I have been using Betterment since February of 2012 for my long term investment and savings. I have wanted to do a Betterment review for a while but wanted to break it in before I gave my opinion. Betterment is a website that makes investing simple enough for everyone. It makes investing stress free and easy. I have tried picking my own stocks but fees ate up whatever profit I may have gained. Betterment’s fees are incredibly low and they allow you to set a risk level you are comfortable with for all you different savings goals.
If you are trying to save money you know now is a bad time. Low interest rates are great if you are looking to buy a house but if you want to save your money low interest rates are not your friend. Unless you have 50,000 or more to invest a lot of firms won’t even talk to you. This is one of the reasons I love betterment.
Betterment breaks down your accounts by the goal you are looking to achieve. So, when you create a new account it will ask you to select a goal. Like Safety Net, IRA, Educational.
Then you simply answer a few questions about your goal. How much would you like to have in that goal at what time? Do you need 20K in 10 years for a child’s education? How much can you start with? Based on those questions Betterment will recommend a portfolio on a simple Stocks(Risky but rewarding) v. Bonds (More secure but less reward) scale. So, for our down payment goal which we hope to use in the next few years we are less risky and have 80% in bonds but in our daughters college accounts which won’t be needed for 10 years at least we use 80% stocks. It will also tell you how much you need to deposit each month to reach your goal and that can be automatically done through Betterment as well and automatically drafted from your selected checking account.
Customer service was remarkable when I called Betterment to see why I couldn’t have more than three goals. (This was early on the now allow many more) I got a real person almost right away who was very helpful and got me into the beta test for more goals.
So far the best thing about Betterment besides the automation, which I am a big fan of has been the returns. Keeping in mind that past performance does not indicate future performance and all that we have had some great returns for our the college funds. The total balance has some more conservative accounts like our house down payment account but over all I have been very please with the returns. The functionality of the site is superb making it very easy to get started saving with more than .25% interest rate or whatever banks offer these days. They even let you try it out for 30 days free.
The fees are simple and inexpensive as well.
Over all if you are ready to make the move into having your money make money for your Betterment is a great way to get started.
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