Please note that the following information pertains to stocks and bonds investment transactions only and does not apply to crypto transactions.
Any time there is a transaction in your Betterment account (like a deposit, withdrawal, or change in your allocation), we buy and sell shares of stocks and bonds on your behalf in the proper amounts. Betterment takes care of the trading for you. We also trade in order to rebalance your account, change investment options, or otherwise further the investment objectives that you specify through your account.
We generally trade within 1-3 business days of transaction initiation, and only within market hours. Withdrawals initiated thirty minutes or less before markets close (typically 4:00 PM ET) will not transact until the next business day. Trades that are triggered by multiple client actions in a single day (e.g., multiple portfolio allocation changes in different goals), generally will not be placed until the next day.
You can view the details of any transaction within your account.
Your allocation is the mix of stock and bonds ETFs (or in some cases, mutual funds) within your investing portfolio.
When you change your target allocation, you alter the proportions of stock and bond ETFs that you aim to own. The number of shares we’ll then buy or sell depends on the size of your portfolio and the size of the allocation change.
Day trading means buying and selling the same security on the same day. To prevent day trading, we allow you to make only one allocation change in a legal account per day.
Deposits and Withdrawals
Deposits and withdrawals to and from investing goals result in the purchase or sale of shares of ETFs. Money that you deposit is used to buy shares and money that you withdraw comes from the proceeds of shares sold. The number of shares bought or sold is dependent on the size of your transaction and your allocation of stocks and bonds.
Deposits are automatically invested within 1-3 business days into your portfolio, based on our recommended mix of ETFs.
Withdrawals from investing goals typically take 4-5 business days to reach your connected account, which includes trade settlement and transmission through the ACH network back to your bank. If additional information is needed to process your withdrawal, you’ll hear from us via email.
Transfer Between Accounts
You can transfer between two individual investing goals, between two joint investing goals, or between an individual investing goal and a joint investing goal—each once per day. Transfers between goals typically take 1-2 business days to complete.
You can transfer between an individual investment goal and your individual Cash Reserve, or between a joint investment goal and your joint Cash Reserve—up to 5 times per day. These transactions generally take 1-2 business days to complete.
Within accounts held at Betterment, we only allow transfers involving individual and joint investing accounts if you are listed as married to the account owner. Note: This requirement does not apply if you created the joint account and are the primary account owner. Confirm spouse details, or, if you are not married, contact us and we can help you with a manual transfer.
Dividend Reinvestment and Rebalancing
There are two other main transaction types that occur in your investing accounts which are not a direct result of any action you take on your side.
When ETFs you own issue dividends, we will automatically reinvest the cash proceeds into more stock and bond ETFs, based on your allocation settings.
We will also rebalance by selling and buying stock and bond ETFs when needed. We adjust your portfolio based on your account balance and market movements to help manage risk and drift from your target allocation.