Ellevest review

This investment company works to close the gender gap women and non-binary individuals face in the market.

finder.com’s rating: 3.85 / 5.0

★★★★★

Ellevest is a collection of financial services designed to help women invest and includes automated investment services, bank accounts, financial coaching and more. The platform makes a name for itself by offering resources designed to combat the unique financial challenges women experience, like pay inequality. But its flat-rate membership-based pricing could be a turnoff for new investors simply looking to test it out.

  • Choose Ellevest if you’re seeking a flat-rate robo-advisor.
  • Consider something else if you prefer to research and execute your own trades.
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Overview

Fees

★★★★★ 3.2/5

Its flat-rate fees are on par with competitors.
Minimum deposit requirement

★★★★★ 5/5

There are no minimum deposit requirements for any of its service tiers.
Account selection

★★★★★ 4/5

Account selection comprises a variety of taxable and retirement accounts.
Tax advantages

★★★★★ 4/5

Tax-loss harvesting is available to all, but IRAs are only for premium members.
Customer support

★★★★★ 2/5

Support is available by email and phone, but we couldn’t reach anyone.
Customer feedback

★★★★★ 3/5

Not much investor feedback is available for Ellevest.
Mobile app

★★★★★ 4.7/5

Its mobile app is well-liked by both Apple and Android users.
Bonus star

1

We awarded a bonus star for financial coaching geared toward women and non-binary individuals.

To learn how our star ratings are calculated, read the methodology at the bottom of the page.

What we think of Ellevest

Ellevest is one of the more unique investment services on the market, and for that reason alone, I think it’s worth a look.

How many platforms can say they actively work to reduce the wealth gap for women and non-binary individuals with female-focused, socially-informed investments? Not many. And that’s precisely what Ellevest offers.

This platform’s focus on promoting women-led businesses, and educational resources makes it a fitting choice for any socially conscious investor. And to be clear, I do mean any investor. Ellevest’s doors are open to everyone: All gender identities are welcome to join.

Oh, and Ellevest isn’t only a robo-advisor. It offers membership-based pricing tiers that bundle numerous financial services, like savings accounts, financial coaching and educational resources. So if you’re looking for a straightforward robo-advisor, no strings attached, Ellevest may not be for you.

What is Ellevest?

Ellevest is a membership-based money management and investing service. It includes access to banking, an investment robo-advisor, retirement accounts, discounts on financial coaching and more. But how useful it is and how many features you can access depends on what membership tier you sign up for.

Ellevest’s robo-advisor is an automated investing service that builds and maintains an investment portfolio on your behalf. It invests exclusively in exchange-traded funds (ETFs), which are funds that invest in collections of stocks. Your portfolio’s asset allocation strategy will hinge on your risk tolerance and investment goals, but you can expect to see a mix of ETFs that invest in stocks, bonds and real estate.

The platform uses gender-based salary curves and pay gaps to customize its investment suggestions and educational resources. The platform is open to all gender expressions but offers goal-based investing designed to support women and nonbinary individuals in pursuing their financial goals.

How do the Ellevest bank accounts work?

All Ellevest memberships come with a checking account, a savings account and a World Mastercard Debit Card. These accounts are backed by FDIC-insured Coastal Community Bank. The debit card connects to the checking account and comes equipped with an optional rollover program: It rounds transactions to the nearest dollar and automatically deposits the difference into the investor’s Ellevest Save account.

The accounts have no minimum balance requirements, no transfer fees, no overdraft fees and unlimited ATM fee reimbursements for withdrawals made within the US. Use of the accounts isn’t mandatory — Ellevest investors can stick with the robo-advisor service without using the accounts.

Who is Ellevest best for?

With Ellevest’s membership-based pricing structure and unique blend of investment and banking features, the platform is ideal for:

  • Passive investors. Ellevest’s robo-advisor can help you manage your portfolio for as little as $1 monthly.
  • Women and nonbinary investors. Ellevest’s financial coaching is designed to empower women and help them navigate gender-based salary curves and pay gaps.
  • Socially conscious investors. Ellevest’s educational resources and investment suggestions are geared towards closing the gender gap between men and women in the workforce.

To be clear, you don’t need to identify as female to sign up for Ellevest — all gender identities are welcome to become a member. That said, the platform’s offerings are specifically geared towards those interested in narrowing the gender pay gap and dismantling prevalent barriers women and non-binary individuals encounter on the path to financial freedom.

Fees and costs

The Ellevest membership program consolidates investment, financial planning and educational resources under a single umbrella. Investors new to the Ellevest platform must select one of three membership tiers during the application process. All tiers provide access to its educational resources, robo-advisor service, an FDIC-insured Save account and a checking account with debit card. Additional perks by tier include:

  • Essential: $1/month. Get a 20% discount on financial coaching sessions.
  • Plus: $5/month. Retirement account recommendations, management and advice; plus a 30% discount on coaching sessions.
  • Executive: $9/month. Multigoal investing across up to six accounts, retirement account recommendations, management and advice; plus a 50% discount on coaching sessions.

You’ll also pay a $100 fee to transfer your Ellevest account to another brokerage.

Ellevest’s financial coaching

Ellevest’s financial planning and coaching is available to anyone interested in some one-on-one guidance. Its coaches can help you create a budget, save for a house, fine-tune your resumé and more. And it doesn’t matter whether your investments are housed with Ellevest or not — its advisers can help you with any investment accounts, regardless of broker.

You also don’t need to be an Ellevest member to access its financial coaching. Nonmembers are welcome to use its planning services — it just costs more.

PackageCost for membersCost for nonmembersDescription
Budgeting and spending session$87.50 – $140$17530-minute call with an Ellevest financial planner
Receive a one-page budget plan
Money checkup$95 – $152$19030-minute call with a certified financial planner to check on investments, money goals or retirement funds
Home-buying strategy session$112.50 – $280$225 – $350One to two sessions with an Ellevest money coach to discuss the homebuying process and how to prepare for homeownership expenses
Budgeting and debt-planning session$150 – $240$300One session with an Ellevest financial planner to develop a budget strategy and debt plan
Career clarity coaching$175 – $280$350Two sessions with an Ellevest career coach to create an actionable career roadmap
Home-buying strategy and budgeting session$175 – $400$350 – $500One or two sessions with an Ellevest money coach to discuss the homebuying process, mortgage budgeting, down payments and more
Resumé review session$180 – $288$360One session with an Ellevest career coach to review your resume and provide feedback
Unlimited access to a CFP$447.50 – $716$895Up to four phone calls and unlimited email support with a certified financial planner for one year
Investment review package$897.50 – $1,436$1,795Two sessions with an Ellevest investment adviser to review and refine your investment accounts
Full financial planning package$897.50 – $1,436$1,795Two calls with an Ellevest financial planner to develop your personalized financial plan

How do I sign up?

The Ellevest account application process begins on the Ellevest website.

  1. Select Get Started.
  2. Enter your email and password, accept the terms and choose Create Profile.
  3. Follow the prompts to enter your information, including name, age and education level.
  4. Select your monthly membership plan and hit Choose Plan.
  5. Confirm your email address.
  6. Enter your full name, residential address, phone number and date of birth. Select Continue.
  7. Enter information about your bank and investment accounts. Choose Continue.
  8. Connect your bank account through Plaid.
  9. Select your main investment goal and hit Let’s Go.
  10. Whichever goal you choose, Ellevest provides a calculator so you can figure out how much you need to invest and the timeline of your investment to reach your goal. When you know what you’d like to invest, select Continue.
  11. Determine your monthly investment and how you’d like to fund your account.

Eligibility

To become an Ellevest member, you must have the following qualifications:

  • US citizen or US resident
  • At least 18 years old (19 in Alabama and Nebraska)
  • Residential address
  • Social Security number
  • Checking or savings account with a US bank

Required information

Before you sign up, have the following information ready:

  • Personal information like your name, address and birthdate
  • Identification information, like your Social Security number and citizenship status
  • Employment information
  • Bank information

Pros and cons

Weigh out the perks and possible drawbacks.

Pros

  • Socially responsible investments. If you choose an Impact portfolio, Ellevest invests your money in funds working to meet higher sustainability and ethical standards with those that give loans to women-owned businesses and businesses focused on expanding community services.
  • No minimum deposit. There’s no minimum deposit to open an account and no required minimum balance to maintain it. But there are portfolio minimums, generally ranging from $1 to $240.
  • Complimentary debit card. New Ellevest members receive a World Mastercard Debit Card when they sign up.
  • Courses and workshops. No matter which membership tier you’ve signed up for, you’ll receive free access to numerous courses and workshops on various financial topics.
  • ATM fee reimbursements. Ellevest members receive unlimited ATM fee reimbursements for withdrawals made at ATMs within the US.

Cons

  • Low-interest emergency fund. Its 0.01% interest rate is low. You’ll see better returns placing your money in a savings account.
  • No joint accounts. Ellevest currently offers no trusts or joint account options unless you choose the Ellevest Private Wealth Management plan.
  • Mandatory membership. Investors strictly interested in getting set up with a robo-advisor may be put off by Ellevest’s mandatory membership and numerous service add-ons.

Is Ellevest legit?

Yes, we’ve done thorough research and confirmed that Ellevest is a legitimate brokerage registered with the SEC, the US Securities and Exchange Commission. Funds in Ellevest Spend and Save accounts are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) through Ellevest’s partner bank, Coastal Community Bank.

Ellevest was founded in 2014 and is headquartered in New York City, New York. It is not an accredited business with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) but has no complaints to its name with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Ellevest reviews and complaints

Overall, Ellevest investor feedback is fairly positive. As of August 2021, it lacks Better Business Bureau (BBB) accreditation but earns a B rating, despite its 16 BBB customer complaints.

BBB ratingB
BBB accreditedNo
BBB customer ratingN/A
Trustpilot score3.4/5 out of 2 customer reviews
Google Play app4.7/5 stars based on 334 reviews
Apple app store4.7/5 stars based on 3,690 reviews
Customer reviews verified as ofAugust 2021

Redditors praise the platform’s goal-based investment suggestions and informative newsletters but complain that the platform has a clunky interface that’s difficult to navigate. A majority of the platform’s BBB complaints reference a $50 bonus offered to new investors for signing up or making referrals. While Ellevest no longer offers the bonus, it has responded to all BBB complaints.

How do I contact Ellevest support?

Contact Ellevest using one of the following methods:

  • Email support@ellevest.com.
  • Call 844-355-7100 on weekdays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET.
  • Submit a request through its online form.

Alternatives to Ellevest

Ellevest occupies a unique space among investment services with a strong focus on supporting women and non-binary individuals along their financial journey with socially informed investments. But it won’t be a practical fit for everyone.

For one thing, its flat-rate pricing is fair — but it’s possible to invest without the monthly fee through robo-advisors like SoFi and Schwab Intelligent Portfolios.

Or maybe you want more sway over your investments? M1 Finance monitors your account but lets you pick your holdings so you have more control over your portfolio.

No platform has it all and the right account for your investments depends on your financial goals. Review your options by features and customer feedback to find the service best equipped to meet your needs.

Name Product Available asset types Annual fee
Vanguard Digital Advisor
ETFs
0.15%

0.2%
A robo-advisor backed by Vanguard's proven methodology and strong track record.
Douugh
Bonds, ETFs
0%
Easy to use diversified portfolios designed and managed by experts.
Acorns
$1 per month
Invest your spare change. Anyone can grow wealth.
SoFi Automated
Stocks
$0 per month
Put your money to work. Let SoFi build and manage a portfolio for you. Pay zero SoFi management fees.
Titan
Stocks
1% on balances of $10,000+
While not technically a robo advisor, Titan offers a hands-off investment platform that seeks to outperform the market.
Betterment
0.25% on balances up to $99,999

0.4% on balances of $100,000+
Betterment's automatic investment site aims to improve your returns and support good financial habits with passive investing and financial planning support.
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Disclaimer: The value of any investment can go up or down depending on news, trends and market conditions. We are not investment advisers, so do your own due diligence to understand the risks before you invest.

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