What does Betterment cost?

Last Updated: April 07, 2014 3:05PM EDT
Betterment charges a management fee of 0.15% to 0.35%, depending on your balance, and is prorated across the entire year and is charged at the end of each calendar quarter (every three months).  In other words, every three months Betterment charges 0.0375% to 0.0875% based on your average balance for the period. If you withdraw all of your money before the end of the quarter you are charged a prorated fee only for the days your money was managed by Betterment.

Betterment's single management fee covers everything you need including transactions, trades, transfers, rebalancing, advice, account administration, etc. Unlike other companies Betterment does not charge you transaction fees to buy and sell securities. 

Your money is invested in a fully diversified index-fund portfolio made up of 12 exchange traded funds or ETFs. Each of these ETFs has an expense ratio (they range from .13%-.16% depending on your allocation - this is about 15 cents for every $100 you invest), which you would pay no matter where you purchased these funds. The cost charged by the funds is a little harder to see because the fund companies get their money by slightly reducing the dividends they pay out. Rest assured that Betterment works hard to offer funds with some of the lowest fees.

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