Ellevest is a unique investment platform designed for female investors. The company’s founder, Sallie Krawcheck, found a gap in the investment planning market when it came to women’s retirement and savings needs.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO) women, on average live six to eight years longer than their male counterparts. Data also shows women earn less than men, and as a result, typical investment and financial tools weren’t serving them adequately. Men are welcome to use the investment platform as well, but they won’t benefit from some distinctive features that were made to complement women’s lives.
By creating special solutions that fit women’s investment needs, Ellevest offers robo-advisor services and financial advice on building a diversified portfolio. Before you assume Ellevest is your ticket to financial freedom, it’s important to learn more about the platform, including its pros and cons.
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Ellevest Features and Investment Options
As an Ellevest customer, you have access to several different features and investment options.
When you set up an account with Ellevest, you’re prompted to provide information on your salary, financial goals, and current investments. The system uses this information to automatically create a financial snapshot of your current situation and what you need to do to reach your goals.
Next, the system allows you to identify the goals that are most important to you, such as saving for retirement. With your priorities identified, the system helps develop a strategy to grow your wealth.
When signing up for investment services with Ellevest, you can choose one of two different membership tiers. With Ellevest Digital, there’s no minimum investment to get started and the system helps you build a diversified portfolio to meet your goals. You’re responsible for a 0.25% annual management fee, or $12.50 per year for a $5,000 account balance.
Ellevest Premium offers all the features of the Digital program but also provides career individual coaching and financial planning. To use this service, you must invest at least $50,000 and pay a 0.50% annual management fee, or $250 per year for an account with a $50,000 balance.
With an emphasis on technologically advanced financial tools, Ellevest offers a mobile app to help members manage their accounts. The smartphone app is only available for iOS system users. Using the app, members can open and fund their accounts or take a quick look at stock performance from anywhere.
Ellevest helps investors create diversified portfolios that perform. Portfolio content may include exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and mutual funds. The system allows investors to choose their own impact-focused stocks to buy, such as stock in companies that support women’s leadership or gender diversity.
The Ellevest investment platform sets thresholds for your portfolio based on your goals. When your investments begin to steer away from these thresholds, the system automatically rebalances your portfolio and reallocates your assets as needed. By controlling your portfolio’s risk, Ellevest keeps beginner investors and those focused on their goals feeling confident.
When you provide detailed information on your financial goals, the robo-advisor uses these goals to determine when to make moves. It automatically rebalances your portfolio when needed and keeps an eye on investment performance to determine when to reallocate assets or trade stocks.
Ellevest takes security seriously and implements a two-factor authentication account management system. It uses encryption to keep your personal information safe, both online and through the mobile app.
Pros of Ellevest
As an Ellevest investor, you’ll benefit from:
- A female-focused investment approach: Ellevest caters to women’s needs and takes into account the unique career paths for women, lower wages, and longer life spans.
- Short- and long-term financial goal focus: Unlike other investment platforms, Ellevest allows you to set both short- and long-term financial goals and prioritize them accordingly.
- A customized portfolio: You can set how aggressively you want your money invested and with your financial objectives in mind, the robo-advisor makes moves on your behalf that cater to your risk tolerance and individual goals.
- A dedicated Certified Financial Planner (CFP): When you sign up for the Ellevest Premium membership and invest at least $50,000, you’re paired up with a CFP that ensures you’re on the right track toward your career and financial goals.
Cons of Ellevest
Ellevest members have reported some disadvantages to the investment platform, including the following:
- Limited rollover accounts: If you choose Ellevest to manage all your investments, you can roll over your 401(k) or individual retirement account (IRA). However, the investment platform doesn’t allow you to manage trust or joint taxable accounts like most other robo-advisors.
- Mobile app is limited: If you want to use the Ellevest mobile app, keep in mind there’s no version for an Android operating system. Mobile app users report having a better experience using the company’s website to view their investments and move money.
- Low-interest savings: Ellevest encourages all users to create an emergency fund and hosts this savings account for free. However, the interest rate is low through Ellevest and you may earn higher interest with your balance at a different bank.
Is Ellevest Right For You?
Ellevest caters to women and since the platform automatically develops comprehensive portfolios, it’s best for beginner investors who want a more hands-off approach. The platform is goal-based so it may be best for you if you can easily identify both your short- and long-term financial goals.
If you feel more comfortable with a dedicated financial advisor, keep in mind you’ll need a $50,000 account balance to get this personalized assistance. While the platform focuses on security, the mobile app isn’t known for its functionality, so if you’re only planning to check your investments on the go, it might not be the right robo-advisor for you.
How to Sign Up for Ellevest
To sign up for an account, visit the Ellevest Onboarding page and create a profile with the site. You’ll need to provide your contact and financial information while also identifying your goals. Choose the membership you want based on your investment balance and needs. Once you’re signed up, you can view your portfolio by signing into your account on the website or through the mobile app.
If you’re looking for an investment platform that’s goal-based and designed for women, Ellevest may be right for you. Before you sign up for a membership, review the services available through the platform and the management fees associated with these membership tiers.
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