The first thing you notice when checking out the Ellevest website is that while the design is clean and reassuring, the structure is not user-friendly. No sectioning, no clear direction. The information is presented as a list of articles spread across multiple pages, forcing clients to search for the information they need over many pages. This website arrangement is one that may not be appealing to modern consumers who are accustomed to having all the information conveniently centralized.
But what about the services they offer? One thing that makes them stand out in front of competitors is the low cost of opening an account: as low as $1. That cost is made possible by the fact that the service itself is a bot advisor. The advise comes from an AI, thus only has low maintenance costs and no employee salary.
This broker also has no minimum investment, and instead offers its services for a monthly fee of up to $9. An account contains a minimum of one portfolio managed by the broker’s algorithm.
Ellevest have chosen a unique niche with their investment focus; They have chosen to appeal to the female side of the investment map: they take into account a variety of elements where women’s finances vary from men’s. This includes the statistic longer life span and the generally lower income. They go further in offering an “impact portfolio” structured around women’s issues and the advancement of women in society.
Ellevest comes equipped with lots of tutorials for those interested in learning, all included in the service, even for only $1. For those interested in the human connection, a member can get access to human coaches for a discounted fee. A nonmember can also get access to the coaches for full price.
Ellevest doesn’t turn men away at the door. Men are just as welcome at Ellevest.
The downsides aren’t many – the lack of human service (unless one pays extra), the high fee to transfer out, and the low interest on their savings account.
We would say that the investors this appeals to most are women, investors starting out, and investors interested in social equality for women (and in general). It’s particularly great for those interested in starting an investment career but can’t afford all the other brokers.
Wealthy investors might be turned off by their no tax-loss harvesting.