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Partnership Disclosure
We might be compensated by one of our IRA partners for an account you open through our platform. This helps us keep the service free, but it never impacts the fees you’ll pay on your new account. We only win if you do, and our job is to help you simplify your retirement accounts. We also help people who already have an IRA account even though we might receive no compensation in these situations—because it’s just the right thing to do!

Betterment IRA vs Merrill Guided Investing IRA

Betterment is a great option if you want an automated, low-fee portfolio from the largest independent provider of digital accounts. Betterment was a pioneer in providing "set-it-and-forget-it" portfolios for a low-fee.

Consider Merrill Guided Investing if you want a simple automated portfolio with potential fee discounts for existing Bank of America and Merrill Lynch customers.

Betterment

Betterment

Automated

Best if you want
An automated, low-fee portfolio from the largest independent provider of digital accounts. Betterment was a pioneer in providing "set-it-and-forget-it" portfolios for a low-fee.
Fees
0.25%
What they invest in
All digital advisors create a diversified portfolio of ETFs (Exchange-traded funds) based on your risk tolerance and preferences.
Limitations
Betterment does not have physical locations like some legacy providers; human advisors are available, but require an additional fee on the standard plan.
Human advisor available?
Yes - you can buy a consultation ($299) or pay a higher annual fee (0.40%) for unlimited access on an ongoing basis.
Account Minimums
$0
Ease of Use
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5 stars
Customer Support
Mainly online.
Additional Info
Merrill Lynch

Merrill Lynch

Automated

Best if you want
A simple automated portfolio with potential fee discounts for existing Bank of America and Merrill Lynch customers.
Fees
0.45%
What they invest in
All digital advisors create a diversified portfolio of ETFs (Exchange-traded funds) based on your risk tolerance and preferences.
Limitations
A platform that's not quite as easy-to-navigate as newer institutions and comes with a higher fee.
Human advisor available?
Only if you have more than $20,000 to invest and are willing to pay a higher fee (0.85%).
Account Minimums
$1,000
Ease of Use
Star filledStar filled
2 stars
Customer Support
Mix of online and call center.
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Compare Betterment to another IRA product

Wealthfront

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Merrill Lynch

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SoFi

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COMPARE

Compare Merrill Guided Investing to another IRA product

Wealthfront

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TD Ameritrade

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SoFi

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