account to monitor — a checking account or your Wealthfront Cash Account. 
  2. Set a maximum balance for that account. Choose a balance that’s more than the amount you spend or withdraw each month.
  3. When Autopilot detects that you’re over your maximum by at least $100, it will schedule a transfer of your excess cash to your Wealthfront account of choice – a Cash Account or Investment Account. You’re the ultimate decision-maker, and you always have 24 hours to cancel the transfer before it happens. 

About to pay a big bill or withdraw from your account? No problem. If your account balance decreases before the transfer, Autopilot is smart enough to maintain the cash you need and only transfer the excess so you don’t have to worry about overdrafting. You’re always in complete control, and you can turn Autopilot off at any time. And soon, Autopilot will be able to monitor multiple accounts and transfer funds to multiple destination accounts. 

Let Autopilot do it

When you use Autopilot, you can enjoy the peace of mind that comes from knowing your money will be put to work automatically. At the same time, you can feel confident that you’re holding enough cash to meet your monthly needs. 

Autopilot is more intelligent than recurring transfers because it adjusts the size and timing of your transfers to reflect changes in your account balance over time. But you can also use Autopilot in tandem with recurring transfers to make sure any excess cash gets put to work, too. It’s tedious to constantly monitor your accounts to make sure you’re holding exactly the right amount of cash – and you have better things to do. Let Autopilot take care of it for you.

A major step towards Self-Driving Money™

At Wealthfront, we want to optimize your money across spending, savings, and investments and put it all to work effortlessly. We call this vision Self-Driving Money™, and Autopilot is a big milestone in making it a reality. With Self-Driving Money™, once you’ve direct deposited your paycheck to Wealthfront and paid your bills from your Cash Account, our software will optimize every remaining dollar. With the click of a button, you’ll be able to let us automatically move your money to the most appropriate accounts for your lifestyle and goals. Autopilot is the automation service that enables this vision. 

Self-Driving Money™ isn’t just a better way to manage your finances; it’s also our way of shifting the balance of power in the financial system. Our mission is to build a financial system that favors people, not institutions, and it’s our focus on software that enables us to do this. Software allows us to lower the cost of delivering our services enough that we can make money with you, not from you. Software also allows us to build the Wealthfront ecosystem from the ground up, which means you’ll soon be able to enjoy even faster money movement when you keep your money with us. 

We’re building a world where your finances will be a point of pride, not a source of stress. You’ll skip mundane money management tasks and feel confident that you’re on track to meet your financial goals. With Autopilot, we’re taking a big step towards that future. We’re so grateful to our clients for going on this journey with us.

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About the author(s)

The Wealthfront Team believes everyone deserves access to sophisticated financial advice. The team includes Certified Financial Planners (CFPs), Chartered Financial Analysts (CFAs), a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), and individuals with Series 7 and Series 66 registrations from FINRA. Collectively, the Wealthfront Team has decades of experience helping people build secure and rewarding financial lives. View all posts by The Wealthfront Team