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Fatherly Advice: 12 Investing Tips We Learned from Betterment Dads

This Father’s Day, we’re sharing some fatherly investing advice from our own dads and the dads at Betterment.

Articles by Elliot Lisignoli

By Elliot Lisignoli
Customer Experience Associate, Betterment  |  Published: June 15, 2016

Betterment dads tell us what they’re teaching their kids about investing.

We also share the best piece of investing advice that dads have given Betterment team members.

Our paternal leave policy is committed to work-life balance and supports dads and their growing families.

In honor of Father’s Day, we’re paying tribute to our dads, and also the many dads who roam the halls at Betterment.

Betterment dads (L-R): Dan Egan, Chad Nichols, Seth Rosenbloom, Jeff Fairchild, and Alex Benke.

We believe that dads should maintain a healthy work-life balance so they can be exceptional human beings both at work and at home with their families. This is especially crucial when they are growing their families, which is why our paternity leave policy allows for three months of paid leave and three months of unpaid leave.

This makes Betterment’s policy progressive not only in New York where we’re based but also nationwide, compared with many employers covered under the Family and Medical Leave Act who permit only the required 12 weeks of unpaid paternity leave.

Our doors are also always open for children of staff members to swing by the office and say a quick hello, or even to hang out for a bit of the workday.

This Father’s Day, we asked Betterment employees to share the best piece of investing advice that their dads gave them. We also asked the dads at Betterment what wisdom they’ll be instilling in their kids. Socks-with-sandals and lame jokes aside, dads impart the wisdom that helps us shape goals, personal growth, and financial knowledge.

So don’t forget to say thanks to your dad for everything—you could even impart some investing advice of your own by referring him to Betterment. After all, more than 70% of family referrals at Betterment are sent by children to their parents.

Now, enjoy some fatherly investing advice from our family to yours.

Investing Advice Our Dads Gave Us

Tom Corwin, Head of Customer Experience


My dad taught me that being organized with your life, finances, and obligations meant more free time to spend on family, travel, fun, and laughter. He believed that there was a place for everything, and in turn, everything would be in its place.

Shawn Li, Customer Experience Supervisor


My dad taught me to always pay my credit card bill in full, and that the relationships you build are key for trustworthy business.

Erika Hakanson, Senior Operations Associate

ErikaMy dad taught my brother and I that investments are a 40-year plan, so ignore market swings because we’re saving for the long term. He also told us to put away as much as possible, and then put away 1% more—because we’ll always be surprised to find that we can still manage it.

Ashley Pryor, Employee Relations Manager

AshleyMy dad was happy to see me start a part-time job at 13, as it encouraged me to build a budget and start saving right away. He taught me that investing in your future is a commitment (and a habit) that you will always be thankful for.

Tricia Wu, Growth Manager

triciaMy dad taught me to underspend on where you live so that you can experience more outside of your home.

Liz Derby, Product Marketing Manager

LizWhen I set up my first Individual Retirement Account (IRA), I remember my dad saying, “The market is always going to go up and down, but it’s mostly going to go up over the long run. So take on as much risk as you can while you’re young.” He also told me to invest passively: “Turn on auto-deposit and don’t think about it!”

Investing Advice We’re Giving Our Children

Seth Rosenbloom, Legal Counsel

SethRosenbloomI’ll tell my daughter (now two years old) to get a part-time job. It will let her start contributing to a Roth IRA, which is an incredible strategy for a young person. She’ll pay limited taxes when the money is earned, and her savings will compound, tax-free. Then she won’t have to pay taxes when she withdraws from the account in retirement.

Chad Nichols, Director of Compliance

ChadNicholsGiven that our son is currently four months old, my advice may be slightly less pressing than his learning how to suck his thumb! Even so, my message for him is that it’s never too early to start saving and investing. The sooner we can help him understand the value that time has on your savings, the better off he’ll be down the line.

Jeff Fairchild, Software Engineer

JeffFairchildI try to make saving fun for my son, so we got him a piggy bank, a dinosaur bank, and a rocket ship bank. When he wants to buy something, we discuss how much it costs and how much he’ll need to save.

Alex Benke, Vice President, Financial Advice and Planning

AlexBenkeMy kids, ages 4 and 6, each have two piggy banks (literally): one for saving and one for charity. Both are placed conspicuously on their dressers. This helps them keep two important financial priorities, saving and giving, top of mind. They proudly announce all contributions to each.

Jon Stein, CEO & Co-Founder

JonSteinSave whatever you don’t need to spend—particularly on the little things—so you can enjoy the big things. Live simply. Engage in life and activities with passion. Time with friends and family is the most important asset. Be happy.

Dan Egan, Director of Behavioral Finance & Investing

DanEganAlways remember that money isn’t the goal. Money is meant to be spent or invested to make you happy, now and in the future. It’s smart to make less money if it means you’ll be happier.

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