Betterment helps users manage their finances and investments. The system is extremely streamlined and requires no extensive knowledge of trading and the stock market. The user can connect bank accounts to their Betterment account for quick funds transfers. Using Betterment tools, users can come up with the perfect investment combination for their needs. The application includes helpful support resources that allow the user to compare options and learn about investing. Betterment also provides users with phone and email support. The system is secure and includes privacy settings just like the user’s bank would offer. Betterment is a member of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC). This membership means that user accounts are protected for up to $500,000.Show more screenshots »
Betterment was founded in August of 2008. Based out of New York City, the team consists of less than ten individuals, including CEO John Stein, COO Eli Broverman, CTO Kiran Keshav, and Senior Vice President of Strategy and Development, Anthony Schrauth. Betterment has received a surge in popularity and recognition. The application received financial support in 2010 as well as a FinovateFall 2010 Best of Show award. Betterment was also labeled by TechCrunch as New York’s Best Startup.
Many websites offer trading and investment services. While these can work, they can be very difficult to navigate and learn. The user often must have some experience with trading to easily use the available tools. With Betterment, the user can go in with next to know knowledge and begin to develop their portfolio. The system is very easy to use and can help introduce users to investing.
The Betterment website welcomes visitors with a pleasant blue and green color scheme. The design is stylish and sleek, with unique icons and a generally appealing design. New users can easily learn to navigate the site and account features with little trouble. Overall, the application was designed for users with little experience. This works well and creates a welcoming environment that nurtures membership.
A new user can register for a Betterment account by clicking the green “Sign Up Now” button fund along the bottom right hand side of the homepage. The registration form takes a few seconds to load, but it is very clean and attractive, with shadowed data entry fields and rounded corners. The form asks for a first and last name, mailing address, city, state zip code, phone number, email address (which is also the user’s Betterment login name), and a password. To complete registration, the user is also asked to provide employment details and checking account information to set up transfer capabilities. There are no minimum balance requirements; the user only needs to supply this information for their records on Betterment. The form is about as simple as it can be for this type of service.
Anyone can create a Betterment account for free. There are no subscription costs or other charges for signing up. The service is not entirely free. Betterment takes a fee of .9% per year based on the user’s average balance. Every three months, .225% is deducted (which totals about .9% for the year). If the user withdraws all funds prior to the end of the quarter, then they are charged a prorated fee. This system works fairly well because the user is never charged for more time than they actually use Betterment.
Betterment is ideal for users who want to find an easy, simple way to invest money. The system is designed for users with minimal experience with the stock market. The user can easily learn how to manage and invest funds and connect bank accounts for quick and easy transfers.