We’re not for everyone.

By Sallie Krawcheck

And we have a few good reasons for that.

Our goal at Ellevest is to close the “gender investing gap”: the gap that can cost women hundreds of thousands — for some, millions — of dollars over their lives. To do this, we want to make investing more approachable; for example, we have no investing minimum.

But that doesn’t mean everyone should invest with Ellevest right this second. Some absolutely should not, and some just need to take care of a few things first. For example, if you:

Have credit card debt outstanding. Same for other high-interest-rate debt. Get that stuff paid down first; it can cost you a fortune in interest payments. More than you are likely to earn by investing.

Don’t have the stomach to lose ANY money along the way. You may have heard the phrase: “all investing entails risk.” And so, historically, the higher returns that one has earned from investing have also meant weathering some bumps along the way. If, in your heart of hearts, you think this will freak you out, stay away. Or start with small amounts to test yourself and build your way up.

Really just want the cheapest investment offering. Our goal in building Ellevest was to provide the greatest value, not to be the least expensive. That’s why we provide features like customized investing plans, highly personalized investment portfolios and off-track alerts, at what we believe is a fair price. Care about price only? We use mostly Vanguard ETFs to construct our portfolios, and you can buy those directly at Vanguard.

Want to trade stocks yourself. Enjoy.

Haven’t built an emergency fund yet. That’s the three months — or more — of take-home pay that you should have in cash in case of a…you guessed it…emergency. This should be held in cash, rather than invested. (And we actually do provide those at Ellevest, for free.)

Who should invest with Ellevest?

In a word? Go-getters. Women who know what they want and are constantly looking for the best way to make it happen — be that with their careers or their money.

One group that we do welcome to Ellevest, which might surprise you? Men! Our investing algorithm simply takes into account that they don’t live as long as we women do, and adjusts accordingly.

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