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Research

Dive into the details of our investing methodology, technical specs, and more.

Optimizing Performance in the Smart Saver Portfolio

In this methodology, we provide insight into how we optimize the performance of the lower risk bonds in Betterment's portfolios, including Smart Saver.

Acceptable Reasons for Holding Unused Cash in Smart Saver

When you aren't yet sure when or how to spend or invest your unused cash, we offer Smart Saver, a managed account designed to handle your extra cash.

Assessing a Portfolio’s Diversification

Higher levels of diversification allow you to take less risk to help achieve your desired level of return. At Betterment, we have carefully constructed…

Acceptable Reasons for Using Flexible Portfolios

Personalizing your overall investment strategy is critical to maximizing your money and achieving your financial goals. At Betterment, we aim to give you sound financial…

Goal Projection and Advice Methodology

Betterment helps you get on track to meet your goals by providing projections and advice on allocation, savings, and withdrawals. Our methodology for doing so involves some assumptions worth exploring.

Retirement Planning Advice Methodology

The complete methodology for Betterment's retirement planning process. Whether using Betterment’s digital services or working with our financial professional, you can review this set of assumptions to understand how we help customers achieve their retirement goals.

The Betterment Portfolio Strategy

Betterment’s core portfolio strategy is based on Nobel Prize-winning research. We continually improve the portfolio strategy over time in line with our research-focused investment philosophy.

Developing the Betterment SRI Portfolio Strategy

Betterment’s portfolio represents a diversified, low-cost SRI solution that will be improved as data, costs, and SRI funds improve.

Deriving an Assumption on Inflation

Expected annual inflation is a key assumption used by our retirement savings and withdrawal advice, which help you plan for the future. To make these…

Betterment’s Approach to Financial Advice: An Overview

Achieving your financial goals is only possible if you plan effectively. Saving enough, choosing the right accounts, deciding when you can buy a house or when to retire—all of these are essential decisions even before you build an optimal portfolio.

White Paper: Tax-Coordinated Portfolio™

Asset location is widely regarded as the closest thing there is to a “free lunch” in the wealth management industry.1 When investments are held…

Using Investment Goals at Betterment

Goal-based investing. The idea is prized among financial advisors—and our team at Betterment—but to the everyday investor, it’s often difficult to put into practice.

ETF Selection for Portfolio Construction: A Methodology

Betterment seeks to maximize investor take-home returns, which drives our investment selection criteria and process.

Allocation Advice for Betterment Portfolios

If you have ever worked with a traditional investment manager or have a 401(k) plan at work, you have likely answered a “standard” risk questionnaire. It often starts with your estimated…

White Paper: Tax Loss Harvesting+™

Tax loss harvesting is a sophisticated technique to get more value from your investments—but doing it well requires expertise.

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