Finder is committed to editorial independence. While we receive compensation when you click links to partners, they do not influence our content.
Betterment vs. Vanguard
Both offer access to financial advisors — once portfolio minimums are met.
Fair rates and comprehensive account selection make Betterment and Vanguard viable options for any investor. The choice comes down to your preferred investment strategy.
Which one is better?
Which one is better?
- Choose Betterment if you’d like to use a robo-advisor.
- Choose Vanguard if you want to buy and sell your own securities.
While Betterment and Vanguard both serve investors, they’re not built for the same type of investor. Betterment is a robo-advisor and Vanguard is a trading platform. Is one better than the other? Each platform has its perks, and the right choice for you will depend on what type of investor you are.
But Betterment and Vanguard do have a few things in common. They both offer a wide selection of accounts and have financial planners on deck to assist investors — though that’s where the similarities end.
For passive investors, Betterment’s 0.25% annual fee is on par with competitors and its investment services come equipped with automated tax-loss harvesting and portfolio rebalancing. But investors warn that the withdrawal process can be frustrating and time-consuming.
For active investors, Vanguard’s commission-free stocks, ETFs and mutual funds are an attractive perk and investors can become part-owners by buying into the platform’s in-house ETFs. But advanced derivatives trades may be deterred by pricey options fees and a lack of research tools.
How do Betterment and Vanguard compare?
|Overview||Betterment is an online financial advisor that makes investing easy by creating a portfolio just for you, based on your preferences and financial goals. It’s a solid choice for those new to investing.||Vanguard has no private owners, which allows it to keep operation costs low and give more back to its investors. It’s best suited to long-term investors.|
|Stock trade fee||$0||$7|
|Minimum deposit to open||$0||$0|
|Tools and research|
|Reputation and customer reviews|
|Apple App Store reviews|
|Google Play Store reviews|
Both Betterment and Vanguard have their merits and are worthy of consideration. Let your preferred investment strategy guide your research and explore your brokerage options across multiple platforms.
Frequently asked questions
More guides on Finder
If you’re looking for a broker comparable to Vanguard, check out these five contenders.
5 key TD Ameritrade competitors
Thinking of switching from TD Ameritrade? Here are 5 apps like TD Ameritrade that offer valuable benefits.
Apps like Acorns
Acorns alternatives offer lower fees and more investment options. Learn more.
Investing in your 30s: 8 wealth-building tips
Prepare to revamp your asset allocation and explore new investment classes.
What is a target-date fund?
Target-date funds (TDFs) automatically rebalance to take on less risk as you near retirement. Learn more.
Alternatives to Fidelity
If you’re looking for a broker similar to Fidelity, here are some platforms to consider.
How to start investing in your 20s: 7 tips for beginners
7 tips for starting a portfolio if you’re new to investing.
Interactive Brokers alternatives
If you’re looking for a trading platform similar to Interactive Brokers, consider these five options.
How can you use your health savings account (HSA) as a retirement investment?
A health savings account (HSA) can help you get prepared for your retirement. Learn more.
What’s the average 401(k) balance by age?
How does your 401(k) balance compare?
Ask an Expert