In this Ellevest vs Stash review, we compare the leading robo-advisor for women with one of the best investment apps.
Ellevest made a name for itself by launching an automated investment manager aimed primarily at women. Ellevest has low account minimums, low fees, and stands out as the only robo-advisor in our research pool that thoughtfully accounts for gender differences in portfolio selections.
How can the Stash Invest app possibly stack up well against Ellevest? Stash provides a wealth of educational resources to help stock market beginners. And it provides investors with more control over portfolio choices.
So which is right for you, Stash or Ellevest?
Stash vs Ellevest Features
What Is Ellevest?
Ellevest is a robo-advisor led by women for women. Like Betterment and other leading robo-advisors, Ellevest manages portfolios using computer algorithms at much lower cost than traditional financial advisors.
The focus on women isn’t just a glossy gimmick to attract women – men are welcome too! What Ellevest has recognized is women have different income profiles on average. For example, their peak earnings may occur earlier in their careers. And so their portfolios should be invested differently to those of men.
What Is Stash?
Stash is unabashedly built for beginners and investors who want exposure to thematic investments with the push of a button. It is among the best investment apps alongside Acorns and Robinhood.
Unlike Ellevest, Stash doesn’t actually manage your money. Instead, it groups investment opportunities into intuitive categories.
Slow & Steady, Blue Chips and Robots Rising are some of the categories on offer via the Stash mobile app.
Ellevest Fees vs Stash Fees
Ellevest features two service tiers: Digital and Premium. The entry-level service, Ellevest Digital, has an annual management fee charge of 0.25%.
Annual management fees for Ellevest Premium are 0.50%.
In addition to management charges, Ellevest passes on the the costs of expense ratios to clients. These range from 0.06% to 0.16%, which compares well to the best robo-advisors for fees.
As an aside, it is standard practice for robo-advisors to pass on the costs of expense ratios. Ellevest deserves high marks for keeping these expenses in check.
Depending on your account size, Stash fees will vary from a flat rate to a percentage of assets under management.
Stash charges just $1 per month for balances under $5,000 in standard accounts and $2 per month for balances under $5,000 in retirement accounts.
Once your balance hits $5,000 or more, Stash charges 0.25% per year.
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Fees Comparison: Stash & Ellevest
|Service||$2,000||$5,000||$100,000||$1,000,000||Open an Account|
|Ellevest Management Fees|
|Stash Management Fees||$12||$12||$250||$2,500|
|Investormint Verdict: Ellevest is cheaper for smaller account sizes. For larger account sizes, it’s a tie for basic service.|
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Stash vs Ellevest
Ellevest Account Minimum
|Service Type||Account Minimum|
No account minimum is in place for Ellevest Digital users but Premium clients need to come up with $50,000 in order to gain access to extra perks, like Certified Financial Planners.
Stash Account Minimum
The Stash app has a low investment minimum of just $5.
|Investormint Verdict: For basic service, it’s a virtual tie though technically Ellevest has the edge with a zero minimum versus a $5 minimum. However, Ellevest comes a distant second on account minimum requirements for imposing a $50,000 base level for Premium.|
Stash vs Ellevest
Ellevest Tax Strategy
Unlike some of its larger rivals, Ellevest does not offer automatic tax-loss harvesting – a strategy designed to minimize the impact of capital gains taxes by selling losing positions and replacing them with similar types of securities.
However, Ellevest does place tax-advantaged securities, like municipal bonds, in standard accounts and less tax-efficient funds in retirement accounts that enjoy preferential tax treatment already.
Ellevest also advises on the best way to withdraw funds when the time comes in order to lower the amount Uncle Sam pockets.
Stash Tax Strategy
Stash does not manage portfolios so automated tax strategies, like tax-loss harvesting or tax coordinated portfolios are not options.
Nevertheless, Stash Invest does provide both standard and retirement accounts to investors who wish to place money in tax-advantaged retirement accounts, like traditional IRAs and Roth IRAs, have choices.
|Investormint Verdict: Ellevest wins the tax strategy battle with Stash.|
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Ellevest vs Stash
|Account Types||Ellevest||Stash Invest|
|Investormint Verdict: It’s a virtual tie between the two because Ellevest supports more retirement accounts while Stash supports custodial accounts.|
Ellevest vs Stash
The portfolio mix available to Ellevest clients spans 21 asset classes, among the broadest selections offered by any robo-advisor.
The wide selection means that portfolios can be built to spread risk broadly. And free automatic rebalancing keeps them diversified.
Stash offers a different and rather unique way to diversify your investments. It bundles funds into thematic categories, which it labels Internet Titans, China Rising, or some other category that leaves you in no doubt how your money is allocated.
|Investormint Verdict: The differences in investment strategies are stark. Ellevest conforms to Modern Portfolio Theory whereas Stash prefers to offer thematic groups of investments that may not be optimized for risk and reward. Stash also requires you to pick investments whereas Ellevest manages accounts for you.|
Ellevest vs Stash
|Stash Wins||Ellevest Wins|
|✅ Active Investors: Investors who prefer to take responsibility for picking portfolio holdings will do better at Stash.||✅ Fees: Ellevest is best for smaller account sizes under $5,000 while it’s a tie for amounts over that threshold.|
|✅ Under 25: Users under 25 years old can enjoy the Stash app free of charge.||✅ Withdrawal Advice: To help you keep more and Uncle Sam less, Ellevest advises on withdrawal strategies when it comes time to sell portfolio holdings.|
|✅ Newbies: Stock market beginners will find a wealth of resources to help them get up to speed with financial terms.||✅ Gender-Based Investing: Ellevest creates portfolios tailored to women and men differently.|
|✅ Custodial Accounts: Stash supports not only taxable and retirement accounts but also custodial accounts too.||✅ Human Advice: Premium clients are connected to Certified Financial Planners.|
Which Robo-Advisor Is Best For You?
If you are trying to choose between Stash vs Ellevest, the biggest consideration is whether you want to pick investments or prefer to put your investments on auto-pilot. Ellevest will manage your taxable and retirement portfolios whereas Stash requires to make the picks.
Ellevest wins high marks for providing a true gender-based offering that accounts for how incomes for women and men peak at different ages. Individuals who want access to human advice will fare better at Ellevest.
Stash is ideal for beginners who want to learn the ropes for the first time and like the idea of managing investments on-the-go in a mobile app.
Between Stash and Ellevest, our vote is Ellevest but some newbies and under-25s will find Stash has much to offer.
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