Thank You Very Much, Mr. Robo-Advisor

What in the world is a roboadvisor, you ask? Well, it’s the evolving way of having your investment portfolio managed & automated in this day and age.

According to Investopedia, the definition of robo-advisor is:

an online wealth management service that provides automated, algorithm-based portfolio management advice without the use human financial planners. Robo-advisors (or robo-advisers) use the same software as traditional advisors, but usually only offer portfolio management and do not get involved in more personal aspects of wealth management, such as taxes and retirement or estate planning.”

In the past, some of the few ways of investing were through your own personal effort, or you had to hire a professional to overlook your portfolio for you (with a heavy cost associated). Alright, so don’t think of it as just feeding money to a crazy robot (sounds like a terrifying episode of The Jetsons, could you picture that maid Rosie chomping on your dollars?). Through robo-advising, there are a lot of people behind the scenes ensuring that the algorithms & automation are optimized at top efforts to make your investments reach the goals you set in place. Although, you are not meeting with a person face to face, it is not just robots simply taking over your money. There is a lot of human element that aids in the success of robo-advising.

Since I wanted to make the money I saved work for me (why just let it sit in a savings account with very minimal interest?), I decided to take on this robo-advising venture. It felt like the first comfortable step before looking into investing in strictly the stock market.

There are several robo-advisors out there, but I decided to start my robo-advising journey with Betterment. Here is just a small list of some incredible things I’ve learned so far by setting up an account with Betterment:


 

  1. The initial start up requires no minimum investment amount (some require $5,000 minimum to invest, or more). Not to mention, the cost to invest is incredibly inexpensive. Don’t believe me? Check out their completely visible pricing structure here – Betterment pricing.
  2. The very first day I set up my account I sent out a tweet featuring their services. That same day (even within hours), 5 of their employees acknowledged and/or liked what I had to say through Twitter. Yeah, it may seem a bit elementary – but when you’re excited about a company’s services & you’re providing free marketing for them, it makes you feel pretty warm & fuzzy inside when they acknowledge you!
  3. I watched an interview of Betterment’s CEO & Founder Jon Stein on Fox Business (want to watch? click here). Overall, he just seems like a charismatic and well-rounded guy. He also has the credentials to back up this wonderful business he’s started. He seems like a person I’d really get along with if I ever got a chance to meet him, kinda like that nice neighbor down the block. It makes me more apt to utilize Betterment’s services with a CEO & Founder who has a lot of composure.
  4. It’s not all just robots, thank goodness! Within the first month I had to contact Betterment’s Customer Service because I was rolling a 401(k) (turned IRA) balance from a previous employer to my account. I thought it would be a very daunting process but their customer service was impeccable. They sent me emails (even completely personalized ones!) that were checking in/guiding me on how to execute the process precisely. I received an email response from one of their employees that was not automated, but personalized on questions I had. Also, when I called in for additional questions – one of their Customer Service employees that helped me put me at such ease and took care of absolutely everything I needed, in a short time frame. I cannot even remember the last time I have received such stellar customer service via email & telephone through a company!
  5. Although the rebalance of my portfolio is taken care of for me, monitoring the activity is absolutely seamless. Their simple and crisp online platform, as well as their mobile app is beyond accessible. I would say they are both incredibly user friendly. It is nice to be able to observe my progress any time I would like without complication.

 

Okay, so the list above features just a couple key points that have stood out to me with my experience with Betterment. I encourage you to check it out and research by visiting their homepage here – Betterment (there are also other robo-advisors out there, so I encourage you to do some research and find the best fit).

Before you leave, check out this short video on what Betterment has to offer via the Betterment YouTube channel. This may answer any additional questions for you that I did not address.

P.S. as an added bonus, if interested – I’d like you to check out what Betterment has to offer. Click the link below for:

up to 6 months of service free if you sign up here.

Until next week, building up your personal finance game plan one blog entry at a time…

All my best,

Alyssa

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