The demands inherent in the complex lives of modern consumers is the main driver behind emerging financial applications that offer one very important feature – simplicity. Betterment is a company intent on providing such a service. Its goal is to boil down investment and savings strategies into a digestible, simple set of tools user can either manual manage or on autopilot.
Almost all online brokerages, from E-Trade to Vanguard, now offer advice and even financial tools to make managing your finances simpler. But too often, those tools merely reflect the complexity of the financial services industry rather than boiling it down, which can be intimidating and fatiguing.
Incorporating PFM features quickly are becoming the ones to have in your product set, such as comparisons and information about peer groups, accessible, clear advice, what-if scenarios, and automatic saving. In our opinion, saving is the new spending, something we explored in detail in our recent report, Personal Financial Management Tools: Bills, Budgets, and Beyond. Betterment is one example of how this concept is being played out in the financial advice industry and is a window into how we will be managing our money in the years to come.
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