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Betterment’s Founder Is Looking Forward

We’ve made a lot of headway towards our mission to help you make the most of your money over the last decade. I can’t wait for you to see what’s coming next.

Articles by Jon
By Jon Stein Founder, Betterment Published Jan. 23, 2020
Published Jan. 23, 2020
4 min read

Not far into 2010, I had the most nerve-wracking day of my life.

We were in the immediate aftermath of the financial crisis, and I was pitching an idea for an automated investing platform. Great timing, right?

To an audience of 20,000, amidst a “startup battlefield,” I shared my hopes and dreams for Betterment. I felt that our future as a company—everything I’d worked on for three years—depended on the success of that speech.

It went pretty well.

Time flies—now here we are in 2020.

The start of the 2020s looks much different. Now, nearly half a million people trust us to manage more than $22 billion of their money.

We’ve gone from a simple US stocks vs. treasuries allocation slider to a smart money manager that helps you spend, save, invest, and retire better—with an estimated 38% more cash over a 30-year horizon, for those who follow our advice and use our tax-smart technology.

As we kick off 2020, we’re working to make money smarter for more people than ever before, and we’re closer than ever to that vision.

Our vision is to help you manage your cash.

Our vision starts with Checking. As important as saving and investing are, checking is where our money starts. It’s where we make critical decisions with little guidance, and it’s where many traditional banks can take advantage of us.

We’ve built a checking account with no hidden fees, no overdraft fees, and no minimum balances. We’re reimbursing ATM fees worldwide‡ —at all 3.2 million of them—and packaging everything in our app so you keep control on the go.

We’re already giving you guidance on how much (or little) you need to keep in checking, based on your income and spending. Then, subject to your input, we automatically move your money between Checking and Cash Reserve so that you can earn one of the highest rates in market.

Here’s what’s coming next.

As 2020 progresses, we’ll build new products that help make it easier for couples and families to manage and grow their money together.

We’re looking to allow you to smartly see all your spending and saving in one place, with family-level planning and control and smart rewards for good financial behaviors.

We’re also tackling new and exciting problems, such as how we can help you figure out the best allocation of your paycheck across spending, saving, and retirement, and automatically pull that money into the appropriate accounts that you prioritize.

I’ve challenged us to look at the next decade as one in which we might eliminate the traditional boundaries of “products” and “accounts,” and instead to focus on the humans—and their families—who we serve and how we make them better off.

Stick with us—we’ve got your back.

I want Betterment to be the sort of place that constantly makes people think, “I don’t know how they do it, but I’m glad they do.” When we look back on today from 2030, I believe that we’ll be even more amazed at all we’ve accomplished together.

Happy 2020, and thank you (and yours) for being Betterment customers.

Jon Stein's Cursive Signature

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Cash Reserve

Cash Reserve (“Cash Reserve”) is offered by Betterment LLC. Clients of Betterment LLC may participate in Cash Reserve through their brokerage account held at Betterment Securities. Neither Betterment LLC nor any of its affiliates is a bank. Through Cash Reserve, clients’ funds are deposited into one or more banks (“Program Banks“) where the funds earn a variable interest rate and are eligible for FDIC insurance.  Cash Reserve provides Betterment clients with the opportunity to earn interest on cash intended to purchase securities through Betterment LLC and Betterment Securities.  Cash Reserve should not be viewed as a long-term investment option.

Funds held in your brokerage accounts are not FDIC-insured but are protected by SIPC. Funds in transit to or from Program Banks are generally not FDIC-insured but are protected by SIPC, except when those funds are held in a sweep account following a deposit or prior to a withdrawal, at which time funds are eligible for FDIC insurance but are not protected by SIPC. See Betterment Client Agreements for further details. Funds deposited into Cash Reserve are eligible for up to $1,000,000.00 of FDIC insurance once the funds reach one or more Program Banks (up to $250,000 each at up to four Program Banks). Even if there are more than four Program Banks, clients will not necessarily have deposits allocated in a manner that will provide FDIC insurance above $1,000,000. The FDIC calculates the insurance limits based on all accounts held in the same insurable capacity at a bank, not just cash in Cash Reserve. If clients elect to exclude one or more Program Banks from receiving deposits the amount of FDIC insurance available through Cash Reserve may be lower. Clients are responsible for monitoring their total assets at each Program Bank, including existing deposits held at Program Banks outside of Cash Reserve, to ensure FDIC insurance limits are not exceeded, which could result in some funds being uninsured.  For more information on FDIC insurance please visit www.FDIC.gov. Deposits held in Program Banks are not protected by SIPC. For more information see the full terms and conditions and Betterment LLC’s Form ADV Part II.


Checking accounts and the Betterment Visa Debit Card provided by and issued by nbkc bank, Overland Park, Kansas, Member FDIC. Funds deposited into Checking will be eligible for up to $250,000 of FDIC insurance. Checking made available through Betterment Financial LLC. Neither Betterment Financial LLC, nor any of their affiliates, is a bank. Betterment Financial LLC reimburses ATM fees and the Visa® 1% foreign transaction fee worldwide, everywhere Visa is accepted. Checking accounts do not earn APY (annual percentage yield). Cash Reserve and Checking are separate offerings and are not linked accounts.

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