Just about one year ago, I sold my company. Because I believe in the product, and the future growth, I rolled a lot of the value over into the new company. To be wise, I did take some chips off the table as well.
When all of those items were checked off, I looked around for a new way to invest wisely.
I have been trading stocks in Robinhood for some time. I enjoy trading stocks, and I still think this is the easiest way to do that, but I needed something more automatic.
After doing some research, I ended up going with Betterment. The app and service is a robo-investor. You commit money to the service, set your risk levels and goals, and the computer algorithms will do all the work of buying, selling, and holding. In many ways, it’s a modern take on an Index Fund where you ride the whole economy instead of living and dying on specific stocks.
I also appreciate the Tax Loss Harvesting, which was useful at tax time this year.
Overall, I highly recommend the service to investors of all level. In addition to general investing, they also offer IRA accounts to save for retirement.
(Update: Starting in 2018, I’ve also started using their Smart Saver option for idle cash waiting to be used or invested elsewhere. More on that here.)
I also created a small investment account for each of my kids. They love to open the app and see how the investment has grown. I have a standing offer to them: for every dollar they invest, I will match it. It’s been a fun lesson in patience and waiting.
At the time I started with Betterment, I wondered about real world results. I wasn’t able to find much out there so I thought I’d chronicle my own experience here each year to help others.
Dark Blue is investment total, Light Blue is total value with earnings
April 2017 (One year): Earnings Percentage 12.2%
November 2017 (1.5 years): Earnings Percentage 17.4%
May 2018 (Two years): Earnings Percentage 20.1%
December 2018 (2.5 years): Earnings Percentage 24.9%