Account setup

Set up your Betterment account to help make the most of your money

Getting started

Should I roll over before setting up a Retirement goal that uses Tax Coordination?

Since we can rebalance tax-advantaged accounts (as compared to your taxable accounts) without causing you taxes, you may want to consider rolling over tax-advantaged accounts (like IRAs) first and then funding your taxable account. Funding your taxable account first won’t cause any harm, but because we’re protecting your account from any unnecessary taxes, it may take longer for your portfolio to reach its optimal location. Learn more about important considerations before rolling over assets to ...

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How to Set Up Your Investments Correctly at Betterment

A quick overview of getting your portfolio started at Betterment based on your financial goals. Is your portfolio set up correctly? Let’s talk about how you can feel sure your investments are set up for success at Betterment. If you’re like most investors, your investments may have previously been managed in one big bucket. That’s the way traditional brokers work, but it’s likely not as effective for you as an investor. Instead, you should have multiple personalized portfolios built around your ...

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Investment details

ETFs vs Mutual Funds

There are a number of differences between ETFs and mutual funds, including performance, trading constraints, fund fees, and taxes. Here, we'll break down the details so that you can understand your portfolio. Performance An exchange-traded fund (ETF) is a security that generally tracks a broad-market stock or bond index, or a basket of assets—just like a mutual fund—but trades like a stock on a listed exchange. By design, index ETFs closely track their benchmarks, such as the S&P 500 or the ...

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What’s an expense ratio?

Expense ratios are fees that exchange-traded funds (ETFs), mutual funds, closed-end funds, and money market funds charge their shareholders. This fee is called a “ratio” because it is quoted as a percentage of assets per year, e.g. 0.85%. The expense ratio includes the administrative, operating, and legal costs involved in managing the fund, and sometimes even marketing costs (called 12b-1 fees) to distribute the fund. The expense ratio is important to consider when you invest in a fund. Even ...

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What are ETFs?

An exchange-traded fund (ETF) is a security that usually tracks an index, a commodity, or a basket of assets—much like an index fund—but trades like a stock on an exchange. Most ETFs track fairly closely to the indexes that they follow, such as the S&P 500 or the Dow Jones Industrial Average. ETFs are bought and sold like stocks throughout the day, and therefore experience continually changing prices. Betterment uses ETFs in both our stock and bond portfolios because of the liquidity, ...

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Managing my account

What accounts can I open with Betterment?

To create an additional account, click “Add New” from the menu after logging in from a web browser. Or, on the mobile app, log in and click on "Add goal/account." There you’ll find a list of available account types to choose from. There are no fees or minimums required for most of our additional accounts.   Betterment supports the following account types: Roth IRA Traditional IRA SEP IRA (single participant only) Inherited IRA To set up an inherited IRA, please contact us. Individual taxable ...

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Where can I update my personal information?

On a web browser: Log in and select Settings on the left. You’ll then be able to edit your personal profile. From the mobile app: Log in to the mobile app and tap the three bars in the top left corner. Then, choose Settings, and you’ll be able to edit your personal profile. If you need to change your legal name, please email us for further assistance.

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How do I update my legal name?

Please reach out to us and we’ll help you make changes to your account.

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Profile name

Will my newly updated name be shared with anyone outside of Betterment?

Your updated name will be visible to anyone with whom you co-own a joint account and anyone you refer to Betterment (but only if you opt for us to send the invitation for you). We also may share your name with third-parties for non-regulatory purposes, like marketing emails. See our privacy notice for more information.

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How do I update my first name?

Log in to Betterment on a web browser. Navigate to your “Settings” page. Near where your Legal name is displayed in bold type, you’ll see a link that invites you to “Change first name.” Select it. Once we quickly verify your identity, you’ll see a screen that asks, “How should we address you?” In the field below, enter the name you go by. Select “Update.” It may take a few days for this change to be updated throughout our system. We apologize for any stray emails or mailers that might misname ...

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Where will my newly updated name appear?

Your newly updated name will display wherever we greet you in your Betterment account’s mobile and web experiences. Any updates about your account or marketing emails will address you using your newly updated name. This name will also be visible to our Customer Experience team so they can address you correctly when they speak with you via email or phone. This list will expand as we continue working hard to make sure your newly updated name appears everywhere it can.

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If I update my preferred name, will Betterment still use my legal name?

Yes. We’ll need your legal name for things like tax documents, account snapshots, your Checking debit card (if applicable), and any documents used to verify your identity with a government agency or another financial institution.

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