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This habit started around age 19 with a series of ridiculous speculative trades in individual high-tech company stocks. This is a terrible way to invest. Nowadays, I don’t just avoid trying to guess the short-term movements of individual stocks. I avoid looking at financial markets and news entirely, for weeks or months at a time. This is a much better way to invest. In fact, doing just this will not only put you ahead of most average Joes, but you will also beat the vast majority of expensive personal financial advisers and professional investors as well.
The reason is simply that you minimize the main sources of potential loss: human error and our flawed boom-bust psychology, fund fees, capital gains taxes, and broker commissions. 1: A few asset types with expected annual return after inflation. You can see that we’re already up near the top of the chart. You can improve slightly on buy-and-hold-forever investing, but at this point it starts to take some work. I started my own Vanguard account in 1999 and have never looked back as multiple recessions and crises, booms and dividends have helped my small militia of green employees expand their ranks by hundreds of thousands of dollars. But in recent years, technology and the latest startup company boom have brought new options for index fund investing.
ETFs have delivered even lower expenses, easier transactions, and allowed Vanguard-like options to spread to Canada and European countries. Vanguard in exchange for moderate cost. So Why did I Pick Betterment? In two words, technology and psychology are what attracted me to this company. Betterment, you end up owning Vanguard funds just like a wise person would already do. I expect the benefits to be substantially greater than that, meaning it should prove to be a profitable choice if I have done the homework right. I answer the phone for my mother, my wife, and a few close pals.