Wealthfront vs Betterment - A Plebian's Perspecitve - Three Month Update

It's now been about 3 months since I started down the path of testing both Wealthfront and Betterment. We're two months into adding the recurring deposits of 100$/month into both accounts.

Notable Change

Originally, my betterment account was set at 70/30 with a less aggressive portfolio, where as my Wealthfront account was created with a 8.5 risk tolerance. With the assumption that 8.5 in Wealthfront equates to a 85/15 split on Betterment, I have modified so that they are both sitting at the same risk level for apples-to-apples comparison.

Wealthfront Progress

As you can see, progress is good. I attribute a good portion of this to the market recovery that has taken place over the last 2-3 months. I look forward to seeing how this progresses over the next 3, 6, 9, 12 months. I'm still hoping to get some referrals and I do plan to actually move my Roth IRA over from Scottrade to Wealthfront. I've been impressed enough to move more assets.

Betterment Progress

Again, you can see that Betterment has made solid progress over the last three months. It hasn't been quite as strong as Wealthfront, but still solid gains. I attribute this (at this point) to the difference in being allocated at 70/30 to start instead of 85/15. I don't know that that accounts for all differences, but I will let time determine the real outcomes.

3 Month Impressions

I'm 3 months deep now and my biggest pleasure is that I haven't had to do all that much. In fact, I've found myself checking the websites checking balances less and less. This is exactly what I was hoping for. I was trying to explain the differences between Wealthfront and Betterment to a friend who was interested in getting more information. Both are solid choices, and, as described in other places, it's clear that Wealthfront has lower advisory fees if you are holding below $100,000 and Betterment is lower once you break the $100,000 barrier. That being said. I would currently describe Wealthfront as the iPhone and Betterment as the Android. Both are full featured, both provide similar services and outcomes. Wealthfront has less to get you distracted and focuses on the purpose. I'll continue to post my reactions as time progresses.

Again, I would greatly appreciate your referral if you decide to use either service and find my experiences helpful.

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