$54K with TIAA-CREF (403b accounts) – 0.5% – 1%. That looks like a great answer to me – Basically, you’ll never see fees charged by those funds – they are built into the actual closing price of the funds each day. It was about 20K in total, but I think I started small, then ramped up, and then settled in with a weekly addition of 40-60 dollars. So that is something to consider as well. My total fee is 0.07% (that’s 7 one-hundredths of a percentage point), compared to the Betterment account’s 0.41% total fee, and research shows that being off balance a bit makes no difference. Nortel, Enron, etc. I’ve been reading MMM off and on for a while now and I’m really enjoying this thread and it’s motivated me to finally look up the many different places that I have my money invested and at the fees that are eating away at my accounts. Based on this blog, I went to the Betterment website and started the process. Betterment was founded by Jon Stein and Eli Broverman in 2008. That’s an interesting alternative investment. Betterment compared to Vanguard LifeStrategy: Vanguard can also automatically deposit money into a LifeStrategy fund, which is more diverse (despite the 4 funds to 10 ETFs comparison), less than half the cost, and rebalances daily. This comment jumps out at me: “The company’s investment plan site says that the funds were transferred upon my termination, but I don’t know to where”. Thank you! transaction or the amount of accrued market discount. I am brand new to investing. We worked really hard to save money in our retirement accounts and I want to do the smartest thing with all of this money as a tribute to my husband. Sure. Betterment Cash Reserve is offered by Betterment LLC. Bettermentâs use of secondary ETFs enables Tax Loss Harvesting+â¢. I have money in it to play with, but haven’t committed it to anything yet. Thanks Brian, I added a link to their fee structure in this article. That’s a portfolio with fees averaging 0.22%… not too shabby! For the majority of the time this fund has been around, it has underperformed the S&P500. Especially when that basket is also your employer, and especially when that basket is also your spouse’s employer. The LifeStrategy funds have a fixed asset allocation, it’s the Target Retirement funds which glide toward bonds as you get older. Thankfully my wife and I are 21 and 20 respectively so we have some time to work with. Depending on your 401k plan, that might be a good place to start. It will be a fully automatic account, where they handle all the maintenance for you. Betterment’s 90/10 portfolio contains half US Stocks, and half International Stocks, so I’m not sure what value we get from comparing it to a 100% US Stock portfolio, and a 100% International Stock portfolio. This link to an expense ratio calculator compares two expense ratios – .16 vs. .31, and like your email to me below highlighting the difference of all-in costs of 1% vs. .31% (enough to buy a small house over 30 years), this link illustrates the same scenario given what I would pay in fees with WB vs. Betterment over a 35 year span (obviously 50% less given the fee percentages). The last 35 years returned more than 11.5%, if you were 100% US stocks. I have not heard back from him. These funds also diversify across 10 or so funds and rebalance. In other words, in my opinion Betterment costs less than nothing to use due to TLH alone, even before you factor in the benefits of the automatic reallocation, better interface, or other features. If it looks like this, then great! This is a perfect way for me to get started in investing. http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2012/03/14/why-i-am-so-not-buying-an-ipad-3/ On this page, I’ll keep you up to date with quarterly results, and we’ll also learn more about how Betterment works, and investing in general. (Transferring it to the mm settlement fund means that it will just be sitting there in cash, earning next to nothing.). You also have required minimum distributions (RMD) once you are 70.5 years old. As far as the robo-advisers, or any other type of adviser for that matter, maybe it is my extra frugal nature that tells me there must be a better way to get automation without dishing out so much cash. Hey, my Betterment account [underperformed or overperformed] the US stock market! However, I DO agree with Ravi that you could easily build something like a 3-fund portfolio with smaller fees. Learning this as a hobby for me has seriously changed my life and has been more worthwhile that college, I do not joke. They adjust to more bonds over time. This is free money. He even points out pros and cons and some mistakes. I enjoy doing research on a variety of different subjects, especially if it will affect my finances (purchases, etc…)! After reading this article, I’m wondering if just going to vanguard directly would make more sense. If it doesn’t deviate, don’t rebalance. To be clear, the expense ratios are not paid when depositing and there are no fees paid when depositing. [TLH is not applicable to IRA} . Whether you use a traditional IRA or a Roth IRA depends partly on where you are in your career (and tax bracket). I like the look of VT but its fee is 0.17% whereas VTI offer a lower fee at 0.05%. He was in finance and I was fortunate enough to be left with all our retirement accounts (around 190k) and a few life insurance policies (around 370k). The problem with this idea is that if I customize the portfolio Betterment will buy more of that allocation, 100% VTI … Vanguard has the lowest fees. BTW, for retirement funds with Vanguard, check out VWIAX. They are all Fidelity “Spartan” Advantage Class with super low expenses. I called to request removal of the international funds and it took me 3-5 months to get someone to finally override this. VBR is the primary ETF used to gain value stock exposure among companies with a small capitalization. I think TLH gains are overblown, and over time, the additional .15% fee betterment charges (for over $500K invested) will grow to be a massive fee over 10-20 years. The assumption of 15% is slightly biased against Betterment, since for some people the cap gains rate is higher. It is impossible to be invested in these ETFs without paying their Expense Ratio. I have a question. The money there is invested in a mix of mutual funds and ETF’s. 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