Betterment Core Portfolio

Our recommended ETF portfolio strategy with 101 specific allocations

Table of Contents


What funds are in my portfolio?

The Betterment Portfolio is comprised of a combination of globally-diversified stock and bond ETFs that aim to efficiently capture the broad U.S. stock market, as well as international developed and emerging markets. We selected these ETFs based on their liquidity, diversification, and low management fees. Your money is invested in thousands of companies through fractional shares. Exactly how much of your portfolio is made up of which stocks and bonds depends on your portfolio’s exact target ...

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Can I use state-specific municipal bonds in my taxable investment portfolio?

The standard Betterment portfolio for taxable accounts utilizes a national municipal bond ETF to provide exposure to national municipal bonds. For customers with a minimum balance of (or intent to fund) at least $100,000, Betterment offers state-specific municipal bond ETFs for California and New York residents in lieu of the national municipal bond ETF. These ETFs provide exposure to California municipal bonds and New York municipal bonds, respectively. State-specific municipal bonds are ...

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What are the current overlaps of the same stocks held within different ETFs?

Generally, the only stocks which will have overlap are value stocks and small-cap stocks. We've employed evidence-backed optimizations that tilt a recommended portfolio toward value stocks and investments with a smaller market capitalization. To achieve this tilt, we use a whole U.S. stock-market ETF for our core holding, and then invest in three additional value-based ETFs for large-cap, mid-cap, and small-cap value equity exposure, respectively. Stocks which fall into these three ETFs will ...

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How It Works

How will my portfolio be allocated?

When you deposit money with Betterment, every dollar is seamlessly invested in up to 14 different asset classes, depending on your selected asset allocation. You decide your ideal allocation of stocks vs. bonds, which is dependent on the amount of risk you want to take and how much time you plan on investing for. We’ll provide recommendations based on your goals and your timeframe, and we’ll automatically rebalance your portfolio over time to keep you on track to meet your financial goals. When ...

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Will the Betterment Core portfolio beat the market?

Investors in every country are apt to follow their local stock market as a benchmark. The British follow the FTSE, Germans watch the DAX, and the Japanese pay attention to the Nikkei. American investors are drawn to use the S&P 500 as a benchmark because it’s familiar and is the most widely reported index in U.S. news. What Americans are less likely to hear is that the S&P 500 represents only a portion (about 80%) of the U.S. stock market and 36% of the world’s total stock market. While ...

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When I use the Betterment Core portfolio, can my investments lose value?

Betterment is a strong believer in passive investing. The majority of the evidence shows that active management, whether by individual investors or fund managers, causes more harm than good in net-of-fee returns. We invest in low-cost, passive investments which always seek to match the market’s performance. However, like all market investments, the securities you own in your account are subject to market risk. Fluctuations in the market are normal and hard to predict over the short term, but ...

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