Men and women are different in many ways. They each have a unique set of needs and circumstances that might call for them to approach things like nutrition, relationships, professional development, and even financial management in different ways.
The folks over at Ellevest believe in this idea so much that they created an investment platform that caters to women.
Ellevest was born out of an observation about women and investing: Gender-neutral investing fails women.
They argue that because of circumstance like gender pay gaps and longer lifespans, women need an entirely different approach to investing.
What is Ellevest?
The financial services industry is dominated by men, so it follows that most investing plans are created without regard to special needs or circumstances that women face in their lives. As a result, many investment plans do not consider that women are paid less over their life spans and may have more time off due to childbirth and rearing which further reduces their earnings over their lifetime.
All of this is complicated by the fact that they will live longer than the average male despite having less money to live on. When creating portfolios, Ellevest considers the specific factors that only affect women.
The Ellevest mission
The mission of Ellevest is to help women meet their financial goals. In addition to this, the company helps its investors to invest in companies that empower positive social change by advancing women.
The dual mission allows women to help other women, while meeting their own financial goals.
The company acts as a fiduciary to its clients. This means that Ellevest is required to act in your best interests.
When determining the right path for you, Ellevest will consider factors such as your age, income, and retirement assets to determine the best possible investments for you.
Ellevest is the only company that considers gender-specific lifespans and salary curves.
How does Ellevest work?
You tell them your goals
Ellevest will suggest personalized investment portfolios based on your information and goals.
They consolidate your investments
You may already have retirement accounts spread across multiple providers. Ellevest has a way to get all your investments in one place.
You may have set up a 401(k) or 403(b) with an employer at some point, but do not check your investments’ performance or related fees very often.
They suggest management strategies
The platform will help to evaluate your current 401(k) or 403(b) plan to make sure it’s right for you and your financial goals. After they have taken a close look at your fees and the other options you have available, Ellevest will make a recommendation on how to manage your investments going forward.
If you decide to roll your account over with Ellevest, they will walk you through the entire process. They can even handle everything for you at no extra charge.
You can also transfer an IRA to Ellevest without any fees in three easy steps.
If you have other assets that you would like managed through Ellevest, you can speak with an advisor about private wealth management. It could be a great option if you have large assets that you do not want to manage on your own.
As you continue investing through Ellevest, you can change your goals or strategy at any time. Life happens, so you have the option to adjust your goals accordingly. As you set up your plan, you will be able to change the timeline, recurring contributions, initial deposits and even the target date for each goal.
What are Ellevest advice options?
Ellevest has a team of professionals that are ready to provide you with solid financial advice. The company has three different levels of advice options for its clients.
The Ellevest Digital option is the most basic option, but it still offers a lot in the way of advising.
At this level, you will have unlimited access to the concierge team, which includes unlimited questions via email, phone or text. The concierge team can provide you with guidance about your financial situation throughout the process of investing for your goals.
Ellevest Premium is the next level service offering. Through this option, you will have access to one-on-one guidance with the certified financial planners(CFPs) at Ellevest.
The planner can help guide you through the financial side of growing your family, buying a home or retirement planning. You will be able to ask questions about maximizing your employee benefits and navigating transitions throughout your life.
Ellevest Premium with coaching
Ellevest Premium also offers executive coaching with the career team. You will be able to brainstorm with the team to help navigate salary negotiations, switch career paths or nail an interview.
The career coaching options are truly an added benefit for Ellevest clients. The team is focused on helping women to increase their earning potential in the face of gender pay gaps.
How does Ellevest’s pricing work?
- Ellevest Digital: You will pay an annual fee of 0.25 percent of your invested assets. There is no minimum balance to open an Ellevest account at the Digital level.
- Ellevest Premium: The annual fee for Ellevest Premium is 0.50 percent of assets under management. The minimum balance to open an account at the Premium level is $50,000.
- Private Wealth Management: If you choose to have your assets managed by Ellevest through their private wealth management feature, then your fees will be based on assets under management.
What are the pros of Ellevest?
It caters to women
The major advantage of Ellevest is that it focuses on the best investment decisions for women.
It is the only company that has focused its advice on the needs of women. So, if that is something you are looking for, then this may be the only place you can find it.
You can set your own goals
Through Ellevest, you will be able to set your goals and track your progress through this platform.
The goal-oriented investment strategy can work well for both your long-term and short-term goals. Plus, you can easily change your financial goals if your priorities change.
You can start investing right away
You will also be able to get started right away since there is no minimum amount for the Digital package.
However, if you are able to grow your portfolio then you will have access to a CFP once your account reaches $50,000.
What are the Cons of Ellevest?
The biggest drawback to Ellevest is the fees. Of course, you expect fees from your financial advisors, but these are fairly steep in comparison to other, lower costs options to manage your own money. Although, the fees are large, they are equivalent to most robo-advisors on the market.
No tax-loss harvesting
Also, Ellevest does not practice tax-loss harvesting. You may or may not want that as a feature of your portfolio, but Ellevest does not give you the option to use this strategy that can save you money on taxes each year.
Ellevest can be a good option for women who are passionate about both meeting their own financial goals while empowering companies that support and advance women.
Overall, Ellevest is very similar to other robo-advisors in offers and fees, but is more expensive than most DIY investing options out there. The choice you have to make is whether or not you want to pay slightly more for gender-specific advice.