June 5, 2018

Ellevest Review: Is It Worth It?

This article contains references to products from our partners. We may receive compensation if you apply or shop through links in our content. You help support CreditDonkey by reading our website and using our links. (read more)

Overall Score

4.1

Annual Fee

4.0

Minimum Deposit

5.0

Human Advisors

4.0

Customer Service

3.5
5-point scale (the higher, the better)

Pros and Cons

  • Focused on women's financial goals
  • No minimum investment
  • Ability to change investment plans
  • Limited account options
  • No tax loss harvesting
  • Newcomer, stability TBD

Bottom Line

Women-focused robo-advisor specifically tailored to women's life cycles and goals

Investment strategies are for men, or at least that's what the founders of Ellevest believe. This female-focused company has set out to make a difference in the life of women. Their strategy is to focus on the average income and life cycle of women - something no other company has yet to tackle.

Ellevest is a robo-advisor much like Betterment or Wealthfront. Where they differ is in their strategies. Ellevest doesn't follow "gender-neutral" investing strategies. Instead, they focus on the wage gap and life cycle of women.

According to Ellevest, because women live longer than men, but tend to make less than men, they have less to invest. Using the same strategies as men use could leave women with less money than they need if the same strategies are used.

Is Ellevest really worth the hype? Keep reading to find out more.

How Ellevest Works

Ellevest starts off in a similar fashion to any other robo-advisor. You provide your personal information, including your income and financial goals. Ellevest uses this information to come up with the portfolio they feel will help you reach your goals. The key word here is goals. Ellevest is very goal-focused rather than focusing on outperforming a specific index.

According to Ellevest, they help clients reach approximately 70% of the goals they establish. They do this by testing the potential outcomes of your savings and investment potential. This way they have a good idea of how your investments may react in any type of economy, because as we know, no one can predict the future.

Where Ellevest differs from your standard robo-advisor is how it figures out the right portfolio. Normally, you would give the investment firm an idea of your ability to handle risk. They would then base your portfolio on this risk tolerance. The more risk you can take, the more aggressive they would make your portfolio. The less risk you can take, the more conservative they would make it. Ellevest focuses on your goals and timeline rather than your risk tolerance.

Who Is It Best For?

Ellevest is primarily for women who have never invested before or women who have a specific goal to reach. The goal could be short-term or long-term; Ellevest adjusts your portfolio accordingly.

Ellevest does offer a variety of different account types, including:

  • Taxable accounts
  • IRA
  • Roth IRA
  • 401K rollovers

What Are the Fees?

Ellevest has two programs, each with their own pricing:

  • Ellevest Digital: You'll pay 0.25% of your assets under management per year. In this program, you receive your own managed portfolios, basic tax strategies, automatic rebalancing, automatic deposits, and unlimited customer support.

  • Ellevest Premium: You'll pay 0.50% of your assets under management per year. In this program, you receive a personalized and managed portfolio, tax minimization strategies, automatic rebalancing, automatic deposits, and 1:1 access to a Certified Financial Professional.

In order to be a part of the Ellevest Premium account, you'll need a minimum of $50,000 invested. If you fall below this minimum by withdrawing funds, Ellevest will automatically downgrade your account to the digital account.

How do you pay the annual management fee? Ellevest charges you the annual fee on a monthly basis based on a prorated amount on the prior month's balance. You'll see it called the "Program Fee" on your investment statements. Ellevest withdraws the funds from your account. Keep in mind that there may be other fees associated with your investments; they depend on the expense ratios of your chosen ETFs.

Reasons We Like Ellevest

  • Ellevest's focus is on women and their investment needs. We do think that Ellevest is onto something in their quest to help women invest properly. It's a nice touch focusing on women and their financial needs while helping women achieve their goals.

  • You don't need a minimum investment. Robo-advisors are a good option for beginning investors. Since beginning investors often don't have a large amount of money, the lack of minimum investment required can help even more women invest.

  • Ellevest offers more than 21 different asset classes to spread your investments across. This is often more than the average robo-advisor offers, helping you to diversify your portfolio even further.

  • Ellevest includes investments in real estate. Many robo-advisors only invest in stocks and bonds. Having the option to invest in real estate along with other investments can help investors meet their long-term goals.

  • Ellevest's robo-advisor strategy takes the emotion out of investing. Many investors struggle with the emotional component of investing, which Ellevest attempts to remove. With Ellevest's algorithm handling your portfolio, you don't have the opportunity to sell on a whim because you are worried about a particular investment.

  • Ellevest doesn't charge fees for emergency fund savings. If you designate any of your funds for the "Emergency Fund Goal," Ellevest won't include those funds in the calculation of your management fee.

  • Ellevest automatically rebalances your portfolio. Because you can't predict what the market will do, it's possible that your portfolio will drift from the way you originally set it up. You don't have to worry about overseeing the account and rebalancing it, though. Ellevest automatically does this for you on a regular basis to help keep you on track with your goals.

  • You have access to live professionals to answer your questions. All clients, whether part of the Digital or Premium account, have access to the Ellevest Concierge Team. You can contact them via phone or email to get answers to your questions or to ask basic investment advice.

  • You can change your investment plan as many times as you want. The professionals at Ellevest know that your life can change at the drop of a hat. They allow you to change your goals or even your goal date and they will adjust your portfolio accordingly.

Understanding the Platform and App: Unfortunately, Ellevest doesn't have an app, so you have to rely on the web-based program to handle your investments. In addition, the website itself can be overwhelming, as it's filled with a lot of information in separate links. If you don't like chasing information down, you may find the website/platform frustrating.

Reasons You May Want to Look Elsewhere

  • Ellevest doesn't offer tax loss harvesting. Tax loss harvesting helps minimize the tax consequences of investing. Ellevest doesn't feel that this strategy works, as you still owe the taxes at some point. Instead, Ellevest uses a Tax Minimizing Methodology.

  • Most of Ellevest's strategies are for women, leaving men out of the equation. In addition, not all women are the same. While the strategy can be a nice idea, some women also do just fine with the standard robo-advisor that bases the portfolio allotment on risk tolerance.

  • Ellevest's stability hasn't been determined. Ellevest is one of the few companies with a female-focused strategy, so its longevity is yet to be determined. While your investments are insured by the SIPC should Ellevest close, it's still a risk you take.

How It Compares

Ellevest vs Betterment:
Ellevest and Betterment have a similar pricing structure and minimum required investment, but the similarities end there. Betterment bases your portfolio on your risk tolerance while Ellevest focuses on your goals. Betterment is open to men and women, while Ellevest is woman-focused.

 

Ellevest

Betterment

 

Benefits and Features

Annual Fee0.25% for basic Digital account; 0.50% for Premium account0.25% for accounts under $100,000; 0.40% for accounts $100,000+
Minimum Deposit
$50,000 for Premium account
$0
Phone Support
Yes - normal business hours
Yes
Live Chat Support
No
No
Email Support
Yes
Yes
Human Advisors
No
Yes
Assets Under Management
$67.6 Million
$10 Billion
Tax Loss Harvesting
No
Yes
Goal Tracker
Yes
Yes
Automatic Deposits
Yes
Yes
Online Platform
Yes
Yes
iPhone App
No
Yes
Android App
No
Yes
Fractional Shares
Yes
Yes
Taxable Accounts
Yes
Yes
401k Plans
No
Yes
IRA Accounts
Yes
Yes
Roth IRA Accounts
Yes
Yes
SEP IRA Accounts
No
Yes
Trust Accounts
No
Yes
529 Plans
No
No

Ellevest: Pricing information from published website as of 06/14/2018

Betterment: Pricing information from published website as of 04/04/2018

Ellevest vs Acorns:
Ellevest is for women serious about investing for retirement, while Acorns is geared towards casual young investors. Acorns automatically invests your spare change whenever you make a purchase. This is great to get young people into the habit of investing, but you're not going to build wealth out of it.

 Acorns
 Visit Site
 

Ellevest

Acorns

SPECIAL OFFER
Try Acorns Today! - Learn More

 

Benefits and Features

Stock Trading Part of service fee. Free for college students for 4 years. No add-on trading fees.
Annual Fee0.25% for basic Digital account; 0.50% for Premium accountFree for college students; $1/mo for Acorns; $2/mo for Acorns + Acorns Later; $3/mo for Acorns + Acorns Later + Acorns Spend
Minimum Deposit
$50,000 for Premium account
$0
Phone Support
Yes - normal business hours
Yes
Live Chat Support
No
No
Email Support
Yes
Yes
Human Advisors
No
No
Assets Under Management
$67.6 Million
$528 Million
Tax Loss Harvesting
No
No
Goal Tracker
Yes
Yes
Automatic Deposits
Yes
Yes
Online Platform
Yes
Yes
iPhone App
No
Yes
Android App
No
Yes
Banking Acorns Spend checking account comes with a debit card and has no minimum balance requirement, no overdraft fees, and unlimited free or fee-reimbursed ATMs nationwide. $3/mo for Acorns + Acorns Later + Acorns Spend.
Mobile App 
Yes
Fractional Shares
Yes
Yes
Taxable Accounts
Yes
Yes
401k Plans
No
No
IRA Accounts
Yes
Yes
Roth IRA Accounts
Yes
Yes
SEP IRA Accounts
No
Yes
Trust Accounts
No
No
529 Plans
No
No
 Visit Site

Try Acorns Today!

Blank fields may indicate the information is not available, not applicable, or not known to CreditDonkey. Please visit the product website for details.

Ellevest: Pricing information from published website as of 06/14/2018

Acorns: Pricing information from published website as of 04/04/2018

Ellevest vs WealthSimple:
Ellevest and WealthSimple both offer access to human advisors if you need financial guidance. Wealthsimple has higher fees for smaller investors. However, for accounts over $100,000, it becomes the more affordable choice. A unique thing about Wealthsimple is that it offers socially responsible and Halal investment options, so you may appreciate that if those are in line with your beliefs.

 WealthSimple
 Visit Site
 

Ellevest

WealthSimple

SPECIAL OFFER
Get $10,000 Managed for Free for Your First Year - Learn More

 

Benefits and Features

Annual Fee0.25% for basic Digital account; 0.50% for Premium account0.5% for accounts up to $100k; 0.4% for accounts over $100k
Minimum Deposit
$50,000 for Premium account
$0
Phone Support
Yes - normal business hours
Yes - M-Th 9a-8p ET; Fri 9a-5:30p ET
Live Chat Support
No
No
Email Support
Yes
Yes
Human Advisors
No
Yes
Assets Under Management
$67.6 Million
$2 Billion
Tax Loss Harvesting
No
Available for accounts over $100,000
Goal Tracker
Yes
No
Automatic Deposits
Yes
Yes
Online Platform
Yes
Yes
iPhone App
No
Yes
Android App
No
Yes
Fractional Shares
Yes
Yes
Taxable Accounts
Yes
Yes
401k Plans
No
No
IRA Accounts
Yes
Yes
Roth IRA Accounts
Yes
Yes
SEP IRA Accounts
No
Yes
Trust Accounts
No
Yes
529 Plans
No
No
 Visit Site

Get $10,000 Managed for Free for Your First Year

Ellevest: Pricing information from published website as of 06/14/2018

Ellevest vs Vanguard Personal Advisor Services:
If you have more than $50,000 to invest, Vanguard beats out Ellevest with its 0.30% annual fee vs Ellevest's 0.5% fee for their Premium account. Vanguard offers a personal advisor for every account too. You'll need at least $50,000 to invest with Vanguard, though. If you don't have that much and are female, Ellevest's Digital program may be the better option.

 

Ellevest

Vanguard Personal Advisor

 

Benefits and Features

Annual Fee0.25% for basic Digital account; 0.50% for Premium account
0.3%
Minimum Deposit
$50,000 for Premium account
$50,000
Phone Support
Yes - normal business hours
Yes
Live Chat Support
No
No
Email Support
Yes
Yes
Human Advisors
No
Yes
Assets Under Management
$67.6 Million
$100+ Billion
Tax Loss Harvesting
No
client-by-client basis
Goal Tracker
Yes
Yes
Automatic Deposits
Yes
Yes
Online Platform
Yes
Yes
iPhone App
No
Yes
Android App
No
Yes
Fractional Shares
Yes
No
Taxable Accounts
Yes
Yes
401k Plans
No
No
IRA Accounts
Yes
Yes
Roth IRA Accounts
Yes
Yes
SEP IRA Accounts
No
Yes
Trust Accounts
No
Yes
529 Plans
No
Yes

Ellevest: Pricing information from published website as of 06/14/2018

Vanguard Personal Advisor: Pricing information from published website as of 04/04/2018

Ellevest vs Wealthfront:
Wealthfront and Ellevest charge the same annual fee of 0.25%. Where they differ, aside from the gender-specific service at Ellevest, is the types of accounts they offer. Wealthfront offers 529 Savings Plans, but Ellevest doesn't. You do need a $500 minimum investment to start with Wealthfront, though.

 

Ellevest

Wealthfront

 

Benefits and Features

Annual Fee0.25% for basic Digital account; 0.50% for Premium account
0.25%
Minimum Deposit
$50,000 for Premium account
$500
Phone Support
Yes - normal business hours
Yes
Live Chat Support
No
No
Email Support
Yes
Yes
Human Advisors
No
No
Assets Under Management
$67.6 Million
$10+ Billion
Tax Loss Harvesting
No
Yes
Goal Tracker
Yes
Yes
Automatic Deposits
Yes
Yes
Online Platform
Yes
Yes
iPhone App
No
Yes
Android App
No
Yes
Fractional Shares
Yes
No
Taxable Accounts
Yes
Yes
401k Plans
No
No
IRA Accounts
Yes
Yes
Roth IRA Accounts
Yes
Yes
SEP IRA Accounts
No
Yes
Trust Accounts
No
Yes
529 Plans
No
Yes

Ellevest: Pricing information from published website as of 06/14/2018

Wealthfront: Pricing information from published website as of 04/04/2018

Bottom Line

Ellevest has an interesting concept that many women buy into, but is it necessary? This is yet to be determined because Ellevest is still a newcomer to the industry. If you are a beginning investor with just a small amount to invest and you are a woman, it might suit your needs just fine. As always, compare all of your options and make sure to read the fine print so you can choose the robo-advisor that is right for you.

Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are author's alone. Please support CreditDonkey on our mission to help you make savvy decisions. Our free online service is made possible through financial relationships with some of the products and services mentioned on this site. We may receive compensation if you shop through links in our content.

Disclaimer: CreditDonkey has entered into a referral and advertising arrangement with Wealthsimple US, LTD and receives compensation when you open an account or for certain qualifying activity which may include clicking links. You will not be charged a fee for this referral and Wealthsimple and CreditDonkey are not related entities. It is a requirement to disclose that we earn these fees and also provide you with the latest Wealthsimple ADV brochure so you can learn more about them before opening an account.

More from CreditDonkey:


Best Discount Broker

How to Invest Money

How to Invest Money


How to Start Investing

More Articles in Reviews

    Acorns

    Try Acorns Today!

    WealthSimple

    Get $10,000 Managed for Free for Your First Year

    Expires 12/31/2018
    Ally Invest Coupon Codes

    Get Up to $3,500 Cash Bonus and Commission Free Trades for 90 Days

    Expires 11/30/2018
    TD Ameritrade

    Get 60 Days of Commission-Free Trading

    Expires 12/31/2018

Leave a comment about Ellevest Review: Is It Worth It?

Name
Email (won't be published)


October
21
2018

ZacksTrade Review

Stock traders that hear the name Zacks likely think of research. That's because Zacks has been a top provider of investment research for many years. The company has since broadened their services to offer an online brokerage firm.
More Articles in Investing Reviews








About CreditDonkey®
CreditDonkey is a stock broker comparison website. We publish data-driven analysis to help you save money & make savvy decisions.

Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed on this page are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.

†Advertiser Disclosure: Many of the card offers that appear on this site are from companies from which CreditDonkey receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). CreditDonkey does not include all companies or all offers that may be available in the marketplace.

*See the card issuer's online application for details about terms and conditions. Reasonable efforts are made to maintain accurate information. However, all information is presented without warranty. When you click on the "Apply Now" button you can review the terms and conditions on the card issuer's website.

CreditDonkey does not know your individual circumstances and provides information for general educational purposes only. CreditDonkey is not a substitute for, and should not be used as, professional legal, credit or financial advice. You should consult your own professional advisors for such advice.