Betterment, registered in 2009, serves 53 state(s) with a licensed staff of 15 advisors. Betterment manages $33.8 billion and provides investment advisory services for 698,415 clients (1:46561 advisor/client ratio).
|Minimum Investment||Ask firm|
|Average Client Balance||$48,450|
|Total AUM||$33.8 billion|
|Fee Range||Ask firm|
|Advisor / Client Ratio||1:46561|
|Languages Offered||Ask firm|
|Headquarters||New York, NY|
|SEC Filings||View SEC IAPD CRD #149117|
After checking the disciplinary records of Betterment, our system found no disciplinary questions to ask. Checks take place monthly.
After checking the regulatory records of Betterment, our system has identified the following question(s) to ask. Learn more.
Currently Betterment is also a Broker-Dealer or is affiliated with one. When firms are dual-registered as broker-dealers, they may be subject to compensation-related conflicts of interest, including revenue sharing from mutual funds, cross-selling of commissioned insurance products, and the sale of proprietary investment products. All of these conflicts can negatively impact clients via hidden fees and overall higher costs.
12b-1 fees increase the total annual cost of owning a mutual fund with no guarantee of higher returns. Some firms receive these fees as payments, which creates an incentive to promote them.
When performance-based fees are charged, the financial advisor is paid for outperforming a benchmark, typically an index. While this may seem like an attractive compensation structure to ensure your advisor is making your money work for you, often, the managers of those products are incentivized to take inappropriate risks to beat their performance benchmark. For instance, research has shown that mutual funds that use incentive fees take on more risk that funds that do not, and tend to double down and increase their risk following a poor performance. This could be detrimental to a client during down markets.
This typically occurs when firms manage mutual funds or hedge funds alongside smaller retail accounts. Side-by-side management can create an incentive for the advisor to favor the larger funds, potentially leading to unequal trading costs and unfavorable trade executions for their retail clients.
Betterment has marked in their disclosures that they trade recommended securities. While this often can be seen as "eating your own cooking," there are several inherent conflicts that can arise. For example, front running is when a financial professional buys or sell securities ahead of their client. In short, any financial professional should disclose all positions they hold (or have sold short) that they will also be recommending to you.
Our system found no other conflict questions to ask. Checks take place monthly.
An important aspect of the Trust Algorithm is processing the SEC Form ADV Part 1 filing of each Registered Investment Advisor (RIA). “Item 11 Disclosure Information” contains a list of valuable disclosures that are relevant for Americans.
As identified in SEC Form ADV Part 1, Item 11 “Disclosure Information”, the Trust Algorithm identified the following disciplinary disclosures for Betterment:
|Activity Restriction – SRO||No|
|Attorney/Accountant Authorization Revocation – SRO||No|
|Business License Revocation – SRO||No|
|Business License Revocation - SEC/CFTC||No|
|Business License Revocation - Other Regulatory Agencies||No|
|Dismissal upon Settlement – Court||No|
|Investment-Related Prohibition - Court||No|
|False Statements or Omissions – SRO||No|
|False Statements or Omissions - Other Regulatory Agencies||No|
|False Statements or Omissions - SEC/CFTC||No|
|Monetary Penalty - SEC/CFTC||No|
|Order Entered - SEC/CFTC||No|
|Order Entered - Other Regulatory Agencies||No|
|Regulation Violations - SEC/CFTC||No|
|Regulation Violations - Other Regulatory Agencies||No|
|Regulation Violations – SRO||No|
Unfortunately, there is no single, uniform pricing standard for working with a financial advisor. Catchphrases, including "fee-only," can be helpful; however, Americans often get confused with competitors promoting "fee-based" in response.
Ultimately, to understand the underlying costs of advisory services, we always recommend asking for an itemized fees breakdown and reading the firm's ADV Part 2 Brochure (Item 5, "Fees and Compensation").
|12B-1 Conflict||Ask firm|
|Performance-Based Fees||Ask firm|
|Insurance Agent Conflict - Affiliation||No|
|Insurance Agent Conflict - Firm||No|
|Private Investment Management||No|
|Side-by-Side Management||Ask firm|
|Trades Recommended Securities||Yes|
As a financial advisory firm, Betterment can provide a variety of financial planning services for Americans. Financial advisors help you achieve your life goals, e.g., saving for retirement, by creating a comprehensive financial plan and managing your investment portfolio (e.g., stocks, ETFs, mutual funds, bonds).
Financial planning services can include tax planning, estate planning, retirement planning, or life-based event planning such as saving for college, getting married, purchasing a home, paying down debt, or planning an inheritance.
Betterment is headquartered in New York, NY and currently serves in 53 states: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming.
While Betterment advises clients across a variety of portfolio sizes, the average client balance is currently $48,450. In total, Betterment manages $33,838,765,280 in assets.
Neither the SEC nor FINRA tracks portfolio performance metrics for the financial planning industry. As a result, unlike hedge funds, there is no historical performance for any financial advisory firm. Financial plans and investment portfolios are always unique to the client's personal financial situation.
investor.com relies on regulatory data from the SEC to rate and review financial advisor firms. As a result, we do not support personal reviews on the site. To file a complaint or dispute with this firm, please fill out the SEC Investor Complaint Form.
This automated report was generated using SEC and FINRA data and was last updated on June 16th, 2022*. For data support, email "firstname.lastname@example.org". Views: 76 (trailing six months). Firms that receive a 4.5 or 5-star rating are considered Trusted by investor.com. Learn more.