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Investment Accounts

Betterment Brings Expertise to Trust Accounts

Protect and easily manage trust assets in a globally diversified portfolio.

Articles by Betterment Editors

By the Editorial Staff
Betterment Resource Center  |  Published: June 11, 2014

Betterment trust accounts are ideal for trustees who want to manage investments with no hassle.

Trust accounts receive all the benefits of automated investing, including tax efficiency and an optimized portfolio.

investment trust accountIt can be a thankless, unpaid task—managing a trust fund for family members, yourself or others. Yet you have a fiduciary responsibility to make sure the trust’s assets are in a sound investment with the right risk profile that meets the needs of the beneficiaries.

With Betterment’s new trust accounts, a trustee can oversee an expertly designed portfolio of investments—with minimal setup time and at a low cost.

Our innovative, automated investing approach brings new accessibility to trust asset management. Today, with Betterment’s new trust accounts, individual trustees can access the sophistication and returns of an expert investment portfolio at a very low cost—and with peace of mind that he or she can ‘set it and forget it’ and it will be automatically managed.

What Betterment can do for trustees

  • Provide an objective investment for your trust assets in a globally diversified portfolio of ETFs
  • Make it easy and time-efficient for you to oversee multiple trusts, and provide access to multiple trustees
  • Automate investment management so you can have peace of mind the investment is on track
  • Customize asset allocation for multiple goals or beneficiaries
  • Provide optimal net investor returns
  • Offer security and safety for your funds
  • No minimum annual fee or account size minimum

Why Betterment is better

Betterment is an automated investment service, where we take the best investment research—expertise about portfolio construction, fund optimization, and behavioral economics—and apply technology and engineering in a meaningful way to make it accessible for individual investors.

Money deposited into trust accounts are invested in Betterment’s globally diversified portfolio of 12 asset classes, where asset allocation can be customized for as many goals as needed.  Trustees can manage multiple accounts from one login, including both trust and personal accounts.

With trust accounts, every aspect of oversight can be managed online—from opening an account, setting up multiple goals, to managing asset allocation and transacting with checking accounts. Trust accounts receive every benefit Betterment provides, including automatic dividend re-investing, rebalancing, and optimal tax accounting—along with customer service available seven days a week.

Betterment does not set up or establish trusts but rather offers accounts for trustees to manage investments. If you are interested in learning more about trusts, you can read more here.

Managing a trust: an example

After the death of his mother, John Smith  has been named as the trustee for her $500,000 estate. According to the guidelines in her trust, the money is to be invested to provide income to multiple beneficiaries, which includes him, the trustee, and three other beneficiaries.

John sets up a trust account with Betterment. Within the account, John can create multiple goals, each customized with an allocation that matches the appropriate investment term for each beneficiary.

Betterment advises the right asset allocation based on the time horizon John provides for each goal. For example, John can manage goals with an allocation 90% stocks for beneficiaries who will have more time in the market—and manage goals with a more conservative risk profile for beneficiaries with a shorter time horizon.  And, for a beneficiary who has a trust for an education goal—Betterment provides customized investment advice designed specifically for that goal.

John’s only expense is the management cost on the trust’s total balance, which is 0.15% for a total account balance of $100,000 or more. There are no additional transaction or trading fees, rebalancing costs, or other hidden expenses.

How to get started

After setting up an account with Betterment, trustees can add a trust account. Our platform allows you to manage multiple trusts as well as a personal account from one login. You will need to provide documentation for the trust you are managing, including the title page of the trust agreement and final page(s) of the trust agreement with all trustee signatures.



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