Citibank brokerage review, rating, pros and cons, commissions, fees, account minimums, trading platform, IRA investment research tools, education, and customer service.


Citi Self Invest Rating: 

Overview of Citi Self Invest

If you thought Citi was just for banking, think again. Through its subsidiary Citi Self Invest, the company offers various trading and investing services. However, there are some limitations. Our research reveals the details.


Investing Program

Citibank Investing Rating

Citigroup has a budget online investing firm that offers both self-directed and robo accounts. The robo setup, called Citi Wealth Builder, trades a small selection of ETFs with low expense ratios. The self-directed option, called Citi Self Invest, offers a larger list of ETFs, stocks, and mutual funds. Currently, there are no other asset classes available, such as cryptocurrencies, bonds, futures, or options.

Both robo and brokerage accounts are protected by America's securities insurer SIPC, with a maximum insurance level of $500,000 per account category (not per account). Currently, the only account category available at Citi Self Invest and Wealth Builder is the individual taxable account, though there are plans to roll out IRAs and joint accounts in the future.

Citi requires an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) or a Social Security Number (SSN) to open a robo or self-managed account.


Cash Management

Citibank Self Invest Rating

An account with Citi Self Invest or Wealth Builder doesn't include Citi's banking services like a debit card. However, you can link an investing account to a Citi checking or savings account, which is done automatically if they share the same tax ID number. Citi credit cards are also linked in this manner.

Balances in robo and brokerage accounts count towards minimum levels required for other Citi programs, which can help waive monthly fees on checking and savings accounts.


Fees and Minimums

Citibank Invest fees Rating

Citi's investing accounts have no commission fees. The self-directed side does not require a minimum deposit to open an account and there are no recurring fees.

Robo accounts, however, are managed and thus carry a management fee of 0.25% annually, with a $5,000 minimum balance requirement.

Citi has introduced a hybrid program called Wealth Builder Plus, which combines automated management with a human advisor. This service costs slightly more at 0.60% annually and requires a $25,000 minimum balance.


Margin

Citibank Trading Rating

Margin loans are not available at Citi Self Invest; all trades must be funded in cash.


Website

Citibank Self Invest App Rating

Citi offers a simple website for account management and trading. The website lacks advanced trading tools, which makes it very basic.


Citi Brokerage Review


Charts on the Citi website are very basic, without technical indicators or drawing tools. They can display up to 10 years of price history but can't be expanded to full screen.

The order ticket is simple, offering basic trade types like market, limit, and stop. Options to specify order conditions such as all or none and fill or kill are available, along with day and GTC duration choices.


Citi Investing Review


The website also allows you to add securities to a watchlist, which can be edited later. However, the site does not support alerts.


Mobile App

Citi Self Invest App Rating

The Citi Self Invest and Wealth Builder accounts integrate with the regular Citi banking app. The app's functionality is similar to the website, supporting


Citi Self Invest App Review


Customer Service

Citi Self Invest Customer Rating

Citi Self Invest operates entirely online and aims to reduce operational costs, which means their customer support is quite limited. We discovered a chatbot on the Citi website, but it failed to provide specific answers for investing accounts. When we tried to connect with a human agent, we were informed that they are available Monday through Friday, from 8 AM to 8 PM EST. However, the chatbot did not facilitate a connection to a human representative during these times, although phone support is available.

The website and app lack extensive self-help resources. Without an internal messaging system, phone support remains the only effective way to get assistance.


Education and Research

Citi Self Invest Research Rating

Citi Self Invest provides some educational resources, including a collection of financial articles. Examples include:

- SoftBank in talks to buy Vision Fund's 25% stake in Arm
- Wealth Outlook 2024 - Roadmap to recovery: Portfolios to anticipate opportunities
- US Steel to explore strategic alternatives after unsolicited bids


Citibank Investing Review


Both the website and mobile app offer basic security screeners to help find stocks, mutual funds, and ETFs. The stock screener allows searches by industry, while the fund screener combines mutual and exchange-traded funds and sorts them by criteria like expense ratio and 1-year return.


Additional Services

Citi Self Invest Service Rating

Initial Public Offerings: Not available at Citi Self Invest.

DRIP Service: You can automatically reinvest cash dividends into more shares.

Fully-Paid Stock Lending: Not offered.

Fractional-share Trading: You can trade fractional shares using market and limit orders.

Individual Retirement Accounts: There are currently no IRA options available.

Extended-hours Trading: Not supported.


Recommendations

Long-Term Investors & Retirement Savers: Citi Self Invest doesn’t support retirement savings plans. If you need a more personalized service with a wider range of investment options, consider Citigroup’s investment advisors available in select cities. However, most cities lack physical branches.

Beginning Investors: New investors might find the Citi Wealth Builder Plus a suitable start, particularly with the added benefit of a financial planner.

Stock and ETF Trading: Citi Self Invest lacks the sophisticated tools required for active trading. A platform like Webull offers advanced tools and research capabilities.

Mutual Funds: Firstrade offers superior mutual fund search tools and features a list of top-rated funds selected by investment advisors.

Small Accounts: The $5,000 minimum for robo accounts at Citi is relatively high. For smaller requirements, Robinhood is an excellent alternative.


Citi Self Invest Review Judgment

Despite being a major global bank, Citi's performance in the investment sector isn't as impressive as its banking services. The investment features are basic, and the platform does not cater well to more demanding investors.


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Updated on 4/26/2024.

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