How ACATS transfers work for transferring funds to 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 Betterment's ACATS transfer process works. 

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 transfer 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 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 attempts to avoid realizing short-term capital gains, which are generally taxed at a higher rate than long-term capital gains. We will not sell any shares trading at a short-term gain. Over time, our system will continue analyzing your short-term holdings and if any begin trading at a loss or ultimately become long-term, our system will further rebalance.

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

Betterment is not a licensed tax advisor, as such, this information should not be considered tax advice and is for educational purposes only.