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Betterment's Story

Meet Your Personalized Investment Manager

Our service is more than just intelligent portfolio recommendations—it’s about making life better, and making peace of mind accessible to anyone in five minutes or less.

Articles by Jon

By Jon Stein
CEO & Founder, Betterment
Published: July 15, 2016 | Updated: July 22, 2018

Betterment is a full-service, personalized investment manager—it’s a better way of thinking about investing that is better aligned with customers’ interests and made with the smartest technology.

I have long told the team at Betterment that if we grew anywhere near as big as we want to grow, traditional brokerages might respond with fury, some of them buying our smaller imitators, others launching their own efforts to compete.

Today, the success of automated investing feels inevitable. Betterment now has over 250,000 customers who have invested more than $5 billion with us.

Don’t get me wrong: As a company, we’ve got a lot of work ahead. But some of the changes we imagined, pioneered, and fought hard to realize in our industry appear here to stay.

Most people don’t ask me, “Why should I choose Betterment over any other company?” because I think, for most of our customers, the answer is obvious.

Betterment is a new kind of investment service that serves one purpose: to help you make the most of your money. We’re taking proven investment strategies that have been around for decades and using technology to make them more efficient. Our goal: to increase your long-term returns.

We make tailored recommendations on decisions like how much to invest and how much risk to take on in your portfolio. Then, we invest your money and help lower taxes in ways many traditional investment services can’t match.

Whatever the others are doing may be designed to appeal to someone else; maybe someone already captive to their platform. But, for those who do ask “Why Betterment?” I say three things:

1. We Have Smarter Technology

We’re a full-service, personalized investment manager, built from the bottom up around our vision of accessible, conflict-free, personalized investment advice. I don’t envy the conflicts of interest and technical challenges many of our competitors have faced already, nor the internal battles to come.

2. We Are Aligned With Our Customers

As a trusted fiduciary, we’re aligned with our customers’ interests. The fiduciary standard governing investment advisors today, allows advisors to either do right by customers, and to disclaim when they are not. We’ve chosen to always do right by our customers—there is nothing to hide about our service.

I am a fan of aligning our incentives with those of our customers and a believer in transparency.

To me, it’s an ugly practice to choose the disclaiming route. I am a fan of aligning our incentives with those of our customers and a believer in transparency.

3. We Have a Holistic Service and Vision for the Future

Pundits covering our space once implied that “robo-advice” was about designing portfolios. Designing a portfolio is easy—it’s a commodity. Betterment did that almost seven years ago; others have done it before.

Since then, we believe we’ve built the best investing service available, because of our award-winning customer service, our tax efficiency features, our behavioral nudges, and our always-on advice. And our vision for our service is far-reaching: to make personalized advice accessible to anyone, to bring back the comfortable feeling of defined benefits, and to give every customer peace of mind about her money in five minutes or less.

We’ve also expanded our service to include 401(k) and independent advisory businesses. Last year, we launched Betterment for Business, the only turnkey 401(k) service that includes personalized management for all 401(k) plan participants.

We’ve also been expanding Betterment for Advisors, the leading provider of digital wealth services for investment advisors and broker-dealers. This platform was designed to dramatically increase advisor efficiency so they can spend more time with their clients.

Others might like you to think that advice is all about portfolio creation. Don’t be fooled; it’s much more than that. It’s about the full experience, from the moment you sign up for an account with us.

Betterment is built for people who want to invest for the long term, enjoy saving time and money, and trust technology to optimize some decision-making for them.

We’re a full-service, personalized investment manager. We give financial advice—something not offered by a typical DIY brokerage service. We build your portfolio, invest your money and then monitor it over time, with valuable benefits like automatic rebalancingtax loss harvesting, and asset allocation.

There’s now a lot more to understand than just our portfolio and many features. To judge a personalized investment manager by portfolio alone would be like buying a car based on a glance through the showroom window.

There’s no substitute for a test drive. And the same goes for all the benefits of being a Betterment customer.

Try us. You’ll immediately and consistently experience the difference, and our advantages. That’s why there’s no cost to sign up for Betterment for one month free.

Get Started with Betterment

To get started with a Betterment account, sign up today. We make it easy to automate deposits, create new Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs), or roll over existing retirement accounts.

We handle investments so you don’t have to, and we offer a globally diversified portfolio of index-tracking exchange-traded funds (ETFs), with personalized advice in a goal-based investing framework.

You can also easily sync all of your outside accounts with Betterment so you can view all your finances in one place. We can then offer better advice around your entire financial picture. Then, turn on RetireGuide, our retirement planning tool, to help achieve a more comfortable retirement based on when and where you plan on retiring, as well as your current and anticipated income.

Finally, everything we do is designed to help you save money on taxes.

Our customer support team is available seven days a week to answer any questions. Get started today.

When deciding whether to roll over a retirement account, you should carefully consider your personal situation and preferences. The information on this page is being provided for general informational purposes and is not intended to be an individualized recommendation that you take any particular action.

Factors that you should consider in evaluating a potential rollover include: available investment options, fees and expenses, services, withdrawal penalties, protections from creditors and legal judgments, required minimum distributions, and treatment of employer stock. Before deciding to roll over, you should research the details of your current retirement account and consult tax and other advisors with any questions about your personal situation.

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