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1 User Review
LAST UPDATED: March 9th, 2021

Betterment is a leading online brokerage and robo advisor based in New York City that was founded in 2008. The company's goal is to take the stress out of investing and provide easy ways for beginning investors to grow their money and meet their goals. For those who might have limited experience or knowledge of investing, Betterment aims to provide simple solutions.

In addition to investing tools and services, Betterment offers online banking options including checking account and savings account options.

Continue reading for a complete review of this online stock trading company.

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The Good

  • Straightforward Process
  • Pricing
  • Portfolio Options and Personalization
  • SmartDeposit
  • Tax Loss Harvesting
  • Personalized Investing
  • Customer Service
  • Security

Straighforward Process

If you are an investing beginner and are looking for simple ways to build security and peace of mind with your finances, Betterment simplifies the investing process and helps investors understand how it all works.

The process is simple. You don't need to worry about where to invest your funds because Betterment will manage and invest your deposit in a recommended portfolio - Betterment handles all trading and rebalancing for you.

Pricing

Betterment has a basic and straightforward pricing structure. It bases this structure on monthly deposits or minimum balance. The more you have in your account, the less you'll pay, and fees accrue on a quarterly basis.

Betterment offers two plans depending on your needs and balance you would like to keep. These two plans include:

  • Digital Plan — the best fit for most customers with an annual fee of 0.25% per year on your balance, or $25 per year for every $10,000 invested. The perk with this plan is that there is no minimum balance on the account.
  • Premium Plan — intended for those who will keep a higher balance with an annual fee of 0.40%.

Portfolio Options and Personalization

Betterment offers a variety of portfolio options:

  • Core Portfolio — focused on tax efficient, low-cost ETFs.
  • Smart Beta Portfolio — Goldman Sachs ETFs.
  • Broad Impact Portfolio — ETFs with high ESG ratings.
  • Climate Impact Portfolio — Climate-conscious ETFs.
  • Social Impact Portfolio — ETFs that support social diversity.

Betterment also offers Flexible Portfolio options through which you can adjust the weights of individual asset classes or choose not to invest in certain classes.

Based on what you're investing for, Betterment will recommend a portfolio specific to you. So whether you're saving for retirement, major purchases, education, or just general investing, Betterment will give you the best solutions to meeting your goals.

SmartDeposit

Betterment's SmartDeposit allows you to invest any excess money that could be losing value sitting in your bank account. You must simply tell Betterment how much will stay in your bank account and Betterment will automatically invest the amount over what you stated should stay in your bank account. Betterment will always notify you when SmartDeposit is at work investing your money.

Tax Loss Harvesting

Betterment offers tax loss harvesting, meaning it will sell your losing holdings, which will lower your tax liability on gains and income. This is for those who have at least $50,000 in their account and this feature is automatic.

Customer Service

If you ever need help with your account or finances you can contact the Betterment customer support team five days a week. You can even talk to a certified advisor by phone if you want more in-depth financial advice.

Security

Whenever you're dealing with your personal finances, bank accounts, and other private data, security is a premium. Betterment knows this and takes it very seriously. Therefore, Betterment has strong and secure measures in place to protect your data and ensure that it is safe from unwanted intruders. 

Your information will never be shared with anyone else unless you request so. Also, Betterment has fraud protection up to $500,000. Customers have peace of mind and comfort knowing their information is safe.

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The Bad

  • Limited Investment Opportunities

Limited Investment Opportunities

More seasoned investors or those in a better position to invest larger sums of money will not be satisfied with Betterment. Their services selection is meager, with no stocks, bonds available mutual funds for investing. While you can transfer retirement accounts to a Betterment account, Betterment does not offer retirement or other financial accounts to augment your investing. Betterment will not appeal to high-end investors or those with vast experience.

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The Bottom Line

Betterment is a great option for new investors, as it personalizes and simplifies the investing process. Upon applying, Betterment representatives will ask you what your personal goals and objectives are with investing, and they'll put your money in a specific group designed to meet those aims. This way, your money is working for you the way you want and need, not the way someone else sees fit. 

Betterment will reinvest dividends for you, and they will rebalance your account automatically; a handy feature for new investors.

However, if you have experience investing, you will dislike Betterment and its limited selections. Truly, though, Betterment accomplishes its designs at making a potentially complicated process easy for a first-time investor.

Currently, Betterment reviews are limited. If you have invested with this company, please let us know about your experience by leaving a review.

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CoachTrista Saratoga Springs, UT

I decided to go with Betterment after reading pro's and con's about online trading. It has been good. I invest minimally with them however because I like to feel like I have more control over my decisions around investing.

7 months ago

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