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. The orange line in this handy graph shows the results of my real investment at Betterment. 1000 from my bank account every month as well as reinvest all dividends, foliofn investments inc note trading platform simulate a pretty typical scenario.

OK, maybe we could add a second word to that: Efficiency. What is the single step I can do to get started in investing? With no knowledge at all, most people default to keeping their money in a savings account where it will earn them nothing. Others resort to a Wild West financial adviser whose claims and fees exceed his actual financial knowledge. Or speculate in individual stocks and try to time the market. None of these approaches are winners over the long run. That gives you a near-optimal ownership of hundreds of companies, in single giant, stable, low-fee fund run by an honest company.

To improve on VTI, you need to soak up a few more books about investing, general world finance, and asset allocation. And while this has always been my idea of a good time, I have learned that many people have other ideas for their weekends. I owe if I sold these shares right now? More details on this in my 2017 charitable giving article. Hey,  my Betterment account the US stock market! When investing for lifetime wealth, you need to think about longer time periods than you’re used to. It doesn’t matter what your stock does right after you buy it.

The Vanguard fund VTI tracks the majority of US stocks. A Betterment porfolio tracks the majority of the developed world’s stocks. During late 2014 and 2015, US stocks happened to be on a rampage, while Europe and other countries hit a rocky patch. So my Betterment portfolio didn’t rise as quickly as the US market. At other times, the reverse happens: US stocks will fall dramatically, while other markets will fall less or even rise. How about that Tax Loss Harvesting?

One of the features of Betterment is that their computers spend all day looking at the stock market while you are off doing other things. Occasionally, this leads to an opportunity to profit from volatility in the market. Selling some of your stuff to lock in a tax-deductible loss, while buying the same stuff through other funds so you remain fully invested. As of early 2016, I am coming to realize that this feature works much better than I had expected.