Robo advisor Betterment's CEO says customers are 'staying the course'

Episode 20 of Season 2 of The Scoop was recorded remotely with The Block’s Frank Chaparro along with Jon Stein, founder and CEO of robo advisory firm Betterment as well as special guest co-host, Rebecca Ungarino of Business Insider.

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After a gloomy March and a proverbially rainy April, May has shaped up to be a – dare one say it – favorable market from a macro perspective.

Despite the ongoing tragedy of the global coronavirus pandemic, investors appear to be buying. The S&P 500 broke 3,000 for the first time in March and the Dow is up broadly on positive sentiment that efforts to reopen businesses in the U.S. – all in the hopes of coaxing back consumers – will be successful. But despite the sense of optimism, analysts hesitate to call it a clear win, given the risks.

The Block sat down with Jon Stein, founder and CEO of robo advisor firm Betterment, who spoke about the macroeconomic picture in the context of his firm’s clients. Stein remarked that while the first quarter of 2020 was a strong one for signups – April even more so – the company has nonetheless felt the pinch amid difficult market conditions. Betterment currently has more than $18 billion in assets under management.

“Our revenue is tied to assets under management. We see our pain, our own accounts are down. You know, my personal account is affected by a downturn in the market. And our customers feel that.” he told The Block. “But overall, our customers are staying the course.”


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We also explore:

  • How Betterment has fared in a world where remote work is the rule, not the exception
  • How the firm’s customer base reacted to this year’s market turbulence
  • How the first quarter of 2020 was one of Betterment’s best
  • Its checking account product
  • Staying competitive in a hyper-fast space where all eyes are on the market

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