Talking to our customers is what drives our product decisions. It’s what helps us build a service that people want—that they need. Over the five years I’ve been at Betterment, I’ve had the privilege of working closely with our phenomenal design and engineering teams to build many of the advice and investment management innovations that are used today by more than 200,000 people who we are proud to call our customers.
We know that our customers are investing for the long term, and we know they want to be smart about it. They love the idea of using technology to manage their investments, which makes sense—we’ve always offered the best technology that’s always working to maximize our customers’ money.
But, along the way, we’ve also learned that some people want an extra set of eyes on their money, overseeing their accounts and making sure everything is going as planned. For them, having this type of financial supervision, in addition to having the option of speaking with a licensed professional, is invaluable.
That’s why we’re excited to announce that starting Jan. 31, we’ll have four different ways Betterment customers can use our service. Customers who prefer Betterment’s automated platform can continue to receive advice, invest, and access Customer Support through our digital plan. But for those who want access to a licensed expert, we now have three new offerings, including the Betterment Advisor Network™, that provide human-delivered advice. No matter which option you choose, you’ll have access to our self-service, personalized advice, available 24/7 through our digital tools.
Your Money, Your Way: The Betterment Service Plans
Some people never want to talk to a person. They feel comfortable letting Betterment’s technology make their lives easier, and do the work for them. Betterment has always served these customers well, and it keeps getting better.
With Betterment Digital, you’ll continue to receive advice about saving for retirement, choosing the best IRA for you, saving for other financial goals, and safely withdrawing from your accounts in retirement. Betterment Digital also includes all of the proven investing strategies and account services that make Betterment the better way to invest today: our intelligent investment portfolio, automatic rebalancing, Tax-Loss Harvesting+™, Tax-Coordinated Portfolio™, RetireGuide™, the ability to sync external financial accounts, and excellent customer service. As the foundation for all of our offerings, Betterment Digital will continue getting better each year. This plan has no minimum balance and costs 0.25% of your balance per year.
More and more, I’ve found that some people need financial guidance only from time to time. They might have specific questions about their own situation and how to interpret advice they get from our digital advice tools, or they may want reassurance about their decisions.
If you’d like to discuss your goals and specific situation with a member of our team of experts, you can upgrade to our Plus plan. You’ll get one consultation per year with someone from our team of CFP® professionals and licensed financial experts, and that team will keep tabs on your account, notifying you throughout the year if a look is needed. In your consultation, you can get a second pair of eyes on your plan and help making important financial decisions. Our experts can help you ensure you get the most out of your Betterment account for your situation, and can even take a look at other accounts you may have synced, like a 401(k). This plan requires a $100,000 minimum and costs 0.40% of your balance per year.
If you want to have more than one call per year, or have more complex needs, you can choose our Premium plan. The Premium plan includes unlimited access to our team of CFP® professionals and licensed financial experts. They’ll help keep tabs on your accounts, even when you’re not thinking about your investments, and they’ll also be available any time you have a financial question. This level of advice might make sense for you if you own multiple financial assets (like houses, or investment accounts beyond a 401(k)), have a complex tax situation, have advanced in-retirement advice needs, or if you just want someone to talk to more often about your investments. This plan requires a $100,000 minimum balance and costs 0.50% of your balance per year.
Why Our Human-Powered Advice Is Better
With our new Plus and Premium offerings, we can guarantee:
No Sales, Ever
Our team of licensed financial experts will be obligated to give the best advice for you—period. Sometimes that might mean adding assets to another service. They’ll do this because unlike other financial institutions, they won’t get paid to recommend products. That’s what being a fiduciary is all about.
You’ll always know what you pay for advice through our simple, straightforward, transparent pricing. We don’t make money by investing your account in our own funds (we don’t create funds), or on cash that you might hold in your account (you’ll never hold cash, which can drag down your returns).
If your financial needs change, or you want to switch to a different advice plan, you can—anytime.
A Focus on You
We are here to help answer your questions, to handle your agenda. You’ll end each call with clear recommendations and actions, many of which will be done already by the time you finish your call (our technology makes things that easy). We’ll also offer suggestions if we see something you might be missing, but there is no canned or standard financial plan or advice—it’s all about you.
Does your advisor check your account every day for rebalances, harvest opportunities, or for asset location efficiency? Do they check if your goal is on track and tell you on the go, via your smartphone? Do they ensure that every cent of your money is invested according to your goals at all times? At Betterment, we always will.
Betterment Advisor Network™
We also know some people want to work one-on-one with a dedicated advisor—someone with whom they can build a close relationship. Two years ago, we launched Betterment for Advisors to enable independent advisors to manage their clients’ accounts using Betterment’s cutting-edge portfolio management technology, while maintaining that close relationship and support.
Now, if you want a dedicated advisor relationship, we can help you with that, too. We can match you with one of the vetted independent CFP® professionals in our Betterment Advisor Network™. This lets you leverage Betterment’s tax-efficient, smart technology, while also working alongside a dedicated financial advisor.
They’ll get to know you personally, allowing them to develop a customized, comprehensive financial plan, and help with more advanced and complex financial issues. Your advisor will adapt and grow with you as your needs change, all while optimizing your use of the Betterment platform.
Even better—if you already use one of our other plans, there’s no need to go through the pain of moving your money. It’s all already at Betterment, and our advisors in the Betterment Advisor Network already manage their clients’ money using our platform.
The Best of Both Worlds: Smart Tech + Financial Experts
Bringing together sophisticated portfolio management technology with new ways to receive fiduciary financial advice allows us to serve more customers, and do it even better. It enables our vision of one-stop-shop financial advice, but more importantly, it helps you to do everything you can to maximize your money.