- REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
Betterment, the largest roboadviser with $10 billion under management, has enlisted the support of financial juggernauts Goldman Sachs and BlackRock for two new portfolio options.
The two new offerings are part of the firm’s mission to deliver deeper personalization for the company’s more than 270,000 users, according to Dan Egan, the director of behavioral finance and investments at Betterment.
The partnership is striking considering Betterment’s CEO Jon Stein has gone after traditional Wall Street firms like Goldman Sachs. He has claimed that their model does not put the customer first.
“The old way just sells the product,” Stein said of traditional Wall Street firms in a recent interview with Business Insider.”The old way has the product they want to push.”
According to Egan, the two portfolios were vetted by Betterment to ensure they meet the firm’s standards of quality and affordability.
“We wanted to get these strategies out to our clients as quickly as possible, rather than build them out ourselves,” he told Business Insider in a phone interview.
The portfolio managed by Goldman Sachs is a smart-beta option, providing users with a more aggressive alternative to Betterment’s core portfolio, which allocates money to stocks and bonds, according to Arielle Sobel, a spokeswoman for the firm. It will be more exposed to emerging markets and REITs, according to a press release.
Smart-beta products have been on the rise on Wall Street as investors seek out more affordable alternatives to managed portfolios, but better-performing alternatives to portfolios made up of index-tracking ETFs.
“The smart-beta approach targets factors, rather than individual stocks,” according to Cary Stier, the global investment management sector leader for Deloitte, the global consultancy and tax advisory firm.”They’re looking to profit off of momentum and volatility.”
Wealthfront, Betterment’s San Francisco rival, announced an in-house-built smart-beta portfolio in June, according to a company spokeswoman.
The other portfolio option is an income-based portfolio, managed by BlackRock, the largest fund manager in the world with $5.7 trillion under management. It provides investors a more conservative option and delivers target income.
“It’s a portfolio of bond ETFs across credit risk levels and delivers targeted income,” Egan said.
Users of Betterment will have the option to switch over to either of the two new portfolios Wednesday, according to Sobel.