Intro: Ellevest Robo Advisor – Investment Portfolio Management by Women, for Women


If you’re looking for investment portfolio management advice, you’ll likely find that most resources are catered towards men. For women, this could make finding the best robo advisors challenging.

Even gender-neutral tools and advice can unknowingly work against women investors by not acknowledging the unique differences between men and their investments versus women and investments.

This isn’t surprising, given that barely 16 percent of financial advisors are women despite representing over 50 percent of the population.

While the gender pay gap continues to be a hot-button issue, woman investors may be facing another problem: the gender investing gap that can cost women even more over the course of their lives.



How should the relationship between women and investments change to account for the effects of pay gaps, longer lifespans, and salary curves experienced by women?

What if there was an investment portfolio management platform created by women to address the specific financial needs of woman investors?

Ellevest aims to be one of the best robo advisors for women, actively disrupting an investing model that inevitably tends to skew towards men’s salaries, career paths, preferences, and lifespans.

Could Ellevest be the best robo advisor for you? If you’re one of the many woman investors looking for the best investment platform, you may want to take the time to find out.

Our Ellevest review will provide an in-depth look at how women-led investment portfolio management can make a difference for women and investments.

We’ll also examine basic elements like fees and product offerings to help you determine whether Ellevest is the best robo advisor for your unique financial goals.

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Ellevest Review | What is Ellevest?

Launched in 2016 by former Wall Street executive Sallie Krawcheck, Ellevest is an online-only robo advisor focused on providing goal-driven investments for women.

The company has gained widespread recognition, earning positive Ellevest reviews from prominent financial publications like Business Insider, Forbes, Fast Company, and CNBC.

With over $50 million in funding, Ellevest is poised to be a dynamic competitor in the investment industry, catering to the often-overlooked dynamic between women and investments.

Part of what makes Ellevest so successful is that Krawcheck has the experience in investment portfolio management to back her claim. As the previous CEO of Smith Barney, CFO of Citi Group, and CEO of Merrill Lynch, her work experience covers an impressive range of expertise.

As Krawcheck explains in an interview with Forbes,

I’d worked in financial services for the better part of two decades, and it hit me that the retirement crisis is actually a women’s crisis. Women live longer and earn less than their male counterparts, their salaries peak earlier, and they’re less likely to invest their savings. I started Ellevest as a means to help women live better lives — and to close the retirement savings gap — by closing the “gender investing gap.”

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Ellevest Review | Methodology Behind Women and Investments

Women and Investment: Addressing Unique Challenges

When it comes to investing for women, this best robo advisor for women focuses on addressing three unique challenges through female-driven investment portfolio management:

  • Salary curve
  • Life expectancy
  • Gender pay gap

Not only do women live 5-10 years longer than men, but they also reach their peak salary much earlier. While men reach their peak salary at 55, women reach theirs at 40, which is the premise of Ellevest’s unique salary curve calculation.

Add the gender pay gap to the equation, and woman investors could potentially end up with $320,000 less than their male counterparts on the same investment plan.

According to these numbers, it’s safe to assume that investment portfolio management that fails to consider these factors puts woman investors at an immediate disadvantage.



Women and Investment: Adopting a Goal-Driven Approach

In addition to solving financial challenges faced by woman investors, Ellevest also tackles unique investing methodologies for women in their investment principles.

While there are certainly exceptions to the rule, woman investors tend to be more risk-aware and prefer certainty instead of volatility. According to a 2015 Blackrock report, only 28 percent of women are willing to take high risk for the chance of a high return, compared to 45 percent of men.

(Founder Sallie Krawcheck is quick to point out the difference between being risk-aware and risk-averse, meaning that many women prefer to understand risk before diving in).

Additionally, investments for women are often more successful when focusing on achieving specific financial goals, rather than surpassing numerical benchmarks.



In light of this, Ellevest users choose from a variety of financial goals to add to their investment plan, including buying a home, starting your own business, or simply growing your own personal wealth. 

Each goal is fully customizable, including dollar amount, length of time, and which goal has the highest priority.

Ellevest will then provide recommendations for:

  • Your goal target amount
  • Your time horizon
  • An initial deposit amount
  • A monthly deposit amount
  • The best portfolio allocation

A keen focus on goal-oriented finances is a key point of praise in many Ellevest reviews.

For example, in her Ellevest review, Business Insider’s Tanza Loudenback calls the customizable goals “fun to toggle through,” noting that it “encourages users to make it as personal as possible.”

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Ellevest Review | Key Features of Investments for Women

Ellevest certainly has a unique approach to investments for women, but how do their investment products and fees stack up? Is Ellevest the best robo advisor for your personal advisory budget?

Additionally, it’s important to consider the types of investments for women offered through this best investment platform.

In the following sections, our Ellevest review will show you key features of this investing for women platform, including fees and investment products.



Fees for Investment Portfolio Management

Our Ellevest review has highlighted a quick listing of the fees associated with Ellevest investments for women, which includes:

  • Ellevest charges 0.5 percent on AUM for investment portfolio management
  • Emergency funds are managed for free
  • Underlying ETF fees range between 0.10-0.15 percent annually
  • Investments for women have no minimum balance

Our Ellevest review found an interactive annual cost calculator that helps woman investors project their annual fees based on investment amounts.

Not only does this help calculate the cost of investment portfolio management, but it also allows users to compare average advisor costs to investments for women from Ellevest.

For example, our Ellevest review found that an investment of $5,000 will incur an annual fee of $25 through Ellevest, while other advisors may charge anywhere between $0-$75.

Although the 0.5 percent fee may be higher than competing advisory firms, our Ellevest review found that having free emergency funds and no minimum balance certainly maintains these investments for women as competitive options.


Investment Products

This best investment platform allows woman investors to access 21 different asset classes comprised of low-cost Exchange-Traded Funds.

Ellevest partnered with Morningstar Investment Management to select assets based on:

  • Total holding costs
  • High liquidity
  • Tax efficiency
  • Low tracking error

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Conclusion: Is Ellevest the Best Investment Platform for You?

With a committed focus on providing the best value for woman investors, Ellevest is poised to be one of the best robo advisors on the market for women.

By factoring in crucial financial impacts from the gender pay gap, longer life spans, and salary peaks, this best investment platform adopts a unique approach to support the success of woman investors.

The relationship between women and investment earnings faces ongoing challenges, and it’s safe to say that investment portfolio management from Ellevest is perfectly poised to tackle those challenges.

On the other hand, our Ellevest review did find that a 0.5 percent annual fee is slightly higher than competing robo advisors. Investors may want to consider whether the additional features offered by Ellevest are worth the cost.

Despite the higher cost, it’s worth mentioning that many Ellevest reviews continue to applaud the investment portfolio management platform as the best robo advisor for women.

Created by women and specifically for women, Ellevest is a powerful tool, combining women and investment like never before.

Read More: Betterment vs. Wealthfront –  Rankings & Review


Image sources:

  • https://www.ellevest.com/personalized_portfolios
  • https://www.ellevest.com/
  • https://secure.ellevest.com/onboarding/goals
  • http://production.assets.ellevest.com/documents/Ellevest-White-Paper.pdf
  • https://pixabay.com/en/people-woman-sitting-business-2564956/


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