“Hipsters, lend us your ears,” says Betterment

Those who download Betterment's new podcasts will glean “unconventional and entertaining insights on money and life” from “thought leaders” in the fields of finance, entrepreneurship, sports, and show business.

Podcasts are designed for hipster Millennials who wear earplugs and ride the Boston, New York and Bay Area rapid transit systems—when they’re not hailing an UberX or ordering a double soy latte from a barista. Maybe that’s why Betterment, which counts Millennials as a target market, has decided to produce financial podcasts.

CEO Jon Stein’s venture-backed, $6.5 billion-AUM virtual robo-advisor, which offers mass-customized portfolios of Vanguard funds from its bricks-and-mortar headquarters in refurbished lofts on 23rd St in Manhattan, has launched a podcast series, “Better Off.” The technology partner is DGital Media and the “host” is celebrity business analyst and certified financial planner Jill Schlesinger.

Episodes of “Better Off” became downloadable yesterday, January 5, from iTunes, Google Play, Spotify, Stitcher, TuneIn and other sources. Weekly episodes will last about 30 minutes each.  

Those who download the podcasts will glean “unconventional and entertaining insights on money and life” from “thought leaders” in the fields of finance, entrepreneurship, sports, and show business, according to a Betterment release.   

“Listeners will gain inspiration and actionable advice on how to reach personal goals (e.g., buying a home, paying for college, planning travel or enjoying retirement) from the guests,” according to the release.   

Jill Schlesinger should be familiar to anyone who attends the major financial advisor conferences. She appears on CBS radio and television stations nationwide with glib commentary on the economy, markets, and investing. Her syndicated radio show, “Jill on Money,” is broadcast in some 95 media markets. LinkedIn included her among its “Top 10 Influencer Voices” for 2016 and 2017.

Betterment, which manages more than $6.5 billion in assets for more than 200,000 customers, offers portfolios of exchange-traded funds (ETFs) built by algorithms that are guided by client responses to a brief online questionnaire. It doesn’t manage money—client cash goes mainly into Vanguard ETFs. It also offers a white label robo-advice service for advisors and a low-cost 401(k) service.

In contrast to traditional fortress-websites like Vanguard’s and Fidelity’s, Betterment’s pastel-colored onboarding process makes investing as simple as signing up for a gym membership. Customers can open and customize regular investment accounts, traditional/SEP/Roth IRAs, trust accounts, and accounts for retirement income.

Betterment was a CNBC Disruptor 50, FT 300 and Webby award winner, and it has been featured in the New York Times, Forbes, the Wall Street Journal, Retirement Income Journal and elsewhere.

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