Betterment is a renowned digital investment platform that was founded in the United States in 2008. It is a robo-advisor that offers automated investment and financial planning services to individual investors.
The platform's purpose is to simplify and make investing more accessible to everyday people, regardless of wealth or experience. Betterment uses new algorithms and technology to design and manage different investment portfolios based on the investor's goals, risk tolerance, and time horizon.
In this article, we will uncover Betterment’s availability and expansion plans in Australia, as well as provide alternative solutions.
Is Betterment available in Australia?
Unfortunately, Betterment is not yet available in Australia and has expressed no intentions to expand into the Australian market at this time.
According to its website, Betterment "currently only operates in the United States, and for regulatory reasons cannot accept customers residing outside the country. This includes American citizens who live and/or work abroad."
In Australia, as robo-advisors gain popularity, investors have numerous competitors to Betterment that provide similar automated portfolio management services. These options provide accessible and cost-effective investing solutions for investors with varying risk tolerances and financial objectives.
This article attempts to shed light on some of the top Betterment alternatives accessible for Australian investors wishing to take advantage of the benefits offered by robo-advisors.
Betterment Alternatives in Australia
Here’s a comparison table of top financial platforms in Australia that share comparable features with Betterment and can be the best alternative you’re searching for.
Stockspot is a robo-advisor and digital investment management platform located in Australia. It was created in 2013 and is one of Australia's first robo-advisory businesses. Stockspot's automated portfolio management services seek to make investing more accessible, affordable, and hassle-free for ordinary investors.
Management Fees: For accounts below $ 10,000 the first 6 months are free. After this period and for other amounts the fee structure is as follows:
$ 5.50 / month for account balances ≤ $ 10,000
0.66% / year for account balances ≥ $ 10,000
0.528% / year for account balances ≥ $ 200,000
0.396% / year for account balances ≥ $ 2,000,000
Additional Fees: StockSpot fees are all-inclusive and calculated monthly based on your average investment balance over the month. There are no brokerage fees, entry fees, or exit fees.
Minimum Deposits: A minimum of $ 2,000 is required to start investing.
Asset Classes: Australian shares, Global shares, Emerging markets( Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa), Bonds ( low-risk government bonds), and Gold
Portfolio Types: Total market ETF, Active stock picking ETF, Australian ETF, Property ET, and Defensive ETF
Investment Strategy: You can choose between investment strategies suited to your level of risk tolerance. The platform automatically rebalances clients' portfolios periodically to maintain the desired asset allocation.
Trading Platform: User-friendly website and mobile application.
Account Types: Individual, Joint, Kids, Self-managed super fund (SMSF), Company structure, Trust structure, Non-profit
Safety: Stockspot provides CHESS sponsorship for your holdings, and your money is held in your name.
Regulator: Stockspot Pty Ltd is regulated by the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC).
Raiz (previously known as Acorns Australia) is a micro-investing platform established in Australia that allows users to invest tiny sums of money automatically. Raiz's goal is to make investing more accessible to a wider spectrum of people, including those who do not have huge sums of money to invest or who do not have much experience investing.
Management Fees: The fee structure depends on the portfolio you choose and it is as follows:
Standard Portfolio: $ 4.50 / month for account balances ≤ $ 20,000 and 0.275% / year for account balances ≥ 20,000
Plus Portfolio: $ 5.50 / month for account balances ≤ $ 25,000 and 0.275% / year for account balances ≥ 25,000
Sapphire Portfolio: $ 4.50 for active account balances + 0.275% / year
Property Portfolio: $ 4.50 for active account balances + 0.275% / year
Additional Fees: There are underlying Investment fees (Indirect Cost Ratio) ranging between 0.190% and 0.605% depending on your investment option. There are no brokerage fees, entry fees, or exit fees.
Minimum Deposits: A minimum of $ 5 is requested to open an account.
Investment Strategy: Raiz uses the Dollar Cost Averaging Strategy which means investing small amounts regularly. That way, if prices go up, you buy fewer of the now more expensive shares and, if they go down, you buy more of the now cheaper shares. It’s an automated, disciplined approach to investing for the long term.
Asset Classes: Mainly a mix of Exchange-traded Funds and a small portion of Bitcoins, Bonds.
Risk-based portfolios: 5 Standard portfolios that differ by their level of risk, ranging from 'Conservative' to 'Aggressive' and each consisting of a mixture of ETFs listed on Australia's stock exchange.
Emerald portfolio: Raiz's sixth portfolio invests in companies that meet ESG (environmental, social, and governance) criteria as well as Australian Government Bonds and the Australian Money Market.
Sapphire portfolio: This portfolio includes a 5% investment in Bitcoin and a mix of the same ETFs included in the risk-based portfolios.
Custom Portfolio: You can choose how to spread your investment across 16 ETFs (pre-selected by Raiz) and bitcoin, although bitcoin investment is capped at 5%.
Raiz Cash: Raiz offers a Round-Up Feature that links the portfolio to the user's bank account and automatically rounds up everyday purchases to the nearest dollar. The spare change is then invested into the user's Raiz investment account.
Trading Platform: Raiz is an easy-to-use mobile app and website that allows users to track their investments, evaluate performance, and manage their accounts.
Regulator: Raiz Invest Limited (Raiz) is an ASX-listed financial services company and Raiz and its subsidiaries are regulated by the ASIC.
Safety: Money in your Raiz account is held by an independent Custodian: Perpetual Corporate Trust Limited.
Six Park is a robo-advisory platform located in Australia that provides automated investment management services. Six Park, like other robo-advisers, wants to make investing easier, more accessible, and less expensive for individual investors.
Six Park uses algorithms and computer-based models to create personalized investment portfolios for its clients based on their risk tolerance, financial goals, and investment horizon.
Management Fees: The fee structure is as follows:
$ 6.25 / month for account balances < $ 5,000
$ 9.95 / month for account balances between $ 5,000 and $ 19,999
0.60% / year for account balances between $ 20,000 and $ 199,999
0.45% / year for account balances between $ 200,000 and $ 499,999
0.35% / year for account balances between $ 500,000 and $ 2,000,000
0.30% / year for account balances above $ 2,000,000
Additional Fees: There are no trading fees to buy and sell securities and no fees for depositing or withdrawing from your account. There is however an Indirect Cost Ratio that typically ranges between 0.18% and 0.52%
Minimum Deposits: A minimum of $ 2,000 is requested to open an account.
Conservative portfolio: a mix of 82.5% defensive assets and 17.5% growth assets.
Conservative-balanced portfolio: Less defensive assets proportion.
Balanced portfolio: a mix of growth and defensive assets and you can commit to an investment period of at least seven years.
Balanced-growth portfolio: It includes larger allocations of investment towards international and emerging markets equities.
Aggressive-growth portfolio: This is a portfolio for risk-takers investors.
Asset Classes: Australian shares, hedged and unhedged international shares, emerging market shares, global listed property, global infrastructure, bond/fixed income, and high-interest cash deposits.
Regulator: Six Park is an Authorized Representative of Bespoke Portfolio Pty Ltd. Bespoke Portfolio holds an Australian Financial Services License from the ASIC
Investment Strategy: Six Park uses a passive investment strategy and it focuses on low-cost, broad-based portfolios.
Trading Platform: Six Park offers a user-friendly mobile app and website that allow users to track their investments, evaluate performance, and manage their accounts.
Safety: Six Park provides CHESS sponsorship for your holdings, and your money is held in your name.
eToro is a multi-asset brokerage and social trading platform that was created in 2007. It has grown in prominence as a leading online platform for social investing and trading in a wide range of financial assets such as equities, cryptocurrencies, commodities, FX, and others.
While eToro provides some social trading and portfolio management capabilities that are comparable to robo-advisors, it is important to remember that eToro's core functionality is centered on social trading, and its platform may not fully mimic the services provided by dedicated robo-advisory firms.
In Australia, the company offers robo-advice services through its “Smart Portfolios” which are designed to help investors in creating diversified portfolios with minimum risks and maximum returns.
Management Fees: Zero Management and account Fees for eToro’s Smart portfolio.
Additional Fees: eToro charges 0 trading fees, however, there’s a flat withdrawal fee of $5, and additional foreign- exchange conversion fees may apply when you transfer Australian dollars into US dollars depending on your payment method
Minimum Deposits: A minimum of $ 500 is required to invest in an eToro smart portfolio.
Asset Classes: Cryptocurrencies, Stocks, Commodities, and Currencies in All Markets.
Investment Strategy: eToro’s Smart Portfolios present a hybrid approach to investing, which is a combination of both active and passive strategies. Smart Portfolios are not updated daily and they are regularly rebalanced by the eToro investment team.
Portfolio Types :
Top Trader Portfolios: Managed by eToro Traders that copy strategies from top traders.
Thematic Market Portfolios: These includes CFD stocks, commodities, indices, and ETFs
Partner Portfolios: The funds are managed by fund managers who are partners with the investors and not by eToro's investment team.
Trading Platform: Advanced user-friendly Mobile Application.
Regulator: eToro AUS Capital Limited is regulated by the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC).
When you’re searching for the best Betterment alternative in Australia, you must investigate the distinct features and benefits of these platforms in order to help you make informed decisions and select the one that best suits yourtheir needs.
Some of the best alternatives for Betterment in Australia are StockSpot, Raiz, Six Park, and eToro which offer comparable features and benefits.
We hope this article has assisted you in locating Australian alternatives to Betterment that provide similar portfolio management capabilities and can assist you in improving your investment approach.
Other FAQs about Betterment in Australia
Can I use Betterment from Australia with a VPN?
No, you cannot use a VPN to open a Betterment account from Australia since you must provide specific documentation that proves that you are a US citizen upon account opening.
Can I use my Betterment Card in Australia?
Yes, you can use your card outside the US for purchases and at ATMs where Visa debit cards are accepted.