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Betterment Institutional Is Now Betterment for Advisors

We’re fundamentally changing the wealth management industry by giving advisors even more portfolio strategies on our cutting-edge platform.

Articles by Betterment Editors
By the Editorial Staff Betterment Resource Center Published Sep. 14, 2016
Published Sep. 14, 2016
3 min read

bettermentforadvisors
Today we are excited to announce that Betterment Institutional is now called Betterment for Advisors (B4A).

This change is not just about a new name, but also involves key developments to the B4A platform that will be available in October 2016.

We heard from advisors that they wanted greater portfolio flexibility, so they’ll soon be able to choose additional portfolio strategies from our new partners, Goldman Sachs Asset Management (GSAM) and Vanguard.

Our continued development strengthens our mission of partnering with advisors to reimagine what humans and cutting-edge technology can do together.

The Prelude

In 2014, Betterment launched its advisor platform, originally called Betterment Institutional, to give financial advisors access to its revolutionary investment management technology.

Since then, the platform has helped hundreds of firms automate a wide range of administrative processes and tasks for thousands of advised clients.

Our Mission, Aligned with Advisors

We don’t believe robo-advice is about humans versus technology—where one will win and one will lose. We believe it’s about how humans employ technology to make their lives better, easier, and more efficient.

An Improved Platform

Advisors using the new B4A platform can offer unparalleled service on behalf of their clients. For example, they can open accounts for their clients within minutes, and do it all digitally, without cumbersome paperwork or tedious back and forth. Advisors can also automatically and efficiently manage their clients’ portfolios for them.

Clients can benefit from the B4A platform thanks to Betterment’s intuitive, user-friendly experience that helps them more easily understand their investments. They’ll also be intimately involved with their accounts, and required to sign off on any actions that their advisors perform on their behalf.

Organization Across Business Lines

With this name change, we are aligning each of Betterment’s business lines to be more clear and consistent by customer group.

Betterment serves retail customers, Betterment for Advisors (B4A) serves advisors and RIAs, and Betterment for Business (B4B) offers 401(k)s for employers.

More Portfolio Strategies

One of our most important priorities this year has been giving advisors more options to customize their experience on our platform. We heard consistent feedback about the need for greater portfolio flexibility.

That’s why we’re thrilled to announce that advisors will be able to access a selection of model portfolio strategies from GSAM and Vanguard through the B4A platform beginning Oct. 17, 2016.

We carefully selected partners and strategies that are consistent with our broader vision for portfolio flexibility, and we will continue to develop a curated suite of portfolios that offer unique solutions for our advisors’ clients.

Advisors will be able to choose from an updated suite of portfolio offerings from the following industry-leading institutions:

Betterment: Betterment’s portfolio consists of globally diversified stock and bond allocations with a U.S. value and small-cap tilt, and is comprised of low-cost, liquid, index-tracking ETFs from diverse providers. A 100% bond allocation is entirely U.S. ultra-short term treasuries, allowing for extremely low risk.

Goldman Sachs Asset Management: GSAM’s ETF asset allocation portfolios provide exposure to core stocks and bonds as well as diversifiers, such as emerging markets and REITS, using low-cost, liquid ETFs. These portfolios use an established, factor-based approach designed to balance risk across multiple sources of return.

“We are pleased to offer Betterment for Advisors model portfolios containing low-cost ETFs covering a wide array of asset classes,” said Larry Restieri, Chief Operating Officer for GSAM Third Party Distribution. “They are designed to help registered investment advisors meet their clients’ needs.”

Vanguard: Vanguard’s ETF strategic model portfolios are derived from global market cap weights. They include exposure to U.S. and international equities and global investment-grade bonds, encompassing more than 19,000 global stocks and bonds, using low cost index-tracking exchange-traded index funds.

“Vanguard ETF strategic model portfolios are constructed by our Investment Strategy Group, whose responsibility it is to develop and maintain Vanguard’s investment methodology,” said Evan Wolf, Head of Investment Services in Vanguard’s Financial Advisor Services. “The group draws from Vanguard’s more than 40 years of investment management experience to ensure that our model portfolios reflect our belief that investment success hinges on asset allocation, broad diversification, and low cost.”

Advisors will be able to choose a model strategy aligned with their preferred investment approach or complementary to their current investment approach. Each of the strategies is designed to address their clients’ investment needs and risk tolerances.

The new portfolio strategies will be integrated with the B4A platform, leveraging our award-winning user experience and streamlined portfolio management automation.

Making additional strategies available through B4A is the first step among several we’re taking to provide more portfolio flexibility. We’re excited about sharing additional portfolio capabilities in the near future to meet the needs of our advisors and their clients. And we’re equally excited about continuing to grow with our advisors as we make more innovative progress on the B4A platform.

The new portfolio strategies will be available to advisors on Oct. 17, 2016. To learn more, visit www.BettermentForAdvisors.com.

Betterment is offering a range of model portfolios as a service to provide advisors with greater flexibility in serving their clients. The availability of a model portfolio offered by an independent third party on the Betterment for Advisors platform should not be construed as, and is not, a recommendation as to the advisability of utilizing such model portfolio strategy.

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