Ellevest Review

Ellevest Review 2022: The Robo Advisor by Women, for Women

Ellevest is a comprehensive investment management service designed to help women make better financial decisions to take control over their futures. It is a well-rounded Robo-advisor with vital financial services, including personal finance workshops, traditional investing services, career coaching, and banking.

Ellevest is an excellent platform for women and people who want to make informed financial decisions. We will deep dive into this Ellevest review on how the platform works, its features, and its services. It is important to note while the platform brand focuses on women, it takes gender-specific data to offer its services to people of all genders.

What is Ellevest?

Ellevest was founded by Sallie Krawcheck, the former president of the Global Wealth and Management division of Bank of America, in 2014. The platform’s mission is to close the gender gap in the investment sector by addressing issues that affect women, like career breaks, pay gaps, and longer lifespans.

Most investment companies are inclined to pay attention to men’s career trajectories, lifespans, and preferences, which are very different from women’s. Ellevest’s main objective is to address the difference in the investment industry by offering more customized investment options to help you reach your financial goals.

In addition to offering financial services, the platform offers free resources related to career topics. The platform also claims to use an algorithm that accounts for women’s financial needs.

Key Features

  • Minimum Investment: $0
  • Stock/ETF Trades: $0
  • Options Trades: N/A
  • Investment Types: ETFs
  • Account Types: Taxable, Joint, Traditional IRA, Roth IRA, Savings, Checking
  • Broker Assisted Trade: N/A
  • Account minimum: $0
  • Account types: Taxable Investment, retirement, banking
  • Customer service: Phone, email
  • Access: Web-based, iOS
  • Virtual Trades: No
  • Customer Services: Available by email and phone from Monday to Friday
  • Fees: Tiers based on membership — $1, $5, or $9 per month
  • Investment: Robo advisor

 

Ellevest is Perfect For

Ellevest is perfect for women and beginner, hands-off investors. It is the best platform for goal-based investing, value-based investing, career coaching, and financial planning sessions.

The platform was created to close the gender gap in investing for women but also welcomes other types of clients. It provides personalized forecasts and recommendations for women’s goals using gender-specific longevity data and salary curves.

Ellevest is an excellent choice for those looking to merge their retirement account and automated investing with human advice. The platform is available on the web, iOS, and Android.

businessman handshake

 

How Does Ellevest Work?

Ellevest is a subscription-based investment platform. However, it recently changed its model from charging an annual fee based on your account size. With the subscription-based model, you can choose the features you need and pay a monthly fee to receive the services.

You can sign up for an Ellevest account through their official website and choose the level of services you would like to receive. You will need to use your identifying information, link your bank account to pay for your subscription, and fund your account when you are ready to start investing.

Additionally, Ellevest also offers users a debit card with banking features. However, you cannot spend directly from your investment account, but you can link it to your savings and spend account. You can transfer the funds in the accounts seamlessly between the different accounts since all investment accounts come with a spend and save option.

A Deep Dive into Ellevest Functions

1. Investing

Ellevest functions the same way most Robo advisors do. The platform considers your financial goals and risks tolerance when putting your investment portfolio together. They also consider the specific challenges women face in the financial world.

The Robo advisor uses Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs), bonds, stocks, and mutual funds to build your investment portfolio. It also has an Impact portfolio more geared toward socially responsible investing. The platform also gives your access to tax minimization strategies and automatic rebalancing.

While Ellevest does not require you to have a minimum account balance, their portfolio-specific minimum range from $1 to $240. It also states that you may not get the recommended portfolio until your account balance meets the portfolio’s minimum.

2. Spend and Save

All Ellevest accounts provide you with a MasterCard debit card you can use for spending. The card has unique features like ID theft resolution, tap to pay, a satisfaction guarantee, and an extended warranty. It is also possible for you to round up your purchase amounts and deposit your differences into your savings account, which allows you to save in an FDIC-insured account automatically.

Ellevest does not charge minimum balance fees or overdraft fees and offers free card replacements. They also offer ATM reimbursements on domestic ATM fees when you set up a payroll direct deposit and any other deposit made 30 days prior.

All of Ellevest’s banking products are provided by Coastal Community Bank, an FDIC member meaning your accounts are insured up to $250,000 per depositor.

3. On-Demand Learning

Ellevest also allows users to learn about important financial and career topics. You can pay to access a financial planner, but if you are Ellevest Money Member, you are automatically eligible for the services.

The platform also offers free live workshops and email courses that help users learn about different topics at their own pace. The learning benefits are included at the membership level.

4. Ellevest Charges and Fees

Ellevest offers three membership levels. They are:

  • Ellevest Essential: $1 per month
  • Ellevest Plus: $5 per month
  • Ellevest Executive: $9 per month

Overview of the difference between the different levels of membership:

Ellevest Essential Ellevest Plus Ellevest Executive

Monthly fee

$1 (or $12 per year) $5 (or $36 per year) $9 (or $72 per year)

Minimum Investment required

$0 $0 $0

Management fees

$0 $0 $0
Expense ratios 0.05% to 0.19% 0.05% to 0.19%

0.05% to 0.19%

Account types available
  • Individual taxable
  • Spend and Save account
  • Individual taxable
  • Traditional IRA
  • Roth IRA
  • SEP IRA
  • Spend and Save account
  • Individual taxable
  • Traditional IRA
  • Roth IRA
  • SEP IRA
  • Spend and Save account
Asset classes ETFs ETFs

ETFs

Features
  • 20% off career and financial coaching services
  • Automatic rebalancing
  • Personalized investment portfolio
  • 30% off career and financial coaching services
  • Concierge team for retirement rollovers
  • A personalized investment plan that includes external accounts
  • Automatic rebalancing
  • Customized Investment accounts for different goals
  • Includes all features of Ellevest Plus
  • 50% off career and financial coaching services

 

Previous Ellevest offered other plans, including Ellevest Premium and Ellevest Digital, but as of June 2020, the plans were no longer available for new members. The platform encourages existing members to enroll in new membership plans to access the latest features and services.

Other Ellevest Features and Resources

Here are the other services that you will have access to once you sign up for Ellevest:

  • Private Wealth Management services: Clients with over $1 million in their investment accounts can employ Ellevest Private Wealth Management Services to build personalized investment portfolios to help them meet their financial values and goals.
  • Coaching: The platform can help you meet a career coach or a financial planner to help you make your next move. You will, however, need to pay extra for this service. Some of the sessions you can enjoy with their coaching include sessions with a CFP professional to help you meet your retirement goals and negotiation training sessions.
  • Educational materials: Ellevest offers users access to courses, workshops, and other materials to help them learn about different financial topics, from beginning investing to salary negotiations.
  • Debit Cards: Ellevest allows users access to banking services through debit cards and fee reimbursement once they use ATMs.
  • Save account: Ellevest offers access to FDIC-insured savings accounts.
  • Ellevest banking: Ellevest also offers a checking account with an Ellevest debit card. The card offers 5% cashback on selected brands, and the account has no minimum balance, overdraft, or transfer fees.

Advantages of Ellevest

  • No minimum balance
  • It has a flat monthly fee
  • Female-owned and managed
  • Offers career counseling and financial planning
  • Automatic rebalancing
  • Low-cost ETFs
  • Personalized investment recommendations based on specific financial concerns
  • Allows banking and investing all under one roof
  • Access to discounted coaching and financial planning services
  • Offers educational resources

Disadvantages of Ellevest

  • Personalized help requires higher fees
  • Limited investment options
  • On live chat for customer support
  • Ellevest does not offer tax-loss harvesting

Businessman checking stock market online

 

Ellevest vs. Betterment vs. Personal Capital

Here is how Ellevest differs from Betterment and Personal Capital:

Highlights

Ellevest Betterment Personal Capital

Minimum to Open Account

$0 $0 $100,000

401(k) Assistance

No Yes Yes
Two-Factor Auth. Yes Yes

Yes

Investment Advice Options Automated Automated, Human Assisted

Automated, Human Assisted

Socially Responsible Investing Yes Yes

Yes

 

Signing Up for Ellevest

Ellevest allows you to start investing with the following simple steps:

  1. Go to the official Ellevest website or on the mobile app
  2. Click on ‘Get Started in the top right-hand corner. You can start investing in the app or on the website.
  3. Enter the required information. You will get a prompt to fill in your email address and create a password. Once done, you can agree to the terms and conditions.
  4. Confirm your email: Ellevest will send a confirmation to your email, which you must click on before setting up your account.
  5. Answer the questions: Ellevest will give you various questions ranging from your location, income, age, and household. It will then ask about your financial goals, such as saving for retirement, paying off debt, or buying a home.
  6. Select your plan: After the questions, you will be prompted to pick your membership plan. Once you do, you will be asked to enter your bank information so that you can sync your bank account and then confirm your billing information.
  7. Set up your contributions: Once you create your account, you can make your first contribution and start investing with your customized portfolio.

Related Questions (FAQs)

1. How Does Ellevest Customer Services Work?

The platform offers customer service over the phone during traditional business hours and through their email address, support@ellevest.com. Ellevest also has a comprehensive list of FAQs designed to answer most questions that you might have.

The Robo advisor also offers one-on-one meetings with financial experts, which comes at an additional cost. If you have 401k transfers, you will receive one-on-one assistance with the service, including calling your providers.

2. Is Ellevest Secure?

Ellevest makes use of bank-level security similar to other financial management companies. It engages in the best financial practices to help keep your data secure. Additionally, all bank services offered by Ellevest are FDIC-insured, and the investment funds are SIPC-Insured.

3. How Do You Maximize Your Earnings with Ellevest?

If you want to maximize your earnings with Ellevest, here are some valuable tips to follow:

  • Consider your timeline: How you build your portfolio depends on your timelines. This means you have to think about how long you want your goals to take before making portfolio allocations.
  • Contribute money consistently: You will receive greater returns in the long run when you contribute consistently to your account. It is important to remember that there might be no guarantees about whether you will receive great returns.
  • Leave your investment account on autopilot: Your account is bound to fluctuate along with the market conditions, and you might be tempted to take your money out. However, if you want to invest your money long-term, it is best to resist it and leave your accounts alone.
  • Reinvest your dividends: Consider allowing Ellevest to reinvest the dividends. Reinvesting could potentially help grow your money over time.

4. Is Ellevest Better Than Betterment?

Ellevest is a great investment option for beginner and intermediate investors who want to be part of a value-driven Robo-advisor for investing in a taxable account or saving for retirement. However, the platform has limited account options when compared to Betterment.

Betterment has a wide range of accounts to choose from, including:

  • A joint taxable account with the right to survivorship
  • Inherited IRA
  • High-yield savings accounts
  • Trust accounts

5. Can I Lose Money with Ellevest?

As it is with most Robo advisors, there is a possibility you could lose your money when you invest with Ellevest. Your account will be affected by market changes and can increase or decrease in value with time.

6. Is Ellevest a Good Investment Choice?

Ellevest is a legitimate Robo advisor registered with the U.S Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The platform charges a monthly membership fee but does not charge management fees like other platforms making it a low-cost investment option.

The platform uses ETFs rather than individual stocks to invest your money, thus offering portfolio diversification. However, Ellevest has a limited account option when compared to its peers. Another platform could be a better choice if you want to save for your child’s education or open a joint investment account.

7. Is Ellevest FDIC-Insured?

Ellevest offers banking accounts, and they are FDIC insured up to $250,000. Its accounts are also protected by Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC) against losses of up to $500,000 caused by mistakes of the brokers. The SIPC Insurance does not cover investment losses due to market changes.

8. Who Owns Ellevest?

Sallie Krawcheck and Envestnet own Ellevest.

9. What Are the Ways to Invest with Ellevest?

You can invest with Ellevest with either of the following options:

  • Automated Investing Accounts

Ellevest will automatically manage and invest your money for you. However, unlike most Robo advisors who charge percentage fees based on your account balance, the platform charges a monthly management fee.

Previously Ellevest offered the Essential, Plus, and Executive plans, but they no longer offer the Essential plan. The Plus plan costs $5 a month. It provides you access to unlimited online workshops, personalized investment portfolio and email courses, 30% discount on a one-on-one session with financial planners and IRA retirement accounts. It is important to note that the online sessions start from S38 with no membership discount.

The Ellevest Executive is the platform’s most premium plan and costs $9 per month. The plan offers all the features in the Plus plan and multi-goal investing. This feature allows you to take advantage of five personalized investment accounts for various saving goals. Executive plan members get a 50% discount on career coaching and financial planning sessions.

Ellevest also offers you two choices with the fees. You can either pay per month or save to pay annually. If you decide to pay annually, you will pay $54 or $97, but if you decide to pay per month, you will pay $60 or $108 in a year.

The platform invests money in a combination of bond ETFs and stock ETFs. If you are interested in investing in other investment types, such as REITs and Mutual funds, you might want to consider other Robo advisors.

  • Retirement Accounts

If you want to save for retirement, Ellevest has your back. The platform offers a variety of options, including 401k and 403b rollovers and IRA transfers. Ellevest also offers personalized management of Roth IRAs, traditional IRAs, and SEP IRAs.

It is important to note that IRA transfers only apply to Roth, traditional, and SEP IRAs. Ellevest does not charge extra fees for retirement accounts. The fees are part of the Plus and Executive monthly membership plans.

10. Can I Have Multiple of the Same Goal or Account?

No.

Currently, only one goal can exist in a given account. For example, you can get only one Ellevest Roth IRA account and one Kids goal. In addition, only one Social Security Number (SSN) can be used for an account with Ellevest. This means that a user can only have one set of investment goals in one account and cannot open multiple Ellevest accounts to invest.

See Also: Financial Planning in Singapore

Conclusion

Ellevest is a comprehensive Robo advisor designed for women but also caters to other genders. Its services are specifically designed to help women face different challenges, including employment breaks, pay gaps, and the fact that they are likely to live longer than men. It is an excellent platform for beginner investors and those who want to learn how to fit investing into their long-term goals.

Key Takeaways

  • Ellevest has no minimum investment amount to open an account.
  • The platform is designed for women but also caters to other genders.
  • Ellevest is an excellent platform for beginner investors with the many educational resources they offer.

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