Features

Betterment is a robo-advisor investment service that helps people plan for their financial future. Betterment manages $3.2 billion in assets, which makes it the largest robo-advisor in the business, and is a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) registered investment advisor. Betterment is based in New York City and was founded in 2008. Robo-advisors provide investors with a fast and easy way to create a diversified portfolio by automatically allocating assets based on a personalized risk profile.

The high points of Betterment over other online investment services are:

  •  - Low fees: 0.15% to 0.35% 
  • - $0 account minimum
  • - Automatic diversification of funds
  • - Auto deposits 
  • - Automatic rebalancing of portfolio every time you make a deposit

 Who Is Betterment Designed For?

Betterment is a great service for all types of investors, but it is particularly suited for hands-off investors with clear goals and over $100,000 in savings who like exchange-traded funds. There is no minimum amount to open an account so anybody can become a member, but Betterment's value for money really shines when you hit the $100k mark. 

Exchange-traded funds are extremely popular among many investors because they make it easy to diversify funds and minimize management costs. 

What Services Does Betterment Offer?

Betterment provides a personalized investment strategy for every customer by determining his or her risk tolerance. Risk tolerance is determined by asking borrowers questions about their goals and reactions to hypothetical scenarios. 

Betterment helps people create and prioritize their financial goals. It can set up retirement funds, arrange traditional IRAs, and open trusts. It even helps investors save money through tax loss harvesting. Tax loss harvesting is the practice of selling securities that have experienced a loss to offset the taxes on profits and income.

Betterment also allows investors to talk to a customer support team seven days a week. Investors with over $500k can also schedule a personal consultation with a financial planning expert. 

How Much Does Betterment Cost?

Betterment charges customers an investment fee ranging from 0.15% to 0.35% depending on how much you deposit in your account. There are three tiers:

Investors with balances of: 

- $0 to $10,000 must pay an annual fee of 0.35% if they have a minimum deposit of $100 a month. Otherwise, there is a $3 a month fee.

- $10,000 to $100k a pay 25% fee.

- Over $100k get a 0.15% fee

There are no trade fees, transaction fees, or rebalancing fees, just the flat fee described above. 

How Is Betterment Better Than Other Wealth Management Services?

  • - Having a flat annual fee instead of generating income from trade and transaction fees aligns Betterment's interests with those of its customers. 
  • - Customers do not have to start or maintain a minimum balance, and they are never charged withdrawal fees. Betterment provides high-quality and low-cost investment services, a rare combination. 
  • - Investors no longer have to be millionaires to benefit from sophisticated investment techniques, such as tax loss harvesting and personalized financial plans prepared by a professional investment advisor.

Betterment provides high-quality and low-cost investment services, a rare combination. 

 

  • Independent/Registered Investment Adviser
  • Software Managed
  • Asset Mgmt Fee
    0.35%
  • Commission Based
  • Fee Based
  • CPAs On Staff
  • Total AUM (in millions)
    $2600
  • Min Account
    10
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1 votes

Investing can be intimidating with all the jargon and various funds etc. This is a simple way to start investing.


0 votes

Now that I've tried Betterment, I have to say that I have absolutely fallen in love with ETF's. I always knew that they were a good thing to have in your portfolio and now I know for sure that they are a smart option, because they've done really well for me.


0 votes

I always put off investing because I truly hate researching which investments are best to purchase and how much of each in terms of percentages. I know this is something that other investors like, but I just don't like it. Betterment does all this for you! You only put the info in and they tell you what to do. Now I'm investing a lot more often.


0 votes

I've always struggled with making my investments diversified and not putting too many eggs in one basket. So when I saw that Betterment does that task for you, I signed up on the website and decided to give automated investing a try! Good news is that it works! I am now diversified and feel so much safer and relieved.


0 votes

In this ever growing "smaller" world, global diversity is the only way to invest. Betterment knows that and makes sure that their investments are globally diversified. No, they don't always do fantastic, but my globally diversified investments do really well most of the time.


0 votes

The revolutionary system that Betterment uses to make sure to maximize return but minimize risk when you invest is fabulous. I have tried other investment companies, but this one is by far on top of the heap. I plan to invest a lot more through them in the coming year.


0 votes

I was intrigued by Betterment's model of providing online help with investing, so I signed up and gave it a try. I figured I'd just do it for six months and most likely go back to my traditional way of investing, but it's been a year and I'm still investing at Betterment. As a matter of fact, I'm moving more and more of my investing to them.


0 votes

It's about time that an investment company started using the power of computers and the internet to help with investing. Betterment uses a proprietary computer program that takes in your financial info and goals and spits out recommendations for investing. It works really well.


0 votes

I used to go to a full service financial advisor when I was working fulltime and my business was booming. Now I'm retired and I found that the fees for such service was truly cost prohibitive. Since I have to pinch pennies nowadays, I thought I'd try a company that automates what I used to pay for and doesn't charge for trades or transactions. I have to say that the switch has been a little overwhelming for me. I am just used to having a live person to talk to. ... That being said, I see great potential with this system and plan to keep working at it until I feel more comfortable. More Less


0 votes

This company has a great model and it is very helpful to have a computer generated report of what would be best for you to invest, but keep in mind that it is not FDIC insured. You could lose ground on your returns or even principal, which are subject to market risk.


0 votes

I was really leery of investing autmatically before I tried Betterment. I only tried it because I was in a way shamed into trying it. My wife began using Betterment a year ago and started showing me how well she was doing. I decided to swallow my skepticism and try it out. It works really well, and I'm now moving toward investing this way more and more.


0 votes

As a new investor, I was a bit confused. Betterment makes the process so, so easy!! No need to research which investments you should get, which always totally overwhelmed me. Instead, you put in the data and Betterment spits out what you should do. I never knew investing could be so easy!


0 votes

Tax savings are a big priority for me, as I'm an accountant. So when I saw how much time and effort the Betterment service puts into minimizing taxes, I decided to give it a try. The intelligent divident reinvesting option is one of many options that have surprised me in their intricacy and helpfulness.


0 votes

This place is based on ETFs, and I have to say that the model works well. They have a good stock portfolio makeup. They contain some good stock options like Vanguard and iShares. You need to understand what ETFs are and they aren't before proceeding, though, so I'd suggest finding that out.


0 votes

I was skeptical when I first signed up and they said that they are a good way to do low cost investing. I'd heard that before! But I have to say that after a couple of years, it is the lowest cost way of investing that I've found to date. They don't charge for trades and transactions, and that adds up to big savings over time.


0 votes

I don't know of any other places that has a tax efficient algorithim figuring things out for you. I was once worried about listening to a compute when it came to my investments, but I'm all over that now. Betterment has been right about their recommendations everytime.


0 votes

I had always wanted to invest but was completely blown away by the prospect. One of my biggest fears was talking to someone about my investments and sounding dumb. So when I saw that Betterment is automated, I thought, I can do this! Let a computer show me the way! So far so good. I've made some investments that are looking good, and I totally get the system.


0 votes

I read that Betterment customers can expect to get more than 4% higher rate of return than other DIY investors and I thought, yeah right! I've been DIY investing for a long time, so I figured I could "best" Betterment. So I tried doing investing of the same amount of money at Betterment and another online investing company. Betterment won! Only by a small margin, but they won. When you add onto this the fact that it took me four times longer to not even beat them, it's definitely worth ... it to invest with Betterment. More Less


0 votes

When I found out that I could answer a few questions on Betterment and get some solid advice and direction regarding my investment strategy I thought why not? The signup process was super simple. It only took about 5 minutes. Then you set the allocation of your assets--for instance how much into stocks and bonds. You link to your checking and you can transfer money whenever you want from there.


0 votes

For years I'd wanted to start investing, but everytime I tried at an online brokerage, my eyes would start to swim and my head ache. There was so much I just didn't understand, so how was I ever going to make the right choice? This company does better than helping you make choices, it pretty much makes them for you, thanks to what they call their Modern Portfolio Theory. Whatever it is, it works!


0 votes

Wow, totally blown away by the fact that Betterment now provides Tax Loss Harvesting! That makes my life so much easier. Now I can capitalize on investment losses without having to do much! The service is totally automated. Talk about saving me time and my sanity.


0 votes

I liked the idea of achieving optimal results at low risk, so I gave Betterment a try. I have to say I was doubtful that it would work all that well, since it didn't really have much human input, but my investments through Betterment are doing amazing. Much better than the ones I did manually at another site. i'm sold.


0 votes

I'm the automated type of person that believes in setting something up and forgeting all about it for awhile--then checking in on your investments periodically. So traditional investing where you have to check in a lot, and for real oldtime investing, call in, didn't work for me. Then I found Betterment and discovered that it's made to set and forget and just check in now and then. Score! This is my type of investing company.


0 votes

I like this place and invest quite heavily with them, but it is important to note that they do this all through exchanged traded funds (ETFs). You don't buy and own individual stocks and bonds. Instead you are investing in ETFs. They are well-balanced in terms of asset allocations, which means you aren't too heavily weighted in any one direction. That's what makes this system work so well. It constitutes slow, often incremental advancements in your investment.


0 votes

I went to Betterment to rollover my IRA, but I have gotten so much more out of their service. Besides the rollover, I was able to minimize some taxes and make some super successful investments. I would like to say that the investments were all me, but their automated system made it a snap.


0 votes

Totally in love with this format! You just go in and tell them about yourself/your investments and they give you a computer generated recommended investment plan. If that sounds like it is cookie cutter, I can assure you, it is not. I tried it for myself and my wife and both plans were competely different.


0 votes

Sure I want to understand more or less what I'm doing when I'm investing, but I don't need all of the particulars. They are too confusing and too overwhelming, and I won't remember them, anyway. Betterment understands this and makes it so that you get the general gist. Then they make computer-generated recommendations for your financial situation.


0 votes

I went into investing to get some tax benefits and to do something with money that I had sitting doing nothing but costing me in interest savings. I tried looking at the various online investment companies for ones that were even talking about taxes, but came up short--until I found Betterment. They mention on one of their first web pages tax minimization--so I was in.


0 votes

I went to Betterment in the beginning so that I could rollover an IRA that I had at an online brokerage house. I was getting really tired of their constant fees that were eating away at my investment savings. When I discovered that Betterment doesn't charge for trades and transactions, I immediately signed up. Glad I did.


0 votes

You can get three free months with this company, but you need to read the fineprint in order for that to happen. It clearly says that you have to fund an account with 5,000 within 30 days and keep it in there for 90. So you essentially need some extra money to make money and get those savings.


0 votes

Nice model they have here. The automation is interesting, and I really like how it cuts down on investment costs. I also think that the system is pretty strong and seems to be fairly bullet proof. I've made quite a few investments so far and find that it works really well.


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