While you could buy the same ETFs from a traditional broker or fund company, you couldn’t get them all from any one place without a fee, so you’d be paying to buy, sell, or trade the ETFs.

Even after you purchased those securities, you’d have to rebalance regularly — which few people do because of the work, scheduling, and transaction fees involved — to get the risk-reducing and returns-enhancing benefits of rebalancing (which Betterment handles for you, automatically). Betterment also seamlessly invests every penny according to your allocation; this means all your money is working for you. Betterment gives you advice about how to allocate your funds, and takes the guesswork out of asset allocation. We also offer you fractional shares, so again, every single penny of your money is working for you.

And Betterment’s investment committee regularly scours the market, looking for more cost-efficient index ETFs to give you consistent broad-market exposure.

Finally, when Betterment makes a sale, we sell your losses first, then gains, to minimize your tax bill.

These benefits mean there’s a lot of real value Betterment provides that you just can’t get buying ETFs on your own. We’re providing a way for you to simply make a smart investment that you can set and forget, so you can spend more time doing whatever it is you like to do more than managing your money.