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Betterment Investing is Still the Best Option For Most People

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This article is published in collaboration with Scutify, where you can find real-time markets and stock commentary from Robert Marcin, Cody Willard and others. Download the Scutify iOS App, the Scutify Android App or visit Scutify.com.

Professional and amateur investors sometimes like to think that investing is the end-all-be-all and that anyone who does not do it is some kind mental invalid. Investment does offer a great deal to people as they go through life, especially if their investments are well chosen. But this doesn't mean that everyone has the natural inclination, time, or resources to invest meaningfully.

Investment has always been somewhat exclusive. Only those with some spare time, some spare money, and the ability to learn the techniques were able to take part on any level. Before the internet, investing was also expensive. Large commissions went to human brokers, who had to be called on the phone or notified by mail before buy-ins could even happen. Today, those actions can be performed instantly online, sometimes for free.

This is where Betterment comes in. A review of Betterment will show that it's an easy way to put money into hyper-diversified ETFs and mutual funds, which tend to yield steady growth over decades. Users can choose how much of their portfolio to allocate to bonds and/or stocks (also known as risk tolerance). They can also talk to Betterment representatives about their financial goals and how to achieve them. Other than that, the service really is on auto-pilot, and has demonstrated strong yields for users for almost a decade now.

So what are common criticisms of Betterment? Isn't this a little too good to be true? Critics of Betterment like to point out that the Betterment portfolio is just made up of a bunch of Vanguard ETFs and funds. They like to point out that if the user were to just make an account with Vanguard, they could build an identical portfolio, without paying Betterment to do it for them.

This is all true. However, it tends to reveal the ongoing feeling among successful investors that because they have been successful according to a certain model, everyone else can and should do the same. The reality is that many people can't, which is why we continue to think that Betterment is a solid investment option for a majority of new investors. Here are several reasons why.

  • Tax Loss Harvesting: Tax burdens can be lessened when an investor sells losing positions then buys new assets in the same class without duplicating the original position. It's easy enough to do once you understand it, but Betterment does it automatically. What's more, because this is performed by algorithm, Betterment never misses an opportunity to save, something that even the best human investor will always do. For this reason, Betterment is a great option for people who want to invest in a taxable account. The service almost always more than pays for itself this way.

  • Immediacy. A new Betterment user can create a new Betterment account in a shorter time than it takes to make a Facebook account. So many people don't invest simply because of the learning curve and time commitment it would require. Betterment does everything for you. If this is the difference between someone investing for retirement and someone not investing at all, Betterment is an amazing value here.

  • Low-Risk Results. For people who may not have the time to learn the ins and outs of investing in great detail, Betterment's risk-adjusted portfolios give users peace of mind that their money will probably steadily grow, without them having to manage it whatsoever. This is something that many, many people want, and Betterment is the company which does it best.

More people should invest for retirement. And while there are bare-bones ways for the learned investor to do so at the cheapest price, the average person with no experience in investment can do well by using Betterment's automatic investing service to build a better future and grow their money.


This article was written by Adam Monson for on .

This article published in collaboration with Scutify, the best app for traders and investors. Download the Scutify iOS App, the Scutify Android App or visit Scutify.com.

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