Terms and Conditions

Betterment.com is operated by Betterment LLC, an SEC Registered Investment Advisor. Securities products are offered to clients of Betterment LLC by Betterment Securities a registered broker dealer and member of FINRA/SIPC. All securities transactions are conducted in accordance with the customer agreements effective January 15,2014.

In general, references to “Betterment” on this website refer to “Betterment LLC”.  However, for purposes of this Terms and Conditions page alone, the term “Betterment” refers collectively to Betterment LLC, Betterment Securities, their respective affiliates, and their partners.

The most recent Statement of Financial Condition for Betterment Securities as of December 2012 is available for download.

Notices

Privacy

For information about your privacy please see our Security & Privacy Promise.

Browser Support

Betterment supports the two latest versions of the following web browsers: Chrome , Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Safari. Due to the rapidly evolving nature of web technology, we cannot guarantee the accuracy or functionality of any advice or information offered on betterment.com unless viewed in a supported browser.

Investment Tools and Model Predictions

Although Betterment LLC carefully evaluates potential returns based on historic performance, Betterment makes no representation regarding the likelihood or probability that any actual or proposed account allocation will in fact achieve a particular investment outcome or goal. Past performance is not a guarantee of future success, and in fact volatility means that returns in any period may be far above or below those of previous period.  Some customers have investment results that materially differ from those indicated by our investment tools and projections. Investments at Betterment may lose value. Betterment is unable to predict or forecast market fluctuations or other uncertainties that may affect the value of any investment. Model predictions are inherently limited in that they do not represent actual trading nor material economic or market factors that might have had an impact on Betterment LLC’s advice. Portfolio performance projected by the Allocation Tab and Advice Tab features are based on Betterment LLC’s current recommended portfolios and, for periods that pre-date the issuance of funds in our current recommended portfolios, broad market indexes. Portfolio performance projected by the Allocation Tab and Advice Tab features account for the reinvestment of dividends as well as investment fees. While the Allocation Tab and Advice Tab features are designed to provide helpful investing guidance, as a self-directed investor, you must carefully consider the appropriateness of the proposed investments in light of your own personal financial circumstances, including cash flow needs, tax circumstances, or other complex or subjective concerns. You are urged to use all available resources to educate yourself about investing in general, as well as the investments and the overall composition of your Betterment account. Additionally, market conditions and your personal financial circumstances may change – perhaps suddenly or maybe gradually over time. Monitoring and adjusting your Betterment account to suit changing circumstances is your responsibility, and it is recommended that you reassess any investing program on a regular basis to ensure that it remains consistent with your current financial resources and investment objectives.

Commentary

The Betterment.com website contains commentary and links to certain articles only as a convenience. Linked articles have been written by third parties not affiliated with Betterment. No information contained in these articles has been endorsed or approved by Betterment, and Betterment is not responsible for the content. No information accessed through these articles constitutes a recommendation by Betterment to buy, sell or hold any security, financial product or instrument discussed therein. This information neither is, nor should be construed, as an offer, or a solicitation of an offer, to buy or sell securities by Betterment. You shall be fully responsible for any investment decisions you make, and such decisions will be based solely on your evaluation of your financial circumstances, investment objectives, risk tolerance, and liquidity needs.

SIPC Account Protection

Betterment Securities is a member of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC). Through SIPC funds are available to meet customer claims up to a ceiling of $500,000, including a maximum of $250,000 for cash claims. SIPC insurance does not protect against loss in the market value of securities. For additional information regarding SIPC coverage, including a brochure, please contact SIPC at (202) 371-8300 or visit www.sipc.org.

Investor Education and Protection

An investor brochure about Betterment Securities is available on FINRA BrokerCheck at brokercheck.finra.org. You can also call the BrokerCheck hotline at (800) 289-9999 or access the broader FINRA website at www.finra.org.

Disclosure of Transactions for Betterment’s Account

Betterment regularly trades for its own account in the same securities as we advise our clients on. Betterment’s securities positions are typically small. Our trading activity s necessary to round out transactions to the exact amounts Clients want to deposit, withdraw, or allocate. Betterment’s trading is conducted with other market participants, we do not buy or sell with Betterment clients, although orders for our principal account are generally aggregated with our clients’ orders. The prices Betterment LLC receives for our trades are exactly the same as the prices every other client receives.

Disclosure of Order Execution and Routing Practices (SEC Rule 606)

The Securities and Exchange Commission adopted Exchange Act Rule 606 (“Rule 606,” formerly Rule 11Ac16) in November 2000; Rule 606 became effective on July 2, 2001. Rule 606 states that all broker-dealers that route client orders for execution to market centers or through automated order entry systems on primary exchanges must make publicly available, on a quarterly basis, reports that present a general overview of their routing practices. These reports must identify the market centers (exchanges, automated order entry systems, market makers, etc.) to which non-directed customer orders were routed for execution. Broker-dealers must also disclose the material aspects of the broker-dealer’s relationship with such venues during the applicable quarter.

Betterment Securities hereby serves notice on this website that it relies exclusively upon Apex Clearing Corporation, Inc. (“Apex”) for order routing. Pursuant to Rule 606, Apex is required to make publicly available a quarterly report with regard to routing its non-directed orders. For the purpose of Rule 606, Apex has entered into an agreement with Quantum5 Market Surveillance, a division of S3 Matching Technologies, to disclose all required information pertaining to Rule 606.

Apex does not pay Betterment Securities or any of its affiliates for order flow payments and rebates received by Apex on Betterment Securities’s orders.

Please click here to view the most recent quarterly report for Apex.

For more information on SEC Rule 606, please visit the Securities and Exchange Commission website.

Business Continuity Statements

SEC and FINRA Rules require investment advisers and broker-dealers to create and maintain a business continuity plan.

In accordance with these rules Betterment LLC and Betterment Securities have both developed a plan that is intended to permit us to continue critical business operations during natural disasters, power outages or other significant events.

Betterment LLC is an SEC Registered Investment Adviser. Betterment Securities is an SEC registered broker-dealer and member of FINRA and SIPC.

While there can be no assurance that service will continue without interruption in all circumstances, the plans do address the actions that the firms will take in the event that there is a significant disruption. Account access is planned to be restored as the first step, which would be followed by other critical business operations.

If there is a local disruption to the operating facilities of either firm, the respective business continuity plans call for the affected firm to establish operations from an alternate location.

We maintain a secondary data center as well as data backup records. Our secondary data facility and are backup records are are located well away from our primary facility so that it would not be affected by a regional disruption. We intend for account access to be available through the secondary data center should the primary data center suffer a disruption. Our plan will be reviewed, updated and tested periodically.

Terms and Conditions

The following terms and conditions govern the use of this website, which is managed by Betterment. By using this website (betterment.com) and the online services or other websites operated or offered by Betterment (collectively the “Website”), you agree to these Terms and Conditions.

Copyright and Other Intellectual Property

Betterment LLC maintains the Website, and is the owner or the authorized user of all text, images, graphics, photos, animation, music, sounds and other materials contained within the Website. The materials contained within the Website, including, without limitation, any copyrights, trademarks, service marks, and all other proprietary materials, are protected by the U.S. and international copyright laws and treaty provisions, trademarks laws, and other proprietary rights laws. Betterment also owns a copyright in the selection, coordination and arrangement of the material contained within the Website.

The material contained within the Websites is provided by Betterment LLC only for lawful uses by customers, Betterment employees, and members of the general public. The material may not be copied, republished, incorporated into another website or reproduced (whether by linking, framing, or any other method), transmitted, distributed, uploaded, posted, used to create a derivative work or exploited in any other way without the express written consent of Betterment LLC.

Links

Clicking on certain links within the Website or certain other websites that are linked to the Website may take you to other websites, or may display information on your computer screen from other websites, which may not be maintained by Betterment. Such websites may contain terms and conditions, privacy provisions, confidentiality provisions, or other provisions that differ from the terms and conditions applicable to the Website. Links to other Internet services and websites are provided solely for the convenience of users. A link to any service or website is not an endorsement of any kind of the service or website, its content, or its sponsoring organization.

Betterment assumes no responsibility or liability whatsoever for the content, accuracy, reliability or opinions expressed in a website, to which the website is linked (a “linked website”) and such linked websites are not monitored, investigated, or checked for accuracy or completeness by Betterment. It is your responsibility to evaluate the accuracy, reliability, timeliness and completeness of any information available on a linked website. All products, services and content obtained from a linked website are provided “as is” without warranty of any kind, express or implied, including, but not limited to, implied warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title, non-infringement, security, or accuracy.

Limited Liability

Neither Betterment nor any other party involved in the creation, production or delivery of the information at the website, nor the officers, directors, employees or representatives of Betterment, are liable in any way for any indirect, special, punitive, consequential, or indirect damages (including without limitation lost profits, cost of procuring substitute service or lost opportunity) arising out of or in connection with the website or the use of the website or a linked website or with the delay or inability to use the website or a linked website, whether or not Betterment is made aware of the possibility of such damages. This limitation includes, but is not limited to, the transmission of any viruses, data or harmful code that may affect your equipment or anyone else’s equipment, any incompatibility between the website’s files and your browser or other website accessing program, or any failure of any electronic or telephone equipment, communication or connection lines, unauthorized access, theft, operator errors, or any force majeure. Betterment does not guarantee continuous, uninterrupted or secure access to the website or a linked website. The content, accuracy, opinions expressed, and other links provided by linked websites are not necessarily investigated, verified, monitored or endorsed by Betterment. The information, software, products and description of services published on the webtsite or a linked webtsite may include inaccuracies or typographical errors, and betterment specifically disclaims any liability for such inaccuracies or errors. Changes are periodically made to the information on the website and linked websites. Betterment may make improvements or changes to the website at any time.

No Warranties

All products, services and content on the website are provided “as is” without warranty of any kind, express or implied, including, but not limited to, implied warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title, non-infringement, security, or accuracy. Betterment does not endorse and is not responsible for the accuracy or reliability of any information on the website. It is your responsibility to evaluate the accuracy, reliability, timeliness and completeness of any information available on the website. Betterment specifically disclaims any duty to update the information on the website.

You agree to indemnify, defend, and hold Betterment harmless from any liability, loss, claim and expense, including attorney’s fees related to your violation of these terms of use or the use of the services and information provided at the website.

Confidentiality of Information

Betterment has taken reasonable steps to ensure the confidentiality of information taken at the Website and transmitted via the Internet. However, unexpected changes in technology may be used by unauthorized third parties to intercept confidential information and we cannot be responsible should confidential information be intercepted and subsequently used by an unintended recipient.

Please read our customer Privacy Policy for further information on confidentiality of information.

Choice of Law

All Website activity or use and these Terms and Conditions are governed by the laws of the United States of America and the applicable laws of the State of Delaware, without regard to conflict of law principles. You agree that the federal court of the District of Delaware, if it has subject matter jurisdiction, will have exclusive jurisdiction to hear and determine any claims or disputes between you and Betterment, pertaining directly or indirectly to these Terms and Conditions, or to any matter arising from these Terms and Conditions, or any other document executed and delivered in connection with these Terms and Conditions, the use of the Website or the online services offered by Betterment. If the federal court lacks subject matter jurisdiction, any state court located in New Castle County, Delaware, will have exclusive jurisdiction to hear and determine such claims or disputes. To the fullest extent permitted by applicable state and federal law, you and Betterment each agree to waive the constitutional right to a trial before a jury. All disputes and controversies and claims arising out of the use of the Website will be resolved either through arbitration or in the courts.

Website Content and Material

The information and materials contained in the Website, including but not limited to these Terms and Conditions and any product information, are subject to change without notice. You are deemed to be apprised of and bound by any such changes. Not all products and services are available in all geographic areas. Your eligibility for particular products and services is subject to final determination and acceptance by us.

Waiver and Severability

Any waiver of any provision contained in these Terms and Conditions shall not be deemed to be a waiver of any other right, term or provision of these Terms and Conditions. If any provision in these Terms and Conditions shall be or become wholly or partially invalid, illegal or unenforceable, such provision shall be enforced to the extent it is legal and valid and the validity, legality and enforceability of the remaining provisions shall in no way be affected or impaired thereby.

Access and Interference

You agree not to engage in any of the following:

  • Use any robot, spider, scraper, deep link or other similar automated data gathering or extraction tools, program, algorithm or methodology to access, acquire, copy or monitor the Website or any portion of the Website, without Betterment’s express written consent, which may be withheld in Betterment’s sole discretion.
  • Use or attempt to use any engine, software, tool, agent, or other device or mechanism (including without limitation browsers, spiders, robots, avatars or intelligent agents) to navigate or search the Website, other than the search engines and search agents available through the Website and other than generally available third-party web browsers (such as Microsoft Explorer).
  • Post or transmit any file which contains viruses, worms, Trojan horses or any other contaminating or destructive features, or that otherwise interfere with the proper working of the Website.
  • Attempt to decipher, decompile, disassemble, or reverse-engineer any of the software comprising or in any way making up a part of the Website.

Secured Areas

Access to and use of password protected and/or secure areas of the Website is restricted to authorized users only. Unauthorized persons attempting to access these areas of the website may be subject to prosecution.

Telephone Call Monitoring and Recording

Authorized employees or agents of Betterment may monitor and record all or portions of your telephone calls to Betterment for quality control, customer service, employee training, security, legal compliance, and other lawful purposes. Your consent will be ongoing and need not be confirmed prior to, or during such monitoring or recording, except to the extent applicable law expressly requires otherwise.

Electronic Communications

The Website provides you Betterment e-mail addresses so that you may communicate electronically by sending an e-mail message to Betterment. All e-mail sent to and from Betterment will be received or otherwise recorded by the Betterment corporate e-mail system and is subject to archival, monitoring or review by and/or disclosure to, someone other than the recipient. Communications through the website may involve the electronic transmission, to any e-mail address you provided to us, of information that you may consider to be personal financial information and you agree and consent to such transmission of such information. You agree not to use e-mail to transmit any confidential personal information. It is your responsibility to update or change your e-mail address, as appropriate.