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Betterment vs Charles Schwab: Which One Is Better?

Both Betterment and Charles Schwab offer many of the same services you would expect of a traditional financial planner, but there are also some important differences for investors to consider. This guide will highlight the key similarities between the two companies and summarize some of the key differences in fees, service options, account minimums, and other areas.

Betterment Overview

Betterment was founded in 2008 by Jon Stein and Eli Broverman, then launched in 2010 at TechCrunch Disrupt NYC. After continuous and steady growth, Betterment has become the largest independent robo-advisor.

Betterment is an automated, online financial tool that manages all elements of your investments for you as a robo-advisor. When you join up for the program, you’ll be asked to fill out a questionnaire that will help you figure out your investment objectives, time horizon, and risk tolerance. Betterment generates a stock and bond portfolio tailored to your investor profile based on this information.

For better or worse, Betterment is changing the rules of investing. The company has a free, automated investment service that recently became available to anyone in the U.S. after being limited to just New York residents.

What we’ve dubbed “robo-investing” is here to stay, and it’s looking like it may be the way most people invest going forward.

Simply put, Betterment is an investment service that automatically manages accounts based on your risk tolerance and goals.

Rest assured, your money is completely safe with Betterment.

Betterment Details

Betterment Investing Accounts enables the average investor to capitalize on the growing field of online stock investing. These accounts are ideal for anyone who is interested in purchasing stocks online but has little experience in the area.

Who Uses Betterment Investing Accounts?

The basic investing account is designed to make investing as easy as possible. It offers many features that make it easy to begin investing and diversify your portfolio while saving you money. You can make a deposit or withdrawal at any time and invest when you have surplus funds or need to save for something special. All of these features come with no fees or minimum balance requirements.

With Betterment investing accounts, you can invest in exchange-traded funds (ETFs). ETFs are a type of index fund that allows you to rapidly create a diverse portfolio that closely matches the market. They are also low-cost and tax-efficient, so they allow investors to compound their money faster than with most traditional mutual fund investments.

Betterment also offers asset allocation, which means that investors can choose from stocks, bonds, and cash for their portfolios without having to make individual purchases themselves. Asset allocation makes it easy for an investor to balance risk and reward based on their personal preferences, timeline, and financial goals.

For more information about Betterment, read this review.

Betterment Fees and Prices

There are two options to choose from:

a Digital plan:

  • 0.25% yearly charge
  • no minimum amount
  • $199 for a 45-minute conversation with an expert

Premium plan:

  • 0.40% annual fee
  • $100,000 minimum account balance
  • Free conversations with experts

Personalized advice, automated rebalancing, and tax-saving methods are included in the Digital plan, while the Premium plan also includes expert advice on assets held outside of Betterment.

Visit Betterment’s platform.

Schwab Overview

Charles Schwab is an investor and a company that has been in business since the beginning. It was founded in 1971 when it introduced “The First Independent Brokerage”. The broker was able to take advantage of the latest advancements in technology at the time (and for decades after) to provide innovative services, bettering itself and its customers. When most other brokerage companies were just starting out, it had already established a place for itself as a name you can trust.

Schwab is a full-service brokerage, providing investment advice and financial planning. They have a broad array of products and services, from mutual fund trading to retirement planning and college savings plans.

Their services are known to be more expensive than others, but they offer more personalized services than any other company. They employ thousands of people and have several branches around the country.

Unlike Betterment, Schwab offers robo-advisors as a supplementary service. They’re more known to be like the traditional brokerage.

Schwab Details

Schwab analyzes your financial situation to determine the best account type, or combination of account types, to help you reach your goals. This is true whether you are a long-time customer or a new one.

To save you money, the Schwab Intelligent Portfolio employs every tax-advantaged strategy known to man. Their complex approach to tax savings, which involves harvesting losses to balance gains and lower capital gains taxes, is a big benefit of utilizing the platform.

When it comes to customer service, Schwab doesn’t disappoint. The company employs 24/7 support that you can reach by phone or email.

Being a traditional brokerage, Schwab offers you services that aren’t available with Betterment.

Schwab fees and prices

Schwab fees are different than Betterment.

  • $5000 to open an account

For a Premium portfolio

  • $25,000 to open an account.

If you wish to upgrade, you are required to pay $300 to set up and have access to the qualified financial planner and a $30 additional charge fee every month

Overall, the prices to open an account with Schwab are high, leaving out many investors who don’t have that kind of money saved.

For a more in-depth comparison, check the following: Betterment vs Charles Schwab

Betterment vs Charles Schwab, what is better for you?

Betterment and Schwab offer two great options that both have features to consider if you are an investor. Both have great customer service support and have many different types of accounts to invest in. Your choice will depend on your style of investing and the amount you are willing to invest.

Schwabs wins if you’re looking for types of accounts offered and a more diversified portfolio, but the high fees make it hard to invest with them.

Betterment is excellent to start with, If your goal is to earn a high income, but you are a long way from retirement, or if your goal is financial independence, then it is essential to get started as early as possible. Betterment is a low-cost alternative to traditional financial institutions that can help you begin saving even with a small sum. For those people who want to save money but cannot manage their finances properly, Betterment will help track your progress and stay on track.

To sum it up, both companies will have investment options to fit your needs. Commissions from both companies are relatively low at .5%-6% for stocks. Betterment charges no account fees. Schwab has free trades if you commit to a certain amount in your account monthly.

Final Thoughts

Betterment is the best option for investors who are just starting out. The company makes it easy to start building an automated portfolio thanks to its highly intuitive interface and excellent customer support lines. There’s no substitute for Betterment when it comes to investing in automation, so we can confidently recommend this company to investors of all types.

Create an account with Betterment.

Related Betterment Comparison Posts:

Jeremy Biberdorf

Jeremy Biberdorf is a long time internet marketing professional turned full-time online entrepreneur and blogger. Check out his site modestmoney.com for investing advice and reviews of the best investing platforms such as M1 Finance and SoFi.

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