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Betterment

Betterment
Overall Satisfaction Rating 1.95/5
  • 5 stars
    6
  • 4 stars
    1
  • 3 stars
    2
  • 2 stars
    6
  • 1 stars
    24
Based on 39 ratings
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    Betterment Reviews

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    Page 1 Reviews 0 - 10
    Rated with 1 star
    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: May 18, 2020

    I decided to try Betterment for their integration of products; checking, savings and investment products. I have had nothing but problems since day one. Coming from Ally transfers between their banking products were typically instant. Betterment, on the other hand, I have been waiting for simple transfers for weeks. I had to verify an account external account was even mine with Betterment's customer service. The accounts I hold at Betterment will occasionally list as being unable to connect and I will be unable to check the balance. I was overdrawn on the checking account due to funds that were supposedly present not being present. The experience thus far has been beyond dismal.

    4 people found this review helpful
    Rated with 1 star
    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: May 11, 2020

    If I could give zero stars I would. Betterment's as a vehicle for my 401(k) is completely and utterly incompetent. I left my job and decided to roll my money over to my main retirement accounts. The returns didn't justify keeping the money there. I've don't 401k rollovers before. It is a simple process. Betterment failed at every step in every possible way. As others have said, they are slow beyond reasonable with cutting a check. They are cavalier if not rude about it. Plus for me, they did not even get the final amount correct (and subsequently deducted some of my money as a penalty when correcting the amount). Stunning incompetence like this is truly rare. Like I said.. I'd give 0 stars if possible.

    4 people found this review helpful

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      Rated with 1 star
      Verified Reviewer
      Original review: May 2, 2020

      My personal overall experience with Betterment leads me to a decision to extract my funds from the grips of this outfit and not bother with these people again. The reasons can be reduced to three:

      1) First and foremost, if you are entrusting your money with a brokerage firm, you want to know that you can freely communicate with their staff and have the confidence that your concerns will be responded to in a timely manner. Experience has proven that some of my correspondence with this firm has NEVER been responded to. Usually, when I did actually get a response, it was AFTER I issued a complaint about not hearing from them.

      2) Interest earned with funds entrusted with this firm has NOT been competitive with the competition.

      3) Unlike other firms, Betterment does not subscribe to the digital transfer services that other firms do. What this means is that Betterment makes it more difficult to transfer funds. Why? This user can only surmise that it's tactical for their own gain, since this provides NO benefit to its customers.

      It appears that Betterment's marketing procedures put its existence in the forefront of "robo" investing firms. However, the decision on behalf of this user is a no-brainer. I'm getting out.

      Read full review
      7 people found this review helpful
      Rated with 1 star
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      Verified Reviewer
      Original review: March 2, 2020

      I've had betterment for about three years now. I had just been depositing money for investment. However, every time I tried to withdraw my money, it would take a long time to do that. I guess I was ok with that since it wasn't something I would do that often, but the real nightmare started when I opened a checking account with them. First of all, they advertised it as "No withdrawal fees", so I'm thinking, that's great, because if one day I get a withdrawal, I don't have to worry about having all these fees.

      Anyway, after having it for a couple of months, I needed to pay a $300 electricity bill, but since didn't have enough funds in the bank, I decided to make a direct deposit, BUT THEY DON'T HAVE DIRECT DEPOSIT FROM ATM. So I made a transfer from my old bank. BUT IT TOOK THEM A WHOLE WEEK for it to become available for me to use it! Therefore, I got an overdraft, but I thought "It's ok, I don't have any overdraft fees". Then a week later, I get a later from my electricity company, letting me know my account was delinquent because the payment was rejected! I was furious! Then, my direct deposit came in a week later, so I had enough money to pay that $300 bill, so I go ahead an pay it, then the monday after I once again get a withdrawal rejection!!!!

      Now my electricity company is cutting off my electricity and adding fees on top of that. So it's a lie, there isn't overdraft fees because they don't allow you to overdraft! Plus, they take so long to process transactions and transfers, that by the time the bill comes through, you're already short on funds. It's a mess! Customer service is not even helpful. Please stay away from this checking account!!!!!

      Read full review
      30 people found this review helpful
      Rated with 5 stars
      Verified Reviewer
      Original review: Jan. 10, 2020

      I absolutely love Betterment and the automatic investing services they provide at a very low fee. Their website is extremely user friendly and you can make changes or withdraw your money at any time. I read the other reviews posted and have never had any problems with Betterment not wanting to transfer withdrawals to my bank account. I am a CPA and I have never seen anything that would make me think they are not trustworthy. I have been using them since 2015 and have seen my investments grow steadily over that time. LOVE USING BETTERMENT AND HIGHLY RECOMMEND THEIR SERVICES!!!

      15 people found this review helpful
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      Rated with 1 star
      Verified Reviewer
      Original review: Dec. 16, 2019

      You can send them money, no problem but if try to get your money out, they act as if you're a criminal stealing "their" money! Mismanaged employees constantly contradicting each other, supervisors are clueless about banking etc. I spend hours verifying myself just to get my OWN money back out. And after all that they closed my account with no explanation or warning. Would gladly give back all the interest I made to get back all the time I wasted and hair I pulled. I'm genuinely surprised the FTC hasn't shut them down yet.

      36 people found this review helpful
      Rated with 1 star
      Verified Reviewer
      Original review: Oct. 4, 2019

      I requested transfer on Oct 1 and they intentionally put hold on my money so they don't have to pay interest. They also don't have a routing number when you take money out only when you wire in or deposit. they make it very difficult to withdraw and they lower interest without any notice. Is not a company I would like to invest or work with.

      29 people found this review helpful
      Rated with 1 star
      profile pic of the author
      Verified Reviewer
      Original review: Oct. 3, 2019

      They paid me less interest than what I actually should have earned when I calculated it. They even do not provide any documentation of calculated interest that you earn and at what rate. Also, they promised 2.69% guaranteed for 2019 and then they did not keep that promise. They are literally scammers. They need to get sued.

      32 people found this review helpful
      Rated with 2 stars
      Verified Reviewer
      Original review: Sept. 26, 2019

      I signed up with Betterment in 2013. Robo-investment firms were newer then. My experience has been largely positive. I invested enough to fund a major purchase (car). It was satisfying to set and meet a goal even though the customer service was ALWAYS minimally responsive, even rude, IF you could get someone to answer.

      Now customers have to pay to talk to someone. When I tried to use Betterment for longer-term investing, I wrote an email asking about talking to someone to get some advice. I got an impatient email from someone named Peter that didn't go beyond what I could have read on the website. Also, the computer interface of Betterment has become more confusing. When I log on, I keep getting a message that I am off track and I am now sure how to reset that. I do recommend Betterment (or the other quality robo-investors), but you have to go in knowing your goals, that it's not a panacea and the customer service will probably disappoint you.

      Read full review
      33 people found this review helpful
      Rated with 1 star
      Verified Reviewer
      Original review: Sept. 19, 2019

      1. Yesterday (9/18/19) their website was down and I called the number listed on their website. My phone carrier (AT&T) caller ID automatically picked up the number to belong NOT to Betterment but to a company named Langstonegate. Lines were busy, and I opted for callback. Callback was immediate and caller ID was Langstonegate. I thought that perhaps Langstonegate was a parent or holding company for Betterment. The "Betterment" agent I spoke with, had no access to their systems to verify me and would give no reasonable explanation when site access would be restored or why he couldn't at least verify me and provide me with account info such as the balance.

      2. When asked about why their phone number shows Langstonegate, he had no idea who they were. Made me suspicious, googled Langstonegate and they appear to a financial advisor based in NYC and have Betterment's phone number listed in their contact us section. At this point, I wasn't even sure if the agent was legit. I asked him to escalate this and have someone at Betterment call me and explain both the phone number phishing as well as the website being down.

      3. I did get a call from "George at Betterment" a few hours later who had no idea that their phone number was phished (even though I reported it) and once again promised me that he is alerting his security team. 4. I asked George about FDIC and if my money (a significant sum) was safe. He was wishy-washy and could not provide a guarantee and instead proceeded to tell me to change passwords and 2-factor authentication.

      (Weren't their phone number & possibly website compromised instead of my password?). I told him I would do one better and moved my entire balance to my Ally bank right during the call. These guys are clueless and did not understand that security is everything and if I have doubts about the company, I am not trusting them with my cash balance.

      Read full review
      29 people found this review helpful
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      Betterment author review by Barbara Friedberg

      Betterment is an automated investment service that helps consumers set and reach investment goals. The Betterment portfolios offer globally diversified investment portfolios with the greatest returns for the lowest risk levels. They offer retirement and traditional investment brokerage accounts.

      • Easy sign-up process: The sign-up takes an average of five minutes and begins with three simple questions; age, retired or not, and annual income.

      • Goal based investing: The investor selects/prioritizes one or all three goals; safety net, retirement and/or general investing. Every choice concludes with links to additional information.

      • Optimized portfolio: The company optimizes their exchange traded fund (ETF) investment portfolios based upon modern portfolio research and offers the greatest returns for the investors indicated risk tolerance level.

      • Low fees: Consumers can start with as little as a $100 monthly auto-deposit. The fee structure begins at 0.35 percent for the auto-deposit of $100 per month until the account value reaches $10,000. The AUM fee drops to 0.25 percent for accounts valued between $10,001 and $99,999. All accounts over $100,000 pay 0.15 percent management fee.

      • Special highlights: The RetirementGuide Calculator tool indicates how much the user must save to meet their retirement spending goals. The SmartDeposit feature automatically transfers excess bank account funds into the Betterment account.

      • Portfolio features: Wealthfront offers portfolio rebalancing, tax efficient exchange traded portfolios and tax-loss harvesting.

      • No outside accounts: All assets are held by the Betterment portfolio custodian and must be transferred to the firm.

      by Barbara Friedberg Personal Finance Contributing Editor

      Barbara Friedberg, MBA, MS is a former investment portfolio manager with decades of financial experience. Friedberg taught Finance and Investments at several universities. Her work has been featured in U.S. News & World Report, Investopedia, Yahoo!Finance and many more publications.

      Betterment questions and answers

      What’s the most common misconception consumers have about your industry?
      Most people have the misconception that investing has to be complicated and confusing. It makes sense that people would feel that way because, historically, traditional financial services have not offered elegant and easy-to-use platforms for managing investments. Now, utilizing intuitive design and automated tools, Betterment has created a smarter investing experience that has been designed to help provide customers with the best-expected net investor returns for retirement planning, building wealth, and other savings goals.
      How has your industry changed in the last 5 to 10 years?
      Automated investment services, which offer sophisticated ways to simplify and automate your portfolio and investing strategy, are engineering an inevitable transformation of the entire financial landscape. Why? New technology helps disrupt and streamline stale, inefficient models, rewarding customers with better, smarter solutions.

      The creation and popularity of index-tracking ETFs have been essential to our success as an automated investment service, as is cloud-computing, like Amazon Web Services. ETFs allow us to put together incredibly low-cost, liquid portfolios and improve tax efficiency—while cloud-computing allows our engineers to build, model, and test new trading platforms in cost- and time-efficient ways.

      All of these benefits are then passed on to customers through lower costs, optimized investment vehicles, and a seamless user experience. This is the new era for investing that improves the way all Americans can grow their money—and increases the likelihood that they will not only reach their financial goals, but also be happier because they can spend more time doing the things they enjoy.
      What problem is Betterment trying to solve?
      At Betterment, we’re helping people answer the question: “What should I do with my money?” Our pursuit is to create the perfect automated investing service, helping people to better manage, protect, and grow their wealth through smarter technology. We are building on prior innovation and applying technology in new ways to change the way people manage their money so they ultimately have better outcomes. We start from a place of alignment with the customer and then ask, “How can we use technology to improve his or her experience?” Through smart technology, design and customer experience, we work with individuals to better address their investing needs.
      What sets Betterment apart from the competition
      Betterment is unique in that it handles every part of the investment process, allowing us to provide a better experience for customers.
      What needs Betterment fulfill, and how do you fulfill those needs better than your competition?
      Betterment offers a smarter investing experience.

      Better Returns: The Betterment portfolio is designed to achieve optimal returns at every level of risk. Through diversification, automated rebalancing, better behavior, and lower fees, Betterment customers can expect 4.30% higher returns than a typical DIY investor.

      Customized Portfolio Allocations: Each investment portfolio is designed to get customers optimal investor returns. Our goal-based investing framework and advice algorithm let customers know if they are on track to reach their investment goals, like retirement or a safety net fund.

      Automation and Passive Investing: We recommend a globally diversified, passive portfolio of 12 asset classes, tailored for our customers’ risk and time horizon. Years of research and Nobel Prize-winning Modern Portfolio Theory are the foundation of our investment method.

      Tax-Efficient Investing: We are built from the ground up to handle every dollar of our customers’ money tax‑efficiently.

      Retirement Income: We use technology, investment expertise, and a fresh take on withdrawal methodology to provide sustainable cash flow while our customers enjoy retirement.

      Trust Accounts: Betterment customers can create multiple goals—such as growing wealth, saving for education, or distributing income—tailored to each beneficiary.
      How does Betterment measure success?
      To measure the success of our company, we track a variety of metrics but especially look at assets under management, the number of customers using Betterment, and customer satisfaction.
      What is something you wish every consumer knew about Betterment?
      It’s easy to get started with Betterment, and our customer experience team is here to serve you 7 days a week.
      Has your business received any rewards or recognition for its products or services that your customers would like to know about?
      Betterment is a CNBC Disruptor 50 and Webby award winner and has been featured in the New York Times, Forbes, Wall Street Journal, CNNMoney, TechCrunch, Bloomberg, NBC, and Lifehacker, among other news outlets.
      How has Betterment grown or evolved?
      Betterment is the largest, fastest-growing automated investing service, with more than 50,000 customers and more than $1 billion in assets under management. We’ve doubled our customer base in the last year alone (learn more at https://www.betterment.com/)

      We have also implemented a variety of new features:
      Tax Loss Harvesting+, TaxMin, and Tax Impact Preview
      Improved Portfolio with Municipal Bonds
      Retirement Income
      Trust Accounts
      Better Mobile Apps (with touch ID and portfolio view)

      Betterment Company Information

      Company Name:
      Betterment
      Address:
      61 W. 23rd Street, 5th Floor
      City:
      New York
      State/Province:
      NY
      Postal Code:
      10010
      Country:
      United States
      Phone:
      (888) 428‑9482
      Website:
      www.betterment.com