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Marcus vs Betterment: Which is Better?

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Marcus vs Betterment: A Comparison

When it comes to investing, there are many options available, but two popular platforms often come up in discussions: Marcus and Betterment. Both Marcus and Betterment offer investment management services, but they differ in their approach and features. In this blog post, we will compare Marcus and Betterment to help you determine which platform might be better suited for your investment needs. We will discuss the key features, investment strategies, fees, account types, customer service, and safety measures of both platforms. By the end of this article, you should have a better understanding of whether Marcus or Betterment is the right choice for you.

Understanding Marcus and Betterment

Before we delve deeper into the comparison, let’s first understand what Marcus Invest and Betterment are. Marcus Invest is an investment platform launched by Goldman Sachs, a renowned financial institution. It offers various investment accounts, including individual and joint accounts, with a focus on savings accounts. On the other hand, Betterment is a robo-advisor, an online investment management service that uses algorithms to create and manage investment portfolios.

What is Marcus Invest?

Marcus Invest, backed by Goldman Sachs, aims to provide individuals with a simple and accessible way to invest their money. The platform primarily focuses on savings accounts, offering competitive annual percentage yields (APY) to help account holders grow their savings. One of the key advantages of Marcus Invest is that it does not charge a management fee for its investment accounts. This makes it an attractive option for those who want to invest without incurring additional costs.

In addition to savings accounts, Marcus Invest offers investment advice tailored to individual financial goals and risk tolerance. This advice is based on sophisticated algorithms and the expertise of Goldman Sachs. The platform provides access to investment portfolios consisting of fixed-income securities and Goldman Sachs ETFs (Exchange-Traded Funds). These investment options are designed to offer potential growth opportunities while managing risk.

Marcus Invest also offers a user-friendly mobile app, allowing account holders to manage their investments conveniently from their mobile devices. Overall, Marcus Invest aims to provide individuals with easy access to investment accounts, competitive interest rates, personalized investment advice, and a seamless account management experience.

What is Betterment?

Betterment, on the other hand, is a well-known robo-advisor that utilizes technology and algorithms to provide investment management services. The platform offers a range of investment strategies based on individual financial goals and risk tolerance levels. Betterment focuses on asset allocation, which involves diversifying investments across different asset classes to minimize risk and potentially increase returns.

One of the key advantages of Betterment is its automatic rebalancing feature, which helps maintain the desired asset allocation by buying and selling holdings when necessary. This ensures that the portfolio remains aligned with the account holder’s investment goals. Betterment also offers tax-loss harvesting, a strategy that aims to minimize taxable gains by offsetting them with tax-deductible investment losses.

Betterment provides access to human advisors for account holders who require additional guidance. These advisors can offer personalized investment advice, helping account holders make informed decisions based on their financial situations and goals. It’s important to note that Betterment charges an annual management fee based on account balances, which covers the investment management services and support provided.

In addition to individual investment accounts, Betterment offers retirement accounts, including traditional and Roth IRAs (Individual Retirement Accounts). These retirement accounts have specific tax advantages, making Betterment an attractive option for individuals planning for their retirement. Overall, Betterment aims to provide individuals with automated investment management, tax-efficient strategies, access to human advisors, and retirement account options.



The Pros and Cons of Both Platforms

Now that we have a better understanding of Marcus Invest and Betterment, let’s look at the pros and cons of each platform. Each platform has its own strengths and weaknesses, which can impact your investment decisions.

The Benefits of Using Marcus

Marcus Invest offers several benefits for investors, making it a compelling choice for those looking for simple and accessible investment options. Here are some of the advantages of using Marcus:

  • High-Yield Savings: Marcus Invest provides competitive interest rates, allowing account holders to earn higher returns on their savings compared to traditional savings accounts.
  • Member FDIC: As part of Goldman Sachs, Marcus invest offers account holders the safety of being a member of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), which protects deposits up to certain limits.
  • No Monthly Fee: Marcus invest does not charge a monthly maintenance fee, allowing account holders to invest without worrying about extra costs.
  • Flexible Investment Options: Marcus invest offers a range of investment options, catering to different risk tolerance levels and financial goals.
  • Investment Advice: Marcus invest provides investment advice tailored to individual financial goals and risk tolerance, offering guidance to help account holders make informed investment decisions.
  • While Marcus invest has many benefits, there are also some drawbacks to consider.

The Drawbacks of Marcus

Here are some of the drawbacks of using Marcus invest:

  • Limited Investment Options: Marcus invest has a more limited range of investment options compared to some other brokerage platforms. It primarily focuses on savings accounts, so account holders looking for more diverse investment options may find Marcus invest lacking.
  • No Checking Account: Unlike some online banks, Marcus invest does not offer checking accounts. This means that account holders will need to utilize another bank or financial institution for their day-to-day banking needs.
  • Despite these drawbacks, Marcus invest’s attractive interest rates and investment advice can make it a good option for individuals looking for an easy way to grow their savings and receive personalized investment advice.

The Benefits of Using Betterment

Betterment also offers several benefits, making it a popular choice among investors. Here are some of the advantages of using Betterment:

  • Automatic Rebalancing: Betterment’s automatic rebalancing feature ensures that investment portfolios remain aligned with account holders’ risk tolerance and investment goals.
  • Tax-Loss Harvesting: Betterment’s tax-loss harvesting strategy aims to minimize taxable gains and potentially reduce tax liability, providing tax-efficient investing strategies.
  • Access to Human Advisors: Betterment provides account holders access to human advisors, who can offer personalized investment advice and assistance when needed.
  • Diversified Investment Strategies: Betterment offers a variety of investment strategies, allowing account holders to choose the portfolio mix that aligns with their financial goals and risk tolerance.
  • Retirement Accounts: Betterment offers retirement account options, such as traditional and Roth IRAs, providing account holders with tax advantages for their retirement savings.
  • However, there are also some drawbacks to consider when using Betterment.

The Drawbacks of Betterment

Here are some of the drawbacks of using Betterment:

  • Higher Management Fee: Betterment charges an annual management fee based on account balances, which can be higher compared to some other investment platforms.
  • No Direct Stock Trading: Betterment does not allow individual stock trading, which means that account holders cannot invest in specific stocks directly.
  • Despite these drawbacks, Betterment offers a strong investment management service, particularly for those looking for automated management, tax-efficient strategies, and access to human advisors.

Differences in Investment Strategies

Now, let’s explore the investment strategies of both Marcus invest and Betterment. Understanding their investment strategies will help you determine which platform aligns better with your investment goals and risk tolerance.

Marcus Investment Strategy

Marcus invest focuses on providing investment strategies that emphasize simplicity, accessibility, and the potential for portfolio growth. The platform primarily offers investment portfolios consisting of fixed-income securities, such as bonds, treasury notes, and certificates of deposit (CDs). These fixed-income assets are generally considered less risky than stocks and offer a steady income stream.

Additionally, Marcus invest also incorporates Goldman Sachs ETFs, which provide diversification across different asset classes and investment sectors. These exchange-traded funds are designed to track specific market indexes, offering exposure to a wide range of stocks or bonds within a single investment.

Marcus invest’s investment strategies also utilize smart beta portfolio management techniques. Smart beta strategies aim to enhance portfolio returns by selecting stocks or bonds based on factors other than market capitalization, such as dividends, earnings, or price-to-book ratios. This approach allows account holders to access potential investment opportunities beyond traditional market-weighted strategies.

Overall, Marcus invest’s investment strategies focus on providing long-term growth opportunities, managing risk through a combination of fixed-income securities and smart beta investment strategies.

Betterment Investment Strategy

Betterment’s investment strategy revolves around asset allocation, diversification, and tax-efficient investing. The platform offers investment portfolios consisting of exchange-traded funds (ETFs) that cover various asset classes, including stocks, bonds, and international investments. These ETFs are selected based on factors such as expense ratios, tracking error, and liquidity.

Betterment’s investment strategy also incorporates socially responsible investing (ESG), which integrates environmental, social, and governance criteria into the investment decision-making process. This allows account holders to invest in companies that align with their values, focusing on issues such as climate change, human rights, and corporate governance.

Additionally, Betterment utilizes smart beta portfolio strategies, which aim to provide enhanced risk-adjusted returns by selecting stocks or bonds based on specific investment factors. This approach allows account holders to access investment strategies beyond traditional market-cap-weighted portfolios.

Betterment’s investment strategy emphasizes individual risk tolerance, investment goals, and time horizons, with the goal of maximizing returns while minimizing risk. The platform’s automatic rebalancing feature ensures that investment portfolios remain aligned with account holders’ investment goals and risk tolerance levels.

Comparing Fees and Costs

Now, let’s compare the fees and costs associated with Marcus invest and Betterment to help you understand the financial impact of investing with each platform.

Fees and Costs for Marcus

Marcus invest offers competitive fees that can make investing more affordable for account holders. Here are some key points regarding fees and costs associated with Marcus invest:

  • Annual percentage yield (APY): Marcus invest offers competitive interest rates on savings accounts, allowing account holders to earn higher returns compared to traditional savings accounts.
  • No trade commissions: Marcus invest does not charge trade commissions, making it more cost-effective for account holders to invest in the investment strategies offered by the platform.
  • Transparent fees: Marcus invest ensures transparency in its fee structure, so account holders can understand the impact of fees on their portfolios.
  • Low account minimum: Marcus invest has a low account minimum, making it accessible to a wide range of investors, including beginners.

Fees and Costs for Betterment

Betterment’s fees are structured differently from Marcus invest. Here are some key points regarding fees and costs associated with Betterment:

  • Annual management fee: Betterment charges an annual management fee based on account balances, which covers investment management services, access to human advisors, and other features.
  • No trade commissions: Similar to Marcus invest, Betterment does not charge trade commissions, making it cost-effective to invest in the platform’s ETF-based portfolios.
  • Transparent fee structure: Betterment ensures transparency in its fee structure, allowing account holders to understand the impact of fees on their investment returns.
  • Account minimum: Betterment has a minimum deposit requirement, which allows better access to investment management services and features.
  • It’s essential to consider the fees and costs of investing with Marcus invest and Betterment to ensure that they align with your investment goals and financial situation.

Account Types on Offer

Let’s now explore the different account types offered by Marcus invest and Betterment to help you determine which platform provides the account options that suit your investment needs.

Account Types Available with Marcus

Marcus invest offers various account types, including individual investment accounts, individual retirement accounts (IRAs), and cash management accounts. Here are some key account types offered by Marcus invest:

  • CDs (Certificates of Deposit): Marcus invest allows account holders to invest in CDs, which offer a fixed interest rate for a specified period, making them a relatively low-risk investment option.
  • High-Yield Savings Accounts: Marcus invest is well-known for its high-yield savings accounts, which offer competitive interest rates compared to traditional savings accounts.
  • Individual brokerage accounts: Account holders can open individual investment accounts that provide access to individual stocks, bonds, and other investment products.
  • Retirement accounts: Marcus invest offers individual retirement accounts (IRAs), including traditional, Roth, and SEP IRAs, allowing account holders to save for retirement with potential tax advantages.
  • Cash Management accounts: Marcus invest recently introduced cash management accounts, which combine the features of checking and savings accounts, allowing account holders to access their cash easily.
  • These account options provide flexibility and cater to different financial goals, risk tolerance levels, and investment preferences.

Account Types Available with Betterment

Betterment offers a range of account types to suit individual investment needs and goals. Here are some of the account types available with Betterment:

  • Taxable investment accounts: Betterment provides taxable investment accounts, allowing account holders to invest outside of retirement accounts and potentially access their investments at any time.
  • Retirement accounts: Betterment offers various retirement account types, including individual retirement accounts (IRAs) such as Roth, traditional, and SEP IRAs, allowing account holders to save for retirement with potential tax advantages.
  • Cash management accounts: Similar to Marcus invest, Betterment recently introduced cash management accounts that enable account holders to manage their cash easily, providing features of both checking and savings accounts.
  • Trust accounts: Betterment also offers trust accounts, allowing account holders to plan and manage investments for beneficiaries and estate planning purposes.
  • These account types provided by Betterment offer a comprehensive range of investment options for individuals with varying financial goals, risk tolerance levels, and investment strategies.

Customer Service Comparison

Now, let’s compare the customer service offerings of Marcus invest and Betterment to ensure that you have access to the assistance and support you need.

Customer Service at Marcus

Marcus invest is known for its customer service, offering account holders access to a team of knowledgeable advisors and customer support staff. Here are some key points regarding customer service at Marcus invest:

  • Responsive customer service: Marcus invest aims to provide account holders with responsive customer service, ensuring timely assistance for their investment needs.
  • User-friendly mobile app: Marcus invest provides a user-friendly mobile app, allowing account holders to access and manage their investments conveniently from their mobile devices.
  • Access to financial advisors: Marcus invest offers access to financial advisors who can provide personalized investment advice based on individual financial goals and risk tolerance.

Customer Service at Betterment

Similarly, Betterment places a strong emphasis on customer service, providing account holders with access to customer support and human advisors. Here are some key points regarding customer service at Betterment:

  • Comprehensive customer service: Betterment offers comprehensive customer service, ensuring account holders receive personalized support and assistance with their investment-related inquiries.
  • Access to human advisors: Betterment provides account holders with access to human advisors, who can offer personalized investment advice and guidance.
  • Mobile access: Betterment offers mobile access, allowing account holders to manage their investments conveniently through the Betterment mobile app.
  • Both Marcus invest and Betterment prioritize customer service, aiming to deliver reliable and valuable support to their account holders.

Safety Measures

Safety and security are crucial considerations when choosing an investment platform. Let’s compare the safety measures implemented by Marcus invest and Betterment, ensuring that your investment accounts are protected.

Is Marcus Safe?

Marcus invest, backed by Goldman Sachs, takes various measures to ensure the safety of account holders’ funds and information. Here are some key safety measures implemented by Marcus invest:

  • Member of FDIC: Being a member of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), Marcus invest provides account holders with deposit insurance, securing cash deposits up to specified limits.
  • Encryption and security protocols: Marcus invest utilizes robust encryption methods, protecting account holders’ sensitive information and account details.
  • Savings account security: Marcus invest prioritizes account security, implementing measures to prevent unauthorized access and fraudulent activities.

Is Betterment Safe?

Betterment also places a significant emphasis on account security and financial protection. Here are some key safety measures implemented by Betterment:

  • Membership of SIPC: Betterment is a member of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC), providing coverage against brokerage insolvency, protecting account holders’ investments.
  • Security measures: Betterment maintains a secure online environment, utilizing advanced security measures to protect account holders’ information, data, and investments.
  • Risk management: Betterment prioritizes risk management, implementing proactive measures to safeguard account holders’ investments and manage investment risk.
  • The safety measures implemented by both Marcus invest and Betterment ensure that account holders’ investments and personal information are protected.

Conclusion

To sum up, both Marcus and Betterment have their own advantages and disadvantages. Marcus offers a user-friendly platform and competitive interest rates, making it a good option for those looking for a simple investment solution. On the other hand, Betterment provides a more diversified investment portfolio and offers features like tax-loss harvesting, making it appealing to investors who want a more hands-off approach. Ultimately, the choice between the two platforms depends on your individual investment goals and preferences. Take into consideration the fees, investment strategies, account types, customer service, and safety measures before making a decision. Weigh the pros and cons carefully and choose the platform that aligns best with your financial goals.



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Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any of the companies mentioned and has not been endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are author's alone

The content of this website is for informational purposes only and does not represent investment advice, or an offer or solicitation to buy or sell any security, investment, or product. Investors are encouraged to do their own due diligence, and, if necessary, consult professional advising before making any investment decisions. Investing involves a high degree of risk, and financial losses may occur.


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