An investment company that works toward closing the gender gap women face in the market.Ellevest is a financial services robo-advisor designed to help women invest while taking into consideration the unique challenges women experience, such as career breaks, differences in pay and lifespan. But the lack of tax-loss harvesting and joint account options may make some investors look elsewhere.
Minimum deposit to open
Heather Petty is a writer at Finder specializing in banking, investments and insurance. She's a self-proclaimed word nerd who worked as a technical writer and editor for the casino systems industry and is an internationally published young adult mystery author. Heather earned a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Nevada, Reno.
Expert reviewEllevest is best for those looking for a personalized investment portfolio that takes into account the challenges women face. Its dedication to reducing the wealth gap between men and women is admirable, as is the company’s commitment to socially responsible investments in companies that are promoting women in leadership, women-led businesses and community programs.
How does Ellevest work?Ellevest uses an algorithm to determine where you should invest your money to meet your specific financial goals. Once Ellevest forms an investment plan, you decide how much you want to invest: as a one-time only deposit or a monthly contribution. You can choose from the following goals:
- Build my wealth. An investment portfolio that grows your wealth on your timeline.
- Retirement on my terms. Set your retirement date and figure out how much you need to invest in retirement accounts to reach your goals. You can also rollover your current retirement accounts into your account.
- A place to call home. Pick your location and when you want to purchase a home and Ellevest helps you save enough to reach your goal of home ownership.
- Kids are awesome. This account option helps you save up for child-related expenses.
- Start my own business. Use this option to start your business.
- Emergency fund. Ellevest calculates three months of take-home pay and helps you put it in an FDIC cash account as an emergency fund. Ellevest doesn’t charge a fee for this option.
- A once-in-a-lifetime splurge. Whether you’re saving for home renovations, a wedding, or a cruise, you set the goal and Ellevest tells you how much you’ll need to invest to reach it.
The amount of money you invest and the Ellevest services you use will determine your fees:
|Ellevest Digital||$0 + portfolio minimum||Annual fee of 0.25% of your total invested amount + portfolio fees|
|Ellevest Premium||$50,000||Annual fee of 0.5% of your total invested amount + portfolio fees||Everything in the Digital plan, including:|
|Ellevest Private Wealth Management||$1 million||Varies based on the services used and the assets under management|
Portfolio fees and minimums
Keep in mind that some of the funds you invest in as part of your Ellevest portfolio may charge fees as well. Ellevest estimates that those fees average 0.07% for a digital account and up to 0.19% for Premium accounts.
And portfolios will have minimums — even if your account doesn’t. Portfolio minimums generally range from $1 to $240, and if your account doesn’t meet the minimum you may not receive the entire recommended portfolio.
What are the benefits of Ellevest?Ellevest includes a host of perks, including:
- Socially responsible investments. Ellevest invests in funds working to meet higher sustainability and ethical standards and 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 your digital account and no required minimum balance to maintain it. But there are minimums for portfolios, generally ranging from $1 to $240.
- Dedicated CFP with premium. If you sign up for a premium account, you gain unlimited access to a dedicated certified financial planner assigned to your account.
What to watch out for
The following are some things to consider before opening your account:
- 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.
- No tax-loss harvesting. Where most other robo-advisors offer offsets for taxable accounts, Ellevest does not. Instead, the company tries to balance tax expenses through its Tax Minimization Methodology.
But if you’re interested in joint investments or to start a trust, you’ll need to shop around for another option.
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Ellevest reviews and complaintsEllevest started in 2016 with significant investments from Melinda Gates’ foundation and former Obama White House senior advisor Valerie Jarrett. While most industry reviews are positive, there are zero customer reviews.Ellevest is not accredited with the Better Business Bureau and has a F rating for failing to respond to complaints — most of which center around a promo the company offered.
How do I get started?
Open an Ellevest account in seven steps:
- From the home page, click Get Started.
- Enter your email and password, accept the terms and click Create Profile.
- Follow the prompts to enter your information, including name, age and education level. Click Save and Add Details.
- Enter information about your bank and investment accounts. Click Save and Add Details.
- Select your main investment goal and click Let’s Go.
- 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, click Continue.
- Determine your monthly investment and how you’d like to fund your account.
To open an Ellevest account, you must have the following qualifications:
- US citizen or US resident
- At least 18 years old (or 19 in Alabama and Nebraska)
- Residential address
- Social Security number
- Checking or savings account with a US bank
Before you sign up, have the following information ready:
- Personal information like your name, address and birth date
- Identification information, like your Social Security number and citizenship status
- Employment information
- Bank information
Ellevest customer service
Contact Ellevest using one of the following methods:
- Email email@example.com.
- Call 844-355-7100 on weekdays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET.
- Submit a request through its online form.