How to Get the Most Out of Ellevest

By Ellevest Team

We built Ellevest for one big reason: to give everyone the chance to build wealth — and learn as you go.  It’s packed with all — yes, all — the benefits and features we offer that can help you hit your goals. Here’s how you might use it.

(BTW: If you haven’t gotten started yet, you can do that here.)

What’s in your Ellevest plan?

Goals-based investing. Access to all six of the different investing goals available at Ellevest — including retirement planning — so you can start investing strategically for the things that are most important to you.

Impact investing. Access to Ellevest Impact Portfolios, which let you invest to make the world better for women.

Financial planning. Up to a full 50% off the list price (!) on every session with a financial planner to hit your financial goals.

Educational resources. Also included: Lots of ways to get your money questions answered at your own pace, plus free workshops and downloadable worksheets, accessible via a Learn dashboard.

What can you do with your Ellevest plan?

Start investing toward your biggest goals

Historically, investing has been a pretty powerful way to work toward big, long-term money goals. But no two goals are created equal — for example, you’d probably want to buy a house much sooner than you’d aim to retire, and the amount of money you’ll need for those two goals will probably be pretty different.

That’s why Ellevest uses a goal-based investing platform. That means investing toward all your goals separately, which has a few key advantages. First, it can be easier to track your progress when you can see each goal’s balance separately (not to mention that naming your goals and making a plan for each one can help motivate you to hit them). Second, and more important (to us, at least), it lets us recommend a level of risk in your investment portfolio that’s designed to go with the amount of time you have left to invest for your goal.

Generally, you can “afford” to take more risk (usually by having investments in the stock market) at the beginning of your timeline, when you have years to‌ ride out any market downturns. And you’d typically want to take less risk (usually by having more investments in the bond market) toward the end of your timeline, when you won’t want to risk losing too much right before you plan to use the money. 

On Ellevest’s platform, you can pick and choose between different goals to match whichever goals you want to work toward right now. Each one will come with a specially designed investment portfolio meant to help you hit your target amount by the end of your goal’s timeline. Those options are:

Build Wealth: Invest with the intention of increasing your net worth, plain and simple.

A Place to Call Home: Invest toward a down payment on a new home.

Kids Are Awesome: Invest to help cover the expenses of raising kids.

Start a Business: Invest to help replace your income while you build a new business.

A Once-in-a-Lifetime Splurge: invest toward something big for Future You, like an ultimate dream vacation or purchase.

You can add goals to your account as you need them. We’ll help you decide how much you might want to aim for, except with Build Wealth and A Once-in-a-Lifetime Splurge; those are 100% up to you. We’ll also recommend a possible timeline (which you can totally change if you want) and then suggest how much to invest every month so you’ll have the best chance of hitting that goal.

Plan and invest for retirement all in one place

Retirement is the biggest financial goal that most people will work toward in their whole lives. The planning process can be complex, and there are sometimes a lot of moving pieces to keep track of. You might have a 401(k) at work, plus an old 401(k) or two from previous employers, and maybe a traditional or Roth IRA (or both). With Ellevest, you can use the Retirement goal to get the 10,000-foot view. 

Here’s how it works: 

Add a Retirement goal to your account by navigating to “Investing,” then “Set up retirement.”

List out what you have saved in your “outside accounts” — including retirement accounts you have in other places, like a 401(k), plus banking accounts.

We’ll use that info, together with the details you told us about yourself when you joined Ellevest (like your age, salary, and gender), to tell you a target amount to have when you retire — the full amount we think you should aim for, not just the amount for an IRA with Ellevest. We’ll also recommend what type of accounts you might use to get there.

Our recommendations are designed to get you to 90% of your pre-retirement income at retirement (after taxes). We’re guessing that you’ll spend a little less than you do before you retire, but not too much less. (You’re still you, and you’ll still want to do things.)

We also check in with you every few months (quarterly, to be exact) to remind you to update your outside retirement accounts and anything else that’s changed in your life, so this full picture stays the full picture. And if you have more personal questions about your target, you can always book a retirement planning session with a financial planner.

Your Retirement goal will also tell you whether you’re on track to get to your target amount. Your 401(k) at work could be enough to get you there. If that’s the case, we’ll let you know, and then you’re good to go. But you could be off track — after all, women retire with two-thirds as much money as men do, even though we live six to eight years longer

You also might decide that an IRA is a good move for you. If so, you can choose to open an IRA using your Ellevest account. Here’s how that works:

You can open a traditional, Roth, or SEP IRA using Ellevest, and/or a taxable investment account inside your Retirement goal, if you need to (we’ll recommend it if we think that’s the case).

We’ll suggest how much to invest each month. (You can use the Goal Planner tool to tweak our suggestions whenever you want.) 

Then, if you want, you can set up an automatic paycheck deposit or bank transfer for your contributions so that you’re automagically paying Future You. (An excellent choice, if we do say so.)

Then we’ll invest your deposits into a diversified investment portfolio designed with your target amount and timeline in mind, using our gender-aware algorithm. 

Also, if you have an old 401(k) from a previous job that you want to roll over, or an IRA you’d like to transfer to Ellevest, you can. We’re here to help you make the transfer whenever you’ve decided you’re ready.

Invest to make the world better for women

Whatever goal you’re investing in, you get to choose whether you want to use a “core” (aka regular) or “impact” portfolio. 

Ellevest Impact Portfolios are designed to help you invest to grow your money and to make the world better by investing up to 53% of your money with an ESG and gender lens. Some of the funds in impact portfolios include:

Companies highly rated for advancing women through gender-diverse boards, senior leadership teams, and other policies and practices.

Companies that are highly rated for their alignment with ESG criteria.

Investments that earmark capital for women-owned or -co-owned businesses.

Talk about a win-win.

Work one-on-one with a financial planner

Big goals like yours don’t just happen. To reach them, you have to have a plan and put in the work. But the thing is, you don’t have to do it alone. Now you have a team who’s there to help you strategize. That’s why your client discount can get you a ton of value on unlimited access to a financial planner or our full financial planning package.

Your Ellevest financial planners have a ton of professional experience (check out the creds on their bios). And they’re rooting for you — hard. Their guidance is focused on helping you with your real-life goals, not aiming for impossible ideals. They’re here to help you solve problems and make decisions based on what’s most important to you. That means working on not just the money itself, but also (and more importantly) what you want to do with it. They’ll help you come up with strategies that can get you there.

Some financial planning sessions are one-and-done: 30-minute directed sessions to solve a specific problem and build a specific action plan — like a call to help you build a budget. Some are more intensive, like helping you take a closer look at your retirement plan.

Learn how to hit your financial goals

You don’t need to know everything about money or investing to make progress. We’ll help you learn as you go … and we’ll make it actually interesting, too. Every educational resource is created with you in mind by real (and very awesome) people who have no interest in wasting your time. 

Navigate to your Learn dashboard to see all the ways you can learn about money and career topics at your own pace — it’s all included in your Executive plan. Here’s what you can expect:

A constantly updating schedule of virtual workshops — many of which are free for clients — led by our incredible team of financial planners.

Email courses you can sign up for that dive into a money or career topic — you’ll get in-depth, directed ways to explore and develop your skills.

Free downloadable worksheets to help you do everything from budgeting for your next vacation to making a debt payoff plan to journaling about your dream retirement.

Here’s how it could all work together

Say you’re considering moving to a new city. Hypothetically, you might use your Ellevest plan to:

Use the Emergency Fund Calculator to figure out how much to save in case (or when) things don’t go exactly according to plan.

Use your Retirement goal to see whether you’re on track for retirement right now, to help put your decision into perspective.

Use your client discount to book a 1:1 financial planning session that can help you plan for new housing costs. That might be a Homebuying Strategy and Budgeting Session with a financial planner if you plan to buy.

Sign up for a free email course to brush up on your networking skills and start building connections in your new city

That’s just one way you might put your Ellevest plan to good use. We designed it to work hard for your financial goals — just like you. 


 © 2023 Ellevest, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

All opinions and views expressed by Ellevest are current as of the date of this writing, are for informational purposes only, and do not constitute or imply an endorsement of any third party’s products or services.

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.

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

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Ellevest Team

Ellevest helps women build and manage their wealth through goal-based investing, financial planning, and wealth management. Our mission is to get more money in the hands of women.