HomeFinanceBetterment vs. Wealthfront vs. Personal Capital

Betterment vs. Wealthfront vs. Personal Capital

Wealth managers like Betterment, Wealthfront, and Private Capital assist you to make investments your cash with out as a lot human interplay as you’d have with a conventional monetary advisor. 

I personally like this idea of funding administration as a result of these robo-advisors and wealth managers are sometimes capable of cost decrease charges and supply related providers due to the expertise and methods they’ve developed.

Nevertheless, there are a number of robo-advisors and wealth managers to select from and deciding which one to go along with could be difficult. I’ve compiled the next data that will help you determine which is finest to your circumstances.

Betterment vs. Wealthfront vs. Private Capital Abstract

Right here’s a fast abstract of the primary comparability factors of those three wealth administration choices:

Options Betterment Wealthfront Private Capital
Minimal preliminary funding $0 for normal account; $100,000 for premium account $500 $100,000 for funding providers
Account varieties out there Conventional IRAs, Roth IRAs, SEP IRAs, inherited IRAs, taxable accounts, and belief accounts Conventional IRAs, Roth IRAs, SEP IRAs, 401(ok) rollovers, money accounts, taxable brokerage accounts, and 529 faculty financial savings plan accounts Conventional IRA, Roth IRA, SEP IRA, rollover IRA, taxable accounts, trusts, 529 faculty financial savings plans
Advisory charges 0.25% for Digital; 0.40% for Betterment Premium; 0.10% low cost for balances over $2,000,000 0.25% 0.89% on belongings as much as $1,000,000 declining to 0.49% on belongings over $10,000,000
Tax-loss harvesting Sure Sure Sure
Rebalancing Sure Sure Sure
Dividend reinvesting Sure Sure Sure
Cell app iOS and Android iOS and Android iOS and Android
Socially accountable investing Sure Sure Sure
Sensible beta Sure Obtainable at $500,000 Sure (referred to as ‘Sensible Weighting’)


Betterment was based in 2008 and goals to empower individuals to do what’s finest for his or her cash to allow them to dwell higher. They do that by utilizing expertise to assist handle your investments at a decrease value than conventional monetary advisors. 

Betterment invests your cash utilizing index-tracking exchange-traded funds (ETFs) based mostly in your danger tolerance. They use software program moderately than people to assist decide your ultimate portfolio, which permits them to maintain their prices low and move these financial savings alongside to you.

They provide a Digital model of their service with a 0.25% advisory price, which incorporates customized monetary recommendation, automated rebalancing, tax-saving methods, and a low-cost diversified funding portfolio. 

Additionally they supply a Premium model with a 0.40% advisory price that features the identical options plus recommendation on investments exterior of Betterment and entry to CFP professionals for steerage on life occasions.

Balances over $2,000,000 get a 0.10% low cost on advisory charges for both account sort.

An enormous bonus: Betterment additionally provides a checking account that comes with no charges, cellular test deposit, and ATM reimbursement.

To be taught extra about Betterment, you possibly can learn Cash Below 30’s detailed evaluate or try Betterment’s web site.


Betterment vs. Wealthfront vs. Personal Capital - Who wins? - WealthfrontWealthfront is a conventional robo-advisor that makes use of expertise to assist minimize prices whereas nonetheless giving individuals entry to funding administration instruments. It makes use of ideas like tax-loss harvesting, portfolio rebalancing, asset allocation, and danger mitigation to assist buyers try for higher returns. Wealthfront makes use of passive funding methods. 

Wealthfront’s newest function may help you make investments much more cash. It displays your checking account or money account for extra funds above a degree you set. If it finds extra funds, it transfers them to your taxable funding account, money account, Roth IRA, Conventional IRA, or 529 School Financial savings Account. The expertise is even good sufficient to be careful for recurring transfers that would impression your checking account stability. 

For buyers who’re feeling a bit of adventurous, Wealthfront provides two completely different crypto funds:

  • Grayscale Bitcoin Belief (GBTC).
  • Grayscale Ethereum Belief (ETHE).

Nevertheless, Wealthfront solely permits its customers to allocate 10% in direction of crypto, since they imagine it to be in the most effective curiosity of their buyers.

They work to maintain charges to a minimal by not providing human advisory service like Private Capital does or like Betterment does with their Premium service. Wealthfront at present expenses a 0.25% advisory price to take a position with them and also you want a $500 preliminary minimal funding to get began.

Discover out extra about Wealthfront by studying Cash Below 30’s full evaluate or visiting Wealthfront’s web site.

Private Capital

Betterment Vs. Wealthfront Vs. Personal Capital - Who Wins? - Personal CapitalPrivate Capital was based in 2009 and is completely different than Wealthfront and Betterment within the wealth administration house. Fairly than being a robo-advisor, Private Capital focuses on combining expertise with dwell registered monetary advisors that will help you handle your investments. 

The expertise offers with the technical facets like rebalancing, tax optimization, good weighting technique, and dynamic portfolio allocation. The monetary advisors give attention to serving to you propose and advising you alongside your funding journey.

As a result of monetary advisor interplay, Private Capital requires you will have no less than $100,000 to take a position to get began with them. They cost a 0.89% advisory price for balances as much as $1,000,000, with a declining price construction that bottoms out at 0.49% above $10,000,000. It’s essential to notice that these charges are larger than Betterment and Wealthfront.

You’ll be able to be taught extra about Private Capital by studying Cash Below 30’s in-depth evaluate or visiting Private Capital’s web site.

Betterment vs. Wealthfront vs. Private Capital: Funding Efficiency

Evaluating funding efficiency between completely different wealth administration firms isn’t attainable on an apples-to-apples foundation. Every firm has all kinds of portfolios you possibly can spend money on which have various returns. 

Even should you managed to search out related portfolios, they might spend money on dissimilar underlying investments or might have completely different administration options that would skew the outcomes. 

To make issues extra difficult, the timeframes firms give for historic efficiency might not match up and historic outcomes don’t predict future efficiency.

Regardless of these variations, it nonetheless helps to check outcomes so long as you really perceive what you’re evaluating. Listed below are a number of examples to present you an concept of the historic efficiency of those three wealth managers. 


Betterment means that you can see their historic outcomes utilizing an interactive device. You’ll be able to change the inventory allocation and date vary to see return information. The information is predicated on backtesting and consists of the Betterment price of 0.25% and the bills of the underlying ETFs. It additionally assumes every day portfolio rebalancing.

From the 5 yr interval from the top of December 2014 to the top of December 2019, Betterment’s 100% inventory allocation had a mean annual return of 8.1%. 

Betterment vs. Wealthfront vs. Personal Capital - Who Wins? - Betterment Investing Returns


Wealthfront lists their historic returns on their web site by danger rating. I went with 8.0. Their information is internet of bills and consists of Wealthfront’s every day tax-loss harvesting technique.

For a taxable portfolio, the common annual return net-of-fees and pre-tax was 9.45% (as you possibly can see under).

Betterment Vs. Wealthfront Vs. Personal Capital - Who Wins? - Wealthfront historical returns

Private Capital

Private Capital shares their historic funding returns, as effectively. To maintain information related, I’ve used their most aggressive portfolio which incorporates roughly 86% shares, 4% bonds, and 10% alternate options. The returns listed are internet of charges.

From the earlier 5 years ending in December 2019, their Aggressive Composite Private Technique portfolio returned an 8.0% 5 yr annualized return.

Betterment vs. Wealthfront vs. Personal Capital - Who Wins? - Personal Capital Investment Returns

Betterment vs. Wealthfront vs. Private Capital: Funding Efficiency Conclusion

The three wealth managers all got here inside 1% of one another over the 5 yr interval for common annualized returns. When you think about how the portfolios might have barely completely different investments and the wealth managers have various methods and options, this is sensible. 

There’s no assure a distinct five-year interval or the long run returns may have the identical outcomes, so that you’ll must base your choice on who to take a position with based mostly on how the wealth managers work, their charges, and the way you count on their investments to carry out sooner or later.

Betterment, Wealthfront, and Private Capital Execs


  • low advisory price of 0.25% for Digital service.
  • no minimal stability to get began with digital service.
  • low advisory price of 0.40% for Betterment Premium ($100,000 minimal stability required) which incorporates CFP entry.
  • 0.10% advisory price low cost for all balances over $2,000,000 utilizing both service.
  • tax-loss harvesting.
  • good beta portfolio out there.
  • socially acutely aware investing portfolio out there.
  • limitless rebalancing.


  • Advisory price is 0.25%, decrease than providers that provide recommendation from a human.
  • Centered on low-fee and passive investments.
  • Customise your individual portfolio.
  • Select from lots of of ETFs.
  • Two completely different crypto funding belief choices.
  • Rebalancing.
  • Dividend reinvestment.
  • Tax-loss harvesting.
  • Inventory-level tax-loss harvesting
  • Socially accountable investing 
  • Sensible beta (out there at $500,000.)
  • Danger parity
  • Automated transfers when you will have extra money in a money account to qualifying funding accounts.

Private Capital

  • Entry to monetary advisors for recommendation and retirement planning assist.
  • Extra individualized recommendation as a consequence of monetary advisor entry moderately than 100% technology-based.
  • Funding choices embody different investments.
  • Options targeted on enhancing returns equivalent to dynamic portfolio allocation, tax optimization, and good weighting.
  • Free instruments out there to trace internet price, spending, and extra.

Betterment, Wealthfront, and Private Capital Cons


  • Requires $100,000 minimal to qualify for Premium service with CFP entry.
  • Customer support solely out there 5 days per week for Digital clients.


  • Requires a $500 minimal preliminary funding to begin, which is larger than Betterment however decrease than Private Capital.
  • No advisory price reductions for holding a bigger stability with Wealthfront, in contrast to Betterment and Private Capital

Private Capital

  • $100,000 minimal to begin investing with Private Capital is steep for the common investor getting began.
  • Preliminary 0.89% advisory price on first $1,000,000 in belongings is larger than robo-advisors like Betterment and Wealthfront.

Why Select Betterment?

No Minimal Stability Required to Get Began with Digital Providers

Betterment doesn’t impose a minimal stability on their Digital providers accounts. This implies nearly anybody can get began investing with out having to place up $100, $500, or $100,000 to get began.

Sensible Beta and Socially Accountable Investing Choices

When you’re searching for particular funding methods, Betterment provides each good beta and socially accountable investing choices. 

Entry to CFPs with a $100,000 Minimal Funding

You may get entry to a CFP after getting $100,000 invested by choosing their Premium service. This has the next advisory price value of 0.40%, nevertheless it’s a lot decrease than Private Capital’s 0.89% advisory price on the primary $1,000,000 of belongings. 

That stated, the CFP options are completely different. Betterment’s CFPs give attention to serving to you navigate life occasions whereas Private Capital’s advisors supply extra providers.

Why Select Wealthfront?

An Achievable Minimal Preliminary Funding to Get Began

Whereas Wealthfront requires a minimal preliminary funding of $500 to begin investing with them, that’s rather a lot decrease than Private Capital’s $100,000 requirement.

Most individuals ought to have the ability to save up $500 inside a number of weeks or months in the event that they actually just like the Wealthfront platform higher than Betterment.

A number of Instruments to Handle Investments Higher

Wealthfront offers entry to socially accountable investing, stock-level tax-loss harvesting, danger parity, and good beta.

Even with out these options, Wealthfront provides loads of different instruments for all accounts regardless of the stability, equivalent to rebalancing and dividend reinvestment. 

A number of Account Sorts Obtainable for Tax Optimization

If you wish to give attention to optimizing your tax state of affairs, Wealthfront provides fairly a number of forms of accounts to select from.

You can open conventional IRAs, Roth IRAs, SEP IRAs, rollover IRAs, money, taxable brokerage, and even 529 plans.

Learn extra: Ought to You Select a Roth IRA or Conventional IRA?

Mechanically make investments extra money

Wealthfront is working to realize self-driving cash to assist make your cash run as easily as attainable. Their newest technological addition routinely displays a linked checking or money account. When the stability exceeds a restrict you set, it routinely invests the cash in your selection of a taxable funding account, Roth IRA, conventional IRA, money account, or 529 plans. This may help you retain extra of your cash invested which might assist it develop sooner.

Why Select Private Capital?

Entry to a Monetary Advisor

Not like the standard service choices of robo-advisors, Private Capital provides these investing with them entry to monetary advisors to assist plan their monetary futures.

You’ll be able to ask questions and get assist planning with a dwell particular person moderately than expertise that won’t perceive the complexities of your state of affairs. 

Extra Complete Monetary Instruments

Private Capital helps handle your investments, however in addition they have a set of instruments anybody can use to handle your funds. They’ve instruments for internet price monitoring, budgeting, money circulate monitoring, invoice monitoring, and extra. 

Many Options to Try to Optimize Returns

Private Capital’s methodology and expertise use options to assist optimize your returns. Dynamic portfolio allocation, clever rebalancing, tax optimization, and good weighting might assist your general funding technique.


Betterment, Wealthfront, and Private Capital are all wealth administration firms that may assist you to make investments to your future. They use expertise to supply methods that will enhance returns whereas preserving prices decrease than conventional monetary advisors.

I personally just like the robo-advisors that cost a decrease price, as a result of I don’t really feel I’d use the CFP entry Private Capital provides fairly often. I’d moderately hold the price distinction invested to assist my cash develop much more. 

That stated, people who have no less than $100,000 to take a position and want a monetary advisor to reply questions and assist hold them on observe could be higher off with Private Capital.

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