Gender equality is finally getting the serious acknowledgement it deserves. People are looking to eliminate differences between genders in almost every sphere, creating a system where men and women are treated alike and have equal access to the same jobs, education, opportunities, and everything in between.
In many aspects of our daily lives, we’ve already implemented these changes with great results. Unfortunately, the investment market isn’t one of them. In this article we’ll perform some in-depth Ellevest reviews and see just how this female-focused platform fares in the world of automated investing.
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- Investment portfolios designed to meet the needs of women
- Direct contact with career coaches and certified financial planners
- Investing techniques centered on reaching set goals
- Does not require a minimum amount to open an account
- The only algorithm that takes women-specific factors into consideration
- No tax loss harvesting
- Individual retirement accounts are only accessible to members with Executive and Plus accounts
What is Ellevest?
Ellevest is one of many services on the list of robo advisors. However, this one has a unique function: it’s a platform created with the sole aim of eliminating the gender pay gap between men and women in the areas of investment and finance. It does this by specifically targeting its services at women, as you can tell from its slogan: “Built by women, for women.” Naturally, most reviews of Ellevest focus on this angle.
That’s not to say that this platform is only for women. While it was initially designed as such, over time Ellevest has evolved. Women remain the primary audience, but the platform offers its services to individuals of all gender classifications and identities. The company’s sole purpose isn’t just to provide a space for investing for women, but to ensure that the age-old problems of difference in wealth creation due to gender are addressed.
This cause has clearly received a positive response. Indeed, many top sites and players in the industry agree; Investopedia reviews Ellevest as one of the best platforms for autoinvestments, awarding it a 3.7/5 rating.
An epiphany is the sudden realization of a fact or truth that has perhaps not been so apparent in the past. It’s that moment when you realize that things aren’t working the way they should.
For Ellevest founder Sallie Krawcheck, her epiphany was the realization that the investment sector was tailored to cater to men at the expense of women. In a nutshell, she could see that the platforms, investment tactics, and even the investment options themselves didn’t take into consideration many distinct factors pertaining to women. Krawcheck saw that the status quo wasn’t working and sought to correct that. Her solution? Ellevest.
The vision for this platform is simple: Ellevest reviews investment strategies, modernizing them to optimize financial planning for women so they can build profitable portfolios and create wealth. The ultimate goal is to make women financially stronger, acknowledging that greater equality creates a better society overall.
Founded in 2014, Ellevest is, according to the company itself: “a financial company built to get more money in the hands of women. Financial planning, career coaching, investing, & banking that gives you cash back.” In this way, Ellevest is both revolutionary and innovative; it’s the first service of its kind to provide specified investment services primarily for women.
Reviews of Ellevest Products and Services
Now it’s time to take a closer look at the services Ellevest offers.
Ellevest Save and Ellevest Spend
Ellevest accounts come with spending and saving options to meet every need. There is a Mastercard debit card feature that enables account holders to spend directly from their accounts. The card also comes with various features, such as ID theft resolution, warranty, a tap-to-pay option, and other perks. Users who do not wish to spend can make use of Ellevest’s Save Account feature, which keeps their funds until they need them. Both accounts are insured by the FDIC up to total amounts of $250,000.
Robo advisor reviews also confirm that there are no hidden fees on the card or account: no overdraft charges or fees on minimum balance. Card replacement is also free. Account owners are also eligible for reimbursement on ATM fees when the direct deposit feature has been activated.
The app is available on iOS and Android, meaning you can use invest on the go no matter what device you use. The app also offers great functionality, so those who prefer mobile to desktop won’t miss out on anything.
All of the features available on the website are also available on the app, from creating an account to depositing funds and investing. You can also make an Ellevest withdrawal using your mobile device. Security and safety are top priorities; the app uses two-factor authentication to verify access to personal data.
Ellevest only offers IRA access to members on Plus and Executive plans; those with the Essential plan don’t get to use this feature. Whatever the case may be, if your plans include an IRA account, then you’ll be paying at least $5 per month for the Plus subscription. It may not look pricey, but the lack of options for Essential plan holders might be a little discouraging for some. In a Betterment vs Ellevest comparison, you’ll find that Betterment gives access to IRAs no matter the plan.
Nevertheless, you get to plan for retirement with the more advanced Ellevest plans, and estimated amounts help the Ellevest algorithm finetune your financial position in line with your goals. It’s important to remember that IRAs under Ellevest are similar to those on competing platforms, in that any contributions to this account for future retirement savings are tax-deductible.
Ellevest Roth IRA
Where a traditional IRA treats contributions as tax-deductible, Ellevest Roth IRA contributions are calculated after tax earnings, meaning there is no tax to be deducted from them. Any gains on your investments are also non-taxable. As is the case with the standard IRA, Ellevest users can only create a Roth IRA if they’re on the Plus or Executive plans.
You might have seen some mention of the Ellevest Premium plan online. Note that this plan was phased out in June 2020, when the company upgraded to a three-tier system. Nowadays, the Plus plan is equivalent to the former Premium plan.
As of June 2020, there are three different plans to which users can subscribe: Essential, Plus, and Executive. Each of these plans comes with its own features, but the Essential plan is the most limited, as it does not cater to retirement accounts. The other two grant users full access to IRAs.
The Essential plan costs $1 per month. It gives users access to banking, learning, and investing features, as well as 20% off coaching access. The Plus plan costs $5 per month (or $36 per year) and gives users the same features, as well as retirement accounts and 30% off coaching access. The Executive plan gives you full access to all features, retirement accounts, multi-goal investing, and 50% off coaching access for $9 per month (or $72 per year).
Ellevest vs Betterment vs Wealthfront comparison chart
$1 to $9 per month
0.25% management fees charged annually
Annual charges start at 0.25%
Ellevest is a robo advisor that considers personal tolerance for risk and other preferences when selecting what type of portfolio would be suitable for you. It’s also designed to also take into consideration specific factors that affect women in the present financial climate. Portfolios are built primarily on exchange traded funds and mutual funds.
There is also the added option of the Impact Investing feature, which users can choose in place of the standard portfolio. This type of portfolio allows for socially responsible investing. Additionally, Ellevest users enjoy extra features when they use the service, such as automatic rebalancing of portfolios to align with user goals and strategies to minimize taxes.
Ellevest Customer Reviews
Customer reviews on Ellevest’s support service channels give the company a thoroughly positive rating. Not only are support agents speedy with their responses, but the FAQ section is comprehensive, answering most user questions that are likely to arise.
If you do need to speak directly with an agent, you’ll also find that these direct responses are helpful and timely. The entire platform is made for ease of access, all tools and resources are of value when they’re needed, and the monthly Ellevest fees you’ll have to pay are very reasonable.
Customer Service Hours
The dedicated FAQ page is more than enough to handle most requests and inquiries. However, you can also contact Ellevest over the phone from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET. Customer service can also be reached through Facebook Messenger or email.
Users who opt for the company’s custom-designed private wealth management services get free access to financial planners and coaches. Subscription accounts also have limited access to these services, but they have to pay extra fees for them. However, the higher your subscription, the bigger the discount you’ll get on coaching.
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The Bottom Line
There aren’t many investment platforms that cater to specific genders or groups. Robo advisor reviews on other platforms don’t indicate any special preference for supporting women or closing the gender gap. In fact, this is the very reason Ellevest exists in the first place.
This platform delivers on the promise to create a level playing field for women to invest and grow their wealth. Its features are user-friendly and the simplicity of its design and process also means its services work well for the general public, not just women. Judging by the measures put in place to encourage female retirement investing, it’s safe to say Ellevest is the best robo advisor for Roth IRA catering specifically to women.
Of course, every good thing also has its downsides. For starters, Ellevest offers no options for harvesting tax loss. Where other platforms offer some greater yields on cash management accounts, Ellevest doesn’t, having a 0% APY. Lastly, while each subscription plan goes up the ladder in what it offers users, the benefits of the most expensive plan aren’t necessarily worth the extra money.
Despite these flaws, Ellevest simply works, and works well. It deserves its reputation as one of the best robo advisory platforms in existence.
Is Ellevest a good investment?
Considering that Ellevest is best suited to investors who are new to the game, the answer would be yes. Ellevest financial reviews show that investing on this platform is a valid option for many reasons. In essence, Ellevest is like an investment school, where people with little or no prior knowledge of investment processes and options can get help with how to invest, retirement planning, or setting saving goals. Ellevest's process is seamless and intuitive enough that users from any background can simply set up an account. Moreover, the platform takes into consideration various personal choices, such as risk tolerance, goals, and preferences. Each portfolio is then populated with mutual funds and ETFs that match these factors. The management fees are low as well, meaning you can earn nicely with Ellevest stock while at the same time paying little to keep your account up and running. Overall, you do get your money’s worth for the services provided.
Is Ellevest safe?
Yes. Ellevest uses the same security measures as other companies in the financial services industry, such as encryption and two-factor authentication. All measures are taken to keep account holders’ data and information safe and secure. On the plus side, bank products and bank-related accounts are FDIC-insured, while investment funds are covered under SIPC insurance. Taking all this into consideration, in terms of security this is arguably the best online financial advisor.
Is Ellevest FDIC-insured?
All financial resources in Ellevest Save and Spend accounts up to $250,000 are insured under Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation regulations. This is overseen by Coastal Community Bank. However, these finances are not protected against the event of loss should they fail to perform well. Insurance is only provided in the event that anything happens to Ellevest, not on account of your bad investment.
How much money does Ellevest manage?
Ellevest offers a private wealth management option for clients who have over more than $1 million worth of assets. Ellevest reviews the financial status of each client, and once they meet this requirement they are given access to this feature. This option creates a customized portfolio and unlocks the Impact Investing feature. This feature offers clients access to investment opportunities in specific niches; for instance investing in women-owned SMEs or investing in housing units for women and families affected by social issues like drug or alcohol abuse.
What bank does Ellevest use?
Banking partners often determine the level of service that a robo advisor or investing platform offers. Ellevest reviews its banking services through its partner bank, Coastal Community Bank. Coastal is a member of the FDIC, so your funds are insured up to $250,000.