The Betterment investment challenge has officially passed the seventh month mark! By now you should know that I consider myself a passive investor. I don’t like spending time constantly buying and selling stocks. And I don’t think it’s a good use of my money anyways. Buy and hold is my strategy. Here’s how I did with the Betterment investment challenge in July 2019. 

I have made zilch changes to my Betterment investment challenge

If you are like me, you are not a financial advisor. You don’t spend copious amounts of time reading the latest news in the stock market. And while learning about the stock market is a valuable use of your time, you fear making a ton of changes to your investments.

I really enjoy taking the passive approach. I have not made any changes to my Betterment investment challenge since starting the challenge in January. In fact, JL Collins of The Simple Path to Wealth only recommends investing in just a few index funds with Vanguard. He doesn’t spend his time worrying about which company stock to buy.

John Bogle, the founder of Vanguard recommends to buy and hold every stock of every company in a given index. If you haven’t looked up index funds, I highly suggest checking out what are Vanguard index funds with my short explanation of them.


betterment investment challenge

Here is where I landed with my Betterment investment challenge at the end of July.

How much interest I have earned with Betterment

I really enjoy looking at the time-weighted investment returns chart. I do this on a monthly basis. At the end of July, I had a cumulative return of 12.7%. The historical average is 10% return, according to NerdWallet.

comparison betterment

I’m really curious how my investment with Betterment will perform after this challenge is over. The ease of use with this platform has been great, so I’m planning on continuing to invest with Betterment after the challenge is over. I should really buy Jeff Rose a drink at FinCon and tell him thank you. He is the whole reason I joined the challenge and decided to look into 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
June $1,154.97
July $1,145.56

Disclosure: Links contain affiliates. When you buy through one of my links, I will receive a commission. This is at no cost to you and helps support my channel!

I have lost some of my earnings

Now that I have seen how I have done each month, I have lost some of my earnings. Note, I said earnings, not my initial investment amount. Everything above $1,000 is what I have earned through Betterment.

So, at the end of July, I had earned $145.56 which is about where I landed in April. You could say I have taken three steps back, but I still see this as a gain.

Is Betterment the only place you invest?

Heck to the no! My husband has a Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) through work that he contributes money towards. He has a Roth IRA with Vanguard. In addition, I also have a traditional IRA, Roth IRA, and SEP IRA with Vanguard. 

Then there’s a few stocks that we own through Robinhood and TD Ameritrade. We have tried a lot of platforms! But after looking at our retirement goals, and reading a few books (the one by JL Collins really changed our minds), we are scaling back on contributing to my IRAs.

Instead, we want to max out our contribution limits to the TSP. TSPs have the lowest expenses, even lower than Vanguard, and we have slacked on contributing to it. So we upped the contribution amount. Let me know if you want to see a write up of that sometime. It’s interesting stuff.

Do you think you could have made more money doing something else?

It is likely that I could have taken $1,000 and used it to create a side hustle business. And maybe I could have made money at it. I have no clue. If I could do it all over, maybe I would come up with a digital product and tried to sell it online. I’ve always wanted to sell something on Etsy! But I wanted to showcase a way to grow money that anyone can do. Because I’m already on the internet and have a growing following, it seemed a little skewed to do something online. But maybe you have ideas on what I could do for the next challenge?

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