Betterment vs. Facet: what’s the difference?

1 min readLast updated May 31, 2024by Unbiased team

Explore the differences between Betterment and Facet financial advisory firms and which one best suits your personal and professional needs.

Summary 

  • Betterment is a predominantly robo-advisor financial firm that specializes in dynamic, goal-oriented financial planning using automated tools and algorithms.  

  • Facet is a holistic, accessible financial advisory firm that focuses on establishing strong relationships between advisors and clients for long-term growth.  

  • Both Betterment and Facet have pros and cons worth exploring before deciding who you want to invest with.   

Facet vs. Betterment: what’s the difference? 

Facet is a comprehensive fiduciary firm that is focused on providing full-scope, accessible financial planning for a wide range of clients. Facet financial advisors work closely with clients and aim to work with each one for an extended period of time to produce the best, most holistic investment results.  

Betterment is a robo-advisor that handles and invests your money on your behalf. It uses automated technology to enhance investment strategies and create financial plans specifically tailored for each client. Betterment financial advice is largely algorithm-related.  

The main difference between Facet and Betterment is that Facet’s financial services are centered around long-term investment planning and traditional customer service. At the same time, Betterment focuses on providing mainly digital investment and portfolio management for hands-off investors.  

What are Betterment and Facet’s specific investment strategies? 

Betterment’s investment strategy is to use technology to help you reach your financial goals. Digital tools and automation form a big part of what they do and how they develop investment strategies for clients.  

For example, Betterment advisors work alongside robo-advisors, algorithms, and automation tools in order to manage data analysis and adapt investment plans to optimize investments more efficiently than humans can, resulting in lower fees and more succinct investment strategies.  

Facet takes a more familiar and traditional approach to investments. With a flat-fee payment structure and individually tailored strategies for each client, Facet advisors rely less on technology and more on seasoned, face-to-face expertise to help clients reach their financial goals.  

Facet also emphasizes the importance of holistic, long-term financial planning for a more effective and consistent investment strategy than a high-risk, adaptable one.  

What fees can I expect from Betterment and Facet? 

There are different fees to expect when working with investment firms, and Facet and Betterment are no different.  

Betterment fees are predominantly annual and percentage-based. They charge a 0.25% annual investment fee and a 1% annual fee for crypto management, as well as a monthly $4 fee for access to their digital services and trading fees.  

As of 2024, the flat yearly fee that Facet charges is between $2,000 and $6,000, depending on which services you have access to. The amount will be established during your initial consultation with a Facet financial advisor. They also charge a $250 enrollment fee.  

Is Betterment or Facet better? 

While these two firms may be similar in some ways, they have unique service offerings that give each of them advantages and disadvantages from a client perspective. Learning the pros and cons of both Facet Financial Services and Betterment Financial Services can help you decide which one is best for you.  

Pros of Betterment 

  • Low minimum investment requirement ($20,000). 

  • Multiple account options, all of which are highly customizable.  

  • Robust algorithms and digital tools allow more hands-off portfolio management.  

Cons of Betterment 

  • Lack of face-to-face customer service can be frustrating.  

  • No direct indexing.  

Pros of Facet 

  • Facet customer service is excellent and offers up to four virtual meetings in the first year, increasing annually. 

  • Fiduciary and holistic financial advice.  

  • There are no minimum investment requirements. 

Cons of Facet 

  • High fees for smaller portfolios.  

  • No in-person meetings; virtual conferencing only.  

Betterment or Facet: which should I choose? 

If you are an experienced, digitally-savvy investor who is goal-oriented and wants a more hands-off approach to growth and portfolio management, Betterment advisors are likely a better choice for you.  

If you are just starting out your investment journey or are in need of more personalized, long-term fiduciary advice with a familiar face, Facet financial advisors are probably a better choice for you.  

In addition to fees, investment strategy, and various pros and cons, here are some other questions you should ask yourself when choosing between Betterment and Facet.  

How do Betterment and Facet remain competitive and adapt to changing market conditions? 

Betterment financial advice is characterized by digital advancement and cutting-edge algorithmic tools, keeping it competitive in the constantly evolving tech and investment industries.  

Facet financial advisors remain competitive by appealing to a broader scope of investors and offering more traditional services that consumers trust.  

Which platform provides better customer service and support? 

Considering that Facet financial advisors can be contacted via phone and video call, they are more likely to provide comprehensive service and support when needed. Facet customer service is known for being robust and reliable.  

Betterment financial advisors are robo-advisors that use clear but automated digital tools, making customer service a little less personal. In this sense, Facet customer service and support are likely to be more satisfying to the average investor.  

Can I access my Betterment or Facet accounts through their websites and mobile apps? 

Both Betterment and Facet have up-to-date websites that allow users to assess personal accounts and view the full spectrum of their various services and investment philosophies.  

However, only Betterment offers a separate app for paying investors. The Betterment app allows you to access your accounts, transfer funds, track performance, and personalize your investment decisions in response to evolving market changes.  

Get expert financial advice 

Betterment financial planning is centered on digital prowess and automated, algorithm-based investment planning from your pocket. Facet financial advisors offer personalized long-term financial guidance for new and experienced investors who require holistic advice.  

Find a professional SEC-regulated financial advisor via Unbiased, as well as a range of other certified financial advisors for every circumstance and budget.  

Writers

Unbiased team

Our team of writers, who have decades of experience writing about personal finance, including investing and retirement, are here to help you find out what you must know about life’s biggest financial decisions.