I have been working on my Betterment investing and I am halfway through my Grow Your Dough Challenge with Wealth Hacker Jeff Rose. I have to say, this challenge hasn’t been all that challenging for me. Mainly because I have been using the Betterment platform to invest my money and they automatically readjust my portfolio.


My first downswing in the Betterment investing challenge

I’m so bummed! This past month, I lost money for the first time. Under the Performance tab inside of Betterment, I can see how my investment has grown since I opened it in January. If you have been following along, you probably saw in my April update that I had a cumulative return of 14.7%.

The month of May was not very nice to my investment. I went from a 14.7% return to 8.1% at the lowest on June 1, 2019. At the time that this post is published, I can see my portfolio is going up again.

See the small uptick starting over the last few days?

Why did I have a downswing?

It’s important to note that my portfolio strategy is pretty aggressive. My $1,000 is invested in 90% stocks and 10% bonds. Stocks are more volatile to risk than bonds are so I’m going to experience more up’s and down’s in the stock market.

My balance as of June 4, 2019, was $1,100.22 which is almost the same balance that I had in February. It’s a little discouraging but the thing to remember is investing is a long-term strategy for me. Regardless of what happens with this challenge, I am still going to be investing and using Betterment.

How my $1,000 investment has grown since January 2019
Month Amount
January $1,080.72
February $1,103.74
March $1,110.77
April $1,146.89
May $1,100.22

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What I plan to do in June with my Betterment investing account

I know this doesn’t sound sexy, but I’m going to leave the account alone and let it recover on its own. There are still six months left in the year and I’d like to see Betterment and the stock market increase my portfolio without me doing something to it.

I have thought about how I could take that money and try to start a side hustle. Honestly, I don’t have much time for anything else. Between freelance writing, running Debt Free Millennials, travel, and having time for my friends and family, it’s not worth starting something new.

And then there’s this really cool goal forecaster tool

Betterment provides a goal forecaster tool that helps you see how your investment can grow overtime. I’m sure you are thinking, “Yeah, lots of online investing dashboards have that.” But do they tell you the likelihood of you reaching a certain amount over time? This is where the goal forecaster tool becomes more realistic.

Betterment tells you what your chances are of growing your money based on certain variables. For example, if I just leave my $1,000 inside of the account and never contribute another cent to it, I would have a 2.5% chance that my money could grow to $10,037 by April 2040. I will be 52 that year. Eeks. A more realistic amount would be $2,011 in which I have a 97.5% chance of achieving.

Betterment investing is easy with its goal forecaster tool. I love seeing how this could grow over time.

What happens if I set up a recurring deposit of $100 per month?

Now, this gets me more excited than my 10-year-old self headed to McDonald’s with my Nana (and yes, that was totally a thing and I loved it). If I change my Betterment investing strategy so that I set up a recurring deposit of $100 per month, my investment balance dramatically increases.

A look at what happens if I add a recurring deposit of $100 to my investing strategy with Betterment.

In that same time frame of what my balance would look like by April 2040, I have a 97.5% chance that my money could grow to $27,605. That’s after I contribute $1,200 per year for the next 21 years. I also have a 2.5% chance that I could have at least a balance of $128,899.

Can you do that for the Grow Your Dough Challenge?

As part of this challenge, we aren’t adding to this investment from our personal accounts, so I won’t be putting $100 per month into my Betterment investing strategy just yet. But it has me thinking it would be a good idea after the challenge is over.

For now, I will hold steady inside of Betterment and ride the downswing back up. Investing for me should be simple and there’s no need to move things around at this point.

What do you think? Think my strategy is too simple? Am I missing out on quick riches? Let me know below!