How Does M1 Finance Auto Invest Work? (2022 Update)

*This post may contain affiliate links, please see my disclosure

Have you ever wondered why set-it-and-forget-it investing is so popular? It’s likely because trying to time the market is usually a fool’s errand. There’s almost always more downside than reward. That’s why we love M1 Finance auto invest!

The M1 Finance auto invest feature makes sure that your money continually moves into your portfolio. Since you build your portfolio based on your investing preferences, you can be confident that your money is moving the way you intended without having to give it any extra thought. No guesswork, no mental math. Just automatic investing opportunities!

Ready to take a closer look at M1 Finance auto invest? Let’s go!

How Does M1 Finance Auto Invest Work?

We’ve all heard the horror stories: someone set up an investment account. Months, years, or even decades go by. Then the investor finally discovered the money was sitting in an account without being invested in anything.

M1 Finance auto invest prevents that. With auto invest, you can make sure that you are always growing your wealth. When you open an M1 Invest account, you use pies to design a portfolio that makes your goals, timeline, and risk tolerance. Auto invest then ensures that when you make deposits into your account, that money is invested into your pie automatically. There’s nothing else for you to do! It’s the definition of set-it-and-forget-it investing.

Typically, M1 Finance users leave this feature turned on. How does it work? Whenever you have more than $25 in cash in your M1 Invest account, M1 Finance then puts that money into your investment pie.

Let’s say you have recurring deposits set up to coincide with your biweekly paychecks. You make a $250 deposit every other week. With auto invest turned on, that money automatically goes into your portfolio, allocated however you determined would best meet your needs and goals when you set up your portfolio.

Without auto invest, that money sits on the sidelines. Sometimes there is a strategy in that. But a lot of times, it turns into one of those sad cautionary tales where the investor misses out on market growth.

How To Adjust Auto Invest Minimum Cash Balance Amount

The default auto invest setting is set up so that once your account has at least $25 in it, your money is automatically invested.

With a $0 minimum cash balance, all of your money gets sent straight to your investing pies. Then, you are left with a $0 cash balance.

But what if you want to adjust the amount? That’s easy enough! You can set your minimum balance to $500, $1000, or whatever amount you’re comfortable with.

If your minimum cash balance is set to $500, then M1 Finance waits for your cash balance to pass $525. Then, they automatically invest on your behalf. But instead of being left with a $0 cash balance, you have $500.

How To Turn Off Auto Invest on M1 Finance

Maybe you don’t want to use auto invest or perhaps you want to temporarily turn it off. The steps to turn off M1 Finance auto invest are simple and straightforward.

Step 1

Access your auto-invest portfolio settings. You can do this on both the mobile and web version of M1 Finance.

Step 2

Locate the Auto Invest section.

Step 3

Toggle from On to Off.

Just remember to turn auto-invest back on when it suits your needs!

Are you ready to learn more about investing pies and to see M1 Finance can help you meet your investing goals? Then don’t miss our full M1 Finance review.

Other Investing Apps To Consider

Looking for set-it-and-forget-it investing options? Or maybe you want a platform that’s geared toward active investing? There are plenty of options. Don’t miss our favorite investing apps for 2022!

Let’s take a closer look at some of the standout investing apps worth considering.

SoFi Invest

You might recognize the name from your checking account or your student loan. SoFi Invest is another account option under the SoFi umbrella. For investors who want to streamline their finances, exploring the SoFi Invest platform is an excellent idea.

SoFi Invest is pretty robust in terms of its offerings. You can invest in stocks, ETFs, and cryptocurrency. They also offer automatic investment rebalancing to make sure that your portfolio stays aligned with your investment plans no matter what the market is doing. With no minimums and no management fees, there’s virtually nothing to lose giving this platform a try.

See our full SoFi Invest review here.


When it comes to our favorite investing apps, Public is one of the newest kids on the block. That doesn’t mean it’s not worth checking out. In fact, Public’s age is likely what led to its innovative take on investing.

Public understands that its target demographic is a little in tune with social media. OK, who are we kidding? Public knows that millennials and even younger crowds are connected across multiple social media platforms. That’s why its social side is such a success. Investors can post their portfolios, effectively sharing investing strategies with friends and strangers alike. If you’re dying to talk money and investing strategies, give Public a try.

See our full Public review here.


For a lot of people, the first time they really heard of Robinhood was when its name was splashed across the news. And not in a good way! Though the platform has had its fair share of controversy, there’s still plenty to like about Robinhood.

One of the biggest selling points is the fact that there is no minimum required to open an account. Robinhood allows users to trade stocks, ETFs, options, and cryptocurrency all for no fees. You can also upgrade to Robinhood Gold if you want to access margin investing. With an upgraded status, you get margin trading, increased instant deposits, Morningstar research, and NASDAQ market data.

See our full Robinhood review here to see if this platform is right for you.

Jacob Wade

Jacob Wade

Jacob Wade has been a nationally-recognized personal finance expert for the past decade. He has written professionally for The Balance, The Spruce, LendingTree, Investing Answers, and other widely-followed sites. 
He’s also been a featured expert on CBS News, MSN Money, Forbes, Nasdaq, Yahoo! Finance, Go Banking Rates, and AOL Finance.

In 2018, Jacob quit his job and his family decided to sell everything (including their home) to take off on an adventure. They traveled the country in an RV for nearly 3 years, visiting over 38 states, 20+ national parks and eventually settling in the sunshine state!

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