My journey with Betterment started nearly two years ago when I received a pitch to interview its CEO Jon Stein. At the time, I was working as a money reporter for the newly merged AOL and Huffington Post newsrooms.
From my post as a reporter, I have watched a tide change in the way people relate to their financial service providers in the last few years. Post-financial crisis, there is still little faith that Wall Street is serving people in the way they deserve. The biggest banks are making huge profits while gobbling up fees. As a recent PBS Frontline special on retirement pointed out, a median-income, two-earner household will pay nearly $155,000 over the course of their lifetime in 401(k) fees. That is the kind of number that makes me freak out — and not in a good way.
That is one reason Betterment’s low-cost, simple investing platform has captured my interest. The company’s mission and its behavior-based model combine two objectives that are groundbreaking: Not only does it democratize investing in a way that allows savers like myself to participate in the richness of our markets at a very low cost — it is also extremely easy to use.
After I published my original story, I kept an eye on the company and watched it grow from $10 million in assets under management in early 2011 to the $200 million it is today. Along the way, I also became a Betterment customer and set my first long-term savings goal in addition to retirement: I want to save $25,000 for a down payment on a beach cabin (surf lessons not included.)
At the same time, I knew I wanted to push my career to be even more dedicated to improving financial advice and empowerment, especially for women. So when I saw the opportunity to be part of the growing, mission-based company, I grabbed it.
Today, I am delighted to introduce myself as Betterment’s Content Manager. I’ll draw on the versatility and rigor from my journalism background to write stories alongside some of our amazing in-house investing and financial experts. In addition to developing the content program here, I’ll also be taking coursework to become a Certified Financial Planner.
I know how much I am looking forward to buying my perfect surf shack on the beach someday — and making money rather than paying odious fees. Maybe you feel the same way. I look forward to having an open conversation with everyone in the Betterment community about how we can all make the best decisions with our money — so we can get on with the joy of living.
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If you want to invest and build wealth over time, then this is the goal for you. This is an excellent goal type for unknown future needs or money you plan to pass to future generations.
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