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Betterment is one of the best investment websites for beginners or those who trust the experts to do the heavy lifting. It’s a long-term investment site that automates your investments for you. You basically deposit an amount into Betterment, answer a few questions about your goals, and it will invest based on those goals, as well as alter investments based on the market, to make sure you are getting the most return on your money. Here’s a detailed look at Betterment.
Betterment is an online investment adviser service that offers automated investment and wealth management. Betterment is a totally digital service; all transactions occur online, leading to less time and cost spent on investment management than with a traditional adviser or wealth manager. Those savings are passed on to you in the form of low annual rates and few to no fees.
Betterment is smarter than a traditional investment portfolio. Betterment’s portfolio selection methodology was built on Nobel Prize-winning research to help provide optimal returns and mitigate risk. Smarter technology and an improved overall investment experience mean that it’s easier than ever for people with little to no experience investing to select and grow a portfolio anywhere, anytime.
Betterment has been featured in Forbes, Fox Business, The Wall Street Journal, CNN Money and more because of its innovative, game-changing approach to how people can manage and grow their personal investments. If you are looking for a comparison to one of Betterment’s top competitors, check out our Wealthsimple review.
Betterment investing is seamlessly integrated in a blend of stock ETFs and bond ETFs. Betterment offers both stock ETFs and bond ETFs so you can balance the risk level of your investment portfolio; you can also personalize your allocation into stock ETFs and bond ETFs to manage risk at the level you’re most comfortable.
Betterment investing offers both ETF options for several reasons. First, it uses ETFs instead of mutual funds because they have lower expense ratios and they receive preferential tax treatment, making them a better overall investment vehicle. ETFs have also seen significant growth over the past ten years, making them smart long-term investments in a personal portfolio. Finally, ETFs are also fairly liquid, making them easier to trade when creating new portfolios or rebalancing existing portfolios.
Overall, Betterment’s portfolio offerings provide great options to both experienced investors and young investors looking to start and grow a personal investment portfolio.
Betterment’s stock ETFs include a wide range of domestic and international markets and allow customers to choose the exact allocation and risk level of their portfolio. Their stock ETFs include:
Betterment invests in a diverse bond portfolio to balance risk and maximize customer returns. Betterment’s bond ETFs include:
Betterment offers a globally diverse mix of bonds and stocks, allowing you to manage your own risk by personalizing your portfolio. Because Betterment’s digital model allows for better expense ratios than traditional wealth management services, investors also take home more returns over time.
Betterment was built to make investment easier. People of all ages and experience levels can choose the right portfolio, no matter your personal knowledge, to reach your goals faster.
Betterment has a suite of products to allow you to manage your portfolio on all devices. They’ve even been called the “Apple of Finance” because of their attention to design and user experience. Both their desktop experience and mobile app feature an intuitive dashboard, easy navigation and easy-to-use interfaces that let you transfer and transact anywhere, anytime without needing to engage with a wealth management advisor. If you do need guidance, Betterment’s team of investment experts are available to help you make your investment decisions, and their team of customer service representatives are available to help answer any questions about Betterment tools.
Betterment offers RetireGuide, a tool that automatically calculates your retirement gap based on how much money you need and how much you have now. It takes into account your location, savings, income, tax rate and more to give the most accurate advice.
Once you know how much you’ll need to earn between now and your retirement, you can use one of Betterment’s two retirement services to start saving; they include a simple IRA or 401(k) rollover.
Betterment makes it easy to transfer an IRA online with their automated tools. Using Betterment’s easy interface, you can enter the information on your account that you are transferring to Betterment, and Betterment will automatically generate the paperwork to process your transfer. You can even sign your form online with an e-signature to complete the process in just minutes.
You can also roll over your 401(k) to Betterment to use their automated investment engine to meet your retirement goals. This process can be a headache with some providers, but Betterment makes it easy to roll over your 401(k) and doesn’t charge a fee. You simply notify your current 401(k) provider that you’re rolling over your funds to Betterment, and then they release your funds by issuing Betterment a check.
Betterment offers three levels of services: Digital, Plus, and Premium. Each comes with its own annual fee and minimum balance requirements. Betterment is also able to offer fewer fees than traditional investment managers, including:
The most basic package, Betterment Digital includes unlimited access to automated portfolio management, tax-efficient investing features, investment advice and award-winning customer support for a 0.25-percent annual fee. Betterment Digital does not require a minimum balance. This plan is best for a novice investor who is looking to start a portfolio and is interested in managing it mostly on his or her own.
A step up from Digital, the Betterment Plus option offers all the benefits of Digital and includes additional features like an annual call with the Betterment CFP team and ongoing account monitoring by Betterment licensed experts. The Plus level has a 0.40-percent annual fee and requires a $100,000 minimum balance.
The most robust Betterment option, Betterment Premium, includes all Betterment Digital features as well as unlimited calls with Betterment’s licensed team of experts and additional ongoing account monitoring. The Premium level has a 0.50-percent annual fee and requires a $250,000 minimum balance. This plan is best for someone who wants the ease of digital wealth management but also appreciates a more hands-on, personal relationship with a wealth adviser.
Betterment is known to offer special promotions to new investors. Some previous promotions have included three months free with an initial $5,000 deposit, four months free with an initial $25,000 deposit or six months free with an initial $100,000 deposit. Contact a Betterment customer service representative if you’re interested in learning about current Betterment promotions as you start your portfolio.
Betterment offers an award-winning 401(k) service that includes personalized investment advice for each and every participant. Since Betterment handles the entire 401(k) experience from start to finish, they are one of the most cost-effective providers available to businesses.
Betterment for Business was started to add transparency to the retirement industry. Like Betterment, Betterment for Business comes with an intuitive dashboard and mobile access so participants can access their investments from anywhere, anytime. It is also free of fees and comes with personalized investment advice. Finally, like with Betterment, Betterment for Business customers can invest across both stock ETFs and bond ETFs to manage risk and personalize their portfolio to meet their needs.
Betterment can be a very safe way to invest. Because Betterment allows you to select your own portfolio, you can manage your risk accordingly, ensuring you set yourself up for financial success in your future. They offer both high-risk, high-reward investment options and low-risk, low-reward investment options – and everything in between.
Your investment with Betterment is safe. Betterment has a team of finance, planning, trade and investment experts who are always working to evaluate and improve the Betterment portfolio – leading to bigger returns for you. All portfolios are liquid; you can access your money anytime, anywhere, making it a great safety net.
In terms of security and privacy, Betterment also protects your personal information. They use the market’s strongest browser encryption, and never share data with any third party without your permission.
Betterment is able to offer some of the lowest fees in the investment space because of their digital model. They keep costs low to keep your annual fees low too. Additionally, most of their services are free of fees. For example, they don’t charge trade, transfer or rebalancing fees ever, and are able to keep their annual rates at or below 0.50 percent. Because of their low-cost model, personalizable portfolio options and the ease of depositing money into and withdrawing money from Betterment, their model is fairly low risk.
Betterment is a great solution for young investors looking to begin their investment portfolio on a digital, low-cost platform. Betterment is also great for someone who is more experienced in managing their personal investment portfolio but is looking for a simple and intuitive online tool to better manage and monitor their investments.
Betterment customers get access to an award-winning customer service team. Their dedicated support specialists are available seven days a week to help walk customers through their investment process.
Betterment is known in the industry for changing the investment landscape and using technology to improve the way people invest, manage their portfolio and ultimately shape their financial future. They have multiple pricing levels so that anyone – from young, brand new investors to seasoned investors – can benefit from their products.
Betterment offers three pricing levels:
Overall, Betterment’s software has many great features that can make starting or growing a portfolio easy and more profitable. Those features include:
If you’re a first-time investor or someone who wants to improve his or her portfolio performance by using a more efficient and cost-effective investment adviser, consider researching Betterment to see if it’s right for you.
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