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Betterment for Advisors Adds Flexibility, More ETFs to Core Portfolio

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Betterment for Advisors has launched a new strategy that gives advisors more flexibility in managing clients’ core portfolios on the Betterment platform.

The  strategy, called Flexible Portfolio, lets advisors adjust the asset weights of the funds offered under the Betterment Core Portfolio, which until recently, was comprised of several Vanguard stock ETFs as well as several Vanguard and iShares bond ETFs. Advisors could choose a certain risk allocation on the Core Portfolio, adjusting the weights between asset classes, but not the weights of the individual funds.

In addition to enhanced flexibility in the Core Portfolio, Betterment for Advisors added more funds to that portfolio: three REIT ETFs and three high-yield bond ETFs from several ETF providers. They include, in addition to Vanguard and BlackRock (iShares), State Street, Schwab and Deutsche Asset Management.

“One of our top priorities this year has been giving advisors more options and control to customize their experience on our platform,” said Cara Reisman, director of Betterment for Advisors, in a statement. “Advisors can now offer an even more personalized service on behalf of their clients.”

She told ThinkAdvisor that these enhancements are responding to what the largest standalone robo-advisor has been hearing from advisors: a desire for “more flexibility and more control in personalizing client experiences” that also takes into account client holdings outside of the Betterment platform.

(Related: Betterment Adds Smart Beta and Targeted Income Strategies)

Retail investors with account balances of at least $100,000 on the Betterment platform were also given the ability to adjust the weights of each asset class in their portfolios, but they don’t have access to the real estate and high yield bond ETFs that were added on the Betterment for Advisors platform.

In addition to the Core Portfolio and Flexible Portfolio, Betterment for Advisors offerings include an SRI Portfolio, BlackRock Target Income portfolio, Goldman Sachs’ Smart Beta portfolio and the Vanguard Portfolio.

(Related: Betterment Launches SRI Portfolio Strategy; Wealthfront Planning One)

The firm has $13.5 billion assets under management but doesn’t break out the assets under the Betterment for Advisors platform. More than 400 firms are using the platform.