I’ve Finally Started To Invest…Off To Betterment!

Betterment, an option I can stand by.

1 picture, 1 simple effect and 1 Betterment.com ad and, we’ve got a pretty cool pic!

Hey everyone, thanks for swinging by to hear my story about my decision to invest. I’m Josh, the guy behind this blog and, I really appreciate you stopping by! That being said, when it comes to things like investing, laws of what I can or can’t say may hinder the process of growth. The good news is, we have great disclaimers that protect us and allow us to speak our minds online. So, here’s a big one before we get into the meat and potatoes of this article, which reminds me…Hey Money and Potatoes, how’s it going?

Disclaimer #1 – Blatant Plug Disclaimer: Yes, I absolutely plugged Money and Potatoes in the end of the last paragraph and, this one is to do nothing more than plug them again. But, they did not pay me for this advertising, they just provide a fun personal blog that you may want to check out when you’re done reading this article.

Disclaimer #2 – This Is Not Advice: As you can probably tell from the last couple of paragraphs, I’m no big wig, suit and tie wearing kind of guy. If you’re looking for that you’re on the wrong blog. I write about how I invest, use credit cards and/or have helped others through the process but, every situation I talk about is very unique. Before following in my footsteps on anything, do your own research, understand you unique personal finance position and, then, and only then, take action to become more stable.

Now We Get To The Meat N Taters

So, I did my Monday Money post over at Modest Money as I do every week. But, this week was something very close to home. It was a post about my decision to use Betterment.com investment services but, if you read into the article, you easily could see that there was much more to it! To be short about it, I went over why investing by 25 is important and the fact that I’m about to turn 26. Read the article here!

One of the reasons I wrote that article is, I’m watching time fly by and, not doing anything with my money. Well, not anymore. I’ve been doing reviews for Jeremy lately and, we’ve been looking at different investment services. I’ve checked out a lot of different sources and I’ve gotta say, my favorite investment service by far, at least to read about has been Betterment. But, I’ve never used Betterment and, before the review, I’d never even heard of them.

A Quest For More Betterment Personal Stories

So, I wrote this detailed article about them in a place that I knew would get a lot of comments from authorities in the personal finance industry. Not to my surprise at all, I got a bunch of comments from people who really know the investment market, the personal finance market, ect…

I’ve Gotta Share Some Of These Comments

Grayson from Debt Roundup writes

I have been with Betterment for close to a year. I really have enjoyed their service and plan on keeping it for some time. It is super easy to use and it really is a time saver. They are also creating a better portfolio next month, so it should offer a greater diversity.

Kim from Eyes On The Dollar writes..

I started a Betterment account about 6 months ago. I realize I could probably invest the money myself, but I don’t have to think about it, so that’s worth something.

Rita P. from Digital Spikes writes

Josh, it is very good that you thinking long term right at 25. Betterment is very good option for people who don’t have time to invest. Invest your money, set your bucket and just relax. Nice post.

There Was One Thing I Didn’t Notice In Comments

It seems like absolutely no one had anything bad to say about the option. There were a couple of comments that mentioned other investment services they used but, in the same comment, mentioned that Betterment is perfect for the right investor. If the top guys in the industry have nothing bad to say about Betterment, well, I’ve got a lot to think about!

Thinking Done…Off To Betterment.com

Right after responding to all the comments on my post, I grabbed by checking account information and started an account of my very own. And, since I’ve been through it, I figured since I went through the sign up process, I should answer a few common questions here for you…

Question #1 – Is Betterment actually free?

Answer – Well, yes and no. If you’re going to use it to see what your goals should be and where you should put your money, it is absolutely free. You don’t have to make a deposit to sign up. However, to use the tools, you are going to need to enter your checking information…just in case you do decide to invest.

Now, if you decide to invest, it’s not free. Betterment has an annual fee that fluctuates depending on your balance. The annual fees range from .15% to .35% with an additional .2% account management fee. But, in my opinion the tools are well worth the fee. That’s especially true when you consider that there are no trade fees at all. You do not pay on a per transaction basis, you pay an an annual basis and, that’s it!

Question #2 – Will Betterment.com ask for my social security number?

AnswerYes they will. When it comes to any form of investment, there are tax implications or rewards that may come as a result of that investment. For more information on taxes as they relate to investments, consult your accountant or financial advisor as well as tax calculators and estimators.

Question #3 – How long did it take to sign up?

Answer – Don’t you hate it when you read something like sign up in 3 minutes and you still happen to be trying to get it done 2 hours later? I never get that far and avoid aggravation. Anyway, the process was pretty simple. I’d say it took 6 or 7 minutes to sign up.

Question #4 – Do you really get the $25 they promise just for signing up?

AnswerYup. But, there is one condition. You have to start with an initial deposit of $250. But, if you do, it works out to be a 10% initial R.O.I., not too shabby if you ask me!

Important Update 8/28/2013

In one of the comments below, Grayson from Debt RoundUp wrote…

Glad to hear that you finally jumped on board Josh. One thing you should mention is that Betterment does not offer a $25 sign up bonus if you are signing up for an IRA account. It only applies to non-IRA accounts. I just thought I would put that out there.

I looked into it and, Grayson is absolutely correct. Turns out, you don’t get the twenty five bucks on an IRA, awww shucks! So, a big thanks to him for making a great addition to this post!

Thanks For Reading – Please Answer My Reader Question…

Thanks for taking the time to read my article. If you have any questions, leave a comment, I’d love to answer them! If not, here’s one I’ve got for you…

Are you currently using Betterment.com? If so, what are your thoughts about it? If not, have you considered it?


  1. Kim@Eyesonthedollar Aug 27, 2013
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