Sigh, I’m still not a fan of the stock market. I guess being out of the market the last few years has probably cost me financially, but I still don’t think I could take the stress of the ups/downs. The funny thing is that I still watch quite a few stocks, daily even, but I don’t own any of them.
Betterment.com contacted me recently and wanted me to take a look at their new site. I’d usually just ignore the email, but their site looked so pretty I decided, what the heck, I’ll take their call.
So, they set me up with a sweet referral site of my own, and I setup my account last week. The registration was pretty easy, but they do require a deposit verification, which I just completed this morning. So, you can setup an account in about 3 days or so. Pretty painless for an online financial account.
One things I immediately like about Betterment is how easy on the eyes the site is. I don’t know if I’m just used to be blinded on most financial websites, but everything about their site is very muted, and I really like it. It makes it easy to focus on the data and not be distracted. But I’m a design nut (not that you’d know it from my site…).
Once you’ve verified your account, you can setup your asset allocation. Betterment lets you choose between two main buckets: stocks / bonds. Simple. If you’re looking to invest but don’t want to get into the nitty gritty details, and just want things to go on automatic…well, Betterment is probably a good fit for you.
For me, I’m still avoiding stocks, so I decided to invest my initial $250 deposit into all bonds. Yeah, I know it’s not recommended, but bite me, this is my account and it’s called “personal” finance for a reason. Plus, I’m a former trading addict…so yeah, it’s all bonds for me.
The neat thing with Betterment is you can compare your allocation and returns to others in your age and income range. Here’s something interesting I found….for my age group, the higher income demographic has been doing much better at investing on betterment than the lower income group:
Any guess on that stat? Very interesting.
Anywho, once you get all setup, there is a nice overview page, although since my $250 hasn’t deposited yet, you don’t see much, but you get the idea:
So, how exactly does Betterment make money? I mean, all these fancy pants graphs cost money to build and manage right? Well, of course, nothing in life is totally free. It depends on your account balance but for most of my audience here (and myself) it’s going to cost you 0.9%/year.
So why pay that fee? Well, part of the appeal is that you get access to some nice index funds that normally have like 100K account minimums. Also, Betterment will automatically rebalance your allocation if it falls outside some set guidelines.
So if you’re like, “I just want to invest, and know it’s going to rebalance correctly, and not have to worry about picking individual stocks/bonds (with say, Sharebuilder)…then Betterment might be a good fit for you.
I’ll keep you updated on the status of my 100% bond account of course.
To sign up for your own account: Click HERE