I made a decision today that might make me poor in the future, but that is okay because the cost of not doing it was too darn high!
I switched from a low-cost IRA plan to one that has higher costs. Why would I do this? I have said before that I believe in supporting socially responsible companies, and now I found a way to do Socially responsible investing. It is called Betterment, and I am not being compensated for sharing this.
Betterment is a company that offers what few other companies offer. An easy way to do SRI (socially responsible investing). I signed up for it yesterday and in less than 15 minutes I had started the process of transferring my IRA balance from Fidelity. In fact, it was the easiest transfer that I have ever done. I only had to agree to certain terms and sign my signature with my mouse. So much easier than the process of moving funds from 401k to IRA.
There are competitors to Betterment, but they are twice the cost or not as easy to use. Clearly, Betterment is the leader in this robo-advising field. I had another company when I had a 401K be a robo-advisor but they were limited and not the right choice for my future. They suggested I try Fidelity, and I had used Fidelity in the past and was not impressed with them.
Okay, now you are probably asking what decision I make that makes me poor in the future. The cost of Betterment is twice the cost of the other company I was using, but the other company didn’t offer SRI. I am very concerned about climate change and social justice and I just couldn’t accept that my money was being invested to help companies that are against my values. Now even though I am unsure if I will lose money I had to take the chance. I just can’t avoid doing everything I can possibly do to make the world a better place even if that results in me making less money.
I don’t know what the future may offer, but I feel good that I am doing as much as I can each day to make the world a better place.
Update: Over the last 3 years even in a turbulent economy it has continued to make 18%. I have been lucky.