Updated May 9, 2020

Ellevest Review: Is It Worth It?

Read more about Ellevest
Ad Disclosure: This article contains references to products from our partners. We may receive compensation if you apply or shop through links in our content. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site. You help support CreditDonkey by using our links. (read more)

Ellevest tailors investment strategies specifically for women's needs. Find out how this robo-advisor make a difference.

5-point scale (the higher, the better)

Pros and Cons

  • Focused on women's needs
  • $0 minimum
  • Starts at $1/mo
  • Limited account options
  • No tax loss harvesting
  • Uncertain future

Bottom Line

Women-focused robo-advisor tailored to women's life cycles and goals

Ellevest fills a unique space in the investing world. This robo-advisor works off the belief that women need different investing strategies than men.

It considers the wage gap and life cycle of women. Then it creates custom portfolios according to your personal situation. Is this really necessary?

With no minimum and a low membership fee starting at just $1 per month, Ellevest could be cheaper than other popular robo-advisors.

Keep reading to find out if Ellevest is right for you.

What is Ellevest

Founded in 2014, Ellevest is a female-focused robo advisor and money membership. This platform is built for women by women specially for women's unique financial needs.

The investment industry was traditionally run by men. But Ellevest believes that these kinds of "gender-neutral" investment strategies don't consider the different challenges women face. This includes:

  • Women earn less than men throughout their lifetime.
  • Women are more likely to take a career break when they become a mother.
  • Women have longer lifespans than men.

This means that women have less to invest, yet they live longer. Ellevest aims to create custom portfolios for women to address these factors.

Ellevest focuses on goal-based investing. The aim is to help you achieve your financial goals - not to outperform a market index.

Even though Ellevest is founded with women in mind, it's open to men too! It's open to all gender identities and gender expressions.

Pros & Cons


  • Addresses the unique needs of women
  • No minimum investment
  • Low monthly membership fee starting at just $1/mo
  • Automatic rebalancing
  • Diverse asset classes, including real estate
  • Positive impact portfolio option


  • Limited account types
  • No tax loss harvesting

Pricing & Fees

Ellevest offers monthly membership pricing. There are three plans. There is no minimum deposit to start investing for all plans.

1. Ellevest Essential: $1/mo

  • Your own personalized managed portfolio
  • Basic tax strategies and automatic rebalancing
  • Access to Ellevest Banking account* with a spend & save account
  • Unlimited access to online workshops and educational resources
  • 20% off one-on-one coaching sessions

As long as have at least $4,800 in your account, this $1/mo fee makes Ellevest cheaper than robo-advisors such as Betterment and Wealthfront, which charges 0.25% of assets under management annually.

2. Ellevest Plus: $5/mo
You get everything in the Essential Plan, plus:

  • Personalized retirement plan, including non-Ellevest accounts
  • 401k or 403b rollover help
  • 30% off one-on-one coaching sessions

3. Ellevest Executive: $9/mo
You everything in the Essential and Plus Plan, plus:

  • Up to six customized investment accounts for your money goals. Create specific goals like buying a goal, starting a business, etc.
  • Free 1:1 professional review of your investment strategy
  • 50% off one-on-one coaching sessions

How to Get Started

Here's how to get started with Ellevest.

1. Sign up for an account
You must create an account and activate your membership first. Unlike some other robo-advisors, you can't fill out some general information and see if you like the recommendations first before committing.

2. Fill out financial profile
Once you've set up your membership you can start investing. Fill out some simple questions about your age, income, and type of work. Ellevest uses this information to come up with a personalized portfolio for you.

3. Select account type and set up goals
Choose your account type according to your goals. Ellevest Essential members get access to the general Build Wealth goal. Plus members can also set up an retirement goal.

Executive members also get access to more specific goals such as Kids, Splurge, Business and Home.

Ellevest offers the following account types:

  • Individual Taxable
  • Traditional IRA
  • Roth IRA
  • 401K Rollover

4. View your portfolios
Within each goal, you can edit your timeline and how much you plan to save each month. Ellevest will come up with the projections.

You can also see your recommended portfolio mix. Ellevest's recommended portfolios are calculated to give you 70% chance of reaching your goal.

5. Fund your goals
Then all you have to do is link a bank account to fund your goals. You can do one-time transfers or set up automatic deposits.

You can also transfer a taxable investment account from another provider to Ellevest. Ellevest does not charge a transfer fee. However, check with your current provider if they have any transfer or account closing fees.


For each goal, you can choose to invest in two different portfolios:

Core Investment Portfolio
Ellevest's core portfolio is made up of 21 asset classes. This is a diversified portfolio consisting of US stocks and bonds, emerging markets stocks and bonds, and alternative investments like real estate.

Ellevest Impact Portfolio
The Impact Portfolio is specially designed to invest in companies that advance women. This includes:

  • Companies with women leaders and policies that advance women
  • Companies with sustainable and ethical practices
  • Funds providing loans to support women-owned businesses

For any of your goals, you can switch between the Core and Impact portfolios at any time.

Compare Robo Advisors

Ellevest Portfolio Features

Automatic rebalancing
It's normal for your portfolio allocation to drift overtime, since stocks and bonds increase at different rates. Ellevest automatically rebalances your portfolio on a regular basis to help keep you on track with your goals.

Tax Minimization Methodology
This strategy aims to reduce your taxes. You have to have both taxable account and IRA with Ellevest.

It places assets that are taxed less into the taxable accounts. Assets that are usually taxed heavily get placed into IRAs (which offer tax advantages). This minimizes the overall amount of taxes you pay.

Diversified portfolio
Ellevest spreads your investments across 21 different asset classes. This is more than the average robo-advisor offers. It even invests in real estate, which diversifies your portfolio even further.

Ellevest Banking

Ellevest now offers Spend and Save accounts for all users. There is no monthly fee, no initial deposit, and no balance requirements.

The Spend account features:

  • Contactless Ellevest Mastercard debit card
  • Unlimited ATM fees reimbursement**
  • No overdraft fees
  • No transfer fees between banks

The Save account is meant for short term savings. If you have both the Spend and Save accounts, you can turn on automatic round up***. Every time you spend, Ellevest will round up the extra change and put it into your Save account.

Both the Spend and Save accounts are FDIC-insured up to $250,000****.

One on One Coaching Sessions

Ellevest offers private coaching sessions with financial planners for purchase for everyone - both Ellevest members and non-members. Ellevest members get a discount based on the membership tier.

Just some of the possible coaching sessions include:

  • Budgeting & spending ($160)
  • Negotiation strategy ($125)
  • General money questions ($150)
  • Paying down debt ($150)
  • Career transitioning ($300)
  • Retirement checkup ($300)
  • Unlimited access to a Certified Financial Planner ($750)

All coaching sessions will provide you with a realistic and actionable plan for your area of concern.

Discount for Ellevest members:
  • Essential Plan - 20% off
  • Plus Plan - 30% off
  • Executive Plan - 50% off


No tax loss harvesting
Tax loss harvesting helps reduce your tax consequences on taxable accounts. It works by offsetting capital gains with capital losses to reduce your taxable income. However, Ellevest doesn't provide this strategy.

Limited account types
So far, Ellevest only supports individual taxable and IRA accounts. There are no joint accounts, 529 Plans, trusts, or custodial accounts.

Unknown future
Ellevest is one of the few companies with a female-focused strategy, so its longevity is yet to be determined. While your investments are insured by the SIPC should Ellevest close, it's still a risk you take. Assets are held through their custodian Folio.

How It Compares

Ellevest vs Betterment
Betterment costs 0.25% annual fee for balances of $20,000 or more, or if you set up recurring monthly deposits totaling $250 or more. Those with less than $20,000 will be charged a $4 monthly fee. For accounts with at least $4,800 balance, Ellevest's $1/mo comes out cheaper.

One advantage of Betterment is that it offers tax-loss harvesting for all clients, while Ellevest does not. On the other hand, Ellevest has more asset classes (including real estate), so your investments are more diversified.

Betterment also offers a Checking and Cash Reserve account. Betterment's savings account offers a little bit of interest to help your money grow more.

Ellevest vs Acorns
Acorns is a spare change robo-advisor. Acorns automatically invests your spare change whenever you make a purchase. This is great to get young people into the habit of investing.

Ellevest is more serious about helping you meet your goals. It may be the better choice if you need financial guidance from professionals. Acorns doesn't have any human advisor access.

Ellevest vs Vanguard Personal Advisor Services
Vanguard has a 0.30% annual fee. Vanguard offers robo-advisory mixed with human oversight. You get a financial professional managing your account to select investments based on your goals and situation.

Vanguard's minimum investment is $50,000. If you don't have that much, Ellevest is the better option since it has no minimum.

Ellevest vs Wealthfront
Wealthfront charges an annual fee of 0.25% and has a minimum investment of $500.

Wealthfront supports more account types. It offers 529 Savings Plans, joint account, and trusts, but Ellevest doesn't.

Wealthfront also offers free advanced financial tools for planning your life. It has tools for home buying, savings for college, taking time off work, and retirement planning.

Bottom Line

Ellevest has an interesting concept that many women buy into, but is it necessary? This is yet to be determined because Ellevest is still a newcomer to the industry.

Ellevest's membership pricing comes out cheaper for those with higher balances, compared to popular robo-advisors like Betterment. So that could be the determining factor.

You may also be drawn to Ellevest if you agree with its philosophy. The Impact Portfolio is a great way to invest in companies that align with your values. With no minimum to start, Ellevest is a good option for beginner investors.

**Banking products and services are provided by Coastal Community Bank, Member FDIC, pursuant to license by Mastercard International.

**Domestic ATM transaction fees will be reimbursed if a payroll direct deposit has been received within the prior 30 days of the ATM transaction settlement. International ATM withdrawal fee of $5 will apply.

***If you opt in to the Roundup Program for debit card purchases, each settled (i.e. fully completed) purchase transaction made with your Ellevest Debit Card will be rounded up to the nearest whole U.S. dollar. The Roundup amount will be transferred from your Spend account to your Save account. Foreign purchases are rounded up to the nearest whole dollar after the purchase is converted to U.S. dollars. ATM withdrawals and transactions in whole US dollars, e.g. $20.00 are excluded from the Roundup program. If, at the time of settlement of a purchase, your Ellevest Spend Account has insufficient available funds to cover the full amount of the Roundup transfer, the Roundup Transfer will not be made.

If a purchase is canceled or reversed for any reason (including disputes), the corresponding Roundup Transfer will not be reversed. You can opt out of the Roundup Program at any time.

****The Ellevest Spend and Save accounts are FDIC-insured up to $250,000 per depositor through Coastal Community Bank, Member FDIC.


$20 Investment Bonus

  • Open an Acorns account (new users only)
  • Set up the Recurring Investments feature
  • Have your first investment be made successfully via the Recurring Investments feature

Free Gold IRA Kit

  • Up to $10,000 in free silver for eligible customers
  • Highest buyback price, guaranteed
  • Endorsed by Sean Hannity and Chuck Norris
Augusta Precious Metals

Free Gold When You Open a Gold IRA

Free gold is only for qualified customers who have at least $100K saved for retirement and who open a gold IRA with Augusta Precious Metals.

Note: This website is made possible through financial relationships with some of the products and services mentioned on this site. We may receive compensation if you shop through links in our content. You do not have to use our links, but you help support CreditDonkey if you do.

Subscribe to CreditDonkey: Get updates on the latest deals and keep up with the best money moves.
Your privacy is important to us. Unsubscribe anytime


EquityZen Review

EquityZen Review

EquityZen's platform makes it easier for you to buy or sell private company stocks. Learn more in this review.

Next Page:

About CreditDonkey
CreditDonkey is a personal finance comparison website. We publish data-driven analysis to help you save money & make savvy decisions.

Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed on this page are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.

†Advertiser Disclosure: Many of the offers that appear on this site are from companies from which CreditDonkey receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). CreditDonkey does not include all companies or all offers that may be available in the marketplace.

*See the card issuer's online application for details about terms and conditions. Reasonable efforts are made to maintain accurate information. However, all information is presented without warranty. When you click on the "Apply Now" button you can review the terms and conditions on the card issuer's website.

CreditDonkey does not know your individual circumstances and provides information for general educational purposes only. CreditDonkey is not a substitute for, and should not be used as, professional legal, credit or financial advice. You should consult your own professional advisors for such advice.

About Us | Reviews | Deals | Tips | Privacy | Do Not Sell My Info | Terms | Contact Us
(888) 483-4925 | 680 East Colorado Blvd, 2nd Floor | Pasadena, CA 91101
© 2024 CreditDonkey Inc. All Rights Reserved.