Let’s face it, most people are lazy including me and you. Yeah, we work at what is interesting to us, but otherwise, we’d rather keep things simple. Here at Young Finances I’ve been trying to teach how to research stocks, build a portfolio and invest for retirement, but some people just hate finance. And many Americans invest too little.
An Easy Way to Invest
I recently stumbled across a simple way to invest. It’s called Betterment.com. Betterment.com was founded in 2008 as a simpler, smarter, safer way to invest. The CEO and Founder John Stein said “I created Betterment because after years working in financial services I was amazed that no one made saving and investing money as simple as it ought to be.”.
How Does Betterment.com Work?
When you open a Betterment.com account, you will deposit or set up recurring deposits from a checking or savings account. Then the folks at Betterment will invest on your behalf into ETFs based on your portfolio allocation. Portfolio allocation just means where you want your money to go. There are two options, stocks and bonds. You don’t have to do any research or constant monitoring of your portfolio. They manage your everything for you. The only thing you have to do is decide whether you want a low risk portfolio or high return.
What Does it Cost?
I think this is my favorite feature of Betterment. There are no hidden costs, fees, or minimum balances. They simply charge a small percentage of funds under management. If you are familiar with hedge funds, you know that they charge 2% and 20% fees for funds under management and performance. Betterment.com charges anywhere from 0.3% to 0.9% based on how much you have deposited. This one fee covers everything. At most that’s 90 cents a year for every 100 dollars and you can open a trading account with as little as 300 dollars. Trading in a traditional brokerage account, even if you only made one trade a year, would cost you at least 5 bucks.
Is it Safe?
Betterment LLC is a Registered Investment Advisor with the SEC. They have to report to the Securities and Exchange Commission and maintain fair dealings within the rules of the SEC. Remember that it is an investment account not a savings account so your funds are not protected by FDIC insurance. However, your investments are protected with SIPC (Securities Investor Protection Corporation) just like with any broker-dealer. And Betterment.com has a systems and security team that works around the clock to protect your account from fraud or malicious activity.
If you already have an account that you actively trade stocks in, that’s ok. This is a great way for you to supercharge your long-term savings. A good way to use this account is to set up automatic transfers each month, making investing automatic and inexpensive will allow you to keep more money in your pocket.
I plan to use Betterment for my travel fund. It’s money that I would have sitting in a savings account earning a risk-free rate of pennies a day. But I am no stranger to risk, so I would rather have the opportunity to earn more for my money. And because I can withdraw funds at anytime without fees, it will give me nice flexibility.
Have you tried Betterment.com yet? Open an account today!
Betterment Easy Investing Account
“Easy way for young adults to invest in 5 minutes…”
“The Betterment brokerage account is an easy way to immediately build a diverse portfolio. Young adults can open an account in 5 minutes.”