We Reached a $2 Billion Milestone. By Not Listening to the Naysayers.

By Sallie Krawcheck

You may have seen that the Ellevest team rang the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange last week, celebrating our reaching $2 billion in investments.

I’ve worked in investing for a lot of years, and I’ve spent a lot of time at the New York Stock Exchange. So I didn’t really expect it to be emotional. But seeing all of that Ellevest signage all over the trading floor and the building — taking over those bastions of traditional Wall Street, when not so long ago women were barred from having a seat on that floor — was emotional. 


Even more emotional was recognizing that every dollar Ellevest invests on a client’s behalf represents a woman building her wealth. And thus building her future. 

In that moment, I couldn’t help but recall when we launched Ellevest to what was a less-than-rousing reception. One personal finance journalist titled her (yes, her) story on us: “Financial Advice Just for Women Might Seem Like a Great Idea. Here’s Why It’s Not.” She predicted our failure by noting that others had tried to launch financial offerings for women, but had failed; and that the real issue that needed to be addressed wasn't the gender investing gap, but the gender pay gap

Fair enough on the pay gap (which has been stuck at ~80 cents to a white man’s dollar since the early 2000s). 

But what she completely missed was the power of investing as a means to build wealth. 

How powerful? 

Well — let’s first note that every investment portfolio at Ellevest is personalized to each client and to each client’s individual goals. (That’s our women-first investing algorithm and our team of all-women financial advisors and planners hard at work.) But to get a feel, check out these numbers since we launched Ellevest 7.5 years ago:

  • On 11/7/2016, the S&P 500 index level was 2,187. At the time of this writing, it’s at 5,117. (So up 2.3x.) 

  • On that same 2016 date, the Nasdaq was at 5,333. As I’m typing this, it’s at 15,973. (So up 3x.)

  • This is all even with the stomach-lurching, pandemic-driven stock market of the early 2020s (when the S&P was down -34%).

  • And with the even-more-stomach-lurching, interest-rate-driven stock and bond markets of 2022 (when the market was down -24%, but over a longer period of time than the pandemic plunge).

Lest you think this period was just a particularly good time to invest, the stock market has averaged 9.8% annual increases since 1928. Now, of course, the future could be different from the past — and the returns from investing could be different from the past. But investing has historically been one of the few accessible ways for people to build wealth. And we don’t see any reason for that to change. 

Today we have women investing a bit out of every paycheck, their bonuses, their inheritances, their divorce settlements, their side hustle money with us. We have women who have rolled over their IRAs and their 401(k)s to us. We have women investing tens, hundreds, thousands, and even tens of millions of dollars with us. We have women who are investing and using our financial planning services to fund their retirements, buy homes, get married, start their own businesses, get divorced, fund a splurge. We have women who are investing for a positive impact, as well as a financial return.

As a result, you’ve made Ellevest one of the fastest-growing registered investment advisors in the country.*

And while I don’t know if we’ve changed that personal finance journalist’s mind, in her article, she held up another company as a success: a company with $2 billion in assets at the time. 

As for you, thank you for being part of this journey with us. 

Sallie Krawcheck Signature


© 2024 Ellevest, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

*Rating was given by InvestmentNews, an independent news website, on November 30, 2023; based on a review of data from 2020 through 2023. No compensation was provided by Ellevest for this rating.

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Information was obtained from third-party sources, which we believe to be reliable but are not guaranteed for accuracy or completeness.

The information provided should not be relied upon as investment advice or recommendations, does not constitute a solicitation to buy or sell securities, and should not be considered specific legal, investment, or tax advice. Nothing contained herein may be relied upon as a guarantee, promise, assurance or a representation as to the future.

The information provided does not take into account the specific objectives, financial situation, or particular needs of any specific person.

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Sallie Krawcheck

Sallie Krawcheck is the Founder & CEO of Ellevest.