Is your money manager committed to your best interests? Now's the time to find out.

The Financial Industry Takes One Step Forward, a Half Step Back

It had finally happened: Financial institutions were going to be legally required to put their customers' interests ahead of their own profits, thanks to a new rule from the Department of Labor (DOL).

We wanted this. We fought for this. Now, money managers would have to put their customers' best interests first—just like Betterment has been doing since we launched in 2010.

But on April 4, the DOL delayed the rule, putting it at risk of being diluted beyond recognition or, worse, thrown out completely.

Whether or not this rule survives could directly impact you. We encourage you to push your money manager to publicly support the rule or, at the very least, clarify their stance. Because if the rule dies, and they’re no longer required by law to act in your best interest...are they going to anyway?

Questioning Your Money Manager: A Quick Guide

If this whole thing makes you wonder what your money manager has been up to, it might be time to ask them some questions. Here's how we would answer.

  • Question
    How we would answer
  • What services are you providing to me?

    Financial advice
    Account types, risk level, amount to invest, funds, personalized allocation

    Daily tax optimization
    Tax loss harvesting, asset location, tax-optimized lot selection

    Dividend reinvestment
    Daily rebalancing
    Fractional shares

  • Who makes money from my account—and how much?

    We make money from the fee you pay us, and that's it. The fee varies depending on the plan you choose. See more about our pricing.

  • Do you make more money recommending some investments over others?

    No. We don't have any of our own funds, and we don't get paid to recommend any funds to you.

  • Are you committed to acting in my best interests for all my accounts?

    Yes. The DOL only requires us to act in your best interest for your retirement accounts, but we act in your best interest for all accounts.

DOL Rule FAQs: What You Need to Know

Betterment is a new kind of investment service

We're transforming the investment industry. We're taking sophisticated investment strategies that have worked for decades, and using cutting-edge technology to make them more accessible to you and more aligned with your best interests. We don't get paid to recommend any funds and there are no hidden fees. We only choose investments and make recommendations that we determine are best for you and your goals.

We make recommendations from how much money to invest to the type of account that’s right for you. Then, we do it for you. We invest your money in a portfolio we've built for you, and manage it over time so that you don't have to.

Wondering if you can trust your money manager?
It’s time to try Betterment.

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Investing in securities involves risks, and there is always the potential of losing money when you invest in securities. Before investing, consider your investment objectives and Betterment's charges and expenses.

References in print advertisement to $148 million in deferred income are based on an estimate, as of 11/30/16, of the gross amount of tax losses realized for customers by Betterment's automated tax loss harvesting service since the launch of that feature in June 2014. Tax losses realized in taxable accounts can be applied to offset capital gains or ordinary income, thereby deferring tax until the investments are eventually sold. Tax deferral is expected to lower an investor's overall tax burden because the amount that would otherwise be owed can be reinvested and compounded over the course of the deferral period. This is not tax advice. For more information on Betterment's tax loss harvesting service, and full dislosures, please see: https://www.betterment.com/resources/research/tax-loss-harvesting-white-paper/

References in print advertisement to 75 million retirement savers are based on https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/docs/cea_coi_report_final.pdf

1 http://www.investmentnews.com/article/20161006/FREE/161009942/merrill-lynch-eliminates-commission-ira-business-in-response-to-dol
2 http://www.investmentnews.com/article/20161110/FREE/161119998/jpmorgan-chase-will-stop-charging-commissions-on-iras-due-to-dol
3 http://www.investmentnews.com/article/20161026/FREE/161029923/morgan-stanley-to-keep-commission-based-ira-business-despite-dol
4 http://www.wsj.com/articles/wells-fargo-to-keep-commissions-based-retirement-accounts-under-fiduciary-rule-1480615211
5 http://www.investmentnews.com/article/20161026/FREE/161029927/ameriprise-will-stick-with-ira-commissions-under-dol-fiduciary-rule