Ellevest Review 2020: Robo-Advisor for Women

by Max Kimmel | Last Updated: July 16, 2020

As you’ll see in this Ellevest review, women often get the short end of the stick when it comes to investing, and this is especially true if you’re a relatively new investor.

We’ve long been told that putting your money to work for you is very risky. How much more so if you’re a newbie to investing? And how confusing could it be with all of those financial platforms each trying to get your business?

Complicating things even further, if you’re a woman, you likely have needs and wants that men just don’t understand. This makes using “gender-neutral” investing services very difficult since they often aren’t experienced in dealing with women-specific investing issues.

Luckily, Ellevest is here to change that, by creating a platform focused specifically on helping women reach their investment goals. And in this Ellevest review, you’ll see exactly why they’re the go-to option for all women investors.

Ellevest Overview

At its core, Ellevest is both a Robo-advisor that can manage your investments and an online bank you can use for all your banking needs.

The banking portion is fairly simple – you get your standard checking and savings accounts, and can withdraw and deposit money just as you would at a normal bank.

Their investing platform, as stated above, is geared specifically to help women. This means they will take into account women-specific issues, and help you invest for specific goals in ways that will maximize returns.

How does Ellevest Focus on Women?

Let’s face it, men have different circumstances compared to women in just about every aspect. Some examples of this that affect investment decisions are:

Because of these differences, standard investing tools just aren’t as useful for women as they are for men, since they often don’t take these assumptions into account.

Therefore, Ellevest was started by women, for women, so they can take part equally in investing and the stock market. Although the company claims to welcome all genders to invest with them, they prioritize helping women get well-rounded in investing.

Ellevest strongly supports women to take charge of their finances in a world where men dominate. In fact, Ellevest was founded specifically to help women with their financial careers, businesses, managing their savings, and investments.

Ellevest in a nutshell

No minimum balance required
Automatic Portfolio Rebalancing
Automatic Deposits
Human Assisted Advising
Goals-based Investing
401(K) Assistance
Round-up Feature
Socially Responsible Investing

No Minimum Balance

Ellevest aims to get all women, regardless of their current financial situation, to have a chance to be involved in growing their hard-earned money, savings, and investment.

So, unlike other financial platforms, Ellevest doesn’t require its members to maintain a minimum balance on their account. This means their features are accessible to anyone, regardless of your financial situation.

Automatic Deposits

Once you have successfully linked your bank cards with your Ellevest account, you can then take advantage of their Automatic Deposit feature. If you’re a busy lady, then this feature is very helpful for you.

You can go on by your day and night, weeks, and months not constantly worrying about having to transfer funds for investment, because Ellevest will do this all for you.

This way, you won’t lose out on potential returns simply because you forgot to invest. Plus, you won’t have to take time out of your busy schedule just to deposit money.

Coaching Access

In addition to the standard Robo-investing option that Ellevest provides, you can also choose to work directly with a career coach.

These career coaches will help you get the most of your financial plans, and answer any questions you may have regarding your investments or financial decision.

401(k) Rollover

As with other financial platforms and insurance plans, Ellevest also has a retirement plan available dedicated to women. Plus, if you already have a retirement plan with a different company, Ellevest offers a 401(k) rollover.

Ellevest will walk you through the process, review your old retirement plan, and suggest what’s good for you while also integrating your new plan with them. Now, you will no longer have to worry about handling your old retirement plan alone, because Ellevest will handle it for you.

Ellevest Round-up

The Round-up feature has gained a lot of popularity recently because of its convenience.

Like other financial platforms, Ellevest will round up all your Ellevest debit card purchases to the nearest whole dollar.

Ellevest will then automatically transfer the rounded up portion of the transaction to your Save Account and get it ready for investment. This way, you can invest money while hardly realizing that it’s gone, since each investment is only a few cents.

Who would have thought you can invest with just spare change?

Impact Investing

Since Ellevest is a strong advocate for women, they also encourage members to try their Socially Responsible Investment program. In this program, you are strategically investing in companies and businesses run by women.

So, in this way you can support women so they can gain more advantage and then you can have more benefit in return. Your investment in the Impact investing will also be automated like their other investment portfolio.

How does Ellevest work?

When signing up for the first time, either via their website or mobile app, Ellevest will have you answer a set of fundamental questions – a “get to know you” stage for the client and Ellevest.

These series of questions will cover everything from personal background, occupation, income, and investment goals.

After that essential process, Ellevest will take action to help you maximize your return. It does so by automatically investing in diversified stock, bond, and alternative funds. Hold that thought for a while because we will discuss specifics later on about where exactly Ellevest invests your money.

Currently, Ellevest offers six goals-based investing approaches that you can choose easily.

Build Wealth
Retirement on My Terms
A Place to Call Home
Kids Are Awesome
Start My Own Business
A Once-in-a-Lifetime Splurge

For example, if you want to have a house 6 years from now, Ellevest will automatically calculate how much you would have to save monthly to reach this goal. With these personalized portfolios, you can easily start investing without having to know much about investing.

After considering your initial deposit and the goal you want to achieve, Ellevest will automatically invest your money in stocks and bonds in a portfolio suited to helping you accomplish that goal.

Moreover, you have the option to change the amount of your initial deposit. Similarly, Ellevest will automatically recalculate your monthly deposit within 6 years. The good thing about Ellevest is that it provides a simulated graph to show you the value of your money over time.

Life happens and life is unpredictable. Despite life’s uncertainty, Ellevest allows you to tweak your plans anytime you wish, which is one of the great features of Ellevest. Ellevest is prepared whenever you have a change of plan and will assist you in your new plan.

Ellevest Fees

In exchange for managing your financial account, Ellevest charges a monthly fee. This fee is dependent on which account you select.

Shown below are the current monthly fees on Ellevest, which considers what goals you’ve chosen and the coaching level you wanted.

Account TypeMonthly Fee
Essential$1/month
Plus$5/month
Executive$9/month

With the Essential plan, you get most of the core features of Ellevest, such as access to their investing alogrithm, banking services, and educational material.

You also get a 20% discount to their coaching service. This service is billed separately, and cost $125 before the discount for a one-on-one session with Ellevest’s financial planners and career coaches.

The Plus plan offers everything the Essential plan includes, plus access to Ellevest’s retirement services. This includes a personalized retirement investment plan, opening up retirement accounts with Ellevest that will be managed for you, and rolling over existing retirement accounts.

Your discount for a coaching session will also be raised to 30%.

Finally, the Executive plan offers everything the previous 2 plans include, while also including the ability to set up separate investment accounts for specific goals that you’d like to save for. Additionally, your coaching discount is increased to 50%.

Where does Ellevest invest my money?

Ellevest diversifies your money into 21 different asset classes (see picture below). Investing in so many different assets means that even if one of them doesn’t do so well, you won’t lose much money, since you’re also invested in 20 OTHER asset classes, some of which are sure to increase in value.

Ellevest constantly rebalances your portfolio and ensures that you have a solid mix of all the above asset classes. How much you’ll have of each depends on your preferences.

For example, if you prefer safer investments, you’ll have more money in bond-related assets than stock-related assets. Or, if you plan on investing over a long time period, you’ll be invested in asset classes that have the best performance over long periods of time.

Is Ellevest Safe?

Both Ellevest’s website and mobile application have increased security levels, utilizing 2-factor authentication and standard encryption to ensure a safe investment.

Additionally, Ellevest is also a member of FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation), providing insurance of funds up to $250,000. Folio, an SEC-registered broker/dealer, and custodian are in charge of protecting all the client’s assets involved in Ellevest.  

More importantly, Ellevest is a fiduciary platform, meaning the company will act in the best interest of the client. Ellevest aims to help you have a maximum return of your investment. 

Final Thoughts: Ellevest Review

So, is Ellevest worth it? In conclusion, Ellevest is good for newbie investors who want to put their money to work without knowing too much about investing. This applies even more so if you’re a woman, as the service is specifically tailored to meet women’s needs.

Although Ellevest strongly advertises women, it also welcomes men and other genders. Your investment with Ellevest will be based on an income curve that is closer to your financial situation.

Ellevest’s Impact Investing is really a good way to support women in their business ventures. In this way, you can support other women on their company’s growth and other community development projects led by women. It’s a good way to call on more women to support one another and do more as women together.

It’s helpful to invest initially on a financial platform like Ellevest so that later when you have known the basics of investing, you can take control of your finances on your own.

Above all, it’s always an advantage to save and invest long term rather than keeping your money untouched.