Many robo-investing apps have popped up in recent years. Ellevest is unique in that it was created specifically for women, who are often left out of the investment conversation. It offers a money membership, and for one monthly fee you get access to investing, banking, coaching and learning. When it comes to the investment offerings, the platform takes into consideration pay gaps, career gaps for growing families, and longer average lifespans to tailor their investments to the needs and realities of women.
The service is open to anyone, but its offerings are particularly useful for women looking to start or continue investing. Here’s what you should know.
Ellevest was “built by women, for women.” While anyone can sign up, Ellevest specifically caters to women who want to start investing. An anomaly in the tech and investing industries, Ellevest is primarily run by women. Not only is its CEO, Sallie Krawcheck (named one of Barron’s most influential women in US finance), a woman, so is its chief investment officer, chief product officer, and chief compliance officer.
It is also an FDIC-registered fiduciary, which means Ellevest advisors are legally obligated to act in your best interest—not in the interest of the company or their own commissions.
Ellevest offers three primary products, based on the amount you want to invest. The level of personal attention given to your account increases as your investments increase.
- Ellevest Essential ($1/month) includes access to a diversified portfolio managed by Ellevest with no minimum to start, banking with a spend and save account and debit card, 20% off coaching, and learning resources.
- Ellevest Plus ($5/month) includes everything in Essential, plus retirement resources and a personalized investment plan that can help you roll over a 401(k) or start an IRA, and 30% off coaching.
- Ellevest Executive ($9/month) adds multi-goal investing, which allows you to set up customized investment accounts for up to six specific goals including things like retirement or buying a home—plus 50% off coaching.
Keep in mind that there are also fees for the underlying ETFs and mutual funds that make up your portfolio. These can range from 0.06% to .20%, depending on the type of account and the funds in your portfolio. You can withdraw your money at any time. Ellevest does not charge a penalty fee or require a minimum withdrawal amount. Your withdrawals may be subject to tax laws.
Many other investing apps offer a select number of portfolios to choose from, generally based solely on your “risk tolerance.” Ellevest builds—and continually adjusts—a customized investment portfolio based on your life, your goals, timelines, and how much risk you can afford.
Ellevest chooses among 21 different asset classes when building your personalized portfolio. These are made up of exchange-traded funds and mutual funds. You can set up automatic deposits twice monthly, monthly, or quarterly. You can also direct deposit a portion of your paycheck directly into your account.
You can’t see the exact items that go into your portfolio, but you are given some control over how aggressively your money is invested. You can toggle your exposure to stocks up or down, for example. But if your portfolio veers too much from your target, Ellevest will rebalance a qualified portfolio for you. Its Tax Minimization Methodology will maximize your taxable losses and minimize taxable gains.
You can also edit your plan until it matches what you need: change your timelines, recurring contributions, and targets for your goals. Use trade-off tools to experiment with ways to allocate money to meet all your goals. If you change your goal date, Ellevest will automatically update your portfolio.
Based on simulations, Ellevest claims this customized investment plan gives you a 70% likelihood of reaching your goal.
Benefits of Ellevest
The educational resources offered by Ellevest are extensive—and they aren’t just limited to investing. Its online magazine covers topics ranging from “what is a 401(k)” and “investing and systemic racism” to “how to network remotely” and “how to talk about money when you’re dating.” You also get unlimited access to a Concierge Team who will help guide you and keep you organized.
Its goal-focused portfolios target women and consider gender-based differences as well as personal differences in goals and risks.
Ellevest’s 0.25% fee is competitive, especially given the attention your portfolio is given. Because there is no account minimum, anyone can get started. Your account will be automatically rebalanced when necessary, without charge, if it meets rebalancing requirements.
Downsides to Ellevest
There are a few downsides to Ellevest to consider before deciding on a roboadvisor for yourself. One of the main complaints about the service is that it only supports individual taxable accounts. Joint taxable accounts, trusts, 529s, and other savings plans aren’t available.
Unfortunately, with so much focus on helping women invest, men might wrongly be discouraged from using the tool. Men can take advantage of the goal-based investing tactics provided by Ellevest as well.
There is also no Android app available, so Android users will be limited to desktop and mobile web use.
If you’re ready to start investing, check out your options with Ellevest. It’s simple to set up an account and start investing in your goals, no matter what they are.
Disclosure: Credit.com (“Solicitor”) serves as a solicitor for Ellevest, Inc. (“Ellevest”). Solicitor will receive compensation for referring you to Ellevest. Solicitor will be paid $3 when an individual registers for the site and up to $1000 when an individual becomes a client. You will not be charged any fee or incur any additional costs for being referred to Ellevest by the Solicitor. The Solicitor may promote and/or may advertise Ellevest’s investment adviser services. Ellevest and the Solicitor are not under common ownership or otherwise related entities.
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