Tag: Betterment

Best Robo for First-Time Investors

Posted on September 13, 2019

Winner: Betterment
Runner-Up: SoFi

Betterment wins the award for Best Robo for First-Time Investors. With no investment minimum and a 0.25% annual fee, their digital-only product is a strong choice for first-time investors. Betterment’s single-goal financial planning tools make it easy for first-time investors to plan for future financial success. In addition, Betterment offers various financial planning packages that provide personal consultations with a financial planner on an as-needed basis, so users only have to pay for personalized professional help as they see fit. It is important to recognize that as a client’s assets grow, so do their financial planning and management needs. Betterment’s tiered service model is very attractive since an investor can always upgrade to the premium service levels as their needs grow, without having to change advisors. Betterment users can also open savings and checkings accounts with Betterment Everyday. Deposits in the savings account earn 2.39%  and are FDIC insured up to $1M. 

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2019 – Active Accounts Commentary

Posted on September 8, 2019

As existing firms have grown and new players have entered an increasingly crowded field, companies have looked for new ways to differentiate themselves. For some companies that means offering “active” portfolios. Although Backend Benchmarking has only had our active accounts opened for a short time, active portfolios have showed some early signs of outperformance.  Active portfolios outperformed their passive counterparts in the first six months of 2019 by 1.17% on average. One significant factor that may be driving this short period of outperformance is many of our active portfolios have a tilt towards growth which has outperformed in the first 6 months of 2019.

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SRI Portfolio Perform Well Despite Higher Fees

Posted on September 6, 2019

In recent years, socially responsible investing (SRI) – also commonly categorized as environmental, social, and governance investing (ESG) – has gained popularity with retail investors and investment managers alike.  Between 2016 and 2018, assets invested in ESG-themed mutual funds grew 34%, while assets in ESG-themed ETF funds more than doubled. Driven by consumer demand, a natural expansion has been undertaken by digital advisors to offer separate SRI portfolio options.  Within the past few years we have opened and funded SRI accounts at each of the providers that offer sustainable investing options. With a year of performance to review, we have assessed the risk and return statistics of SRI portfolios offered compared to their standard offerings.  While today’s focus is on performance, we will publish a full report on the composition of SRI portfolios, including costs and sustainability scores, later this month.

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Q2 2019 – Taxable Accounts Commentary

Posted on September 4, 2019

After faltering at the end of last year, U.S. and global markets have returned to a period of strong growth in 2019, with the S&P 500 returning 4.30% in the second quarter.  While this was considerably less than the first quarter’s return of 13.65%, due largely in part to markets rebounding sharply following a December selloff, the combined return marks the best first half-year performance for domestic markets since 1997.  Many trends from the first quarter continued through the second quarter, as mid-cap continued its outperformance and growth once again outperformed value. Growth has experienced a multi-year dominance, outperforming value YTD, as well as over the trailing one-, two-, and three-year periods.

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Robo News: August 2019

Posted on September 3, 2019

  • Betterment, Wealthfront forced to lower rates on high-yield cash accounts
  • Capital One acquires United Income after buying 10% stake last fall
  • Wealthfront acquires Grove as it looks to bolster its cash management technology
  • Betterment reaches profitability 
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Robo News: July 2019

Posted on August 2, 2019

  • Betterment launches a new cash account with an industry-high APY; a debit card and checking account will soon follow 
  • Robos transition to more complete personal finance platforms 
  • Banking giant JP Morgan enters crowded robo field with You Invest Portfolios
  • Merrill Edge adds Guided Investing with an Advisor
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