Betterment Competitors

Betterment top competitors. Who are the biggest Betterment rivals? Compare Betterment to main competing robo advisor firms in 2020.

Betterment Competitors

Betterment Review

Betterment is an investment service that makes investing easy and cost effective. Naturally Betterment is not the only service like this out there; there are a number of them on the market today that comprise a group of investment services termed “Robo-Advisors” These software services, backed by some sophisticated algorithms, have been around for some time but it hasn’t been until recently that they became widely available to the general public.

Betterment is completely goal driven. Typical goals include events such as retirement, building an emergency fund, or saving for a child’s education. Once Betterment knows an investor’s goal, time horizon, target balance, and age, it can calculate a probability of actually hitting that target.

For example, suppose an individual investor (John P.) has a traditional IRA with a value of $123,000 that he wants to rollover into Betterment. His age is 39, he wants to retire at 68, and his current gross salary is $105,000. Here is what Betterment does with this information:

- Age → Calculates a time horizon of 29 years

- Time Horizon → Identifies a risk profile (low, moderate, high) and asset mix

- Salary → Calculates a target living expense and required savings balance ($1,500,000)

- Target Balance → Factored into risk profile and asset mix

The image below is the advice tab that Betterment provides showing the likelihood that John will hit his target retirement balance of $1,500,000.

A couple things to note within the figure. First, Betterment has calculated a moderate risk profile based on the time horizon and target balance. It also has advised a 90/10, stock/bond asset mix. The graph with blue lines is depicting a set of probabilities of hitting the target, and based on the information entered here, the probability of hitting a $1,500,000 retirement balance is relatively low unless the market does amazingly well.

This kind of information is determined in a matter of minutes and is backed by some pretty sophisticated investment algorithms. These projections are not a guarantee of hitting any particular goal, but they are a strong indication of potential performance while providing an objective assessment of the likelihood of hitting an investment goal.

The last thing to notice in the figure above is that Betterment is providing a recommended retirement age of 75. What Betterment is indicating is that if John defers his retirement until age 75 (instead of 68), he’s much more likely to hit the $1,500,000 target. The figure below shows what the graph looks like with the retirement age tweaked from 68 to 75. Now the graph indicates that the probability of hitting the goal is significantly higher.

Betterment Investing

Betterment is a “robo-advisor,” which means that their portfolio is managed online using mathematical computer processes with very little human intervention. Betterment is managing 460,000 clients with $20 billion in total assets across both retirement and non-retirement accounts. Three plans are offered by Betterment: Betterment Digital, Betterment Plus, and Betterment Premium.

Although it is the most basic plan, Betterment Digital offers many beneficial features and services within its auto-managed portfolio that will be discussed later in this article. Betterment Plus is the next step up and gives the client access to an annual phone consultation with a certified financial planner or licensed financial expert and provides what Betterment calls “proactive account management.” Betterment Premium retains the Plus benefits, but allows the client unlimited phone calls with Betterment’s licensed financial team.

While Betterment offers both retirement accounts (traditional, Roth, and Sep IRAs) and non-retirement accounts (taxable accounts and trusts), this article will only review the products and services associated with their ​taxable account.

Betterment Competitors Disclaimer

List of Betterment competitors (Stash, Swell Investing, Wealthfront, Acorns, M1 Finance, Hedgeable, and Personal Capital) and their pricing and ratings can change at any time. Visit robo advisors' website for up-to-date information on their fees.