As the World Crumbles, Our Investment Advice: Stay the Course

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At Betterment, we offer you peace of mind by auto-investing your money in diversified, low-fee index funds. Here on the Betterment Blog we sum up key global news events and offer expert investment advice on how to react as an investor.

The Blog is written by Betterment’s resident super-brainiac, The Director of Simulations, Duncan Turner. Duncan has a Ph.D. in computational statistics from Stanford, and his favorite hobby by far is grilling.

June 24, 2016


What You Need To Know: U.K. citizens have voted to leave the E.U. European currencies and stocks faltered in response.

Our Analysis: Markets may react with volatility in the short-term, but futures markets and global institutions are already adjusting, ensuring stability and long-term returns. So throw some steaks on that grill and relax.

Our Investment Advice: Keep calm and carry on! Stay the course.


November 9, 2016


What You Need To Know: Donald Trump has been elected President of the United States in an upset that shocked the forecasting establishment. Although markets haven’t crashed, investors are nervous, with a Trump administration bringing fears and unknowns.

Our Analysis: Keep your cool. How are those steaks coming, by the way? Disciplined investors know that while surprises make markets go up and down, a long-term mindset serves us well by teaching us the three Ps: prudence, pragmatism, and patience. Get your three Ps on: don’t get spooked and reallocate or withdraw your investments. Getting spooked is for horses, not disciplined investors, OK?

Our Investment Advice: Don’t be a horse. Stay the course


May 7, 2017

#IranEscalation #WWIII?

What You Need To Know: After receiving small arms fire, the U.S. Army has retaliated against Houthi rebels in Yemen. In response, Iran engaged U.S. naval forces in the Gulf of Aden. China, Russia, and Israel are sending ships to the region, as global war looms.

Our Analysis: Chill. I urge you to have a cold drink, put several big ribeyes on that grill—or large portobello mushroom caps, for you vegetarians!—and remember that you are a disciplined investor, not an emotional maniac.

Anyway, it’s like I always say: “Wars, shmores.” Hey, speaking of shmores, you might cap off those ribeyes with a round of s’mores.

Our Investment Advice: Rotate your ribeyes and your S’mores frequently for an even heat distribution. Stay the course.


August 23, 2017

#Hyperinflation #PerpetualWar

What You Need To Know: As WWWIII heats up, the Trump administration has ordered the Federal Reserve to radically increase the money supply to pay for an ever-increasing number of drone bombers and storm troopers. Inflation has skyrocketed, with an average tank of gasoline now costing more than $100.

Out Analysis: Please calm down immediately, and stop liquidating your Betterment accounts. Seriously, friends, just stop it. Remember, Betterment’s investment algorithms are very smart, and my advice has not been proven wrong yet. Not once.

Are you watching those steaks—or portobello mushrooms!—and rotating them every two to three minutes? Less liquidating, more rotating, people. You want to add in some shish kabobs with onion and bell pepper while you’re at it?

I’m trying to be your pal here and tell you not to overreact. That’s what good pals do. A good pal offers sound advice and lends out his extra pair of tongs when the situation calls for it. Keep your head in the game and your damn eyes on that grill.

Our Investment Advice: Be a good pal. Stay the course.


October 28, 2017

#Texit #CalExit

What You Need To Know: As national tensions rise, Texas and California have seceded from the United States and declared war on each other. The Dow Jones average is down nearly 40% yesterday, the largest one-day crash in U.S. history.

Our Analysis: I have been informed that seventy-two percent of all Betterment investors—including, undoubtedly, many readers of this blog—have sold all of their positions yesterday.

Well, I, Duncan Turner, am officially sick of your bullshit. Time and time again I’ve told you “markets will bounce back” and “don’t chase performance,” and here you go selling! Seriously, what the fuck is this treachery!? Are you a disciplined investor, or some kind of goddamned little baby who cries for her wah-wah every time some fuckery happens!? News flash: secessions are temporary, but the stock market is forever!!

Oh my. I apologize. I should not have accused you of being a baby, nor should I have used the words “goddammed”, or “fuckery.” That was highly undisciplined of me. It is not the Betterment way. It is not the Duncan way. I want to emphasize that the market will be fine. I recommend staying calm by purchasing and grilling an entire Hawaiian Kalua Pig. Serve it with fresh pineapple, and, WOW, it’s fucking delightful.

Our Investment Advice: Don’t lose your shit like I just did. Stay the course.


December 15, 2017

#Nukes #TakeCover #EndTimes

What You Need to Know: With Texas and California launching their nukes at each other and president Trump evacuating into space aboard his privately financed space ark, “Megaopolis,” the entire United States political and technological infrastructure is on the verge of imminent collapse.

Our Analysis: Unfortunately, it does appear that a mushroom cloud is now forming several miles outside my office window. This is a new development.

I would advise you not to overact to this development. It can be damaging to let your emotions drive your financial decisions, and reacting to news of my forthcoming death by radiation would be foolhardy at best.

Speaking of shrooms, now would be a great time to crack open a beer, throw a whole platter of chicken wings and shiitakes on that grill, and focus on your future.

Our Investment Advice: Diversity in the portfolio. Kids in the basement. Eyes on the grill. Stay the course.


Charging Bull pic licensed under CC 2.0.

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Alex Baia is a humor writer and contributor to McSweeney’s and Slackjaw. He lives in Austin, TX.