How ACATS Transfers Work At Betterment

When possible, we use the ACATS method (Automated Customer Account Transfer Service), to electronically transfer assets and cash to Betterment. Generally, an ACATS transfer is faster and more convenient than other types of transfers.

Here’s an overview of how the ACATS transfer process works at Betterment. Please see our full ACATS terms and conditions for more information.

1. We’ll notify your current provider of the account(s) that you’d like to transfer.

  • We can do all the heavy lifting—usually there is no paperwork needed on your side.
  • Full and partial transfers requests can be made.
  • See Account Eligibility for the full list of account types that may be eligible for ACATS transfer.
    • Note: Depending on a number of variables, human support and paperwork may be required to complete your ACATS transfer.

2. Your current provider will review the details of your specific request and send us the corresponding investments and any cash in your account(s).

  • It generally takes 5-6 business days for a transfer to complete.
  • Any investments will continue to be invested throughout the transfer process.

3. We take care of aligning any investments or cash received to match your target portfolio strategy at Betterment.

  • We automatically reinvest any cash received at the first available opportunity.
  • For taxable account transfers, we will efficiently incorporate any ETFs that match those used in your target Betterment portfolio strategy. Some selling may still occur in the transition as we work to achieve your desired asset-class weightings.
  • For any ETFs and mutual funds that do not align with the investments we use in our portfolio strategies, we attempt to first sell shares that are trading at a loss or that you’ve owned for at least a year. This is an attempt to avoid realizing short-term capital gains, which are generally taxed at a higher rate than long-term capital gains.
  • Betterment cannot custody single stocks. Any stock(s) transferred will be immediately sold, and the cash proceeds will be automatically reinvested into your target Betterment portfolio strategy.

Please see our full ACATS terms and conditions for more information.

As always, our transfer team is available to assist as needed. Please do not hesitate to reach out to transfers@betterment.com for dedicated support.