U.S. Total Stock Market
US Total Stock Market contains broad exposure to the historically strong long-term growth of the U.S. economy.
U.S. Large-Cap Value Stocks
US Large-Cap Value stocks overlap with the U.S. Total Stock Market, but are included to tilt the portfolio toward large size companies with low price-to-earnings ratios.
U.S. Mid-Cap Value Stocks
U.S. Mid-Cap Value stocks overlap with the U.S. Total Stock Market, but are included to tilt the portfolio toward medium size companies with low price-to-earnings ratios.
U.S. Small-Cap Value Stocks
U.S. Small-Cap Value stocks overlap with the US Total Stock Market, but are included to tilt the portfolio toward small size companies with low price-to-earnings ratios.
International Developed Stocks
Developed Markets stocks provide exposure to a diverse set of companies from international developed economies including the UK, Europe, Japan, and others.
Emerging Market Stocks
Emerging Markets provide higher return potential and diversification, but they come with higher risk compared to U.S. or International Developed stocks.
This extremely low-risk asset class is a cash alternative that generates nominal benefit through interest payments, and de-risks the portfolio at safer allocations.
Inflation Protected Bonds
This allocation serves to insulate a part of the portfolio from the depreciating effects of inflation while also having historically low correlation with other asset classes.
U.S. High Quality or Municipal Bonds
For fixed income with slightly higher risk and returns than U.S. Treasuries, taxable accounts use Municipals and IRA and 401(k) accounts use U.S. High Quality bonds.
U.S. Corporate Bonds
Corporate bonds generally offer attractive yields and opportunity for capital appreciation to compensate investors for default risk.
International Bonds have high credit quality and provide interest rate diversification for a bond portfolio, resulting in higher risk-adjusted returns.
Emerging Markets Bonds
Emerging Markets Bonds are dollar-denominated bonds issued by governments with economies that are rapidly growing and industrializing.
Allocate assets for optimal performance.
How your money is spread across stocks and bonds can impact your long-term returns. We'll recommend how much risk to take on based on when you'll need your money.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is an ETF?
An exchange-traded fund (ETF) is a security that tracks an index, a commodity or a basket of assets just like an index fund, but trades like a stock on an exchange. Betterment uses ETFs in both our stock and bond portfolios because of the liquidity, diversification, and low management fees they offer. Read more.
Will my Betterment portfolio beat the market?
Betterment is a strong believer in passive investing. The majority of the evidence shows that active management, whether by individual investors or fund managers, can cause more harm than good in net-of-fee returns. We therefore invest in low-cost, passive investments which seek to match the market's performance. Read more.
Will a taxable portfolio be different from a non-taxable portfolio?
Yes—We distinguish between taxable and retirement accounts when allocating bonds for additional optimization. Taxable accounts generally hold federally tax-exempt municipal bonds, providing portfolios more favorable after-tax return. Tax advantaged retirement accounts generally maintain exposure to U.S. investment-grade bonds.
Will my Betterment portfolio be globally diversified?
Yes—By using the world's markets as its baseline, the Betterment portfolio diversifies risk on a number of levels including currency, interest rates, credit risk, monetary policy, and economic growth country by country. As economic circumstances may drag down one nation, global diversification helps decrease the risk that one geographic area alone will drag down your portfolio. Read more.
Can my Betterment portfolio decrease in value?
Yes—Far from unusual, downturns are a normal part of even the highest returning investments. Investors often worry and react with panic in response to market drops, even if they are invested properly for their long-term goals, but interim losses are to be expected even during the best investment periods. Read more.
Where can I learn more about the Betterment portfolio and investing strategy?
You can read more about the Betterment portfolio, investment strategy, ETFs, taxes and more at our Resource Center.
Start your investment plan
years old and
- Not Retired
My annual income is
Start your investment plan
Member of Securities Investor Protection Corporation
Betterment Securities is a member of SIPC. Securities in your account protected up to $500,000. For details, please see www.sipc.org.
Looking out for investors' accounts is a legal duty.
Regulated by the SEC and a member of FINRA, our Broker-Dealer, Betterment Securities, follows a strict set of rules, designed to protect our investors' accounts.