How M1 Finance trades

M1 Finance automates the construction and maintenance of your custom investment portfolio. After you create your Pie-based portfolio, M1 utilizes its proprietary trading system to automate all of your trading activity. You'll never have to input or execute any trades manually. 

M1 aggregates all trades and executes them during a single Trade Window. All trading activity for the day will be completed during this window, and your portfolio will update after M1's Trade Window has closed for the day.

M1 utilizes event-driven automation. There are distinct events that cause your account to trade: your first deposit, future deposits and withdrawals, rebalances, cash, and orders. You can learn all about what how your account will trade with the descriptions and animations below.


Your first deposit into your M1 account

After creating your portfolio, you can make your first deposit to begin investing! Your very first deposit will be invested in alignment with the targets you set for your portfolio during the next trade window. 

Example A: A portfolio created with 5 Slices each targeted at 20% after an initial $100 deposit.



Example B: A portfolio created with 5 Slices, each targeted at 20%.
One slice is a Pie containing two targets, each set to 50%.


Future funding and withdrawals

While your first deposit is split up evenly based on your portfolio targets, future trades will be completed in an effort to return your portfolio to these targets. This is called Dynamic Rebalancing. M1 intelligently and automatically rebalances your portfolio little by little as you deposit and withdraw cash from your portfolio. So if one of your securities is underweight in relation to your target, more money will flow into that asset when you make a deposit.


Example A: A portfolio valued at $10,000 adds $2,500.
The most underweight Slices are funded to return the portfolio to balance.


Example B: A portfolio valued at $10,000 adds $1,000.
Only most underweight slices Slices are funded, bringing the portfolio closer to balance.



Example C: A $10,000 portfolio adds $2,500. One Slice contains a Pie with two targets and the underweight target within the Pie receives a larger share to return to balance.


Withdrawals from your portfolio have the same effect, but in reverse; more money will flow out of your overweight securities when you make a withdrawal.


Editing your portfolio and liquidating a Slice

When you make changes to your targets such as changing the percentage or adding a new Slice, your portfolio will not automatically buy and sell holdings to return your portfolio to your new targets. These changes will occur over time with M1's Dynamic Rebalancing.

The exception to this rule is when you remove a Slice from your portfolio. When a Slice is removed from a Pie, M1 will liquidate the holdings and reinvest the money in that same Pie. This will happen regardless of whether Auto-Invest is turned on/off.

Example A: A Slice is removed from your portfolio.
The $20 holding is liquidated and is reinvested based on your new portfolio targets.


Example B: A Slice is removed from a Pie within your portfolio.
The main portfolio is not changed, the $10 from the deleted Slice is re-invested at the Pie level.

Rebalancing your portfolio

In addition to our Dynamic Rebalancing, there are actions you can take to override our automated trading. The first of these is manual rebalancing.

As the market causes your portfolio to drift away from your targets, or if you have made adjustments to your portfolio targets, you may want to quickly rebalance your portfolio or a single Pie. This can be accomplished by requesting a manual rebalance. Rebalance requests can be completed at the portfolio level, or for a single Pie within your portfolio.

Example A: Rebalancing your portfolio


Example B: Rebalancing a Pie within your portfolio


Cash Balance Control

By default, all cash deposited into your account is included in our automated trading. However, you can choose to hold your cash uninvested, or choose to leave a dollar amount of cash uninvested. This gives you more control over when and how your money is invested.

Examples: See how adjustments to your Cash Balance Control affect how your cash flows into your portfolio



In addition to M1's automated trading, you can also place individual orders to buy or sell Slices or securities within your portfolio. Order requests will be prioritized ahead of automated trades. You can use the existing cash in your account to place a buy order, use cash from a pending sell order, or request a deposit to complete the order request.


Example A: A buy order is requested when you have $100 of uninvested cash. The cash is invested directly into the requested Slice.



Example B: A $50 buy order is requested along with a deposit request of $100. $50 is invested directly into the requested Slice, and the remaining $50 is traded automatically throughout your portfolio.


If you have further questions, please contact us.

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