Common questions

Explore frequently asked questions by new customers

Company information

Who are the experts behind Betterment?

Our team of investing experts make decisions about our portfolio strategies and fund selection with the help of an external committee of economists, PhDs, and industry experts. More than just a portfolio management team, our experts work to develop improvements to our Tax Smart technology, our cash analysis tools, and other advanced strategies.

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Is Betterment a regulated financial institution?

Betterment LLC is an SEC-registered Investment Advisor, and brokerage services provided to clients of Betterment LLC is done by Betterment Securities, an SEC-registered broker-dealer and member of FINRA /SIPC.

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How does Betterment compare to other financial companies?

We like to point to three major ways we're focused on the customer, perhaps more so than other financial companies, including other robo-advisors and digital banks. We're a fiduciary—we are required to act in your best interests and we're intentional about avoiding conflicts of interest. For instance, we don't build our own funds and then recommend them to our own customers if it's not in their best interest, the way some other companies do. Our platform combines powerful technology with ...

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How does Betterment make money?

Betterment makes money in four simple ways: Our flat management fee for investing and advice—0.25% for most customers, 0.40% for our Premium advice plan. Our over-the-phone advice packages, which cost between $199 and $299 per package. Payments from Cash Reserve program banks, which Betterment expects will result in annualized revenue of more than 0% but less than 0.25% of the average, aggregate balance of the daily program deposits at program banks. Finally, for Checking, Betterment Financial ...

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What is your Mission Statement?

We are here to empower people to do what's best for their money so they can live better. We’re building smarter, more efficient money management for everyone. By pushing the bounds of what technology can do, by bringing together some of the best software and analytic thinking of diverse, cutting edge industries, we’re able to ensure that more people get the advice that they deserve. We have the ability to help free our customers to pursue what is most meaningful to them, to spend their time ...

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How is Betterment different?

Traditionally, people have manually managed their money and investments, which can be a very time consuming and painful process, or they've paid very costly fees to have access to financial advisors and advanced investment strategies. You may be a first-time investor just starting out, a seasoned investor wondering if you could be doing better, or a retiree thinking about ways to make your nest egg last. For those seeking an alternative to expensive advisor fees or the labor-intensive process ...

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Financial security

How do you keep my money safe?

Betterment Securities is a member of SIPC, which protects securities customers of its members up to $500,000 (including $250,000 for claims for cash). Explanatory brochure available upon request or at www.sipc.org. What you should remember is that the SPIC does not protect against market changes in your account. The risks inherent in investing are tradeoffs you make to pursue investment returns. We design our portfolio to aim for the highest projected returns given your risk level. With our ...

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What happens to my money if Betterment goes public, is acquired, or closes?

Betterment Securities is a member of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC). At a high level, you can think of SIPC as providing protection for funds held in a brokerage account in the event that the brokerage fails. The Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC) provides insurance that protects your investments, including those held by our broker, Betterment Securities. It covers up to $500,000 of missing assets, including a maximum of $250,000 for cash claims. The limit ...

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Getting started

How is a Betterment investment account different from a traditional online brokerage account?

Betterment offers unique features, including: A straightforward pricing model without transaction charges or hidden fees. We focus on the only two investments which tend to matter to most investors: a great stock basket and a bond portfolio. An incredibly easy user experience which makes it easy to understand your money and control your exposure to risk. Automatic, seamless diversification (which often means higher returns with lower risk). Automatic rebalancing of your portfolio. Automatic ...

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What is Betterment and how does it work?

Betterment is a smart money manager and the largest independent online financial advisor that serves one purpose: to help you make the most of your money. Betterment helps you manage your money through cash management, guided investing, and retirement planning. We are a fiduciary, which means we act in your best interest. We'll ask a bit about you when you sign up. We'll also gather information when you connect your outside accounts. Then, we'll help you set financial goals and set you up with ...

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Does Betterment do a credit check?

No. Since Betterment does not lend out money, the only check we do is an identification (ID) verification as required by law. We do not pull your credit score or act in any way which would impact your credit rating.

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Who is eligible to use Betterment?

Betterment currently only operates in the United States, and for regulatory reasons cannot accept international customers residing outside the United States. This includes U.S. citizens residing and/or working abroad.* All customers must be at least 18 years of age in order to consent to all our agreements. Customers must have a permanent U.S. address, a U.S. Social Security Number or an ITIN, and a checking account from a U.S. bank. *Betterment supports residents in Puerto Rico and the Virgin ...

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What are Betterment’s fees?

Betterment’s investment advice is available for 0.25% per year with no minimum balance. We call this our Digital plan because you receive our advice online. For 0.40% per year, you can also gain over-the-phone and/or email access to our team of CFP® professionals and licensed financial experts who can provide in-depth advice on investments outside of Betterment. This Premium plan requires a minimum balance of $100,000. Learn more about our pricing. For balances in excess of $2 million ...

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How It Works

Can I invest in an individual stock or fund (ie., S&P 500 index or Apple)?

No, you cannot invest in an individual stock or fund at Betterment. We aim to invest in a globally-diversified portfolio (which includes over 5,000 companies) made up of low-cost and liquid ETFs. The portfolio was chosen to help provide optimal returns at every level of risk, and is rebalanced as the market fluctuates and as you grow closer to your goal’s end date, if you have a time horizon set. We believe in passive investing. The majority of the evidence shows that active management, whether ...

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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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What investments are in the Betterment portfolio?

Here at Betterment, we have already done the research on how to help make the most of your money, and our experts have put together a portfolio so that you don’t have to. You won’t be picking and choosing your own investments. You also won’t be able to buy stocks in specific companies or industries. Our Core portfolio is comprised of a combination of stock ETFs and bond ETFs, which are globally diversified and personalized for each goal and time horizon. An exchange-traded fund (ETF) is a ...

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Who is available to support me when I need one-on-one advice?

Our team is here to support you, whether you're facing a technical problem, making a complicated financial move, or looking for personalized guidance from a professional. When you have a question that warrants personal advice, we have a team of CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERS™ to support you with one-on-one advice, either in a one-time package or with continuous support in our Premium plan. We also have a Concierge Team who can help advise you if you're working on transitioning a substantial ...

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What mobile platforms does Betterment support?

Betterment supports apps on iOS and Android. You can download them below: iOS Android

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