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Betterment: Investing the Lazy Way

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I'm testing a new writer today. I've been meaning to write about Betterment (and other Robo-Advisors), but I thought I'd get another perspective. Let me know what you think in the comments.

Betterment is a complete online investing company that assists you in tailoring and determining your financial future. Betterment takes a look at your current financial situation in relation to your fiscal goals and where you’d like to see yourself in the short versus the long term. From there, it develops a personalized plan so that you can achieve your specified financial goals. Award-winning experience, smarter automation and better retirement planning are all part of the Betterment experience.

Betterment Trading Platforms

Betterment capitalizes on an assorted selection of exchange-traded funds. What Betterment does is invest in fractional shares—a unique strategy implemented so that you can reevaluate your investment goals in a shorter time frame. You define the precise amount you would like to invest and Betterment takes cares of the rest. By looking at your dividends and deposits, the automated investment broker rebalances your objectives, all while maintaining a low tax bill by reducing the need to rebalance (via selling). Betterment's trading platforms work with six decimal points of accuracy, using all income funds to round up any imbalances in your situations

Betterment Fees

Betterment differentiates itself from competitors by utilizing an advanced technology which affords clients lower monthly and yearly fees. Where traditional account fees will run you approximately $83 per month at 1% annually, Betterment only charges $13 per month at 0.15% annually –a substantial difference, especially over a long period of time. The basic tenant of Betterment is that it lets you have more money to invest and the more you invest, the fewer fees you pay.

A few other advantages include no trade fees, no transaction fees and no rebalancing fees.

Betterment Account Minimums

Those who invest with Betterment have peace of mind knowing that they pay absolutely zero in commissions or transaction fees. Customers’ investments are collected via a three-tier foundation, which is dictated by account balance.

There is no account minimum with Betterment but it is suggested that you invest at least $10,000 in order to avoid paying additional management fees. Accounts that maintain a balance less than $10,000 are subject to an annual fee of 0.35% of the account balance, with a minimum of $100 a month in auto deposits. In the event that you cannot deposit $100 a month, a $3 monthly service fee will be charged. For those accounts of $10,000 to $100,000, the annual fee goes down to 0.25% and then down again to 0.15% with accounts that maintain more than $100,000.

Personalized Goals

We all have a vision of where we’d like to see ourselves during those retirement years. Betterment includes well thought-out goal-setting exercises so that the perfect investment plan can be determined for you. Factors such as age, current annual income, and expenses are all part of the questionnaire. Why do they ask? In order to determine your precise objectives.

The Smart Deposit feature that Betterment offers, takes out unnecessary funds from your checking account and automatically deposits them into your retirement investment. This is done through weekly monitoring where Betterment Smart Deposits looks at your weekly expenses and allocates how much you need. A determined sum of access funds are then transferred from your checking account to your investment account.


Betterment Investments offers three tiers to you: Builder, Better and Best. Builder offers 0.35% of average balance with $100 per month direct deposit required. Better offers 0.25% of average balance with a $10,000 minimum account balance. Best offers 0.15% of average balance with a $100,000 account balance minimum.

Feature of Betterment

Apart from being completely self sufficient in its investment plans, goals, strategies, objectives and projections, Betterment offers portfolio rebalancing, tax loss harvesting, goal setting, and automated deposits. Your funds are situated where they will be optimized and where they use low cost, liquid ETF's. You ultimately have complete control and the ability to maneuver your funds in any way you see fit with Betterment. Betterment simply suggests the best possible options for optimizing your funds. You maintain the freedom to adjust, change, eliminate or add anything you want to your investments whether it’s risk preference or smart deposits.

Betterment lives up to the utmost in security so rest assured that your accounts and investments are in compliance with the banking industry standards.

Posted on May 18, 2016.

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