Back in January 2014, the price of Bitcoin spiked for the first time, I got really interested, and I launched the website BitcoinRewind.com (project description). Now I could write a whole blog post about some of the brilliant trades, and horrible mistakes I’ve made while buying and selling cryptocurrencies since then, but that’s a story for another time. I will say, like most people who bought Bitcoin (and other cryptocurrencies) early, I have managed to make some ridiculous returns that I’m very happy with. On the other hand, I also managed to make some of the worst timed investment decisions I could have. Long story short, I’m not rich…

About a year later in August 2015, I setup an account on Betterment.com to continue making some more traditional investments. I had read some great articles about how they were going to use these “advanced algorithms to intelligently buy and sell stocks for you”, and I thought it would be cool to check out. I started to auto-deposit $100 a month, and after almost exactly a year of seeing very small returns, I turned off my auto-deposit.

Fast forward to January 2018, and I’m taking a moment to review my investment portfolios for the first time in about a year. I log in to Mint.com, a website that I would highly recommend to anyone looking to organize their finances, and I click over to the investment tab.

Holy crap, look at some of these returns…

 

 

Now don’t get me wrong, logging in to Coinbase and Bittrex accounts every day and riding this insane cryptocurrency rollercoaster has been a blast, but wtf, why didn’t I just dump $10k in to Betterment, and start preparing to retire at the age of 30!

Now sure, maybe the Betterment algorithm would’ve invested differently (more conservative) if I had deposited $10k up front, instead of $100 a month for a year, but I would have settled for all of it being invested in that lowest earning fund at 916%.

The decision I face now is, my current employer doesn’t match my 401(k) contributions, so wouldn’t it make sense to just roll that money over in to this account, and have my investments auto-balanced and auto-traded for me for 0.25% a year (Betterment’s fees)?