Ellevest: The Best Investing Platform For Women?
Ellevest provides customized portfolios and financial advice for women based on their specific investment goals as part of their money membership. They also offer members the option of banking* services, personal coaching, and learning.
- Low starting balance
- Investment newbies
Ellevest created a platform that caters to women, born out of an observation about women and investing – that gender-neutral investing fails women. Ellevest argues that because of circumstances like gender pay gaps and longer lifespans, women need an entirely different approach to investing.
Here’s my full Ellevest review.
What is Ellevest?
Ellevest is a financial service that offers a variety of tools to members. One of those tools is a robo-advisor service that creates customized portfolios for women investors. The goal-based plans are tailored to meet the individual needs of women.
The financial services industry is dominated by men, so it follows that most investing plans are created without regard to special needs or circumstances that women face in their lives. As a result, many investment plans do not consider that women are paid less over their life spans and may have more time off due to childbirth and rearing which further reduces their earnings over their lifetime.
All of this is complicated by the fact that they will live longer than the average male despite having less money to live on. When creating portfolios, Ellevest considers the specific factors that only affect women.
Although Ellevest’s investing tools bring great value to its members, it’s only one of the many services you’ll get with a membership. This review only focuses on one of those perks: investing.
In addition to its existing services, Ellevest has added some new perks for members. You can do your banking through Ellevest or choose from educational resources and personal coaching. These new membership offerings make Ellevest especially valuable to women interested in strengthening their finances.
The Ellevest mission
Unlike the financial industry, Ellevest was built by women, for women. The mission of Ellevest is to help women meet their financial goals. In addition to this, the company helps its investors to invest in companies that empower positive social change by advancing women.
The dual mission allows women to help other women while meeting their own financial goals.
The company acts as a fiduciary to its clients. This means that Ellevest is required to act in your best interests.
When determining the right path for you, Ellevest will consider factors such as your age, income, and retirement assets to determine the best possible investments for you.
Ellevest is the only company that considers gender-specific lifespans and salary curves.
You’ll also know you’re working with a platform that cares. With Ellevest, you can narrow your investments specifically to companies that empower social change by advancing women. What other platform does that?
How does investing at Ellevest work?
You tell them your goals
Ellevest will suggest personalized investment portfolios based on your information and goals.
Simply sign up and select a membership plan. From there, activate investing and Ellevest will walk you through building a portfolio. You’ll set goals and Ellevest will make suggestions that will help you meet those goals.
Before you choose a membership plan, look through the options, and choose the one that best fits your retirement goals. If retirement is your priority, for example, you’ll need to choose either Ellevest Plus or Ellevest Executive.
Consolidate your investments
You may already have retirement accounts spread across multiple providers. Ellevest has a way to get all your investments in one place.
You may have set up a 401(k) or 403(b) with an employer at some point, but you may not be checking your investments’ performance or related fees very often.
Choose Ellevest Plus or Ellevest Executive to manage your retirement
Best of all, if you choose, you can easily link your bank account or have money deposited from each paycheck to your Ellevest account. It’s a quick, easy way to make sure you’re setting money aside.
They suggest management strategies
The concierge team at Ellevest is always on call to help members, giving you the one-on-one consultation you need. You can even get on a conference call with your provider to make sure the transfer goes smoothly.
Once you’ve joined, you’ll get suggestions on what to look for before transferring your 401(k) to Ellevest.
If you have more than $1 million in assets that you would like managed through Ellevest, you can speak with an advisor about private wealth management. It could be a great option if you have large assets that you do not want to manage on your own.
As you continue investing through Ellevest, you can change your goals or strategy at any time. Life happens, so you have the option to adjust your goals accordingly. As you set up your plan, you will be able to change the timeline, recurring contributions, initial deposits and even the target date for each goal.
What are Ellevest membership options?
Ellevest has a team of professionals that are ready to help you with any questions you might have on your accounts. The company has three levels of membership options:
The Ellevest Essential option is the most basic option, but it still offers a lot in the way of advising including unlimited access to online workshops, email courses, and video resources from Ellevest’s team of financial planners and career coaches.
At this level, you will get a portfolio built to help you reach your goals. And if you decide you need a session with a financial planner or career coach, this plan includes a 20% discount on those services.
Ellevest Plus is the next level service offering. Through this option, you will have access to one-on-one guidance with the certified financial planners(CFPs) at Ellevest so that you can build a personalized investment plan that reflects all of your retirement accounts – not just the ones with Ellevest.
The planner can help guide you through the financial side of growing your family, buying a home or retirement planning. You will be able to ask questions about maximizing your employee benefits and navigating transitions throughout your life.
If you decide you’d like additional coaching help from Ellevest’s team, you get a 30% discount with the Plus plan.
Ellevest Executive takes goal-based investing to an even more personalized level. You can set six goals, including aspirations like buying a house or saving for kids. If your goal is to buy a house, Ellevest uses Zillow data to help you determine what you need to do to get results.
With the Executive plan, you get a 50% discount on coaching sessions which makes the cost very reasonable.
How does Ellevest’s pricing work?
- Ellevest Digital: $1 monthly fee
- Ellevest Plus: $5 monthly fee
- Ellevest Essential: $9 monthly fee
One-on-one coaching sessions are available starting at $125.
Pros & Cons
- No minimums — There are no minimums with any membership plans
- Designed for women — The service invests in companies with a record of promoting women to upper management, as well as for the specific financial needs of women
- Investment advice provided for employer sponsored retirement plans — If you have a 401(k) or 403(b) plan, Elllevest can suggest issues you might want to look out for, such as fees. They’ll also contact your provider with you on the line to help facilitate rolling your funds over
- No tax-loss harvesting — This valuable strategy to minimize capital gains taxes is not available with Ellevest, though it is with many other robo-advisors, but their investors do use a Tax Minimization Methodology
- Personalized coaching fees — You’ll need to pay if you want in-depth personal coaching, which start at $125. But free basic help is available through the Ellevest concierge team
What are the pros of Ellevest?
It caters to women
The major advantage of Ellevest is that it focuses on the best investment decisions for women.
It is the only company that has focused its advice on the needs of women, giving gender-specific advice to make sure that women invest, bank, and do more for their career.
The monthly fees for Ellevest are reasonable – and there are three options to choose from depending on which plan fits your needs.
You can set your own goals
Through Ellevest, you will be able to set your goals and track your progress through this platform.
The goal-oriented investment strategy can work well for both your long-term and short-term goals. Plus, you can easily change your financial goals if your priorities change.
You can start investing right away
You will also be able to get started right away since there is no minimum amount for any of the membership plans.
What are the Cons of Ellevest?
There are no free sessions with financial counselors. If you want to work with a financial coach, you will need to pay for that separately on top of your membership fee.
No tax-loss harvesting
Also, Ellevest does not practice tax-loss harvesting. You may or may not want that as a feature of your portfolio, but Ellevest does not give you the option to use this strategy that can save you money on taxes each year.
Ellevest is an excellent option for women who are passionate about achieving their financial goals; moreover it a company that empowers and supports women with the goal of helping women to get more money into their hands.
*Banking products and services are provided by Coastal Community Bank, Member FDIC, pursuant to license by Mastercard International.