I'm Donny. I'm a world traveler, investor, entrepreneur, and online marketing aficionado who has a big appetite to compete and disrupt big markets. I thrive on being able to create things that impact change, difficult challenges, and being able to add value in negative situations.
Learn more about Ellevest and how you can use it to invest for your retirement if you’re a woman looking to keep your money safe.
- No account minimum
- Goal-focused investment approach
- Women focused investing community
- Mobile app
- Monthly membership fee
- No tax-loss harvesting
Did you know that Ellevest maintains a leadership team of over 80% women? It’s rare to see this sort of team composition in financial services. Ellevest goes about things differently.
As you’ll see in our review on Ellevest, this difference is one of the many reasons why the platform has so much to offer both new and experienced investors looking to build wealth through socially responsible investing.
What is Ellevest?
Ellevest is a robo-advisor investment service run by women. The company markets itself as a woman-focused service by concentrating on the aspects of investing that are not generally available from mainstream investment companies.
While Ellevest markets heavily to women looking to manage and grow their wealth, it does not aim to be gender-specific and is open to all investors.
Ellevest launched in 2014 by Sallie Krawcheck and Charlie Kroll when a group of female financial advisors, with experience of trading on Wall Street, created an investment platform focused on women.
These ladies believed there was a way to market investing to women and make the practice more accessible to them.
In the years that followed, the platform received tens of millions of dollars in Series B funding and held $1.5 billion in assets under management.
The platform brings investment knowledge to approximately three million users, helping them to hone their investment goals.
Today, although Ellevest continues to focus on women, the company advocates equality between the sexes in the investment world in both practice and speech.
How Ellevest Works
Users create an account with Ellevest through the online portal by entering some personal information and their investment goals.
While their investment goals might seem unnecessary at first, it plays a big part in how the platform operates at a later stage.
With the goals established, Ellevest’s algorithm determines the best asset allocation for the user. These portfolios receive management from financial planners at Ellevest to ensure that the portfolio stays on track to meet an individual’s investment goals.
Ellevest investors make a monthly investment so that their account balance grows. The average return on investments is larger than interest earned on a savings account over the same period, so Ellevest users see account balances grow more quickly than users of savings accounts.
Ellevest delivers on its no-fuss platform by preventing users from selecting individual stocks. The platform focuses on mutual funds, ETFs, bonds and a handful of alternative investments recommended by their financial planners to help users diversify their portfolios.
The accounts Ellevest offers adhere to all the regulations and tax laws of the United States. Therefore, any taxable events that occur within an account, including accounts that are not normally taxable, will take effect.
Ellevest members pay an annual membership fee to maintain their account on the platform. There are two pricing plans: Plus and Executive.
The Ellevest Plus plan costs $5 per month or $54 per year. This plan gives the user access to the majority of Ellevest’s features, including investment accounts and retirement accounts.
Additionally, Ellevest Plus offers access to learning opportunities for its members at a small additional cost.
Online workshops, email courses and classes regarding money management, budgeting, and personal finance, taught by Ellevest’s financial planners and money coaches, can help users learn more about being smart with their hard-earned money.
The platform also offers one-on-one sessions and coaching sessions for financial planning to help users understand their specific circumstances and know what to do to stay financially stable in the future.
Ellevest also employs career coaches to help users advance their careers. The Ellevest Executive plan offers all the features of the Plus plan with the additional facility for the user to set multiple goals for their investment account.
This multi-goal toolset allows the user to not only maintain multiple portfolios but also to see how changing one goal can affect other goals before having to make a decision.
It has a monthly fee of $9 per month or $97 per year. Ellevest doesn’t charge a management fee on its accounts in addition to the plan fees listed above.
Some of the stocks and ETFs that the service holds do have an expense ratio, meaning you might see charges to your Ellevest account to cover these funds if they exist in your portfolio.
Ellevest takes a more conservative approach to investing due to the circumstances that tend to affect women more than men.
On average, women are earning less than men as they reach retirement age due to several factors such as lower average wages earned during their working years causing a pay gap and lower investment participation than men.
However, women also tend to outlive men. Combining these two facts means that, on average, most women have less money and must make it last longer.
Regardless of the reasons why these variables exist, Ellevest believes that women need to take control of their finances so that they can live comfortably later in life.
Ellevest tends to recommend a portfolio favoring stocks and alternative investments like real estate.
As the user gets older, their portfolios will undergo rebalancing, favoring bonds over stocks to help preserve the value of the portfolio by investing in less risky products.
These shifts occur thanks to the financial planners working at Ellevest. While tax-loss harvesting and similar tax strategies are tactics the platform tries to implement, these are not tools that the user will have at their disposal in all cases.
Ellevest doesn’t have a minimum investment or a minimum account balance to get started. Removing these barriers to entry allow users to worry less about meeting a minimum figure and instead focus on their financial future.
Ellevest makes its white paper publicly available, giving any would-be investors a chance to read about what makes Ellevest special before committing any money to an account.
In addition to standard brokerage accounts, Ellevest offers users retirement investing and retirement planning services.
Ellevest users can create or transfer an existing IRA to the platform. Traditional IRA, Roth IRA, and SEP IRAs can also be transferred to the platform.
You can also link a 401(k) or 403(b) retirement plan to your Ellevest account and have a certified financial planner look over those assets.
The goal of a retirement account with Ellevest is to create something that will last. Ellevest encourages its retirement account holders to follow an investment plan that focuses on long-term growth and low risk.
This investment advice leads to a higher-value portfolio than would otherwise be achieved.
Ellevest Private Wealth Management
Ellevest also offers a private wealth management service to those with larger sums to invest.
Use of this service begins with a conversation between yourself and the Ellevest team about your personal financial goals and your current financial situation.
The team then puts together an investment plan that shows you how they will work to achieve your financial goals.
The proposal comes from the entire team which includes an assigned advisor, a client services’ team member, a dedicated financial planner and the investment advisors.
Thus, private wealth management at Ellevest has several people managing your financial well-being and your potential to build wealth.
In addition to the standard Ellevest core portfolios, the platform offers an impact portfolio that is aimed at investors who want to buy into companies with ethical or green credentials.
With an impact portfolio, Ellevest users can invest in companies that align with the values Ellevest believes are important to women, such as anti-racist activities, racial-justice initiatives and green-technology growth.
The cash management of these portfolios works like any other Ellevest investment account.
However, the money that would otherwise go into companies or industries that pollute the world and treat others unfairly gets replaced by investments in companies that follow Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) practices.
Following these practices allows an investor to spend their money on investments that match their ethics, while still growing their wealth for the future.
Investors representing institutions can also take advantage of what Ellevest has to offer. The institutional investment team at Ellevest has experience with large financial firms and banks.
The team members are qualified as Certified Financial Planners (CFPs) and are familiar with the FDIC policy.
These team members blend decades of financial experience with the policies Ellevest maintains around impact investing.
This bridge between current and future–forward investing means that the leaders at Ellevest have what it takes to help institutions move towards new investing initiatives without risking their long-term growth.
Ellevest offers connections and conversations with institutions looking to join with them in this shift in investing strategies.
Ellevest Pricing & Minimums
|Plus Membership||$5/mo | $54/yr|
|Executive Membership||$9/mo | $97/yr|
Who Should Use Ellevest?
Ellevest is an easy choice for its target demographic: ladies looking to grow their wealth. The platform offers several services that make beginning the investment process easy.
The team does a great job in reassuring new investors and offering services that help portfolios grow in the long term.
This platform isn’t only attractive to women. Anyone who wants to invest can use Ellevest, especially those who seek to make a difference with their money.
How Does Ellevest Compare?
| || || |
$5 - $9 per month
$4/month or 0.25% annual fee
$3 - $5 per month
10% discount with a yearly plan
Up to 1 year of free management for new clients. Terms apply.
$20 Sign Up Bonus (with a qualifying deposit)
Getting Started with Ellevest
Users can start to invest with Ellevest by creating a free account through the online portal.
- Create a free account
- Choose your membership plan
- Start investing with Ellevest
Should I Invest with Ellevest?
Ellevest makes sense for new investors looking to achieve low-risk and ethical returns.
Although the platform doesn’t offer the portfolio customization that many other investment services currently offer, Ellevest is one of the best robo-advisors in the marketplace for new investors thanks to its approachable and transparent practices.
Below are some answers to common questions about investing with Ellevest:
Is my money safe with Ellevest?
Ellevest follows standard industry practice to safeguard your money using two-factor authentication for logins and 256-bit encryption for electronic communications.
Given the lack of risk and the high security, your money should be safe with Ellevest.
Is Ellevest good for beginners?
Ellevest is great for both beginners and experts with years of investing experience. The setup process is guided and automated to help beginners invest with minimal input on their part.
What is Ellevest’s investment strategy?
Ellevest uses a combination of asset classes to provide portfolios that have growth potential alongside downturn protections to keep stable portfolio values in the long term.
The platform doesn’t force users to pick individual stocks, instead it opts for funds and bonds to help investors grow their wealth steadily.
Is Ellevest’s customer service any good?
Outside of its private wealth management team, Ellevest only offers customer service through its various social media accounts.
A live chat option does not exist and Ellevest only responds with preprepared responses, so its customer service isn’t on a par with other investment management companies.
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I'm Donny. I'm a world traveler, investor, entrepreneur, and online marketing aficionado who has a big appetite to compete and disrupt big markets. I thrive on being able to create things that impact change, difficult challenges, and being able to add value in negative situations.More Posts