Wealthfront vs. Betterment: What is the distinction?

Wealthfront vs. Betterment: What is the distinction?


Investing can seem to be a frightening activity if you do not know the place to start. However you do not want a great deal of cash or a background in finance to get began. All you want is the web and a robo-advisor, automated funding software program that makes the sophisticated determination of the place to speculate your cash, with little upfront prices.

Two main robo-advisors — Wealthfront and Betterment — are main the pack within the crowded area of on-line investing. This is how they evaluate and tips on how to resolve which one is best for you.

What’s a robo-advisor?

A robo-advisor is an automatic on-line funding platform that creates an funding portfolio primarily based in your age, the kind of investor you might be and whenever you plan to retire.

Robo-advisors are inclined to have decrease charges than on-line brokerages or accounts the place you micro-manage your cash. As an alternative, robo-advisors deal with your investments for you with little human intervention. It is hands-off investing.

To get began, you may reply a number of questions on your self, like: 

  • How a lot cash it’s important to get began
  • How a lot you assume you possibly can contribute to your account each month
  • How dangerous or conservative you might be together with your investments

Most robo-advisors allow you to change your danger administration whenever you really feel prefer it. However usually, the older you get, the much less dangerous you you have to be together with your cash. Since you’ll be cashing out sooner as you get nearer to retirement, robo-advisors will routinely begin to make you extra conservative together with your money as you grow old.

Learn extra: What’s a robo-advisor? How Wealthfront, Betterment and others handle your cash

Wealthfront vs. Betterment at a look

Robo-advisors comparable to Wealthfront and Betterment spend money on exchange-traded funds, or ETFs, which do not price loads to handle. Since robo-advisors have computer systems managing your portfolio — not people — they’ll cost you decrease charges than a standard adviser.



Account minimal



Annual price


0.25%; 0.40% should you select the premium account

Different charges

Fund price: 0.07% to 0.16%

Begins at $199 for a one-time name with a monetary knowledgeable; 0.07% to 0.15% fund price

Entry to human advisers

Solely by way of customer support for technical help.

Premium account affords limitless entry to licensed monetary planners.

Varieties of accounts

Conventional IRA, Roth IRA, SEP IRA, 401(ok) Rollover, 529 School Financial savings, Particular person, Joint, Belief

Conventional IRA, Roth IRA, SEP IRA, 401(ok) and 403(b) Rollovers, Particular person, Joint, Belief




What does Betterment supply?

Betterment is among the first robo-advisors and in addition one of many leaders within the area. There isn’t any minimal to begin, which suggests in case you have a number of additional {dollars} in your pocket, you might have greater than sufficient to open an account proper now.

Apart from not needing a minimal stability to get began, Betterment has consultants on-hand for tailor-made recommendation. Since not everybody’s funding plans are the identical, you possibly can discuss to an authorized monetary planner to get particular recommendation only for you. The premium plan fees a better annual price — 0.4% as an alternative of 0.25% for a daily account — and you may want at the least $100,000 to get began. Or you possibly can discuss to a professional for at the least $199 should you do not meet the premium account minimal.

Betterment affords socially accountable investing, the place your cash will get put into accounts that meet sure social and environmental requirements. Betterment additionally affords a money account for which you may want a minimal deposit of $10 — it at present has a aggressive APY (annual share yield ) of as much as 0.30%.

Learn extra: Variety is not a precedence for buyers, report finds    

What does Wealthfront supply?

Wealthfront has an account minimal of $500. This would possibly sway you one other method, nevertheless it is dependent upon what you wish to spend money on.

Wealthfront has a 529 school financial savings plan, whereas Betterment would not. For those who’re seeking to save for faculty, a Wealthfront account is perhaps the place you set your cash.

Wealthfront affords stock-level tax-loss harvesting. It is like common tax-loss harvesting, however as an alternative of investing in solely ETFs or index funds, it invests in particular person shares within the S&P 500. For buyers who wish to take their portfolios up a notch, this is perhaps attractive. Wealthfront additionally affords a money account (with a 0.26% APY) — you may want simply $1 to open one.

Learn extra: The most effective budgeting apps in 2020 

Wealthfront vs. Betterment: Which one is best for you?

Each selections shine in several methods, in addition to some comparable ones: They each function tax-loss harvesting and automated rebalancing. Wealthfront affords a school financial savings plan. Betterment would not have an account minimal. 

For those who’re seeking to get began right now with a number of {dollars}, Betterment is perhaps a greater possibility for you. However extra money may deliver you extra choices with Wealthfront. When you’ve got $100,000, you need to use Wealthfront’s PassivePlus program, which incorporates stock-level tax-loss harvesting.

The place you resolve to place your cash is dependent upon which account will work finest for you, not simply right now, however within the long-term. Such as you, your investments can develop and alter. Ensure to seek out an account that grows and modifications with you.

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