Betterment Launches Investing Gift Registry Tool

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When the chief executive of the online investment site Betterment LLC was getting ready to make his wedding vows in August, he was also thinking business.

"We were disappointed with the [gift registry] options," says Jon Stein, chief executive.

His disappointment inspired him to create something he did like: an investing gift registry. That product, beta tested at his summer wedding, is launching today.

Betterment Gifts, the name of the new service, lets Betterment account holders who are readying to celebrate an occasion create an online registry to receive money to put toward their investment goals, like buying a home or raising college funds.

"[We want] to help give people gifts for significant things in their lives," Stein says, adding that there no additional fees associated with the cash gifting functionality.

Betterment says it is growing at $1 to $3 million in AUM per week. Betterment defines AUM as total dollars invested in its customers' accounts. Currently that number is $66 million. Stein says he expects the new product launch will "contribute an additional 20% increase on that growth."

Betterment competes with companies like FutureAdvisor and WealthFront.

"We've had great demand for this type of product and the current trends in personal finance, technology and weddings point to an investing-based registry as the next generation of gift giving," says Stein.

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