Ellevest review: Automated investing, plus access to financial planners and career coaches

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Summary List PlacementEllevest is an automated investing app that factors in women’s pay gaps and longer lifespans.There are three membership plans that range from $1 to $9 per month.Ellevest also offers one-on-one sessions with certified financial planners and career coaches for purchase (and at a discount if you’re a member).
Click here to open an account with Ellevest.Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

Bottom line: Ellevest could be a good fit if you want automated investing and retirement accounts (with Plus and Executive plans). It’s best for those who prefer hands-off investing over active trading, and there’s no account minimum to worry about**. While Ellevest is open to all users, it’s specifically geared toward women and closing the gender money gap.

Is Ellevest right for you?

Ellevest prosEllevest consPersonalized, automated investment advice with a $0 minimum requirementMonthly plans include discounted access to certified financial planners and career coachesAutomated IRA accounts and 401(k)/403(b) rollovers availablePrivate wealth management for individuals, families, and institutions who have at least $1 million to investNo active trading opportunities available; money is mainly invested in stock ETFs and bond ETFsYou can only open individual investment accounts; joint accounts or custodial accounts not availableNo tax-loss harvesting

Ellevest is best for hands-off investors who want personalized plans for individual investment accounts or retirement accounts. The automated investment app provides a range of services, including rollovers for certain employer-sponsored retirement plans and one-on-one sessions with financial planners and career coaches for purchase.

The app was created to help close gender money gaps for women, but it says it welcomes all clients. Ellevest also provides customized recommendations and forecasts for women’s goals by using gender-specific salary curves and longevity data.

Headquartered in New York, Ellevest was founded in 2016 by CEO and CFO Sallie Krawcheck.

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Ellevest is available on iOS and Android devices.

Ellevest Logo
Editor’s rating4.53 out of 5Fees$1 to $9 per monthAccount minimum$0Promotion1 month free when you include the code: INSIDEROpen account

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Not sure if Ellevest is right for you? Keep reading to see how it stacks up against similar investment platforms.

How does Ellevest compare to other investment platforms?

Ellevest Logo

Betterment Logo

Wealthfront Logo

Min. Investment

$0

Min. Investment

$0 or $100,000, depending on plan

Min. Investment

$500

Fees

$1 to $9 per month

Fees

0.25% (0.40% for premium plan)

Fees

0.25%

Investment choices

Stock ETFs and bond ETFs

Investment choices

Stock ETFs and bond ETFs

Investment choices

ETFs

Open an accountOpen an accountOpen an account

Ellevest, Betterment, and Wealthfront all offer automated ETF portfolios, cash management/banking account options, and much more.

While Ellevest and Betterment share the $0 minimum requirement (unless you use a $100,000 minimum premium account with Betterment), the two platforms offer different fee structures. And Ellevest arguably offers more career coaching and advisor support than both Betterment and Wealthfront.

Betterment and Wealthfront may be better options for those in search of tax-bill-lowering strategies like tax-loss harvesting.

Ways to invest with Ellevest

utomated investing accounts

Ellevest’s three plans automatically invest and manage your money for you. While other automated advisors like Betterment and Wealthfront charge annual asset-based fees on your investment account balance, Ellevest charges monthly management fees instead.

The Essential plan, which costs $1 per month, gives you access to a personalized investment portfolio, unlimited online workshops and email courses, an Ellevest debit card, and a 20% discount for one-on-one sessions with financial planners and career coaches. Sessions usually start at $150 without the member discount.

If you decided to upgrade to the Plus plan for $5 month, you’d get all the perks of the Essential plan along with IRA retirement account management and a 30% discount on financial planner sessions.

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The most premium plan, Ellevest Executive, has a $9 monthly fee but offers something the other two plans don’t: multi-goal investing. This lets you take advantage of up to six customized investment accounts for different savings goals. Executive members also get a 50% discount on financial planner and career coaching sessions. 

Ellevest primarily invests your money in a combination of stock ETFs and bond ETFs. This is quite similar to Betterment, another automated app that primarily utilizes stock ETFs and bond ETFs. However, investment advisors like Wealthfront rely more heavily on index funds.

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If you’re interested in real estate investment trusts (REITS), mutual funds, or any other investment type, you may need to consider other options.

Retirement accounts

If you’re thinking about growing your retirement plan’s savings the automated way, Ellevest provides a range of options. Currently, the app accepts 401(k) and 403(b) rollovers and IRA transfers. It also offers personalized management for traditional IRAs, Roth IRAs, and SEP IRAs.

IRA transfers primarily apply to traditional, Roth, and SEP IRAs. So in other words, the only accounts you can roll over or transfer are 401(k)s, 403(b)s, traditional IRAs, Roth IRAs, and SEP IRAs. 

As for fees, you don’t have to worry about paying anything extra to use a retirement account. The fees are included in the Plus and Executive monthly membership plans.

Ellevest banking

Ellevest gives you access to a wide range of banking products. These include Ellevest Spend, Ellevest Save, and a debit card. The app’s banking services also have no minimum balance requirements, no transfer fees, and no overdraft fees*.

The debit card allows you to earn an average 5% cash back on certain local and nationwide brands, according to Ellevest’s website. When it comes to security, Ellevest offers $250,000 FDIC insurance, 256-bit account encryption, and users can also easily lock a lost card or reset its PIN in the app.

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Is Ellevest trustworthy?

Ellevest has received a B in trustworthiness from the Better Business Bureau. The BBB rates companies with a grade scale range of A+ to F, so this indicates Ellevest interacts fairly well with its customers and exhibits trustworthy business practices.

BBB ratings can vary per investment app, though. For instance, both Robinhood and Webull have F ratings due to a lack of transparency with business practices, copious customer complaints, and failure to respond to customer complaints. 

Ellevest has been in business since 2016, and it has received 19 complaints over the last three years and 9 complaints over the last 12 months. The app’s record is currently clear of any major lawsuits or scandals. 

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*Banking products and services are offered by Ellevest in partnership with Coastal Community Bank, Member FDIC, pursuant to license by Mastercard International. Your Spend and Save account deposits will be insured to the regulatory limits by the FDIC.

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**Ellevest Digital doesn’t require you to maintain a minimum account balance. However, there are portfolio-specific minimums (ranging from $1 to approximately $240). You may not receive the entire recommended portfolio until your account balance meets the respective portfolio minimum.

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By: Rickie Houston, CEPF
Title: Ellevest review: Automated investing, plus access to financial planners and career coaches
Sourced From: www.businessinsider.com/personal-finance/ellevest-invest-review
Published Date: Mon, 09 Aug 2021 13:27:45 -0400

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