Should I Use Motif Investing? 10 Expert Reviews (and a $150 Signup Bonus!)

Should I Use Motif Investing? 10 Expert Reviews (and a $150 Sign Up Bonus)

One of the most popular investment platforms on the web today is Motif Investing. I’ve used Motif for several years and have been happy with the platform. But don’t take my word for it. I want to share with you the Motif Investing reviews of 10 personal finance gurus.

Then, after hearing what they have to say, I’ll go ahead and share my thoughts on Motif Investing and how it might fit into your investment portfolio.

Now remember, finding the right investment tools is 100% your responsibility. Although myself and these other investors have found tools that work for us, that doesn’t mean they’ll work for you. It’s up to you to determine how to manage your money and, if needed, seek further advice.

What is Motif Investing?

Motif Investing is a stock trading platform with a twist. Rather than buying individual stocks, you purchase a “basket” of stocks known as a Motif.

Anyone can create a motif and these can be focused around an idea, an investment strategy, an industry, etc..

Read this for a more detailed description of Motif Investing.

Motif Investing Reviews from 10 Experts

The following 10 individuals have evaluated Motif Investing and discovered how to fit it into their own investment strategies. These are all prominent bloggers who spend a substantial amount of their time researching the best ways to manage, invest, and make money.

In short, their opinions are worth considering.

Below I will share a brief quote summarizing their overall opinion of Motif Investing along with a link to their full article that you can review if you would like further information.

1. J Money from Budgets are Sexy

Full review: A Creative Way to Invest ( +My First Dividend Portfolio!)

J Money usually invests in index funds, which is one of the reasons he likes Motif – you can essentially create your own fund!

I won’t be straying away from my indexing anytime soon (or, ever), but sometimes it’s fun to change things up and let loose a little. Especially if we’re talking smaller amounts of money compared to a nest egg (I’d never invest my $400,000+ into random stocks, whether my friends recommend them or not, haha…). And so far I’m liking the options Motif gives me. In fact, you can even invest in index or Vanguard funds through them if you wanted to!

2. Josh of Modest Money

Full review: Motif Investing Review (A Must Read Before Trying)

Josh sums up the article with his thoughts:

Overall, Motif Investing is one of the great investing companies out there. They’ve got a huge client base for a reason! However, as with any other investment option, this one’s not for everyone. If you’re very picky about your stocks and you enjoy the process of choosing them one by one, this isn’t going to be the option for you. However, if you are looking for a way to invest for your first time that’s very easy to understand, or you’d rather choose set baskets of stocks instead of combing the market for individual gems, Motif Investing may just be your best bet! Try Motif Investing now and start preparing for your retirement!

3. John from Frugal Rules

Full review: Motif Investing Review

John likes how Motif is a blend of robo-advisor and do it yourself ETF. He’s also a fan of the dynamic community that the platform has developed. His final opinion of Motif Investing:

Speaking honestly, I have been pretty impressed with Motif Investing in my experience over the years. Motif makes it fairly straightforward to open an account and the platform is intuitive. Having used a variety of broker platforms currently and in the past I would rate Motif as ahead of the curve when it comes to ease of use and navigation through their platform….

I also believe Motif provides a great way to supplement your investing with a smaller portion of your portfolio. This is particularly the case if you want a way to invest in a certain specialized niche or market that you’re unable to find elsewhere and are comfortable with the risk associated with that.

4. Larry of Investor Junkie

Full review: Motif Review: Low-Cost Themed Diversification

There are many benefits that Larry see’s with Motif – including the option to buy into IPOs. His only drawback is that there is no automatic dividend reinvestment. To summarize Larry’s view:

Motif Investing is especially helpful for those who are looking to invest in trends, or who want to exposure to a particular sector.

The pricing is very competitive, and tax efficient (if you don’t trade stocks in and out of your motif). It’s a great way to diversify with small amounts of money to invest. It’s nice that you can customize your motif, so you aren’t limited to only the pre-created motifs.

5. Grayson – Debt Roundup

Full review: Motif Investing Review

Grayson is an avid investor who tries all kinds of platforms and tools. He offers a great review of the pros and cons of Motif Investing and concludes with:

I already have a Betterment account and a Scottrade account. These are for specific needs, but I wanted to try something different. I am really glad I found Motif Investing.  I think their platform is super easy to use and you can find information about all of their services quick and easy.   Motif’s bucket strategy is one I really enjoy. I have heard a few people say you can’t diversify that way, but I disagree. You can easily customize a Motif before you buy it or create your own. This really puts the power in your hands and enables you to diversify to your hearts content.

6. Sam from Financial Samurai

Full review: Motif Investing Review: The ETF and Index Fund Killer

As with all of his posts, Sam offers a very detailed and comprehensive overview of the platform, ending with:

Motif Investing will never fully supplant the enormous ETF and index fund industry. But I do believe Motif Investing can create its own asset class that will become popular with the DIY investing crowd. The combination of low cost, flexibility, social, and idea generation is attractive. The Motif Investing platform is incredibly simple to use as well. There’s no need to pay expensive recurring active management fees when you can build your own 30 stock portfolio for only $9.95.

7. David – Money Under 30

Full review: Motif Investing Review: Trade “Buckets” of Themed Stocks for $9.95

While the other reviewers are far more enthusiastic about Motif, David’s view is that it may be fun to play around with, but it’s still no match for index funds.

Although Motif makes it easier to invest in industries or ideas that appeal to you without the cost and risk of trading individual stocks, I don’t see it as a substitute for the diversification of a portfolio of mutual funds or an index fund. In other words, having a few bucks of 30 stocks isn’t truly diversified portfolio if it only focuses on a couple industries and doesn’t include foreign stocks or bonds.

8. Peter from Bible Money Matters

Full review: Motif Investing Review: Themed Based Investing

Peter’s review of Motif starts with a bit of skepticism, as he first saw it as a gimmick. He does, however, see it as a creative way to create your own ETFs.

Motif Investing, while it felt a little like a gimmick at first, does seem to offer an intriguing new way to basically create your own ETFs, without the associated fees. Buy a motif that is close to what you’re looking for, modify it a bit if needed, and you’re set to go! Where else can you get up to 30 stocks in one purchase for only a $9.95 fee?

9. Jeff – Good Financial Cents

Full review: Motif Investing Review – Investing with Experts

After emphasizing that it’s always important to buy and hold when investing, and giving a thorough review of Motif, Jeff concludes with:

Motif Investing is a unique and easy way to invest in what interests you – all at a relatively very low price.

It’s unique because you can invest in what interests you and invest in whole dollar amounts instead of having to invest in whole share amounts. This is what sets it apart from the competition.

It’s also an easy way to invest because it’s online. The user interface is pretty straightforward, and you don’t have to understand the complexities of investments to make an informed decision – the information about each motif readily available.

10. Kassandra from Everything Finance

Full review: Motif Investing Review

Kassandra does an excellent job of sharing both the pros and the cons of Motif:

With Motif Investing, you get to try before you buy.  Upon signing up, you can browse the motif catalog and create a watchlist in order to monitor its performance. From there, you can decide if their investing model is a match for your needs and open a trading account….

The investment choices are somewhat limited given that Motif only offers stocks and ETFs for purchase.  There is no word yet on if or when they will begin to offer options or mutual funds at this time.

My Opinion of Motif Investing

As I’ve said before, I’m a big fan of a diversified portfolio. And although I’m not exclusively an index fund guy like some of the investors listed above, I do believe that slow-and-steady wins the race.

With that in mind, I have made Motif Investing one of the primary investment tools that I use (along with these). In fact, my IRA is with Motif.

What I like about Motif is that you can inexpensively purchase a fund of up to 30 stocks – and buy fractional shares. In other words, I can invest $1000 evenly across 30 stocks – even if one stock is worth $700/share and another is worth $5.

I’m also a big fan of being able to buy into IPOs before they reach the general public. In the past, pre-IPO investors generally made a lot more. We’ll have to see how this goes now that anyone can invest through Motif.

My biggest drawback to Motif Investing is that you cannot buy/sell options, which is why I keep a TradeKing account around. When there is a stock that I believe has long term value, I’ve discovered that buying it and selling call options is somewhat like putting renters in your house – and it’s a strategy I enjoy using (and one Motif can’t implement).

All-in-all, I believe that Motif is a valuable investment tool, and considering that they’re offering a $150 sign up bonus, now’s definitely a great time to give them a try!


Rob is enthusiastic about everything related to money and investing. A financial analyst and instructor, he enjoys using what he’s learned from 10 years of studying business and money to help others achieve financial stability. He founded Money Nomad in 2014!

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  1. I have always stuck with my brokerage & index funds, mostly just because I just discovered services like Motif or Betterment existed a few months ago. I haven’t signed up for one yet, but am considering it in the future when I finish building the house and get my evenings free again.

    Thanks for mentioning about the options trading as well.

    1. Index funds are definitely a good, solid investment. I like using Motif because it essentially lets me create my own index fund. Of course, it also means that the end result is based on my decisions (which isn’t always a good thing), but it’s definitely a valuable tool. Ultimately, I enjoy using it for my IRA because it allows me to split investments based on a variety of stocks and easily rebalance.

      Let me know your thoughts once you give it a go!

    1. It’s definitely wise to start investing as soon as you can. Even if it’s just a few bucks here and there. For smaller investment amounts, you may want to check out the Robinhood app.

    1. Glad it was helpful! And Costa Rica is great. Also, I love your most recent Brexit article — I’ll be sharing that today.

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