Account Minimum: $0 – Fees: 0.25% – 0.50% – Best for: Investing, Retirement, Private Wealth
Nowadays it seems like there is a robo-advisor for everyone. In 2014, Sallie L. Krawcheck came on the scene with a mission: create the best investing platform exclusively for women.
The result is Ellevest. Let’s review the product, features, what investing as a woman looks like, pros, cons and the bottom line.
What is Ellevest?
Ellevest is an investment company built by and for women. They do this with a mix of online investing, retirement planning and private wealth advisement (if you need it).
The founder comes from a background in finance at Merrill Lynch Wealth Management and Smith Barney. She knew she needed to make a change after years of witnessing predominantly older, white, male investment advisors fall short of understanding or supporting their female clientele.
86% of investment advisors are men, and the average age is over 50.
Women make less money.
It’s an undeniable fact. Women are at their money-making peak at age 40. Men peak at 55. Men are capable of making $20k more per year according to this chart. These numbers were made assuming both are 30-year-old college graduates making $85,000 a year at age 30.
The chart comes from Morningstar Investment Management LLC data. This is a reliable financial institution with over 4,500 employees and $220 billion assets under management.
Even if you have doubts about this chart, the pay gap is real.
Women have less at retirement.
Women are paid less, so they save less. Ironically, women statistically live much longer than men do. This means women are more likely to run out of money before death–talk about unfair!
Given the same info used to make the chart above, women will have on average $320,000 less than a man her age. Her retirement will most likely last 3-5 years longer!
What Ellevest Does Differently
Since Ellevest is aware of the issues for women with traditional investment planning, they approach things a bit differently. Specifically, in three ways:
- Increase Savings Amount – Since women have less at retirement, Ellevest increases the recommended savings amounts.
- Gender Specific Recommendations – They calculate salary and projected earnings specifically for women, taking the pay gap into consideration.
- Tailor-Made Portfolios – Each portfolio is tailor-made to fit your goals and benchmarks. They have a very helpful calculator on their site that shows how they predict return on investments over time.
6 Reasons We Love Ellevest
- Built for Women – The sad reality is that women are paid less than men. Ellevest’s team is on a mission to provide quality solutions for women that empower them to grow their wealth and career. It’s unlike any other financial advisement platform on the market.
- No Fee to Open or Close Account -It’s free to open and close an account with Ellevest and they require no minimum balance.
- Advisement & Coaching – One of the best features about Ellevest is the empowerment for women in the workplace. In addition to their Certified Financial Planners, they also offer executive coaching. This is perfect when you are looking to get a new job, ace an interview or return to work after a career break. You qualify for this once you have over $50,000 in assets managed by Ellevest.
- Private Wealth Managament – If you are looking to invest $1,000,000 or more, Ellevest is here to help (as are a lot of others). One thing to note is that their private wealth program does not have a set price. It depends on how much you are looking to invest.
- Customizable Portfolios – Ellevest offers a lot of options for custom portfolios, and considers your risk tolerance, savings goals and timeline when you invest. To learn more about their method, see this whitepaper.
- Customer Support – In addition to their advisement and coaching services, Ellevest offers phone, email and text support during regular business hours.
Less than $50k = .25% Annual Fee
Over $50k = .50% Annual Fee
Over $1m = Based on amount
Something to note is that the annual fee does not include the underlying fees charged by the ETF funds in your Ellevest Digital or Premium portfolio. These fund fees can range from 0.06% to 0.16% per year. Ellevest charges no fees for clients’ emergency funds.
Where Ellevest Could Improve
- Limited Accounts Offered – Ellevest currently only offers taxable accounts, individual retirement accounts and 401(k) rollover IRAs. Trusts and college savings accounts aren’t currently part of their offering.
- No Tax Loss Harvesting – Ellevest does not offer tax-loss harvesting. Apps like Wealthfront do. Tax loss harvesting can save someone thousands of dollars throughout their life. This doesn’t mean Ellevest completely ignores taxes. Their Certified Financial Planners can help you make plans on how to best fund, grow and withdraw from your portfolios while minimizing taxes.
- Fees Increase with your Wealth – Ideally, investing more money would result in lower fees. With Ellevest, once you pass $50k your rate rises to .50%. Once you have a million (look at you go) your rate varies depending on your wealth.
Ellevest Review: The Bottom Line
If you are a woman serious about growing your wealth and building a career, Ellevest might be the platform for you. They do a great job providing coaching, training and making specific plans for your financial goals.